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  1. #1
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    Best freeride wheelset for a clyde?

    Howdy,

    A girl clyde here looking for wheelset help. I am tired of breaking spokes and have decided that money is no object, I just want a wheelset that will last. I'm like 250# and want something that will hold up to the 5' drops I want to someday do. And of course I know light isn't really an option, but I'd like to avoid huge DH wheelsets that weigh 2500 grams if possible. (This may be a tall order so I can be flexible on that part if necessary ). I'm looking for something available with a 20mm front and 10mm rear thru-axle. I've ruled out factory/machine-built wheelsets since that's what I keep breaking.

    For hubs, I've been considering Kings but keep reading bad things about them loosening up, deforming under load, etc and can you even get them in a 10 mm thru axle option in the rear? I briefly considered Industry Nines but decided not enough spokes and have heard a couple bad things about them. Hopes or Hadleys maybe, but can they stand up to my abuse? DT 606 front and Hugi rear was also suggested to me.

    For rims, I dunno. Mavic 729s were suggested but look way too heavy and wide. Mavic 823s were also suggested. I've heard mixed reviews on DT rims.

    So... any thoughts guys? Thanks!!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  2. #2
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    I'm 300lbs, and I'm having a set of burly wheels built for my Heckler.

    I'm going with Hope Pro 2 hubs, which are much stronger than XT hubs and quite a bit cheaper than King or Hadley hubs.

    36 spokes front & rear, 20mm front, 135x10mm bolt-on rear.

    A friend at the LBS has a couple of last year's EX729s collecting dust, so I'm going to use those. They are huge rims, but @660grams each they're really not that heavy given their purpose.

    Except for the rear hub spacing, these are the wheels that Orange Mountain Bikes spec on their 224 downhill bike... should be burly enough.

    These wheels will migrate to a Nomad if I lose enough weight to use VPP suspension w/a higher leverage ratio than the Heckler. I'd have gotten a Bullit if Santa Cruz had decided to make an XL. Meh.

  3. #3
    Slow climbin' clyde
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    If you're thinking about building wheels, I have a set of Kings and Mavic 819s that I recommend. Very happy with them so far. Just have them built by someone reputable.

  4. #4
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    If you want the best DH/FR wheelset, lace Mavic 729s to Hadley hubs (with standard 36pt engagement, their strongest). 729s are very light for how tough they are. 32 double-butted spokes make a very strong wheel. I run this on my Whistler bike.

    If you want something lighter, more of a trail/light FR wheelset, use DT 5.1 rims. I run them on my trail bike, and have several lighter friends who go big and use them at Whistler.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your replies so far. Having looked into it a bit more, I've decided that the Mavic 729s are too wide (36mm external width) and am thinking the 823 USTs will be a nice option at 30mm wide and tubeless capability to save some weight. I've ruled out Hope hubs and am now debating between Hadleys and Kings (heavy-duty rear hub if I get the Kings). So:

    Hadleys or Kings?
    Mavic 729 or DT 5.1?

    And anyone know what the total weight of the above wheelsets might be? Thanks!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  6. #6
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    I am curious to know why you ruled out the Hope Pro 2 hubs.

  7. #7
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    Currently I have 3 wheels with 729's and Hadleys with Ti spokes, and 6 wheels with King hubs and various lighter rims.

    For rims, You cant beat 729s, strongest rim in my opinion, and the width will give excellent stability with lots of wider tires at lower pressures. if you want to go tubeless, I would say use strips with those rims, they are not too heavy. I dont like the weight or strength of the 823 or 819.

    For Hubs, i will never buy anything but kings ever again. They last forever, and just need cleaning and lube once in a while. The hadley hubs are good, but I have replaced the bearings in them much more often than i would like to. It gets expensive.

    Kings only come in 10mm funbolt,(or QR) but the threads on the funbolts are 12mm. Most through axle bikes will accept 10 or 12mm.(@135mm width) if your bike has a 12mm option, you can take the King funbolt rear axle, and drill out the threads and slide the 12mm axle for your bike right through it.... works like a charm, did this on a friends bike, its easier than it sounds.

    Ti spokes are just about the lightest you can get, and are also incredibly strong, but they are a little springy, It is debatable if you will ever notice the spring in ti spokes. Its not a problem in my opinion. Bottom line is that i break DT swiss revolutions(2mm at the shoulder) frequently, and so does one of my 230lb friends. The odd thing is that i break the steel spokes on my lighter wheelsets, but I have never lost a Ti spoke on my Heavy duty downhill wheels, and I have been riding these ti spokes for many years.
    I am a yeti addict, 8 in all:
    Currently built:
    ASR-SL, 575, DH9, Road Project, FRO
    Currently in Pieces:
    ASX, Lawill-6,ARC

  8. #8
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    Hi Beanfink, I ruled out the Hopes just because I needed to rule out something and through reading reviews and whatnot I decided that they're really good hubs, especially for the lower price, but maybe not the absolute best if price isn't an issue.

    Diesel Junkie, thanks for your input! I'd like some clarification on a couple of things you said:

    -You said you like neither the strength nor weight of the 823s compared to the 729s. Have you seen failures with the 823s? And weight-wise, Rbikes.com lists the weight of a King/729 wheelset as 5.45 lb and a King/823 wheelset as 4.40 lb. I don't want to add whole pound plus rim strips if I don't have to, and to me 30 mm is plenty wide. Thoughts?

    -You say you break DT Revolution spokes -- are those different than DT double-butted spokes? I am a bit resistant to titanium spokes because steel is stronger, and was looking at the 14/15 guage double butted steel spokes they commonly built up nicer wheelsets with.

    -Lastly, I would like to go with a 10mm quick release in the rear. Would I just buy the King hub and a QR then, and not the fun bolts? How do I make sure I get a hub with the 10mm QR option and not just a standard XC QR?

    Thanks for your help!!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  9. #9
    Creecrop
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    ryhno lite..killer price ,watch for blowout,or buy them now

  10. #10
    Captain Underpants
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    Go with DT swiss champs, or possibly comps. 36 h. King hubs are excellent, can't go wrong there, and plus they are rebuildable. (though I am a big fan of Hope) Rhynos are nice but some say they are tough to get tires on to. I have a set in 29" and love them.

    If you are going to be doing drops, jumps, you break spokes and you weigh 250, the last thing you should worry about is build weight.

    if you want a 10mm TA in the rear, ask your builder if the DT swiss 10mm QR through axle will work with your hub.

  11. #11
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    I ended up ordering King hubs (heavy-duty stainless shell rear w/ fun bolts) laced to Mavic 823 tubeless rims with 14-gage straight DT spokes. My new tires will be Hutchinson Barracuda 2.3 (why is it so hard to find tubeless tires in a 2.3??). They should come around July 25 or so, so we'll see how it works out! Thanks for the tips!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  12. #12
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    Nice choice!

    As for tires, Michelin has a lot of tubeless UST tires. Kenda is supposed to be coming out with a tubeless 2.3 series of tires this fall. At least that's what I've read on hear lateley.

  13. #13
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by A girl from Seattle
    I ended up ordering King hubs (heavy-duty stainless shell rear w/ fun bolts) laced to Mavic 823 tubeless rims with 14-gage straight DT spokes. My new tires will be Hutchinson Barracuda 2.3 (why is it so hard to find tubeless tires in a 2.3??). They should come around July 25 or so, so we'll see how it works out! Thanks for the tips!
    Why did you order straight gage spokes on that wheel? I am 230lbs and the only time I have ever broken spokes is at the J-Bend or Threads (weak links). I ride a fair amount of urban stuff and my bike has seen a lot of drops to flat concrete, max 5ft, not the best idea. I haven't broken a spoke on my current wheelset, XT hubs to Mavic 321s, or previous wheels CK hubs to 321s, both handbuilt by me. I did break like 6 on the crappy Mavic 117s or something laced to Deore hubs though, the stock machine built wheels my bike cane with.

    You will rarely see spokes broken in the center, unless they have rusted or been knicked. Actually I have been a bicycle mechanic for over four years now and I cannot recall ever seeing a spoke broken in the center that didn't have some sign of previous damage to it, be it a knick or rusting. A butted spoke has the same diameter at the threads and J-Bend as a straight gage spoke, generally giving you the same strength but with less rotational weight. It can also be argued that butted spokes are actually better because they have a little more give to them which takes some stress off of the weak links at times of high stressing on the wheel, which in turn provides for a more durable wheelset. This is probably one of the reasons that Ti spokes are so strong as well, it flexes and stretches more than steel.

    I personally don't know what to think about CK hubs, I really don't like the whole hub shell stretch thing they do when under high tension, and I like to build wheels with high tension. The instant engagement is great though and the quality is the best. I wouldn't rule out Hope Pro 2s, DT 440s w/ star ratchet system are very nice as well. I have no experience with Hadley but they seem to have a great reputation. I am also considering getting a set of the I9 classic hubs. My current XTs haven't given me any issues other than a few loosenings but I really miss the quick engagement and bling factor. Plus all good hubs make some sort of cool noise, my XTs are almost silent People need to be able to hear my coming so they have time to get out of my way, I don't stop so good you know!

  14. #14
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    Hey whats up guys. I have had a few bikes that we have set up and we either use the Azonic Outlaws or the Transition's both around $300 for the set and bombproof. I weigh 240lbs and I beat the Sh** out of my ride and they have held up. If you need a set give me a holla I deal with both. Good luck

    El Gordo

    gordobikes@yahoo.com

  15. #15
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    useless info nugget no. 1: the "official" term for a fem-Clyde is "Athena"

    useless info nugget no. 2: butted spokes make a marginally less stiff but more durable wheel, all else being equal. Ti spokes I would guess maximize on this. The reason is that there is more elasticity in the wheel to absorb hits and recover without detensioning or breaking wheel components.

    Lady Clyde, you may never have an issue with the straight-guage spokes. But, if you do, go to at least double-butted, IMO. I stopped cracking rims and popping spokes when I went to double-butted spokes (no, I'm not that smooth, and the rocks here are fun to ride through).

  16. #16
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    100% right bear got to go DB spokes.. Good Point and Athena I did not know that..

  17. #17
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    Ah, I appreciate the info on double butted spokes guys, too late now but good to know! I had heard arguments both ways before (that straight gage was stronger and that double butted was stronger) and decided to just let Colorado cyclist decide as they helped me out on 2 road wheelsets that turned out great. But if I break any spokes, I'll try replacing them all with DB.

    El Gordo, thanks for the recommendation but it was the Transition wheelset that I was breaking spokes on! That's what convinced me I needed to pony up the cash for the Kings.

    So 2 weeks after I put on my new King/Mavic 823 wheels with the Barracuda UST tires, I could not be happier. I rode them at Whistler over the weekend, both the park and the XC trails, as well as a ride at Galbraith and a couple local rides in the last couple weeks, and they have been flawless. I definitely notice the instant engagement of the rear hub, and overall the wheels seem both burlier and lighter than my last wheelset. And by the way, everyone reading this: convert to UST tubeless now! I was able to lower my tire pressure from high 40's to 35 psi and it's a world of difference in grip. They mounted right up with a floor pump and not a single burp or issue since day 1. Sweet! I wish I'd gone tubeless years ago! And also a thumbs up for the Hutchinson Barracuda tread pattern, which has worked well so far in rocks, dust, and mud. Finally a set up I can live with. Thanks for all the advice guys!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  18. #18
    Brackish
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    The Outlaws...hmmm. I picked up a pair last January, when I was running about 255#, for my Dirtbag. After five rides the bearings in the rear hub completely seized. OK, never had that before, but forty bucks and a new set of top notch bearings later and we are back on the road. Cut to about a month ago (I'm now about 225#, for reference), and I'm doing a rolldown up in the Garbanzo zone of Whistler. Nothing spectacular, just a steep roller to a fire road crossing. Maybe eight feet of steepness. I roll down, fork bottoms out and the wheel runs through a half turn and then I endo HARD. Shake off the dust, no blood dripping out of the armor, look at the bike and behold my new taco! The front rim has completely deformed at the bottom, so it forced it's way through one half turn then stopped dead when the warp came around. F%$#ing Azonic wheels...I have done this same roll with an OEM wheelset with Mavic 219s laced to Formula hubs and with the OEM wheels from my other IH bike, Mavic 325s laced to no-name hubs and had no problems...
    The rear turns into a spare, the front turns into recycling, Transition gets more of my business.
    AGFS, you should come up to Surrey bike park with Julie and I, I think you guys would have a blast there!

  19. #19
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    Wheels!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by carbuncle
    The Outlaws...hmmm. I picked up a pair last January, when I was running about 255#, for my Dirtbag. After five rides the bearings in the rear hub completely seized. OK, never had that before, but forty bucks and a new set of top notch bearings later and we are back on the road. Cut to about a month ago (I'm now about 225#, for reference), and I'm doing a rolldown up in the Garbanzo zone of Whistler. Nothing spectacular, just a steep roller to a fire road crossing. Maybe eight feet of steepness. I roll down, fork bottoms out and the wheel runs through a half turn and then I endo HARD. Shake off the dust, no blood dripping out of the armor, look at the bike and behold my new taco! The front rim has completely deformed at the bottom, so it forced it's way through one half turn then stopped dead when the warp came around. F%$#ing Azonic wheels...I have done this same roll with an OEM wheelset with Mavic 219s laced to Formula hubs and with the OEM wheels from my other IH bike, Mavic 325s laced to no-name hubs and had no problems...
    The rear turns into a spare, the front turns into recycling, Transition gets more of my business.
    AGFS, you should come up to Surrey bike park with Julie and I, I think you guys would have a blast there!
    I have a set of Mavic DeeMax wheels and they have been bombproof. I just cleaned and re-lubbed the freehub body this week and it works perfect. These wheels are tubeless too!

    I also have a set of Easton Havoc wheels which are very light and also tototally trouble free taking a beating under my phat ass!

  20. #20
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbuncle
    AGFS, you should come up to Surrey bike park with Julie and I, I think you guys would have a blast there!
    Hey Tracy! Ha ha, I remember you from ABC but you don't remember me!

    Yes, I would love to come to Surrey with you and Julie, we must make a plan in the near future!
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  21. #21
    Brackish
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    What, I remember! I'm not that fried, jeez...

  22. #22
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    Oh sorry! LOL. I thought Julie said you could only maybe-sorta-kinda remember me! And I confess I did not remember you, exactly, until I saw a photo, and then I was like, "Oh yeah, that guy! He was nice!"

    Just have to give you a hard time
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  23. #23
    Brackish
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    Nice work! Whistler, Whistler...WHISTLER!

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