HALO WHITE LINE CLASSIC AND SHUTTER PRECISION PD8 DYNOHUB WHEEL BUILD
The Halo White Line Classic 700c Rim and Shutter Precision PD8 Dynohub were obvious choices for my fixed gear, disc braked mile munching winter/trainer. Both are imported here in the UK by Ison Distribution , but our hub was kindly supplied directly by Shutter Precision in Taiwan. The price of the build is approximate, worked on the basis of components and an average labour charge of an experienced shop/wheel builder. In this instance, John Moss generously built ours to an extremely high standard, as a favour.
Halo White Line Classic Rim 517g £24.99
The Halo White line classic rim is described as being a “high quality, general purpose 700c rim, ideal for city, gravel, CX trekking and touring.” Situations where some additional strength and reliability trumps saving a few grams and on paper, ideal for my kind of build, dare I say, and day to day riding. Silver or anodised black, with a machined braking surface and 32 or 36 hole drillings, continue the timeless flavour and suit the fairly wide brief, pretty well.
A moot point given my disc setup, but the anodized sidewalls can be run with a rim brake, although obviously, the finish will wear through over time. Back to materials, it’s a double-wall design made from heat-treated, T10 grade aluminium alloy, which theoretically provides considerable strength. The relatively low profile is designed to provide vertical compliance, thus a smooth ride, whatever the surface.
Stainless steel eyelets continue the rugged, dependable theme and shouldn’t turn furry at the first hint of a gritting lorry. John said that it was very easy to true and tension, so aside from previous, long term experience with the brand's wheels I was confident in their suitability.
I’ve alternated between 32, 35 and 42mm tyres run between 55 and 90psi with no issues whatsoever. Compared with my winter/trainer’s deep section Shimano, the ride is noticeably more compliant and I’ve felt that bit fresher around the neck and shoulders. Especially after day-typical distances, characterised by a blend of lumpy, dung spattered lanes and pock marked town centres.
Pot holes always have my senses screaming with alarm but there’s always one that catches us unawares, just when we think we’ve squeaked past. None have set my teeth on edge, or seemingly taxed the rim in anyway.
That said; a wheel is only as good as it’s built. In this instance and knowing the brief, Jordan (Halo’s brand manager) at Ison, recommended a 3X lacing, which is a pattern John Moss prefers for strength and reliability. Plain gauge stainless steel Halo spokes were the obvious choice, given the design brief and there’s been no loss of tension, let alone breakage or similar, stress damage during the test period.
There is little doubt we get what we pay for. In this instance, the White Line Rim is an excellent starting point for a reliable, general purpose wheel. Overbuilt and a bit broad for traditional road bikes but well suited to heavier ‘cross riders, right through to rough/stuff touring. In the latter context, I would default to the 36 for anything other than lightweight/weekend excursions.
The shallower profile makes for a more compliant, comfortable ride, without feeling whippy. As an aside, this also makes mounting some tight fitting folders and iconic, though notoriously stubborn touring rubber a bit easier.
Shutter Precision PD8 dynohub 403g £109.99
The Shutter Precision PV8 dynohub is a popular choice, increasingly so in Audax and similar mile-munching disciplines. If the sculpted “ship in a bottle” pattern looks familiar, that’s because the design has also been licensed to some other high-end brands, including Exposure and Supernova.
One or two riders expressed reservations, saying that bearing replacement, or similar work, is a factory only option. A statement confirmed by Ison, although a few things should be pointed out. Firstly, this also applies to most, contemporary designs, since accessing the internals requires specialist tooling to pop the hub shell open.
Secondly the SP8 comes with a two year warrantee and Ison distribution has a wealth of options to support service and overhaul, so this needn’t be a drama. The 8 series has been around since 2011 and undergone a continuous series of evolution. Disc brakes are an obvious development, but different axle diameters and a refreshing choice of spoke drillings from 20 to 36 caters for most rims and purposes.
Then of course, there’s a range of pretty and durable andoized colours to choose from. Internally, cartridge bearings turn on a solid, cro-moly axle. There’s no skewer included, so bear that in mind-I’ve paired ours with a Shimano that was made redundant when I fitted a locking model to my Univega’s Shimano Ultegra unit.
Ours was designed for disc brakes and my 160mm Shimano and TRP Spyre rotors have slipped straight aboard with no problems. However, there are also rim brake versions, which may save a gram or two, assuming you weren’t looking to convert to disc in future. Personally, I’d be inclined to pay the weight penalty and buy the disc version regardless but it’s nice to have the option.
Internals, seem well lubricated and, crucially, sealed from the elements. I wouldn’t necessarily attempt river crossings, bog snorkelling, let alone (arrrgghh!) jet-washing but for general road and light trail duties you’d be unlucky if anything got the grumbles. Spinning the 6v 3w hub, resistance is minimal, less than my trusty Ultegra, which is in turn, light years away from 17 year old but still faithful, Nexus commuter model
Talking of which, connections are pretty much identical to the Shimano’s. Connectors are plastic and slightly whippy but surprisingly dependable in the everyday sense. I’ve alternated between an 80Lux Trelock and an Exposure Revo MK1, which is by far my favourite dynamo lamp, capablle of producing 800 lumens at fairly modest speeds.
With no polarity to consider, I’ve put a slither of Vaseline on the contacts and popped them on/off to suit. Force of habit, peace of mind thing, saved for a snagged wire, it’s never missed a beat. Remember to disconnect this before whipping a wheel out, say fixing a flat by the roadside, mind.
Shutter Precision claim that additional resistance, compared with a traditional hub (with the lights disengaged) is one watt at 30/kmh (17mph), which is negligible. Suffice to say, I noticed virtually no difference between it and a Deore hub during our formative 30 miles. Looking at the figures, I was expecting a lot of resistance, especially compared with my long serving Ultegra.
Shutter Precision quotes 50% efficiency at the same speed, with light engaged. Again, while I’ve felt greater resistance, running the Revo and cruising between 18and 23mph, it was certainly on par, if not slightly better than my Ultegra and that certainly doesn’t drain my physical reserves.
Flat out, descending at 35mph plus, the drag was a little more obvious with the Revo but the quality of output was an easy trade off. By that point, it's worth noting I’d been on a 50 mile outing, so feeling a little weary come the last 8. I should point out that I only run a front lamp, preferring battery powered blinkies to the option of a wired rear.
Not everyone’s cuppa and riders preferring the full front 'n’ rear setup may notice the resistance more. Conversely, I was much less aware of the Trelock in similar contexts.
Generally speaking, I wouldn’t bother on a 25 mile round trip but on longer rides, while the natural light allows, I’d be inclined to switch lamps off, unless charging accessories.
There’s little doubt in my mind that the SP PD8 hub is an excellent alternative to Shimano Ultegra and some other European favourites. At 403g (sans skewer) some Audax devotees might find the comparative heft unpalatable and, admittedly, the SP8 is £20 dearer than the Shimano, so you’d hope this was reflected performance-wise.
Up to some extended touring, it’s still cheap enough for winter bikes and daily drivers. That said, taking decent locks, used properly into account, a bottle type system is less attractive to thieves, if you’re leaving your bike parked, unattended in the street for several hours at a time.
Both the Halo White Line Rim and Shutter Precision PD8 Dynohub represent serious value for money and deliver excellent performance in their own right. If I were looking for a decent set of touring hoops on a budget and wanted hub generated lighting, these would be high on my list.
Similarly, hooked up with a decent headlamp, they’re a good option for ‘cross bikes that earn their keep as winter/trainers during the off season. Whip out the race rim, instate this and you’ll recoup the investment in no time. Talking of weight, at 1239g, it’s comparable with a 32hole Mavic MA2 and Schmidt SON deluxe.
Verdict: 4/5 Dependable rim and hub, a great introduction to performance dynamo lighting without blowing the budget.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2017