hand built vs prebuilt wheels- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    hand built vs prebuilt wheels

    K I'm a noob on this forum but I've been riding for quite a while. Just bought an anthem x 29er. Love the bike but looking to shed some rotating weight. Is there any advantage to going with a prebuilt wheel such as Easton or Stans verses going with a hand built set from like Speed Dream or another builder? Can a set of hubs from stans or off the easton wheels be rebuilt 6 times like my old xtr hubs on my other bike?

  2. #2
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarwes View Post
    K I'm a noob on this forum but I've been riding for quite a while. Just bought an anthem x 29er. Love the bike but looking to shed some rotating weight. Is there any advantage to going with a prebuilt wheel such as Easton or Stans verses going with a hand built set from like Speed Dream or another builder? Can a set of hubs from stans or off the easton wheels be rebuilt 6 times like my old xtr hubs on my other bike?
    There can be some real big advantages to hand built wheels if you choose well,

    Tell everyone more about your budget & what you want ot of a wheel & they can help you more.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  3. #3
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    Pre-built wheels may be built by a machine, built by a machine and then tuned by hand, or hand built from scratch. Custom built wheels are hand built from scratch. The most important thing to good performance and longevity is that the wheels be properly tensioned and stress relieved, which is done by hand. You can get this in all but the machine-only option, assuming a reputable source. Machine-only wheels can be taken to a builder for tuning, but that may negate any price advantage.

    The are a number of online shops that offer wheel building service at good prices. I've had positive experiences with Universal Cycles, Treefort bikes and Speedgoat. Shop around, ask questions.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    The most important thing to good performance and longevity is that the wheels be properly tensioned and stress relieved, which is done by hand.
    ^^^This is right on the money. ^^^

    Since you're asking, you're probably not the one to be taking a spoke wrench to wheels. Ask around your riding community to see if there's a mechanic with a reputation for building quality wheels. Hopefully you'll find one and can ask for a quote from him/her. Maybe they can build a set of what you want, or find out if they'll deal with the tensioning of a set of wheels you've bought online.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  5. #5
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    My budget is around 700. I a looking for a reasonably light, durable set of wheels. I weigh 175 buh-nekid. I live in San Luis Obispo, and ride everything with in a 100 mile radius of here, so there is a little bit of everything from smooth groomed to fairly technical single track. I'd say the biggest drop off I would intentionally do is less than 2 feet. These aren't gonna be a dedicated set of race wheels but I'd like to be able to do some marathon and 24 hour stuff with out to much trouble. The lighter the outer rotational weight is the better.

  6. #6
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    Your budget range is roughly what mine was. I ended up building a set of Stans Crests to Chris King hubs with DT Swiss Competition double butted spokes and I'm 190ish. Mostly XC riding, some small jumps - 2 foot or less - mostly less.

    I dropped almost 1.5 lbs off my bike by switching the wheels out. The wheelset weighs roughly 1700 grams. Mostly due to the CK hubs. But they will be very durable and long lasting.

  7. #7
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    The biggest advantage to a custom handbuilt wheelset is using standardized parts such as j-bend spokes, standard nipples, and standard 32/36 hole rims. Most factory wheels do not fall into this category although a few do such as the American Classic and WTB Stryker TCS wheelsets.

    With custom, you look ideal for Stans Arch EX (or even Crest) rims if you intend to convert standard tires to tubeless. If you want more of a Tubeless Ready setup, look at the WTB Frequency i19 TCS rims which are UST compliant for great compatibility with TLR, 2Bliss, TNT, and TCS tires. Wheelsmith DB14 2.0/1.7 or DT Swiss Comp 2.0/1.8 spokes and something like a Hope Pro II EVO hubset and you should be right at your budget range.

    Now, one of the main advantages of factory prebuilt wheels is technology often not offered with handbuilt wheels. For example Mavic, Shimano, DT, Easton, and Crank Bros offer tubeless wheelsets that do not require any rim strip or tape to make them tubeless in 29". There are currently no rims (that I'm aware of) that are sold individually that meet this criteria.

  8. #8
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    Also, if you're going to spend the money (his will be over your budget), get a hub that has a higher POE (point of engagment) like Hadley, Chris King, Industry 9 etc. You won't regret it. My mechanic was telling me to do it and I discounted him. Turns out I'm the idiot and he's one with 20+ years of biking, worth every penny!!
    When the **** did we get ice cream?

  9. #9
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    Well the 700 isn't a hard an fast figure but I don't want to go crazy with this. I don't ever finance my bike purchases. So if I have to save for another month to do it right the first time, then that's what I'll do. I'd rather spend for good hubs that can be reused and rebuilt over and over again. Thanks for the input.

  10. #10
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    Another thing to think about when considering "factory" wheels like Mavic, Shimano, Easton, etc., is proprietary components. In other words, components like spokes, rims, hubs, freehubs, etc., that simply aren't available "off the shelf" in many instances. As an example, most Shimano factory wheels use proprietary straight pull spokes that are not available from anyone but Shimano. They are also quite expensive (around $4.00 each retail), and not a high demand item. So most shops won't have them on hand. Pop a spoke on a ride and you'll likely be in for a wait while the shop orders them and gets them in.

    Not bagging on factory wheels here, most a very nice, light, etc. However, proprietary components can be a drawback to them.

    Down time can be averted though if you hang on to your old wheels and keep them around as spares.

    The difference though would be a likely shorter wait for repair or replacement with a "traditional" wheel set like a CK/Crest set up or something similar. It doesn't make having a spare wheel set on hand any less of a good idea. But you would likely spend quite a bit less time riding the spare set should the need arise.

    Just something to think about.

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  11. #11
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    Mike Curiak

    You should send a note to Mike Curiak: Lace Mine 29 - Big Bicycle Wheels

    He build me a wheelset 5 or 6 years ago that is still going strong! I think I trued them once or twice, and I have beat the living tar out of them.

    Seriously, do yourself a favor and talk to Mike.

    Joe

    Quote Originally Posted by jarwes View Post
    My budget is around 700. I a looking for a reasonably light, durable set of wheels. I weigh 175 buh-nekid. I live in San Luis Obispo, and ride everything with in a 100 mile radius of here, so there is a little bit of everything from smooth groomed to fairly technical single track. I'd say the biggest drop off I would intentionally do is less than 2 feet. These aren't gonna be a dedicated set of race wheels but I'd like to be able to do some marathon and 24 hour stuff with out to much trouble. The lighter the outer rotational weight is the better.
    --
    Joe Partridge

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