Q: I'm after a set of light weight road wheels for summer use I'm 65Kg and have been looking at stans alpha 340 rims but not sure on spoke count or type i.e. sapim or DT's for my weight. Also not exactly sure on hub type I have looked at hope pro 3 & american classic appear light. I'm hoping for around 1300g for the set. My budget is £600 Can you advise from the details provided and help point me in the right direction, I ride about 4/5 sportive's a year and ride in europe. I only need wheels for summer better weather.
A: To get the weight under 1300g and keep the price to £600, it would definitely need to be the Alpha 340 rims. Hope Pro 3 hubs are not particularly light; you would not get the wheels under 1300, more like 1350g with 28h front and rear (the lowest drilling the Pro 3 go to). American Classic road front hubs come in two flavours, the Micro 58 which is just about the lightest hub you can get at 58g, or the 105g "105" (a large flange hub similar to the mountain bike ones). At 65kg and using the wheels in good conditions during the summer, you would probably find 24h front, 28h rear adequate (and could go less if you really wanted to save the grams). A 24h/28h micro 58 / Road 205 set would come in at 1217g, or with the larger hub, 1264g. From your description of intended use, I would say the American Classic set with a Micro 58 front hub would be the best bet. It's easily the lightest, and the price is pretty good too. Regarding the spokes, the DT Revolution and Sapim CX-Ray are the equal lightest spokes we use, but the bladed CX-Ray will give a small aerodynamic advantage; I recently saw a test report from Zipp which reckons on 10W per wheel, which is a huge saving, I can't imagine it being quite that big in reality but it all helps. Unfortunately it adds quite a bit to the cost.
Q: Do you have any problems with American classic ? easy enough to get spares for/reliable etc ?
A: We carry every spare possible for American Classic, actually having said that we don't have Micro 58 parts but I will ensure that we do get some in. We've never been asked for any which is a good sign. Generally, we have no problems at all with AC hubs. They are some of the most reliable around these days.
24/28h should be fine. You could go for 28h both ends if you were concerned but 24/28 is the most common combination we build and there have been no complaints. I would be happy riding them in the Alps and am around your weight.