Bombproof new audax wheelset

I’ve just finished putting the last touches on my new audax wheelset, which will be seeing some heavy action in 2013…

SON Archetype w/ Shutter Precision dynamo… very nice!

I’ve just finished putting the last touches on my new audax wheelset, which I hope will be seeing some heavy action in 2013.

Based around the SON Archetype rim, Shutter Precision SP8 dynamo and a Novatec lightweight rear hub, laced 32h 3-cross with Sapim Lasers, the total weight for the finished wheels is just 1930g. Not bad when you consider it’s saving me around 300g of LiPo batteries on the longer rides… effectively a 1630g wheelset!

I should probably also offset the substantial cost of new batteries I won’t be buying against the cost of the parts (totalling £300.77). I sourced the hubs separately, but got rims and spokes from DCR Wheels in the UK, a pleasure to deal with 🙂


As my previous Raptobike wheelset weighed 2.1kg, I’ve cut half a kilo from my overall bike weight without dropping spoke count or compromising durability. (The strange black anodising over the machined brake tracks will quickly wear off, alas…)

The SP dynamo in particular is incredibly tiny. It’s hard to believe that it outputs the full power of a SON or Shimano dynamo in such a small and lightweight format… it barely looks like anything more than a slightly old-school front hub at first glance.


Incidentally, I won’t be using my Strava bike to ride brevets! This is just to allow me to bounce off a few kerbs and iron out any kinks in the lacing. In reality they’ll be going on a new MetaBike or High Baron (tbc – but looking very much like the latter).

I’m also quite excited by these new 28mm Ultremo ZX tyres. Fitted to the wide Archetype rims these measure 29.6mm actual, which is not so much less than my comfortable Kojaks (32mm actual). However when you handle both tyres the much thinner, more supple casing and tread of the Ultremo jumps out at you. I expect and hope these will be real mile-eaters over the coming season.


As they were on half price from Planet X I just bought four tyres, settling any worry about durability for this audax season at least! 🙂

Notes on weight

The Archetypes came in right on the mark at 450g. The spokes/nipples worked out at 185g per wheel (just over 100g penalty compared with a courageous 20/24 lacing).

The Novatec hub weighs 275g and the SP SV8 386g.

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12 thoughts on “Bombproof new audax wheelset”

  1. Hi Dave,

    That is one nice bike. Will be looking forward to a review on the hub – I am hoping to get one in the new year for my ‘do-everything’ bike.

    Will be linking it up to a LED dynamo light and a disc brake. Just hope that it will survive the salt on the roads – and the pot holes – that cober the Aberdeen roads.


  2. The silver/black wheelset looks great.
    Just so happened to have built up 32h Archetypes, with a PD8 up front, interested to see how your brake tracks age/look?

  3. Hey Choc Top,

    I’ll let you know when I get more miles in – with the winter weather they haven’t seen a lot of braking in anger.

    I imagine they will look pretty scrappy until the track wears silver all the way around; I actually chose them for the width and weight (and profile) rather than looks. They are stunning right now though!

  4. I’d really like to hear about sp hub. Planning to build up a wheel for 700c rigida china or something similar. In anticipation

  5. Hey Mark,

    The hub is great – there’s not much to say really, other than it’s light, nicely put together and pumps out plenty of light!

    We’ve got three dynamo hubs – Shimano, Sturmey and the SP. It’s by far the nicest.


  6. Did you have any problems having to retention spokes, spa cycles said they charged double it was so tricky building with sp hub?

  7. Hi Mark,

    Wider rims are a little more efficient, in theory. I was mainly interested to see if it makes a perceptible difference (conclusion: the wheelset feels very fast but I wouldn’t like to bet my life on a double blind test).

    At worst, they are not *less* efficient so just something different 😉

    I didn’t find the wheel at all difficult to build and it’s been running fine. This is probably because I am much less experienced than Spa (and lucky?), I doubt it’s because I’m a better wheel builder!

  8. I have a SP dynamo in the front wheel of my Nazca Pioneer. Lacing it in was nothing special. The hub does it’s job, producing electricity. It’s tiny! Thus far I have almost 7000km experience with it.

    1. Thanks Peter – great to hear from another long-term user.

      I didn’t get round any massive brevets last season – all in summer sunlight – hence no in-depth review yet. Hope to change that very soon 🙂

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