I'm currently using a Salsa 2 (Formula) hub laced to a DT Swiss X470 on my Vaya. The bike is flawless and feels solid under almost any conditions I put it under. The one thing I've been considering is upgrading the wheelset. This would allow me to keep the DT Swiss wheels for daily commuting, but when I go into weekend mode, I could put on a better quality set of tires/wheels for 100+ mile rides. I've replaced the Apex crankset on her for a Force crankset and intend to leave the X9 on the rear until it is non-serviceable.
With that said, I'm feeling like I've gotten into some murky water with what I need.
I'm a 220 lb. rider, so I know I've already been limited to 28/32+ combinations. All my mileage is on Texas roads with the option to jump off onto dirt/gravel roads about 10 percent of the time. So the wheel obviously has to be bulletproof; I still want it to be a better quality wheel than the Formula/X470 combo it currently runs.
I could go through UC and have a set of White Industry hubs laced to Mavic A-719 for around $1k; option 2 would be to go with something like the Williams System 30 (28/32) wheelset for around $570. I'm not familiar with the hub used by Williams and how it compares with the WI M16 hub. Any info on this?
My Vaya is my baby and I like her versatility. I don't own a road bike so I've got a set of Conti 4000s that I inherited which I'm going to try on her even. I love the fact that I can put the front and rear racks on her and she's ready to tour, I can take the racks, panniers and fenders off and she's pretty close to a quality gravel grinder.
Boulder All Road, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Breezer Uptown 8, Bike Friday Express Tikit, Trek MultiTrack 730 (Problem? No, I don't have a problem)
Any reason you're not considering a front dynamo hub? I had Peter White build me a set of wheels with a SON-20 hub in front and an XTR M910 in the rear, and Velocity Synergy rims (O/C in the rear), which he recommended as good long-distance and light touring rims for someone my weight (at the time, about 215). I've been very happy with them, so much so that I had a similar set built by a local wheelbuilder for my 650B bike. The only difference is that I used a White Industries T11 hub in the rear. That thing sounds like a buzz saw when it's spinning.
Borealis Echo, Ground Up Designs Ti Cross bike, Xtracycle, GT mod trials bike, pixie race machine
The Velocity Synergy would be a great set up, pair it with your favorite hub and double butted spokes and you will have one really great wheelset that is good for many miles. The White Industries hubs are a great choice, I have the T11 hub and it has been great. Another rim you could look at is something like the A23, lighter than the Synergy, same width, comes in OC options as well. I would not trust it for mountain biking but I have had mine on plenty of gravel with only 25mm tires and no issues at all, I weigh around 200lbs and like to ride aggressive too.
Still trying to figure out how it would cost $1k for a set of WI hubs laced to A-719's, the hubs are the most expensive part and retail they are less than $500 for the set.