A good set of wheels is one of the best upgrades you can invest in, and having them handmade is a sure-fire way of getting a tough and reliable pair.
Stif are renowned for making straight and well tensioned wheels, and they offer many hub/rim combinations – we opted for a 36-spoke Mavic X321 rim out back on a Hope Pro 2 hub, with a 32-spoke, 20mm bolt-through front equivalent. Build quality, as we expected from Stif, is among the best we’ve seen, and the new Hope hubs are brilliant pieces of engineering (see the review on p76).
We’ve been running the pair for a month and haven’t needed to go near them with a spoke key. They’ll be on one of our long-term bikes (see p80), so look out for updates on them…