Help me decide which wheels: Crossmax SLR or I9 torch trail (24 or 32H?)
I recently purchased a base model Kona Hei Hei to see if I would enjoy mountain biking as much as road biking. Needless to say my road bike has not seen a single ride since I purchased the mountain bike 3 months ago.
I am not interested in slowly upgrading my components, and the wheels are my first choice. The fork will follow shortly, but I want a 15mm axled fork, so I need to replace the wheels first.
I want something light, but relatively strong. I spend all my time on the Barton Creek Green Belt in Austin, and some of the trails are pretty rough and technical. I also weigh ~225 with gear, so I am not a light-weight rider (I gave up drinking almost completely from drinking a sixer of craft beer everyday, so I hope to get back down to 200-205 weight with gear in the next few months).
I am torn between two wheelsets; the Mavic Crossmax SLR and the I9 torch trail wheelset. And if I go with the I9 wheelset, what spoke count should I get.
The SLRs and the 32h I9s weigh within 10 grams of eachother at 1620 and 1630 respectively, so they weight difference is negligible. If I went with the 24h I9 model, the weight drops to the 1500s.
The SLRs seem the most appealing to me, as I know I can get cost +10% on them, and I have a deemax wheel from 2004 that is still going strong. The only downside I see to the SLR is the narrow rim width. The SLR is 19mm ID while the I9 has a 23.5mm ID. That is a big difference. I also hear there is a lot of burping issues with the SLRs. The POE difference is something to consider, but either will be a huge improvement over my bargain bin wheelset.
I am very sold on the wider rim diameter, and that is pointing me towards the I9s. At the same time, the mavic wheels seem like a great wheelset to me at a cheaper price.
If I do go with the I9s, should I stay away from the 24H model at my weight? If I lose the 20 pounds I am hoping to lose, will the 24H model be fine? The 24H model would make the wheels lighter, giving them another advantage. Will the 32H model be stiffer, because that is something I am taking into account.
So....Let the suggestions roll.
Considering your weight (even if you get back to the 200 range) and your riding terrain, I would opt for the wider 32h I9 wheels. The wider width is a big improvement over the narrower rims-most rims are going even wider. The higher POE will also be an advantage on the technical terrain you ride, and I believe the 32H version is only a couple of grams heavier than the 24H. It's only the weight difference of 16 spokes! Not to complicate decisions for you, but some people with your questions have considered going with the I9 classic hub and the Light-Bicycle wide carbon rims. Price is similiar and you will end up with a stiffer wheelset. My 2C
You seem to feel the same way I do about the rim width.
Originally Posted by HouseNotes
I have been considering the light-bicycle rims, but somethings make me nervous about them. I hear of people cracking them when bottoming the tire out on a rock. This definitely happens from time to time in my terrain. I haven't managed to ding up my stock wheelset, but I would hate to have to deal with ordering a replacement and dealing with all that. That being said, my dad is a very experienced wheelbuilder who builds fantastic wheels. Do you really believe the j-bend carbon wheel will be stiffer than the straight pull I9?
And if we are considering carbon rims, would you go LB over the roval control 29 carbon model? That is still in my price range, and seems to be a better tire for tubeless. If what I read is true, extra rim tape may be necessary, negating some of the weight savings I am after. All the added weight will be towards the outside of the wheel as well.
So....if I am going carbon, is the roval wheel as strong as the LB laced to whatever I decide? I can afford the LB wheels immediately, but I would like to save a little more cash if I am going to pull the trigger on the Rovals or I9s. I like that the Roval uses straightpull, which I assume will make it stiffer than an equal LB build.
Hands down the I9 Trail 32.
The bike will handle the best with them, Then you have the upside of the high POE as well.
I ride I9 Trail carbon 32, I9 with LB carbon rim's, I9 with flows, I9 with Arch EX, Hope Pro 2 Evo with Flow EX, Hope Pro 2 Evo with Arch EX & a set of Sun Ringle Chargers.
Bang for you buck the I9 Trail 32 Alloy is the best IMO.
Even at your goal weight, The wider rim will feel much better.
My wife rides I9 Flows & I'm getting her a set of I9 Trail 24's ( she is 135 lb )
My next set of wheels will be a set of I9 Trail 34 ( as you can see I'm running a bit short on wheels ) ( I'm 180lb to 190lb depending on what type of month I have had )
I'd have to agree, at your weight I wouldn't be weight weeniing and go for 32 spoked wheels. As to which, definitely the i9s over the Mavic. Friend just got in a set of the Torch Trails (24 hole), had on Crest/Hope, weighs about 160lbs and he loves them. I built the bike for him initially, like you on a budget, but then he wanted "fancy" wheels and after some research pointed him to the Torches.
He brought the bike to me to set up the wheels tubeless and do a service on the bike, but not install the i9s, he would keep them to put under the tree as his present. He decided to install them and after the first good ride with me said they felt super stiff and gave him serious confidence on the sharp, rocky terrain we had rode. He asked me to do the first service on the i9s and general look over as he'd ridden them about the recommended 4 hours. When I test rode it I could not believe how solid the bike felt compared to before, really, really amazed me, but did have to tighten the spokes down about 3/4-1 turn to bring them back up to recommended tension, but other than that, fantastic, highly recommend.
Cassoulet forever !
I have no personnal experience with I9, but a friend of mine who bought a set got troubles with the freewhell.
He then changed to mavic.
Just to mention ...
Ive got a set of Mavic Crossmax ST's on my Niner and they perform wonderfully, they are hard as nails (im 225-230 weight with gear), yes they are 19mm width but it absolutley flies and the weight seems negligible, plus they blow up tubeless easy.
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