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Thread: Wheel dilemma

  1. #1
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    Wheel dilemma

    Ok I知 soliciting opinions about a wheel build that I知 contemplating.

    Currently, I知 building a burley All Mountain / Light Freeride bike. I weigh about 185lbs and doubt the bike will see much beyond the 5 drop. The bike will be 6 travel and hopefully weigh less than 35lbs. My plan is to be able to pedal this bike up hills as much as down with the occasional Keystone / Winter Park shuttle weekend.

    I知 of the opinion that a well built wheelset can make a huge difference on how a bike pedals and how long it will last.

    I plan on using Hope Bulbs for hubs but my rim selection is up in the air. Rims that I considered but heard were probably over kill for my ridding were Intense Mag 30痴 and Mavic EX729痴. I like the specs for the Mavic EX 823 but upon weighing them they are really heavy (700g with nipple collars). This brings me to the Mavic EX 721 that seem to be somewhat strong but also will not weigh a ton (586g).

    So What rim would you recommend for that would be durable while still reducing wheel weight?



    My next conundrum is wheel builders. IMHO who builds you wheel is almost as important as what component痴 you choose. Locally, I致e talked to a few builders that can build this set for me my short list for builders is Mojo Wheels, Larry from Mountain High Cyclery, and Excel. From what I can tell all seem to be decent builders but only Mojo seems to be building a lot of Freeride/Downhill wheels. My other option would be to have Dave from http://www.speeddream.com/ build me a set. Dave doesn稚 build a lot of Freeride/Downhill wheels and would be about $50 more than a local builder (after tax) but I know Dave knows how to build a strong, fast wheel.

    So What are peoples opinions of wheel builders local or otherwise and their abilities to build strong Freeride/Downhill wheels.



    I know I知 obsessing over a wheelset for a style of ridding where weight and durability shouldn稚 be my first concern, but I believe with a light(ish) weight wheelset I will still be able to enjoy peddling to some very fun downhills. I enjoy listening to the groups opinions on the art of building light durable wheels (hey if you think I should just get a pair of $150 pre-built Singletracks ant XT I壇 love to hear that too).

    Right now here痴 what I知 leaning towards:
    Builder: Mojo
    Rim: Mavic EX 721 (586g)
    Hub: Hope Bulbs (20mm front) (F 210g / R 376g)
    Spoke: DT Comp 14g/15g (382g for 64 spokes)
    Nipple: Aluminum (not sure) (24g for 64 nipples)
    Total: 2140g = 4.71lbs

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango

    So What are peoples opinions of wheel builders local or otherwise and their abilities to build strong Freeride/Downhill wheels.
    Matt at Mojo laced up my last Hadley/D321(same as EX729) rim front wheel, and after the last few weeks of riding on it mostly urban drops and a couple rides on the hogback before the last snow, it doesn't even need to be tensioned yet. Well worth the $30 wheel build fee there. I had Universal Cycles build my last set of DH wheels and while it was fast, even with shipping, and looked nice, I had them tensioned twice in the first few weeks on them. Used DT Swiss spokes on the last one, Wheelsmith on the Universal wheels before.

    Seriously try to stay away from alloy nipples on DH wheels. I have ripped nipples out of rims before, and alloy nipples are softer than a Mavic D321/EX729 rim with the eyelet. I am lacing up a lightweight XC wheelset for a 19lb. SS over the winter with (36) alloy nips, but would never spoke up a DH wheel with them.

    Cheers,

    Dave
    [SIZE=2]Just Passing Through: eatin' dirt & crappin' dust[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdirteater
    Seriously try to stay away from alloy nipples on DH wheels. I have ripped nipples out of rims before, and alloy nipples are softer than a Mavic D321/EX729 rim with the eyelet. I am lacing up a lightweight XC wheelset for a 19lb. SS over the winter with (36) alloy nips, but would never spoke up a DH wheel with them.
    I've talked to A LOT of people who would agree with you about the alloy nipples but in having a 20 min conversation with Dave at speeddream.com he told me alloy shouldn't really be an issue. But probbably for ease of maintenance and service brass is probbaby the way to go...

  4. #4
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    I recomend Larry

    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    Ok I知 soliciting opinions about a wheel build that I知 contemplating.

    Currently, I知 building a burley All Mountain / Light Freeride bike. I weigh about 185lbs and doubt the bike will see much beyond the 5 drop. The bike will be 6 travel and hopefully weigh less than 35lbs. My plan is to be able to pedal this bike up hills as much as down with the occasional Keystone / Winter Park shuttle weekend.

    I知 of the opinion that a well built wheelset can make a huge difference on how a bike pedals and how long it will last.

    I plan on using Hope Bulbs for hubs but my rim selection is up in the air. Rims that I considered but heard were probably over kill for my ridding were Intense Mag 30痴 and Mavic EX729痴. I like the specs for the Mavic EX 823 but upon weighing them they are really heavy (700g with nipple collars). This brings me to the Mavic EX 721 that seem to be somewhat strong but also will not weigh a ton (586g).

    So What rim would you recommend for that would be durable while still reducing wheel weight?



    My next conundrum is wheel builders. IMHO who builds you wheel is almost as important as what component痴 you choose. Locally, I致e talked to a few builders that can build this set for me my short list for builders is Mojo Wheels, Larry from Mountain High Cyclery, and Excel. From what I can tell all seem to be decent builders but only Mojo seems to be building a lot of Freeride/Downhill wheels. My other option would be to have Dave from http://www.speeddream.com/ build me a set. Dave doesn稚 build a lot of Freeride/Downhill wheels and would be about $50 more than a local builder (after tax) but I know Dave knows how to build a strong, fast wheel.

    So What are peoples opinions of wheel builders local or otherwise and their abilities to build strong Freeride/Downhill wheels.



    I know I知 obsessing over a wheelset for a style of ridding where weight and durability shouldn稚 be my first concern, but I believe with a light(ish) weight wheelset I will still be able to enjoy peddling to some very fun downhills. I enjoy listening to the groups opinions on the art of building light durable wheels (hey if you think I should just get a pair of $150 pre-built Singletracks ant XT I壇 love to hear that too).

    Right now here痴 what I知 leaning towards:
    Builder: Mojo
    Rim: Mavic EX 721 (586g)
    Hub: Hope Bulbs (20mm front) (F 210g / R 376g)
    Spoke: DT Comp 14g/15g (382g for 64 spokes)
    Nipple: Aluminum (not sure) (24g for 64 nipples)
    Total: 2140g = 4.71lbs


    Larry has built up my last couple sets of wheels, and they've held up great!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by front range migz
    Larry has built up my last couple sets of wheels, and they've held up great!

    What kind of wheels... ?

  6. #6
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    I'm not great at it, but I really enjoy building my own wheels. It's more like art than wrenching, to me.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  7. #7
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    round and true ones

    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    What kind of wheels... ?


    He built me a xt hub w/ wtb rim for my 26 in bike, that I've abused a bit, and salsa rims w/ paul hubs on my 29" wheels. No idea on exact spokes or nipples cause I don't pay much attention to parts, but I do notice that they've held up better than any other wheels I've owned. I suspect a good builder can build any type of wheel your wanting quite well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by front range migz
    I suspect a good builder can build any type of wheel your wanting quite well.
    I agree with that. It seems to me most wheels that last seem to be built by good builders (go figure).

  9. #9
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    Changed my mind AGAIN!

    I've decided that the EX721 is probbably more of a "rim brake" setup so for the same weight I should probably build up a more disc specific rim. So I've canged my mind again and opted for a XM321. I'd like to think I'll need the heft of a EX729 but in reality the ability to pedal the XM321 is probably more important.

    Here's my new build (subject to change in 10 min)

    Front
    Rim: Mavic XM321
    Hub: Hope Bulb 20mm
    Spoke: DT Competition 14/15 (open to wheel builders suggestions)
    Lacing: Open to wheel builder痴 suggestions
    Nipples: Brass

    Rear:
    Rim: Mavic XM321
    Hub: Hope Bulb or Chris King (depending on price and availability)
    Spoke: DT Competition 14/15 (open to wheel builders suggestions)
    Lacing: Open to wheel builder痴 suggestions
    Nipples: Brass

    Weight 2,182g or 4.8lbs (With rear Chris King 2,112g 4.7lbs)

    And YES I am a total Weenie
    Last edited by mango; 01-18-2005 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Changed EX321 to read XM321

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    I've decided that the EX721 is probbably more of a "rim brake" setup so for the same weight I should probably build up a more disc specific rim. So I've canged my mind again and opted for a XM321. I'd like to think I'll need the heft of a EX729 but in reality the ability to pedal the XM321 is probably more important.
    The XM321 is a pinned $40 rim, not welded, but if you don't bust it at the seam like a buddy of mine did a few months ago, you'll be OK.

    Have you considered the 819 UST Mavic rim? Little narrow, but lighter than the 823.

    Remember to consider adding the weight of the tubes if not going tubeless. I have to run DH tubes in my D321s to avoid pinch-flatting when using regular (XC) single ply tires. And I always put Slime in through the Scheader valve if using tubes (I don't use Prestas), and use Stans in my tubeless tires. Just stuff to think about when comparing and adding up the weight of wheels.

    Cheers,

    Dave
    [SIZE=2]Just Passing Through: eatin' dirt & crappin' dust[/SIZE]

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdirteater
    Remember to consider adding the weight of the tubes if not going tubeless. I have to run DH tubes in my D321s to avoid pinch-flatting when using regular (XC) single ply tires. And I always put Slime in through the Scheader valve if using tubes (I don't use Prestas), and use Stans in my tubeless tires. Just stuff to think about when comparing and adding up the weight of wheels.
    I'll be running a tubeless setup, I've built a bunch of homemade tubeless setups (currently running a 517 homemade tubeless on my XC bike). Allows me to run tubeless with non-UST rims. I've also had very good luck running non UST tires with a homemade Stan's type solution. This homemeade tubeless has let me shed a lot of pounds over UST rims and Tubeless tires (I'm currently running 2.4 tires on a 23lb FS bike).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdirteater
    The XM321 is a pinned $40 rim, not welded, but if you don't bust it at the seam like a buddy of mine did a few months ago, you'll be OK.
    Sorry, I just realized a typo it's the EX321 not the older XM321. Not sure if the newer EX321 is a pinned wheel or not?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    Sorry, I just realized a typo it's the EX321 not the older XM321. Not sure if the newer EX321 is a pinned wheel or not?
    The XM321 is a current Mavic black finish, pinned $40 lower end rim (the 3 is lower end). You don't want those.

    On any other 321, are you sure the "EX321" is not actually the "old" D321, which got renumbered in the current Mavic rim line-up to EX729? The D321/EX729 is the same CD finish (dark gray) disk only, welded, 675g, non-tubeless, wide DH rim. It is still the non-UST downhill rim of choice. Comes in 32 and 36 hole. I am looking at the 2005 Mavic catalog. Also says the EX729 comes in black now, but I have never seen any in black finish. Then again I've had a pair of black 36-hole XC717 rims on backorder now for a month and a half for light-weight XC SS project, and I've never seen any XC717 36-hole rims anywhere before either... except in this catalog, and the dealer had an order number for them...

    Pic of the old number D321 (currently EX729) rim on a bike here. I don't have a better pic, check out the Mavic website for more info:

    http://www.mavic.com

    Cheers,

    Dave
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    [SIZE=2]Just Passing Through: eatin' dirt & crappin' dust[/SIZE]

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdirteater
    The XM321 is a current Mavic black finish, pinned $40 lower end rim (the 3 is lower end). You don't want those.

    On any other 321, are you sure the "EX321" is not actually the "old" D321,
    Here's a link to the wheel
    http://www.mavic.com/servlet/srt/mav...ct.id=75&lg=uk

    It's not the D321/EX729 as I think a 700g (the actual weight I've found for this wheel) wheel for my application is over kill. I also toyed with the idea of running the UST EX823 but it weighs 720g with the nipple adapters. I don't think the weight for the EX823 makes the rim stronger just extra material for the UST setup. This leaves me with the EX721 which is a V-brake rim or the XM321 Disc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    That is the $40 pinned rim. Not welded, lower end rim, comes as an OE rim on a lot of new bikes because it is cost effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    It's not the D321/EX729 as I think a 700g (the actual weight I've found for this wheel) wheel for my application is over kill. I also toyed with the idea of running the UST EX823 but it weighs 720g with the nipple adapters. I don't think the weight for the EX823 makes the rim stronger just extra material for the UST setup. This leaves me with the EX721 which is a V-brake rim or the XM321 Disc.
    If you are considering the EX721 rim brake rim and want light, take a look at the XC717 disc, it's light and welded. If you are trying to build a "light" freeride bike, you will have to build with a bit heavier rims than a 717 or it will be fragile. I'm not sure rims are the place to save all the weight on a freeride bike. Personally, I would go with the XM819 UST and can run tubeless tires, or pick up a set of CrossMax XLs, both mountaincross/4X intended wheels/rims, should do nicely for trail/freeride use if not getting too crazy. Look at EX823s or just some DeeMax (DH racing) wheels if wanting to keep the weight down beyond the XC rim choices and lower end heavier stuff, you can also cut wheel weight with tubeless, that may be more effective for cutting rotational weight on a freeride trail bike than a few grams off the rims. Unless you just love smooth singletrack, you will split a pinned rim if you ride hard enough on it around here. I would rather ride a bit lighter welded rims than a bit heavier pinned rims, because the pinned seam (XM321, EX325, etc.) is a weak link.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Cheers,

    Dave
    [SIZE=2]Just Passing Through: eatin' dirt & crappin' dust[/SIZE]

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