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  1. #1
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    Wheel Build Help?

    I'm starting to plan my wheel build. While I've been riding since the mid '80s, and I know quite a bit about bikes, I'm "wheel dumb." In trying to make sense of everything I'm reading, I'm getting overwhelmed. I would prefer to try to build the wheels myself over getting a factory wheelset: for the simple satisfaction I get in learning and accomplishing new things.

    I would say my budget is around $500 CAD to get the entire wheelset built.

    The wheels I'm building will be going on an 18.5" Norco Charger 9.1 29er. (Charger 9 Adventure XC Mountain Bikes Norco Bicycles). I have no immediate plans to change the brakes or drive-train on this bike: though I could do both in the future.

    I could use some recommendations and feedback.

    Rims:
    • Must be able to support 190lb rider (I'm 135 pounds, but hubby is 190lbs, and he could ride it too), and fully loaded panniers. 250lbs-275lbs in total?
    • Trail riding: paved, gravel, dirt, and clay for the most part. Nothing particularly aggressive, but some decent climbs. No racing.
    • Schrader or Presta compatible. I'm not picky, but I haven't made the transition to tubeless.
    • 25mm+ inner bead
    • Stay true
    • Offset spokes? I read something, somewhere, about this being an advantage to keeping a wheel true.
    • Ummm . . . black with white lettering. I can't help it. I want everything to match nicely. I may be a woman with tools, but I'm still a woman: aesthetics are important to me.


    Hubs:
    • I'm pretty clueless, here.
    • Disk brake compatible front and rear.
    • Both wheels will need to be quick release.
    • I may go from a 9-speed drive-train to a 10-speed in the future.
    • If I change the brakes I'll be sticking with a Shimano hydraulic system.


    Spokes:
    • Beyond colour preferences, I have no idea what to look for.


    Nippes:
    • Same as with spokes. Beyond colour preferences, I don't know what to look for.


    I may have missed some relevant information. If I have, I can certainly provide it. I haven't decided what tires I'll be running on them yet.

    I have no overwhelming brand loyalties for any wheel components.

    Thx.
    Last edited by neacail; 05-26-2013 at 03:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    When you say winter do you mean snow riding? What kind of hubs do you want and what dropouts do you have on your fork?

    I'd suggest either Stan's Arches or Sunringle' Inferno 27. The Arches are about 89 dollars each, The Infernos are about 49 each.
    For the front hub, maybe go with a Hope Pro 2. This way, it's convertible to any fork. Rear hub, Shimano M529. Great all around hub for around 49 bucks.
    DT Swiss spokes, double butted... 2/0, 1.8.
    Black brass nipples.
    Use tubes or not in either rim.
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  3. #3
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    I second most of what NYrr496 said.

    Re: hubs, make sure you get a 135mm spaced rear hub and 100mm spaced front. Centerlock hubs work with Shimano's proprietary rotors, 6-bolt hubs work with some Shimano rotors as well as everything else. It's hard to go wrong with Shimano Deore, SLX, or XT.

    Go with presta drilled rims (it'll make your eventual switch to tubeless easier). Stan's Arch or Flow should fit the bill for you, but check 29er rim reviews on this site.

    I'd recommend picking up a copy of The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt. It explains the physics of wheelbuilding, gives step-by-step instructions, and offers some general guidance on component selection.
    Hey sexy mama, wanna kill all humans?

  4. #4
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    Just trying to get a clear picture of the situation. If the weight of the riders is going to vary that much, the stock (it doesn't say it has the Solo Air version, so I will assume it's the coil version, but please correct me if it's not) fork is not going to perform properly in at least one of those situations. If you're not using an air fork, that seems like it would be a good place to invest some of that wheelset budget so the fork could be adjusted to perform for such a wide variance in rider/pannier weight. I think you could build (given that you're wanting to build them yourself) an appropriate wheelset for about $350+/-.

    Just wondering why you're specifying a 25mm inner bead width on an XC bike? That requirement is not really in line with what that bike is generally designed for, and to spend up to $500 for a wheelset to put on a bike, it doesn't seem like this will be a wheelset that matches up very well with your bike compared to the choices available if you were to go to a 23mm or even 21mm inner width.

    There are plenty of good rear hubs that would work fine for this application, but I think I would specify a Hope Pro II (or other hub that would allow for conversion to different axle standards) in case you want to make changes to either the fork or even have the wheels migrate to a different bike in the future.

  5. #5
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    Also, if this is your first wheel build, and you don't seem to be a true weight-weenie, I would go with brass nipples.

    As for spokes, a good quality double butted 2.0/1.8/2.0 spoke will be strong, durable, and will be fairly easy to use when building your first set of wheels. DT-Swiss, Wheelsmith, or Sapim are all good brands for spokes. You can get double butted Sapim double butted (silver) spokes for as little as $.40 each.

    See Mike T.'s excellent wheelbuilding tips website for good information on building your first set of wheels:

    Wheels

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    When you say winter do you mean snow riding?
    Oops! Sorry. What I meant by "winter wheel build" was when I'm sitting on my arse avoiding the snow and not riding! I've edited that out of the original post.

    I have no idea what kind of hubs I want. The drop outs are quick release, but I don't know what the dimensions of the drop out are.

    Edit: I've got a bunch of other questions to answer from the following posts, so it is going to take me a bit to compose my thoughts, and re-evaluate a couple of things.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I'd suggest either Stan's Arches or Sunringle' Inferno 27. The Arches are about 89 dollars each, The Infernos are about 49 each.
    For the front hub, maybe go with a Hope Pro 2. This way, it's convertible to any fork. Rear hub, Shimano M529. Great all around hub for around 49 bucks.
    DT Swiss spokes, double butted... 2/0, 1.8.
    Black brass nipples.
    Use tubes or not in either rim.
    Great info. Thank you! The Sunringle Inferno 27 was one wheel that jumped at me as a possibility.

    I will check out the rest of what you've suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by solomon707 View Post
    I second most of what NYrr496 said.

    Re: hubs, make sure you get a 135mm spaced rear hub and 100mm spaced front. Centerlock hubs work with Shimano's proprietary rotors, 6-bolt hubs work with some Shimano rotors as well as everything else. It's hard to go wrong with Shimano Deore, SLX, or XT.

    Go with presta drilled rims (it'll make your eventual switch to tubeless easier). Stan's Arch or Flow should fit the bill for you, but check 29er rim reviews on this site.

    I'd recommend picking up a copy of The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt. It explains the physics of wheelbuilding, gives step-by-step instructions, and offers some general guidance on component selection.
    More great info for me to mull over. Thank you! I've got the Shimano Deore BR-M446, which has that set's standard rotor (which has 6 bolt hubs). I'll check out the parts you've recommended, and see about getting myself a copy of the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Just trying to get a clear picture of the situation. If the weight of the riders is going to vary that much, the stock (it doesn't say it has the Solo Air version, so I will assume it's the coil version, but please correct me if it's not) fork is not going to perform properly in at least one of those situations. If you're not using an air fork, that seems like it would be a good place to invest some of that wheelset budget so the fork could be adjusted to perform for such a wide variance in rider/pannier weight. I think you could build (given that you're wanting to build them yourself) an appropriate wheelset for about $350+/-.
    You are correct. It is the coil spring version of the XC32 that I've got. Thank you for pointing this out. This is something that I have to mull over.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Just wondering why you're specifying a 25mm inner bead width on an XC bike? That requirement is not really in line with what that bike is generally designed for, and to spend up to $500 for a wheelset to put on a bike, it doesn't seem like this will be a wheelset that matches up very well with your bike compared to the choices available if you were to go to a 23mm or even 21mm inner width.
    I read an article earlier today (I don't remember where) which stated that basically all mountain bikes, with the exception of DH bikes, were running rims which had too narrow an inner bead. It was suggested that 25mm was the smallest one should go, as to go smaller than that caused excessive rounding of the tire, which had detrimental effects on handling.

    My husband's bike (Kona Kahuna KONAWORLD) has rims with a 23mm inner bead. My bike's rims have a 19mm bead. There is very pronounced rounding of my tires compared to his. I prefer the way his tires connect with the ground. They inspire a bit more confidence.

    Also, as I run tubes, the 25mm inner bead is supposed to help reduce pinch flats (which I do get on occasion ).

    25mm seems like a good idea at present, but I'm certainly open to opposing arguments. I definitely don't want to go lower than 23mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    There are plenty of good rear hubs that would work fine for this application, but I think I would specify a Hope Pro II (or other hub that would allow for conversion to different axle standards) in case you want to make changes to either the fork or even have the wheels migrate to a different bike in the future.
    Thank you. I think the Hope Pro II for the front has come up the winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Also, if this is your first wheel build, and you don't seem to be a true weight-weenie, I would go with brass nipples.

    As for spokes, a good quality double butted 2.0/1.8/2.0 spoke will be strong, durable, and will be fairly easy to use when building your first set of wheels. DT-Swiss, Wheelsmith, or Sapim are all good brands for spokes. You can get double butted Sapim double butted (silver) spokes for as little as $.40 each.

    See Mike T.'s excellent wheelbuilding tips website for good information on building your first set of wheels:

    Wheels
    Wonderful. Thank you!

  8. #8
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    23mm opens you up to rims like the WTB i23 Frequency and Stans Flow, which are PLENTY wide, and make going to tubeless very easy. I'm on board with the wider rims making a better tire profile, but going wider than 23mm on an XC bike is overkill IMHO, and this is coming from someone that weighs 275lbs and rides one wheelset with 19.5mm inner width, and one with 23.6mm. I'm not saying that you should not do it, just that it isn't necessary and knocks out some otherwise excellent rim choices (for your application) that you would have available with 23mm to 24.9mm inner rim width.

  9. #9
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    I built two wheelsets with the 21mm interior width ArchEx rims. The Park TM-1 tension meter makes the build very manageable in stages. That width is currently working fine at low 18-20psi pressure with 2.25 Nobby Nics and Racing Ralphs. I wouldn't mind a wider rim if it was also as light or lighter. Unfortunately the choices aren't there yet, maybe next season. They have a low small bead hook so they don't pinch flat even at low psi when I use a 26x2.1-2.5 tube(they stretch a lot more than you think)
    I used Dt SuperComp spokes and I would only go with brass nipples to avoid the difficulty of corrosion which will make truing near impossible after a year.
    Even though you have dropouts now that may change on a future bike. I would go with hubs with changeable endcaps to deal with 15mm front forks and 142 rears. To stiffen up your existing setup you can go with caps for DtSwiss RWS thrubolts 9mm front and 10mm rear. I use and like them.
    Front hubs with sealed bearings are all similar-- stainless would be nice. For the rear I used star ratchet Dt 340 off ebay with 36 tooth upgrades. 350 also can be reasonably priced. 370 do not have star ratchets.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neacail View Post
    I'm starting to plan my wheel build. While I've been riding since the mid '80s, and I know quite a bit about bikes, I'm "wheel dumb." In trying to make sense of everything I'm reading, I'm getting overwhelmed. I would prefer to try to build the wheels myself over getting a factory wheelset: for the simple satisfaction I get in learning and accomplishing new things.

    I would say my budget is around $500 CAD to get the entire wheelset built.
    )
    I really like the light bicycles carbon all mountain rims, sapim spokes from dans comp (come with nipples).

    The rims are 360 for a pair shipped, sapim spokes are .50 each (so $32), which only leaves $100 for hubs. If you can stretch to 600-700 it would work though.

    I would add that wheels that are good for 290lbs are different than those good for 190. I would probably go with two wheelsets. Cheap heavy but durable wheelset for bikepacking (whats another 2 lbs when you are carrying over 100). and then a lighter carbon wheelset for XC.

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