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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! New wheel set dilemma - 721/521/Flow EX help please!

    Hey folks,

    I've been lurking in the shadows here for a while now but this is my first post, I'm hoping you guys can help me make a decision.....don't think it'll be long before my brain melts if I try to over think this anymore so really need some others perspectives please! I've put this post here as I'm a little on the heavier (read chunky) size.

    I'm after a new wheel set and I've narrowed down to an option of 3 rims, all on the Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs. First off, a bit of info on me might help - 6ft and anywhere from 230-245lbs naked (don't get excited, it's not a pretty sight), with the aim to drop back to 215 as I was last year. Generally ride trail/single track, AM, XC and light DH on occasion. I try to give it my best but I wouldn't say I'm a reckless or aggressive rider.......I would say I'm fairly ungainly though (no finesse!), heavy in the saddle and lacking in skill.....but I do like to go fast and hard when I can. I can only afford 1 set of wheels so will need to change tires for commuting during the week, so not overly worried about UST.

    The dilemma is which rims to choose. After some serious thread trawling (including this one), review reading and LBS enquiring, I've narrowed my options to:

    Stans Flow EX - 490g
    Mavic 721 (DH rim) - 590g
    Mavic 521 - 550g

    First the Stans - Generally good reviews, light weight and stiff but some questions raised over durability? I've heard some people say they can be a bit weak on heavier hits/riders and 2 LBS have said the reduced tire wall can cause problems running with tubes at mid pressure due to pinching. That said, I love the idea of running reasonable sized tires (2.35/2.4) with a flatter squarer profile - believe me, with my skills I need all the stability and grip I can get - and on a light wheel.

    Both Mavics come highly recommended and from all accounts are fairly bombproof (721 being stronger than the 521, but both should be sufficient). They do have a narrower profile than the Flow but should still be sufficient to give me a stable tire profile on the sizes I run most frequently. However, the extra weight is a concern (especially on the 721) when trying to push them around (and up!) trails and moorland.

    I guess what I'm asking is - for any of you using or who have used these rims, what weights were you, how did they stand up to the abuse and would you recommend one over the other as a durable, all-rounder with DH being the lesser concern?

    I know there's no such thing as a lightweight, durable, all-round rim but I do just need a little help in my decision making. I really would appreciate any (helpful!) comments or input you guys may have on this as my bike is off the road at the moment and I'm desperate to get it up and running again soon. Thanks all and sorry for the long post!

    Edit: Guess I should add I'm riding a Cube AMS 125 f/s with 140mm rs Revelations and Fox RP32, stock Alex ZX24 rims (I think about 480g) and XT hubs - in case that helps!
    Last edited by Fatfish77; 05-07-2013 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    If I were in the market for a new wheelset, i'd have jumped on the Hope Hoops Pro 2 Evo/FLOWs from ChainReaction.

    A great wheelset, for a good price, and they're on your side of the pond!

    I'm 6'8" 310ish btw...
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  3. #3
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    I'd be all over a 729 if they made it in the 29" size. Given your 3 choices, I'd go with the 721. I have another bike with 325's on them and they've held up well; and it's not like I've been gentle on them.

    "Heavy is good. Heavy is reliable." ~Boris the Blade
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  4. #4
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    Go with the Flow's!!! I've been riding Flows for over two years now and have yet to have an issue. Current riding weight is 295lbs...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenkem View Post
    Go with the Flow's!!! I've been riding Flows for over two years now and have yet to have an issue. Current riding weight is 295lbs...
    So far, that's the most reassuring recommendation I've heard!

    Just spoke to another LBS mechanic this morning and he also recommended the Flow's - they were recommended to him by a friend at Glentress (Jake Hood) and after seeing his riding style on a few vids, they certainly fill me with more confidence. For some reason I have this preconception the Flow's are made of glass whereas the Mavics are more akin to Tungsten (in my messed up, mental imagery scale of rim hardnesses!) - and it's becoming more apparent that this is not the case.

    At present, the Flow's are a-callin'.........but I'd still be really interested to hear any more views people have. And thanks to those who've commented already!

  6. #6
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    Just to throw a spanner in the works while I'm at it - don't laugh, but do you reckon the Flow's could run 1.9 semi-slicks with tubes? Only wondering as I like to use those for commuting or for long road sessions for fitness......road bikes don't get you fit, they're too light, try pushing a full sus around 30m of tarmac instead!!

  7. #7
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    I have a set of Flow's with X9 hubs that have out lasted two Hardtail frames and are currently awaiting a warrentee replacement third frame. And, I have a set with Hope hubs on my Fully which I have beat up pretty bad and they still keep rolling on. My commuter tires are wtb vulpine 2.1 which are the smallest I've mounted on Flow's so I can't tell you if a 1.9 tire will work...BTW, the Vulpine tire rolls really fast with almost no rolling resistance!!!

  8. #8
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    I am forty pounds heavier than you and have been riding Flows for over three years with excellent results, but since you're not really concerned about going tubeless since you are changing tires regularly, I see no reason to choose them over the 721. I do think the best Mavic alloys are a little stronger/tougher than Stans (made by Sun). They will all work fine IMHO, tubed or tubeless. All the rims you mention are very good rims. You might also check out the WTB i23 Frequency.

  9. #9
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    Again, thanks guys for your input - really helped.

    jeffj - I completely agree with what you're saying, which is why I've ended up in this conundrum. However, while you're right about the lack of necessity for tubeless and therefore Mavics would be stronger, they are also considerably heavier and with a narrower tire profile - which is what's putting me off the idea of the Mavic's!

    After reading what you guys are writing about your weight and using Flow's, I am definitely leaning more and more toward them.

    One other thing though, I haven't mentioned it so far as general consensus seems to suggest they're stiff, but any of you had any problems with the Flow's flexing at all?

  10. #10
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    Currently 250lbs, was 280lbs a few years ago. All those rims are good choices. No experience with Flows, but good rep. I ride Mavics on my handbuilt wheels, and the 721 is my favorite tube rim for Clydes, especially if they are rough on them.

    Using your choices, if I was interested in setting it up tubeless with a tube tire, I may go Flows. If using tubes, I would go Mavic. Also, I have set up 721s as tubeless using a Stans kit. Doable, but one of the more difficult rims to set up tubeless for me.

    But, remember, because you will choose a good rim, it is the build that makes the most difference. A poorly built wheel with heavy duty rims will likely fail sooner than a good build with lighter rims. If interested in using a UST or tubeless-ready tire, I would choose a rim designed for those tires.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatfish77 View Post
    One other thing though, I haven't mentioned it so far as general consensus seems to suggest they're stiff, but any of you had any problems with the Flow's flexing at all?
    I have a certain Rock Garden I ride weekly where I can sometimes feel the rear wheel flex but still have yet to have any problems with the Flow's going out of true. Oh, did I mention I only have 29ers...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenkem View Post
    Oh, did I mention I only have 29ers...
    Brilliant! Thanks zenkem, no you didn't - bit late now that I've ordered them!

    Well, I bit the bullet and they'll be with me next week - Flow Ex (26" zenkem!!!) on Hope Pro 2 Evo's - out of stock so 5-7day wait but by far the cheapest at 271.99 delivered. Is it normal to start thinking you may have made the wrong choice the moment you've placed the order?!

    Thanks again for your help folks, much appreciated. Will provide an update after I've had a chance to test them out. Happy riding guys!

  13. #13
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    The buyer's remorse will go away the instant you see the wheelset! the Hope hubs are a thing a beauty! Nice and loud too, so you can't sneak up on people...
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  14. #14
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    Unless of course, you keep pedalling up to the point of impact!

    Thanks for the reassurance SasquatchSC - nice to know I'm not alone!

    Now, next dilemma......stem and handlebar configurations.....

  15. #15
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    220 here and built wheels with Hope Pro 2 Evo's on Stand ZTr arch , so far no issuse. I love the fact that just coasting now tells hikers I am here! I used to have an electronic horn but people kept looking up, they said it sounded like birds LOL
    I went Hope Stem and Truvativ carbon bars.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatfish77 View Post
    Now, next dilemma......stem and handlebar configurations.....
    I've got a Thomson X4 10deg-120mm/ Easton EA70 Monkeybar riser combo on my Klein and Santa Cruz and a Thomson X4 10deg-120mm/ Sunline V1 762mm flat bar on my Surly.
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  17. #17
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    good choice on the wheelset, you should have no remorse!!

    Stay away from geax tnt beaded tires, they won't go on stan's.

    Also, those hubs will really keep you from being lazy....they will talk to you pretty loudly when you coast!
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatfish77 View Post
    Brilliant! Thanks zenkem, no you didn't - bit late now that I've ordered them!

    Well, I bit the bullet and they'll be with me next week - Flow Ex (26" zenkem!!!) on Hope Pro 2 Evo's - out of stock so 5-7day wait but by far the cheapest at 271.99 delivered. Is it normal to start thinking you may have made the wrong choice the moment you've placed the order?!

    Thanks again for your help folks, much appreciated. Will provide an update after I've had a chance to test them out. Happy riding guys!
    No worries, 29er wheels have more flex...

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