H+Son TB14 rims are in

H+Son TB14 unbuilt

As I said, I’m going to try out the new 23mm wide H Plus Son TB14 low-profile clincher rims. I’m going to rebuild one of my Mavic Classic hub wheelsets with the black 32H version, and the straight-pull Sapim Laser (2.0-1.5mm double-butted) spokes should arrive this week. The rims are available in high polish, hard anodized grey, or black. The two rims I received weigh an average of 503gr each. The TB14 has a welded seam and machined sidewall, though unlike Mavic and others, H+Son anodizes the rim after the machining process, so the sidewall and top of the rim are a uniform colour (until the brake pads scuff off the anodizing). Compared to the high polish silver version, the black rim has a somewhat coarse brushed finish. Similar to some Italian rims, the TB14 has a a counterweight at the valve hole to balance the internal sleeve at the seam. It’s a pretty classy rim.

I’m enthusiastic about wider rims for clinchers, and for a classic steel bike the low profile of the TB14 makes a better aesthetic match than a Hed Belgian or a heavy duty touring rim. Weight-wise, the TB14 falls in between those other two rims. Though it would be nice if the rims were lighter, they’d probably need to take metal out of the sidewalls to do that, which isn’t necessarily a good idea since often rims are retired because the brake pads have thinned and weakened the rim over time. I’m going to use these rims on my commuter/cross bike, since that will be the harshest brake pad use. I will know how well these rims build up later this week, but it’ll take a lot of wet weather riding to see how well the rim wears. At this point, I’d say that Mavic rims are the best for sidewall wear resistance. The Hed Belgian rim, though it is strong against impacts and builds up extremely nice, isn’t remarkably long lasting at the sidewall in Seattle winter conditions.

If there is one rim brand that I find particularly disappointing, it would be DT-Swiss rims. Their finish, especially the black, weathers poorly, the light weight rims have cracked often at the spoke holes, they are a bit hard to mount up tires (though not as bad as a Campagnolo rim) and they seem to wear pretty quick at the sidewall. They also cost 10-20% more than Mavic, and don’t offer a wide rim lighter than their full touring rim.


The Velocity A23 is a wider (23mm) but lightweight (around 420 grams in my two) rim that has been working pretty well for me.  They built up nicely, but I have less than 1000 miles on them so I certainly can’t comment on how long they’ll last.

At 503 grams this rim is almost as heavy as the Sun CR18.  Those are cheap, durable, and have been available for well over a decade.  They take more care to build up, but work really well once built.

Another nice, wide-ish 700C rim is the Sun Equalizer 21L. 21mm wide, eyelets, and a weight of 420g. I’ve got two sets of ‘cross wheels built with this rim, and they’ve been great. Easy to convert to tubeless, too.


Are there any low profile rims for disc brakes ie. no requirement for brake sidewall?


Any update on how these rims are working out for you? Just wore through my Mavic OpenPros before I thought I should, although after a few quick calculations I guess I had over 9,000 commuting miles on them so maybe that’s their life. You think these rims, now that you have had some time on them, are better with sidewall wear than the OpenPros?

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