With all of the focus on disc brakes these days, you might think that no one was still riding rim brakes, but that's just not the case. In many cases, rim brakes have advantages (light weight, and compatibility with older frames among them), and there are actually a lot of great hubs and rims available. One of our favorite combinations is the Boyd Altamont Ceramic coated or Altamont Lite Ceramic coated rim and the White Industries T11 hub.
The Altamont and Altamont Lite are both available in a disc or rim brake version, and the rim brake version of each is available with a standard machined brake track with a black anodized finish or a special ceramic coating that covers the entire rim. Not only does the ceramic coating look like some kind of stealth technology, but it improves braking performance in wet weather and makes the whole rim more durable. Like the ceramic-coating that Mavic used beginning in the 90's and continued to include on their high-end wheels well into the 2000's, these rims need to be used with special pads (which are included with the rims), and really do give impressive all-weather braking and more durable brake tracks. On top of great braking and durability, the rims are tubeless-ready, have a welded seam, and a nice modern aero profile and width.
And so you can run whatever drivetrain you like, the White Industries T11 hub is a great option. Its titanium freehub driver is extremely durable, so it's unlikely that you'll ever need to replace it unless you decide to change drivetrains. If you do decide to make the switch though, it's available in Shimano HG-11, Campagnolo, and Sram XDR designs and it's easy to swap, so changing it to a new system is a cinch.
We've got these rims as options in our AVT Works Road Wheelset, and as individual rims, but of course, if you would like us to build you a wheelset that you don't see available, just get in touch! We love building custom wheels that get you just the configuration that you're looking for.
This week's wheel build of the week is another super versatile gravel set up that's equally at home on road or CX.
Astral's Wanderlust Carbon rim is originally designed as a lightweight adventure / gravel rim capable of running up to 2.5" tires. But given their rim profile (23mm internal, 29mm external) they can perform double (or triple) duty as a pure road rim or cyclo-cross race wheelset.