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I've searched threads here and elsewhere, and most of the alternatives discussed are high-end. So: I'm 62, 200 (should be 170), slow, no air, ride roots and rocks in the Puget Sound area. Building up a geared EMD for winter riding here.
Looking at Velocity Blunt/XT 32h about $250 shipped; Mavic TN 729/XT 32h $210 shipped, both from ebay. Also Vuelta Pro SL 29 XR-something or other from Bike Island, about $170 shipped. Would like to keep overall weight around 2000g. These need to last a couple seasons til I can afford something better. Your thoughts? Thanks!
 

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The Blunts and Mavics with XT hubs will both be fine, comes more down to how they are built and who built them. I got a cheap set from QBP, Salsa Delgado rims to XT hubs like three years ago.......After tons of abuse there still fine.
 

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theheavyone said:
The Blunts and Mavics with XT hubs will both be fine, comes more down to how they are built and who built them. I got a cheap set from QBP, Salsa Delgado rims to XT hubs like three years ago.......After tons of abuse there still fine.
Hey Heavy, can you be more specific there on the "how they're built" bit. Are you referring to lacing pattern? If so, what advice do you have? Also, what's the difference between a "good builder" and a "bad builder"?
 

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komekomegaijin said:
Hey Heavy, can you be more specific there on the "how they're built" bit. Are you referring to lacing pattern? If so, what advice do you have? Also, what's the difference between a "good builder" and a "bad builder"?
I picked up a set of WTB DDFR laced to Deores off the 'Bay a couple months ago for <$150 shipped. They appeared to be machine built (or at least hastily built), and needed to be destressed and retensioned. I've built wheels for myself before, so doing this was not a big deal. If I hadn't, the spokes probably would have come loose pretty quickly and wheel strength would certainly be compromised. A competent wheel builder will have your spokes evenly tensioned, producing a stronger wheel that should stand up to more abuse with less maintenance needed down the road. I think what Soupy is getting at is going through someone known to build solid wheels should give you piece of mind that your money will be well spent instead of saving some $$$ and end up having to rebuild or replace your wheels at a greater cost sooner than necessary.
 

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Ok, so how can you pick a machine built wheel over a hand built wheel?

I haven't checked spoke tension on many wheels but is doing it by hand, that is grabbing a couple of spokes with one hand and giving them a squeeze then doing the same on the next pair etc, accurate enough to get an idea if the wheel is built well or not?

Sorry, I should probably search this over on the wheel and tire forum...
 

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I'll preface this by saying I am no expert on wheel building, and that there are people around here that could build up flawless wheels blindfolded with one arm tied behind their back. I'm not one of them. Anyway, I could tell by looking at these particular wheels that not a lot of love went into them. I bought them because I needed a wheel in a hurry and the price was right. There did not appear to be any prep on the spoke threads -- typically there is some sort of anti-seize compound or even grease -- these still had tiny metal shavings stuck to them that I assume were from cutting the spoke threads. The spokes were clearly not de-stressed (proper term might be "stressed" but I'm not up on my wheel jargon). If you look at a wheel, you can see how the spokes bend around each other where they cross and also where they are seated in the hub flange. These were not. A good builder will take care of this as they tension up the wheel. Machine built isn't necessarily crappy, but will usually require some adjustment to make sure everything is in order. If you pluck a spoke, the sound it makes should be nearly the same as the other spokes on that side of the wheel (disc front hubs and nearly all rear hubs require different tensions on the left and right sides), indicating uniform tension on the spokes around the wheel.
 

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I to have been eying those Velocety Blunt/XT wheels on eBay and even called them about them. They said they were hand built with DT spokes and 3 cross. Of course, they could tell me anything. Anyway, they sound like a good deal to me, I am just trying to decide if I want to spend the $. I did a back of the napkin calculation of the weight and came up with around 2000 g. Velocity/XT/DT are all very good parts if they are put together properly.

Wormburner is giving you good information regarding wheel building. There is a huge body of knowledge in wheelbuilding and I don't profess to know half of it. One thing that I have heard is that with disc brakes you want to have a least 3 cross lacing. This means that the spokes cross 3 other spokes on their way form the hub to the rim. The more crosses (up to a point and I think that point is 4) you have the stronger the wheel will generally be. Also, hand built doesn't mean much it is more WHO built the wheels because many people are capable of building poor wheels but some are capable of building great wheels.

I have rebuilt 5 wheels and they have all held up, but I have a tensionmeter and a truing stand. I could not imagine building wheels without either.
 

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Some good clues there. I've never never bought a pre-built wheel set but I dare say I might have noticed some of those things had I looked. I guess I'll be trusting that my LBS' wheel building skills are up to scratch when I get some wheels built soon until such time as learn to build wheels myself!
Thanks for your replies Wormburner... ...not even my thread!!
 

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Wow, I am actually in the process of making this exact decision on wheels. Although I am not sure how close they are to 2000g's, I am leaning towards those Velocity Blunts. I was actually considering those Vuelta Pro SL 29 wheels from bikeisland until I did a bit more research on them. First, the Vuelta website(s) is...um....ghetto. Second, aside from "yeah they seem to work fine" the only other comments I have seen have referenced a freehub issue. However, the price and weight on those is pretty nice. Just tough deciding if I want to gamble on something as important as wheels.
 

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Sorry about the double post, but I also would suggest checking out bicyclewheelwarehouse.com. They sponsor the wheel forum on this site and their deals and reputation seem to both be pretty solid.

http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/index.php?searchStr=29er&act=viewCat&x=&y=
(I think that link will work--else just search "29er" on the site).

The wheelsets seem to be cheaper that I can even price out for the parts.....let alone the assembly.
 

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The Bicyclewheelwarehouse looks to be a good deal also. Their XT/WTB combo for $199 is a smokin' deal. The fact that they are building with brass nipples is a sign of a very quality product. The fact that they are building with brass nipple and that the WTB rims have eyelets means that this wheelset might be more durable than the XT/Blunt combo on eBay. The only advantage of the XT/Blunt combo is that the Blunt rims are wider giving you a wider footprint with the tire and the Blunt rims are lighter givng you less rolling mass.

So if you want rock solid and best bang for the buck the XT/WTB's are it. If you want wider and lighter and can spend a little more, the eBay deal is really good too.

I wonder how much bicyclewheelwarehouse would charge to lace the Blunts up to the rest of that set up?
 

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6'6", 220 geared up, single track, slow, roots and logs. I have a hand built set of Velocity Blunt/XT 36h built by this guy: http://www.oddsandendos.com I have about 1500 on and off road miles on them in the past year, and they are still perfect. I believe I paid $220 shipped (may have gone up at this point). Really nice guy, did a great job on the build. I never had to touch them. He has really good policies if you end up trashing the wheel as well. Good luck!
 

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gfs69 said:
6'6", 220 geared up, single track, slow, roots and logs. I have a hand built set of Velocity Blunt/XT 36h built by this guy: http://www.oddsandendos.com I have about 1500 on and off road miles on them in the past year, and they are still perfect. I believe I paid $220 shipped (may have gone up at this point). Really nice guy, did a great job on the build. I never had to touch them. He has really good policies if you end up trashing the wheel as well. Good luck!
Just to echo this recommendation. I never ordered there, but the builder used to frequent some forums I used to frequent, and his info was always extremely honest and clear. No commercial attitude in terms of "hey I build wheels, shoot me an email".
Haven't read a post from him in many years, but me remembring his writings still, means something to me.
 

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gfs69 said:
6'6", 220 geared up, single track, slow, roots and logs. I have a hand built set of Velocity Blunt/XT 36h built by this guy: http://www.oddsandendos.com I have about 1500 on and off road miles on them in the past year, and they are still perfect. I believe I paid $220 shipped (may have gone up at this point). Really nice guy, did a great job on the build. I never had to touch them. He has really good policies if you end up trashing the wheel as well. Good luck!
Hey thanks for that website. I shot him an email and I will see what he says. If I can get that same deal I am going for it--I just like idea of ordering from someone that has a reputation.
 

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SnowStorm said:
Hey thanks for that website. I shot him an email and I will see what he says. If I can get that same deal I am going for it--I just like idea of ordering from someone that has a reputation.
Cool, good luck. I would not hesitate to have him build me another set, and probably will when I am ready to upgrade. I always just called him to discuss the build, and he usually answered. He will talk your ear off!
 

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gfs69 said:
Cool, good luck. I would not hesitate to have him build me another set, and probably will when I am ready to upgrade. I always just called him to discuss the build, and he usually answered. He will talk your ear off!
+1 :thumbsup:

I had Mike G. at oddsandendos build a wheel set for me about 4 years ago. Rock solid.

He will take the time to discus your needs and style so plan on a lengthily conversation.

Well worth it.....
 

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Mike Garcia of OddsandEndos is da bomb! He built me up a pair of roadie wheels few years back. I was bustin' spokes every ride,with the crappo stock wheels that came with my Roubaix. His were serious eye candy (neon blue Velocity rims built to Speedcific hubs) and stayed true thru 3,000 miles of riding, at which point I sold the bike. Needless to say, no more broke spokes. He'll build my 29er wheels, when I'm ready for something better, for sure.
 
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