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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Custom Wheels on an Old Mule?

    I don't know if there is a bike out there named "Old Mule," so sorry if I misled anybody, I meant that as a term of endearment for my 2006 Haro Extreme X6.

    So just like the title says, I get frustrated with my old wheel set about every time I ride, so I've thought about building some new ones. It is currently the only bike I have, so it gets all of my attention at the moment. First off, the front wheel weighs like 1310g alone, but I've never weighed the rear wheel... I'm guessing 1500 or so based on the front though. Tires I have on are also 1260g a piece (2.5 wire bead DH casing), so to say that I have an opportunity to shed some weight is the understatement of the century. My front axle cones have also started wobbling loose about every 50-75 miles, which is driving me nuts, so yeah.

    This post is meant to be almost like a poll. I just want to hear what other people have done and how they felt about it afterwards. In an ideal world I'd build some i30-i35 and try out some WT minions (yes they'll fit) on some nice hubs, but that's a lot of money in wheels on an "old mule." I'm probably not going to run out and buy another 26er and this bike is QR front and rear, so swapability isn't a selling point here.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    I put a set of Industry Nine Trail 24s on my 26er a few years ago. While the wheelset cost twice what the bike did when I purchased it new, best investment for that bike. That's not the cheap option, however.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    If you have QR axles, find a really high end used wheelset. They're shockingly cheap these days. Ive seen nice sets of wheels with king hubs go for under $300. Thats less than you can get a rear hub alone for.
    WTB: Small aluminum hardtail 26 or 27.5 frame. Pm me!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    If you're comfortable spending the money... It's a balancing act between throwing good money after bad, and what it costs to keep an old bike running vs buying a new one.

    Used obsolete QR hubs can often be found cheap like Onepivot said. 30+mm rims weren't very common in the days of QR, so finding everything you want might be difficult.

    I've had decent luck with Shimano hubs, at least for a year or 2. Current SLX have [I think] 36poe, and go for $35r/25f. I've heard horror stories about the freehubs, but never had that problem. Mate that up to your favorite metal rims, and you can probably get a set of wheels for $250-300.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Agreed, buy used and buy at a good price & it won't be much money lost when you need to sell.

    I bought a set of used wheels 3 years ago, still going strong with no issues aside from needing some fresh bearings up front.
    1983 Ritchey Everest
    1996 Bianchi Mega Tube ti
    1996 Ibis Mojo Ti
    2012 Ibis Mojo HD
    2015 Kona Process 153

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    New wheels will transform your bike. If you like the bike, Id absolutely spend $ on new wheels. As mentioned, SLX or XT hubs, quality spokes, nipples and rims and a quality build will result in an awesome wheelset. Go for it.

  7. #7
    mbtr member
    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Tires weigh as much as they need to. If you're not using tires that are appropriate for your use... that's on you and a completely different issue. If you're using needlessly heavy tires than wheel weight will be lost in the noise and isn't really worth considering.

    Best decision totally depends on how savvy you are. I'm running 26 because the wheels i built 5 years ago are running sweet, so it's tough to move on, even though my frames would be improved by 650b.

    If you can't build wheels then just get something sensible that will last as long as the frame.
    If you're on a budget but can build wheels and your frame can't take 650b then it's wise to buy some old 26ers with excellent hubs.
    If you're looking at the long game, get good hubs and build them up as decent wheels.

    Ultra wide rims are cool, but they're not some sort of performance panacea. Not worth getting excited over unless you're that guy that flats/burps his tires every ride cuz he can't get his suspension sorted and uses inadequate tire pressure to compensate.

    A haro extreme x6 is pretty dated. It's old enough that it has some qualities that new bikes lack, so it might be worth keeping in the stable (for riding flat trails with lots of large obstacles; think moab riding), but maybe it's just time to move on.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Thanks everybody, I appreciate the feedback on your personal experiences.

    Scott, I have a bad habit of writing too much in a post that could have been left at the part that I bolded, but I'll address some of those things anyways:

    Tires: of course it seems obvious to me since I know why I have those tires, but I am well aware of choosing tires appropriate for the riding. They came on the bike, and I haven't felt the need to spend $100+ on new tires until I decided what I was doing about the wheels.

    Wheel building: I can. I'm not claiming to be a wizard at it, but I'd rather get more practice than pay somebody to do it. And yes the frame should take 27.5. I don't have a set laying around to try, but at full compression there is still clearance against the seat post, and all 4 stays are relatively straight at the point the tire clears. This is a thought, but this frame has, well, less than no BB drop. Is that a negative drop? It's 16mm above the axle line. In theory, if I changed the rear shock to a 7.5 x 2.0 I wouldn't lose any travel but it would drop the bottom bracket about an inch in the 5" travel position and slacken the frame.

    Wide rims: personal opinion I guess, just figured I'd try it out.

    Haro X6: I know it's dated... that was kinda in the name of the post... but if you must know, my next bike purchase will probably be a 29er hardtail, so I would keep the Haro as the more huckable bike.

  9. #9
    One Gear
    Reputation: .40AET's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I have a set of 26" Bontrager rims laced to black Chris King hubs and QR axles. DT Swiss Comp spokes. I'd be happy to unlace them and sell the hubs and spokes. Please PM if interested.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    get a (new) fork w/ thru axle- you will not regret it.
    until you realize you want thru axle in the back too.
    "I may not be fast descending, but I'm pretty slow climbing."

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