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I've read a ton of threads on these rims, but nothing seems specific to my question. I weigh 165, ride a hardtail with a headshock, I like to think I ride smart in the technical stuff and I don't take big drops. Currently, I'm riding the stock wheels with Sun Black Eye rims, with which I've never had a strength problem. I'm well aware that the 819 is UST and the 717 is not. What I'm trying to figure out is whether or not, at my weight and riding style, the weight penalty of the 819 is worth the strength increase. Will I even recognize the strength value the way I ride? Thanks.
 

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I have been using the 717's laced to pro 2's with supercomps for 2 years now as my Trail wheels and they have held up great. Abner at Links Cycle works in Tampa does incredible work, tyed and soldered for that little bit of extra integrity. I go 180 and ride these wheels like I just stole them.
 

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Well, the wheel build will dictate the wheel strength more than the difference in the rims themselves. So what it comes down to is the width of the tire you want to run and if you want to run tubeless.

Mavic's 7xx series rims are some pretty tough hoops.

I go about 180lbs all ready to ride - my 26er has Mavic 729's that have seen downhill and freeride duty, as well as urban assault and they're as true as the day I got them.
 

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I think the question that you really need to ask yourself is whether or not you want UST rims. If UST isn't important to you, then get the 717s.
 

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Or go with 719's if you want something a little stronger but don't want to mess with tubeless. I'm well over 200lbs, and my 719's handle everything I throw at them, but I don't ride a hardtail.
 

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Keep your XM819s. I weigh the same as you and found the XC717 weaker of the two, despite having eight more spokes per wheel. You must also have a Cannondale hardtail, like I do...
 

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I've been using a set of 717s for about 8 months on a rigid bike and have not had any problems at all . I weight the same as you and hammer those poor things all over the Santa Cruz area .
 

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717s should be fine...

But consider how wide a tire you'd run and how hard you ride. 819s or 719s are stronger, slightly wider, etc. I'm 165lbs, once I got a set of 819s I'd never go back to 717s, you can feel the difference, less maintenance, etc.
 

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rglsr said:
But consider how wide a tire you'd run and how hard you ride. 819s or 719s are stronger, slightly wider, etc. I'm 165lbs, once I got a set of 819s I'd never go back to 717s, you can feel the difference, less maintenance, etc.
Less maintenance on a rim? How much rim maintenance is there? Or did you mean less maintenance on the full wheelbuild in which case it would help the OP if you stated the difference in your two wheelbuilds.

OP, like others said if you want tubeless go with the 819's. I have a set and like the versatility they offer in being able to run tubeless or tubed tires w/ no conversion kits.
 

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Maintenance meaning truing, etc.

I found myself tweaking 717s, so maintaining them by truing, etc. Similar hubs, same butted DT spokes, spoke count, etc. The 819s not the case, seem to hold up better, at least for me. 819s don't seem to flex as much, accommodate wide tires better, I could feel the difference when pushing it hard. I also run UST tires, so 819s made sense.
 
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