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  1. #1
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    Wheelset choice...

    I am building a front suspension SS 29er. I am converting riding styles from a traditional 26" hardtail. I have basically all components accounted for with the exception a few.
    I need a good XC wheelset. I am looking for XC tubeless. I am looking to spend between $400-$800. Less is certainly okay with me; I just want to make sure I don't short change myself on quality by trying to save $200. I have no clue how to narrow the choices down from such a lage number of sets?

    I would welcome input from some folks who ride the same style as described above.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    nothing to see here
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    If you're willing to spend that much, make sure you get them hand built by a reputable wheel builder. Just do your own research on the type of hubs you want first.

    I'd recommend a Stan's NoTubes rim with whatever hub and spokes that suit your riding/weight.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  3. #3
    Dinner for wolves
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    Check out the current issue of Dirt Rag. The review a Stan's Crest wheelset that I am pretty sure available SS specific. Light, sturdy, and reasonable.
    Responds to gravity

  4. #4
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    I bought a stans crest wheelset. I think it was $580 shipped, with the ztr hubs. I chose a regular geared hub, for ease of resale.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    If you're willing to spend that much, make sure you get them hand built by a reputable wheel builder. Just do your own research on the type of hubs you want first.

    I'd recommend a Stan's NoTubes rim with whatever hub and spokes that suit your riding/weight.
    Okay, so here is the thing:
    I am going to get them through a friend that will get me a MAJOR discount through his company's sales department. This may possibly toss custom wheels out the window. I will probably be able to squeak out 1/2 price on a set. So hopefully I could end up with a very nice set for around $300. I did come across NOTUBES and the reviews are great. What would my options be for a NON-custom set (e.g. American Classic or Easton ?) Those are a couple I have seen, but I just don't have enough experience in this department to know.
    If I am able to access customs, then Stan's seems like a great option.

  6. #6
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    Any place that sells stans products should be able to order wheelsets. At least you would think so anyway.

  7. #7
    nothing to see here
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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    Okay, so here is the thing:
    I am going to get them through a friend that will get me a MAJOR discount through his company's sales department. This may possibly toss custom wheels out the window. I will probably be able to squeak out 1/2 price on a set. So hopefully I could end up with a very nice set for around $300. I did come across NOTUBES and the reviews are great. What would my options be for a NON-custom set (e.g. American Classic or Easton ?) Those are a couple I have seen, but I just don't have enough experience in this department to know.
    If I am able to access customs, then Stan's seems like a great option.
    That's fine. You gotta make use of saving dollars wherever you can in this game. I only suggested custom built as they have been the only type of wheel I've ever owned that have never needed truing, and I consider that a huge plus in my book.

    Go for the set that is easiest to maintain, and Stans (and therefore some Sun-Ringle) are the easiest rims to set up tubeless. Combine them with hubs that have a freehub which you can pull apart to regrease easily.

    Good luck with your purchase.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  8. #8
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    I've managed to destroy a couple crests already. Not the best choice for the rear for an aggressive trail bike. great reliable race set, but if you're doing logs, bombing rocks and doing wheelie drops I'd move up to the Arch for the rear.
    ______________________________

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  9. #9
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    I have had great luck with Stan's wheels and 240 hubs. They roll fast and seem to hold up well. I built them early last race season and did maybe 300 miles of hard racing on them (and the training as well) have had them in the stand only once.
    Cheers,
    C.

  10. #10
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    How much do you weigh?
    I have heard some horror stories about the prebuilt stan's wheels but i don't have a personal experience with them. If you go that route i would ask a reputable wheel builder to check the spoke tension before you go out and ride them. They will need to be trued soon after anyways.

    I weigh 190 and i would never consider the crest rim. I have the arches right now and they seem to come out of true way more than i would like. I scored the wheelset off of mtbr and they were custom built but i don't personally know the builder. My LBS wants me to try out the arches again so we are going to give them another go built and tensioned to their liking.

    I ride a HT and come from a moto background so I am pretty rough on my stuff.
    Others will swear by the arches and the crest but it really depends how rough you are on your stuff and your weight. I am holding my breath on the arches that were just built but only time will tell. Setting up stan's rims tubeless is so simple after hearing all the horror stories from other rims being setup.

  11. #11
    openwound
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    I haven't tried any of the Stan's rims and won't until they start using eyelets.

    Right now I'm running the new WTB Laser disc TCS rim. I had been running the WTB speed disc but they were too wimpy. Tubeless setup was super easy with the new rim. They're of a comparable weight to the Stan's Flow rim, maybe a little lighter, depending on whose marketing info you read/believe.

    While I realize I'm adding weight to my wheels choosing the WTB's over Crests, I'll make that trade in the name of durability. I weigh 180-ish before camelbak, etc. and want to be able to ride whatever line I choose and not worry about my wheels.

    If you can get a WTB wheel set that uses these rims, I'd consider them.
    -- let's ride

  12. #12
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    I'm about 160-165 unloaded and probably 175 loaded with cambelback etc.

    They were built by stans. I'm not sure it's stan's fault but I think it's critical to to have them checked over by a good wheel builder after the first hard ride. They are light rims and things settle even if they have been pre-stressed, tensioned etc. We all know how aluminum is.

    The front wheel nearly taco'd (wouldn't spin in fork b/c it was bent so bad), and the rear was dinged badly by a rock. I'm sure uber low pressure had some to do with the first rear ding but still, they are soft, for real. After LBS rebuilt the front i've had zero issues with it and it's stayed true. the rear however after being rebuilt did not stay true and I just dinged it again running 22 psi with 2.4 racing ralphs. These will soon turn into a race wheelset only. I play too much on features etc. during daily riding.

    front (no rock involved, riding along and went threw a ditch, wheel buckled, wouldn't clear the fork and sent me flying:
    <a href="https://s128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/nmanchin/Misc/?action=view&amp;current=wheel.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/nmanchin/Misc/wheel.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    rear ding (i remember exactly when this happened and I didn't not hit hard, I now have another one of these on a new rim after putting 2.4's on, sigh):
    <a href="https://s128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/nmanchin/Misc/?action=view&amp;current=crestbend.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/nmanchin/Misc/crestbend.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    ______________________________

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoochild View Post
    I haven't tried any of the Stan's rims and won't until they start using eyelets.

    Right now I'm running the new WTB Laser disc TCS rim. I had been running the WTB speed disc but they were too wimpy. Tubeless setup was super easy with the new rim. They're of a comparable weight to the Stan's Flow rim, maybe a little lighter, depending on whose marketing info you read/believe.

    While I realize I'm adding weight to my wheels choosing the WTB's over Crests, I'll make that trade in the name of durability. I weigh 180-ish before camelbak, etc. and want to be able to ride whatever line I choose and not worry about my wheels.

    If you can get a WTB wheel set that uses these rims, I'd consider them.
    I would tend to agree with the eyelet comment. I have mavic open pros (with eyelets) on my crossbike. I also commute on them and they have held up quite well.
    ______________________________

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  14. #14
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    That's exactly why i am nervous...no eyelets. The LBS did not want to run stan's because of this too. They have built a few sets up and have had some good luck and are willing to give them a try now.

  15. #15
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    Stans rims are pretty good. Mavic makes some good rims too.
    If your getting a prebuilt set there are some good Easton wheels out now but I havent ridden them to compare.
    Pedal Dammit!

  16. #16
    burnedthetoast
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    I haven't ridden them, but have heard some good things about various Easton offerings:
    Easton XC One SS 29″er Wheels: Final Review | Twenty Nine Inches
    Easton Haven 29″er Wheels, (And EA 90 XC’s): Update | Twenty Nine Inches

    They're in your price range (if you can get 1/2 off at least).

  17. #17
    NedwannaB
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    Horror stories??

    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    How much do you weigh?
    I have heard some horror stories about the prebuilt stan's wheels but i don't have a personal experience with them. If you go that route i would ask a reputable wheel builder to check the spoke tension before you go out and ride them. They will need to be trued soon after anyways.

    I weigh 190 and i would never consider the crest rim. I have the arches right now and they seem to come out of true way more than i would like. I scored the wheelset off of mtbr and they were custom built but i don't personally know the builder. My LBS wants me to try out the arches again so we are going to give them another go built and tensioned to their liking.

    I ride a HT and come from a moto background so I am pretty rough on my stuff.
    Others will swear by the arches and the crest but it really depends how rough you are on your stuff and your weight. I am holding my breath on the arches that were just built but only time will tell. Setting up stan's rims tubeless is so simple after hearing all the horror stories from other rims being setup.
    Really! Maybe you should pass them on to Stans so they can make some adjustments to their product(s).
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  18. #18
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    Sun Ringle?

    You should look into the newer Sun Ringle wheelsets, the Black Flag and Charger. Both available in Pro or Expert versions, both use Stan's BST design for the rims for super easy tubeless, and they have eyelets. The Black Flag is lighter and has a 24mm rim, and the Charger has a 28mm rim, comparable to the Arch and Flow.

    BTW, I have also read some bad stories about Stan's prebuilt wheels. Low and inconsistent tension and constantly needing to true.

    All that said, I have been very happily riding a set of Stan's Flow/Hope SS wheels for almost three years, and I have never had to touch a spoke! I weigh 185 and ride very techy NE trails on a rigid 29er singlespeed. A good builder makes all the difference. These wheels were built by Mikesee (lacemine29.com), and they have been perfect. I highly recommend him for a wheelbuild. He is VERY knowledgeable, tell him what, where, and how you ride, and he will tell you what you need.

    Mark

  19. #19
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    Some Answers...

    I am 170 lbs.
    I am, indeed, running SS.
    I was shooting for a msrp of $400 - $800 in hopes that the MAX I will have to spend after a good discount would be $400.

    And BTW, thanks everybody for the solid input!

  20. #20
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    My fiancee and I both trained and raced all summer on our stans olympics and we just had them trued a couple weeks ago. I dont think they even really needed it. Again, depends on the rider. But, we've had good luck. Hoping for the same from the 29er wheels.

  21. #21
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    I have no experience on them but have read really good reviews on the Pure line by bicycle wheel warehouse...Decent selection of hubs and colors...Might be worth checking out

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    How much do you weigh?
    I have heard some horror stories about the prebuilt stan's wheels but i don't have a personal experience with them. If you go that route i would ask a reputable wheel builder to check the spoke tension before you go out and ride them. They will need to be trued soon after anyways.

    I weigh 190 and i would never consider the crest rim. I have the arches right now and they seem to come out of true way more than i would like. I scored the wheelset off of mtbr and they were custom built but i don't personally know the builder. My LBS wants me to try out the arches again so we are going to give them another go built and tensioned to their liking.

    I ride a HT and come from a moto background so I am pretty rough on my stuff.
    Others will swear by the arches and the crest but it really depends how rough you are on your stuff and your weight. I am holding my breath on the arches that were just built but only time will tell. Setting up stan's rims tubeless is so simple after hearing all the horror stories from other rims being setup.
    I built my wheels myself, so I can't comment on pre-built rigs. I weigh 155 loaded, and I wouldn't even go with the crest rims. The Arch is a good solid rim for the price and I think there is something to their "low" sidewall. Not to say they are bulletproof or something, but they seem to hold up fairly well.

  23. #23
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    Stans Crest wheels will be a great choice

  24. #24
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    I wanted Easton Havens

    But price dictated XT UST and am very happy for $299 shipped. Also check Mtn Bike Action Reviews. The NEW Crankbrothers are sweet. You are SOOOOOO close to Carbon wheel pricing if you have a friend to hook you up. That a lot of dough.

  25. #25
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    Sorry,

    I think that is price per wheel for Carbon. No wonder I didn't buy 'em.

  26. #26
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    15 QR (15mm Thru Axle)

    So, I now know that a custom set is out of the question.

    I have also come to the conclusion that I will be running a FOX Terralogic with a 15mm Thru Axle. This puts a new spin on the situation. Not a ton of folks are running the 15 QR yet (at least to my knowlege).
    Does anyone have experience with this? It would have to be a factory built wheel. I know alot of companies are using Stan's wheels, which is apparently an awesome thing.

    Clairification: When I mentioned the price catagory above, I was talking about both Wheels, not just one. I don't think I really have a desire to go with carbon either. I would rather concentrate on a good quality hub opposed to a fancy material rim.

  27. #27
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    I just built up a carbon hardtail, and I used the Easton EA90 XC 29"
    I love them, and they're very light for the price.
    I documented the build on my blog if you're interested in pictures of them mounted etc.

  28. #28
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    i just had a set of WTB Laser TCS XC wheels built. the rims weigh a bit more than the Stans Crests (385g) but because of the eyelets they can build them with higher spoke tension (therefore stronger). i've only had a few rides on them so far but they are stiff and snappy and have stayed true (not saying much as i've only done about 50 miles on them). Had them laced to a DT swiss front hub and a chris kind SS rear.

    The wtb rim also uses the same rim bead technology as the stans i believe so there isn't any trade off there. really its just a touch more weight for eyelets and more strength (if the hub can handle the higher spoke tension as well). for me it was a nice middle ground between the light weight crests, and the much heavier, but sturdier arches.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by icon149 View Post
    i just had a set of WTB Laser TCS XC wheels built.
    The wtb rim also uses the same rim bead technology as the stans i believe so there isn't any trade off there.
    I was thinking the technology used here was utilized only by Stan's? Everyone I have spoken with regarding tubeless all say go with Stan's for that reason. This has been stressed to me so strongly that I feeling if I cannot get into a set of wheels built with Stan's, then I may just go ahead and run tubes. Then one day when I can afford EXACTLY what I want, I can build precisely that.

  30. #30
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    The Decision...

    Looks like it is going to be a set of Stan's Arches with DT Swiss's. I'm excited!

    Thanks everyone for your very helpful input!!!

  31. #31
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    You made a good choice with the ZTR Arch wheelset. I've got them on my rigid SS9r with Specialized Renegades for aggressive XC. They haven't let me down. I'm running 23/25 psi. Take your weight and divide by 13 for the rear tire pressure, then subtract 2 psi for the front and have fun. Make sure you use enough Stan's goo too. I do at least 3 ounces each.

  32. #32
    burnedthetoast
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    Say what?

    Quote Originally Posted by SS9r View Post
    I'm running 23/25 psi. Take your weight and divide by 13 for the rear tire pressure, then subtract 2 psi for the front and have fun.
    According to the math I just did, this means that:
    1 - You weigh 325 lbs (25x13)
    2 - Since I only weigh 150 lbs, I should be running 11lbs in the back and 9lbs in the front.

    I feel like something is wrong here?

  33. #33
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    You should feel like something is wrong here. I didn't check my math. Sorry 'bout that, Stan's tech support reminded me the formula is

    rider weight / 7 = rear tire psi
    substract 1-3 psi for the front

    I'm 160# without the camelback, so that puts the tires at ~ 21/23. I prefer 23/25 psi on my SS9r.

  34. #34
    burnedthetoast
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    That makes much more sense!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS9r View Post
    You should feel like something is wrong here. I didn't check my math. Sorry 'bout that, Stan's tech support reminded me the formula is

    rider weight / 7 = rear tire psi
    substract 1-3 psi for the front

    I'm 160# without the camelback, so that puts the tires at ~ 21/23. I prefer 23/25 psi on my SS9r.
    Will do Sir.

  36. #36
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    Tire Width?

    What width tire do you all that ride the Arch find best for your use and why?

  37. #37
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    I use small block tires for sandy/dry/tacky conditions. Large block for muddy/wet stuff. 1.95 - 2.1" Specialized and Kenda work fine for me. Your mileage may vary.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS9r View Post
    You should feel like something is wrong here. I didn't check my math. Sorry 'bout that, Stan's tech support reminded me the formula is

    rider weight / 7 = rear tire psi
    substract 1-3 psi for the front

    I'm 160# without the camelback, so that puts the tires at ~ 21/23. I prefer 23/25 psi on my SS9r.
    That "formula" doesn't hold much water for me... Or any "formula" for tire pressure, for that matter. There are so many variables, even with the same rim - different tires size/volume, terrain, kind of bike (suspension or not) - just a few that come to mind immediately ...
    I ride rigid with Racing Ralphs (2.4 fr, 2.25 rr), weigh ~190lbs, and run about 20 front and maybe 2 more in the back. Sometimes, depending on conditions, 1-2 PSI lower both fr and rr. Using the formula above would put me at 27 PSI, which would be way too hard, I'd be bouncing all over the place.

  39. #39
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    That's fine. It's Stan's NoTubes recommendation that I use and passed along. Their recommendation and mine consider only the entered weight of the rider. Solving for multiple variables sounds like diminishing returns to me. I pump 'em, gauge 'em and then it's wheels down.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS9r View Post
    Solving for multiple variables sounds like diminishing returns to me.
    That's exactly why I questioned viability of any formula...
    Not trying to shove my opinion down anyone's throat though, that was just my 2 cents. Whatever works for you - great!

  41. #41
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    The Question Again...

    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    What width tire do you all that ride the Arch find best for your use and why?
    I appreciate the tire pressue info, but what about the above question?

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