Pinnacle of value and performance for aggressive riding
There is a reason why many of the world’s best EWS racers are still using aluminium wheels regardless of what their sponsors would love to see them riding: When you whack the rim on a hidden root, crash on a blind section of trail, or case a landing a good aluminium rim will dent but still be usable, allowing the rest of your race to go on unimpeded.
This wheelset is designed for Enduro racing and full-noise aggressive riding and is best-matched to a 150-160mm Enduro frame, or hard-hitting rider on a 140mm Trail / Enduro frame.
What’s the difference between this wheelset and the Alloy SL? The Alloy SL wheelset uses fancy DT Swiss Aerolite bladed spokes to save 150 grams of wheelset weight and includes a wider range of decal colour options (including fluro and metallic colours) as well as multi-colour decals. By using round-section double-butted DT Swiss spokes, limiting Apex to single colour decals, and some behind the scenes stock-management magic we’re able to offer the Apex at a killer price while having a handbuilt, custom wheelset which will out-perform the competition.
This wheelset is designed to partner with a 150-160mm Enduro frame for aggressive riding and racing over the world’s toughest trails and terrain, and includes a comprehensive warranty for this type of use.
Unlike with our carbon Flite rims we do not design and produce our own aluminium rims – instead we choose the best rims from various suppliers which meet our wheelset needs.
The simple truth is that, all things being equal, aluminium rims are not as strong or durable as carbon. Our carbon Flite rims have a lifetime warranty which includes impact damage but aluminium rims will dent when whacked hard enough and will eventually wear out. Think of aluminium rims, especially the rear rim which takes the bulk of abuse, like a cassette: You’ll get plenty of use and if you treat it with respect it will last a very long time, but eventually it will wear out and will need to be replaced.
The most common cause of broken spokes is poor wheelbuild quality. We go to painstaking lengths to accurately measure each and every rim and hub we build before calculating spoke lengths and cutting and rolling spokes to 0.1mm accuracy.
We use the top of the line DT Swiss Aerolite bladed spoke on all our Flite Wide Carbon wheels because it’s the best spoke for the job and to save weight we use premium aluminium nipples. These spokes and nipples are mega-bucks compared to the round-section spokes and brass nipples used on competing wheelsets but we use them because your wheels deserve the best.
We have a lifetime guarantee against broken spokes and spoke nipples and we wouldn’t offer this we weren’t 100% confident in aluminium nipples and our ability to build a wheel using them.
Aluminium nipples save weight (just under a gram each) but get a bad reputation for three reasons – they seize to the spoke, they break, and they round-out where the spoke key turns them (generally because of reason #1)
We mitigate the risks of using aluminium and we don’t see problems with them. First we de-burr the inside of the spoke holes of aluminium rims: This means there are no burrs from drilling and it also helps to countersink the rim slightly to match the profile of the nipple. We then use a special grease on the spoke thread and the contact between the nipple and rim. This grease lasts a very long time and means the nipples won’t corrode to the stainless steel spoke.
Generally aluminium nipples break because of two reasons: the wheel wasn’t well-built, or the spoke was too short. Again, to mitigate these problems we measure the ERD (effective rim diameter) and flange geometry of every wheel I build, including combinations we’ve done previously as the ERD will vary by 1mm or so. We have custom software which calculates the spoke length very accurately, even going so far as to take into account how much the spokes will stretch due to their tension which is different on either side of the wheel because of the offset flanges. We then cut each spoke and roll it’s threads on a Japanese made machine. Our spoke lengths are accurate to around 0.1mm meaning the spoke sits flush with the top of the nipple ensuring all threads are engaged on the nipple and not placing the nipple under tensile loading.
|Rim width:||28mm internal||25mm internal|
|Rim width:||33mm external||30mm external|
|Optimized tyre size:||2″ XC tyres all the way up to 2.8″ Plus tyres|
|DT Swiss 350s Center Lock||1944g||1943g|
|DT Swiss 350s 6-bolt||1997g||1996g|
Tubeless allows lower tyre pressure, more grip, and less punctures. It’s a no-brainer.
Tubeless rimtape is fitted and a pair of light weight CNC aluminium tubeless valves is supplied. Our attention to detail extends to the tubeless valves: serrated lockrings makes them easy to fit or remove and integrated wrench-flats are provided for super-tight valves. The valve cores are removable for easy cleaning or for assistance while installing difficult tubeless tyres. The inner section of the valve is optimised for our rims ensuring an easy air-tight fit.
Our commitment to you doesn’t end once we’ve got your money: If you have any questions maintaining or servicing your wheelset we’re here to help. Just get in touch.
Each wheel we build is engraved with a unique number and we keep detailed records dating back over 10 years tracking not just who built your wheels but minute details like spoke length, pre-stress procedure, and even what type of grease was used between the spoke and nipple.