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  1. #1
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    Dream Bike packing wheel set

    So, have been doing some thinking recently, and am possibly planning to get a 2nd set of wheels for my OG Krampus next year. Want to start saving some money away now.

    Looking to build the "ultimate" (or at least a solid "not so rich guy" ) bike packing wheel set for 29+ rigid. Definitely want a dynamo hub on the front.

    what do y'all think? What is out there?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    So, have been doing some thinking recently, and am possibly planning to get a 2nd set of wheels for my OG Krampus next year. Want to start saving some money away now.

    Looking to build the "ultimate" (or at least a solid "not so rich guy" ) bike packing wheel set for 29+ rigid. Definitely want a dynamo hub on the front.

    what do y'all think? What is out there?

    For whom? Used where? Used how? Used how often? With what goals? Compared to which current wheels? With which size tires? Tubes or tubeless? Pressure range?

    Etc...

    Point simply being, everyone's "ideal" is different, because *we* are all different.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    For whom? Used where? Used how? Used how often? With what goals? Compared to which current wheels? With which size tires? Tubes or tubeless? Pressure range?

    Etc...

    Point simply being, everyone's "ideal" is different, because *we* are all different.
    hmmm...

    - it would be for me: 6' and between 190 and 210lbs given the season
    - doing most of the riding in the midwest, Canada or east coast
    - fall, spring and early summer trips; probably some wet and snow riding, but not deep snow for now
    - for now, not more than 2-3 day adventures due to work schedule; week long trips in the summer;
    - current wheels are Rabbit Holes with Knards on them; Surly hubs
    - goals for now would be to get some short trips in to build strength and health;
    - would prefer to have 3"wide tires; I have always run tubes...am not opposed to trying tubeless, but have never really needed to for the riding I do now;
    - would be doing gravel road, and some single/double track type riding <- then some single track riding once at camp sites;
    - I currently run the Knards at 17psi, and would actually be happy with staying with the Knards for bike packing

    - i would also plan on running my 1x set up

    I am not a weight weenie for sure, so that is not at the top of the list, but would not say "no" to a lighter set for the longer trips.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    hmmm...

    That's good info.

    Given that you don't care a lot about weight, and you don't seem too fussed with tubeless, what is it that you want this new set to be able to do that your current wheels won't, or can't?

  5. #5
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    Myself, I'd skip the dynamo. I found that using a battery bank is much more effective.
    - Delorme will run 3+ days between charges.
    - ETrex uses AA batteries.
    - Headlight uses 18650 rechargables.
    - Phone runs a few days in airplane mode. Searching for services kills them quick.
    - Garmin Edge 500 is the only thing needing charged daily.

    I had a wheelset with a SP PD-8X dynamo. I had a devil of a time charging anything with it. I sold the wheels with a bike.

    My perfect rims are Stans Arch MK3 running tubeless. I don't run + sized tires though.
    Help chart the mountains at www.appalachianbiketrails.org

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    That's good info.

    Given that you don't care a lot about weight, and you don't seem too fussed with tubeless, what is it that you want this new set to be able to do that your current wheels won't, or can't?
    well, that might have been an underlying thought in my questioning...do I even need a new wheel set? I think I am in the process of trying to figure out whether I need/want a dynamo hub and whether I do want to reduce the weight. Baker's post below is some insight on the dynamo thing for sure. As I get stronger - and more time to ride in the future - that might be more useful. For now, I can probably get away with a charger pack.



    Quote Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
    Myself, I'd skip the dynamo. I found that using a battery bank is much more effective.
    - Delorme will run 3+ days between charges.
    - ETrex uses AA batteries.
    - Headlight uses 18650 rechargables.
    - Phone runs a few days in airplane mode. Searching for services kills them quick.
    - Garmin Edge 500 is the only thing needing charged daily.

    I had a wheelset with a SP PD-8X dynamo. I had a devil of a time charging anything with it. I sold the wheels with a bike.

    My perfect rims are Stans Arch MK3 running tubeless. I don't run + sized tires though.
    So it might be that my thought should be, what is a good set for my normal midwestern, fall/winter/spring trail riding, and that I already have the bike packing set up that I need...

    just sort of a process of thinking "out loud" I guess.
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  7. #7
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    In my dreams I am so manly as to not care about hills, bumps, and the prices of carbon tomfoolery.

    Instead I will tell you what I am building up at the moment.

    WTB Asym i35 29" rims. Why? Well my bike is non-boost and these look like a decent way to get strong wheel for QR hubs. They are also a bit odd, which appeals to my contrarian nature. I like the idea I can stick down to 2.4" tires on them if I want to, and hopefully get away with 3.0" too.

    Dynamo hub: I'm trying a Shimano QR dynamo hub in front I found off ebay for $50. On my last 8 day trip the power from a 15,000 mAh bank was good for 4 days of tunes, headlight recharging, GPS running, and headphone recharging. After that everything probably could have made it another couple days before going flat (with lots of crossed fingers that my headlight would not conk out at a bad time). I ended up staying in a hotel after day 4 for a night which let me get a bit of a charge (power bank only got 1/3 charged overnight). I had to curtail my music for a couple days to make sure I could save some phone charge and keep my lights going. So now I am trying a dynamo for grins and giggles.

    Back hub: Shimano XT no frills, no sexiness. I just don't get the bling factor on expensive hubs, so I am sticking with what has never let me down and doesn't break the bank.

    Tires: Trying 3.0" Knards, cuz why not. Sure the rims are a bit skinny. I am not shredding just grinding along on mostly gravel double track. I am just looking for some decent traction and to smooth out the rough bits, so I'm not too worried about it.

    While there is a small part of me that lusts for light carbon rims, sniny hubs, and other fanciness, I also am totally against owning a garage queen that I fear beating the hell out of. Modest price lets me be guilt free when I wear things out or break something, or even just decide I want to try something different.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moof123 View Post
    In my dreams I am so manly as to not care about hills, bumps, and the prices of carbon tomfoolery.

    Instead I will tell you what I am building up at the moment.

    WTB Asym i35 29" rims. Why? Well my bike is non-boost and these look like a decent way to get strong wheel for QR hubs. They are also a bit odd, which appeals to my contrarian nature. I like the idea I can stick down to 2.4" tires on them if I want to, and hopefully get away with 3.0" too.

    Dynamo hub: I'm trying a Shimano QR dynamo hub in front I found off ebay for $50. On my last 8 day trip the power from a 15,000 mAh bank was good for 4 days of tunes, headlight recharging, GPS running, and headphone recharging. After that everything probably could have made it another couple days before going flat (with lots of crossed fingers that my headlight would not conk out at a bad time). I ended up staying in a hotel after day 4 for a night which let me get a bit of a charge (power bank only got 1/3 charged overnight). I had to curtail my music for a couple days to make sure I could save some phone charge and keep my lights going. So now I am trying a dynamo for grins and giggles.

    Back hub: Shimano XT no frills, no sexiness. I just don't get the bling factor on expensive hubs, so I am sticking with what has never let me down and doesn't break the bank.

    Tires: Trying 3.0" Knards, cuz why not. Sure the rims are a bit skinny. I am not shredding just grinding along on mostly gravel double track. I am just looking for some decent traction and to smooth out the rough bits, so I'm not too worried about it.

    While there is a small part of me that lusts for light carbon rims, sniny hubs, and other fanciness, I also am totally against owning a garage queen that I fear beating the hell out of. Modest price lets me be guilt free when I wear things out or break something, or even just decide I want to try something different.
    I agree with the simplicity thing as well. Simple and strong.

    I think I would be more comfy with 40mm rims, but probably will stick with the Knards for the bike packing thing b/c they roll pretty well over just about everything. The only electronics I would have with me would be lights and, GPS and phone. I love music, but don't know if I would want to ride with my ears closed off by headphones. I can't do ear buds...

    where do you ride?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    I agree with the simplicity thing as well. Simple and strong.

    I think I would be more comfy with 40mm rims, but probably will stick with the Knards for the bike packing thing b/c they roll pretty well over just about everything. The only electronics I would have with me would be lights and, GPS and phone. I love music, but don't know if I would want to ride with my ears closed off by headphones. I can't do ear buds...

    where do you ride?
    I知 in the Portland Oregon area, so around Mt Hood, and most recently I did Portland to the Oregon Outback going East to Shaniko, then South from there. Kicked my out of shape butt. I知 an earbud whore, can稚 justify, just am. I知 sporting a 2018 Unit 2X, cuz 1x drivetrains are just not my ball of wax.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moof123 View Post
    I知 in the Portland Oregon area, so around Mt Hood, and most recently I did Portland to the Oregon Outback going East to Shaniko, then South from there. Kicked my out of shape butt. I知 an earbud whore, can稚 justify, just am. I知 sporting a 2018 Unit 2X, cuz 1x drivetrains are just not my ball of wax.
    ah...cool. You have way more access to riding areas than I do here...or at least close access.

    I wish I could find a way to listen to music as i ride. I am a professional musician by trade, so I am listening all the time, but but ear buds mess with my equilibrium, and make me nauseous...was gonna try those Aftershokz things, but too many people that I know have said that they don't "work like you think they will"
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  11. #11
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    The way I see it, if you do a lot of riding at night, a dynamo is 100% necessary. Bike lights use a ton of energy and dynamo lighting is really really good. If you don't ride a ton at night, and you're not going more than 2-3 days without an outlet, then don't bother. Turn your phone off and bring a big backup battery.

    I just had this debate myself for my mountain bike. Mostly I ride it as a mountain bike during the day. A few times a year I take it out on bikepacking trips, usually in the overnight to 5 day range. However, here in New England, we swing through towns several times a day, so there are plenty of opportunities to recharge a big backup battery. Instead I'm going to invest in a quick charge battery that can top up while I'm eating breakfast. That way, the 99% of my rides that aren't deep in the woods for days on end, I can ride a lighter, cheaper, faster, more fun bike.

  12. #12
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    Way off topic, but whatever:

    Str8, I have tried the Aftershokz. They are OK, but not great. My wife has them and LOVES them. They didn't work for me. I wear glasses when I ride, and the headphone band gets in the way of the glasses ear tab. Also, the speaker part of the headphone keeps moving around and sliding into the wrong spot.

    I tried them on my commute, which involves an extended section of bike path next to a freeway. Without the noise blocking aspect of earbuds, the freeway was too loud to hear my music. Oh, and if you turn them up to the max, the bass starts physically shaking your head (which is stupid - a high pass filter at high volume would fix this completely).

    Oh, and the sound quality is terrible. But for podcasts, whatever.

    Oh, and 6 hour battery life, coupled with a weirdly rigid neck band makes them pretty awful for backcountry use. You can't stash them away when they are charging, and you'll need them to be charging a lot.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lentamentalisk View Post
    The way I see it, if you do a lot of riding at night, a dynamo is 100% necessary. Bike lights use a ton of energy and dynamo lighting is really really good. If you don't ride a ton at night, and you're not going more than 2-3 days without an outlet, then don't bother. Turn your phone off and bring a big backup battery.

    I just had this debate myself for my mountain bike. Mostly I ride it as a mountain bike during the day. A few times a year I take it out on bikepacking trips, usually in the overnight to 5 day range. However, here in New England, we swing through towns several times a day, so there are plenty of opportunities to recharge a big backup battery. Instead I'm going to invest in a quick charge battery that can top up while I'm eating breakfast. That way, the 99% of my rides that aren't deep in the woods for days on end, I can ride a lighter, cheaper, faster, more fun bike.
    good points, and it sounds like you ride in the same way I do...probably will not target the dynamo now...they are moderately expensive as well.

    And thanks for the Aftrshoks info. Much of that is what I have heard from other people as well.

    I think I a mmore in need of getting a second set of wet/winter riding wheels rather than long trip specific wheels since the Knard/Rabbit Hole thing seems to be fine for touring. I like the Knards for any dry riding that I do around here, but they are not good in wet and deeper snow
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    probably will stick with the Knards for the bike packing thing b/c they roll pretty well over just about everything.
    Bontrager XR2's, formally the Chupacabra over a knard..... had good luck with a Race Face arc rim thus far too.

    Both the above would be tubeless.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_Scotsman View Post
    Bontrager XR2's, formally the Chupacabra over a knard..... had good luck with a Race Face arc rim thus far too.

    Both the above would be tubeless.
    definitely in the front run if I go to a different set for inclement weather riding...
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  16. #16
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    I might be the only one, but I was excited to see Surly finally came out with tubeless 60tpi 29x3.0 Knards. For a fast, high volume tire they're hard to beat and the 27tpi versions seem to last forever in terms of wear.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowhereyonder View Post
    I might be the only one, but I was excited to see Surly finally came out with tubeless 60tpi 29x3.0 Knards. For a fast, high volume tire they're hard to beat and the 27tpi versions seem to last forever in terms of wear.
    hmmm...didn't know that. I am not totally drinking the tubeless Kool Aid yet, but would not be against it. I have heard that Rabbit Holes are hard to run tubeless as well...
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    hmmm...didn't know that. I am not totally drinking the tubeless Kool Aid yet, but would not be against it. I have heard that Rabbit Holes are hard to run tubeless as well...
    It's not so much of a tubeless issue, so much as Surly has decided to finally move the Knard out of the plus-stone-age into modernity. The 27tpi wire was heavy, and the folding bead 120tpi was known for having weak sidewalls. Lateral traction is poor. Neither were officially tubeless, and other manufacturers's tire soon got a better reputation. Few competitors are as big though, none of them are as fast and the 27tpi wears really well. So yeah, the Knard is a niche within a niche, but it's better than it was....

    FWIW, I've run stock 27tpi Knards tubeless on Rabbit Holes split tube and they were always reliable. They've been relegated to running around town and easy trails by my father using tubes, but I wouldn't hesitate to run either tubeless again on longer trips where float, rollover and speed are paramount.

  19. #19
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    I recently replaced my well used Pacenti TLR28 29er rims with a pair of Nextie 35mm carbon rims, using db14 spokes and alloy nipples. Re-used my Phil wood front and Alfine 8 rear hubs. Stiffest wheels I've ever built up... no dish, not too heavy, but not too light either, perfect for bikepacking.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I recently replaced my well used Pacenti TLR28 29er rims with a pair of Nextie 35mm carbon rims, using db14 spokes and alloy nipples. Re-used my Phil wood front and Alfine 8 rear hubs. Stiffest wheels I've ever built up... no dish, not too heavy, but not too light either, perfect for bikepacking.
    sweet...will have to look up those options!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I recently replaced my well used Pacenti TLR28 29er rims with a pair of Nextie 35mm carbon rims, using db14 spokes and alloy nipples. Re-used my Phil wood front and Alfine 8 rear hubs. Stiffest wheels I've ever built up... no dish, not too heavy, but not too light either, perfect for bikepacking.
    I am looking at carbon rims too.
    Rocky Mountain Element 29 xc fs bike, 75 kg, lightweight bikepacking setup.
    Riding mostly flatland, visit mountains once a year.

    Deciding between ~400 gr i29 rims or <350 gr lightweight i25 with cushcore xc inserts.
    Already have 32H syntace hubs. Will use brass nipples and sapim d-light spokes.
    Maybe will break my piggy bank and buy CX-ray spokes.
    2.25" schwalbe tyres, maybe some 2.4 like bontrager xr2.

    What do you guys think? Any bikepacking experience with tire inserts?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionivan View Post
    I am looking

    Tire inserts are neat. Not mandatory, but they do what they're supposed to.

    I will likely never understand the fascination with CX Ray spokes. They're brittle, they ride harsh relative to almost every other spoke, and you have to pay more for the 'privilege'.

  23. #23
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    so after reading the posts in this thread, and doing some thinking, I am feeling like I need more of a great wheel set for trail riding, and then use the OG Rabbit Hole/Knard set for bike packing (?)

    am thinking that a 40mm wide rim and some better tires for the fall/winter/spring is more of what I want...and that I am thinking of getting a lighter set for that kind of riding...

    the fun is in the process, which this is part of...been cool to reference some of the products people are suggesting that I was not familiar with before

    keep the info coming!
    Go practice. Figure it out. - Fleas

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