Words by Michael Jellinek –
I recently had the opportunity to build a custom wheelset for Marsha M.’s new Niner BSB 9 RDO cross/gravel bike. We worked together to strike the ideal balance between weight savings, performance, and value, while keeping an eye to her strong aesthetic preferences. Light, strong, comfortable and pretty – with a custom wheelset, you can have it all!
We chose the H Plus Son Archetype rim for this build. The Archetype provides an excellent modern profile for a road rim (25mm deep and 23mm wide) which translates into stable handling, predictable cornering, and the ability to run lower pressures with a reduced risk of pinch flats. The manufacturing quality is very high – the black anodized finish is clean and even, and the welded rim seam is nearly invisible. The spoke holes are cleanly and evenly drilled, which sets the stage for an optimally tensioned wheel. At 470 grams, the Archetype is light without sacrificing stiffness or durability. Finally, Marsha found the Archetype’s subdued graphics very appealing.
DT Swiss 2.0/1.8 Competition spokes were chosen as the best compromise between weight, strength and cost. These classic double-butted spokes were mated to DT Swiss turquoise alloy nipples that had undergone dual-stage anodizing at Paceline.
I won’t pretend Marsha’s choice here wasn’t largely influenced by color. A limited edition color offered in 2014, we are fortunate to have a few leftover turquoise Chris King components here at Cyclepath. Luckily for Marsha, those included a 15mm ISO front hub (required for the Niner BSB 15mm thru axle fork, as thru axle R45 hubs are not currently offered) and a rear R45 Disc hub. Built entirely in Portland, OR, (right across the river!) these brilliant turquoise hubs provided a perfect compliment to the Niner BSB “Iceberg Blue” color scheme.
On the tech sides of things, it’s worth noting that these hubs are an absolute standout in their category. The R45 Disc features King’s proprietary stainless steel angular contact bearings for excellent performance and durability. Lightweight, low friction seals ensure smooth rolling and protect against the elements. A proprietary 45 tooth ringdrive mechanism provides amazingly responsive engagement. A 17mm rear axle and 15mm front thru axle maximize stiffness in this 440 gram hubset.
Overall, Marsha’s True Love wheelset is the perfect compliment to her new bike.
If you are interested in creating your own True Love custom wheelset, contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org
Front Hub – Chris King ISO Disc SD 15mm TA
Rear Hub – Chris King R45 Disc Shimano 11s
Front Rim – H Plus Son Archetype
Rear Rim – H Plus Son Archetype
Spoke – Sapim CX-Ray
Nipple – DT Swiss Alloy dual-stage anodized turquoise by PaceLine