Yep. We said it. "System" wheels can be cool and all, but at the end of the day they are 100% less special and 47.8% more likely to contain tough-to-replace parts than a set of wheels built around quality hubs. The wheelset pictured was laced up for Cyclocross racing and off-season exploration. 28 hole White Induistries CLD hubs offer durability and servacibility- Titanium freehub bodies last way longer in the mud pits of CX. Also compatible with multiple axle configurations, these hubs should be at least a little Future Proof.
Wheels need rims, and we like these HED Belgian Plus models quite a bit. Sure they're almost 500g ea but they make a 33mm tire look like a 36 and are pretty darn tough and tubeless-ready to boot! We've had other sets go out under heavy riders on dirt roads and come out just fine after years of riding.
Gotta hold hubs and rims together, and can't bear Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Light and even a wee bit aero. The whole package was around 1570g without rim tape and valves, which is pretty darn competitive. More importantly, they will ride great and if anything ever breaks or wears out, it can be repaired or replaced without having to hunt high and low for parts.