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  1. #1
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    Best bang for your buck? XX1 or Carbon wheels?

    I ride about 3 times a week. Mostly aggressive cross country, with some trips out to Moab and Fruita now and then. I'm thinking about racing Enduro in the spring. I'm riding an alloy Bronson with XX carbon cranks, SLX shifters, rear derailleur and brakes. XT front derailleur. 2x10. WTB ST i23 TCS rims. SRAM MTH 716 hubs.

    Considering XX1 or Carbon wheels. Can't do both right now. What do you guys think will offer the most improved ride/ fun factor?


    Best bang for your buck? XX1 or Carbon wheels?-img_4708.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best bang for your buck? XX1 or Carbon wheels?-img_4708.jpg  


  2. #2
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    What kind of carbon wheels are you looking at?

  3. #3
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    Light-bicycle Chinese rims with Hope 2 hubs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vegard View Post
    What kind of carbon wheels are you looking at?

  4. #4
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    I think the answer is pretty simple. A nice Carbon wheelset! Those wheels you have are pretty dang heavy.

    XX carbon cranks are awesome, light and stiff. If you want to have a 1x drivetrain just remove your shifter, derailleur, chainrings, and put a narrow wide (Race Face, Wolf Tooth, etc) on there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I think the answer is pretty simple. A nice Carbon wheelset! Those wheels you have are pretty dang heavy.

    XX carbon cranks are awesome, light and stiff. If you want to have a 1x drivetrain just remove your shifter, derailleur, chainrings, and put a narrow wide (Race Face, Wolf Tooth, etc) on there.
    I second that opinion.

  6. #6
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    RE: Best bang for your buck? XX1 or Carbon wheels?

    As someone that has done both upgrades in the last 18 months I go wheels as well.

    As much as I love XX1 (and I was on 3x9 before) the carbon wheels (Roval Control SLs) made the bike so much more fun. Initially I bought the carbon rims for race only, but it made the bike that more fun I just ride them all the time. I'm on 26" wheels though, so not sure if my opinion counts

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  7. #7
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    This is what I found for those wheels:
    978g Front Actual Weight w/o Quick Release
    1210g Rear Actual Weight w/o Quick Release

    I am sure you can drop a ton of weight and get a better wheelset with those Carbons/Hopes.

    Going 1x10 should also drop close to a lb in weight. and only cost $50.

  8. #8
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    Save your pennies and get a carbon Bronson with XX and the Enve wheel upgrade.
    Even if you put lighter wheels and a few lighter parts on your bike it will still be pretty heavy.

  9. #9
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    I'd take a 30lb bike with light carbon wheels over a 26lb bike with heavier aluminum wheels in a heartbeat.
    On my bike I upgrade to xx1 and it was pretty sweet, but upgrading to some burly Carbon wheels (ROval Traverse SL) was a much bigger difference. They dampen the small vibrations, respond better, climb faster and accelerate quicker.
    14 Aurum, 16 Fuse, 17 T130

  10. #10
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    Thanks moefosho. Good advice. As far as I know, RF and Wolftooth won't fit XX

    Best bang for your buck? XX1 or Carbon wheels?-crank.jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I think the answer is pretty simple. A nice Carbon wheelset! Those wheels you have are pretty dang heavy.

    XX carbon cranks are awesome, light and stiff. If you want to have a 1x drivetrain just remove your shifter, derailleur, chainrings, and put a narrow wide (Race Face, Wolf Tooth, etc) on there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    Save your pennies and get a carbon Bronson with XX and the Enve wheel upgrade.
    Even if you put lighter wheels and a few lighter parts on your bike it will still be pretty heavy.
    I dont think you understand what bang for buck stands for...
    The carbon is a little bit more than a lb lighter than the aluminum frame. He already has the aluminum frame bronson. Why would he spend 10k to save 1.4 lbs of frame weight?

  12. #12
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    120 BCD x 36T Chainrings | wolftoothcomponents.com
    Wolf Tooth Components Shows Prototype CX Chainrings, 120 BCD Rings Now Shipping
    Blackspire Mono Veloce Narrow Wide Chainring 2014 | Chain Reaction Cycles

    I believe its narrow wide, but not positive. I think more companies are making them as well or have plans for it. You need 80 or 120 BCD ring.

  13. #13
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    Sweet! Thanks for the links.

    WT is only available in 36T.

    The Blackspire looks like its available in a 32T. Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    120 BCD x 36T Chainrings | wolftoothcomponents.com
    Wolf Tooth Components Shows Prototype CX Chainrings, 120 BCD Rings Now Shipping
    Blackspire Mono Veloce Narrow Wide Chainring 2014 | Chain Reaction Cycles

    I believe its narrow wide, but not positive. I think more companies are making them as well or have plans for it. You need 80 or 120 BCD ring.

  14. #14
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    I'd do both, sell your rear der, front der, front shifter and buy a shadow plus or sram type 2 rear der and a narrow/wide chainring, done. I was able to get am X9 type 2 rear on fleabay for like $85, and the chainrings will be around $40-50, you might be able to get close to that for the stuff you are taking off the bike.
    You should also be able to get about $100-150 for your wtb wheelset to offset some of the cost of the carbon wheels as well.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    Save your pennies and get a carbon Bronson with XX and the Enve wheel upgrade.
    GREAT IDEA.

    I think he's looking at somewhere between 800,000-1,000,000 pennies right?
    - -benja- -

  16. #16
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    LightBicycle AM rims, Sapim CX Ray spokes and DT Swiss 350 hubset. Under a grand and will blow your mind

  17. #17
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    Neither. Work less hours all year and ride more instead. Or hire a coach/go to a skills clinic. When your wheels or your drivetrain completely fall apart, revisit this question.

    -Walt

  18. #18
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    Bingo! My last year with a nationally renowned coach took me to a whole new level of riding, racing and fun....and pain, ha. If someone wants to spend money on wheels or 11 speed components, great, but if someone thinks spending money brings with it results, well, it may, but not in the amount that proper intensity, rest and training block phases will do.

    Best bang for your buck: more quality saddle time. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in a brown delivery van to get excited over.

  19. #19
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    Spend less, 1x10 and apply savings to american made carbon or light alum wheelset.

  20. #20
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    Derby's new wide carbon rims combined with a high engagement hub in back and then get the General Lee adapter (or the other big 42T cog from the guy in Germany) and build yourself a poor mans XX1 which you can do with a standard 10 speed cassette carrier/freehub.

    I'm running the XX1 on my Banshee Spitfire and gotta say it's super sweet but I've got some pretty nice custom built wheels but not carbon. Derby's new wide rims are on the lust for list for sure, especially for the price.

  21. #21
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    Blackspire makes a 80bcd 32t NW chainring ????
    Nice
    I could only find one shop doing those in Germany.. I don't speak German
    and that was through deep digging on the 1x10 XX1 alternative threads
    Warhawk does one too. but, it is not NarrowWide
    the 120bcd can only go as small as 36t.. Wolftooth does make one of them.

    I actually just did both upgrades to my Bronson
    40mm carbon wheels and XX1-XX0 1x11
    doing both at the same time was a pretty dramatic change
    I went with a Hadley XX1 driver hub on the wheel build so I can't say too much about choosing one over the other.
    But if I had to only do one I would say do the wheels with good hubs that can be upgraded to the new driver later.
    My wheel build came out to about 720gr for the front and 980gr for the back...
    I saved a ton of weight and got much better handling and tuning options at the same time..
    Quote Originally Posted by gfowkes View Post
    Sweet! Thanks for the links.

    WT is only available in 36T.

    The Blackspire looks like its available in a 32T. Nice!

  22. #22
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Neither. Work less hours all year and ride more instead. Or hire a coach/go to a skills clinic. When your wheels or your drivetrain completely fall apart, revisit this question.

    -Walt
    Oh my god. I sometimes crack and forget the MTBR passive aggressive polite schtick and tell people instead of throwing money at a problem (lack of on-bike performance) to save their $ 5k and spend it instead on a 2 week unpaid vacation to some cool biking place and get lessons and just ride their bike. Given that this advice is proffered on a biking website devoted to reviewing gear and given that I am complicit in marketing gear to said people this advice often falls on deaf ears.

    Not intended to dis the OP who actually posed an interested (if slightly gear-queer) question
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Neither. Work less hours all year and ride more instead. Or hire a coach/go to a skills clinic. When your wheels or your drivetrain completely fall apart, revisit this question.

    -Walt
    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Bingo! My last year with a nationally renowned coach took me to a whole new level of riding, racing and fun....and pain, ha. If someone wants to spend money on wheels or 11 speed components, great, but if someone thinks spending money brings with it results, well, it may, but not in the amount that proper intensity, rest and training block phases will do.

    Best bang for your buck: more quality saddle time. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in a brown delivery van to get excited over.
    I've had my job 28years and don't want to lose it
    So for some.. that really is not an option.
    I work 12 hour days dawn to dusk. I would love to be able to ride more. and would also really like to have a serious training schedule
    But, it's not going to happen. I ride when I can and enjoy every minute of it.
    I also don't think upgrading my bike is to fix a problem. I appreciate better performance from the equipment
    it doesn't make me any faster. but, it does put a smile on my face..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    Save your pennies and get a carbon Bronson with XX and the Enve wheel upgrade.
    Even if you put lighter wheels and a few lighter parts on your bike it will still be pretty heavy.
    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I dont think you understand what bang for buck stands for...
    The carbon is a little bit more than a lb lighter than the aluminum frame. He already has the aluminum frame bronson. Why would he spend 10k to save 1.4 lbs of frame weight?
    Because poster like him are jackasses.
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  25. #25
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    nothig wrong with having a nice bike

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinmike View Post
    I've had my job 28years and don't want to lose it
    So for some.. that really is not an option.
    I work 12 hour days dawn to dusk. I would love to be able to ride more. and would also really like to have a serious training schedule
    But, it's not going to happen. I ride when I can and enjoy every minute of it.
    I also don't think upgrading my bike is to fix a problem. I appreciate better performance from the equipment
    it doesn't make me any faster. but, it does put a smile on my face..
    Of course, if you can afford a nice bike and a coach, then good for you, but..Not everyone is willing to ride a $500 bike and spend the rest of their money on a coach.

    I like to ride cool equipment, just like you.

    And just like you, I am considering both 1 x (something) and carbon hoops on my next new ride.

    My own opinion is that wheels/tires are the most important component on a bike and should always be upgraded first. Let us know what you decide and how the choice works out.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinmike View Post
    I've had my job 28years and don't want to lose it
    So for some.. that really is not an option.
    I work 12 hour days dawn to dusk. I would love to be able to ride more. and would also really like to have a serious training schedule
    But, it's not going to happen. I ride when I can and enjoy every minute of it.
    I also don't think upgrading my bike is to fix a problem. I appreciate better performance from the equipment
    it doesn't make me any faster. but, it does put a smile on my face..
    First, this is an awesome "which is better, pros and cons, bang-for-buck" question to pose and the responses are really informative, especially the poor man's 1 x 10.
    So, map props to you for responding in a steady way to the more, um, provocative remarks.

    My experience is that lighter weight wheels makes for an almost magical leap forward in fun factor, but tire choice has to be considered as well.

    Not sure what came stock on your bike or if you chose them yourself, BUT, if you are not 100% happy with your tires, give some thought about tire choice to complement the lighter weight of the new wheel set (I think you are heading in the direction of new wheels).

  27. #27
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    Actually, not yet. I just got an email back from Blackspire and it'll be a few months before the 32T is available.

    I think I'll be selling the XX crankset too. Not enough options for the 1x10. Looks like a fire sale on bike parts coming right after my trip to Park City this weekend.



    Quote Originally Posted by flyinmike View Post
    Blackspire makes a 80bcd 32t NW chainring ????
    Nice
    I could only find one shop doing those in Germany.. I don't speak German
    and that was through deep digging on the 1x10 XX1 alternative threads
    Warhawk does one too. but, it is not NarrowWide
    the 120bcd can only go as small as 36t.. Wolftooth does make one of them.

    I actually just did both upgrades to my Bronson
    40mm carbon wheels and XX1-XX0 1x11
    doing both at the same time was a pretty dramatic change
    I went with a Hadley XX1 driver hub on the wheel build so I can't say too much about choosing one over the other.
    But if I had to only do one I would say do the wheels with good hubs that can be upgraded to the new driver later.
    My wheel build came out to about 720gr for the front and 980gr for the back...
    I saved a ton of weight and got much better handling and tuning options at the same time..

  28. #28
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    Thanks for the wide breadth of advice. Keep it coming.

    I'm leaning toward a nice set of hubs and carbon wheels (those wide Derby's looks awesome!) with the 1x10 conversion.

    I also agree that there is no substitute to riding more, which is certainly part of the plan.

    By the way - my alloy Bronson is already less than 30 pounds with dropper. Should be close to 27 when I'm finished shedding grams and adding performance.

  29. #29
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    I recently did the 1x10 and Derby hoop upgrade. Both were awesome choices. Going 1x was definitely the cheaper choice.
    I had to get some new cranks because the RF Next's were 120 BCD and there aren't any 34 tooth narrow/wide rings that large.
    Picked up an XTR set from a buddy for $125 used that work fine.

    It's a shame that RF didn't make their spiderless rings compatible with xx1. I was drooling over the thought of RF N/W spiderless
    ring on a set of XX1 cranks. That would be 1x10 nirvana.

    The Derby rims are incredible and you will feel a world of difference in how you're bike handles.

    I highly recommend making both upgrades.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfowkes View Post
    I think I'll be selling the XX crankset too. Not enough options for the 1x10. Looks like a fire sale on bike parts coming right after my trip to Park City this weekend.
    I think that's a good move if you want to go 1x10 (or 1x11 eventually). Get an XO, XO1, or even just the XX1 crankset and your options are all over the place for rings. Check out North Shore Billet for some nice spider/bash options for said cranks. XX1 crank allows the use of a 28T ring where as the new X01 does not (I'm currently using the 28T after trying the 30T).

    Whatever hub you choose make sure it can be upgraded to an XX1 driver body if you intend to do that 1x11 eventually. I'll second the Hadley but of course it's what I'm using so I'm partial.

  31. #31
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    Here's another vote for Derby rims on a nice convertible hubset (Hadley's on mine ) .... instant improvement in weight, feel and cornering grip.
    Good advice on the ghetto 1x setup too. I recently ditched the 2x10 w/ 36/24 XT rings and put a 32t Raceface NW ring on my XT M770 cranks. It works so well, is so quiet and simple..... and it's SOOOO nice to spend just $35 on an upgrade, and just start stripping parts off your bike that don't have to be replaced!

  32. #32
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    Then I'd get the wheels.

  33. #33
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    For you, I would suggest this if possible!

    XO1 + Chinese carbon wheels.

  34. #34
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    Good job! Hey now!

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Oh my god. I sometimes crack and forget the MTBR passive aggressive polite schtick and tell people instead of throwing money at a problem (lack of on-bike performance) to save their $ 5k and spend it instead on a 2 week unpaid vacation to some cool biking place and get lessons and just ride their bike.
    Welllll.... Isn't the "truth" somewhere in the middle? I can feel the OP's question AND Walt's response in varying degrees.

    Gear is great, and modern MTBs are blessed with a ridiculous abundance of great and functional capabilities...

    Spending $$$ on Gear is OK in my book but I also think it pays to let go and realize that this sport does not require $6k bikes to be enjoyable. Instant gratification is like most narcotics: safe in moderation, not so great if that's all you're in it for.

    ...but I'd still go with new wheels in this case.
    - -benja- -

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Neither. Work less hours all year and ride more instead. Or hire a coach/go to a skills clinic. When your wheels or your drivetrain completely fall apart, revisit this question.

    -Walt
    Awesome advice!!!

    Unfortunately too many of us are locked into a position where you've gotta stay till the work is done. I just met with my department today to discuss how are we going to try and use our vacation days when we are very understaffed and can't turn off the flow of work. (Does the 40 hour work week exist? Unions were fighting for it - and winning, a 100 years ago!)

    Anyway, I upgraded to carbon hoops this year. Very nice, but not a game changer over the Flows I was using. That said, I killed one already, and am rebuilding the rear with a wider carbon so we'll see.

    The Pike I just put on my LTc to replace a Revelation, was however, a real game changer. Wow! Incredible fork. I can't remember the last upgrade I did made such a difference.

  36. #36
    It's about showing up.
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    Wheels, in a heartbeat.
    I don't rattle.

  37. #37
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    I just had a new Solo built up. My TRc was stolen and my homeowner's insurance replaced the majority of the cost. For the replacement bike I went with the XX1 setup and a wheel set I had my friend build up for me with the Chinese carbon 650b rims and DT Swiss 350 hubs. They're amazing! If I was in your boat and could only choose one upgrade right now, it would be the wheel set.

    After that upgrade, save your money for the XX1 because it's pretty damn sweet, too!

  38. #38
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    Mad props!

    Thanks for the advice and suggestions.

    I ended up buying a set of the wider 35mm carbon wheels. I also converted my 2x10 to a 1 x10 by adding a Raceface narrow/wide chaining, added 750mm Easton Havoc carbon bars, as well as Ice-Tech rotors and, because I had a couple weeks of down time while I waited for my carbon wheels to arrive, I also gave the Bronson a cosmetic make-over. Replaced the factory decals with custom neon green and a fresh coat of clear. (Sorry SC, I never liked the blue and yellow)

    Iíve only been out once so obviously I need more time to get it fully dialed but so far itís a HUGE improvement. HUGE! The bike feels so much more lively and playful now. And, it's super quiet.

    I live in Colorado so the 1 x10 will be a bit tough on some of the front range climbs but totally doable. It'll only make me stronger right?

    Stoked! and can't wait to ride again soon.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best bang for your buck? XX1 or Carbon wheels?-bronson.jpg  


  39. #39
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    Where did you get the custom frame decals?
    You gotta Get Up to Get Down!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryde View Post
    Where did you get the custom frame decals?
    I painstakingly measured and, using what assets I could find online (SC logo's) I recreated the graphics in Illustrator. I took the file to FastSigns and had them printed on neon green vinyl. The decals are super tricky to get perfect. It took two tries Clear coated over the top. I'm an Art Director so I do something like this for a living.

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