I picked up my new carbon wheels from Graham at Sixth Element who had built them for me on orange Hope hubs just as I had asked for. They looked amazing with black carbon rims, stealth decals, black spokes and the orange hubs, not everyones choice and yes you can have a brighter set made but i like the low key look of them. The rims are the 650B (27.5), 40mm external carbon rims with alloy spokes and nipples hand built in the UK.
Speaking to Graham was a pleasure and he couldn't do enough to assist me and build the wheels within the week. They came tubeless ready and when fitted with WTB tyres they simply popped into place on the first attempt which was a refreshing change.
The wheels were fitted to a Whyte G 160-RS replacing a set of aluminium wheels that came with the bike. The first ride out was in Hebden Bridge and as usual the ride started with a climb, I could feel the wheels were stiff but nothing to make me rocket up hill.
It wasn't until I set off on the first downhill when the wheels came into their own and the feeling was just incredible!
People talk about stiff wheels and my initial thoughts were stiff wheels = harsh ride but it couldn't be further from the truth in this case. Yes the wheels are stiff and this translates into pin point direction changes, the ability to push the bike into the corner to generate grip and speed meant I had a massive grin on my face at the bottom of the hill.
I have now ridden these wheels for a few months and they are still performing as they did on the very first ride. They haven't had an easy time either from days coaching and guiding to uplift days at Revolution Bike Park and Danny Harts Descend Hamsterley and this summer they will be spending a few weeks in the Alps.
The wheels have taken some hard dings on the rims without even a mark, there are some scratches through normal use but they are still running true as they were when they were collected.
The Hope hubs don't need me to say how reliable they have been, but they have been flawless and the combination with the Sixth Element carbon rims is perfect.