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08 Mar

BORG30 MTB hookless Disc brake wheels -1280g/pair

Posted by Bold Apps

Well testing has begun for these. The first test set are 29er 24 spoke. The rims are 30mm wide and 25mm internal width with a modern hookless design.

The rims are light at 360g each. The production wheels will be laced up with Sapim CX-rays but these have Sapim lasers. Nipple washers have been used and black alloy nipples.

The hubs are the lovely Carbon Ti. 4 pawl freehub with a 56T ratchet ring made from titanium. there is a 17mm axle and these are the lightest reliable hubs you can buy. 100x12, 100x15mm, 110x15mm, Lefty, RS 110x15mm, 142x12mm and 148x12mm standard are supported along with old fashioned Q/R. 

The wheels are fitted with Carbon Ti disc brake rotors. 140, 160 and 180mm can be requested and Carbon Ti Titanium rotor fixing bolts are used. 

IRC tyres will of course be available. The ones fitted are the IRC Mythos 54x622mm and they are actually 53.2mm wide. The tyres inflated easily without sealant and lock in place firmly. 

Carbon wide and stiff. Simply what not to like. RRP ~£1700 with the Carbon Ti rotors and Ti bolts . £1300 without rotors and bolts.

Weight of front bare 595g but with 160mm rotor, Ti bolts, tape and valve 698g.

Weight of rear bare is 684g but  with 160mm rotor, Ti bolts, tape and valve 787g.

So that sub 1500g wheels tubeless ready with rotors. 

14 Dec

What wheels i ride and why

Posted by Bold Apps

I have alot of bikes and that means even more wheels. None a factory made all I have built myself. 

Lets start with the MTB's. 

Kenesis FF29 

Carbon Tubular 330g rims 28H front and rear laced with sapim laser spokes, alloy nipples and Miche disc brake hubs. These were there first road/CX disc brake hubs and they have done just fine. I run Dugast MTB tubulars on these. Currently a fast bird ori front and an enrst ori rear. These are tubeless tubular tyres so the best of all worlds. Wheelset weight is 1417g I could save a bit of weight by rebuilding with carbon ti hubs but whats the point they are light enough, very stiff and have not gone wrong yet. total mileage 15/10/2017 5200km. They have been ridden in all year round with either Dugast or Geax tubular tyres. I have a stash of Schwalbe Racing Ralphs as well bought cheap of a german website so I will keep rolling for some time to come. 

The tubular tyres offer grip that normal tubeless tyres in 2.0" width can't deliver. I Don't have space for a tyre bigger than a 2.2" so a 2.0" tyre gives me more mud clearance. Punctures have not been a big problem as I have been able to ride on a flat tub when i have punctured. The Dugast Ori tyre though are superb in every way, light and oh so comfortable. Grip is stellar. 

If I was building again I would use 24 spoke hubs/rims but I am not so i won't. 

Gary Fisher Ferrous

This bike is set up as a single speed and has two wheelsets. 

Winter/mud wheels Velocity blunt 35 (35mm wide rims), XTR M975 hubs and Sapim Race spokes/brass nipples. Tyres are quite heavy Geax Barro mud 2.3" with schwalbe pro core. Weight who cares I have these infalted to 12 psi front and 14 psi rear. Grip and control over rough ground is very controlled which is what I want. Grip in the mud is good too but there is not of clearance with it is claggy and my wheels can jam in the fields if there is straw mixed with clay. Well I suppose bricks are made of that so the bike may not be too blame. 

Summer wheels 32H Ryde trace trail 25 (25mm internal width), sapim laser spokes/alloy nipples XTR M985 hubs. Weight 1650g. The rims are asymmetric and the wheels are very stiff but the rims do not accept tubeless specific tyres. I can only fit conti. i normally use Conti race kings or moutain Kings 2.2". I really want to fit IRC Serrac CX tyres and some of there other models but I can't unless I re-rim which I need to to turn them into BORG23/XTR wheelset. 

The wheels may force me to use tyres that are O.K but the wheels are very stiff and the ride well. 

I have some 29er Ambrosio Tubular Disk rims (yes that is how it is Ambrosio did the spelling). These are 32H and I need to build these up and mount the Geax Saguaro Tubs to these. 

Retro MTB wheels

Trek 8900 1992

26" Mavic X517 rims 28H, XTR M950 hubs silver Sapim race spokes and alloy nipples. I hardly ever ride this bike as the components cannot be replaced easily. 

Scott Pro Racing 1992?

26" 32H Mavic 117 front and 317 rear sapim laser spokes and Shimano XT M730/2 hubs. used a fair bit but not much now as modern MTB's are simply better.

I have a set of pair of wolber 26" MTB tubular rims. I need to build these up with a pair of XT M730/2 hubs i have. I have a pair of Geax Saguro tubulars (3 perhaps), 2 racing ralph and a pair of old Vittoria Avocet tubs. These tyres can be ridden at lower pressure (mid 20's PSI) and are therefore far more comfortable and controlable on rough ground. That is what stops me riding these old bikes. 

Road bikes

Pinarello Monviso

This lovely bike from the early 90's has a Dura Ace 8 speed groupset and has a wheelset that suits. 

32F/36R Ambrosio Nemesis rims, Sapim laser spokes, brass nipples and Shimano Dura Ace HB-7400/FH-7403 hubs. These are not light @1850g but the ride with Vittoria Pave tubulars is sublime. The Ambrosio rims are excellent all weather rims as the brake track is non machined. This means it wears at a much slower rate than machined sidewall rims. Wet braking is pretty good too. 

Traitor Exile

This is a wet weather winter club run bike. As such i have put the most inappropriate wheelset in this bike. I must fit something else.

20F/24R Pacenti V1 SL23 rims, sapim laser spokes front, race rear, alloy nipples and Royce carbon/Ti hubs drilled for 2:1 lacing. Yes that is hubs with Ti flanges and carbon shells. Frankly they are jewellery and are wasted on this bike. The wheels have IRC roadlite tubeless tyres. The ride is sublime and the wheels are really quite stiff. When the rims crack they will be built into a set of BORG50C wheels. Weight 1600g

Trek 2300

This is a bike I love riding. It is not that quick (my position is more upright on this bike to the extreme length of the headtube) but it is pleasent never the less. 

I have a couple of wheelsets for this bike and soon there will be a third. Tubular tyres are used with this bike. I find them quite dependable.

28F/28R HED Belgium  C2 tubular rims, sapim CX-ray spokes, silver Campagnolo record 1999-2006 hubs. Weight ~ 1530g. These wheels have Continental Competition 25mm tubular tyres which are durable and puncture resistant shame they are not that comfortable. The ride of these tubs is quite harsh. When I wear them out I will fit some IRC Formula pro team tubs. Maybe I will do that sooner than later. 

32F/32R FIR tubular rims, Sapim sprint spokes and Campagnolo Chorus hubs. weight is around 1600g. I use these wheels over winter and have a set of 25mm Gatorskin sprinter tubs fitted to them. The wheels are fine to ride but the tyres have a numbing feeling to the ride. If I find them time I will swap the tubs for something else. 

BORG38T carbon tubular wheels. 38mm deep 20.5mm wide 18F/24R silver sapim CX-ray spokes and Hope Ti Glide Glide hubs. Weight 1230g. There are a set of Veloflex made schwalbe tyres 22mm wide on them. Lovely wheels to ride although in the wind they do get caught a bit. 

yet to be built 32F/32R Velocity Escape rims, Silver sapim CX-ray or laser spokes, Campagnolo Chorus hubs 1999-2006 weight ~1500g. These will have a nice set of Dugast strada tubs fitted to them. 

1999 Klein Quantum

This is a mad bike so it get a mad wheelset. As the bike has a Shimano 7700 Dura Ace groupset it has to have matching hubs. 

So 12F/12R yes 12 spoke Dura Ace hubs laced to 88mm deep carbon rims with sapim Cx ray spokes laced 1x for the rear wheel. The wheelset weighs 1530g and has 22mm Continental GP4000sII tubular tyres fitted. the ride is fairly harsh and wider more supple tubs are needed. the wheels though are lovey to ride on. they dont feel quick but average speed when riding them is not slow either. They are simply mad wheels for a mad bike. 

 Look 795

This is the race/TT bike so it get the BORG50C wheels. 50mm deep 26.2mm wide. This set are built with Miche Primato hubs and are the first test set I built. They are currently used with IRC tubeless tyres. Weight 1650g and this set have over 10,000 miles on them. Even in strong winds the bike is stable. 

I have another set of these with Miche SWR hubs. weight is 1600g

Sannio -1991

This is an older steel bike with modern kit on it. It is a race bike really.

Currently there is a set of BORG22's on there but in 20F/24R spoke count. Tubeless tyres of course. Weight 1565g and they feel just right for this bike. 

Look KG221

This old bike has a set of wheels that I i would not want to build for anyone but me. 32F/32R Mavic GEL 280 rims (280g in weight), sapim race spokes and Novatec A291/F172 hubs. The wheels weigh under 1400g and they are wheel I ride gently on. They feel a bit flexy in tight bends at speed. How people raced on them I have no idea and I think i am way past the weight limit for these wheels. There are currently Vittoria Corsa SC 23mm tubular tyres on the bike. these wear out and puncture quite easily so they wont be on there for too long except I ride this bike only a few times every year. 

Alan 1981

This wheelset has the only hoops built by someone else. Mr Buick from Ipswich probably back int he 70's. 32F/32R Super Champion Arc De Ciel rims on Campagnolo Record hubs. They have 22mm Conti Gatorskin sprinter tyres on which must be replaced with Dugast tanwall strada tyres. These feel light and a whole lot stiffer than the Mavics above.

Vitus 992

For this bike which has a Mavic groupset a Mavic wheelset has been built with CXP14 rims and Mavic MR601 hubs. Weight is unknown I forgot to weigh them. I will have to ride this bike more to test IRC road clincher tyres. 

Hill climb special

This is my light weight hill climb bike. Wheels are currently BORG38T 38mm deep tubular wheels with Carbon Ti hubs that weigh 1020g. There is a lighter set I want to build with Titanium spokes and an Extralite rear hub and a M5 front. Rims will be probably be a shallow carbon tubular. This is more a to play about with how light I can go and still have a stiff reliable wheelset. Sub 900g is quite possible sub 800g is viable with compromises.

1948 Raleigh Record Ace

This is a fixed gear bike with 32F/40R wooden rims on 40's Solite hubs. the rims are not that round which is a shame so they have big Challange Strada 30mm tubulars on them. the hop is only noticeable at speeds I dare not ride at. 


This bike has a 18f/24R wheelset using Miche supertype hubs and Pacenti SL23 V1 rims. The wheels weigh 1400g and are quite stiff. IRC tubeless tyres are fitted and the wheels. 

1962 Dawes Town bike

this needs an overhall with a dynamo hub front hub with drum brake and a 3 speed sturney archer hub rear with coaster brake. it is a town bike. currently it has wheels with a coaster brake rear only hence I don't ride it.

Genesis Equilibrium Disc

This is the commuter bike. It weighs 15kg with pannier and some load. It is often carries more load. It is used most days. so given the load you might expect high spoke count wheels but you would be wrong. 24F/24R Velocity aileron rims, sapim Cx-ray spokes and Novatec D711/D712 hubs. I built these a few years ago and they current have IRC tubeless tyres on them. The wheels weigh 1545g and are stiff and have over 10,000 km on them. I built them to find out if 24 spoke light disc brake wheels are reliable with load. they have passed that test. 



02 Jul

The new Mavic Open Pro

Posted by Bold Apps in Mavic, Tubeless, UST

The Open Pro has been around for a while. It is narrow and shallow and like my car ( a BMW from 1988) was great once and still is in an old fashioned way but technology and design has moved on. Sometimes new designs are rubbish and offer so much promise but deliver disappointment however this new rim from mavic (I will be getting the first drop on 4th July) promises much more. 

Mavic have tried to standardise UST - that is tubeless so tubeless tyres fit easily and inflate easily (this is not always the case) and tubed tyre should be mountable with relative ease.

Mavic claim much tighter tolerances than other rims have although I have found Kinlin's with IRC tubeless tyres to be very consistant and this will be my reference standard when testing. 

Mavic do have a tubeless tyre of there own. This wont be out till August. I have some on back order. I will be testing these tyres throughly and Mavic rims with IRC tubeless tyres. 

If I find the Mavic UST tyre to have longevity issues (if it does I will find it I am a tyre killer) then they will not be offered for sale by me. If I find IRC tyres are an easy mount and cause no issues then I will happily suggest them. Speaking to Mavic about tyre fitting they indicate there warning are more about ease of fitting than safety. If they tyre fits reasonably tightly then it will be safe. Issues only come with tyre that are a bit loose. 

Internal width is 19mm no exalith version this year and weight is a claimed 430g. 

I have 24H, 28H and 32H rims being delivered on the 4th July. So this listing is active now. Grab pair or add you wheels to the build queue. I need to build wheels up and I would would like those first customers to give me feedback about tyre instalation and general experiences (ride by in fact if you can) as this will all be useful information for such a new rim. 

24 Apr

Living with tubeless tyres

Posted by Malcolm Borg

There is alot of fear or confusion  about tubeless tyres but in reality they are the easiest tyres to live with.  As not all tyres are created equal, tubeless tyre choice is important but the majority of tubeless issues, are user error - simple as that. Below is a guide to avoid user error. I have worked this all out by trail and error (alot of error on my part as well). 

First of tubeless tyres should be run with sealant. Some insist on riding without sealant. Riding without sealant can be done on proper UST rims and with a few tubeless tyres, but I would not do it, too much flint in Suffolk to take that risk. There are many brands of sealant, Orange Seal, Stan's no tubes, Effetto mariposo, Zefal, DT Swiss, Schwable even IRC do one. they all work in similar way. The latex is in solution and mixed in are particulates so when you puncture the sealant is forced into the hole and and the particulates fill the hole that the latex sticks to causing a plug to form. Using CO2 on your tubeless tyre with sealant in can cause problems though but it can also be useful to carry too.

Stans for example will turn in a white watery liquid when CO2 is used which is about as useful as chocolate teapot, in fact less useful, I can eat a chocolate teapot. If you use CO2 to inflate tyre just mounted add more sealant through the valve core, the tyre should remain locked to the rim so you can then inflate with a track pump.

Most brand of sealant I have tried do not mix well with CO2. Sealants with a high gycol content (you can smell it) are not affected by CO2 much. MaXalami MaXSeal is an example of such a sealant. 

CO2 is particularly useful if your tyre unseat with no pressure in them or unseat with little force. In this case a hand pump is not going to help you. A shot of CO2 will however get the tyre seated and inflated again. 

Sealant dries out slowly. It needs to be topped up. I top up my IRC tyres every 3 months or so, or when I feel it needs it. If I am being honest I normally find out I need to add sealant if I get a puncture that seals only at low pressure. That is the sign I have left it too long. 40ml in a road tyre  is sufficent. I inject sealant through the valve core using a effetto mariposa injector . I dont bother checking how much sealant is in the tyre normally I just pour some in because I normally leave it long enough there is little in the tyre. If you want to check then use a thin zip tie as a dip stick. 

You cant over fill the tyre dont worry about that and there is no need to clean old sealant out. 

If you keep the sealant topped up you will find it will seal most punctures (if not all) pretty quickly. You can get a fair bit of air loss but even if you drop to 30 psi you can still ride on that. So you can stop and faff with a small pump or continue riding and use a track pump at home. I have done the latter as I dont often have a pump with me I come to that later. This is the problem with 23mm tubeless tyres. The air volume is small and therefore the pressure drop is large before the tyre seals. Bigger tyres can seal at a higher pressure due to the larger air volume. This make larger tubeless tyres more practical. I consider 25mm the minimum size for a tubeless tyre for this reason alone. 

Sometimes however the sealant just cant seal the hole. Most of the time that is because there is insufficient sealant in the tyre but sometimes it is because the hole is too big. At this point many people get out that spare tube and faff trying to get the tyre off, fit a tube while getting sealant every. Then swear alot and ruin their thumbs trying to get the tyre back on again. No wonder some give up on tubeless tyres after that. There is a solution though. In my back pocket is Loctite flexible superglue and normally Maxalami tyre worms (there are other brands too). The worms are fibrous strings with tacky butyl rubber that come with an applicator. Before the tyre goes flat you place the worm with the middle in the applicator and shove it into the hole.

The Maxalami kits offer two sizes of worms for different size holes. 1.5mmx5cm worms and 3.5mmx10cm worms. I carry both always. Carry just the small ones and the hole you get maybe too big for one small worm. So it cant hold pressure and blows out. Put the bigger one in and you'll be fine. Make sure the worm is properly inserted and watch the video showing you how. This will plug the hole and the excess worm does not have to be trimmed. The excess will flatten off and disappear into the road with in a few km. Sometimes a worm by itself is not always enough to seal at high pressures (this has been the case when using small worms in big holes). If this is the case get the flexible superglue out. Smear that over the worm and hole. Let it set then inflate. I would be wary about inflating to very high pressure straight away. I would put enough air in to get me home and no more. When you get home you will want to trim the worm if the excess has not gone gone already (or carry nail sicsors) with you.and you can then make sure there is enough glue covering the hole before trying higher pressures. Remember a 25mm tubeless tyre is run at not more than 85 psi anyway.

Worms are a permanent fix.I have ridden for 1000's of km on tyres fixed with them. Likewise I have done 1000's km on tyres fixed with flexible superglue alone. 

Sidewall cuts can be dealt with using the flexible superglue or worms. I would try the flexible superglue first on small cuts/holes. you may not be able to hold high pressures but you can get the tyre to hold enough air to get you home. This again is permenant fix I have used this trick one than once. The alternative for bigger sidewall holes is a worm. If the appropriate size and shove it in. A plugged tyre even in the sidewall will be safe to ride in the long run so long as it not bulging. Bulging tyres are compromised and should be retired. If your tyre is bulging after repair and you still have to ride home inflate to a bare minimum pressure 30 to 40 psi and take it easy - this however is not advisable. Bulging tyres should really be ridden at all. 

Tubeless tyres can be repaired if they have a butyl or latex lining. IRC's tyres do, many other do not though. If you have a proper lining then you use a inner tube patch and vulcanising rubber glue to seal the inside of the tyre. For tyres without a lining you may need your superglue again to get the patch to stick. You can do this if your plug/superglue fix starts leaking air. There are tubeless patches too. these are often too big for road tyres but are thicker and will reinforce the tyre casing. The tyre has to be removed though so see if the external fix works first.

So what you dont do is fit a tube to fix a puncture issue with tubeless tyres. If you carry a tube ask your self why, the hint is in the name TUBELESS!!!!!

What I carry;

When I am commuting on the commuter bike with two big panniers I have tyre worms, flexible superglue, a pump, CO2 sometimes (depending on the tyre/rim I am using), valve core remover and a 2oz bottle of sealant.

 Tubeless tyre repair kit

When riding my race bikes I just carry flexible superglue, worms and a pump/CO2 and that's for 200+ mile rides as well. For long TT's I carry nothing mainly because my skin suit has no pockets.

The thing is even if I carry what I do on the commuter bike it still takes up less space than tubes and levers. I do not carry a tube or tyre levers. As far as I am concerned my tubeless tyres once fitted will remain on the wheel until they are worn out, unless I have to patch it which thankfully I have had to do only once. 

So I hope that helps answer questions about riding with tubeless tyres. I have given up on clinchers with tubes and won't be switching back.

24 Apr

If your Dura Ace wheels with worn out rims.

Posted by Bold Apps

There is hope! until now there was no hope as replacement Shimano rims are hideously expensive. However the Kinlin XR31T is available in 16H and 20H drillings. This is a lower spoke count than I would normally suggest and I would not guarantee the build against spoke failure for the life of the rim but you can at least reuse your hubs.

For DA9000 C24 hubs (clincher) the lengths are 274mm front and 292/294mm rear.

Cost of this rebuild with black Sapim CX-ray spokes is £314+ shipping. Weight is 1600g but even though there is a weight gain these are better wheels than the orignal.