A while back Spoke reviewer Leif Roy made an almost lifelong switch from Shimano to try SRAM's X1 price-point 11 speed groupset. He didn't have any wheels and I had just begun testing Wheelworks's Flite Wheelset, so luckily for him there was a spare set of XD driver-capable wheels on hand. Last week I told him I wanted them back, and this here is his response to that. Leif is a little bit of a closet luddite; he didn't want to go carbon and was looking for a strong yet light set of alloy rims, they needed a welded join, 32 holes and a 25mm internal bead width. There are a few options out there but he settled on these beautiful yet understated hoops from the folks at WTB as they fitted all his requirements and even came in lighter than the nearest competition at 438g each.
If you've read anything on PinkBike recently you'll know that the folks at WTB back the ETRTO standards hard, and this rim (well, all WTB tubeless rims) features a UST-compliant inner rim profile that holds Mark Weir's tyres on so it's gonna hold yours. As you can see, WTB have gone for a tape and sealant system to keep weight down and give the wheels less rotational mass, and to make it simple if you are to break a spoke.
Oh, and Leif is lacing the rims to these classic and ultra sturdy Hope Pro II Evo hubs with Hope's XD driver body. Not much hasn't been said about these, and if you haven't owned a pair, well you haven't lived and you can't really call yourself a mountain biker! Sealed stainless steel cartridge bearings throughout, 4 pawls, 40 point engagement ratchet mechanism and would you believe the XD driver and hub weigh only 295 grams! The Hope Pro II Evo hubs as pictured will run you $399.
And any box that arrives in the office without something for me isn't complete. WTB's Silverado is without a doubt my favourite saddle of all time from any company; its comfort, length and perfect shape just seem to be a match made in heaven with my derriere (and Greg Minnaar's). But this carbon-railed stealth black model just takes it to a whole new level.
At 169 grams the Silverado's long, padded nose and gradual taper provide an excellent shelf for when the going gets steep, while the broad lower wall of the outside shell creates a great shape for leaning into corners when the trail gets twisty.
A little splash of class with the subtle gold trim. Oh if you have to ask how much one costs... it will be $380. They're still a few months away but when they do drop, WTB's entire range will be with them. You can check the saddles out here and the rims here.