29er wheelset - XC or AM?
I am looking to upgrade my wheelset this winter, and am trying to decide how strong/light I should build them. The last time I had a MTB wheelset built it was the late 90s where XC was AM, and it was either that or DH.
I weigh 185 geared up, ride mixed flowing and technical XC and generally am a finesse rider around and over obstacles. I do also mix in some urban stuff - stairs, small drops 2' or less, etc, but I am not doing huge jumps or bashing into big ruts and rocks on downhills. Bike is a steel hardtail.
Will lightweight XC wheels stand up ok, or should I be looking for something stouter, more AM? Again getting back into the swing of things I'm not sure what classifies as 'strong' or 'weak' these days, especially in 29er hoops.
It totally depends which light weight XC wheels you are looking at.
If it's something like Roval Control SL carbon wheels which have a rider weight limit of 240lbs then you'll be fine. If it's Stan's ZTR Race Gold which have a weight limit of 170lbs then I doubt it.
These example wheels are within ~50g weight of each other.
The rider weight limit and length of warranties should give you an idea of how strong the manufacturer feels they are, which is a good place to start.
I was hoping to keep the cost around the $600-700 mark, had been looking at Hope Pro II Evo hubs and Mavic TN719 rims, or Stans Arch vs Flow (though I am not fond of their lack of eyelets). Also had a look at the Easton Haven wheelset.
Might look at the Pacenti TL28. Wide and light with eyelets, would be a nice setup with the Hope hubs and some nice butted spokes. The Frequency i19 TCS would be the same width as the Mavic TN719 but has a UST compliant bead shape. They do not have eyelets but do use direction drilling. That said, no eyelets actually only means so extra care is needed in building the wheels. If properly built and tensioned they should last just as long as an eyeletted rim. I don't care for the new Stans "EX" rims because of their shorter bead hooks combined with their larger inner diameter which makes getting many of the "Tubeless Ready" tires on the rim a serious PITA. I'm currently running WTB TCS rims and mounting tubeless ready tires is easily done by hand and inflating is easily done with a floor pump.
Originally Posted by breckenridge
Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.