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  1. #1
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    wheel build suggestions - when is it worth the money?

    So, I'm currently on a stock Kona Honzo 2012. This is my first 29'r, and I definitely see some benefits, but really do miss things on my 26. The last 26 I rode was a similar build/geo, so I think ive been able to make a pretty good assessment of what I do and dont like about the niner. The glaring issue is the playfullness, I ride flat pedals, short stem wide bars and throwing the bike around in the air, and in corners doesnt seem to be as fun. I actually feel like I have a lot of trouble even getting the bike sideways at all now.

    This still under weighs the benefits to me at the moment though, but this could wear off a bit, and I could want to be more fun again. I want to make sure I give this a real shot though, and am thinking the build could have something to with this.

    The wheels seem quite heavy, this is my setup:
    Front Hub - Formula Disc
    Rear Hub - Shimano M475 Disc
    Spokes - Stainless 14g
    Rims - WTB FX 23
    Tires - Maxxis Ardent 2.4 front 2.25 rear with tubes

    I was thinking less rotation mass might help this bike a lot? especially with the big hoops? How much difference does 100g a rim really make? I would like to go tubeless and would consider a tire change as well.

    My thoughts are Stans Flow's? paired to ....? I would like to keep the cost relatively low, but it might be a good time to build up a good custom wheel set. Are there any great deals out there at the moment? Is it really worth dropping 600+ or will a $300 wheelset make a big difference?

    Keep in mind, I'm 6'4" 220 lbs, riding rocky and rooty stuff in new england.

    -Sean
    Last edited by scurry4; 11-19-2012 at 08:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sun Ringle Charger Experts (or Pros if you can find a deal)

    /thread


  3. #3
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    I have the Sun Ringle Charger Experts on my 26er Trance and really like them. Theyre made in the same place as Stans wheels (same hubs too). Theyve worked very well and were a fairly lightweight inexpenisve upgrade (relatively speaking).
    So yeah, check out some Sun Ringle Charger and Stans Arch/Flow wheelsets. Really good bang for the buck and their hubs are quite nice.

    (ive been running mine tubeless with standard WTB Race tires for 2 seasons now, no problems)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    Sun Ringle Charger Experts (or Pros if you can find a deal)

    /thread

    Yeah, leading towards that direction thanks to your other posts too.

  5. #5
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    Here's a build that should work.
    Project Wheel Build: The All Arounder- Final Review
    I did ArchEx with a star ratchet rear and ZTR front, both have changeable endcaps--- and Supercomp spokes. 50lbs less though

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scurry4 View Post
    Yeah, leading towards that direction thanks to your other posts too.
    Cheapest I've found so far.

    New Sun Ringle 29" Stans Tubeless Charger Expert Wheelset 15mm QR F 12mm or QR R | eBay

    Plus those are the 2012 sets. Looks to have the new updated hub design.

    I'd offer $300 and see if he bites.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    Cheapest I've found so far.

    New Sun Ringle 29" Stans Tubeless Charger Expert Wheelset 15mm QR F 12mm or QR R | eBay

    Plus those are the 2012 sets. Looks to have the new updated hub design.

    I'd offer $300 and see if he bites.

    Nice find, I need the 20mm though, bust someone else should snatch that up.

    I wish more wheels came in the raw alluminium look, like the 521's used to.


    Edit: forgot they were convertable, now I'll have to consider that more.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    Cheapest I've found so far.

    New Sun Ringle 29" Stans Tubeless Charger Expert Wheelset 15mm QR F 12mm or QR R | eBay

    Plus those are the 2012 sets. Looks to have the new updated hub design.

    I'd offer $300 and see if he bites.
    So they sold for $300, question is are you the owner?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    So they sold for $300, question is are you the owner?
    No, I decided I should try and give the business to my local shop/the place I used to work. Or at least, now that there gone I've decided that.

    I can't imagine the margin is very high on these though.

  10. #10
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    If I were in your shoes, I'd pick the hubset that best matches your needs and budget, and lace them to a set of Flow EX rims using DT Comp (2.0/1.8) butted spokes with DT Prolock alloy nips.

    You'll lose a pile of weight, gain the ability to safely run tubeless, and will also gain a measure of 'snappiness' that your current set lacks.

    If you opt to go 36h then DT SuperComps would be a good choice, but at 32h I'd stick with Comps.

    Good luck,

    MC

  11. #11
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    i recommend learning to build your own wheels. you can really save a lot of money and end up with really nice set of wheels if you source your parts well. I bought an online pdf from roger musson at wheelbuilder dot uk and it was super easy to do. the first set I did, I brought them to my lbs just to look them over and get the thumbs up from them and they said I did a great job. i've since built several sets for me and friends

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    What do people like for tires? Like I said, I ride in new england, trails are twisty, so cornering is prime for me. Theres usually quite a bit of wet stuff, but not a ton, roots and rocks in the corners and everywhere else.

    Iv'e only used the ardents on my 29. I was thinking getting a true tubeless ready set would make sense, but they are quite heavy. I would by the ardents again, but think maybe I should try some more. The Hans Dampfs look great, and I could get the 2.35 at the same weight as the 2.25 in maxxis. Any other suggestions? I would like to stay on the wider side, but I dont know if I can fit more than the 2.25 ardent I have on the back now.

    I'm also really tempted by the low weight of the racing ralph, with the 2.25 in the back and 2.35 front.

    Also, how about the bontrager 29-4's, the tread looks nice to me

  13. #13
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    I was looking at the new Specialized 2.3 tires but reading reviews that are running on the small side.

    What I love about my Ardent 2.4/2.25 setup is their size/volume. Tires are massive. And while I love them in the dry summer months, when it's muddy and wet now, they are horrid in these conditions (but I rarely ride now anyway).

    I wouldn't really worry myself about getting a true UST tire. As for fitting anything in the back of the Honzo, it's already a tight fit with the 2.25. Sure people are squeezing a 2.4 Ardent in the back or a Hans Dampf, but I like to have some chainstay clearance.

    For my next set of tires (even though I have another set of Ardents that I'm thinking of selling), I'll try a Specialzed Butcher 2.4 front and Purgatory 2.3 rear.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=scurry4;9886854]The glaring issue is the playfullness, I ride flat pedals, short stem wide bars and throwing the bike around in the air, and in corners doesnt seem to be as fun. I actually feel like I have a lot of trouble even getting the bike sideways at all now.

    My 29er came equipped w/ a 2100 gram wheelset. I upgraded to a 1750 gram set same Bontranger XDX 2.1 tires. That said I didn't notice any difference in the "playfullness" or abilty to toss around - I didn't replace the wheelset w/ a performance advantage in mind either, the orig. set had rims on their last legs. I think the longer chainstays, larger 29er rear wheel contribute to the lack of "playfullness".

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=keen;9896010]
    Quote Originally Posted by scurry4 View Post
    The glaring issue is the playfullness, I ride flat pedals, short stem wide bars and throwing the bike around in the air, and in corners doesnt seem to be as fun. I actually feel like I have a lot of trouble even getting the bike sideways at all now.

    My 29er came equipped w/ a 2100 gram wheelset. I upgraded to a 1750 gram set same Bontranger XDX 2.1 tires. That said I didn't notice any difference in the "playfullness" or abilty to toss around - I didn't replace the wheelset w/ a performance advantage in mind either, the orig. set had rims on their last legs. I think the longer chainstays, larger 29er rear wheel contribute to the lack of "playfullness".
    This bike has the same CS length and most the other geo. I would be surprised if losing three lbs in the wheels didn't help.

    I have a big feeling it's the whole bb drop issue, but the weight will help I think.

  16. #16
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    Im more versed in road wheels but losing weight, esp at the perimeter makes a bike feel far more snappy. The acceleration is night and day different but again, that is on the road. There are a lot of trade offs in the mtb world. Lighter weifht tires usually mean less aggressive tread patterns so great for dry conditions terrible for the wet. Saving 300 grams at the outer edge of a wheel throufh rim and tire choice should be noticeable

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scurry4 View Post
    What do people like for tires? Like I said, I ride in new england, trails are twisty, so cornering is prime for me. Theres usually quite a bit of wet stuff, but not a ton, roots and rocks in the corners and everywhere else.
    I ride around Asheville NC in the Pisgah NF, so probably pretty similar conditions. I have been real happy with the Maxxis Crossmark in the rear. At 605 for their foldable that not a bad weight. In the front I am kind of still in search but I have an Ignitor eXC/EXO that is adverstised at 585 that I am pretty happy with. I originally got it for the rear, as it has a bit more of an aggressive tread pattern for leaf season around here. I tied a Panaracer Rampage for the front but found it too slow and heavy for my liking. I'd rather have a wider tire than the Ignitor but so far it has done well with roots, rocks and cornering. I'd like to get a few more rides on it and push it a bit before I make a decision. I do like it in the rear, but the crossmark handles well too.

    I'm probably going to try the Ikon, a bit wider than the Ignitor and it has a similar tread pattern to the Weirwulf Lt 2.5 Race that is on of my favorite tire which is unfortunately no longer in production. I thought I found 2 at one of my LBSs but it was a 26 inch. The Ardent 2.4 is also on my list as a possible front. I can deal with the weight as long as the tread pattern is fast.

    When it is all done and said I think a lot of it is personal preference. Most tires are mad ewell and perform well for what they are designed to do. I think it is finding a balance between weight, just enough of an aggressive tread as not to slow you down too much for the given terrain, and durability. Never had a flat due to thorns so tubeless isn't a real game changer for me.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=scurry4;9906625]
    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post

    I would be surprised if losing three lbs in the wheels didn't help.

    .
    At the risk of making an a$$ of my self.... 400 grams doesn't equal three pounds, right? I thought it was a little less than 1 pound. scurry4 are you adding 1 pound per tube if you go tubeless?

    I agree with mikesee (usually a wise decision) about the wheel build. FWIW, Halo Spin Doctor hubs look pretty interesting. 30 POE and $100 seem to be the best engagement to $$ ratio. Best of luck.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    I ride around Asheville NC in the Pisgah NF, so probably pretty similar conditions. I have been real happy with the Maxxis Crossmark in the rear. At 605 for their foldable that not a bad weight. In the front I am kind of still in search but I have an Ignitor eXC/EXO that is adverstised at 585 that I am pretty happy with. I originally got it for the rear, as it has a bit more of an aggressive tread pattern for leaf season around here. I tied a Panaracer Rampage for the front but found it too slow and heavy for my liking. I'd rather have a wider tire than the Ignitor but so far it has done well with roots, rocks and cornering. I'd like to get a few more rides on it and push it a bit before I make a decision. I do like it in the rear, but the crossmark handles well too.

    I'm probably going to try the Ikon, a bit wider than the Ignitor and it has a similar tread pattern to the Weirwulf Lt 2.5 Race that is on of my favorite tire which is unfortunately no longer in production. I thought I found 2 at one of my LBSs but it was a 26 inch. The Ardent 2.4 is also on my list as a possible front. I can deal with the weight as long as the tread pattern is fast.

    When it is all done and said I think a lot of it is personal preference. Most tires are mad ewell and perform well for what they are designed to do. I think it is finding a balance between weight, just enough of an aggressive tread as not to slow you down too much for the given terrain, and durability. Never had a flat due to thorns so tubeless isn't a real game changer for me.
    I would steer clear of the ikon, its ok but the ignitor i think rolls better with better traction. I have 1 on the back with an ardent up front and so far i like that combo best out of the maxxis line. The only 1 i haven't had time to put on yet is the beaver
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=ppfeifer;9908286]
    Quote Originally Posted by scurry4 View Post

    At the risk of making an a$$ of my self.... 400 grams doesn't equal three pounds, right? I thought it was a little less than 1 pound. scurry4 are you adding 1 pound per tube if you go tubeless?

    I agree with mikesee (usually a wise decision) about the wheel build. FWIW, Halo Spin Doctor hubs look pretty interesting. 30 POE and $100 seem to be the best engagement to $$ ratio. Best of luck.
    Nope you arent an ass! 350grams isnt even a full pound! Generally 350 gram difference in wheels can be felt IF the weight was taken from the perimeter (lighter rim, alloy nipples instead of brass, lighter tube and tire). If the weight was shed in the hubs its not going to be as noticeable. Shimano hubs are excellent hubs but quite heavy so going from them to a boutique hub will save plenty of weight but wont be as perceptible. Savibg weight from the rim and nipples is great for lightweight riders but can be tricky for us clydesdales. Also lowering spoke count can reduce weight but may allow for too much flex under load

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  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=cpfitness;9908480]
    Quote Originally Posted by ppfeifer View Post

    Nope you arent an ass! 350grams isnt even a full pound! Generally 350 gram difference in wheels can be felt IF the weight was taken from the perimeter (lighter rim, alloy nipples instead of brass, lighter tube and tire). If the weight was shed in the hubs its not going to be as noticeable. Shimano hubs are excellent hubs but quite heavy so going from them to a boutique hub will save plenty of weight but wont be as perceptible. Savibg weight from the rim and nipples is great for lightweight riders but can be tricky for us clydesdales. Also lowering spoke count can reduce weight but may allow for too much flex under load

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I was not talking about your set up. 3lbs was a quick estimate, I was not far off. My current wheelset weighs in at 2550 grams. Sun Ringle Charger Pro's come in at 1840 grams. Tubes come in at 240 each. Total loss would be 2.6 lbs.

    I dont think these wheels will be too little from me, there not even really light compared to others out there. Ive only buckled one wheel, super light bontragers, and I used to ride much harder. I dont mind truing my wheels every once in a while.

  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=scurry4;9908877]
    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post

    I was not talking about your set up. 3lbs was a quick estimate, I was not far off. My current wheelset weighs in at 2550 grams. Sun Ringle Charger Pro's come in at 1840 grams. Tubes come in at 240 each. Total loss would be 2.6 lbs.

    I dont think these wheels will be too little from me, there not even really light compared to others out there. Ive only buckled one wheel, super light bontragers, and I used to ride much harder. I dont mind truing my wheels every once in a while.
    I know you werent. Keen said that he went from 2100 grams to 1750 and then somehow someone went from that to saying it took 3lbs off the wheels, or at least thats what it sounded like.
    I'm a road wheel expert. I've got race vittoria race tubulars that are 220grams total. Thats tire and the tube inside of it. That is insanely light considering anyone on a race clincher is at 200grams for the wheel and at least another 70 for the tube. The same thing exists within mtb wheels. the tires with some of the biggest nubs and larger volume for better traction naturally are going to weigh 900 grams or so while narrower smaller nubbed dry terrain tires may be closer to 500 grams. That should be a very noticeable difference.

    EDIT Regarding your weight savings. those sound like awfully heavy tubes but regardless, if your using sealant there is definately weight involved there, depending on the amount you use but it's certainly in the range of 100-150 grams so you arent totally saving all that tube weight unless you are running tubeless without sealant which doesn't seem to be an option many choose to do.
    Last edited by cpfitness; 11-26-2012 at 07:40 PM.

  23. #23
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    I found a set of new Flow Exs with ZTR hubs on Ebay for $400. They are wide, strong, and relatively light. The hubs are convertible, so I can run them on whatever fork or bike I may buy in the future. A few mouse clicks and done.

    I ride rocks and roots too. I'm running a Hans Dampf 2.35 SS up front, and Racing Ralph 2.25 SS rear. Both work great, but the Ralph is getting torn up on the rock. I've lost a few knobs, and many of the middle ones are peeling a layer off the top.

  24. #24
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    You worked in a bike shop, and still all this questions ?
    Belgian beer and Scotch whisky.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by thasingletrackmastah View Post
    You worked in a bike shop, and still all this questions ?
    I'm asking for suggestions from experiences on what people have found to work well and be worth the money. Who are you to judge? The shop I worked at didn't deal with high end mountain bikes, and 29ers were not very big when I was there, it's also been a couple of years.

    From my past experiences with sun ringle, I would not have chose to go with them. But it seems there new stuff is good, so I'm glad I asked.

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