One of my favorite short reads, when I have a moment, is “The Cowboys Guide to Life”. Along with such gems as “never miss a chance to shut up’ and “don’t ever ask a barber if you need a haircut”, there’s one that says “Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.” It’s important to find a way to recover and learn from mistakes. It’s probably all coincidence, but I recently built a wheelset with the new improved Velocity Quill road rim. Velocity USA originally introduced the Quill back in late 2015, if memory serves me well, but removed it from the marketplace a short while after. It was on the market for such a short time that even I, a professional wheel builder, didn’t get a chance to build with the original version. In its original form, the Quill weighed 415 grams and was a direct competitor to the Pacenti SL23, which weighed 409 grams on my scales. Like the SL23, the original Quill lay on the wrong side of that magic line where light weight and durability blend perfectly.
Here’s the deal with the new Quill; weight on my scales is 461 grams; compare that to the Hed Belgium Plus at 467 grams or the Easton R90SL at 455 grams. That places it in the ballpark on weight. It is 24.5mm wide, just like the Easton rim (and half a millimeter narrower than the Hed Belgium Plus); deeper than the Belgium Plus and shallower than the R90SL, it sits in the middle ground of the most competitive rim category there is. So, on to the build..
Like many Velocity rims I’ve built in the past, the Quill is less round in its natural state that some of its competitors. I hasten to add, this is not a problem for the consumer but rather a characteristic that many pro wheel builders have remarked on. Once I laced it up to a set of DT350 hubs (one of my favorite no-bullshit choices) with Wheelsmith 14 gauge double butted spokes, it smoothed right out into a solidly built wheel that never gave up on me during the whole build process. I just plain DIG this wheel set. Owing to the generously thick spoke bed, spoke tension turned out extremely even and uniformly high at around 120kgf for the wheel set. Is it a gravel rim? Yes. Is it a road rim? Undoubtedly. Will it work for a variety of rider weights? Sure; just choose the appropriate spoke drilling for the weight of the jockey.
With the original Quill, Velocity tripped and fell; but they got up, dusted themselves off and got it right this time.
The new Quill; ready for PrimeTime, I would say.