Seeking advice on rims selection for budget wheel build
Hello fatty brethren and sistren,
Can you help nudge me one way or other on my little dilemma?
- I have a stock Pugs wheelset with original LM rims, Surly front hub and Deore rear. The Deore hub is loose and has been since before I acquired it.
- I have a set of new 80mm GFS rims that I drilled myself awaiting a build (impulse buy at a ridiculously low price)
- I have a pair of XT rear hubs m785 with rotors to match
I want to put together a bikepacking wheelset for a stab at the COlorado Trail. I will be running Larrys front and rear. 2x9 gearing. Exchangeable wheels is a plus, thus the two identical XT hubs.
Dilemma: Do I...
a) dismantle the LM wheels, drill the LM rims, and then reassemble them with the lighter, higher POE XT hubs and DT competition spokes. The pros here are that I might be able to go tubeless with the LMs (some success stories here on MTBR). Also, that I can save the GFS for a beach/snow floaty wheelset built around an IGH.
or b) Leave the LM wheelset be. Build the XT hubs into the GFS rims with their shitty bead hooks, and just commit to using tubes on the Colorado Trail. Pros here are that I do not have to dismantle a working wheel set and that a drilled GFS and drilled LM rim set weigh essentially the same. Are 80mm rims an advantage or a liability over 65mm rims on dry trail?
I know I am splitting hairs, but that is the kind of guy I am. Any thoughts from the brain trust? I am leaning towards option B, because building one set of wheels beats building two and drilling another set of rims. But will I kick myself for not putting the XT hubs on a rim that can go tubeless?
B Bro! Nah A!
Seriously tho A
I'd go with B also. Any rim can be set up tubeless, some just take a lot more fussing with, and it may not save any weight when done. Also, you will end up with a spare set of wheels, so if you have an equipment meltdown, you will have a back up.
I'd consider these rims for bikepacking:
Web Store - NW Trials
they are lighter than anything else you can safely put 3.8-4" rubber on, and cheaper.
They will be a little tougher to go tubeless, but still lighter than a marge light or even a snowcat 44mm when set up tubeless.
^^^ I don't think those Neon rims play well with offset wheel builds. I think that was the consensus on a recent thread. The natural choice for bikepacking would be the Marge Lite, but at $150 each, my two GFS rims cost half as much as one ML.
The only thing I can add to this thread, is that I don't like the way 80mm rims handle compared to 65mm rims. Especially if you're riding single track in Colorado. I'd stick with the Large Marge rims.
If you could raise a few more $, theres places like Jensons that will price match on Marge lites, IIRC I got mine for $130 a rim. I don't know what price you got the GFS for but you could sell them off to offset the ML's price.
I would say for dry trails that 65mm seem a good rim, I had a GFS wheelset and also ride a 47mm wheelset, the 47mm are really good for going fast on 3.7" or 4" tyres but you do loose a bit of the "fat feel".
Marge lites seem the perfect all rounder.
I think the GFS will do a decent job at the higher PSI you'd probably use for this, compared to floaty stuff. Should eliminate tire squirm. That said, I cant ever imagine running them tubeless. The bead locks are so awful, they barely hold on with a DH innner in.
IMHO I think the advantages of tubeless outweigh the extra 15mm width. Plus the improved build quality, and eyelets should aid building better load carrying wheels. Plus I think the tire profile will be better. But thats down to the conditions, of course.
A big boy did it, and ran away.
Since you asked about a budget wheelset for bikepacking:
- I'd rebuild the rear wheel if that hub is shot and can't be overhauled
- leave the front alone
- drill out both LM rims
- sell off GFS rims to pay for the new hub or keep them for a future wheelset project
The LMs are strong and can be made lighter with a hole saw. 65mm double walled rims would be a fine choice for bikepacking and you own them which is the lowest cost option.
Has nobody tried to lace up the neon to 17.5mm offset yet? I don't think the angle of the spoke coming out of the right side of the rim to the left side of the hub would be that extreme. I have seen more extreme angles on bmx 20" wheels.
I went with option A. And I just have one thing to say - better to pay machines to drill rins than to do it yourself. These LMs are twice the headache the GFS rims were to drill. Oy.
LOL - I didn't enjoy drilling out my GF's LMs either, but it's short term pain for longterm gain and the price was right....
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