The emerging market of Gravel has seen a change in frame design from a traditional Cyclocross focus to a do everything design.
From long days in the saddle touring on and off road to gravel missions on roads you have always want to explore to cyclocross racing, this area of the bicycle market has never looked so exciting.
Hand built wheels are a necessity, the ability for gravel frames to run bigger Gravel Tires such as Challenge's Gravel Grinder on gravel missions and the need to run 33c Cyclocross Tires on race day and more traditional road and commuting tires means a wheelset designed and built for these purposes will improve the performance and rider experience.
Never have Tubular wheels been more appropriate than this category, tubeless tires have their place but the vulcanised construction required to make a tire tubeless reduces the suppleness, handling, efficiency and practicality a tire in this class needs. Riding on gravel and off road raises the demands on a rider, efficiency and handling is a key focus and an area where supple Tubular Tires and a Tubular rim have the edge over a clincher setup.
A Tubular rim from Venn or Gosseau matched to an efficent low drag hub like Project 321 with butted or bladed spokes with a handmade Tubular with a latex tube makes for the ultimate setup in this class. Their is less need to run tubless when a tubular rim is used as the inherent design of a tubular rim reduces the chance of pich flats, the most common flat experienced riding in gravel. This also gives the lightest build option even when carrying a spare.
We can build a hand built set of wheels with the best components designed for this class from brands such as
Venn Project 321 Derby Industry Nine Gosseau Sapim X-Axis DT Swiss