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  1. #1
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    Just getting back into riding...Wheels/Bike Questions

    I just found this site today as I was searching the net for an answer to a wheels question and the Clydesdale forum seems like exactly what I was searching for. Its been about 3 years since I have been on my bike and about 7 since I have done any serious riding. Last time I was out I managed to hit a small log and ruin my front wheel which leads me to my questions...

    I am 6' 2" and weigh about 300 pounds. I have a knack for destroying wheels (bending the rim beyond repair specifically). I currently have a 1999 (?) Kona Caldera that was recommended by the LBS when I bought my bike. Weight was approximately the same when I bought the bike so nothing has changed there. The rims are Mavic X221 and to me seem very narrow for my weight. I am wondering if it makes sense to put money into components when they break (obviously starting with the wheel) and upgrade ruggedness through that or if it makes sense to look for a new ride that was designed for a big rider...Say Kona Hoss or something. I am not concerned with the weight of the bike, I would rather have ruggedness then light weight. Most of my riding will be trails and a little bit of pavement getting to the trails...Nothing hardcore but I have been known have both wheels in the air on occasion.

    I am relatively unknowledgeable about about my current bike...or modern bikes for that matter...Most of my riding was before they started with suspensions. The front shock has always felt too squishy to me but, I am not sure if that is how they are supposed to feel or if its a function of too much weight.

    So my questions...

    Anyone familiar with the Caldera?
    If I replace wheels any suggestions on what to replace with?
    Any thoughts on the front shock? I recall being told it was oil filled but I may be wrong?

    Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    -Michael

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1200rsvt
    So my questions...

    Anyone familiar with the Caldera?
    If I replace wheels any suggestions on what to replace with?
    Any thoughts on the front shock? I recall being told it was oil filled but I may be wrong?

    Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    -Michael
    Welcome to the forums, Michael! Let me guess... you also happen to like motorcycles?

    Is this your bike?
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...6493&Type=bike

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I ride motorcycles too...Although I am starting to get out of the motorcycle scene.

    That is my bike, except for mine is orange with a blue fork.

    I stopped by a LBS last night and they recommended either a Rhyno Lite or Mavic Crosstrail UB wheelset. Both definitely looked considerably sturdier then my current wheel. They also suspected (I didn't have the bike with me) that they might be able to firm up the shock by making some adjustments...Adding air, changing oil, different spring, something depending on the type of shock. I was going to research today the specific shock (Marzocchi Bomber Z-4) to see what I could find out.

  4. #4
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    Those are some popular wheelsets for clydes as far as I know. I bought some Azonic Outlaws about a year ago and since then I've done a lot of stupid crap with them (fell off a 4 foot log ride and landed(me ;p) on the front wheel, still straight). The Azonics are cheap so that's what they are popular. If you manage to bend/brake them it won't be a really big investment. Side effect, they are heavier I believe than the two sets you mentioned.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crbrocket
    Those are some popular wheelsets for clydes as far as I know. I bought some Azonic Outlaws about a year ago and since then I've done a lot of stupid crap with them (fell off a 4 foot log ride and landed(me ;p) on the front wheel, still straight). The Azonics are cheap so that's what they are popular. If you manage to bend/brake them it won't be a really big investment. Side effect, they are heavier I believe than the two sets you mentioned.

    Now that I think of it, you probably won't be able to use those with v-brakes. Ignore my comment.

  6. #6
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    The Sun-Ringle Rhyno Lites (and Lite XL) are rock-solid affordable rims. If you go with the 36-hole version and a reputable wheel-builder, they will be pretty much bomb-proof. They can be used with either v-brakes or disk brakes (if you have a disk-specific hub).

    In terms of hubs, I'm not big on spending as much (or more!) for hubs as I did for my bike, so would suggest sticking with Shimano XT hubs. They are affordable, reasonably durable, readily available and easy to maintain/overhaul.

    Go with Universal Cycles Custom Wheelset Builder:

    http://www.universalcycles.com/wheelkit.php
    panem et circenses

  7. #7
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    Here are a few wheel threads that are worth a read; the first on is specific to 26" wheels, but the others have some general information that is applicable to many situations:

    Azonic Outlaws vs. Sun Rhyno Lite XL
    Azonic Outlaws vs. Sun Rhyno Lite XL

    FAQ: Heavy Duty 29er Wheels
    FAQ: Heavy Duty 29er Wheels

    what is the most heavy-duty 29er rim?
    what is the most heavy-duty 29er rim?

    Looking for strong 29er wheels....
    http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/looking-strong-29er-wheels-499904.html#post5477927
    panem et circenses

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies...I ended up picking up a pre-built Rhyno-Lite because...It was there and I wanted to get riding...Unfortunately they gave me a 32 spoke instead of the 36 spoke I had been shown when I was in there before and I didn't notice until after I had ridden around on it...But its still tougher looking (bigger spokes, heavier construction) then my old rim. So, I will see how it holds up and if I bust it chalk it up to learning about wheels.

    As for the fork, I downloaded a manual off the web and found the rebound adjustment which seems to have eliminated most of the squishiness as I pedal problem.

    No I just have to get my legs and rear used to riding again...

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