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  1. #1
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    Trying to decide on rim width, gravel grinding

    Looking at either a Bontrager wheeleset or custom wheels using WTB rims. Rim width options I have are 17.5mm, 19mm, 25mm, or 28mm. Tires will be 35c to 40c. Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    22-23 ID.

    I'm using 27mm OD (22mm ID) MTB rims on mine with 35c rear/40c front tires. a little extra volume is nice to have when your in the 200+ lb camp.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    22-23 ID.

    I'm using 27mm OD (22mm ID) MTB rims on mine with 35c rear/40c front tires. a little extra volume is nice to have when your in the 200+ lb camp.
    This is almost exactly my setup. WTB KOM i23 with hope 2 hubs, using WTB Nano front/Spec Trigger Pro (38) rear. Lots of spokes, brass nips, set up tubeless, weigh about 1800g. I did not prioritize weight, obviously. I've been running 30/37psi.

    With the options you give, i guess I'd go 19 esp if I planned to run 35c.

  4. #4
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    Are KOM's an option for a heavy rider? For some reason I was thinking they weren't such a great idea...maybe I'm thinking of another WTB rim.

    The main reason I like the Bontragers which would be the 17.5mm option is because they are laced to the Rapid Drive (DT Swiss 240) hubs. The WTB I believe are a decent rim option and I'd have them laced to either DT Swiss 350 hubs or Hope Pro 4's. It's just too bad that I'd have to spend the extra money to upgrade the 350 to 36T ratchet otherwise the money saved over the Hopes would be almost enough to cover the cost of the spokes for one wheel.
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    I know people have raced enduro on them. I know that a few people found that their rear wheels dented on really rocky terrain when used on their fully squish trail bikes. I have not seen any complaints when people use them on their hardtails.

    Plan to ride chunky singletrack at high speed on your gravel bike with them in a rocky destination like the Colo front range? If so then skip them, or you know, ride your mtn bike on those trails.

    I weigh 165. No problems riding down nontechincal singletrack of Marin.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    The main reason I like the Bontragers which would be the 17.5mm option is because they are laced to the Rapid Drive (DT Swiss 240) hubs. The WTB I believe are a decent rim option and I'd have them laced to either DT Swiss 350 hubs or Hope Pro 4's. It's just too bad that I'd have to spend the extra money to upgrade the 350 to 36T ratchet otherwise the money saved over the Hopes would be almost enough to cover the cost of the spokes for one wheel.
    I wouldn't go that narrow (17.5), not if you paid me.

    hubs, as with all things bicycle, buy the best ones you can afford. i would not however sacrifice rim width just so i could save a few grams in the hubs. the DT 350 with 36t is an excellent option for durability. the Hope is equally a good option for different reasons.

    if you need to save a few extra bucks, have you considered BHS hubs? they now have a few color options, 54 POI, fully convertible to any axle standard, and cost only $110 for the rear hub. I have two sets now.
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  7. #7
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    Take a look at either the CL25 or TL28 from Pacenti. Very reasonable weight for a very reasonably priced aluminum rim that will works perfectly in a tubeless setup. AND, the eyelets are an extra bonus (if you've been riding long enough to remember rims with eyelets, you'll understand)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I wouldn't go that narrow (17.5), not if you paid me.

    hubs, as with all things bicycle, buy the best ones you can afford. i would not however sacrifice rim width just so i could save a few grams in the hubs. the DT 350 with 36t is an excellent option for durability. the Hope is equally a good option for different reasons.

    if you need to save a few extra bucks, have you considered BHS hubs? they now have a few color options, 54 POI, fully convertible to any axle standard, and cost only $110 for the rear hub. I have two sets now.
    It's definitely not about saving grams. Just a GREAT deal on good wheels but limited widths. It's either too narrow (17.5) or too wide (28) it seems. So I'm counting the Bontragers out.

    So I'll decide if I want bling and 44 poe with Hopes or utilitarian and 36 poe and probably a little easier serviceability with DT Swiss 350. With the ratchet upgrade it'll be about the same cost. Probably end up doing the 54t upgrade actually.

    The reason I'm leaning towards the WTB rims if I'm going to do custom build is partly because I'm sure they will handle the abuse from a super clyde and cost. I can get them 40% off retail for basically $100 shipped for two rims. That's what I'd pay for one rim of pretty much any other brand. And I got conformation from WTB that the Frequency Team rims will do fine with higher pressure of using a tube on a road bike. I know some mountain bike rims aren't rated for higher pressures. So it's down to either the i19 or i25 or I need to do a little more research to decide if the KOM rim at 23mm wide is clyde worthy.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    22-23 ID.

    I'm using 27mm OD (22mm ID) MTB rims on mine with 35c rear/40c front tires. a little extra volume is nice to have when your in the 200+ lb camp.
    This is almost exactly what I came in to post. Only exception is the rear tire width.

    27 OD 22 ID mountain bike XC rims are what I use on my CX bike, which sees a fair amount of gravel.

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    I just noticed that the stock wheels are 22mm ID...according to the decal on the rim. The American Classic website has them listed as 19mm ID...so not sure which it is. I don't really have a way to measure right now so I'll have to confirm that at a later time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    27 OD 22 ID mountain bike XC rims are what I use on my CX bike, which sees a fair amount of gravel.
    that's a good point, maybe i should specify. I use my cross bike off road quite a bit. single track, roots/rocks, gravel, even baby drops so i need my wheels to be sturdy. if i was using it more on the road i would maybe feel slightly different about it. before i decided on this wheelset (an Amer. Classic XC 32h MTB wheelset) i was planning on building wheels with Stans Grail rims which are a little narrower but sturdy and versatile.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I just noticed that the stock wheels are 22mm ID...according to the decal on the rim. The American Classic website has them listed as 19mm ID...so not sure which it is. I don't really have a way to measure right now so I'll have to confirm that at a later time.
    Some manufacturers are playing fast and loose with the measurements. I actually had a tech guy respond to a direct question that their rims were a certain width at the rim walls, then admitted they were 3mm narrower between the bead hooks, as if somehow the width of the tire wouldn't be affected by the narrowest space between the beads.

  13. #13
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    Yeah...while this bike will see a fair amount of paved roads...it's going to see a lot of gravel roads with loads of bumps and pot holes. It will also see service roads and ATV trails and probably some single track as well though I don't plan on taking it through hardcore rock/root gardens though the occasional may not be avoidable. Main concern is definitely durability considering I'm in the 270's. A hub with a high POE is important too. But that's covered with either hub I choose. I feel comfortable with the Frequency Team rims for this application. Iffy about the KOM rims. Some others sound pretty good too but if the sturdiness of the rims on my list are all pretty much equal...then it will come down to price.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    Some manufacturers are playing fast and loose with the measurements. I actually had a tech guy respond to a direct question that their rims were a certain width at the rim walls, then admitted they were 3mm narrower between the bead hooks, as if somehow the width of the tire wouldn't be affected by the narrowest space between the beads.
    I guess I goofed. It does say 22mm on the rim and I checked the site again and the rim is in fact 22mm wide exterior...interior is 19.4mm wide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I guess I goofed. It does say 22mm on the rim and I checked the site again and the rim is in fact 22mm wide exterior...interior is 19.4mm wide.
    that doesn't sound right either. most rims have 4-6mm of "sidewall", not sure what the term is? 2.6mm doesn't seem like enough material. I could be wrong?
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  16. #16
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    hmmm...not sure. That's just what the website shows and it says 22mm on the sidewall. What the actual measurements are...no idea. Next time I get into town I'll make a stop in at Harbor Freight and grab some calipers so I can check. Guess it would be good to know.

    I'm also looking at the WTB Frequency Team i23 rim now. After this thread and reading another article over on the Riding Gravel site...it's looking like 23mm is the sweet spot rim width. The KOM comes in 23mm too but I like the idea of the more robust Frequency Team rims a little more even if they are slightly heavier.
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  17. #17
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    I'd go with the frequency. I'd be ok with the i21 with 40mm tires, but nothing against i23. i25 might be a bit much though. I had some 20mm internal width rims on an older hybrid, and the tires gripped great in corners. Always felt like the tires planted well at all pressures.
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  18. #18
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    I'm 270 riding wtb cx freq wheels built with ck hubs and nano 40s. Great combo. Handles single track roots well and murders gravel

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    My buddy has some of the wider Light-bicycle rims, I think he said the 28mm. They work well, but the really wide rims make some of the tires square. I use my crest/240 setup and don't feel I need anything wider for cross/gravel riding.

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    Yeah...I'm waiting to hear back from WTB to see the availability of the i23 rims through a program that I can get a good discount. I can get the i19 and i25...but no listing for the i23. If I can't get them...I'll have to debate if I want to save money and get slightly less than ideal rims or spend the extra and get the i23's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Yeah...while this bike will see a fair amount of paved roads...it's going to see a lot of gravel roads with loads of bumps and pot holes. It will also see service roads and ATV trails and probably some single track as well though I don't plan on taking it through hardcore rock/root gardens though the occasional may not be avoidable. Main concern is definitely durability considering I'm in the 270's. A hub with a high POE is important too. But that's covered with either hub I choose. I feel comfortable with the Frequency Team rims for this application. Iffy about the KOM rims. Some others sound pretty good too but if the sturdiness of the rims on my list are all pretty much equal...then it will come down to price.
    Last year, I rode a H-Plus Son Archetype/Onyx Hubs/30c Strada Biancha over chunky gravel. I found the narrow profile, tubed and typically higher pressure to be a little unnerving and abusive off-road. This year Velocity Blunt SS rims/Onyx hubs/ 40c Maxxis Ramblers setup tubeless has been the key to some of my early season gravel racing success. Being tubeless and a wide profile, I am running lower pressure than I ever imagined. The ride quality has been significantly improved, thus increasing overall speed due to lack of an abusive ride. Wide is right, gravel included.

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    I'm thinking of building similar wheels to those discussed here: dt Swiss 350 hubs and KOM rims, either i21 or i23s but I can't decide which width. I'm gonna be running 43mm Rock n Roads most of the time but want to occasionally run 30mm slicks which makes me hesitant to go with the i23s. Any insight?

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    ETRTO Standards are kinda outdated I think. Sheldon Brown's 1.45 ratio now seems very conservative. HED has a bunch of wheels that are 20 ID, and they say 23mm work ok.

    if you're really worried you could run wider slicks? 32c Panaracer Paselas or 35c Bon Jon Pass or something like that.

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    At this point it looks like I'm playing the wait game. Bontrager has a nice looking wheelset with the Rhythm Elite TLR Disc which is 22.5mm ID and has the Rapid Drive rear hub which is the 54t DT Swiss 240 internals, but the rear wheels are out of stock. And WTB say their Frequency Team i23 rims are out of stock until early June so I'm going to wait and see what gets back in stock first.
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    What about the DT Swiss M-442? It has a 22.5MM ID and can take tire pressures from 80-87 PSI for the tire sizes you're looking to run. There are 2 on Amazon for $55 shipped a piece.

    https://www.dtswiss.com/Components/Rims-MTB/M-442
    https://www.dtswiss.com/Resources/Te...sure_Dimension
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    I checked out the DT Swiss rims but I think it was a few days ago when I had it in my head that much wider was better so I might have seen those but thought too narrow and moved on. But now that I'm decided that 22-23mm is the right spot...I'll take a look again.
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  27. #27
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    Another nod to the wider rim choice. I've had 21 ID on my cx bike for a couple years now. First with 33c Tracers and they were great, and then 40c Nanos which are awesome. I could easily see 22 or 23 ID with 40c. I can't comment on putting skinny road tires on them though, I have another set of wheels with road tires for paved training rides.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFR View Post
    Another nod to the wider rim choice. I've had 21 ID on my cx bike for a couple years now. First with 33c Tracers and they were great, and then 40c Nanos which are awesome. I could easily see 22 or 23 ID with 40c. I can't comment on putting skinny road tires on them though, I have another set of wheels with road tires for paved training rides.
    That's what I'll do with the stock wheels which are listed as 19mm ID. I'm going to grab some 32c gatorskins (once my 28's are worn out) for times when I know I'll be on only pavement or pavement with little decently groomed gravel...stuff that I don't need a bigger tougher chunky tire.
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