If you have an interest in exotic and uber-lightweight cycling gear, it’s likely that you’ve stumbled across the website RouesArtisanales.com. For 2010, the site’s founders announce a new custom wheel building boutique called RAR.
RouesArtisanales.com is known for breaking news about prototypes and its extensive testing of new products from Europe’s exotic road component industry. RAR wheels build upon the latter experience. After five years of testing, trials and improvements, RAR founders feel its own wheels are ready for riders.
RAR’s wheels are handmade, with what it believes are the industry’s highest quality components including rims from Corima, Edge and Reynolds, among others. The custom process is ‘a la carte’ meaning the rims, spokes and hubs are picked to best suit the needs and wants of each individual.
In addition to custom builds, four stock models are offered: Svelt (with a 32mm carbon rim), Optimal (with a 46mm carbon rim), Magnum (with a 66mm carbon rim) and Tempo (with a 27mm aluminum rim.) All four sets of stock wheels are built with RAR’s own hubs.
RAR points to benefits such as the wide bracing angle of the 65-gram (claimed weight) front hub, which improves the wheel’s stiffness. The 182-gram rear hub, which is manufactured by Tune, is specifically designed to accommodate RAR’s 2:1 spoke lacing pattern. Its flanges are spaced to help equalize spoke tension and the freehub is offered with options to fit Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM cassettes.
Look for a test of RAR’s Magnum wheelset in the near future.