Best of the worst? (Choosing between some entry level wheels)
So I'm trying to learn what's what in the wheels/hubs category. I've been collecting bikes and parts and fixing and reselling to help fun the MTB addictio... err... hobby.
My bike (mostly XC trail riding) is currently rolling on some Alex Rims TA-19s laced to Shimano M475 hubs. I know these are essentially crap, though for my light body weight (140lb) and easy riding style, they seem to be holding up quite well and staying true.
I've since acquired a few other sets and I'm trying to figure out what would be best to run. I've got:
- WTB SpeedMaster rims on WTB SpeedDisc XC hubs
- Alexrims DH19 rims on unknown hubs
- Sunrims Rhyno Lite rims on Deore XT hubs
- Bontrager Race Disc tubeless on Bontrager hubs
The latter two need some cleaning and regreasing in the bearings but I should be able to handle that fine. Using the Bontragers would require I get the adapter to run disc brakes in the rear ('99 Klein Mantra and I don't have a 22mm hayes brake).
I'm leaning towards the Sunrims as they're supposed to be bulletproof if a bit heavier than the others, and the XT hubs. But would the SpeedDisc XC hubs be comparable and the SpeedMaster rims as strong? They're quite a bit lighter and newer.
Thanks for any insight as to how these entry level parts compare. I'm on a tight budget so I have to work with what I've got, and the other parts will be used on other builds and sold.
None of those are much of an upgrade. If you bought all 4 of those sets you could have already paid for one real nice set of wheels.
Wheels are one of those things that you can't do half way. If you want better performance and lighter weight you have to spend some money.
For me - the lowest I'd go at this point in my biking life would be something like the Stan's arch ex wheels or maybe the sun ringle black flag expert.
These were all given to me or came on bikes I've bought to fix up (all entry level). I know none will be much of an upgrade but figured I'd ask those who know if there are any differences to speak of between these save a few grams here and there. I'm not looking for a "spend more money" answer - I have 5 sets of wheels and will roll on one of them, because I don't have any money to do otherwise. I just wanted some information comparing what I've got already.
I assume the XT hubs are better than my M475s, even if only a bit lighter (but they are sealed better).
Are the Sun rims that much stiffer than the WTB rims to make it worth the weight penalty? I'm still thinking either the WTB set or the Sun rims with the XT set. Maybe I'll just hold on to them both and try them and see what I like.
Personally, I would choose the Bontrager tubeless system.
My new bike came with Alex ID19 rims on Formula Hubs. I reckon if I would think about the Rhynolites or Bontrangers. I would favour any that came with sealed or cartridge bearing hubs!
I've had Rhynolite XL rims on a bike once and really liked them they came on my Giant STP, a DJ hardtail so I guess they may not be exactly XC light. Y
I was thinking the Bontrangers could be worth considering particularly if you're keen on running tubeless down the track, and maybe you don't want rims that have a machined rim brake surface?
The wheels that came on my new bike I decided to swap out for some that I already had, ProLite Arvier, they weigh about the same and both have machined sidewalls but the prolites at least have sealed bearing hubs and are slightly wider (better for running wider tyres if required).
In your case you have to also consider the condition of the used wheels you have, or at least factor in the cost of replacing bearings if required and then decide if it's really worthwhile.
Re: Best of the worst? (Choosing between some entry level wheels)
Thanks for the opinions. I'll have to check if the bontrager hubs are cartridges or not. The xt hubs are loose ball but have a good outer seal.
I'm concerned about the bontrager rims though... of all of them they get the worst reviews. Maybe there's just a higher expectation on them because they're supposedly that much better? I don't have any current plans to run tubeless but its not out of the question.
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