2011 Rockhopper Rim Choices- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2011 Rockhopper Rim Choices

    The 2011 Specialized Rockhopper Comp and Expert 29ers are both equipped with Alex RHD 29 rims which look a lot like the DP17 rims on Alex's home page. The 622x17 DP17rims are 24mm wide (17mm between the bead seats) by 18mm tall. The Alex OEM rim is double walled with a pinned joint and stainless steel eyelets.

    The 2011 Rockhopper Pro and LTD 29ers both come equipped with DT Swiss 485 29 rims with pinned joints and eyelets. I cannot find any information about this 485 29er rim on DT Swiss's home page. Does anybody know where I can find the 485's technical details?

  2. #2
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    DT numbers their rims based on average weight...my guess is that they are similar to the X470. Just a little cheaper with a pinned seam instead of sleeved like the X470.

  3. #3
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    Thanks mtnbiker72 for the cross reference. I looked up the X470 on DT Swiss's home page and determined that the rim is too weak for my riding weight, which tips the scale at 200 pounds. The X470 is a double walled rim, with a sleeved joint that is 17.7mm tall x 23.9mm wide. The maximum weight capacity of the X470 with 32 spokes is 90Kg or 198 pounds. I assume the 485 has the same profile as the X470 with the same 198 pound capacity. The section of this rim is not deep enough to carry my weight. The 485 is laced with 36 spokes so I may be able to add another 10% capacity over the X470’s 32 spokes maximum carrying capacity, which equates to 218 pounds maximum.
    The Alex DP17 has a very similar section as the X470 but with thicker walls, which translates into its heaver weight of 580 grams per rim. Technically the rear Alex rim laced with 36 spokes will be a little stronger than the DT Swiss 485 rim--but not by much.

  4. #4
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    Well rim strength has many factors. While the rim itself is one, there is also spoke and build quality factors. Since Specialized is using 14ga spokes and 36 of them, I'd be willing to bet that wheel would hold up just fine to regular XC riding for you. Of course you throw in jumps, drops, and other factors and that can change.

  5. #5
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    Agreed, the quality of the spoke material is by far the most important factor along with a good build that makes a wheel durable. The rim also needs to be sized according to the weight of the rider and type of riding it will be subjected too. For example, a 200 pound downhill/free ride rider will need a deep sectioned double walled rim with (36) 14 Ga. or 14/15 Ga. spokes. A low profile single walled rim for a 200 pound downhiller will constantly run out of true and break spokes because the rim deflect too much every time it rolls over the contact patch.
    Likewise a well built wheel will have a 3 X lace pattern with uniform spoke tension on each side of the hub flange, which are tensioned approximately 10 to 20 percent below the rim yield (the rim will begin to taco slightly at its yield point). Also the cold rolled spokes need to be stress relieved so they don’t start breaking/fatiguing within a few months.
    The problem with the Rockhopper’s OEM wheels are as follows: 1) The inexpensive spokes that have a much shorter fatigue cycle than that of an equivalent DT Swiss or Wheelsmith spoke. 2) Poor build quality, which I can correct before I ride the bike. 3) The light duty rims that are at their maximum load capacity with my 200 pound riding weight and 4) the Formula/Joytech hubs, which do not have replacement parts. Unfortunately, the Rockhopper’s OEM wheel sets will last for about one year before its components start breaking down.

  6. #6
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    are these wheels strong enough for a tubless conversion? using my captian controls 2bliss? I am only a 160lb rider what do you guys think?

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