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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Need help choosing a wheel set please

    I ride a 2010 Specialized P1 AM. I've upgraded just about everything on the bike besides the wheels, and I'm thinking of buying myself a Christmas gift. I ride mostly in southern louisiana, so I don't really need a beefy full suspension bike. I love this bike because it's a nimble 26er that is great for flying through the woods, but also fun to launch off of jumps. I don't really care about racing as much as I just love to play at the local trails... so anyway, on to my question.

    I am looking at upgrading the wheelset, here's what I'm looking at now:

    American Classics

    Hope Hoops

    Mayyyybe DT Swiss??

    I'd love to stay near the $500 price point. Some riders have told me to hold out and spend $1000 on some good Chris King hubs with Mavic rims and spokes, but I'm not sure I'll really appreciate the value of such a large purchase. I just want lighter wheels that engage well and roll well.

    Any thoughts/opinons are welcome, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Between the Hopes and the AC's I would just flip a coin, then buy the winner.

    There's nothing objective I can come up with to separate the two and parts service for both are excellent.

    One thing though, Hope Pro 2's can be converted to (almost) any axle standard currently available whilst the AC's are a little more restricted. It's something to bear in mind if you're planning to keep the wheels for more than one bike.

    Those DTs are nice too, but are Centrelock, so you would have to add in either new discs or adapters into the price, which will push you over $700 and they aren't especially better than the other two (although they're very light).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Between the Hopes and the AC's I would just flip a coin, then buy the winner.

    There's nothing objective I can come up with to separate the two and parts service for both are excellent.

    One thing though, Hope Pro 2's can be converted to (almost) any axle standard currently available whilst the AC's are a little more restricted. It's something to bear in mind if you're planning to keep the wheels for more than one bike.

    Those DTs are nice too, but are Centrelock, so you would have to add in either new discs or adapters into the price, which will push you over $700 and they aren't especially better than the other two (although they're very light).
    Yep, you seem to be echoing most of what I have been reading... do you know anything about how they sound? I've heard the hope hubs are annoyingly loud and the ACs have a more pleasant purr. Any comments?

    Also, I've been told by one guy that the AC hubs are "over engineered." Any thoughts on that remark? Thanks again!

    EDIT: do you think there is any difference in durability between the two? I'm 6', 195lbs and I occasionally like to air the bike out and give it a good beating.
    Last edited by Jerble; 12-07-2012 at 02:22 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'd say that's a slightly odd sentiment, it's a spring pawl hub like most others.

    Pro 2s are properly loud, whether that annoys you or not is up to you, walkers will never claim to have not heard you.

    Nope, both good tough wheels and hubs. They both use standard J bend spokes as well, so truing or replacing spokes is easy/cheap too. Seriously, coin flip.

  5. #5
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    One thing I would add is that Hope freewheels are alloy that get notched from the cogs digging into it. Makes taking the cassette off a PITA. You'll be the wiser sticking to XT or Sram's PG990 if you go that route.

    Not sure of AC's freewheels. Maybe someone else can chime in.
    CRAP... I'm in the wrong gear

  6. #6
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    Couple of differences between the AC's and the Hopes....

    The AC hubs are only 18 POE which is pretty low, but because of that and their engagement mechanism they roll extremely well, and quiet. Hopes will be 24 POE, IIRC, and don't roll as well, and are very loud. Also, they are going to be somewhat lighter than the Hopes. As mentioned above, the Hope has an aluminum cassette body that is prone to gouging. The AC cassette body is also aluminum, but it has a couple of steel splines that help prevent the cassette gouging. Great design IMO. I am not a fan of the Stans rims on the Hope hubs, but plenty of people love them. Both wheel sets should be fine for the riding you describe.

    Personally I'd go for the AC's for their weight and how well they roll.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by textbookonewk View Post
    Couple of differences between the AC's and the Hopes....

    The AC hubs are only 18 POE which is pretty low, but because of that and their engagement mechanism they roll extremely well, and quiet. Hopes will be 24 POE, IIRC, and don't roll as well, and are very loud. Also, they are going to be somewhat lighter than the Hopes. As mentioned above, the Hope has an aluminum cassette body that is prone to gouging. The AC cassette body is also aluminum, but it has a couple of steel splines that help prevent the cassette gouging. Great design IMO. I am not a fan of the Stans rims on the Hope hubs, but plenty of people love them. Both wheel sets should be fine for the riding you describe.

    Personally I'd go for the AC's for their weight and how well they roll.
    I am new to upgrading hubs on my bike. Do you think the engagement between the ACs and the Hopes will be significant? One thing I'd really like out of my wheels is a quicker engagement from the stock specialized hubs. I assume both wheels will feel better, but if the hopes have significantly better engagement then I'd lean in their direction (although I love the light weight of the ACs and the look of them).

  8. #8
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    The engagement difference is noticeable, but IMO it is not a significant difference. The AC's likely have the same engagement as your stock hubs. For even more engagement, you could take another look at those DT's, because you can do a 32 tooth star ratchet upgrade. You really can't go wrong with any of those choices. I just think POE is overrated, and would still go with AC.

  9. #9
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    Seems like it's coming down to the ACs are just a bit lighter/faster with less engagement and the HOPE PRO 2s are tougher but a little heavier/slower with better engagement... decisions, decisions...

  10. #10
    Ninja Master Powers
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    Save up a little more money and go with Enve AM's on Dt240's.
    add on the 36 star rachete upgrade and your set.

    I've got a couple weeks of riding on mine now; best money spent on bike parts upgrade.
    Though I admit its close between the Enve's and the KS seat post.

  11. #11
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    With the current CRC coupon codes the Hope/Flows come out to $382 for the set if you do it in two separate orders. That would make it an easy decision for me. FYI the 2012 Hope hub is quieter than the 2011. I have wheelsets with both.

  12. #12
    Custom Wheelbuilder
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    You could build up some White Industries hubs to Stans rims. That would be slightly over your price range, but not too far. Going custom would give you infinitely more options than prebuilt and you could actually build a wheel set that is made for your weight. Not for the masses.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

    www.facebook.com/zencyclerywheels

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by textbookonewk View Post
    Couple of differences between the AC's and the Hopes....

    The AC hubs are only 18 POE which is pretty low, but because of that and their engagement mechanism they roll extremely well, and quiet. Hopes will be 24 POE, IIRC, and don't roll as well, and are very loud. Also, they are going to be somewhat lighter than the Hopes. As mentioned above, the Hope has an aluminum cassette body that is prone to gouging. The AC cassette body is also aluminum, but it has a couple of steel splines that help prevent the cassette gouging. Great design IMO. I am not a fan of the Stans rims on the Hope hubs, but plenty of people love them. Both wheel sets should be fine for the riding you describe.

    Personally I'd go for the AC's for their weight and how well they roll.
    The AC are 24 poe just like the Hope Hubs...but there is more to the story than just POE. AC hubs use a cam plate to activate the pawls. The advantage here is that there is less drag and very low noise since the pawls are not spring loaded against the ratchet. There are six pawls that each have two teeth so a total of 12 engagement points. However, they tend to engage slower because the pawls have to move further to engage.

    A spring loaded pawl system like the 24 poe Hope or White Industries will feel quicker than the 24 poe AC hubs, but will also have more drag and will be louder. It's a trade-off. Durability on both type of systems is good.

    I currently have WTB (same hub as AC) Laser Disc hubs and I like how quiet they are and how well they roll. The steel face freehub body is pure genius as well. But they do engage slowly, feeling more like an older XT hub (though much more solid feeling) than my previous 30 poe Sun-Ringle hubs. But the engagement is only noticeable on a few rare occasions, most of the time I don't even notice.
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  14. #14
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    Another consideration I've come across is that the AC rims are tubeless ready and the Stans Flow and Mavic 721s seem to require a tubless conversion kit. This bumps the price of the stans/mavics up by about $75.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerble View Post
    Another consideration I've come across is that the AC rims are tubeless ready and the Stans Flow and Mavic 721s seem to require a tubless conversion kit. This bumps the price of the stans/mavics up by about $75.
    The Stans rims use the same tubeless set up as the AC...tape and a valve.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    The Stans rims use the same tubeless set up as the AC...tape and a valve.
    I pulled the trigger on the ACs. After much thought, the lower weight and the speed of those wheels enticed me just a little bit more. I am gonna throw on a Slant Six in the rear and a Nevegal up front and report back with how they feel in a couple of weeks.

  17. #17
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    Well, as promised I've returned with an update on the AC All Mountain 26" wheelset. The verdict is that they are very strong and VERY light. I had an issue with one of the presta valves breaking in half on my second ride, but the AC customer service was very kind, and sent me a set of replacement valves.

    The wheels feel solid and fairly stiff, and the lightness makes the bike feel like it's been turbocharged. The engagement isn't anything to brag about, it feels about average, which makes no difference to me... the Chris King types of riders wouldn't be happy with it though. Overall, I'm very happy and have seen an instant confidence boost in my riding just because I am able to flick the wheels around so easily.

  18. #18
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    I'm pretty new to talking about wheels.. What does engagement mean?

  19. #19
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    how many contact points the cogs have.

  20. #20
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    To put it simply, engagement refers to how far the crankarms have to rotate before they begin to drive the rear wheel. Many high end hubs engage almost instantly, leaving no play in the crankarms (which leads to more efficiency in the ride). For me personally, I don't stress too much over those extra 10 degrees of slack in my crankarms, but some people are more picky about it. To quote "TheBikeWhisperer" above:

    "The AC are 24 poe just like the Hope Hubs...but there is more to the story than just POE. AC hubs use a cam plate to activate the pawls. The advantage here is that there is less drag and very low noise since the pawls are not spring loaded against the ratchet. There are six pawls that each have two teeth so a total of 12 engagement points. However, they tend to engage slower because the pawls have to move further to engage.

    A spring loaded pawl system like the 24 poe Hope or White Industries will feel quicker than the 24 poe AC hubs, but will also have more drag and will be louder. It's a trade-off. Durability on both type of systems is good. "

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