I'm looking for my next wheelset and I'm not sure which way to go. I'm a clyde (around 280 right now) who rides mostly AMish type stuff, maybe more on the XC side of things. But my weight and riding style has meant that I seem to be particularly hard on wheels. The reason I need new wheels is I've gone through 2 Azonic Outlaw rear wheels, the freedhub let go on each of them. I also went through a bunch of spokes and they were starting to get a little harder to keep true. Azonic replaced the first one, but has been completely unresponsive on the second (both were destroyed in way less than a year), so I'm done with them. So, a decent rear hub is important to me (I'm more of a masher than a spinner). I've also destroyed a XT freehub in the last couple of years, so as tempting as a those are for the cost I think I'd rather go with something a little better.
Anyway, cost is very important to me, but I don't want to blow a bunch of money on something that isn't going to last. I think I've got it narrowed down to a set of Mavic EX729 rims with DT Hugi FR hubs or some EX823 rims on Hope Pro2 hubs. I currently don't run tubeless, but I've been thinking about switching over, so the 823's have some appeal in that department. The Hope hubs have a good rep, but so do the DT's and the 729's should be plenty burly I'd think (maybe a bit of overkill?). Strength and durability outweighs weight for me. The 823/Hopes are cheaper from Chain Reaction, while the 729/DTs are a bit more from BWW. I had considered some Easton Havocs that can be had for a good price from Pricepoint right now, but the low spoke count and proprietary spokes/hub scare me away.
If it matters; I just got a Specialized Pitch frame that these will be used on, it replaces my hard tail that I cracked the frame on (which I was using after I broke the frame on my IH MKIII).
What would you do in my shoes? I'm open to other suggestions in the same price range of those above ($300-$400), or cheaper.
Thanks for any help.
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