Emailed Hongfu about those 56mm rims. They said 302 before shipping and Paypal. Build them up with Chris King hubs and CX Ray spokes. Thinking about selling my 404 tubulars. I'll still come out ahead money-wise.
This was my thinking/theory as well. I used to have a set of Zipp 303 FC tubulars. I toyed with the idea of just having the rear rebuilt with a good hub and CXRay. Their 188 v8 hub, well, actually anything prior to the 188v9 hub, are all garbage. The radial DS lacing, what a dumb idea. The rear wheel was really pathetic, and they lace them up silly loose, like 90-95 DS. On top of that, they use washers with nipples. Why? Makes me wonder about their carbon layup, strength etc...because from the factory, as I said, only lace them up to 90-95kpf DS and even looser of course on the NDS. Why??? Some think it would be prudent to use washers on all carbon rims, the weight isn't much, and provide additional support so the spokes won't pull through when running higher tension, not a bad thought though.
I thought the same as you, hey, it will be a wash, rebuild the Zipp, or get brand new rims, top of the line hubs/spokes instead, same cost.
The build cost, assuming you pay somebody, is around $1300 for everything once all said and done on the Chinese rim, with really good hubs, like Tune/Alchemy etc...so for two sets, like $2600. Not bad, considering you would pay easily that much alone for a set of Enve rims built up with a good set of hubs/spokes by anybody as well.
But, if you run into any problems like I did, your Chinese rim, which you thought would be about a wash on the total invested between the two ideas, is now out the window.
Trust me on this. I'm $1700 into my 56T HongFu now with Tune hubs. Then I had to rebuild 3 of my wheels, due to the sh&tty job by another place, and a bad rim, and new spokes due to incorrect length by said sh&tty builder also...you get the idea. I had some bad luck.
But, it was all righted by Paypal on the bad rim, and I luckily found a local builder who knows his stuff, and re-did the 3 incorrectly done rims, and now they are tight, and done right, and ride great. Had a bearing go bad after 1000 miles on my Alchemy NDS....swapped both 6901 just for fun and will see how it goes, toyed with the pre-load a bit and skewer, hopefully that will resolve any issues. But it only takes 10 minutes to swap the bearings with correct tools I made/plus a puller...so not a big deal if the crappy Enduro goes out again.
So for about $3K total now invested, I have 2 really good wheelsets built for training/racing, 1405g for the 40mm clinchers, and 1330g for the tubulars.
That is still the cost of 1 set of Enve wheels built with the same hubs you would pay, and you would only have 1 set of wheels, and they wouldn't be any lighter or better IMO, unless what they will try to convince and tell you about their amazing/incredible, unheard of carbon methodologies and materials...yeah right. We can argue these points all day, because empirically speaking, nobody can prove otherwise.