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  1. #1
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    Endurance wheelset

    I'm building up a blunt wheelset for endurance racing. I don't want to spend more than 700 USD for spokes and hubs, I already have a pair of Velocity Blunt rims. I was thinking either I9 hubs or Hadley. I don't know much about spokes though, I want something double butted and strong and durable enough for hundreds of miles at a time.

    Any ideas on any other possible hubs(high engagement preferably) and spokes. Please add prices if you know them.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

    ~ Albert Einstein

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinKreger View Post
    I'm building up a blunt wheelset for endurance racing. I don't want to spend more than 700 USD for spokes and hubs, I already have a pair of Velocity Blunt rims. I was thinking either I9 hubs or Hadley. I don't know much about spokes though, I want something double butted and strong and durable enough for hundreds of miles at a time.

    Any ideas on any other possible hubs(high engagement preferably) and spokes. Please add prices if you know them.
    DT and DT.

    Seriously though, even though I've heard great things about Hadley and people seem to like I9, I can't imagine personally paying for a megabuck hub that isn't a DT. I've had a 240s rear hub that has been built into multiple wheels and probably seriously has 35K or more miles on it. I've pulled it open using no tools and cleaned sand out of the freewheel with a corner of my jersey while out in the middle of the White Rim. It's done lots of huge tech rides on a 5+ inch bike and it's done gravel grinders.

    The Hadley and I9 hubs have more points of engagement, but with the 36 point star rachet upgrade the DT is very quick to engage. At some point, differences of 1 or 2 degrees become either un-noticeable or at least not of any concern. And the DT freewheel is so simple!

    DT and Wheelsmith, possibly others, make very good spokes. My advice is not to let some random goober on mtbr tell you which spokes you should use. Get a good wheelbuilder, tell them what you want out of the wheels, and let them twist up a pair with the spokes they think appropriate.

    You probably can't go wrong with any of those hubs, but I'll never consider paying more than $80 for a hub* that isn't DT.


    *Rear hub that is. I don't really care what the front hub is. Front hubs are really just a peice of aluminum that's been machined out with spoke holes and bearings. Even the cheap ones are pretty much just fine for whatever. But of course, if you're starting from scratch you'll want them to match. And it is worth paying extra (usually) for the replaceable end caps that allow you to keep using the wheel even after you change what kind of front axle you're using.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  3. #3
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    Hard to argue with Tom on DT in the back, and just about anything in the front. Heck, XT front hubs are fantastic, and really inexpensive.

    If you're on the bigger side, I think brass nipples are worth the few extra grams.

    Spokes? DT double butted, normal duty, not the super light ones, or triple butted (not sure of the names DT uses for their spokes).
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  4. #4
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    Since you mention you don't know much about spokes, I'm going to guess you aren't an experienced wheel builder. Can't speak for you, but I wouldn't experiment with wheel building using expensive hubs or spokes. Of course, I am assuming you're asking about hubs/spokes because you plan to build the wheels yourself. If not, and you have a builder in mind, get their advice. If you don't have a builder in mind, I would suggest contacting Mikesee @ lacemine29.com. Let him build 'em to his recommended specs.
    Last edited by mudge; 12-27-2013 at 06:19 AM.

  5. #5
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    I'm not building them myself, my LBS will be lacing them up for me. I'm trying to find out which spokes I should tell him to use and which hubs to use. I am NOT building them myself!

    I feel I am good at mountain bike racing because of my ability in the single track. I am NO WHERE near as powerful as all of the people i race against, what I lack in power, I make up in handling. Saying that, I prefer a higher engaging hub so I can quickly sprint out of a turn while at the apex. I had a 24poe hub before my Crest ones laced with Hadleys and I am a lot faster in single track with the higher engaging hub.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

    ~ Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    ^^^ Good points. If you aren't determined to do it yourself, it is hard to argue with Mike's work, and he's been at it for awhile.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  7. #7
    Daniel the Dog
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    I only ride DT hubs! They just last and last and last. Building a wheel is not the rocket science some people want to say. No magic! A tension meter, truing stand, dishing tool and some experience and all is good. I would do it local so you can get some follow up work if you need it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I only ride DT hubs! They just last and last and last. Building a wheel is not the rocket science some people want to say. No magic! A tension meter, truing stand, dishing tool and some experience and all is good. I would do it local so you can get some follow up work if you need it.
    There's no magic to woodworking, either... but you can sure tell the difference in quality between something built by a true craftsman vs someone who's got the basics down pretty good.

  9. #9
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    I have a set of wheels built with DT 240 hubs and a set with Chris King hubs. Both have been problem free for me. I have only had to open the DT to install the 36t ratchet rings and relube in about 3k miles, and the king has been "rebuilt" (cleaned & relubed) twice in the last ~4k miles.

    Both are built with DT revolution spokes and I've never had an issue with spokes. Neither wheelset has ever needed to be trued or otherwise repaired... they just work.

    I think either set can be had for $600-650 for hubs.

  10. #10
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    I have a set of king and dt wheel sets for road and dirt. All four sets have been great. Install the 36 pt in the dt. Mtb king hubs have seen steady duty for 10 years and three rims. Dt/hugi(rim brake) dirt are super old and perform like new(same rims). You gets what you pay

  11. #11
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    You know, come to think of it, bike shop built wheels are so messy; rarely color-coordinated! You might want to think of getting some of these wheels:

    Super Cool Wheels!
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  12. #12
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    I know the mechanic pretty well and he trues, laces, build all the wheels for the elite riders and my dad had a pair of Crests for 3 years that didn't need to be retrued until I rode them earlier this year.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

    ~ Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    Formerly of Kent
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    DT 240s. I have three sets.

    Will not use anything else for racing, be it road, XC, or enduro.

    They are the only hubs to have been ridden to XC, road, CX, track, and DH world championship. Oh, and a Red Bull Rampage title, too.
    Last edited by Le Duke; 12-28-2013 at 07:13 AM.

  14. #14
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    Love, love, love my Hadley's. I cannot say anything bad about DT's, they are great as well. But I am glad I went the way I did. Later this year I will building another set of wheels and wouldn't think of using anything else but Hadley. Their customer service alone makes the difference.

  15. #15
    Must build all the wheels
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    Lots of quality hubs out there.

    Hope
    White Industries
    DT 240 or 350

    All are very solid hubs, backed by great companies and far cheaper than I9.

    For spokes, I personally would use with DT or Wheelsmith double butted (2.0-1.8-2.0) spokes. Alloy nipples are plenty durable as long as you get the spoke length right.

  16. #16
    Daniel the Dog
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    My point is nearly every city of any size has a good wheel builder. It is not a top secret task only a few people know.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    My point is nearly every city of any size has a good wheel builder. It is not a top secret task only a few people know.
    No one was suggesting that it is. I made the recommendation about Mike C., not because he's the only one who might know what he's doing, but because he's someone that folks know and trust. I don't know anything about where the OP is, or who he has selected to build his wheels.

    I will say this, though I've resisted saying it to this point, BUT... any "wheelbuilder" who couldn't tell me what spokes I should be using, instead of me telling him what spokes I wanted after conferring with folks on this (or any) forum, wouldn't be building my wheels. The very thought that the OP wanted/needed our input before telling his wheelbuilder which spokes to use struck me as a red flag.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    I will say this, though I've resisted saying it to this point, BUT... any "wheelbuilder" who couldn't tell me what spokes I should be using, instead of me telling him what spokes I wanted after conferring with folks on this (or any) forum, wouldn't be building my wheels. The very thought that the OP wanted/needed our input before telling his wheelbuilder which spokes to use struck me as a red flag.
    i was thinking the same thing.

  19. #19
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I dunno, I could see the OP wanting to get some other opinions just for due diligence.

    I don't have a ton to add except don't totally cheap out on the front hub - cheaper than Shimano is probably a bad idea.

    Also, I've built a couple wheels. Definitely agree that it's not rocket science. OP, if you're good with your hands, do consider giving it a shot. It's a good project. Mike T. is fond of helping people get started and has a link in his sig with some information.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
    Must build all the wheels
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I dunno, I could see the OP wanting to get some other opinions just for due diligence.
    My thoughts on the issue as well, especially since empirical data is not the most consistent thing out there.

    For instance, Peter White, a very well known and respected wheel builder does not like DT spokes but loves Wheelsmith. He even says this on his website, "Wheelsmith's quality control is excellent"

    I personally think Wheelsmith has second rate QC compared to DT (to be fair, they are a fair bit cheaper though), I have built with tens of thousands of Wheelsmith spokes and I find them rather inconsistent. I see wild swings in butting, some batches are all over the place as far as actual length vs labeled length, even varying thread length.

    Does that make my opinion better or worse than his? Not really, realistically they both can build damn fine wheels as long as you pay attention to what you are doing.

    Despite what people like myself would want you to believe, wheel building is not some black art that only a select few can do well, BUT, and this is a big variable. If the person building your wheels does not know what they are doing, you can end up with a wheel that is much worse than machine built.

    If your builder gets his tensions at the right level and consistent and he stress relieves the wheel well you will have lots of trouble free miles, no matter what is name is.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinKreger View Post
    I'm building up a blunt wheelset for endurance racing. I don't want to spend more than 700 USD for spokes and hubs, I already have a pair of Velocity Blunt rims. I was thinking either I9 hubs or Hadley. I don't know much about spokes though, I want something double butted and strong and durable enough for hundreds of miles at a time.

    Any ideas on any other possible hubs(high engagement preferably) and spokes. Please add prices if you know them.
    All depends on priorities. What you value and place emphasis on. As well as riding style.

    For example, if you're a light rider and light on the bike and place a premium on saving weight, potentially at the expense of failures, then Revolutions with alloy nipples are in your future. Any of the hubs mentioned are fine hubs, just depends on what you like. Personally I went with Hope hubs because of their price/performance ratio. And I also went with double butted spokes with brass nipples for a more conservative build to mitigate mechanical issues.

    I saw a lot of people by the side of the trail during the Shenandoah 100 because they were fixing flats. One person I passed near the end of the ride said they had four flats. Sure it's a bit of sh!t luck, but it also comes down to component selection. For endurance racing I'd choose on the conservative side because a mechanical, or two, or three, will cost a lot more time than stands to be gained by incremental gains. But that's just me, I'm a strong rider but not an elite rider, others may have different values and priorities.

    As others have stated, your wheel builder should pay attention to what you want and what you value, and build you something accordingly.

  22. #22
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    All depends on priorities. What you value and place emphasis on. As well as riding style.

    For example, if you're a light rider and light on the bike and place a premium on saving weight, potentially at the expense of failures, then Revolutions with alloy nipples are in your future. Any of the hubs mentioned are fine hubs, just depends on what you like. Personally I went with Hope hubs because of their price/performance ratio. And I also went with double butted spokes with brass nipples for a more conservative build to mitigate mechanical issues.

    I saw a lot of people by the side of the trail during the Shenandoah 100 because they were fixing flats. One person I passed near the end of the ride said they had four flats. Sure it's a bit of sh!t luck, but it also comes down to component selection. For endurance racing I'd choose on the conservative side because a mechanical, or two, or three, will cost a lot more time than stands to be gained by incremental gains. But that's just me, I'm a strong rider but not an elite rider, others may have different values and priorities.

    As others have stated, your wheel builder should pay attention to what you want and what you value, and build you something accordingly.
    I am a pretty light rider, my riding style is fast and nailing the climb, I also will use these wheels for just riding trails and fun riding. I would rather have it a little more durable than pure weight savings. I race in a 29 and under category, no skill, so every rider from beginner to elite race in the same category. I am using the heavy blunt for 2 reasons 1.) I won them for free 2.) they can support higher volume tires better. I am going to double butted spokes because i have another wheelset with straight gauge spokes and it does not keep a tension at all, they don't stretch in the same way the double butted ones do.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

    ~ Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Try putting a little more tension in the spokes in your other set. It shouldn't be a problem to get straight-gauge spokes to behave well.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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