As mentioned, I had to rebuild my front wheel since a new rim was a much cheaper option than a new wheel; my time and frustration are worth nothing. I opted for a Ryde Chrina rim after briefly flirting with the idea of getting a rim of the correct width for my tyres, but then realising I’ve still got the wrong forks for my tyres so I was best of sticking with a skinny tyre rim as there’s no room to spare. I hadn’t, at this point in time, heard anything bad about Chrina rims and the reviews I read were all good and it was really pretty cheap.
I had no idea what double-eyeletted meant (which arguably could go some way to demonstrating the level of equipment I’m used to riding), but it was only £1 more than the Ryde Flyer rim that I had once before on a rear wheel so I thought it was worth splashing out for. Double eyeletting is the best thing ever. Not because of their intended function of spreading load from the spoke tension and preventing the rim from cracking near the spoke nipple (which I had happen on that Flyer rim after many, many miles), but because it makes building the wheels so much easier: you can just pop the spoke nipples in, no more frustration of losing them between the walls of the rim and trying to shake them back out.
So the wheel build went well. This is the fifth wheel I’ve now built, but the first with a brand new rim and it was so much easier starting with a rim that is true and not battered from thousands of miles of riding. I was very happy. Until it came to fitting the tyre.
I have never ever had to use tyre levers and exasperated swearing to get just the first bead of a tyre on before. Holy crap! There is no danger of tyres ever rolling off these rims! It probably took a hour, but I finally got the tyre fitted. I hope to hell I don’t get a puncture and the only time I have to take the tyre off is when I’m replacing it in two months time.
Of course, after the fact, I find out this is a known issue.
[EDIT: 2015-09-04] Had three broken spokes on the front wheel last week. Sigh. However, my wheel building skills are not disheartened because all three broke at the spoke nipple. I have never had this happen before. This only happens when the spokes are too short and bending is occurring at this location and snapping because of the exposed, weaker, thread section. Of course I only got to buy a new rim, no new spokes at the time, so it got rebuilt with the old spokes that were too short. Being too short has never been a problem before, but then I’ve never had a rim with eyelets and I’m pretty sure that the eyelets are ever so slightly limiting the angle of the nipples compared to other rims I’ve had, hence the bending stress. This is a good and typical example of how I always lose. I have figured out I can buy the cheap spokes in a shorter length (not available any longer than I have now) and rebuild as 2-cross. If I have to.
[EDIT: 2015-11-22] Just struggled like mad to fit Schwalbe Winter tyres (The Winter Active 622-30 ones) to this rim so it is not just the comination of Chrina and Vittoria Cross XG Pro. DO NOT BUY CHRINA RIMS.