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  1. #1
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    best "out of the box" wheelset?

    Fellow Hosses-
    What is in your experience the best out of the box wheelset for us bigguns? I eat these things for breakfast and I am contimplating going high end for a wheelset that will hold up...I have several sets- sunrim Rhino laced on Deore Disc Hubs, Alex TD17s, so on...that last about a month before needing to be trued, and if I delay even a little I blow spokes... I keep purchasing wheelsets around the $100 mark and have quite a few extra fronts, but the rears are stacking up. All the LBSs around here charge rediculous amounts to rebuild so it is cheaper to just replace. What are your opinions?
    BTW- I am 6'2 and #255, riding HT Leader 516H- don't laugh, the Leader is the best frame I have ever owned. The rest of the bike is top end- I have just skimped on wheels. But to plug for Leader- give them a try if you are looking for a good and strong frameset....I was dumbfounded by the quality at just $109!
    I ride pretty hard but don't drop more than 2', and hit logs around 2.5' with sharp climbing angles- lots of root fields but never anything close to free riding. I just want a wheelset that will last in these conditions!
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Humpmaster general
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    I am in a similar situation and I am going with the Azonic Outlaws. A 36 spoke dowhill freeride wheel. The boys on the downhill board seem to like them. Jenson has them for $250, but they will price match to at least $199.99.
    your moma's so ugly, one time she looked out of the window and got arrested for mooning

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hass
    I am in a similar situation and I am going with the Azonic Outlaws. A 36 spoke dowhill freeride wheel. The boys on the downhill board seem to like them. Jenson has them for $250, but they will price match to at least $199.99.
    where did you find them for 199? i need a wheelset for my kona bad and i was looking at the outlaws. i am running them on my cove and there awesome. i think i have only broke 3 spokes and that is it.

  4. #4
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    Crossmax SL

    If you can get the money, the Crossmax SL's will be the last set you have to buy. Try to find a slightly used set. You said that you keep replacing the $100 wheelset with the same. If you cant drop that much for the Crossmax's then look at some Mavic 717's with XT hubs.
    I had the Mavic 717's for three years with out a problem. My new bike came with the Crossmax SL's and they are super strong and feel great. I am 220lbs.

  5. #5
    HammerHead
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    Velocity wheels from www.superspokes.com

    I ride the following
    1. Mavic Crossride (2000g, $180) for XC
    2. Velcity custom wheelset (2000g, $300) XC/DH
    I can recommend Velocity wheels, I ordered them through www.superspokes.com, they can easily customize it with 32H, 36h or 40h, size of spokes. hub selection,spoke selection. double or triple cross laced. After ordering I got wheels in one week. I ordered also custom wheels from them for my tandem.
    Depending what riding you do you can use Velocity Cliffhanger(DH/XC), Heater(XC). or HeavyMetal(DH)
    https://www.superspokes.com/pages/784545/index.htm
    make sure to talk to customer service rep if you do not find ordering option you want.
    All custom build Velocity wheels from superspokes.com are the same price around $300. I used 36H rim with trpple cross lacing double butted 14g spokes.
    2012 Cannondale Flash Carbon 3 29er
    2013 Tarmac Sport
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    "What is wrong?"
    "You need a new bike"

  6. #6
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    I was having the exact same problem and trying the exact same solution. The I got 36 spoke Velocity Cliffhangars on XT hubs custom made at Spin Lite (http://www.spinlitecycling.com/). These wheels hold up to my clydeliness.

  7. #7
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    i have been riding the crossmax xl's. they fall somewhere between a cross country race wheel set and a free ride set. I think they strike a great balance between stiff/strong and light. but make sure you have a good grip on your ankles before you pull out your credit card.

  8. #8
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    I am having a similar problem with wheels. I went to a 36 spoke Sun RhinoLite rim which lasted a little longer but I am still blowing out spokes. I'm 6'4" and go 300lbs so my new bike mechanic is suggesting a custom built Tandem Rear hub (Disc) by Phil Wood with Sun Rhinolite 48Hole rim and DT spokes (2.0). He estimates $545 to build them. THats actually more than I spent on the Specialized HardRock Comp. Any more reasonable suggestions?

  9. #9
    HammerHead
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    I just ordered Stealth disc by Velocity from www.spinlitecycling.com, with tripple cross spokes 32h at $250. I was happy with tandem wheels by Velocity, so I am assuming this wheelset will be as strong, I will post the review once I put more mileage on them. For complete custom build of Velocity wheels for around $300 again see https://www.superspokes.com/pages/784545/index.htm
    2012 Cannondale Flash Carbon 3 29er
    2013 Tarmac Sport
    2009 Langster Moscow
    "What is wrong?"
    "You need a new bike"

  10. #10
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    A cheaper option to the Crossmax XL is the Crossmax Enduro. Same features, slightly more weight, $200 cheaper. Still $500 for a pair.
    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiingmountainman
    I am having a similar problem with wheels. I went to a 36 spoke Sun RhinoLite rim which lasted a little longer but I am still blowing out spokes. I'm 6'4" and go 300lbs so my new bike mechanic is suggesting a custom built Tandem Rear hub (Disc) by Phil Wood with Sun Rhinolite 48Hole rim and DT spokes (2.0). He estimates $545 to build them. THats actually more than I spent on the Specialized HardRock Comp. Any more reasonable suggestions?
    Were those RhinoLites handbuilt?

    In any event I'd talk to someone who builds wheels directly (SpinLite for example) and not go through your local mechanic. Tell a wheel builder your story and get him to make a suggestion.

    48 spokes seems a bit much, but you are a bunch bigger than me. Saddly, I think mountain biking is just more expensive for us big guys.

  12. #12
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by tenbsmith
    Were those RhinoLites handbuilt?

    In any event I'd talk to someone who builds wheels directly (SpinLite for example) and not go through your local mechanic. Tell a wheel builder your story and get him to make a suggestion.

    48 spokes seems a bit much, but you are a bunch bigger than me. Saddly, I think mountain biking is just more expensive for us big guys.
    The 36 spoked wheels were not custom built. Tehy came direclty from Specialized. When I started blowing spokes on the original back wheel of my Specialized HardRock Comp, the shop where I bought the bike (and had promised that this bike could handle 500 lbs) went back to Specialized and got them to upgrade to a new back wheel that they said they use on thier more expensive bikes.

    The 48 spoke wheels will be handbuilt by a guy in another shop. He claims that I really need the strength of the spokes and the better hub. I just want to be sure that I need to spend that much. In last month's BICYCLING magazine, they mentioned Azonic Outlaws, Sun SUV Disc and Bavic Crossmax XL Discs as wheels to handle "Big Guys" but I'm just trying to get the full story before I go ahead and drop a lump of change.

    You're right, everything seems more expensive for big guys!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gevorg
    I just ordered Stealth disc by Velocity from www.spinlitecycling.com, with tripple cross spokes 32h at $250. I was happy with tandem wheels by Velocity, so I am assuming this wheelset will be as strong, I will post the review once I put more mileage on them. For complete custom build of Velocity wheels for around $300 again see https://www.superspokes.com/pages/784545/index.htm
    Can you describe for me the term triple cross spokes? What are the options as far as the spokes go? I spoke to one bike shop who is trying to get me on a set of Mavic Crossmax because they do not have a bend in the spokes. I am afraid of these because they only have 24 spokes so even thought the hub-spoke connection looks strong, overall it doesn't look like it will stand up to my weight. The Mavic Crossmax XLs look like they have a higher spoke count as well as a much stronger spoke.

    THanks

  14. #14
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    I was guessing that the 36 spoke wheels were not custom built. Custom built wheels are much stronger than off the shelf wheels, so you might be able to get a decent amount of time out of custom built 36 spoke wheels. If you talk to one or two more wheel builders directly, you will get a good sense what you really need to do.

    Another point is this. Guys who build moutainbike wheels for a living and come recommended are a different breed than bike shop mechanics who build wheels. Bike shop mechanics are often not as good as guys who specialize in custom building wheels.

    As I understand it, the spokes in wheels with triple-cross lacing cross over three other spokes between the hub and the wheel. This Sheldon's guys website if very informative I googled and found this article on wheel building, if you look around you can find the answers to many questions.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

    I can't see how a 24 spoke wheel could be as strong as a 32 or 36 spoke. Are the guys at that shop roadies. Roadies deal with much different conditions than we do and there are a lot more of them. This can lead to bad advice.

  15. #15
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    You guys have been a lot of help and I appreciate it all...
    I was having a conversation with a fella down at the trail head and he made a good suggestion too...He said "Buy a spoke wrench and get familiar with it"...well, DUH! Hmmm...
    Azonic Outlaws it is! I'll ride em' till they bust (if they bust) and at the same time get parts and pieces together to build my own. We pay big money for wheels.. Don't get me wrong, wheel builders can build a wheel ten times as fast as I can- but I priced out some rims, hubs and spokes just to find a lot of the cash is going to the build itself.. I'm going to give it a shot, and if I fail I will just fedex whats left to a real builder and get him to do his majic...
    It has got to be satisfying to ride wheels you built yourself, especially if they last longer than a "box" set...we will see...

  16. #16
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    Sounds reasonable, just make sure you get a good book on wheel building. You might want to get "Zin & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance."

    I tried trueing my own wheels and that didn't work out too well. Part of the problem was that the wheels had already taken abuse. I never tried to build my own because I just don't have time. I've been told wheel building is the most difficult tasks in bicycle repair. Good luck.

  17. #17
    Glad to Be Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hass
    I am in a similar situation and I am going with the Azonic Outlaws. A 36 spoke dowhill freeride wheel. The boys on the downhill board seem to like them. Jenson has them for $250, but they will price match to at least $199.99.
    can't beat the cheap price and strong rim called the Outlaws by Azonic
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErrantGorgon
    i have been riding the crossmax xl's. they fall somewhere between a cross country race wheel set and a free ride set. I think they strike a great balance between stiff/strong and light. but make sure you have a good grip on your ankles before you pull out your credit card.
    Agree. I love my XL's they rock. I think it's a choice between paying now or paying later. I say pay now and ride!!
    My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy
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  19. #19
    NormalNorm
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    XT disc, laced to Mavic 819's. Best and strongest I've rode.

  20. #20
    Slow and steady
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    Whatever you do, make sure that you have professionally built wheels using double-butted spokes. If the wheelbuilder will do it, ask them to build the rear wheel with higher than normal tension... you might need to go with brass nipples on the drive-side to get the highest possible tension without stripping nipples.

    Double-butted spokes are more flexible and have better fatigue life than straight-gauge spokes and will build a more durable wheel.

    Heavy riders break spokes because the spokes are flexing too much, not because they overstress the spokes. If you think about the forces acting in a rim, you'll realize that the force of gravity pulls the hub towards the ground and the spokes naturally stretch and -- not exactly compress -- but relax with each rotation. The unloading of bottom spokes leads to flexing in the spokes and to typical elbow-bend failure.

    I had Speedgoat build a set of CK iso-disc hubs with Mavic F219 rims and 3-cross 32 DT Competition Spokes and alloy nipples. Over the last 2.5 years and appx 3500 miles of aggressive XC, I've never had to true the front rim (8" rotors) and have recently started breaking non-drive-side rear spokes -- reasonable lifespan I think. I could re-lace the non-drive side with new spokes and probably get another year or 2 out of this wheelset. I'm 225lbs without gear and usually carry a 10+lb pack.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  21. #21
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    I'd stay away from the XT's laced to the XC 717's.

    I've got a pair that is less than six months old. They came out of true and when I went to look at the rims closely I noticed there was a 1/4 ding along the tire side edge. I've re-trued them, but definately expected more life out of the rims than I'm getting.

    I'm 6' and 195-200lbs. I ride XC on my steel hardtail regularly (3-4 x a week) but not aggressively in the richmond, va area -Poor Farm, Buttermilk, Pocohontas - and definately expected more life out of the wheelset than I got. Anyway, I'll see how well they hold their true now, but am back in the hunt for a durable wheelset myself.

  22. #22
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    The best pre-built wheels that I have purchased are the 32 spoke Sun Ringle SUV disk wheels. The have a Rhyno Lite XL rim and Ringle hubs. I have only had to true them once after a nasty fall.

    An other set worth mentioning is a QBP built wheelset with the original Surly 1X1 hubs and Sun Rhyno Lite rims, 32 spoke. After 5 years of use I've had to true them 5 times.

    BTW I'm 6' 2" and 250 lbs.

  23. #23
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    im just under 300# and im riding an 04 kona coiler. after tacoing the rear stock mavic i bought a set of the outlaws. ive been trail and urban riding them for about 7 months now and they havent come untrue or developed loose spokes. ive done a 4.5-5ft to flat concrete drop, lots of 3 fts. up and down stairs at high speed, tons of logs/rocks and a few wipeouts...
    the only thing i have done was going up a set of steps i forgot to check my pressure and the rear was low. snakebit the tube and put a barely discenible dent in the rear rim. plus with the outlaw you get the ability to go 20mm thru axle which i did and i wont be looking back.

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