If you think a pair of my handbuilt wheels are to expensive…guess again.
My custom wheelsets start about $500. Because rims are all about the same price wheel cost is really all about the hubs you choose. Of course at the lower price point these hubs aren’t American made, with laser etching, a great finish, in a rainbow of colors, but hey, if that’s your budget… You still get a lightweight serviceable, handbuilt wheelset built specifically to your riding needs.
Sure, if you want Chris Kings or DT Swiss hubs a wheelset will be almost one large. Wheels with hubs from White Indndustry and Paul will fall somewhere in between those prices. Velocity and Sram are both making inexpensive cartridge bearing hubs with proven three pawl engagement. Velocity is even making a dedicated single speed cassette hub for all you singlespeedsters. Then there is also Shimano with their loose balls and centerlock hubs. All of them with your choice of different rig attachments like quick release, 15mm & 20mm thru axles, 142x12mm rears.
No high tension, expensive, proprietary spokes. No porky rims putting weight at the outside of the rotating mass. No high maintenance hubs. Just honest to goodness roll for your ride.