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  1. #1
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    Stan's rims vs. Alex, DT, Synchros etc ?

    8 months ago I broke the bank and purchased a Scott carbon 29er. It has Synchros rims (actually DT). I recently dented the rim during a ride and now I need a new rim. I was told by a bike store owner to get Stan's Arch EX rims. The Scott Bike rep told me Stan's weren't any better and to just re-order the Synchros (DT) rim at 1/2 the price. My original reaction was, why does a $3,000 bike have such weak rims? I am a casual rider, not a racer. This is my 3rd mtn bike and I've never had this happen on my much cheaper bikes. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    fwiw, you can get a set of hope hoops with stans rims & hope hubs for about $200 cheaper than the ones with stans hubs.

  3. #3
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    Light, Strong and Cheap Pick any two.
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  4. #4
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    A "new" rim is not like swapping pedals. You are preparing to have a wheel re-built by your LBS. What is the total cost?

    Expect the following costs:
    Spokes - $1-$2 each
    Nipples - $0.75ish each
    Rim - Varies - Your choice
    Labor - Varies - I was just quoted $90 USD at my LBS

    I would buy new spokes (you will likely have to use new spokes if you change rims) and nipples. I never liked to re-use spokes - increases labor to re-use them and they may have damage to them.


    You may be better off purchasing a new already built wheel.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    A "new" rim is not like swapping pedals. You are preparing to have a wheel re-built by your LBS. What is the total cost?

    Expect the following costs:
    Spokes - $1-$2 each
    Nipples - $0.75ish each
    Rim - Varies - Your choice
    Labor - Varies - I was just quoted $90 USD at my LBS

    I would buy new spokes (you will likely have to use new spokes if you change rims) and nipples. I never liked to re-use spokes - increases labor to re-use them and they may have damage to them.


    You may be better off purchasing a new already built wheel.
    I've been quoted $150 for a Stan's Arch Ex including labor and using my original hub. It would require new spokes as well (also included in price). I'm still trying to find answers about rims in general. Which rims are most durable?

  6. #6
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    The arch is generally regarded as a pretty stout rim. How much do you weigh? That is an important factor

  7. #7
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    Seems to be a reasonable price. If you are willing to spend that go for it. Assuming the shop does a quality build, it will be a good wheel.

    I prefer DT competition spokes and alloy nipples - I would not want a build with straight gauge spokes and brass nipples for a variety of reasons. Strength and weight top the list.

    As far as the rep saying our rim is just as good for half the price, well I find that suspicious. I am not sure which rim you have. Need more info on rim model. However, arch ex have a good reputation. I currently have flow ex and really like them.

    As far as durability of rims, you can dent pretty much anything given the right circumstances. I have dented a few rims (both good and cheap) - always my fault: insufficient air pressure, casing a landing, blasting a manhole cover, etc.

    If you fish, you lose lures. If you bike, you get flats, stretch chains, wear out components, occasionally crash, and break stuff. It happens.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodon View Post
    The arch is generally regarded as a pretty stout rim. How much do you weigh? That is an important factor
    Yeah, the bike store owner told me that "heavier" riders shouldn't go tubeless. I'm 5'11" and weigh 185. I didn't realize I was "heavy". Should I not be riding tubeless?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    Seems to be a reasonable price. If you are willing to spend that go for it. Assuming the shop does a quality build, it will be a good wheel.

    I prefer DT competition spokes and alloy nipples - I would not want a build with straight gauge spokes and brass nipples for a variety of reasons. Strength and weight top the list.

    As far as the rep saying our rim is just as good for half the price, well I find that suspicious. I am not sure which rim you have. Need more info on rim model. However, arch ex have a good reputation. I currently have flow ex and really like them.

    As far as durability of rims, you can dent pretty much anything given the right circumstances. I have dented a few rims (both good and cheap) - always my fault: insufficient air pressure, casing a landing, blasting a manhole cover, etc.

    If you fish, you lose lures. If you bike, you get flats, stretch chains, wear out components, occasionally crash, and break stuff. It happens.
    Thanks for the reply. Spokes and rims are DT with "Synchros" decals. I get the fishing metaphor since I fly-fish. I expect to lose lures, break lines, but I don't expect the rod to break in half unexpectedly, or eyelets to drop off. I expect tires to flat, chains to break, break pads to wear out, etc. But with the type of riding I do, I didn't expect to dent a rim. I've had three mtn bikes in 6 years and never dented or bent a rim. Always ride the same trails. Weigh the same. Ride the same. I just don't get it. Spending $3,000 and then being told the rims are cheap, doesn't make sense to me. I wish the bike store owner had told me this in the beginning.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    Yeah, the bike store owner told me that "heavier" riders shouldn't go tubeless. I'm 5'11" and weigh 185. I didn't realize I was "heavy". Should I not be riding tubeless?
    I don't see the logic in that statement myself.

  11. #11
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    You either had to hit something REALLY hard or were underinflated, rims don't generally dent for no good reason, what pressure were you running at the time of the dent? Re re-using spokes: I built the rear on my 26er in the early '90s using Ritchie/DT db spokes (14/16 iirc) and alloy nipples, since then I've worn out and replaced 3 or 4 rims on the same hub/spokes/nipples, doing quite a few cat1 races and open class cx way back when. I'm 6'3 and have been between 175 and 200# on that bike, but I tend to not break much stuff in general. -just my experience, I understand some people have had bad luck re-using spokes and nipples, I've had bad luck with anything other than DT spokes&nipples.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    Yeah, the bike store owner told me that "heavier" riders shouldn't go tubeless. I'm 5'11" and weigh 185. I didn't realize I was "heavy". Should I not be riding tubeless?
    Arch is fine with your weight, unless you want a little bigger tire footprint & slightly stronger rim, then go flow. The heavy rider not going tubeless comment by your bike shop is pretty laughable. I'm 225 geared up and been running tubeless with no problems for 2 years now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Arch is fine with your weight, unless you want a little bigger tire footprint & slightly stronger rim, then go flow. The heavy rider not going tubeless comment by your bike shop is pretty laughable. I'm 225 geared up and been running tubeless with no problems for 2 years now.
    Thanks. I didn't think it made sense that I weighed too much to go tubeless.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    You either had to hit something REALLY hard or were underinflated, rims don't generally dent for no good reason, what pressure were you running at the time of the dent? Re re-using spokes: I built the rear on my 26er in the early '90s using Ritchie/DT db spokes (14/16 iirc) and alloy nipples, since then I've worn out and replaced 3 or 4 rims on the same hub/spokes/nipples, doing quite a few cat1 races and open class cx way back when. I'm 6'3 and have been between 175 and 200# on that bike, but I tend to not break much stuff in general. -just my experience, I understand some people have had bad luck re-using spokes and nipples, I've had bad luck with anything other than DT spokes&nipples.
    I've always run 30 to 35 psi. But, I was losing air pressure between rides so I may have been under-inflated during a ride which caused the dented rim. I didn't feel anything though.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Arch is fine with your weight, unless you want a little bigger tire footprint & slightly stronger rim, then go flow. The heavy rider not going tubeless comment by your bike shop is pretty laughable. I'm 225 geared up and been running tubeless with no problems for 2 years now.
    Indeed, at 185lbs not sure why your shop would tell you not to go tubeless. There are some very lightweight race-day rims on the market that might be too light for someone your size, but an Arch is certainly not one of them.

    That said, I'm 200lbs and have dented a Flow - only because I was playing around with tire pressures and went a bit too low on a rocky trail and banged the bejeezus out of the rim a few times. But that's strictly operator error, not a flaw with the rim.

  16. #16
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    As for rims I just tacoed a WTB i23 frequency Team issue with a relatively light wipeout, was very shocked that the front tire was whistled to tell you the truth. On my other bike I have Stans Arch EX and I am around 225 geared and have had the same wipeouts with these rims holding true. In all honesty it was a light front tire wash out and I never hit the ground, bike slide out I unclipped and was on my feet, picked up bike tacoed front wheel, I was like WTF! **** happens, rebuild it and move on, ordered another Stans.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    As for rims I just tacoed a WTB i23 frequency Team issue with a relatively light wipeout
    That's crazy to hear... I've read good things about the i23's... but they are (somewhat) new yet. I've been on the WTF train with rims as well. It's funny how you can taco sometimes on the stupidest landings or wipeout... I suppose just hitting it right and having your weight on it?

  18. #18
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    If your shop will replace the rim and spokes, including labor fro $150, that's a really good deal. Go with the Arch EX. I've ridden DT rims and Stan's, both tubeless and both on rough, rocky terrain. The DT rims were trashed within 4 months. They just seemed very soft. I've been running Flows for years tubeless on my SS. A friend runs the Arch, also tubeless. We ride in some of the rockiest terrain you can find, every ride. We both weigh 190. We are also running Ardent 2.4's up front. At your weight, you should be able to run lower pressure than 30 and have confidence in your rims. The big benefit of tubeless is better traction. If you're running 30-35, you're missing out.

    Go with the Stan's. Definitely a more stout rim. If you want no more worries, go with the Flow. It only weighs 50 grams more and you'll have a wider footprint on whichever tire you're running.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by azjonboy; 08-08-2013 at 02:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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  19. #19
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    Rim dents are common with lighter weight rims when hitting sharp rocks at speed. Running tubeless encourages lower pressures and dents happen more frequently. DT rims are softer than many and dent more easily.

    Most dents can be straitened to be good enough for holding tubeless air pressures. There is a Park tool for straitening dents, or hand pliers can do it without scratching if using something to protect the rim such as thin cardboard.

    An experienced mountain bike shop can straighten rim dents in a few minutes, tire remounting adds time.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby View Post
    Rim dents are common with lighter weight rims when hitting sharp rocks at speed. Running tubeless encourages lower pressures and dents happen more frequently. DT rims are softer than many and dent more easily.

    Most dents can be straitened to be good enough for holding tubeless air pressures. There is a Park tool for straitening dents, or hand pliers can do it without scratching if using something to protect the rim such as thin cardboard.

    An experienced mountain bike shop can straighten rim dents in a few minutes, tire remounting adds time.
    yes..how bad is the dent? My rear is worn out and needs replacing , but still holds air and goes round. On a mtb with low pressures and fat tyres I doubt I'd feel a huge difference. My VXC's are pretty soft and I have bent the rim beads back so many times I can't remember. If the rim is soft it may bend easily but it's probably not going to crack first easily.

  21. #21
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    Replacing the your rim with Arch EX is awesome for that money, do it! Also can't go tubeless because your 185?? lol false, I would go tubeless as well. Weigh your old rim once it has been removed and report back. It's just a curious data point for me and may be informative for u...

  22. #22
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    After all this, just gotta say that a knowledgable shop owner who thinks you are too heavy to run tubeless would have me looking for a new shop.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    Yeah, the bike store owner told me that "heavier" riders shouldn't go tubeless. I'm 5'11" and weigh 185. I didn't realize I was "heavy". Should I not be riding tubeless?

    This is BS. I'm 185 lbs. and I've been riding tubeless for 5 years without issue. I even have customers who are over 250 lbs riding tubeless.


    If you want a stout tubeless rim, Velocity Blunts. And use the Bontrager TLC rimstrip. Fits the rim perfectly and allows for seamless tubeless install.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Replacing the your rim with Arch EX is awesome for that money, do it! Also can't go tubeless because your 185?? lol false, I would go tubeless as well. Weigh your old rim once it has been removed and report back. It's just a curious data point for me and may be informative for u...
    I had a bike mechanic straighten out the dent and it has held on my last 5 rides, same trails, same "heavy 185 lbs.".

  25. #25
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    When it comes to rims, it's more of a popularity contest on these forums than it is a critical comparison.

    When I ask people what exactly they like about something, such as Stan's rims, and really press them for concrete comparisons to other alternatives, their answers are usually vague at best. Question them "police-style", asking the same question repeatedly, if the answer I get isn't perfectly clear, and they start to become uncertain about their own claims. I don't know how many times people tell me how "easy" it is to set a product up, due to videos offered online, then later admit to, and complain about many other things that might contradict their earlier claims, yet in their conclusion they rave about it and stand behind the brand... I guess it's all about the ownership experience, and not about the product sometimes. Give a man a few "working-class" videos on how to use something, and it seems they start loving that brand.

    If the Syncros rims are 1/2 price, why not? Do you want your rim choice to be a detailed lesson in material science, knowing what exactly the tensile strength, Young's modulus, ultimate strength, etc. of the material used are? Do you want to be sold on which country its extruded at and how the ends are joined and how the spoke holes are designed? Do you want to jump on any trendy bandwagons, like the wider inner width and shape of bead hook?

    I'd give you advice, but I don't think what I would do is any good. I typically downgrade to something more "heavy duty" when something breaks (becomes unusable/unfixable) and upgrade to something, broken or not, "lighter and at least as strong & stiff" when I spend too much time researching, with me opting for something better and better (and more expensive) the more I research.

    Interesting to hear that the rim got fixed by just sort of straightening out the dent. Would imagine that the metal in that area lost a significant portion of its fatigue life in that process, even if it's new. People say replace more because that rim has a quite a bit of uncertainty to it, but a handy guy can squeeze out every bit of life out of it, and keep such things from winding up being stacked up at the land fill. At least you know that kind of metal is pliable enough to not fail violently, judging by how it dents.

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