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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm out of the loop on current options for 29er wheels. I just picked up an El Mariachi from Craigslist and am considering a new wheelset to replace the stock Shimano set. I have some Velocity Blunt SS rims on another bike that I like, I'm thinking something a bit wider like those or another brand to maximize the tire footprint I can cram into this older frame (Salsa says it was built for 2.4, some have reported fitting in up to a 2.8 on wider rims). The last time I bought a wheelset 135mm was the standard rear size and I've never had a through-axle before.

This El Mar runs a 15mm TA on the front and currently has a 135mm QR in the rear but you can go with a 142x12 TA in the rear if you swap alternator plates (I don't want to add that expense unless a 142 rear wheel is significantly better or I can get a better deal on a wheel in that config to offset the cost of new plates.

I'm also fine with building a wheelset but it seems less cost-effective. I'm hoping there are deals on "old tech" 29er wheels somewhere?
 

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turtles make me hot
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I build wheels like this from time to time usually for someone revamping an older bike just like you. Sometimes, when you have a combination of mounting designs, like you, with QR on the back and thru axle up front, it's easier just to build what you need.
Lately, I've been using lots of Raceface Arcs and Bike Hub Store hubs. Very good bang for the buck build. Hubs are convertible too so you can go from thru axle to qr if you need to.
 

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15/12mm 29ers are still new enough that you can score lightly used sets for cheap. Id go used and buy the dropout kit for 12mm. I think it's a worthwhile change.

I agree on arc rims if you're going new. Great hoops.
 

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Professional Amateur
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I build wheels like this from time to time usually for someone revamping an older bike just like you. Sometimes, when you have a combination of mounting designs, like you, with QR on the back and thru axle up front, it's easier just to build what you need.
Lately, I've been using lots of Raceface Arcs and Bike Hub Store hubs. Very good bang for the buck build. Hubs are convertible too so you can go from thru axle to qr if you need to.
Thanks that's good info on some brands I was unaware of. I will check them out.

15/12mm 29ers are still new enough that you can score lightly used sets for cheap. Id go used and buy the dropout kit for 12mm. I think it's a worthwhile change.

I agree on arc rims if you're going new. Great hoops.
Appreciate the advice, I have been looking used which is how I sometimes end up with better stuff than I would spend $$ on new. 142 rear seems to be scarce so far. There are a lot of 27.5 with boost spacing on my local craigslist. I suppose some of the 29er options might be convertible to 142 but I'd have to look into them individually.
 
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