What's considered lightweight wheels for a 200lb XC racer?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's considered lightweight wheels for a 200lb XC racer?

    I know some of you light weight folks can drive the grams down, but what would be my goal? Right now I'm on Roval Control (non-carbon) and they weigh 1650 grams. I do a light bicycle build with 28 spokes, Ray spokes and brass nips around 1500. Should I bump up to 32 spokes? Thoughts.

  2. #2
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    It really depends on what kind of rider you are, IMO.
    Light weight has limits...
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    I'm 170. But was 225lbs for years. I still ride 32 spoke rims. 28 spokes means you're pushing it if you break a spoke and need to ride it out. I use Lilly aluminum nipples and don't have any issues with them and carbon rims. The weight is almost the same.

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    As a 190#er, I'm just here to read the recommendations.

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    At #200 I'd def go 32 spokes.

    I have a hard time keeping 28 spoke wheels straight at #170 - I am fairly hard on wheels though.

  6. #6
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    Im 200lbs and recently purchased 29” 30i rims from Nextie that weighed only 360g. I built them with 32h DT 240s and Sapim Lasers and they came our right at 1,400g. They feel plenty stiff for XC/Light trail duties. Time will tell with durability but i do t think i will have issues.

    I went 32h to play it safe. I build my own wheels but dont have the experience to know if a 28h build would have worked or not.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    Im 200lbs and recently purchased 29” 30i rims from Nextie that weighed only 360g. I built them with 32h DT 240s and Sapim Lasers and they came our right at 1,400g. They feel plenty stiff for XC/Light trail duties. Time will tell with durability but i do t think i will have issues.

    I went 32h to play it safe. I build my own wheels but dont have the experience to know if a 28h build would have worked or not.
    What rim did you go with?


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  8. #8
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    Nextie has rims the post up on eBay (didn't order from their website). The 35mm / 30 internal rims have been on there for quite a long time. They were $400 shipped for a pair and both came in right at 360g each.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    What rim did you go with?


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  9. #9
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    32 spokes are not needed for almost any carbon wheelset, even at your weight. For aluminum, yes.

    Especially if the rim is 25mm deep and/or wide or greater, it’ll be much stronger than old school aluminum rims.

    More than 28 spokes will only serve to weaken a carbon rim. 24 is best on front for XC bikes.

    And yes I’ve raced at your weight and owned carbon wheels for years—currently building a new sub-1300g 30.5 ID wheel set to replace my Valors


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  10. #10
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    If you are 200lbs, what spoke would you lace on a 24h front rim? On my build, 32 lasers laced to my front wheel is fine for XC, but when pushed further I think it could be stiffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    32 spokes are not needed for almost any carbon wheelset, even at your weight. For aluminum, yes.

    Especially if the rim is 25mm deep and/or wide or greater, it’ll be much stronger than old school aluminum rims.

    More than 28 spokes will only serve to weaken a carbon rim. 24 is best on front for XC bikes.

    And yes I’ve raced at your weight and owned carbon wheels for years—currently building a new sub-1300g 30.5 ID wheel set to replace my Valors


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    If you are 200lbs, what spoke would you lace on a 24h front rim? On my build, 32 lasers laced to my front wheel is fine for XC, but when pushed further I think it could be stiffer.
    So one thing to collectively realize is that with the strength of carbon rims, especially wider, deeper rims, they hold their own shape without spokes. That's not necessarily the case with aluminum rims.

    How to tell: generally carbon rims don't need much truing, if any. Aluminum rims always are needing truing.

    2nd way to tell: there's only so much tension that an aluminum rim can hold before it gets pulled out of round, and ruined. Carbon wheels can perform well, even with poorly balanced spoke tension (from bad wheel builders like me).

    Thirdly, spokes pull in, not push out. So ideally what you want is a very high tension, low spoke count with carbon rims. I was talked into building with Berd spokes and I'm currently in the process of building with them--they're actually lighter and flex more, which you'd possibly want with stiffer wider rims.

    On my Notubes Valors, I've had to replace a couple rear spokes before getting inserts. I've never had to do anything to the front 24h rim, it has all the original spokes and has never needed truing. These wheels are Breck Epic, Wilderness 101, and Marathon Nats finishers, among many other races, to give you perspective.

    Last point: try foam inserts! You'll love them. They'll save you thousands of bucks when you rim strike, and in my experience they'll also save you from broken spokes. Haven't had a single rim ding, broken spoke, nor truing issue since I went to Nube inserts (1.5" closed cell foam).

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    I would agree that 28h on carbon is plenty stiff. Now the big question is what are you calling XC and how hard are you on wheels. I am a Midwestern rider and I weigh in at 230. I am however extremely light on wheels. Growing up on rigid 26er years ago teaches you to avoid most things. Hahaha. You could easily get down into the 1300-1400g range with out running into issues. I am a big fan of revolution or laser spokes. I like alloy poly ax nips as I feel they pivot to the spoke angle a little better than pro-locks or squarx do.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    Im 200lbs and recently purchased 29” 30i rims from Nextie that weighed only 360g. I built them with 32h DT 240s and Sapim Lasers and they came our right at 1,400g. They feel plenty stiff for XC/Light trail duties. Time will tell with durability but i do t think i will have issues.

    I went 32h to play it safe. I build my own wheels but dont have the experience to know if a 28h build would have worked or not.
    I have a similar wheelset Nextie rims, Extralite hubs and I hover between 200-210lbs and while I mostly ride XC, if there's a jump I take it and the wheels have been fine.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    32 spokes are not needed for almost any carbon wheelset, even at your weight. For aluminum, yes

    I take your point, but there's very little data to support this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I take your point, but there's very little data to support this.
    I can appreciate at least the acknowledgement from a wheel builder. It's unfortunate that people aren't given the info that modern carbon wheels are much stronger than aluminum; I hear the same old "build 32h aluminum for hucking."

    Here's a video of Danny MacAskill doing everything he can to break a set (try that with aluminum):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfjjiHGuHoc


    I'll repeat my own experience from which I feel subjectively like I have a lot of data on a 28h/24h carbon build:

    >>>

    So one thing to collectively realize is that with the strength of carbon rims, especially wider, deeper rims, they hold their own shape without spokes. That's not necessarily the case with aluminum rims.

    How to tell: generally carbon rims don't need much truing, if any. Aluminum rims always are needing truing.

    2nd way to tell: there's only so much tension that an aluminum rim can hold before it gets pulled out of round, and ruined. Carbon wheels can perform well, even with poorly balanced spoke tension (from bad wheel builders like me).

    Thirdly, spokes pull in, not push out. So ideally what you want is a very high tension, low spoke count with carbon rims. I was talked into building with Berd spokes and I'm currently in the process of building with them--they're actually lighter and flex more, which you'd possibly want with stiffer wider rims.

    On my Notubes Valors, I've had to replace a couple rear spokes before getting inserts. I've never had to do anything to the front 24h rim, it has all the original spokes and has never needed truing. These wheels are Breck Epic, Wilderness 101, and Marathon Nats finishers, among many other races, to give you perspective.

    Last point: try foam inserts! You'll love them. They'll save you thousands of bucks when you rim strike, and in my experience they'll also save you from broken spokes. Haven't had a single rim ding, broken spoke, nor truing issue since I went to Nube inserts (1.5" closed cell foam).

    >>>

  16. #16
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    I'm interested to hear how a 24h Berd build works as a front wheel on a mountain bike.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    I can appreciate at least the acknowledgement from a wheel builder. It's unfortunate that people aren't given the info that modern carbon wheels are much stronger than aluminum; I hear the same old "build 32h aluminum for hucking."

    Here's a video of Danny MacAskill doing everything he can to break a set (try that with aluminum):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfjjiHGuHoc


    I'll repeat my own experience from which I feel subjectively like I have a lot of data on a 28h/24h carbon build:

    >>>

    So one thing to collectively realize is that with the strength of carbon rims, especially wider, deeper rims, they hold their own shape without spokes. That's not necessarily the case with aluminum rims.

    How to tell: generally carbon rims don't need much truing, if any. Aluminum rims always are needing truing.

    2nd way to tell: there's only so much tension that an aluminum rim can hold before it gets pulled out of round, and ruined. Carbon wheels can perform well, even with poorly balanced spoke tension (from bad wheel builders like me).

    Thirdly, spokes pull in, not push out. So ideally what you want is a very high tension, low spoke count with carbon rims. I was talked into building with Berd spokes and I'm currently in the process of building with them--they're actually lighter and flex more, which you'd possibly want with stiffer wider rims.

    On my Notubes Valors, I've had to replace a couple rear spokes before getting inserts. I've never had to do anything to the front 24h rim, it has all the original spokes and has never needed truing. These wheels are Breck Epic, Wilderness 101, and Marathon Nats finishers, among many other races, to give you perspective.

    Last point: try foam inserts! You'll love them. They'll save you thousands of bucks when you rim strike, and in my experience they'll also save you from broken spokes. Haven't had a single rim ding, broken spoke, nor truing issue since I went to Nube inserts (1.5" closed cell foam).

    >>>
    Interesting experience.

    Questions:
    Do you think the foam inserts have indeed saved your rims since you've had them? As in "Man, that was a wicked hit!"
    Do you think your light weight build without inserts is tolerant of rider error, as in pounding into a rock, or landing at a weird angle?

    It has been awhile but my old 1650g wheelset lasted a couple seasons and they needed a bit of attention, esp. as they neared their end. Been on the same 1750g set now for a looonnnng time and they have tolerated some bad riding on my part, with very little tweaking. 190#, but ride like 175# unless I make a mistake. Then I'm like 275#.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    So one thing to collectively realize is that with the strength of carbon rims, especially wider, deeper rims, they hold their own shape without spokes. That's not necessarily the case with aluminum rims.

    How to tell: generally carbon rims don't need much truing, if any. Aluminum rims always are needing truing.

    You're starting with the flawed assumption that all alu rims are created equally, and all carbon rims are created equally.

    And that just ain't so: A Crest is not an MTX33.

    Are there benefits to carbon? Undeniably. And big ones. Pretty much all I build for myself anymore is carbon.

    But carbon ain't for everybody, and you have to be very specific about what you need and want a rim to do in order to get the right rim for you.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I'm interested to hear how a 24h Berd build works as a front wheel on a mountain bike.
    We'll see soon enough, I'll post pics!

    BTW my 20h front 24h rear / 45mm deep road tubless wheelset is still performing like a champ.

    What's considered lightweight wheels for a 200lb XC racer?-roadbike.png

    About inserts, here's one that looks like it saved my bacon more than a couple of times. For guys well above 200# I'd recommend 2" inserts and 2.4" tires.

    What's considered lightweight wheels for a 200lb XC racer?-deadinsert.png


    Re: "ur logic is flawed" comments, going to pass on that, been there, done that, life is too short....

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    Still curious about my question above. Take a "typical" 420g chinese open mold 30id carbon rim and compare a 32h build vs. a 24h build.

    What spoke would a 24h build need to use to be comparably stiff as a 32h build with Sapim Laser or DT Rev?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    Still curious about my question above. Take a "typical" 420g chinese open mold 30id carbon rim and compare a 32h build vs. a 24h build.

    What spoke would a 24h build need to use to be comparably stiff as a 32h build with Sapim Laser or DT Rev?
    My understanding is that most modern carbon rims are so stiff that flex occurs at the hub and the only way to reduce this is to increase spoke count.

    https://bikeraceinfo.com/tech/wheel-stiffness.html
    http://www.aeroweenie.com/assets/bac...spokecount.pdf

    But there is a lot pretty competent bikers out there who think that a lot our wheels have become too stiff.
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    I am exactly 91kg/200lbs and I ride XC.

    I have 2 wheelsets.
    Newmen Advanced SL X.A.30 for racing - 1314gr
    https://www.newmen-components.de/en/...anced-sl-xa30/

    Duke Crazy Jack SLS2 6TERS for XCO and jumping and trail riding.
    1480gr, newmen fade hubs, sapim cx-ray spokes.
    https://www.duke-racingwheels.com/du...6ters/?lang=en

    Duke wheels look and feel very strong - I could probably ride enduro with them instead of xc/trail.

    I haven't jumped with newmens just in case but they look and feel also very sturdy without any problems.

    I did broke 1330gr mcfk 30mm wheels after 10 rides and some xc jumping - so I am little bit careful now.
    MCFK wheels also had 125kg weight limit and they said my problems were one-off - nobody else had complained.
    But they did give me money back after I told that I weigh 91kg and ride xc. In the end very good customer service but I would recommend these wheels only for lighter riders.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I'm interested to hear how a 24h Berd build works as a front wheel on a mountain bike.
    X2
    Is there any considerable lateral stiffness difference between a wheel build with Berd spokes vs a wheel build with traditional light weight spokes like a supercomp?

    I'm considering building up some lighter weight wheels over the winter 30-35mm id. Berds are very appealing due to there weight but have concerns with how they may ride. Specifically being pushed in hardpack berms by a 235 pound rider. Would a 28 hole 29'r 450G carbon rim laced with Berd's up front be less laterally stiff than a 32 hole 450G carbon rim laced with supercomps?
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    I am 200lbs. I am an XC racer on a 120mm front fork that rides fast and ride rock gardens hard. I thought long and hard about this question too. I Ride Nox Skyline Carbon wheels with I9 Hydros hubs. I am blanking on the gauge of the spoke but they are the Sapim CX-Rays. They are fast and light. I think about 1423grams.... but they could be a few grams heavier. That is w/ tape. I hope that helps.

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    I wanted to add I wouldn't go any lighter than my current setup - 1300 for xc and 1500gr for trail. If I could choose - ideal would be something around 1400gr - with 30mm rims of course.

    But I haven't yet found strong 30mm rims with weight around 380-390g mark. If there is I would probably ditch my 2 wheelset system.

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    If you have a 1300g wheelset and a 1450g wheelset, you should try swapping tires between the two. 150g of wheel is nothing. The heavier wheelset will be faster with the xc tires. 1500g is comically light. I mailed out a set of 1550g wheels recently and the UPS store guy asked me if the box was empty. It does really feel like nothing.

    But nevermind all that. If you built a 1650g carbon wheelset it would feel like being shot out of a cannon compared to your rovals. They would be stiffer, handle better, and accelerate in a way that feels faster. Your times would likely improve from improved handling and confidence on a good set of wheels. Realistically those carbon wheels just happen to end up closer to 1450-1550g and I think people conflate the weight savings with what actually made the difference.

    At 200lb, you can do much better than rovals but I wouldnt worry too much about the weight.

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    I built a set of Carbon Fan 29" wheels about a year ago. I used a DH layup in the rear, and an AM layup up front. 28mm wide in the rear, 33mm wide up front. 32H rear, 28H front. P321 hubs with Berd spokes.
    They take tons of abuse and I've heard the dreaded PING! several times, do lots of drops over 5' and decent jumps, and even rode 2 hours of the Monarch Crest trail on a rear flat. They have been trued a few times.
    They weigh 1370 grams. I weigh 182#s before gearing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    We'll see soon enough, I'll post pics!

    BTW my 20h front 24h rear / 45mm deep road tubless wheelset is still performing like a champ.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    About inserts, here's one that looks like it saved my bacon more than a couple of times. For guys well above 200# I'd recommend 2" inserts and 2.4" tires.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1369415


    Re: "ur logic is flawed" comments, going to pass on that, been there, done that, life is too short....
    Plain and simply, you need more air pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Plain and simply, you need more air pressure.
    Thats a silly thing to say.

    Just finished building these. 1270g, 30.5mm internal width. The lightest 30mm wheels in the world

    They’ll be raced this weekend; I’ll let you know how it goes!





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    How did you tension them? Or, rather, what did you use to measure tension, once you brought them up to tension?
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    I used a Park TS-1. You tension them all up to 15 (100kg), let it stretch overnight down to 12, then you can true. I also highly recommend a Park SW-15 tool with the Sapim nipples to tighten directly from the rim holes, because there’s a lot of stretching to be done as part of the build process.

    Raced them last weekend and they accelerated and handled fantastic. After a comeback year it felt good to finally start feeling fast again.




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    I mean how do you know that a 15 on the Park chart = 100kgf?

    Is that info from Berd?


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    What's considered lightweight wheels for a 200lb XC racer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    Still curious about my question above. Take a "typical" 420g chinese open mold 30id carbon rim and compare a 32h build vs. a 24h build.

    What spoke would a 24h build need to use to be comparably stiff as a 32h build with Sapim Laser or DT Rev?
    This also depends on the rim and hub (system stiffness), but if you just look at the influence of the spokes (other elements of the system assumed to have infinite stiffness = not correct, rim has significant influence to distribute loads to other/nearby spokes(*), hub not as much so) and model them as 1st order elements that have no bending/torsional stiffness (proper enough assumption) and have a continuous cross-sectional area (not correct, most spokes are butted):
    (32/24 * 1.5mm^2)^0.5=1.73mm spoke diameter for same material spoke.
    But alas you can not simplify it like this. But you can say that the lesser the amount of spokes, the bigger dia (larger E*A) spokes and-or stiffer the rims needs to be to (try to) reach an equal system stiffness - if at all attainable.
    *: the more so with less spokes!
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I mean how do you know that a 15 on the Park chart = 100kgf?

    Is that info from Berd?


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    Yes, that is in the instructions in the Berd build kit. I also got the advice on using a SW-15 from Berd support (it takes a LONG time with a conventional spoke wrench). You could even use an electric drill with a tension cutoff to speed up the work if you have the correct bit.

    The number of spokes thing, you other guys are way over-thinking this: a carbon rim will be stronger with fewer spokes than aluminum. Like long stems, 32h is outdated and old school. I have a buddy who just bought some Synchros Silverton SL fully carbon wheels with bonded carbon spokes, 20h front and rear.

    I am looking at an ideal Cat 1 / life balance race weight of no lower than 190 pounds, although I raced pro for a couple of years at 175. I'm about 200 now in the offseason. I know how to make the bike go fast and I had no problems with these at all, nor my previous 24/28h carbon rims for years...

    If you're not as tall as me though, and I'd recommend some long rides in the offseason to shed weight as watts/kg, according to my Traininpeaks numbers, seems to be the most important thing in XC racing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    The number of spokes thing, you other guys are way over-thinking this: a carbon rim will be stronger with fewer spokes than aluminum. Like long stems, 32h is outdated and old school. I have a buddy who just bought some Synchros Silverton SL fully carbon wheels with bonded carbon spokes, 20h front and rear.
    Some people over-think, other people over-simplify or are just wrong. No problem, it’s the internet ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Yes, that is in the instructions in the Berd build kit. I also got the advice on using a SW-15 from Berd support (it takes a LONG time with a conventional spoke wrench). You could even use an electric drill with a tension cutoff to speed up the work if you have the correct bit.
    Ah. That's good to know. I was wondering how Berd would communicate that, because I haven't seen anyone post any method of measuring or converting traditional steel spoke tension measurements of kgf into Berd kdf.
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    So, i read that a5 ft 8 competitive xc revert weighs 135 lbs.

    What are you doing xc racing at 200?

    Have you tried downhill?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    So, i read that a5 ft 8 competitive xc revert weighs 135 lbs.

    What are you doing xc racing at 200?

    Have you tried downhill?

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    What in the world are you talking about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    What are you doing xc racing at 200?

    Have you tried downhill?
    When you live in the country where the highest peak is 318m then downhill is not really an option

    And 200lbs is not so big deficit on flat tracks(they can still be very technical) or in race trying to leave your group behind into headwind.

  41. #41
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    It's not so much weight, but watts per kg. Taller racers put out more watts. But it only goes so far, and the weight-per-inches scale actually works against taller riders.

    Again, if you're about 5'10", 200, you're gonna want to put in more work in the offseason rather than buying new wheels. And it's not just climbing that'll be affected, but acceleration and cornering too. But who knows, maybe you could have success in Cat 2, not really sure the levels we are all competing at.

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    I am well aware my weight problems (and doing what I can)

    I don't really care about results so much - 1300gr wheelsets still feel amazing to drive.
    If you are heavier you can still buy lighter components - it's just means more research before decision.

  43. #43
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    I'm 175lbs and for 4 years have raced XC on a 1135g wheelset built before Berd spokes existed. So for a 200lber in 2020 add a little weight to go from Carbon Ti hubs to DT, a little more for wider tougher rims, and subtract some for Berd spokes. That's the wheelset I'm building for my trail bike. I'd say a 1250g wheelset should do just fine for you if the use is XC racing and trail riding on tires no burlier than a 2.35" Ikon. The Industry says you're just fine on 28 spokes and alloy nipples and unless you're an accident prone hack I agree.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    The number of spokes thing, you other guys are way over-thinking this: a carbon rim will be stronger with fewer spokes than aluminum. Like long stems, 32h is outdated and old school. I have a buddy who just bought some Synchros Silverton SL fully carbon wheels with bonded carbon spokes, 20h front and rear.
    You and I have disagreed on many things, but I think you are on the money with this. To take it even a step further many carbon rims probably ride a lot better with fewer spokes.

    Now it seems like a lot of people are searching for ways to get a little more compliance (flex) out of their ultra-wide and ultra stiff rims. Dropping that spoke count might help.

    IMHO the only reason to run a high spoke count rim is if you are worried about fatigue life of spokes. But spokes are way better than they use to be and seem to last a long time.
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  45. #45
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    I have Berd spokes on 2 sets of wheels, my wife's and my own.
    In the rear I have a 32H, DH layup, 29mm wide wheel and I'll tell you: it flexes notably with those Berd spokes under high load/ traction conditions.
    I haven't decided if it's a good thing, a bad thing, or neither. But it does this thing when you nail a turn just right where it feels like the wheel flexes inches for just a moment.

    I'm a 180# (before gear) aggressive rider btw.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Thats a silly thing to say.

    Just finished building these. 1270g, 30.5mm internal width. The lightest 30mm wheels in the world

    They’ll be raced this weekend; I’ll let you know how it goes!





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    I apologize if that came off rude. Not sure how many miles you had on that insert but the idea isn't to rely on them constantly for rim protection, they are for tire stability and back up protection.

    Nice wheels btw. About a year ago I built a set of 29" CF wheels, 34mm wide front, 29mm wide rear, Berds & P321 hubs. The front is an AM layup and the rear is a DH layup. 1370 grams. They have taken insane abuse, 9' drops, riding out of the Monarch Crest trail at speed on a rear flat, etc.
    I built my wife a set of 1054 g 27.5" wheels and if I had selected better rims I could have gotten them under 1000 grams pretty easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I apologize if that came off rude. Not sure how many miles you had on that insert but the idea isn't to rely on them constantly for rim protection, they are for tire stability and back up protection.

    Nice wheels btw. About a year ago I built a set of 29" CF wheels, 34mm wide front, 29mm wide rear, Berds & P321 hubs. The front is an AM layup and the rear is a DH layup. 1370 grams. They have taken insane abuse, 9' drops, riding out of the Monarch Crest trail at speed on a rear flat, etc.
    I built my wife a set of 1054 g 27.5" wheels and if I had selected better rims I could have gotten them under 1000 grams pretty easily.
    Gotcha. I don't think I'd have built a trail wheelset with Berd spokes, but good to know they'll hold up to that level of abuse.

    Berd are advertised as being stronger than steel spokes but with twice the vibration damping. I don't know your setup but I wonder if you've checked the tension recently? It needs to be at least 10 per spoke with a Park TS-1. It can easily fall below 5 and not feel loose until you start riding, from what I've experienced.

    My rims are 35mm wide (external) with a 28mm rim depth (height), which is taller than most carbon MTB rims. I think vertical compliance is cool, like my old Valors, but I believe the Carbonfan rims themselves are very stiff--I tested this before building them and they don't flex. These are my XC racing wheels.

    My trail wheelset is very much old school Arch EX aluminum rims/steel spokes at around 2000g, except the foam inserts to help support wider tires at lower pressures. I consider those inserts to be disposable, and yes I've had to finish rides at low pressure before, nice to have that as an option. I'm not much of a jumper but I'm goading myself to with the build of these. I think every racer should have an everyday set of wheels outside of racing, that has been good for me.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I have Berd spokes on 2 sets of wheels, my wife's and my own.
    In the rear I have a 32H, DH layup, 29mm wide wheel and I'll tell you: it flexes notably with those Berd spokes under high load/ traction conditions.
    I haven't decided if it's a good thing, a bad thing, or neither. But it does this thing when you nail a turn just right where it feels like the wheel flexes inches for just a moment.

    I'm a 180# (before gear) aggressive rider btw.
    I'm very curious about this and have tried to ask if they behave differently than steel in this manner before. So your saying they flex laterally when pushed in turns? I'd also ask, like chomxxo, what the tension is?

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  49. #49
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    What's considered lightweight wheels for a 200lb XC racer?

    The E-modulus is a bit more than half of that of steel (worse for this application) but the density is about 1/8 of steel (better for this application / for weight weenies). Thus by increasing the cross-sectional area compared to a steel spoke it can be lighter and stiffer (for extension) than that steel spoke.
    Now what the cross-sectional area of a Berd spoke is? (in order to compare it to steel spokes / rank it’s stiffness) I also wonder if they need to be re-tensioned during their ‘lifetime’ in a wheel (if the spoke-tension decreases in time).
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  50. #50
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    Short answer is yes Berd spokes stretch considerably over the first week, this much is admitted in the installation guide.

    Do they stretch more after the first week? All spokes are known for needing intermittent maintenance. I’ll await Suns_PSD’s reply.


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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I'm very curious about this and have tried to ask if they behave differently than steel in this manner before. So your saying they flex laterally when pushed in turns? I'd also ask, like chomxxo, what the tension is?

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    Yes, the rear rim makes this very distinctive, but brief, sensation of the wheel flexing a bunch then coming back. It only happens a handful of times per ride, but I notice it right away each time. It's not good or bad, it's just there.
    I had both Berd wheels on my bike trued once and they needed a bit. Haven't touched them since cause Covid but they do in fact need a little love.
    Built by Berd so no idea what tension is.
    I'd absolutely buy Berd's again.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Yes, the rear rim makes this very distinctive, but brief, sensation of the wheel flexing a bunch then coming back. It only happens a handful of times per ride, but I notice it right away each time. It's not good or bad, it's just there.
    I had both Berd wheels on my bike trued once and they needed a bit. Haven't touched them since cause Covid but they do in fact need a little love.
    Built by Berd so no idea what tension is.
    I'd absolutely buy Berd's again.
    I see. Haven't had them as long as you, but I did some extensive testing and hard racing so far, and haven't seen that once I got them up to tension (10+ on a Park TS-1). I was ultra-careful since I was building them for myself, and didn't want to crash and burn.

    One of the downsides of buying the Berd build is not getting the tensioning tool, I guess. I've tested some small jumps (2 feet or less) and didn't feel any significant compression. They do, as advertised, smooth out vibrations better than steel spokes, but I'd be concerned if I felt significant flex.

    One thing I really like about them is they are quieter. You didn't know your spokes were making noise until you ride Berd wheels--don't know how else to describe it.

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    I've done up to 8' drops to flat and endless small jumps and a few larger ones thrown in as well on my Berds for a year now.
    The flex I'm talking about doesn't happen to me while jumping.
    It's a very distinctive lateral movement sensation when I'm able to load the rear wheel just right through a turn. It's on the rare occurrence that I get something to push against and I nail the turn better than usual.
    Anyways, I really like the spokes and it's no concern, iit just might be something for a larger & aggressive rider to consider.

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  54. #54
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    I'm large and aggressive, lol. Still think you won't have this problem with the Berd spokes tensioned back up, but we'll see...

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