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  1. #1
    thats right living legend
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    Wheels... How They Relate To Riding HARD?

    Ok, so this is kinda my least favorite subject, cause I can never really seem to get my head around it "ie I know about wheels the least". I currently run a set of FSA XC 300s, and I have been very impressed. They look cool thier lite and so far have really been reliable. And for the price thier pretty incredible! But since I got the FR lowers a few months ago I've really loved the added stiffness and stability they've provided, and I think they'll help push my riding in the direction I want it to go... But, since I've gone with the bigger tires the lowers provide for, somethings missing, and I think I can track it to the wheels. My top priority is always lateral stiffness, and I'm wondering if anyone has any good advice/recomendations on a good, tough, reasonaby lite, affordable direction to go.

    I can't really afford a 6-700$ wheelset right now, but I'm thinkig mabye I'll go one wheel at a time. I'm also looking at trying out a new fork so a convertable hub would be something I'm looking for to open it up the options a little.

    So if anyboby has any advice/suggestions or even thoughts on the subject I'd really appreciate it, from my fellow Titan Bro's.

  2. #2
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    Hey Black

    I would give one vote to Chris King hubs with a decent rim (Mavic 819).

    I had a set of Daves Speeddreams. Chris Kings have incredible engagement and I love the buzz! Was very happy with them but the Bontrager rims where not rugged enough (had to send the rear back to get the rim replaced). Gave my women this set and got a set of Crossmax SL's. Now I have the opposite problem. I think the rims are bombproof but the hub engagement leaves more to be desired. Once my job situation stabilizes the SL's are going to find themselves on ebay and I'm going back to Chris King or an E13 nub with some bombproof rims.

    Chris

  3. #3
    thats right living legend
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    Thanks, Good Suggestion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris9702l
    I would give one vote to Chris King hubs with a decent rim (Mavic 819).

    I had a set of Daves Speeddreams. Chris Kings have incredible engagement and I love the buzz! Was very happy with them but the Bontrager rims where not rugged enough (had to send the rear back to get the rim replaced). Gave my women this set and got a set of Crossmax SL's. Now I have the opposite problem. I think the rims are bombproof but the hub engagement leaves more to be desired. Once my job situation stabilizes the SL's are going to find themselves on ebay and I'm going back to Chris King or an E13 nub with some bombproof rims.

    Chris

    Yeah, the 819's are looking like the way to go, though I really like the look of the DT 5.1's. But the 819s might be more affordable, the Kings could e pricey though...

  4. #4
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    Black,

    Talk to Chad at www.redbarnbicycles.com/. He'll set you up with a set of convertible Hope Pro2 hubs with a decent rim/spoke combo for a great price -- probably around $400 - $450.

    I think you'll notice a huge difference between a set of factory wheels and hand-built wheels.

    Good luck

  5. #5
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    For rims, I've been the most impressed, in terms of quality, by DT Swiss stuff. EX 5.1s would be great for running fatter rubber (2.4, 2.5ish) on the ML. (semi-OT, do the freeride lowers give more clearance than stock '06?) I've had opportunity to compare the DT stuff vs Mavic, WTB, Sun, Alex, FSA, and a bunch of others I can't remember, and imo Mavic's the only one of them that's close.

    Hubs... I don't know enough to be useful.

    Also, as noted by dulyebr, there is a very, very noticable difference between machine and hand built, even with the exact same parts. If you get boxed wheels, have a skilled wheelbuilder give them some love before they go on.

  6. #6
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Ok, so this is kinda my least favorite subject, cause I can never really seem to get my head around it "ie I know about wheels the least". I currently run a set of FSA XC 300s, and I have been very impressed. They look cool thier lite and so far have really been reliable. And for the price thier pretty incredible! But since I got the FR lowers a few months ago I've really loved the added stiffness and stability they've provided, and I think they'll help push my riding in the direction I want it to go... But, since I've gone with the bigger tires the lowers provide for, somethings missing, and I think I can track it to the wheels. My top priority is always lateral stiffness, and I'm wondering if anyone has any good advice/recomendations on a good, tough, reasonaby lite, affordable direction to go.

    I can't really afford a 6-700$ wheelset right now, but I'm thinkig mabye I'll go one wheel at a time. I'm also looking at trying out a new fork so a convertable hub would be something I'm looking for to open it up the options a little.

    So if anyboby has any advice/suggestions or even thoughts on the subject I'd really appreciate it, from my fellow Titan Bro's.
    Wow... tough call, Blackey.

    I think lateral stiffness is important, but can you really quantify it?

    I mean, how do you get lateral stiffness? Farther away flanges on hubs? Larger flanges? Thicker spokes?

    I'd take a thicker spoke if lateral stiffness was my priority.

    As for how much riding hard relates to using a strong wheelset... I dunno. Much relates to finesse.

    A buddy of mine rides what we would think are crappy wheels and he has them running true with almost no maintenance. He weighs more than me, rides a HT, rides faster than me... and I busted a wheel trying to bunnyhop a curb.

    I was reading one of shiggy's posts and he says (and I agree) that it's better to put money on the hubs... rims and spokes are rather consumable items.

    I'm after a nice and cheap wheelset... Maybe Hope XC's laced to Alex FD28's and 14g spokes. But I wass watching Mike's Garcia's site today (oddsandendos.com) and he has some really nice wheelsets made with WTB Laserdisc Light hubs. But WTB's have mixed reviews, while the Hopes have better reviews.
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  7. #7
    the 36 year old grom
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    I build my own wheels. totally not worth it from a time vs money stand point. but I'm stupid that way. I don't do anything fancy just three cross patern. I usually just copy a wheel I have laying around.

    its real handy to have a wheel truing stand and something to measure dish with.

    I over tighten my spokes. I do it to feel.... should reduce the life span but should make the wheel stiffer. but you need to choose a rim that can handle the extra tension.

    my mavic 823s and 819s have been perfect. my king hubs have been perfect. before that I just used whatever came with my bike.

    I think you get most of your flex from your tires. you may want a wide rim, should give the tire more leverage on the rim. I'm heavy so I generally run 35-40 PSI to avoid tire fold on my ML with 819s. stick with skinnier tires on the back with a skinny rim like the a 819.

    I use lower pressure on my SM (25psi). but run really thick tires and the 823s are a tiny bit wider.

  8. #8
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    I run Chris Kings with 819s, and they are AWESOME... it may be tough to get the Kings for your budget though...

  9. #9
    thats right living legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by demo_slug
    I build my own wheels. totally not worth it from a time vs money stand point. but I'm stupid that way. I don't do anything fancy just three cross patern. I usually just copy a wheel I have laying around.

    its real handy to have a wheel truing stand and something to measure dish with.

    I over tighten my spokes. I do it to feel.... should reduce the life span but should make the wheel stiffer. but you need to choose a rim that can handle the extra tension.

    my mavic 823s and 819s have been perfect. my king hubs have been perfect. before that I just used whatever came with my bike.

    I think you get most of your flex from your tires. you may want a wide rim, should give the tire more leverage on the rim. I'm heavy so I generally run 35-40 PSI to avoid tire fold on my ML with 819s. stick with skinnier tires on the back with a skinny rim like the a 819.

    I use lower pressure on my SM (25psi). but run really thick tires and the 823s are a tiny bit wider.


    Yeah, the big tires only add to the flex on these rims, but my only complaint on this wheelset has been flex even running skinnier tires. I would have to say flex is my NUMBER ONE CONCERN... just my pet peave. To those who don't notice it, enjoy it, but I bet you'd notice if you tried a flexier wheele than your on now. Then it's all you'll think about.

    Dulybr... Thanks for the tip that's exactly what I need to do. Just tell the dude what I want and let him go.

  10. #10
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    819s and hugi 240 hubs - stiff, light, strong and they can be purchased for under $500.

  11. #11
    Feeding your addiction
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Ok, so this is kinda my least favorite subject, cause I can never really seem to get my head around it "ie I know about wheels the least". I currently run a set of FSA XC 300s, and I have been very impressed. They look cool thier lite and so far have really been reliable. And for the price thier pretty incredible! But since I got the FR lowers a few months ago I've really loved the added stiffness and stability they've provided, and I think they'll help push my riding in the direction I want it to go... But, since I've gone with the bigger tires the lowers provide for, somethings missing, and I think I can track it to the wheels. My top priority is always lateral stiffness, and I'm wondering if anyone has any good advice/recomendations on a good, tough, reasonaby lite, affordable direction to go.

    I can't really afford a 6-700$ wheelset right now, but I'm thinkig mabye I'll go one wheel at a time. I'm also looking at trying out a new fork so a convertable hub would be something I'm looking for to open it up the options a little.

    So if anyboby has any advice/suggestions or even thoughts on the subject I'd really appreciate it, from my fellow Titan Bro's.
    If you're looking in the $400-$500 range then Hope is the best option IMO. The Bulb or Pro II rear with a ProII front laced to DT 5.1's is a great set for what you described.

    Larry
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Ok, so this is kinda my least favorite subject, cause I can never really seem to get my head around it "ie I know about wheels the least". I currently run a set of FSA XC 300s, and I have been very impressed. They look cool thier lite and so far have really been reliable. And for the price thier pretty incredible! (SNIP)
    I had the same wheels on my HH but even if they didn't have much problems (freehub slows in freezing conditions) I sold them and got more conventional wheelset, DT240/32xComps/Mavic717. Much more confidence in my wheels now - I had cheap XT wheelset for V's before FSA's on this bike so I had something to compare to and would now take any well made conventional wheelset over FSAs.

    Somehow FSA wheels rode strangely vaguely, even if differences in lateral stiffness should not be that great and weight is close to my DT wheelset. Impressively FSA's stayed completely true even if construction is against all common sense in wheelbuilding.

  13. #13
    thats right living legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by markom
    I had the same wheels on my HH but even if they didn't have much problems (freehub slows in freezing conditions) I sold them and got more conventional wheelset, DT240/32xComps/Mavic717. Much more confidence in my wheels now - I had cheap XT wheelset for V's before FSA's on this bike so I had something to compare to and would now take any well made conventional wheelset over FSAs.

    Somehow FSA wheels rode strangely vaguely, even if differences in lateral stiffness should not be that great and weight is close to my DT wheelset. Impressively FSA's stayed completely true even if construction is against all common sense in wheelbuilding.



    Somehow your discription makes perfict sense to me?

  14. #14
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    I am a big fan of the 717s - I have not made the transition to tubeless. The 240s and 717 are great. Magura has a wheelset that is 240 hubs on 717s. I believe Hammerheadbikes was selling them for $500. I was able to purchase a brand new set of the Magura's for $425 on Ebay.

  15. #15
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    450 for the set, hugi 240 14/15 black, 3x, alloy nipples, 317 rims, with skewers

    I am a HUGE fan of a handbuilt set of King/DTs

    We will run supercomps for lighter riders, 14/15s for heavier riders or guys more concerned with stiffness than a few grams.

    I run the x4.1d rims, love em
    they build up stiff
    I am a firm believer in having a stiff set of wheels, they make the bike ride better

    kings have gone up a bunch in price, but they have the engagement and they have a deserved rep for long term durability

    the hope IIs look good, but I haven't personally tried them
    I like the convertible front hub idea, 20mm to QR, though I did read there's a tad bit of (perhaps inconsequential) amount of play with their system

    I wish King would offer a convertible front hub, in today's fork market, it makes so much sense...

  16. #16
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    HH -What is the approximate weight of CK hubs laced to the 4.1 rims?

  17. #17
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTBAZ
    HH -What is the approximate weight of CK hubs laced to the 4.1 rims?
    Stupid light... a buddy of mine has a set like you say with Supercomps. The thing gets a fair rate of abuse with ease and weighs in nothing.

    I'd say somewhere 1700-1800grs... maybe less. They're both strong and light.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Ok, so this is kinda my least favorite subject, cause I can never really seem to get my head around it "ie I know about wheels the least". I currently run a set of FSA XC 300s, and I have been very impressed. They look cool thier lite and so far have really been reliable. And for the price thier pretty incredible! But since I got the FR lowers a few months ago I've really loved the added stiffness and stability they've provided, and I think they'll help push my riding in the direction I want it to go... But, since I've gone with the bigger tires the lowers provide for, somethings missing, and I think I can track it to the wheels. My top priority is always lateral stiffness, and I'm wondering if anyone has any good advice/recomendations on a good, tough, reasonaby lite, affordable direction to go.

    I can't really afford a 6-700$ wheelset right now, but I'm thinkig mabye I'll go one wheel at a time. I'm also looking at trying out a new fork so a convertable hub would be something I'm looking for to open it up the options a little.

    So if anyboby has any advice/suggestions or even thoughts on the subject I'd really appreciate it, from my fellow Titan Bro's.
    I have two wheelsets: Mavic 317 Disc on XT hubs and Mavic XC717 Disc on Hope Pro II hubs. The 317/XT wheels are 3 years old and have taken a hammering (although I'm only 140lbs, so that's a relative term). They have only recently gone out of true after a particularly hard whack which caused the inside if the rim to splinter and puncture every tube I put in - but they are still going strong. I have never touched the hubs and they still run sweet without any play.

    The 717/Pro II wheels are pretty new and I'm pretty pleased so far. Very light (about 1700g) and the hubs are reeeaaalll smooth. Pretty versatile too because they convert from q/r to 20mm thru-axle. They have had great reviews here in the UK (crappy conditions normal...). Lace them to Mavic 819s if you want UST. Hope are MUCH cheaper than King or DT Swiss and the rear freehub has a lovely sound from it. Mine cost ŁUK 260 so I'm guessing $US 400 (skewers not included...)

    Hope this is useful.

  19. #19
    FM
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    Just a few thoughts on wheels....

    I've got King rear hubs on both my bikes. One is like 7 years old- bought before disc brakes were availabe, then I just swapped the guts to a new sheel when king disc hubs first came out. It's still going strong. But, I have to say, the king price increases have turned me off- especially since the competition is getting better and better- plus, the price of king replacement parts is ridiculous- $180 for fun-bolts?

    If I was starting from Scratch, I would consider Hadley or DT for hubs.

    Front hubs- making a good front hub isn't rocket science. This is a great area to save money as there is little performance difference between a king front hub and an XT. There are a few companies that make decent convertible front hubs- the ones on Azonic outlaws are fine, I've also seen some generic branded hubs at the LBS that convert betweeb QR and 20mm. Seems like a good idea unless you are already 20mm. I can also vouch that the marzocchi 20mm hub is decent and inexpensive.

    Rims, I am a big believer in UST. I run tubeless on both bikes, all the time. If you pick the right tires, you will pretty much never get flats, even with stupid low tire pressure. So that pretty much directs you to either Mavic XM819's or XM823's. I know lots of people who prefer the 823's even for XC, becuase they work better with wider tires. If you are over 200lbs or are generally hard on wheels, I'd get the 823, at least in back. I'm fine with 819's but do end up replacing them every 2 years.

    Double butted spokes are a waste of money IMHO. You save weight but lose stiffness, and it doubles the cost of spokes.... I run 2.0 (14g) spokes on all my wheels.

    So, for a budget wheelset I would go:
    hadley or DT rear hub, 32h
    generic convertible or marzocchi 20mm front hub, 32h
    2.0 spokes laced 3x, brass nipples
    Mavic XM819 rims (or 823s if you are bigger)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Somehow your discription makes perfict sense to me?
    Well, it doesn't make any sense to me now... but it might just be painkillers, I'm a sissy who can't bear broken ribs like real men would

  21. #21
    the 36 year old grom
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    the FSA 300s look good to me... the rear wheel is 3 cross. I guess 32 spokes. wheelsmith spokes. "hand built", this is aslong as an Artisian is not what they named the machine , I'm not seeing anything from that advert. that sticks out as the smoking gun or wiggly wheel.
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  22. #22
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    I have a few general thoughts.

    I'm going to avoid suggesting particular brands because it is the principles of building a stiff wheelset that is most important. I too build my own wheels and after 20+ year of playing around with wheels this is what I've discovered.

    1) I'm a firm believer the bigger volume tires require wider rims and there are many to choose from. 32 spoke minimum.
    2) Large diameter hub flanges will increase stiffness by reduing length of spokes.
    3) Traditional 3x lacing front and rear is still the best. Radial lacing is considered to build a stiffer wheel, but at greater risk of catesprophic failure. And this is a real NO NO with disc brakes these days.
    4) Try and use a combination of hubs and rims that minimize dish. Dished wheels are not in tensial equilibrium. Wheels are more likely to deflect in the direction of the greatest tension which is always the side of the wheel with shorter spokes. I still believe that Offset Spoke Bed (OSB) styled rims are the best for build both stiff and resilent wheels.
    5) On a FS bike I'd use straight gauge steel spokes 14 or 15 based on your weight.

    Hope this helps

    Regards,

    EndUser
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by demo_slug
    the FSA 300s look good to me... the rear wheel is 3 cross. I guess 32 spokes. wheelsmith spokes. "hand built", this is aslong as an Artisian is not what they named the machine , I'm not seeing anything from that advert. that sticks out as the smoking gun or wiggly wheel.
    No, they have only 20/24 spokes, meaning that they stress "normal" (not magical Mavic alum spokes or anything special) spokes pretty hard.

    Anyway, mine were well build and did remain true during 10months I had them. I maintain that their design is not intelligent though...

  24. #24
    the 36 year old grom
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    Quote Originally Posted by markom
    No, they have only 20/24 spokes, meaning that they stress "normal" (not magical Mavic alum spokes or anything special) spokes pretty hard.

    Anyway, mine were well build and did remain true during 10months I had them. I maintain that their design is not intelligent though...
    dang, I thought it was a 32.......yup 24 spoke wheel

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp
    Stupid light... a buddy of mine has a set like you say with Supercomps. The thing gets a fair rate of abuse with ease and weighs in nothing.

    I'd say somewhere 1700-1800grs... maybe less. They're both strong and light.
    First set was Onyx + regular DT spokes + 717. Worked well, but engagement sucked.

    Now, I got a set of CK+ DT revo spokes (very thin) + Stan Olympic rims. The whole set weighs maybe 1600gr and works great for me, BUT, I don't huck over 1 foot (and extremely rarely at that), and I weigh 160 before I shower in the morning. I would not recommend that set to a 190lb huckster.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

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