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  1. #1
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    29er wheel choice for a big boy

    Ok I need a bit of advice here. I'm getting ready to build a Tallboy LT with a pike 150 in front. I'm trying to decide on a wheelset. Have gotten several recommendations and I think I'm down to either: I9 gravity wheels at $1200 or 36 spoke Chris King hubs on a flow rim for 1000. Or how bout a pacenti dl31 on a hope hub for $700.
    I ride all mountain trails. Slow uphill. No big jumps. I weigh 300 pounds.

    Thoughts???

  2. #2
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    Slow uphill climbing at your weight means a broken Hope freehub body. Lots of torque. I speak from experience, having done it twice (at 230 lbs). If you do choose Hope I strongly suggest replacing the freehub body with a stainless one from the get go.

    That seems like quite a range of choices and price points, with not a lot of rhyme or reason. If I were in your shoes, I'd just contact a wheel builder and see what he recommends. I've been quite happy with mikesee, and Chad at Red Barn here in Montana also has a lot of satisfied customers.

    Me, I'd mix and match your options: King and Pacenti.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  3. #3
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    I'll vote for the CK and Flow EX. I'm running flow ex and the stans 3.30HD hubs on my air nine, and so far they have held up to my ~245 riding weight and bashing through the baby head rocks and many 1' drops.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Slow uphill climbing at your weight means a broken Hope freehub body. Lots of torque. I speak from experience, having done it twice (at 230 lbs). If you do choose Hope I strongly suggest replacing the freehub body with a stainless one from the get go.

    That seems like quite a range of choices and price points, with not a lot of rhyme or reason. If I were in your shoes, I'd just contact a wheel builder and see what he recommends. I've been quite happy with mikesee, and Chad at Red Barn here in Montana also has a lot of satisfied customers.

    Me, I'd mix and match your options: King and Pacenti.
    I've talked to several... Including mikec, he recommended the kings. My reasoning is lookin for the stoutest wheelset. Not hung up so much on price. I keep my bikes a long time.

  5. #5
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    If you want the stoutest 29er rim, thats the Sun MTX33. You pay a weight penalty though and it doesn't work all that great tubeless. I have great luck running mine with the split tube method though. Flows are probably the next strongest rim but Pacenti would be very comparable.

    I've never run Kings before but they do require maintenance and some special tools. I've been running DT Swiss 440 hubs and love them. Very stout hub and extremely durable freehub mechanism. Downside is they only have 18 points of engagement compared to Kings 72 (I think).

  6. #6
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    I actually talked to dt Swiss and they recommended he 350. I figured they'd suggest the 440. 440 looks stout!

  7. #7
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    Kings with the SS freehub body. Sure, they might need to be serviced every now and then...but the servicing isn't really THAT difficult and if you can pull them apart and keep them fairly clean inside, repairning/replacing parts really won't be frequent. Hadley's are another hub option. I had a set of Hadley/Gordo's (36h) and they were a bit portly, but indestructible...wish I still had them.
    What I do for a living doesn't define me....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jab70 View Post
    I actually talked to dt Swiss and they recommended he 350. I figured they'd suggest the 440. 440 looks stout!
    The 440s are burly for sure, but they're probably overkill for the needs you outlined. But if you want the security of overbuilding, they're a good option. I had a 440 rear on my last bike. I've also had a pair of 340 hubs (the predecessor of the 350) running trouble-free since 2006.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Slow uphill climbing at your weight means a broken Hope freehub body. Lots of torque. .
    The questions is slow speed or slow pedal cadence? You can go slow speed with a higher pedal cadence and not put tons of torque through the free hub... this is how you are suppose to be climbing... 75-85rpm with the cranks. Can't do 75-85, shift easier. If you are mashing (standing on the pedals to climb) instead of pedaling at a faster/easier cadence, you will break free hubs, gall the free hub body, etc... improving your riding form will improve your bike's durability.
    Fat guys need bikes too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    The questions is slow speed or slow pedal cadence? You can go slow speed with a higher pedal cadence and not put tons of torque through the free hub... this is how you are suppose to be climbing... 75-85rpm with the cranks. Can't do 75-85, shift easier. If you are mashing (standing on the pedals to climb) instead of pedaling at a faster/easier cadence, you will break free hubs, gall the free hub body, etc... improving your riding form will improve your bike's durability.
    Yup sit and spin is how I been climbing. Standing puts me way over the front of my xl heckler and every time I've tried it chains snap and free hub bodies go crunch.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    The questions is slow speed or slow pedal cadence? You can go slow speed with a higher pedal cadence and not put tons of torque through the free hub... this is how you are suppose to be climbing... 75-85rpm with the cranks. Can't do 75-85, shift easier. If you are mashing (standing on the pedals to climb) instead of pedaling at a faster/easier cadence, you will break free hubs, gall the free hub body, etc... improving your riding form will improve your bike's durability.
    Some climbs are too steep to spin.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  12. #12
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    At 6'5" at 330 I recommend CK hubs laced to Flows EX's. I have these with 32 spoke front with 36 spoke rear and stainless free hub body. Before this wheelset I had the same set up with the regular Stan's Flows and rode those hard for a couple of years with no problems. Not even a broken spoke. And the EX's are definitely stiffer.

    As for CK hubs needing service, sure they need it, but I take it to my LBS and they charge me $35 to do the service which I only do once a year. Not a big deal.

  13. #13
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    Btw, I've also been looking at the Pacenti's laced to Hopes for my future 27.5 build and I hope they're good because they're the only brand I can find that makes 36 hole rims in 27.5. But yeah, as other's said, if you get those wheels, swap out the freehub body to stainless and you should be good.

  14. #14
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    Pacenti's shop is just an hour from the house. I may go by and talk to him and check his wheels out.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jab70 View Post
    Pacenti's shop is just an hour from the house. I may go by and talk to him and check his wheels out.
    I'd go check it out then if it's that close. Their prices are really good for complete wheel sets. There are 2 things that concern me about their wheel builds though. The first is what I mentioned before, you need a stainless free hub body instead of aluminum (I don't think this is a big deal, like a $30-50 upgrade, at least it is for a CK hub). The second is they use aluminum nipples on their builds and if you're a big dude, you really want brass. I'm still months, if not a year away from a new bike build, but am definitely going to hit them up to see if they can accommodate what I want.

  16. #16
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    I'll let u know how it goes. What you gonna build??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jab70 View Post
    I'll let u know how it goes. What you gonna build??
    Actually I would really like to know how it goes. It's always good to find out about more stuff that works for big guys.

    Well, if my ol' lady don't kill me first for even mentioning another bike build, I'd like to build up the new Knolly Warden. It's a 27.5 w/ 150mm of travel and I'm really sold on their bike quality and designs. I currently have the Knolly Chilcotin with is 26" w/ 160mm of travel and while it's an amazing bike and plenty burly and a lot of fun, it's way too much bike for what I ride locally. I also have a Niner WFO which is my go to bike for 80% of my riding and it's fun, but it's kind of a tank and even at my size I can't man handle it the way I can a 26". I think a 27.5 would be a nice compromise, although I've never ridden one yet. As of right now it's all just a pipe dream.

    I'm interested in hearing how that Pike works out for you too.

  18. #18
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    Sun Ringle Charger Pros.. Bullet proof. I snapped an axle after about 2k hard miles and they sent me a brand new axle and pawls. And converted me to a 10x135 bolt thru axle. made a world of difference in rear end strength

  19. #19
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    Ok bit of an update... I finally destroyed my dt Swiss onyx in my heckler and had a new wheel built on a White industries MI 6 hub. Good lockup. Feels solid after a month on it.

    In the meantime I got tired of trying to piece together a new bike and said screw it and bought a Tallboy LTc in SPX kit... Dt Swiss 350 hubs. It's what dt actually recommended when I emailed them. . It should be ready TOMOROW!!!

    I'll ride it a while and update the thread

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jab70 View Post
    Ok bit of an update... I finally destroyed my dt Swiss onyx in my heckler and had a new wheel built on a White industries MI 6 hub. Good lockup. Feels solid after a month on it.

    In the meantime I got tired of trying to piece together a new bike and said screw it and bought a Tallboy LTc in SPX kit... Dt Swiss 350 hubs. It's what dt actually recommended when I emailed them. . It should be ready TOMOROW!!!

    I'll ride it a while and update the thread
    Just to be clear, the Onyx uses a pawl system in the freehubs, as opposed to the star ratchets used in the 540, 440, 340, 350, 240s, and 180. hubs.

    For us bigs here with some leg strength, I'd also recommend the 350 as the budget choice for DT Swiss star ratchet hubs. I have a set of wheels with 240s hubs and they have been pounded frequently and mercilessly for over 2 years with no issues. Super easy to service too.

  21. #21
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    Haven't been able to test the 350 yet. While pedaling around my driveway the left pedal ripped out of the xt crank arm. I suspect a bad forging.

    And that onyx only had 2 little pawls. I'll never know how it lasted as good as it did.

  22. #22
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    did the insert come out of the crank or did the arm break?

  23. #23
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    There's no insert. The spindle screws into the aluminum crank arm
    The aluminum threads just gave away.

  24. #24
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    X2 on Chris King ,Stans Flo EX 36h !!
    15mm thru frt

    Im 6'5 300lbs..
    29er wheel choice for a big boy-photo-2-13-.jpg
    29er wheel choice for a big boy-photo-3-10-.jpg

  25. #25
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    29er wheel choice for a big boy

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Freightrain View Post
    X2 on Chris King ,Stans Flo EX 36h !!
    15mm thru frt

    Im 6'5 300lbs..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice set up. Looking for something like that. Where did you them built and what did if cost (if you don't mind me asking)

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