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  1. #1
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    Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead 29er build

    So there's an obscene amount of snow melt going on in my area lately, so it's a good time to geek out on bike building/shopping. This is a pretty slow build, so I don't currently have a whole lot to share, but I'll continue to update it as I progress.

    I picked up the frame in September, it was lightly used (less than a yr old).


    0920181240~2 by Nate, on Flickr

    Decided to put a MRP Ribbon air fork on it. 140mm travel, 51mm offset (longer travel than stock, but stock offset).


    1120181735 by Nate, on Flickr

    The guy I bought the frame from included an FSA headset, but I decided for giggles to keep this bike to as many North American-made parts as possible. Cane Creek is just down the road from me, so I got a CC 110 headset (there were already 3 110 headsets on different bikes in my house, and a 40, so it was sortof an obvious choice). The headset was delivered yesterday. I pulled out a parts bin stem for now, so I could put my parts together. The seatpost is one I use occasionally when I need to pull the dropper post from another bike for service. It just so happens to fit this bike, so that's a pleasant circumstance that allows me to throw this one in the workstand while I work on it.


    1214182256 by Nate, on Flickr

    I've decided that I'm going to build the wheelset for this bike. I'll be using Industry Nine hubs (another local company) with the new microspline freehub body (for the new XTR 9100 bits). Not sure which rims yet, but I'm leaning towards RF Arc30. Either way, there's a cool wheelbuilding class locally that I can take.

    http://appalachianbicycleinstitute.com/

  2. #2
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    Awesome! Looking forward to the final build.

  3. #3
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    The Steel Fleet:


    '14 All City MMD
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    TBA - There is a hint in the Purchase thread

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Aw yeah. Got the all clear to sign up for the wheel building class to make sure I get a spot.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    My Pedalhead has been sold!

    It's such a great frame

    Enjoy the build!
    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 6 Days Ago at 11:15 PM.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Fezzari Signal Peak 29/27+
    Lrg Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife's)

  6. #6
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    You know that bike can take a 2.6" 29 tire. Depending on the tire you can use in your area and terrain I'd consider an Arc35 and you could go 40 if you can run xr2 or xr4 2.6" without chopping up the sidewalls. Depends on the tire you need.
    Good luck. Building your own wheels is the best.

  7. #7
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    This is going to be good.

    I built a set of wheels in college and it was a very enjoyable experience. I used a wheelbuilding book by Jobst Brant and they turned out great.

    I think that will be a very fun bike.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Harold, Iím gonna Spam your thread ... my size Large Pedalhead needs a loving home, so if anyone reads this thread and is in the thneed.

    It's such a great frame

    Enjoy the build!
    I wish I could afford it for a mud season bike to save wear on my Megatrail.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    You know that bike can take a 2.6" 29 tire. Depending on the tire you can use in your area and terrain I'd consider an Arc35 and you could go 40 if you can run xr2 or xr4 2.6" without chopping up the sidewalls. Depends on the tire you need.
    Good luck. Building your own wheels is the best.
    Just stop right now.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Ohhh, so youíre looking for wheel building ideas!

    Well then, I build most of my wheels, got started on muni wheels a while back.

    There are a few 29Ē rims I like for a balance of cost, weight, and durability: Duroc 40/50 are tough rims, build up well. Velocity has improved their quality, I like the Duslky. WTB Scrapers are good rims too.

    The Pedalhead will easily fit s 2.8 tire, wider rims spread out the tire and increase volume.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Fezzari Signal Peak 29/27+
    Lrg Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife's)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Ohhh, so youíre looking for wheel building ideas!.
    Not really. And I am especially not looking to go as big as absolutely possible. I already have a fatbike. I want something different than that with this bike.

    I might try 2.6 tires, but still want to be able to run 2.4/2.5 tires to get the tread pattern/casing combo I want. So def not interested in 40mm rims. Going to stay around 30mm wide. Maybe as wide as 35, but no more than that.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    Duroc 40 have a 35mm ID. Iíve run 3Ē on them and it was okay, nice middle of the road rim width, gives you choices. I canít remember a time when I had rims that were too wide.

    What hubs are you gonna use?

    Iíve had pretty good luck with the OneUp Dropper 170mm. On a large frame it fit just right for full extension on 165mm cranks, 33Ē inseam. OneUp dropper levers duck, go with Wolftooth.

    Itís a super fun riding frame.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Fezzari Signal Peak 29/27+
    Lrg Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife's)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Duroc 40 have a 35mm ID. Iíve run 3Ē on them and it was okay, nice middle of the road rim width, gives you choices. I canít remember a time when I had rims that were too wide.

    What hubs are you gonna use?

    Iíve had pretty good luck with the OneUp Dropper 170mm. On a large frame it fit just right for full extension on 165mm cranks, 33Ē inseam. OneUp dropper levers duck, go with Wolftooth.

    Itís a super fun riding frame.
    Industry Nine hubs. Made just a few mi from my house. This build has a heavy local/US/NA made influence, so that's a consideration. Part of why I'll be putting the I9 stem on it, whenever they release the 31.8 clamp version. But I also have access to a few good deals, and I'm going to use them where possible. There will be a bit of Race Face on this build, because that's one brand I have access to good pricing.

    This bike cannot fit 29x2.8 as far as I've been able to tell, so that's not even in consideration. I don't think I want wheels that large in diameter, anyway. MAYBE one day in the future, I'll build a 27.5+ wheelset for this bike, and I'll be looking at 2.8-3.0 tires. But not now. I just want a "vanilla" 29er build.

    Rims can be too wide when they square off the tires too much, and make too abrupt of an edge when cornering. Don't want that. I've got multiple wheel builders I trust recommending 30mm wide for what I want. So that's what I'm going to get. My wife's 26er has 31mm rims and 2.4ish tires and they're a touch on the square side (about as much as I'm willing to tolerate), so I expect I'll like the shape of 2.5-2.6 on that rim size.

    I'm pretty sure I won't be able to fit a 170mm Oneup dropper post based on initial measurements I've made. The 150 should fit, though. Not sure what would work if I got the 170 and shortened it. My measurements aren't that detailed. I haven't put TOO much effort into choosing a dropper yet, but I've looked a little. I seem to remember reading in the Pedalhead thread that folks have had issues with the actuator on Fox Transfers (and therefore the RF Turbine R) interfering with the seat tube bend. So I'm paying some attention to the shape of dropper actuators. About all I've decided is that any post with an actuator that offsets towards the rear of the post (ie: Fox Transfer/Turbine R) is out of contention. The dropper post is going to be one part where neither price nor location of manufacture is going to be a major consideration. It's going to be the dimensions/fit first, and reliability/function second.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Not really. And I am especially not looking to go as big as absolutely possible. I already have a fatbike. I want something different than that with this bike.

    I might try 2.6 tires, but still want to be able to run 2.4/2.5 tires to get the tread pattern/casing combo I want. So def not interested in 40mm rims. Going to stay around 30mm wide. Maybe as wide as 35, but no more than that.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Hey,
    I recently built a set of Praxis AL32s with hope pro 2 evos. I really like the look and weight of the rims (3mm asym). Haven't had a chance to ride them yet, unfortunately. Here's a pic:
    Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead 29er build-img_20181201_224348.jpg

    Depending on your budget, you probably might lean towards their carbon 32 offerings.
    The rims shipped with a fitting tubeless ready rimtape, nice touch And they're based in Santa Cruz, fwiw.

    PS: just read your note regarding the dropper. Chainreactioncycles has the Crank Bros Highline for sale, in case this is of interest.

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    29 x 2.8Ē fit fine, already running them. Of course you need a fork to manage the tire, Pike 27+/29 works fine, regular Pike wonít fit a fatter tire than 2.5
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Fezzari Signal Peak 29/27+
    Lrg Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife's)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynee View Post
    Hey,
    I recently built a set of Praxis AL32s with hope pro 2 evos. I really like the look and weight of the rims (3mm asym). Haven't had a chance to ride them yet, unfortunately. Here's a pic:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Depending on your budget, you probably might lean towards their carbon 32 offerings.
    The rims shipped with a fitting tubeless ready rimtape, nice touch And they're based in Santa Cruz, fwiw.

    PS: just read your note regarding the dropper. Chainreactioncycles has the Crank Bros Highline for sale, in case this is of interest.
    Those are some interesting rims. What I'm not clear on right now is how the build would be affected by using an asym rim, being that the frame itself has an offset. Talking to the course instructor about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    29 x 2.8Ē fit fine, already running them. Of course you need a fork to manage the tire, Pike 27+/29 works fine, regular Pike wonít fit a fatter tire than 2.5
    Either way, not interested in 29x2.8.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Those are some interesting rims. What I'm not clear on right now is how the build would be affected by using an asym rim, being that the frame itself has an offset. Talking to the course instructor about that.
    Glad I could provide some inspiration
    I cannot make a statement with regards to the offset frame in particular. But the asymmetric rim itself has the advantage that the spoke tensions between drive side and non-drive side spokes are closer to eachother than with symmetric rims.
    I'm using this spoke calculator to get the required spoke length, and it also shows you the recommended tensions:
    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/
    I'm curious what your instructor will say regarding the offset frame.
    and I can second the statement made above - buiding your own wheels is quite a satisfying afterwork pastime.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynee View Post
    Glad I could provide some inspiration
    I cannot make a statement with regards to the offset frame in particular. But the asymmetric rim itself has the advantage that the spoke tensions between drive side and non-drive side spokes are closer to eachother than with symmetric rims.
    I'm using this spoke calculator to get the required spoke length, and it also shows you the recommended tensions:
    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/
    I'm curious what your instructor will say regarding the offset frame.
    and I can second the statement made above - buiding your own wheels is quite a satisfying afterwork pastime.
    My understanding of the frame offset (it is also 3mm, to the drive side, which means the wheel needs to be offset 3mm to the NDS to compensate) is that it also allows for more equal spoke tensions. So it seems to me that putting an asym rim in combination with a frame offset would negate that benefit. That's without running the numbers, of course. But maybe the result would be even better spoke tension. I'm not at the point just yet to run those numbers to get the final answer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    My understanding of the frame offset (it is also 3mm, to the drive side, which means the wheel needs to be offset 3mm to the NDS to compensate) is that it also allows for more equal spoke tensions. So it seems to me that putting an asym rim in combination with a frame offset would negate that benefit. That's without running the numbers, of course. But maybe the result would be even better spoke tension. I'm not at the point just yet to run those numbers to get the final answer.
    ah, very interesting. please let me know what your instructor's opinion is on that topic. cheers, and good luck with the build. looks rad by the way!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    My understanding of the frame offset (it is also 3mm, to the drive side, which means the wheel needs to be offset 3mm to the NDS to compensate).
    Just passing thru but I don't think I get your concern... Frame stays are offset in relation to each other so they drive train has good chainline/clearance - a rim will be right where it needs to be without modifications to dish to compensate. Theses rims are hole offset to try and provide more even tension/bracing. At the end of the day, it wouldn't matter - hub is where the hub is... rim will be dished accordingly. Any offset built into the frame would have no bearing whatsoever - everything lines up and a properly tensioned and dished wheel is just that... Maybe I'm missing some nuance here tho.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    Just passing thru but I don't think I get your concern... Frame stays are offset in relation to each other so they drive train has good chainline/clearance - a rim will be right where it needs to be without modifications to dish to compensate. Theses rims are hole offset to try and provide more even tension/bracing. At the end of the day, it wouldn't matter - hub is where the hub is... rim will be dished accordingly. Any offset built into the frame would have no bearing whatsoever - everything lines up and a properly tensioned and dished wheel is just that... Maybe I'm missing some nuance here tho.
    You are missing something. Rim has to be dished 3mm to nds to account for the frame offset, which shifts the hub to the drive side. Manufacturer states this clearly.

    Without redishing the rim, it will not be centered on the frame.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You are missing something. Rim has to be dished 3mm to nds to account for the frame offset, which shifts the hub to the drive side. Manufacturer states this clearly.

    Without redishing the rim, it will not be centered on the frame.
    Heh. That is wild. For the record, I still didn't believe you. Went to the site - only saw "12 x 148 Boost rear hub, offset 3 mm to the driveside for optimal chainline and clearance"... And said, that's still vague - asymmetrical or really offset? Finally saw what you referenced in the owner's manual (they called it 'wheeled trued with 6mm spacer')...

    https://ridegg.com/Shared/images/Ped...anual-RevC.pdf

    "Assembly - Rear Hub Offset
    12x148 Rear Hub, Offset 3mm to the Drive Side
    6mm Spacer on Non Drive Side True Wheel With 6mm Spacer
    Center rim
    6mm spacer
    Note: You do need to use a 6mm spacer on a traditional truing stand to offset the hub 3mm."

    No horse in this race. I'll just call it different and leave it at that.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    Heh. That is wild. For the record, I still didn't believe you. Went to the site - only saw "12 x 148 Boost rear hub, offset 3 mm to the driveside for optimal chainline and clearance"... And said, that's still vague - asymmetrical or really offset? Finally saw what you referenced in the owner's manual (they called it 'wheeled trued with 6mm spacer')...

    https://ridegg.com/Shared/images/Ped...anual-RevC.pdf

    "Assembly - Rear Hub Offset
    12x148 Rear Hub, Offset 3mm to the Drive Side
    6mm Spacer on Non Drive Side True Wheel With 6mm Spacer
    Center rim
    6mm spacer
    Note: You do need to use a 6mm spacer on a traditional truing stand to offset the hub 3mm."

    No horse in this race. I'll just call it different and leave it at that.
    A little different, but not new. Cannondale has been doing a similar offset for years. They have been doing it since before boost was a thing.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    I am also looking forward to seeing how this turns out. You will really dig building your own wheels. It takes the satisfaction of building your own bike to a whole new level. I am in the process of building up a Canfield N9 and although I pretty much have everything for the build sitting on my work bench, so far have just got the wheels built. Hoping with some time off for the upcoming holidays to get her finished. Hope Pro 4s with WTB i35 Asym rims and going to give Bontrager XR4 2.6 tires a try.

    Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead 29er build-20181121_220257-2-.jpg

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    So I've got my reservation set for the wheelbuilding class near the end of March. It's awhile off, but it also means I can take my time to save up and buy the parts for that wheel build with no rush.

    I've decided on the bones of the wheel build at this point.

    Industry Nine hubs (boost, centerlock, microspline freehub body).
    Race Face Arc30 rims. I hear good things about these from other wheel builders. I think the 30mm width is going to fit what I want better than something wider. Also going with the symmetric rims. A couple reasons why. After speaking to the course instructor, it's simply not necessary with the offset frame. But also, she recommends against asym rims for all mountain builds, because there is a bit of twisting on hard impacts that reduces the life span of the rims.
    DT Competition spokes and brass nips.

    Hopefully I'll be ready to order the hubs within the next couple of weeks.

  26. #26
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    Hey, thanks for the feedback. Those are interesting inputs. I haven't had any issues with my asyms yet. Hope it will stay that way
    Your build plans sound awesome, especially the i9 hubs. Would be great if you kept on sharing info and pics!, Unfortunately those are way above my budget...
    All the best
    Rynee

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynee View Post
    Hey, thanks for the feedback. Those are interesting inputs. I haven't had any issues with my asyms yet. Hope it will stay that way
    Your build plans sound awesome, especially the i9 hubs. Would be great if you kept on sharing info and pics!, Unfortunately those are way above my budget...
    All the best
    Rynee
    As for the asym rim thing, she didn't speak of it like asym rims would suddenly fail on an AM build. It's a long term thing. She said that the offset spoke bed will result in slight twisting of the rim on impacts, which will cause extra spoke tension variances. Those things result in less long term stability (reads to me like more frequent truing over the long term).

    Fun thing about this build is that I have no absolute budget. I just wait and save to buy parts when I have the cash. The only limit on budget is really time. More expensive = takes longer to build. My goal is to be able to start riding it this spring.

    And now, no matter what, I won't be finishing it until the wheelbuilding class in March at the earliest. But probably a bit after that. Parts availability will be an issue at some point. It always is when building a bike like this.

    I think after I get everything purchased for the wheels, the drivetrain is going to be the next step. That'll be where parts availability will be the biggest issue. I'll be tying myself into the new XTR 9100 by getting the microspline freehub body, so it's not like I'll have any alternatives for the shifter, RD, and cassette.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  28. #28
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    Nice parts for the wheel build. This class that you are going to be taking, do they provide instruction on how to determine actual rim ERD and required spoke length?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU View Post
    Nice parts for the wheel build. This class that you are going to be taking, do they provide instruction on how to determine actual rim ERD and required spoke length?
    Good question. The information here is all I've got for the class "curriculum" so far.

    APPALACHIAN BICYCLE INSTITUTE

    I'm going to assume that something like that will be included. According to the instructor, they usually use parts for instruction that the institute has on hand for wheel builds, but you can bring your own parts if you want to keep the wheels you build.

    I've asked the instructor if I also need to supply my own spokes (and therefore determine the needed lengths before class). I assume that I'll need to bring the spokes I want to use, also.

    I've looked a little bit into spoke calculators (a couple different ones) and I've definitely seen that determining spoke length appears to be the biggest PITA of the whole process. Race Face provides an ERD for their rims and then tells you need to add twice the nipple head height, which is a spec I can't find ANYWHERE (but some spoke calculators ask for, of course). Another spoke calculator detailed a method for measuring the actual ERD, which requires you to have the rims in hand, a couple of sacrificial spokes (and I assume the same nipples you'll be using in your build) and actually measure. Which is great if you have a bunch of spoke lengths on hand already and you can just choose what you need...but sucks ass if you don't have any spokes at all and need to order what you need.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU View Post
    Nice parts for the wheel build. This class that you are going to be taking, do they provide instruction on how to determine actual rim ERD and required spoke length?
    I use manufacturers data for erd, and this for spoke length calc:
    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/
    Has served me well so far.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynee View Post
    I use manufacturers data for erd, and this for spoke length calc:
    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/
    Has served me well so far.
    Yeah, that was one of the ones I looked at. And the one where I got stuck because Race Face's ERD measurement spec requires that you add twice the nipple head height to get the "true" ERD.

    https://www.raceface.com/media/RF%20...heet%20rim.pdf
    https://www.raceface.com/media/RF%20...alculation.pdf

    The asym field is also assuming an asym rim. My frame is offset, so I'm not quite sure how to account for that in the calculator.

    DT's calculator didn't even give me any way to account for a frame offset.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I've looked a little bit into spoke calculators (a couple different ones) and I've definitely seen that determining spoke length appears to be the biggest PITA of the whole process. Race Face provides an ERD for their rims and then tells you need to add twice the nipple head height, which is a spec I can't find ANYWHERE (but some spoke calculators ask for, of course). Another spoke calculator detailed a method for measuring the actual ERD, which requires you to have the rims in hand, a couple of sacrificial spokes (and I assume the same nipples you'll be using in your build) and actually measure. Which is great if you have a bunch of spoke lengths on hand already and you can just choose what you need...but sucks ass if you don't have any spokes at all and need to order what you need.
    While it is possible to get away with using the data provided by the manufacturer, it can be a real crap shoot. When taking your own the actual measurements, it is very common to find the manufacturer's provided information varies from your own values. No idea why, but if you search over in the Wheels and Tires forum, this is a very common subject. That is why I asked if they covered this in the class. I figured it out, but man....it sure would have been nice to have had the opportunity to done it first hand with an experienced wheel builder.

    I would buy your rims and nipples now, then pick up a couple spokes from a LBS. Something around 290mm. For measuring ERD, you do not need to use the same spokes you are going to use for the build. Considering that cut spokes are typically a non-returnable item and 64 are not exactly cheap, I prefer to know exactly what I need. And like most things, the first time is a PITA, but it gets easier with experience. I have had good luck with the following website for information.
    Wheels

    This wheel builder's site has many of the most common rims and hubs in their spoke calculator database.
    https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/

    Interesting about the 3mm offset rear hub spacing and not sure how to figure that into the equation. I would check with GG, but I bet you will be able to use the same spoke length for the drive and non-drive sides.

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    No change on spoke length with a 3mm offset, the difference is insignificant.

    Just build it like a normal wheel, then offset 3mm.

    Honestly, you donít have to offset, you have plenty of clearance ... 3mm is less than an 1/8Ē.

    Building wheels is not that hard, just learn the pattern and the reason for the pattern, lace the wheel, then start tensioning. You donít learn to build wheels in your first wheel build, you simply overcome your anxiety over building wheels and get a overall understanding of how the process works.

    Even if you build a couple wheelsets every year, youíll still need to freshen up your brain with a read through.

    and donít blow a bunch of money on a tensionometer, either borrow one in the future or learn to pluck spokes. Learning to true the wheel and take out/prevent flat spots is the hardest part.

    No alloy nips! Brass is badass!!
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
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  34. #34
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    For offset rims or frames, you can simply adjust the hub center to flange distances you put in to the calculator to compensate. A common situation might be using rim with 3mm offset in the rear with the nipple holes shifted to the NDS. Decrease the NDS flange to center distance by 3mm and increase the DS center to flange distance by 3mm. Agree that 3mm is pretty small and usually won't significantly change the spoke length, unless the spoke cone angle is pretty large, which can happen with wide hubs, big flanges, and small ERDs. IMO, it's best to input the data accounting for the offsets to minimize the chance of surprises.
    Do the math.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    For offset rims or frames, you can simply adjust the hub center to flange distances you put in to the calculator to compensate. A common situation might be using rim with 3mm offset in the rear with the nipple holes shifted to the NDS. Decrease the NDS flange to center distance by 3mm and increase the DS center to flange distance by 3mm. Agree that 3mm is pretty small and usually won't significantly change the spoke length, unless the spoke cone angle is pretty large, which can happen with wide hubs, big flanges, and small ERDs. IMO, it's best to input the data accounting for the offsets to minimize the chance of surprises.
    Good tip. Yes, the instructor recommends accounting for the frame offset in calculations to minimize surprises. She rides a mtb with a frame offset, too (she didn't say which one), and has experience with it. She likes to figure out spoke lengths down to the mm.

    I've been fiddling with some spoke calculators this afternoon, and I'm going to have to get the rims and measure them. Only one calculator (pro wheelbuilder) has the rims I'm using in their database, and they're only adding 2mm to RF's posted ERD spec. Seems awful small to me to assume the nipple head height is 1mm. But if I used that number in all the calculators I used, I got the exact same spoke lengths, so at least there's consistency in the calculators.

    I can't even use Sapim's calculator right now. The dimensions it's asking for, I can't measure or calculate until I get the rims AND the hubs in hand. I can fudge the rim dimension since sapim just separates eyelet-to-eyelet distance and the rim thickness (which, combined, would be the ERD that RF provides), but based on the dimensions I9 supplies for its hubs, Sapim wants the opposite.

    https://www.sapim.be/spoke-calculator

    The Pro Wheelbuilder calculator spits out those dimensions, but I don't trust them. It didn't have the correct dimensions for I9 hubs in its database, anyway, and I had to correct them.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    For offset rims or frames, you can simply adjust the hub center to flange distances you put in to the calculator to compensate. A common situation might be using rim with 3mm offset in the rear with the nipple holes shifted to the NDS. Decrease the NDS flange to center distance by 3mm and increase the DS center to flange distance by 3mm. Agree that 3mm is pretty small and usually won't significantly change the spoke length, unless the spoke cone angle is pretty large, which can happen with wide hubs, big flanges, and small ERDs. IMO, it's best to input the data accounting for the offsets to minimize the chance of surprises.
    This about what I was thinking. The Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead owner's manual states that you do need to use a 6mm spacer on the NDS with a traditional truing stand to offset the hub 3mm.

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    Harold, so cool to watch you build out the GG PedalHead frame ... and the Made In America theme ... nice. Just started researching this bike. Looks like fun. Good luck on build.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I've looked a little bit into spoke calculators (a couple different ones) and I've definitely seen that determining spoke length appears to be the biggest PITA of the whole process.
    This is so funny. You're getting some good advice here - I'm going to break this down with an analogy... It's like losing your virginity.. one might just want to get the job done, another wants to learn how the music is made so to speak. I assume you're in the latter camp, so you'll need to set your expectations accordingly - no one is going to learn the ins and outs of anything with a experience of 1 but you'll know more than you did before and, if you are a keen observer, you'll learn many of the things that are important. You have an analytical mind so once you get a frame of reference for this it'll all make more sense and you'll learn what matters and where to place your trust.

    Some random tidbits:

    Spokecalc, DT Swiss are decent calculators - steer clear of prowheelbuild one. FYI - DT Swiss assumes DT Swiss nipples which can be a problem if you are using a different mfgr in longer length ones that thread differently. Google this if you want or we can revisit if you have questions.

    ERD is most important measurement you'll take. I think it's good for you to do this long-hand w/ the nipples you'll use and 2 sacrifice spokes on your actual rims in hand.

    Most reputable hub mfgrs will have correct specs on their hubs. I don't usually bother remeasuring this anymore unless I have some strange hub. A quick search to see if there's a know spec issue is smart.

    I run my numbers thru several spoke calcs and almost always round my fractions down when given a choice. It is always better to have slightly short than slightly long. Too long and you'll never achieve proper tension. The adage: measure twice, cut once. When it matters, my personal sanity check is 2 calcs from scratch with my input numbers resourced.

    If you just want the job done, know that if you get a proper number on your spoke length this minor dish amount is of little consequence - it is within tolerance. I do encourage you to play with the spoke calcs and see what numbers actually have influence. Play with the flange distance, offset, spoke hole size, etc use the calcs that show the visual so you can see the effect. You'll find many of the numbers have little influence (to a point) and certain numbers matter greatly.

    Given that you are taking a course, you should have access to proper tools. That's a great baseline. Use the dish tool. Learn it in this context. Also I personally own and like the tensionometer. I've built ummm 100s of wheels and it's a time saver and useful tool for me. For one time wheel build, probably not an investment but since you'll have access - get the right tension via tool and as Ben says learn the pitch and feel in your hand.

    Also as Ben said, you're just getting comfortable with this and learning along the way. Unless you totally miss something, you'll have a nice wheelset by the end. And if you do miss something, a great learning lesson.

    Ok... Here's the other deal-e-o and something to be mindful when you get there - yeah, spoke length is the PITA part as it requires calcs and measurement. The real craftsmanship in the build comes down to the refinement during the build. Lacing your pattern is basic - I'm assuming you've done the basic right to this point. But working the tensioning and adjustment thru the final steps is what differentiates the wheelbuild. Knowing what to address (trueness, hops, dish, runout, etc) at the correct time is what to keep your eye open for.. It'll be more apparent in future builds where you see the effect.. Anyway bringing the tension in increments, with precision and destressing the spokes (ABD - always be destressing) is your mantra.

    ^All that said, and maybe this relieves some anxiety - but I've built wheels from recycled junk.. reused and wrong spoke lengths, rehab'd rims, barely spent any time on the build - going thru the motions while having conversations and done in like 15-20min. And you know what? I have wheels like this in use 20 years later and they're fine. Not the mark to shoot for but, more to the point, is while doing it perfect is your north star, there's a lot of wiggle room that will yield a completely functional wheel.

    Roger Musson's book is a great read and value. Recommended and easy to understand. Get it on pdf.

    (crap this got long - I blame coffee)

    Enjoy the process!!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    (crap this got long - I blame coffee)

    Enjoy the process!!
    Good stuff.

    My thought process on this is that because it's a class and I'll have access to all the tools, I'm going to do this 100% "by the book" so I want to account for the frame offset in the wheel build, whether it makes a notable difference in the calculated spoke lengths or not. I'm not exactly going to be building full wheelsets in my garage frequently, but I do want to deal with anything I need to on the bikes in my garage, and this is pretty much the last thing I've not done. I'll at least be buying a respectable truing stand after the course (and after I get this bike finished) so I can handle truing duties at home. I also have a feeling that my fatbike wheels are going to need rebuilding again before too long. I've already had to have them rebuilt once. Damn Nextie rims. A truing stand has been on my list of wanted shop tools for quite a long time as it is.

    Also, I've also done individually many of the steps in the wheel building process, but have never dealt with final tensioning or adjustment before. I've replaced individual spokes. I've done minor in-frame truing. I've laced up hubs before. Hell, I even did a hack-job wheel once. I was given a wheelset back in college, where the drive side spokes were chewed to hell from the chain jamming behind the cassette. I replaced all the drive side spokes on that wheel, trued it in the frame, and rode it for years.

    I do plan to use DT spokes and nipples on this build, so there's that. Any particular reason you don't recommend the pro wheelbuilder calculator? Aside from the fact that it didn't have the correct dimensions of the hubs programmed in, it gave the same outputs as the others so long as the input dimensions were the same.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I do plan to use DT spokes and nipples on this build, so there's that. Any particular reason you don't recommend the pro wheelbuilder calculator? Aside from the fact that it didn't have the correct dimensions of the hubs programmed in, it gave the same outputs as the others so long as the input dimensions were the same.
    Yeah, you'll do great. I think your "by the book" process is the right way; you'll learn the most. Just don't get paralyzed.

    You're right that the prowheelbuild calc 1) has bad numbers 2) will often result in the same lengths given basic scenarios

    But - as soon as you deal with some, ummm, less typical you'll find it has assumptions built into it that you'd need to understand the inputs more intimately to massage the results. At that point, you'd have been better off with a calc that has full measurements built into it explicitly (eg: drilling offsets, etc).

    Bottom-line: gives false sense of 'out of the gate' accuracy since it has (wrong) programmed #s, the 'assumptions' are blackbox so it's just better using a reliable calc where you can either provide the inputs explicitly or know what the assumptions are. I do think the visual presentation is nice tho.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    Yeah, you'll do great. I think your "by the book" process is the right way; you'll learn the most. Just don't get paralyzed.

    You're right that the prowheelbuild calc 1) has bad numbers 2) will often result in the same lengths given basic scenarios

    But - as soon as you deal with some, ummm, less typical you'll find it has assumptions built into it that you'd need to understand the inputs more intimately to massage the results. At that point, you'd have been better off with a calc that has full measurements built into it explicitly (eg: drilling offsets, etc).

    Bottom-line: gives false sense of 'out of the gate' accuracy since it has (wrong) programmed #s, the 'assumptions' are blackbox so it's just better using a reliable calc where you can either provide the inputs explicitly or know what the assumptions are. I do think the visual presentation is nice tho.
    Nah, I don't tend towards getting paralyzed. I could figure it out myself with a good book, a truing stand, and some cheap parts to screw around with. the point of taking the class is to cut down on on the screwing around and reduce mistakes. I do better when I'm given a systematic approach and the tools to address "complications" that might arise.

    Good point about baked-in assumptions. I did notice that some of the calculators had additional fields for different variables.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Mega View Post
    Roger Musson's book is a great read and value. Recommended and easy to understand. Get it on pdf.

    (crap this got long - I blame coffee)

    Enjoy the process!!
    Very well written and informative post Carl! 2nd the recommendation on the book, can't believe I forgot to mention that.

  43. #43
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    Isn't it nice to build just what you want? No one to answer to but oneself. I did that with the Canfield EPO project. I ended up with some parts that ran the spectrum of lower priced, mid-priced, expensive and over priced. The Expensive parts were the DVO fork which I thought best for the travel. Overpriced parts were for bling, hey a little bling never hurts except the wallet. Lower priced parts for those that would take a beating and get replaced quickly anyways. Mid-priced for good value and reputation.


    Other than cleaning and oiling, not a tweak was made since August. two- four rides a week and lots of mud.

    Hope you have the same fun as I did. I'm sure you will! LOL

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by scycllerist View Post
    Isn't it nice to build just what you want? No one to answer to but oneself. I did that with the Canfield EPO project. I ended up with some parts that ran the spectrum of lower priced, mid-priced, expensive and over priced. The Expensive parts were the DVO fork which I thought best for the travel. Overpriced parts were for bling, hey a little bling never hurts except the wallet. Lower priced parts for those that would take a beating and get replaced quickly anyways. Mid-priced for good value and reputation.


    Other than cleaning and oiling, not a tweak was made since August. two- four rides a week and lots of mud.

    Hope you have the same fun as I did. I'm sure you will! LOL
    The bikes I've built have been the most reliable I've owned by far. The specialized I bought stock and upgraded over the years eventaully got to that point but it took some time while I replaced the crappy parts.

    It's nice when I can just grab a bike and go ride.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  45. #45
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    Placed my order for rims today.

    Looks like Race Face has decided to clear out their symmetric Arc rims. Not sure what that's about, but it appears the Arc 30 rim is the most popular one. They don't have any stock left at all in house, and availability at other mail order houses is iffy.

    Rather than screwing around with trying to source them somewhere (not even CRC has them), I decided to go with DT Swiss XM 481 rims. Looks like DT wants these built with washers (the rims come with washers and nipples).

  46. #46
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    Bought a couple tools today to allow me to measure out the ERD on these hoops.

    Bought the Park spoke/cotter/whatever ruler/gauge and a Helios vernier caliper.

    I've wanted to buy a good vernier caliper for awhile, but they're expensive when new (good ones start at about $75 and can go well into the hundreds). Not interested in a battery-powered one or a dial caliper with its sensitive mechanisms. Vernier FTW for reliability and simplicity. Ebay turns out to be a good source for quality used ones for really good prices. I don't buy much of anything there anymore, but I don't need brand new calipers when used ones are plentiful and cheap.

  47. #47
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    Thatís some expensive wheel building you got going on

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Bought a couple tools today to allow me to measure out the ERD on these hoops.

    Bought the Park spoke/cotter/whatever ruler/gauge and a Helios vernier caliper.

    I've wanted to buy a good vernier caliper for awhile, but they're expensive when new (good ones start at about $75 and can go well into the hundreds). Not interested in a battery-powered one or a dial caliper with its sensitive mechanisms. Vernier FTW for reliability and simplicity. Ebay turns out to be a good source for quality used ones for really good prices. I don't buy much of anything there anymore, but I don't need brand new calipers when used ones are plentiful and cheap.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Fezzari Signal Peak 29/27+
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Thatís some expensive wheel building you got going on
    Nah. Look on ebay for yourself. Those calipers are very affordable on the used market. Like I said, I have wanted a good set for awhile, anyway.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  49. #49
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    Rims and brass squorx nipples arrived today (from different mail order houses - I'm impressed).


    0107191445 by Nate, on Flickr

    My cat, Stitch, wanted in on the unboxing fun. I set the box down, turned my back, and she immediately went inside to check it out.


    0107191442 by Nate, on Flickr

  50. #50
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    Nice... Actually I have found wheelbuilding to be incredibly fun. Roger Musson's stuff (wheelbuilding.co.uk?) is great and is what I have used and done awesome with on my couple builds. Looking at building up a Smash this season and really debating on whether I want to go the way of building everything myself or going with one of their build kits sans wheels and just stick to those.

  51. #51
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    I ended up buying Musson's book so I can read through it prior to the class.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  52. #52
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    Build em yourself, it just takes some time. We'll do it together, just need pizza and beer

    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Nice... Actually I have found wheelbuilding to be incredibly fun. Roger Musson's stuff (wheelbuilding.co.uk?) is great and is what I have used and done awesome with on my couple builds. Looking at building up a Smash this season and really debating on whether I want to go the way of building everything myself or going with one of their build kits sans wheels and just stick to those.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
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  53. #53
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    I've been poking around and reading on other components for this build. Pretty sure I want to put 4 piston brakes on this bike. I also am interested in trying out something a bit different. Currently on bikes in my garage, there are a bunch of Shimanos, some SRAM Level T (wife's bike), BB7, and TRP Spyre (also wife's bike). I have no interest in willingly installing a SRAM brake on my bike.

    I've been reading a bit about the Hayes Dominion brakes. I'm liking what I'm reading about them so far, and they're a strong candidate for this build, I think. The caliper adjustment set screws look really clever.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I've been poking around and reading on other components for this build. Pretty sure I want to put 4 piston brakes on this bike. I also am interested in trying out something a bit different. Currently on bikes in my garage, there are a bunch of Shimanos, some SRAM Level T (wife's bike), BB7, and TRP Spyre (also wife's bike). I have no interest in willingly installing a SRAM brake on my bike.

    I've been reading a bit about the Hayes Dominion brakes. I'm liking what I'm reading about them so far, and they're a strong candidate for this build, I think. The caliper adjustment set screws look really clever.
    I'm putting TRP Slates on my Megatrail this week. I'll let you know how they work.

    My SLX/XT combo will go from my bike to my son's to replace his Level T's.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    I'm putting TRP Slates on my Megatrail this week. I'll let you know how they work.

    My SLX/XT combo will go from my bike to my son's to replace his Level T's.
    I'll be curious about your thoughts. I wasn't aware of these, but I was aware of the Quadiem, which more or less look like a top level version of the Slates.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I've been poking around and reading on other components for this build. Pretty sure I want to put 4 piston brakes on this bike. I also am interested in trying out something a bit different. Currently on bikes in my garage, there are a bunch of Shimanos, some SRAM Level T (wife's bike), BB7, and TRP Spyre (also wife's bike). I have no interest in willingly installing a SRAM brake on my bike.

    I've been reading a bit about the Hayes Dominion brakes. I'm liking what I'm reading about them so far, and they're a strong candidate for this build, I think. The caliper adjustment set screws look really clever.
    Have you also given a thought to Magura's MT Trail set? 4 piston front, 2 piston rear, and there are two versions - a quite competitively priced one (the set w/o discs can be had online for about 150 euros) and a higher end one (520 euros).
    Ah, but your build is US-focused, then they're not really an option...

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynee View Post
    Have you also given a thought to Magura's MT Trail set? 4 piston front, 2 piston rear, and there are two versions - a quite competitively priced one (the set w/o discs can be had online for about 150 euros) and a higher end one (520 euros).
    Ah, but your build is US-focused, then they're not really an option...
    I have had Magura brakes in the past (Julies from the early 2000's) and was happy with their performance for a long time before I wore them out and got unresolvable sticky pistons. Big thing I didn't like about them was that sourcing pads was a PITA. Not as big of a deal now that online ordering is more prevalent, but that and the shitty bleed procedure are the big reasons I went Shimano years ago.

    As for the US thing, I'm being a lot more flexible WRT that for things like brakes and drivetrain.

  58. #58
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    Have been watching Race Face's website for a few months now. I have a pro deal I can use with them (but has to be on THEIR website). They've been out of stock on 170mm Turbine cranks for awhile. Finally saw them back in stock and placed the order so I could be sure I got a set.

    Here's hoping that someone releases a Shimano 12spd friendly chainring before I finish the build. According to the folks in the Shimano 12spd thread, the new Shimano quick link isn't friendly with most existing narrow/wide chainrings. It rides up on them, at least until they're somewhat worn. Some have taken to using a SRAM Eagle quick link as a fix. I suppose doing that would be my worst case scenario, which isn't a horrible thing.

  59. #59
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    TRP Quadiem are solid brakes, no issues with them after three months of hard use, temps over 100deg, temps under 30deg. Big levers for big hands. Very durable, nice feel, highly adjustable levers. They stop like a four piston brake. The Shimano XT four piston are a nice brake too, got a set on my wife's Pivot.

    That said, I doubt you'll need a four piston brake on a hardtail in the Asheville area, it just aint steep or long enough to warrant the cost. A nice set of Shimano twins will work fine and cost half as much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I've been poking around and reading on other components for this build. Pretty sure I want to put 4 piston brakes on this bike. I also am interested in trying out something a bit different. Currently on bikes in my garage, there are a bunch of Shimanos, some SRAM Level T (wife's bike), BB7, and TRP Spyre (also wife's bike). I have no interest in willingly installing a SRAM brake on my bike.

    I've been reading a bit about the Hayes Dominion brakes. I'm liking what I'm reading about them so far, and they're a strong candidate for this build, I think. The caliper adjustment set screws look really clever.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Fezzari Signal Peak 29/27+
    Lrg Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife's)

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    TRP Quadiem are solid brakes, no issues with them after three months of hard use, temps over 100deg, temps under 30deg. Big levers for big hands. Very durable, nice feel, highly adjustable levers. They stop like a four piston brake. The Shimano XT four piston are a nice brake too, got a set on my wife's Pivot.

    That said, I doubt you'll need a four piston brake on a hardtail in the Asheville area, it just aint steep or long enough to warrant the cost. A nice set of Shimano twins will work fine and cost half as much.
    My Bucksaw currently has XTR M9020's with 203F/180R, and it's just a 100mm xc-ish sort of bike. I could absolutely make use of better braking. I don't really deal with fade issues so much. That's not what I'm looking to address. I'd like a little bit smoother and more consistent modulation (wandering bite point annoyance). I also find myself at times even with the 203mm rotor on the front, using the top end of my available braking power more than I'd like. To the point where my braking finger cramps up on me on the longer, chunkier downhills where I'm using the brakes more.

    And who knows, maybe I'll put the bigger brakes on the Bucksaw and the XTR's on the Pedalhead in the end. Or maybe I'll like the bigger brakes on the Pedalhead and want some for the Bucksaw, too.

  61. #61
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    Cool seeing you're taking the time to build this thing up exactly the way you want. Also cool to see a Pedalhead being built by someone here in WNC!

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    She rides a mtb with a frame offset, too (she didn't say which one)
    Guessing her By:Stickel.

    I'm going to take that class at some point as well!
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Cool seeing you're taking the time to build this thing up exactly the way you want. Also cool to see a Pedalhead being built by someone here in WNC!



    Guessing her By:Stickel.

    I'm going to take that class at some point as well!
    Fwiw, I bought the frame from a guy in Charlotte who is also on mtbr. Amazingly, he has never come out here to ride.

    I am stoked for the build. Can't wait to get it on some dirt.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

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    That's interesting!

    BTW you picked a good time to have a build to be focused on too. This has been a miserable winter.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  64. #64
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    BTW you picked a good time to have a build to be focused on too. This has been a miserable winter.
    That's no joke. I have a fatbike and didn't even get to ride it in the big snowfall we got. My neighborhood got 18" which was WAY too deep to ride in. And I couldn't drive to ride somewhere with less snow, because the snow was too deep for my little car to get out of the neighborhood. My wife needed the Subie that weekend to get to work, so I was left with my little Honda. And 20hrs with no power, so I had to keep the fireplace going.

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