Wheels for local terrain- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wheels for local terrain

    Not sure if this should go in the Wheels and Tires forum, but here goes.

    I'm looking for a new wheelset, but don't know if I need an XC rim or an AM rim. I ride a Cannondale with a Headshock, so I'm not taking huge drops, but I don't want a rim that will get banged up by rock gardens. I'm debating between the Mavic 717 and 819 and leaning towards the 717 because it's lighter I don't want to deal with UST (buying new tires, air compressor, etc.). French Creek is typical of the terrain I ride, but I have no clue how to classify it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Tough Guy Extraordinaire
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    I ride the 819s and DT Revolution spokes. It is a pretty light set up, but still very strong. I ride at the Wiss and although it doesn't have as many rocks as French Creek, it still puts some abuse on the wheels. We ride pretty hard and hit a ton of nice medium drops and jumps. I wiegh in at about 180 fully loaded and have not had any trueness issues with the 819s in 2+ years.

    I wouldn't let buying new tires steer you away from USTs. You can run them with tubes until you burnout your existing tires and then upgrade. I have no compressor and have never had an issue getting my USTs seated. I'm on my second set and would never switch back. In 4 years of riding the USTs, I have only had one flat and that came from a torn sidewall.

  3. #3
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    It will depend on the wheel build as well. Im a bigger guy (185) and rode the 717's 2 years without issues, but they were hand-built by a good wheelbuilder. If you can get a quality build 717's will be good for everyday use and racing but really arent designed for all-mountain riding. You might consider the 719's for what you are looking for.

  4. #4
    Prez NMBA
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    I had a set of 819's mated to CK hubs with straight gauge spokes that lasted me about 4 seasons of lots of rocks here in the state college area. personally i think if you are looking for durability, sacrifice a little weight and go straight guage. After 4 seasons i started breaking a few spokes so had the CK relaced to another 819

  5. #5
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    Dankilling, you nailed my question right on the head. I'm not sure if I'm riding all-mountain terrain and therefore need an all-mountain rim. Would French Creek be considered all-mountain? If it helps, I'm about 175 geared up, so I'm not exactly a big guy, and the rims would be laced with DT Comp spokes by a reputable builder (so I've read)

  6. #6
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    I hate to sound like an old-school fart, but this is the truth, so here goes:

    I've been riding F.C. for about 17 years. In the early days, our bikes were rigid. And that was before they started grooming the trails. Many of the roughest spots are gone, and there's hardly a log crossing to be found these days.

    When I switched to a Giant XTC in 2002, I had issues with the stock rear wheel, breaking spokes very frequently. I had it re-built with heavier gauge spokes, and that lasted for several years. Eventually the rim split on its seam along the radius. My LBS sold me a no-name wheel off the shelf for $45, ready to go. That one lasted many more years, and many thousands of miles, never showing significant wear and tear.

    I recently switched to a F.S., AM bike, and have been enjoying it thoroughly at F.C., as well as much rougher trails. I don't want to steer you away from an AM setup, but to be honest you really don't need it for F.C., particularly at your weight. BTW I'm 170#.

  7. #7
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    Figure it this way- if your riding style is more 'damn the torpedoes- full steam ahead' than 'flow like water' than a stronger rim would likely be a better idea. If you ride smoothly, and don't generally do big drops then you can get away with a lighter rim. If you tend to be harder on parts then go a little beefier. In the end, you will save more weight with a tire choice than with the rim anyway.....

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