The Alloy Lightweight Contender — Astral Solstice Rim Brake
The Astral Solstice Rim Brake Wheelset is a lightweight wheelset that is always ready to climb. The Astral Solstice weighs in lighter than many carbon wheelsets without sacrificing an ounce of durability.
All Astral wheels are hand built in Eugene, Oregon, and feature Tubeless Ready rims you can easily set up at home.
White Industries T11 Hubset
The high-performing classic from American components manufacturer White Industries. Full serviceability, incredible reliability, an intuitive, upgradable design and bomb-proof construction have earned this hub devoted fans across the globe. This is the ideal hub for a classic rim brake road wheelset that will stand the test of time.
Astral Solstice Rim Brake Features & Specs:
FREE Cassette Installation - Order a cassette along with a wheelset and we can install the cassette for free. Cassette installation requires special tools that not all our customers have. The cassette will be professionally installed and torqued to spec. Just add "Please install cassette" to your order notes at checkout and we'll take care of you. Please Note: If our inventory allocation requires that we ship your wheels and cassette from different warehouses, we will not be able to offer this service.
B-Stock - This product has one or more B-Stock units available. These units can be purchased at a discount (see option select). B-Stock units were returned from other customers and may have missing or damaged packaging materials. These units are otherwise as new. The full manufacturer warranty applies. Click Here for more information.
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Mfg PartNum: 48550-W
T11 Hub - Shimano 11 speed - Quick Release
Brake Compatibility: Rim Brake
Tire Compatibility: Clincher Tubeless Ready
Mfg Warranty: 60 Mo. Parts & Labor
Warranty URL: https://astralcycling.com/pages/astral-wheel-warranty
I was looking for a wheelset manufactured in the USA - can't argue USA made as it helps both the economy and environment. After sifting through a number of companies that build wheels primarily with components manufactured outside the US, I found Astral Cycling. Astral is an offshoot of Rolf and manufacture the wheel in-house and source most of the other components from US companies.
Happy to have purchased a wheelset Made in the USA, I have even been more pleased with the performance of the wheels. I am 5'11" / 155 lbs and ride in the rolling hills of middle Georgia. The wheels were true out of the box and I have not had any shimmy through the frame on downhills. They also spin up quickly when needed and feel responsive cornering. Overall a great wheel at a really good value.
My Zipp 101s, with over 43,000 miles, finally developed a stress fracture on the rear rim. And I am surprised that filtering the searches with rim brake (even including carbon) returned so few options. I guess there is no future in making high performance rim brake wheels anymore. I would have gotten another set of ZIPP 101s if they were still available. The Astral Solstice checked all the boxes on my list of features: rim brake, not carbon and light enough at 1481g actual weight. The wider rim at 19.23mm inner width is a bonus because my Michelin Pro4 Service Course 25mm tires now measures 28.8mm when inflated. The hubs have very good reputation but this is my first experience with White Industries hubs so time will tell. The Zipps 88/188 hubs were super easy to service but the White Industries look to be much more fussy.
The wheels were built with care, including the signed warranty by the builder. There is definitely a premium feel to them. I also like that they use top of the line Sapim CX Ray spokes are the same as my Zipp 101s. I checked the wheels on a truing stand and they are perfect (I rechecked them after 600 miles and they are good as well). The brake tracks are very nicely machined so braking is very smooth.
So what's not to like? The bearings were a bit noisy for the first few hundred miles but they roll better now with about 800 miles. Spoke counts are 24/28! And that's a bit overkill compared to Zipp 101s 18/20. Maybe the Astral Solstices are designed for much heavier riders? Until I switch to a disc brake frame set, these will have to do for now.