Best Boost wheelset under $1,000 for my Fuel EX 9- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best Boost wheelset under $1,000 for my Fuel EX 9

    Hey guys. As the title suggests I'm looking to get an upgraded boost xd wheelset for my 2016 Fuel Ex 9. I weigh about 170 lbs and my riding style definitely leans more XC than AM so they don't need to be the most bombproof wheels, but I also don't want to have to worry much about knocking them out of true.

    So, if you were looking to upgrade from the stock SRAM 30s and had a maximum of $1,000 to spend, what would you get?

  2. #2
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    I guess I'd try and run 29+ tires on the front and you can fit a 2.5 or so on the rear as one option. That would point to about 40mm id rims. Carbonbicycle has 39 id asym rims for about $440 shipped. Dt has listed Boost 6 bolt 350 hubs as available. Should be now or soon. Sapim Laser spokes from Dan's Comp with the included Sapim brass nipples. That would get you in at around $800 with a star ratchet upgrade to 36t for rear engagement. Carbon rims are stiff so very easy to build with, especially an asym rim.
    The other option is a 27.5+ tire front and rear for the same with the 27.5 rim version of those carbon rims.
    There are aluminum rims that would cut the price by $250.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your thoughts! I also realize I might have been a little unclear. I'm not necessarily looking to run + size tires, just wanted to note that the wheels would need 110/148 boost width hubs. Could I or should I run regular 2.3 or 2.4 width tires on those rims?

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    I guess I'd try and run 29+ tires on the front and you can fit a 2.5 or so on the rear as one option. That would point to about 40mm id rims. Carbonbicycle has 39 id asym rims for about $440 shipped. Dt has listed Boost 6 bolt 350 hubs as available. Should be now or soon. Sapim Laser spokes from Dan's Comp with the included Sapim brass nipples. That would get you in at around $800 with a star ratchet upgrade to 36t for rear engagement. Carbon rims are stiff so very easy to build with, especially an asym rim.
    The other option is a 27.5+ tire front and rear for the same with the 27.5 rim version of those carbon rims.
    There are aluminum rims that would cut the price by $250.

  4. #4
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    I'd pick what wheel size I wanted, then some nice hoops, and have them laced up to some i9 hubs.

  5. #5
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    You want to keep the XD driver?

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    My experience with XR Team tires on 30mm id rims has been completely positive both carbon and aluminum. They have the right rounded profile. Skip the Experts. You could choose the XR2 2.35 tires and get the traction and stability benefits while still having a fast rolling, long wearing light tire.
    You can run a Fat B Nimble 29 x 3.0(2.7 actual) as a front on a 30mm id rim to experiment in the future. 40 would probably be better for sidewall support and max performance.

    For info-
    Are 27.5+ wheels and tyres better than 29ers? - BikeRadar USA





    Certainly a developing area for performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    You want to keep the XD driver?
    I assume I need to for the SRAM XG-1150 cassette that comes with the bike. Am I mistaken?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    My experience with XR Team tires on 30mm id rims has been completely positive both carbon and aluminum. They have the right rounded profile. Skip the Experts. You could choose the XR2 2.35 tires and get the traction and stability benefits while still having a fast rolling, long wearing light tire.
    You can run a Fat B Nimble 29 x 3.0(2.7 actual) as a front on a 30mm id rim to experiment in the future. 40 would probably be better for sidewall support and max performance.

    For info-
    Are 27.5+ wheels and tyres better than 29ers? - BikeRadar USA





    Certainly a developing area for performance.
    XR3 experts are what comes on the bike. Should I get something else? I was thinking of getting the XR4 team for the front and staying with stock in the rear.

    I ride in the mid-atlantic, mostly Patapasco valley in Maryland. Fairly hilly terrain with lots of roots and rocks.

  9. #9
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    Are you up for building a set, or having a set built?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    Hey guys. As the title suggests I'm looking to get an upgraded boost xd wheelset for my 2016 Fuel Ex 9. I weigh about 170 lbs and my riding style definitely leans more XC than AM so they don't need to be the most bombproof wheels, but I also don't want to have to worry much about knocking them out of true.

    So, if you were looking to upgrade from the stock SRAM 30s and had a maximum of $1,000 to spend, what would you get?
    For Aluminum at less than $1000, go for Stan's...Stan's NoTubes - First Name in Tubeless

    If you can figure out a way to raise your budget another $400, go for a set of NOX...Nox Composites

    I have lots of experience with both of these wheels. The NOX product is great, has a killer warranty, and will transform your bike. Stan's stuff is very good for the price. The new Stan's MK3 line should be good; they're wider and stronger now, just get the steel driver instead of the Al freewheel as the Al will get chewed up quickly.

    As for the tire size, go for 2.4 in the lightest tire you can get. Get something that sheds mud and has a good wet rating as you live in Maryland.

    Have fun!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    XR3 experts are what comes on the bike. Should I get something else? I was thinking of getting the XR4 team for the front and staying with stock in the rear.

    I ride in the mid-atlantic, mostly Patapasco valley in Maryland. Fairly hilly terrain with lots of roots and rocks.
    If you go with 30mm id rims you get a bigger contact patch. You get better traction from that and the ability to lower the psi by 4-5 lbs. pressure because the wider rims create more tire volume. You can use that volume to lower your psi and still avoid rim hits. For my riding I was at 20fr/25rear on 21mm id rims. I went to 16/20 with 30mm id rims. Te combo of bigger contact patch and lower psi means the tire conforms more and this means you can get enough traction out of lighter lower knob tires. A XR2 2.35 could give you what you need and roll faster. The Team tires are long lasting and have different dimensions than the Experts. Go with the Teams when you need new tires. You can experiment with what you have to figure out psi.

    Maybe keep your oem wheels setup with mud tires, if needed. I don't ride mud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    Hey guys. As the title suggests I'm looking to get an upgraded boost xd wheelset for my 2016 Fuel Ex 9. I weigh about 170 lbs and my riding style definitely leans more XC than AM so they don't need to be the most bombproof wheels, but I also don't want to have to worry much about knocking them out of true.

    So, if you were looking to upgrade from the stock SRAM 30s and had a maximum of $1,000 to spend, what would you get?
    I ride Patapsco all of the time with a 2016 Fuel EX 9.9, Nox Farlow. Nobby Nics fall through spring. XR3 /XR2 other times. Works great. The NN are great all around tires as well. Hit me up if you want to see the Nox. I have Project 321 hubs.

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    Have you had a problem with the roam 30's? Just asking bec I was looking to do the same and weigh 200lbs and have ridden the wheels pretty hard and haven't come out of true at all yet. I kind of have been waiting for them to fail but I've been pleasantly surprised at how nice the hubs spin. I did though add the additional 2 pawls in the hub which made the engagement a lot better!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    I assume I need to for the SRAM XG-1150 cassette that comes with the bike. Am I mistaken?
    Yes, and for most wheelsets that a $75ish extra as they nearly all ship with Shimano cassette bodies.

    Just a small thing to factor in with the cost.

    I'm very interested in the new DT Swiss XM1501 Spline wheels for my EX9.

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    Another vote for stans arches with the new neo hubs. I've used their wheels for years without issue. I love the XR3, great tire. I've used the XR4 and XR2 and prefer the XR2 for racing but if I was just out having fun and trail riding the XR4/XR3 combo or XR3 F/R is what I'd run.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    XR3 experts are what comes on the bike. Should I get something else? I was thinking of getting the XR4 team for the front and staying with stock in the rear.

    I ride in the mid-atlantic, mostly Patapasco valley in Maryland. Fairly hilly terrain with lots of roots and rocks.
    You ride close to me. I ride Frederick watershed and places closer to there. I live in WV.
    Check out my blog! The WVPedaler...
    Founding Member of THUMB MTB Club

    2016 Trek Top Fuel
    2015 Fuji Altamira Cross

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrgand View Post
    Have you had a problem with the roam 30's? Just asking bec I was looking to do the same and weigh 200lbs and have ridden the wheels pretty hard and haven't come out of true at all yet. I kind of have been waiting for them to fail but I've been pleasantly surprised at how nice the hubs spin. I did though add the additional 2 pawls in the hub which made the engagement a lot better!!
    No problem with the Roam 30s, they are just an obvious weak spot in an otherwise great build. I'll probably ride with them for a bit and then relegate them to being a second set (with an alternate tire combo).

    Did you order the hope pro 2 pawls and install those or were you able to find the original sram ones? I was thinking of going that way as well. 10 minutes of work and double the engagement!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogeydog View Post
    I ride Patapsco all of the time with a 2016 Fuel EX 9.9, Nox Farlow. Nobby Nics fall through spring. XR3 /XR2 other times. Works great. The NN are great all around tires as well. Hit me up if you want to see the Nox. I have Project 321 hubs.
    Interesting. So you feel like you don't need the extra traction of the XR4? Maybe I should rethink... I'm not the most aggressive rider, so possibly the XR4 is overkill.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    No problem with the Roam 30s, they are just an obvious weak spot in an otherwise great build. I'll probably ride with them for a bit and then relegate them to being a second set (with an alternate tire combo).

    Did you order the hope pro 2 pawls and install those or were you able to find the original sram ones? I was thinking of going that way as well. 10 minutes of work and double the engagement!
    What is it that you feel is weak about them if I may ask? I'm 210lbs, and before I even ordered the bike I was ready to replace the wheels. But, my LBS owner said, they have a two year warranty and it costs you nothing to try them before replacing them. So I rode them, and rode them, then did the extra pawls mod (all 4 Hope pawls and springs in there), and rode them some more including 6 trips to Pisgah. I'm not saying they're some super awesome wheel, don't get me wrong, and they probably flex a good bit for heavier guys, but mine are still running true and holding up shockingly well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    What is it that you feel is weak about them if I may ask? I'm 210lbs, and before I even ordered the bike I was ready to replace the wheels. But, my LBS owner said, they have a two year warranty and it costs you nothing to try them before replacing them. So I rode them, and rode them, then did the extra pawls mod (all 4 Hope pawls and springs in there), and rode them some more including 6 trips to Pisgah. I'm not saying they're some super awesome wheel, don't get me wrong, and they probably flex a good bit for heavier guys, but mine are still running true and holding up shockingly well.
    That's great to hear! I'm actually not planning to get rid of them, I just like having more than one wheelset so I can switch things up (have a fat set for the winter or a fast rolling set for gravel/smoother rides. I had read that they were not very stiff, but I haven't had a chance to ride them much yet. I'm sure they are totally fine.

    To my first question: Were you able to find the actual SRAM pawls somewhere or did you get the hope pro 2 ones that others have mentioned?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    Interesting. So you feel like you don't need the extra traction of the XR4? Maybe I should rethink... I'm not the most aggressive rider, so possibly the XR4 is overkill.
    Going to echo bogeydog, xr4 is probably overkill for patapsco. Especially now that it is nearing summer and the trails are going to get fast.

    For wheels, i9 trail S are a pretty good option. Not as wide as a flow but lighter.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    That's great to hear! I'm actually not planning to get rid of them, I just like having more than one wheelset so I can switch things up (have a fat set for the winter or a fast rolling set for gravel/smoother rides. I had read that they were not very stiff, but I haven't had a chance to ride them much yet. I'm sure they are totally fine.

    To my first question: Were you able to find the actual SRAM pawls somewhere or did you get the hope pro 2 ones that others have mentioned?
    The answer was in there for ya, I used the Hope kit and used all 4 Hope pawls and springs. Zero issues, and double the POE for cheap!

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    I actually had the guy at my local bike shop call sram and he told them he lost the pawls while servicing my hub and they sent two new ones. Free upgrade and engagement is much better. I think you will be pretty happy with them. I have been pleasantly surprised.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post
    No problem with the Roam 30s, they are just an obvious weak spot in an otherwise great build. I'll probably ride with them for a bit and then relegate them to being a second set (with an alternate tire combo).

    Did you order the hope pro 2 pawls and install those or were you able to find the original sram ones? I was thinking of going that way as well. 10 minutes of work and double the engagement!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRODZAN View Post

    So, if you were looking to upgrade from the stock SRAM 30s and had a maximum of $1,000 to spend, what would you get?
    If it were me, I would enjoy the SRAM 30s until I could allocate more money for wheels that would make a bigger difference.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    I guess I'd try and run 29+ tires on the front and you can fit a 2.5 or so on the rear as one option. That would point to about 40mm id rims. Carbonbicycle has 39 id asym rims for about $440 shipped. Dt has listed Boost 6 bolt 350 hubs as available. Should be now or soon. Sapim Laser spokes from Dan's Comp with the included Sapim brass nipples. That would get you in at around $800 with a star ratchet upgrade to 36t for rear engagement. Carbon rims are stiff so very easy to build with, especially an asym rim.
    The other option is a 27.5+ tire front and rear for the same with the 27.5 rim version of those carbon rims.
    There are aluminum rims that would cut the price by $250.
    I'd not limit myself at cost for a wheel set. I'd build a wheel set for what I ride and what I was looking for without spending enough to buy a new bike, LOL

    my current build now is I9 hubs but I am still torn on rims.
    LB rims or stans also how wide ID do i want to do 25mm 30mm? etc etc
    Too Many .

  26. #26
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    I have about 4 seasons on Light Bike 30 mm internal hoops with zero issues. I bought them built with Novatec hubs ( no issues), and recently rebuilt them on i9 hubs for my Remedy. If you go the carbon route use brass nips. The only issue I had with the LB built wheels was galvanic corrosion after about 1.5 seasons.

    For what its worth I weigh about 185 geared up, ride typical rocky New England single track and lift service occasionally....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    What is it that you feel is weak about them if I may ask? I'm 210lbs, and before I even ordered the bike I was ready to replace the wheels. But, my LBS owner said, they have a two year warranty and it costs you nothing to try them before replacing them. So I rode them, and rode them, then did the extra pawls mod (all 4 Hope pawls and springs in there), and rode them some more including 6 trips to Pisgah. I'm not saying they're some super awesome wheel, don't get me wrong, and they probably flex a good bit for heavier guys, but mine are still running true and holding up shockingly well.
    Sorry to side track this. But im looking into a 9 for next season, i blow free hubs like crazy, cool to know i can put hope pawls in and service the freehub. I was looking at roam 30 wheels but sram calls them a budget friendly wheel.... Hoping not.
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

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