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  1. #1
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    New Wheelset Advice (Crest or Arch) for New Bike Build

    I am beginning to build up a new ride (finally)! Going to be a Vassago Optimus ti (hardtail). I have most of the components picked out, but I am having a difficult time deciding on the wheelset. I am trying to decide between Stans Crest and Arch 29er wheels. I am 140 pounds (5'6'') and usually have around 10-20 pounds of gear.

    I ride T-Bird (a FEW rocky 12-18 inch drops that I usually take at fairly slow speed), Deem, Sonoran Preserve, McDowell Mountain Preserve (Pemberton/Comp Loops/Some Bell Pass, etc), P&D, BCT, etc. So mostly XC, no flying jumps, or big drops (over 18 inches). I have been getting faster and am starting to push a lot harder in corners, and right now I have a really heavy and stiff wheelset, so I am a little afraid of getting something too flexy.

    I also plan on doing around 4-5 XC races a year on this new ride.

    So I need to decide between the Crest and the Arch wheels... Looks like the difference in weight is only about 150 grams, or 1/3 of a pound. I am not a weight weenie (but I do not want to build another tank, already have one of those, so I am watching the weights of the components I use). Leaning towards the Arch right now for the increased durability, but just can't decide, 150 grams is a handlebar (now I sound like a WW).

    Also, the wheelset I am looking at are built up around Hope Pro2 Evo hubs. I have read some reviews that indicate the rear spins a little tight, that has me slightly concerned, but not that much because that would really only affect me on the downhills when not pedaling, and not too worried about that. Anyone have experience with those hubs?

    Thanks for any advice! REALLY looking forward to getting my build going. Just have to sell my dang ATV to make it happen (it has not seen much use since I got back into MTB).

  2. #2
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Dennis, at your weight, you could certainly get away with Crests. I have a set (I'm 160 buck naked), and use them for races and have even used them when bikepacking (an extra 20 lbs on the bike). I've bumped them out of true a few times (they are factory built from stans). I also have a set of Arches on Hope Pro II's that I use for general training...more robust for sure. I've gotten off the bike a few times when I thought for sure that I'd banged them up and they are still fine. Many times I end up riding the arch on the rear, the crest on the front which is a nice combo. (one you might consider). I don't do any massive drops, but do ride aggressively sometimes.
    btw, great decision on a bike...Ti frames rock and that Optimus is a winner. Save your pennies for a ti setback seatpost and you'll gain even more comfort. cheers! R
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Dennis, at your weight, you could certainly get away with Crests. I have a set (I'm 160 buck naked), and use them for races and have even used them when bikepacking (an extra 20 lbs on the bike). I've bumped them out of true a few times (they are factory built from stans). I also have a set of Arches on Hope Pro II's that I use for general training...more robust for sure. I've gotten off the bike a few times when I thought for sure that I'd banged them up and they are still fine. Many times I end up riding the arch on the rear, the crest on the front which is a nice combo. (one you might consider). I don't do any massive drops, but do ride aggressively sometimes.
    btw, great decision on a bike...Ti frames rock and that Optimus is a winner. Save your pennies for a ti setback seatpost and you'll gain even more comfort. cheers! R
    Thanks Ray! I have found them online as a pair, so not sure I can mix and match, and this will be both my training bike and my race bike. Based on your feedback, I am now leaning towards the Crest's.

    Edit: It looks like I can mix and match, thanks for the idea, may just go Arch rear Crest front.

  4. #4
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    all 4 of my wheels have arches. I was wondering if there is s difference in seating/sealing quality between arches and crests... since I have never had a crest rim, I wouldn't know... But I do know my arches provide an excellent seating for 2Bliss (specialized) tires...
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  5. #5
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    Check out the Project 321 hubs. Have them on my Camber and Krampus. 120 point, 3 degree engagement, 6 pawl mechanism. Also, call Dave Thomas, SpeedDream Wheels for the build. Wheels are a huge part of the bike performance and Dave builds the best.

  6. #6
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    I'd go with the crests and a Dave Thomas build on the Hope hubs if you could at all swing it.

    I think you were behind me on the last night ride downhill section and you seemed to be cornering pretty well. . .

  7. #7
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    Wow, with your weight and where you ride - CRESTS all they way!

    I had these wheels come stock with my bike...
    BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping

    I rode them for 3500 miles, same trails as you and I weighed on average 160 lbs during that time. They even lighter than stans (50 grams) and cost half the price.
    I was looking to upgrade my wheels, as I am building a new bike. I just couldn't find any problem with this set, so I ended up buying another set.

  8. #8
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    Im 150lbs and ride a full suspension 29er. Total weight of me, the bike and gear is 175. Ive never had to touch my factory Stan's Crest.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_S View Post
    I'd go with the crests and a Dave Thomas build on the Hope hubs if you could at all swing it.

    I think you were behind me on the last night ride downhill section and you seemed to be cornering pretty well. . .
    Yep, that was me That was sort of a break through night for me. I was training for the FoTR race with cstem and he was helping me improve my skills. Now that I had a respectable finish at FoTR, I decided I should really upgrade my ride

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys! I knew you would all come through for me! Looks like Crests win!

  11. #11
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    You didn't ask, but I'll throw this into the mix. I'm just not a fan of Stan's wheels, UST is so much easier with regards to tires always fitting perfectly and almost always pumping up with a floor pump not compressor. I'm running AmClassic SS wheel's which are sort of a UST knock off/compatible system, had Easton Haven UST's before that. Never once did I ever experience what most Stan's users experience - that some tires are too tight to fit.

    Not with the hassle to me to go Stan's when there are other more compatible systems, UST, available.

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  12. #12
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    I weigh more and ride harder and I have Crests. Definitely OK for the use you describe.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    I weigh more and ride harder and I have Crests. Definitely OK for the use you describe.
    Dude, you look a like a younger version of Sheldon Brown.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/images/scb_eagle.jpeg
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  14. #14
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    Re: New Wheelset Advice (Crest or Arch) for New Bike Build

    I would think crests in a 29er would be flexy as ****. I weigh the same as you and would get arches every time. Keep in mind as you improve, your riding will get more aggressive and you won't want noodly wheels holding you back for just a couple grams of weight savings. Can't believe so many of you are recommending crests especially for a 29er...

  15. #15
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    To throw another non-stans option in the mix, WTB i23 Frequency rims have a little wider ID (better tire footprint), about the same weight as arches, and can take some serious flogging with no complaint. I also agree a bit beefier rim can be built up a little stiffer for a 29er- definitely a consideration for harder cornering and landing a little sideways.

    I've got a set I built on DT Swiss 350 hubs, and besides being a solid all around wheel set there have been several hits where I thought yep, that's a dent...only to have 0 damage. Worst I've done is nick the decals.

    But seriously, at your weight you can't go wrong with any of these options. Buy what you get a deal on and enjoy it!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkeykong0 View Post
    I would think crests in a 29er would be flexy as ****. I weigh the same as you and would get arches every time. Keep in mind as you improve, your riding will get more aggressive and you won't want noodly wheels holding you back for just a couple grams of weight savings. Can't believe so many of you are recommending crests especially for a 29er...
    You might think that but have you tried them. They are great for the price, weight and what they are designed for.

  17. #17
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    Was out out a group ride with 15+ people this weekend and noticed a LOT of CREST's with riders that looked a few pounds heavier than me (taller, not fatties, lol). I asked a few of them about them, and no one had anything bad to say about them. So... I just pulled the trigger on the Crest Hope Pro2 evo's. Also ordered XT Brakes, and a stem. Starting to get excited about my new build. I will start a new thread and document my build (really looking forward to it).

    Probably going to wait until I can get the frame before I get too much more stuff (horse before the cart).

  18. #18
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    You will love the XT brakes also. I paired mine with SRAM XX1 and love them. They are the best on the market right now for price and performance.

  19. #19
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Dennis, sounds like that new ti ride of yours is gonna be sweet. Post up some pics after its done!
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
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