Introducing the Maker SLD

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What turns your wheels?

The Maker SLD is the wheelset that I wanted to build 7 years ago.  I’ve always loved disc brakes and I’ve always seen the potential they add to road bikes so back in 2011 I commissioned this Independent Fabrication road bike.  Parts selection at that time was limited:  there were no hydraulic disc brakes so I mated my favorite Campagnolo 10 speed shifters with Avid mechanical discs.  My IndyFab was built as a wet-weather and all-surface road bike with room for wide tyres and fenders – what we now call “all-road” or “gravel bikes” – and it rocked.

My 2011 Independent Fabrication

Building a 1380 gram tubeless-ready, wide-rim carbon wheelset was an absolute dream in 2011.  For my IndyFab I scraped together the lowest spoke count hubs I could find (28 hole DT Swiss 240s) to the widest, lightest rim of the time (Velocity A23) because there simply wasn’t anything else available.  If we’d invested in producing the Maker SLD in 2011 we’d have gone bankrupt as no one would have bought them.

Luckily times have changed.  Disc brakes aren’t some crazy shoe-cutting fad any more.  Rim brake wheels are often referred to as “non-disc” by our customers – a small change in language which shows a massive change in thought.

1380 grams, 23mm wide & backed for life

So who is the Maker SLD for?  If you love your new disc brake bike but lament the days of wheels which accelerate quickly and are responsive to ride you’ll love the SLD. If you want to run a tubeless tyre like the 28mm Schwalbe Pro One at 60psi (ohhh, the cornering grip!!) or a non-tubeless Continental GP4000s you’ll love the SLD.  We put a hooked bead on the SLD because hookless road rims are a stupid idea that shouldn’t have been allowed off of the marketing department’s whiteboard. We also made the SLD as easy to fit tyres to as possible as we’re well aware that the latest batch of tubeless tyres can be rather tight fitting

Most disc-brake bikes come with a pair of 2 kilo mountain bike wheels so dropping 600 grams of rotating wheel weight will take that lethargic beast and turn it into the thoroughbred you know it can be.  At NZ$3090 / AU$2780 / US$1850 I’d like to think the SLD offers good value: Sure, there are plenty of carbon wheels which cost less but none are actually handbuilt, come backed with a lifetime warranty against breaking spokes, and offer the 16,329,600,000 personalisation options of the Maker SLD.

16 Million options?  Really?

Yep. Our Builder lets you choose hubs, 30 different colours, and axle types and visualises everything in real-time on your phone or desktop and the potential combinations are nearly infinite.  Each wheelset we sell has its own Builder and we know from analytics they get a lot of use.  From any wheelset on our website just click the “Build Your Own” button to use the Builder.

Proven at Wednesday Worlds

We don’t pay exorbitant amounts of money to a professional team to be able to claim a race victory was down to our wheels rather than the talent and training of the athlete (although there was that one time that Tyler Farrar grabbed one of our customers bikes and salvaged his Tour Down Under on a pair of Makers) but I do compete in an event attended by Olympic and National champions.  Some say it’s more prestigious than winning a Grand Tour, tougher than Milano San Remo in the snow, and faster than Mario Cippolini’s EPO fuelled sprint train: Wellington Wednesday Worlds

Yesterday I rode the Maker SLD to victory at Wednesday Worlds giving the Maker SLD a 100% win rate.  If that’s not a science-backed argument for the benefits of a new wheelset I don’t know what is 😉

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