Welcome fellow Mountain Biker to a Bristol and South West based blog containing local routes, rides and reviews. Brought to you by locals to the area with additional publishings from further afoot. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nomad is go......

Meet Mabel
(Custom Santa Cruz Nomad)

Check out my new steed. More pics and a full spec and review coming soon. Only had her a short while so far and I'm loving her.

Aireal DH 135 x 12 Rear Symetech Hub

Long term test.....the Aireal DH 135 x 12 Rear Symetech Hub on Mavic 729 (Hub supplied by Aireal Australia and the Wheel built by Topshelf Components). Hub alone £140.00

Product Information:

Heavy duty Symetech® or Conventional rear hub available in 12mm, 10mm bolt-up and skewer style hub (must be set up by the factory or distributor only).

Fully CNC machined from 7075 Aerospace grade alloy.

62mm spoke hole PCD- 72mm flange Dia.

P5 grade Enduro bearings used through out.

30point engagement free wheel made buy us at AirealCNC.

machined logo.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin. Right here folks we have an one of Aireals newest hubs. Built completely by the boys down under to an amazing high CNC standard and quality level. The guys kindly sent me one over to test out and once it was built with the ever skill full hands of Kevin at Topshelf Components, That is what I did. Upon laying my eyes on the hub for the first time, the first thing to strike me was it's design.....by how close together the flanges were and how tiny it looked. But it's first impressions to me were pleasing because I liked it straight away. And built into a wheel it is a very pretty hub indeed. As the spokes are symetrical on each side. So when you look down the wheel there is an equal distance between the free hub body side and the disc mount side. Everything about it just ticked all the boxes. The finish is superb, it's light and the built quality through CNC machining is second to none. I love the swooping curves and the abrupt flange stops. The laser etching. If you are a fan of machined metal yourself....you will love Aireal's handy work.

Fitting a cassette their own made stainless steel free hub body is as easy as any other hub I have tried. Once on you naturally spin the cassette and listen to the ratchet and paws inside. Beautiful. I cannot tell you that once I had fitted the wheel with the cassette and tube and tyre...just how excited I was to get it on the back of my steed and give it a spin. Everything went according to plan. Fitted in the dropouts perfectly. And there was no sign of play at this early stage....even after transport. I had to take a step back and have a gloat at it. Mmmnnnn. I got mine in Gold because I was running with the Black/Gold theme on my Colier and it suited and finished off my build completely. Gold hub....black spokes...and a black rim. SEXY and very light, even with a 9 spd cassette.

Straight off the wheel ran true and smoothly as I took it for a good two mile run in. The engagement was faultless and quick and the noise of the free hub sang quality to me whilst also being quiet. Unlike a Hope hub (click overload) or a Chris King (being followed by a rather large Hornet).

I have ran now this hub/wheel on the back of my bike for almost a year now. And I am impressed. It has probably done about five hundred miles and I haven't had to touch it. Apart from the occasional clean. Which by the way is easy with the amount of space you have on the disc mount side to get you fingers in there with a cloth. Always been a tricky bit to get at that without taking the wheel off of you bike and maybe taking the disc off too. Living in England as I do it has had it's fair share of mud and elements chucked at it which it's seals and bearings have shrugged off. I have led it off of big drops, jumps and it has been right behind me on many hard and foolish crashes. Yet there is no play in the axle. No change in it's appearance or smoothness. Kevin your wheel building is the bollocks mate. Beautiful and certainly robust. No dings, buckles or ovalization in the slightest. Good work fella. You have done it again guys.
Honestly peeps if you fancy an alternative to the norm and you want quality dependable...fit and forget components look no further than the other side of the globe. I once again give you Aireal Australia. And their UK distributors Topshelf Components. Bravo chaps. I have just built up a new bike. My new Santa Cruz Nomad. Extra suspension and with a quality wheel like that. Extra confidence on the big stuff. I am totally confident that it will last me a couple of years yet. Peace.

You will find links to Aireal and Topshelf in the links section below.

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