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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I'm looking to upgrade the wheelset on my Airborne Guardian to something that is tubless compatible as I have not been able to set them up ghetto. I've narrowed it down to WTB i23 with X9 hubs or the Sun Ringle Charger Comps. Both are about the same weight and both hubs have sealed bearings the only real difference is true UST vs No Tubes BST. The only other difference would be that the Chargers would come out slightly less expensive because they come with all the necessary tubeless ingredients. So what is everyones thoughts on these choices?
 

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The Charger Comp has a 4 bearing rear hub with a 3 pawl/30 poe freehub body. The front hub is convertible too if you ever change forks with a different axle standard. The rim uses the 1st generation BST that works pretty well with tubeless ready tires. While the rim is 28h, it is plenty stiff IME (I owned 2011 Charger Experts) and the standard Wheelsmith spokes are easy to find if a replacement is needed.

The WTB i23 rims are great, but the X9 hubs are so-so. The rear is a two bearing unit with a 3 pawl/15 poe freehub so it engages half as fast. The front hub is not convertible at all. Standard 32h rim and spokes is nice but the hubs drag this wheelset down.

To me this is a no brainer, go with the Charger Comps.
 

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Something used on eBay. You can get really nice wheels in great shape if you don't mind a few years "out of date" (e.g. prior generation Industry Nine).


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If this is a 29er rim and you want to use tubeless UST tires don't choose the BST rim.
This is true with the current 2nd generation BST rims, but I've owned both Charger Experts and Stans Flows (not EX) that I built up with the 1st generation BST and tubeless ready tires from Specialized and Bontrager fit on them tool free and inflated with a floor pump.
 

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Yes a Specialized 2Biss tire will fit on either generation Stan's rim no problem, but Specialized Grid UST tires will not fit on either generation 29er rim.

Most tubeless ready tires will mount okay on Stan's 1st and 2nd generation BST.

Tires that are very difficult to impossible are UST, Grid UST, WTB TCS, Geax TNT, Hutchinson Tubeless ready tires.

I just mounted a pair of Schwalbe TL-Ready tires on some Arch EX 29ers. Can be done by hand with the right technique. One was much tighter than the other, but they both dropped the spoke tension a little more than I would like to see.

All types can be mounted on Stan's 26in rims, but the 29er rims have a different size ratio with respect to UST. Haven't tried anything UST on a their 650's, but would probably avoid it.
 

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One other option, is to go with i23 rims and XT hubs from velomine. I think they are around $200 shipped. The hubs are loose ball and low POE (3 pawl, 15 POE), but I think slightly longer lasting than the X9 hubs if the cones are properly adjusted. Additionally, loose bearings are typically cheaper than cartridge. There is another thread on the forum suggesting the cartridge bearing placement on X9 hubs causes them to wear out very quickly. I don't have any personal experience with this though.

I've got a set of these and haven't had a problem (~3 months ownership). I prefer the safety of using a UST spec bead hook with UST tires over the stans/BST method. After setting the beads on the i23s, even fully deflating the tire won't cause the beads to come off, so burping shouldn't ever be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow thanks for all the great info guys. I appreciate all the info on the Sun hubs Bike Whisperer as that was one bit of info that I was coming up blank with on my searches. I didn't realize how much better those hubs were. Throw in the fact that they will actually come out cheaper it looks like that's a winner. I actually considered the XT i23's as well but there doesn't seem to be any middle ground on those newer XT hubs. People seem to think the older generation XT's were bullet proof while the newer ones seemed to be giving a lot of issues. Lastly the Stans BST seems to work by having a larger diameter bead seat, is this what makes them easily converted to tubeless? With my current non tubeless rims the tire was always just loose enough to where I could not get the bead seated. This was part of the reason for the i23 but then I would still have to purchase new TR tires so it would be nice if I could continue to use my current rubber.
 

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I got pretty confused by all the talk of the XT hubs being good or bad. It seems to vary a lot and people weren't always great about listing the specific hub part number. Mine are M756A but I don't know how that differs from say the M775, which I think are XT as well.

I figure if it the hub blows up, then I'll replace the rear with a nicer hub (hope or the like). It was a great price on a set of solid tubeless wheels and I wasn't concerned with weight.

Good luck to you. You seem to have a good handle on it and there was lots of good advice both ways.
 
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