Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Big Damn Hero
    Reputation: CBRsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    360

    29er Wheel Questions

    So I recently switched from a 26er (full suspension KHS XC204) to a 29er (carbon Orbea Alma hardtail). The Orbea is fantastic and I really seem to gel well with this bike. I've set personal best laps times on multiple courses in the short time I've had the bike. Nearly everything about this bike has been an upgrade from the KHS.

    That being said the one part of the bike that I'm not satisfied with is the wheel/tire weights. It feels like I'm trying accelerate through sand every time I go all out from low speed, they just seem so hard to get up to speed. Based on my seat of the pants feel, the KHS accelerated quicker despite being 7lbs heavier and being full suspension. My new Orbea came with Fulcrum Red Power XL wheels with Geax AKA 2.2 tires. From what I've been able to find, these wheels weigh roughly 1800 grams. Based on a Park Tools scale my rear wheel/tire/tube combo weighs 5.1lbs with a 10 speed XT cassette on it. The front wheel/tire/tube combo weighs 4.1lbs.

    My buddy just got a brand new carbon Stumpjumper Marathon something or another and it came with Roval carbon wheels. Both his rear wheel and front wheel combos weigh exactly 1 pound less on each wheel. That accounts for 67% of the 3lb weight difference between our two bikes. Mine weighs exactly 25lbs.

    Since I've never upgraded wheels on any of the bike I've owned before, I'm not sure how big of an impact it can make. I assume that since it's rotating mass that the impact would be more significant than say dropping 2lbs elsewhere on the bike. Unfortunately carbon wheels aren't in the budget right now, but down the line I want to replace the Fulcrums.

    Until then, I'm trying to understand how big of a difference can lighter tires and going tubeless help out. Will going tubeless help me drop any weight off the bike? How much of a difference do lighter tires make? Do I need to go carbon rims in order to get a significant weight loss? This is all based on the assumption that the heavier wheel/tire/tube combo on my 29er is the main driver of the somewhat sluggish acceleration I'm experiencing. Any advice or info you all could share would be much appreciated.

    On a side note, before anyone asks... I'm 6'3 180lbs, so no real weight for me to lose there.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    92
    Yes lighter wheels and tires will make a difference. But 1800 grams with what you have isn't too bad. You can go to stans crest Wheelset --- about 1600 grams --- for around 500. But it has a published weight capacity of 190 pounds so you don't want to gain a whole lot more weight.

    Are your tires folding or TNT? The former is around 700 grams and the latter 750. Again, not too bad but you can go down to around 600 or so with schwalbe racing Ralph's or even lower with some of specialized's higher end stuff.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    203
    Tubeless...tubeless...tubeless. Best upgrade I have ever made... period. I love my Stans as well so I will +1 on the Stans. They work great. I am over weight limits on my Stans with no problems. I am sure there is a buffer built in that number.

    Tire weight plays a big factor too so a little more detail about the tires could help.

    The bad news is no matter what you do, probably will not be able to get it as "crisp" off the line, that is just 29ers....but roll over some roots/rocks and smile.

  4. #4
    Custom Wheelbuilder
    Reputation: Zen Cyclery's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    534
    Tubeless could be a good way to shave a bit of weight and improve ride quality. Upgrading to a lighter wheelset though, and going tubeless, could help you to shave a significant amount of weight. You could build up Enve rims to Tune hubs and easily shave off 400 grams or so.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

    www.facebook.com/zencyclerywheels

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,134
    Quote Originally Posted by CBRsteve View Post
    So I recently switched from a 26er (full suspension KHS XC204) to a 29er (carbon Orbea Alma hardtail). The Orbea is fantastic and I really seem to gel well with this bike. I've set personal best laps times on multiple courses in the short time I've had the bike. Nearly everything about this bike has been an upgrade from the KHS.

    That being said the one part of the bike that I'm not satisfied with is the wheel/tire weights. It feels like I'm trying accelerate through sand every time I go all out from low speed, they just seem so hard to get up to speed. Based on my seat of the pants feel, the KHS accelerated quicker despite being 7lbs heavier and being full suspension. My new Orbea came with Fulcrum Red Power XL wheels with Geax AKA 2.2 tires. From what I've been able to find, these wheels weigh roughly 1800 grams. Based on a Park Tools scale my rear wheel/tire/tube combo weighs 5.1lbs with a 10 speed XT cassette on it. The front wheel/tire/tube combo weighs 4.1lbs.

    My buddy just got a brand new carbon Stumpjumper Marathon something or another and it came with Roval carbon wheels. Both his rear wheel and front wheel combos weigh exactly 1 pound less on each wheel. That accounts for 67% of the 3lb weight difference between our two bikes. Mine weighs exactly 25lbs.

    Since I've never upgraded wheels on any of the bike I've owned before, I'm not sure how big of an impact it can make. I assume that since it's rotating mass that the impact would be more significant than say dropping 2lbs elsewhere on the bike. Unfortunately carbon wheels aren't in the budget right now, but down the line I want to replace the Fulcrums.

    Until then, I'm trying to understand how big of a difference can lighter tires and going tubeless help out. Will going tubeless help me drop any weight off the bike? How much of a difference do lighter tires make? Do I need to go carbon rims in order to get a significant weight loss? This is all based on the assumption that the heavier wheel/tire/tube combo on my 29er is the main driver of the somewhat sluggish acceleration I'm experiencing. Any advice or info you all could share would be much appreciated.

    On a side note, before anyone asks... I'm 6'3 180lbs, so no real weight for me to lose there.
    Fulcrum's claimed weight for your wheels is ~1900g. Not great, not bad. You would need to spend a big chunk of cash to make a significant weight loss.

    Weight loss with tubeless is little to none, and your wheels are not tubeless compatible.

    You may be able to drop some weight in the tires (especially if yours are wire bead) and tubes with careful selection, though lighter tires are more fragile and usually have less grip. A pair of lightweight 26" tubes could save ~150g.

    At least 25%, and maybe most of the weight difference with the Specialized wheels is in the tires.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,134
    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    You could build up Enve rims to Tune hubs and easily shave off 400 grams or so.
    and spend what, $3000+ for this wheelset?
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  7. #7
    Big Damn Hero
    Reputation: CBRsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    360
    Thanks for the feeback guys.

    In regards to the type of AKAs, I'm not sure. I can't find anything on the tire carcass that indicates whether or not it's the TNT version or not. My assumption is that it's not the TNT since it doesn't indicate it on the tire itself.

    I've been thinking about replacing the tires anyways, they are pretty decent but I'm sliding around a ton on them. Not sure if a lighter tire would fix that (obviously depends upon the tread pattern and size) but I'd rather be sliding around on lighter tires if I had the choice.

    Shiggy, are you saying that a 26in tube works inside a 29in wheel? If so I have plenty of those laying around that could make an immediate difference.

    When I upgrade in the spring I'm going to try to stay under $750 so it feels like I can probably make a bit of a dent in the weight then.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,134
    Quote Originally Posted by CBRsteve View Post
    Thanks for the feeback guys.

    In regards to the type of AKAs, I'm not sure. I can't find anything on the tire carcass that indicates whether or not it's the TNT version or not. My assumption is that it's not the TNT since it doesn't indicate it on the tire itself.

    I've been thinking about replacing the tires anyways, they are pretty decent but I'm sliding around a ton on them. Not sure if a lighter tire would fix that (obviously depends upon the tread pattern and size) but I'd rather be sliding around on lighter tires if I had the choice.

    Shiggy, are you saying that a 26in tube works inside a 29in wheel? If so I have plenty of those laying around that could make an immediate difference.

    When I upgrade in the spring I'm going to try to stay under $750 so it feels like I can probably make a bit of a dent in the weight then.
    Yes, 26" tubes will fit with a bit of stuffing. The lightweight tubes work better than standard weight.

    The Aka is fast and grips OK, but is very conditions sensitive. The TnT version has a big TnT logo on the sidewall. Need to remove the tire to know if it is wire or folding bead.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    23
    hi,i changed my wheels to tubeless last night,i used my existing maxxis aspen tyres on my giant pxc-2 wheels with the stans flow kit and weight saving is 60grams per wheel so a bit of saving to be had plus the ride benefits.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,389
    If you go tubeless, then a whole new wheelse twould be the ticket. (if you get a good wheelsmith to do a Stans Crest build at 1600g it will be plenty strong enough). With the stans rim you can get a great tubeless seal with a lot of tyres, and I've been having good luck with the Rubena Scylla, and the Racing Ralph for my conditions. Both of these tyres are about the 600g mark.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  11. #11
    Custom Wheelbuilder
    Reputation: Zen Cyclery's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    534
    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    and spend what, $3000+ for this wheelset?
    You could always build it up with White Ind hubs and shave a significant amount of money. Obviously its still very expensive, but a wheelset is an investment and in the long run, it will probably be cheaper than burning through alloy wheelsets.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

    www.facebook.com/zencyclerywheels

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DirtyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    235
    You could just buy Enve rims and shave off 400 grams after you re-finance your car..



    Hank

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    15
    People really buy $2,500 wheels? I guess I've got a lot to read up about.
    '13 Specialized Carve Comp | '12 Trek Superfly 100 AL | '11 Ridley X-BOW

  14. #14
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,261
    MAybe check your acceleration time as well...the 29er may feel slower but is it really? If so how much? The bike will feel more stable so that may influence the feel you get of speed. considering you are faster overall, there may not be that much difference...there may be, but worth checking maybe over a 100m sprint or more?

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,308
    The second cheapest way to see a difference is to borrow your friend's wheels for a timed loop. Pay special attention to climbing in your normal gear.
    The next is to throw on a light race tire tubeless and see if you can get it to survive in your conditions. This tire is 360g You will see a difference Ride soft.
    Schwalbe Furious Fred clincher tire folding bead, 29 x 2.00" black

    And the cheapest is the right gear choice and better mashing output development.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  16. #16
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,134
    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The second cheapest way to see a difference is to borrow your friend's wheels for a timed loop. Pay special attention to climbing in your normal gear.
    The next is to throw on a light race tire tubeless and see if you can get it to survive in your conditions. This tire is 360g You will see a difference Ride soft.
    Schwalbe Furious Fred clincher tire folding bead, 29 x 2.00" black

    And the cheapest is the right gear choice and better mashing output development.
    No-tread "mtb" tires bring other issues. Poor cornering and lack of braking grip.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •