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Big Fat Slow Dude
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks!

Well, after struggling for too long on my old hard tail Cannondale which is WAY too small for me, I've decided to get a new bike. Fate has steered me (well, ok, fate and this forum) to a Karate Monkey 29.

Basically, as far as I and the guys in my LBS know, this will be the first KM in the area, and one of the first, if only, 29ers. We are FAR behind the times here in Binghamton NY.

They have been really supportive, and even talked me INTO the KM (over a Cannondale, which is what they carry) and will be doing the build. The problem is, they have limited (no) experience in building them up, as far as what are the best options for some of the components.

I'm a Mega-Clyde.... about 6'8 and 330. So far, I have not destroyed the wheels on either my cannondale F-1000 or my R700 road bike...but I think I need to start out with something beefy and 36h here. What are my best options?

I'm not going SS, for sure geared. Was thinking about XT components, Avid mechanical disc brakes, and the fork is up in the air.

So my questions:

1. Wheels - What rims should I look at?
2. Tires - I was going with the WTB Nano Raptors because I will probably ride this bike on fire roads and in town about 50% of the time (I anticipate not being able to stay off it)
3. Cranks - was going with 180mm XT's?
4. Bars - They totally tried to talk me out of the Jones H-Bars yesterday. Since I am not going SS, maybe it is something I don't need. Or do I? I would like trick bars...as a motorcycle guy, I like cool handlebars. :) What other options should I consider, or should I stick with the Jones?
5. Stem (Sort of ties into the above)
6. Headset (Now we are into the land of things I barely grasp)
7. Forks. They are wanting me to go with the Reba's. I may or may not be able to get WB at cost. Their concern with WB is repair/return stuff.
8. Chain: I produce a LOT of torque. Anything special needed here?
9. Bar ends (if I get normal-ish bars?)

What else am I missing?

Now, you might not believe this, but I am on a budget. In fact, I cannot afford this bike in any way, shape or form. But I'm willing to put the $2000 on a credit card, because as a not so wise man once said 'Sometimes to max out your life, you need to max out your credit card.'

All of this will eventually probably lead into a Waltworks frame. But the lead time on those is so long now, that by the time I got it, it would be winter here again...

Thanks again for the help. I've been reading these boards for the past several weeks and have learned a tremendous amount. (Much to the exasperation of my LBS, I am sure)
 

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Cassoulet forever !
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2,260 Posts
1- I would go for the unicylce rims. Plenty strong for you. Second would be the new DT
2- ok
3- 180mm is a bare minimum. Have you tried longuer ? At 6feet2 i rode a long time on 195mm (hscycle.com)
4- Never tried jones bar, but try them, if they don't feet you will have no problem selling them second hand
5- you will need a long one, and strong. A classical thomson of a titanium one
6- any top end will do
7- WB has a good custome service. I would go with the 20mm through axle option on a wb to have nice stifness
8- high end sram 89 or 99
9- extralite ultraends @ 54g booth :)
 

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so far, so good.

I would go with 36h sun rims. They make a super-wide, super-burly 29er rim that is calling your name. Steel nanos or even exiwolves would be fine. FSA makes the needle bearing headset (uf) which is downhill toughness, but buttery smooth and IRD nakes a hs that's damn close to a king but half the price. If you don't want to shell out the cake for H bars (I didn't like then anyway) take a look at the on-one mary bars. As far as forks, with someone as big as yourself, I would go steel rigid - especially for fireroads. Get a waltworks custom, it's light, comfortable, tough, way cool and half the price of a reba. All the other stuff is fine.
 

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410 Posts
BMX cranks

I lifted this quote from the newsgroups. The author is Chalo Colina, a very experienced cyclist and machinist who goes about 6'8" and 375. Be careful, particulary with your crank/bottom bracket assembly. Chalo lost some teeth using a standard non-bmx type arrangement.

I suppose by now, you have come to appreciate how it's surprisingly
difficult to accomodate so much weight using commercially available
products.

I have been an active cyclist at body weights from 230 to a little
over 400 pounds (at this time I weigh about 375), and I have learned a
lot about bike options and structural engineering in the process. I
am not going to assume that at 400 lbs, the issues are the same as at
500 lbs, but I think I can help.

Wheels and cranks are priority #1, as you appear to already have
discovered. Use 48 spoke wheels, preferably with rims like Sun Rhino
Lites or (even better) Rhynos if you can find any. 3 and 4 rider
bikes have used Sun Rhynos almost exclusively. If you contact
Sun-Ringle, they may be able to tell you who stocked them last.

Spoke gauge is not important, and I have had good results even from
15/16ga butted spokes in 48 hole rims. But in this case, you'll be
using a rim that can support an appropriate tension in 48 straight
14ga. spokes, so I see not reason not to use those.

Fat street tires like the Maxxis Hookworm 26x2.5" or Schwalbe Big
Apple 26x2.35" (which are both the same actual width) will spare both
the wheels and the rider a lot of high amplitude bump loads, and won't
require serious overinflation to work acceptably.

I highly recommend using a quality BMX crank with a 22mm spindle. My
favorite is the Primo Powerbite, and I have no doubts whatsoever that
it will work fine with a 500 lb load. Primo make a British Standard
threaded bottom bracket for it as an option, though it was originally
designed with an American pressed BB.

http://www.danscomp.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=DETAIL&item=451057

I have seen better results from cranks that pinch-bolt to the spindle
like Primos, than from cranks that use a fine pitch pressed spline,
like Profile Racing or these cranks by Industry:

http://www.danscomp.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=DETAIL&item=451200

Either kind is a whole lot stronger than anything made by Shimano, for
instance.

As David Johnson pointed out, there is a lot of sloppily manufactured
junk in the BMX market, but the higher-end stuff is usually very
robust and very good value. BMX cranks, headsets, stems and
handlebars are all likely to be applicable to your project.

BMX stems are short and heavy, making them very rigid and strong. BMX
handlebars add back the height lost to the stem, and can be angled
forwards or backwards to simulate different stem extensions. The fact
that such bars are usually made of sturdy chromoly steel and have a
welded crossbrace should help their durability and safety in this
case.

Seatposts will bend under a 500 lb weight unless the overhanging
portion is kept quite short. Thomson posts have proven to me to be
the strongest generally available. Another option may be to have
someone with a lathe turn a straight seatpost out of solid aluminum
rod. This is the only thing that allows me to use a 22.2mm seatpost,
for instance.

Saddles become a major problem at weights over about 350 lbs. They
must be large for comfort, but most large saddles are sprung for a
much lighter rider, so they sag and bottom out annoyingly. Plain
saddle rails usually bend under the load. Coincidentally, the Electra
stock saddle is one of the best I have ever tried. It also appears to
be retrofittable with stacks of rubber washers to replace the coil
springs. That would make for a firmer spring support. My Electra
saddles still work sort-of-OK for me, so I have not tried this
retrofit just yet.

Do not forget the pedals. I have trashed a lot of them lately, just
by pushing on them. My favorite so far are Snafu sealed bearing
pedals, which have a thick and well-supported axle that I have so far
not managed to bend or break. It looks like it might be the same axle
used in Redline, Haro, Ringle, and Primo sealed bearing BMX/freestyle
pedals as well.

http://www.danscomp.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=DETAIL&item=465088

Atomlab make a pedal called "Trail Pimp" that has a stubby 12mm
diameter spindle running in plain bearings. It looks like a good last
resort for me, and it might work well for a 500-pounder. At $60 to
$80 they are rather pricey, but if that's what it takes...

A last note-- Big mass requires big braking force. For me that means
cantis or linear-pull brakes with a booster arch and Kool-Stop
"Salmon" pads, or else a disc brake with an 8" rotor. ***But there's
a catch!*** The more braking available, the more likely the fork
and/or frame will fail from the load. (I buckled the downtube of a
highly respected manufacturer's touring frame by braking only 3 weeks
ago, and broke both my arms. So take heed!) If the rider is not
taking the bike on steep hills, it might be a better idea to set him
up with good strong normal brakes that won't exaggerate the bike's
structural shortcomings. If he hasn't had really strong brakes
before, he won't miss them.

Good luck. Feel free to contact me by email or in this thread for any
more information.

Chalo Colina
 

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The Duuude, man...
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3,537 Posts
looks pretty good

I think in general, you've got a good build outline there.

A couple of my comments/observations:

My opinion of the best rim for you: Mavic A719 36 hole (can get silver or black)

Recommend:
*Thomson post
*WB 1.0 fork (spring version)
*180 cranks are plenty - some pinoneers of 29ers (Wes Williams) beleives people should run shorter cranks, not longer. A 6'1" he tried to talk me into 165's.
*Comfortable Saddle - Maybe a Titec Beserker (DH model?)
*7 or 8" rotors
*Nano's are my favorite tire of all time, but maybe an EXI for the volume to start on???

At 320, I don't think you're really a SUPER clyd. At your height, you probably don't look that big (in girth)...

I have a long time buddy who was racing at around 310. He raced on the following bikes, in order, with ZERO issues:

1) Fisher Sugar - 26" version - 28 spoke Bonty race wheels, flimsy as heck
2) Titus Racer X with Mavic Crossmax's - 28 rear, 24 front - zero issues
3) Current bike: Sugar 293 with 28 spoke 29er wheels - zero issues

Now, I'm not recommending that, but I share this to give you some perspective into what's been done by other 300+ clyds.

With some A719's, 36H, 7-8" rotors, good saddle, and a smart build, you'll be ROOCKIN' in bullet proof style.

Related: with 2000 bucks, you should be able to make a super nice bike. No corners cut at all.
 

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Big Fat Slow Dude
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ncj01 said:
I think in general, you've got a good build outline there.

A couple of my comments/observations:

My opinion of the best rim for you: Mavic A719 36 hole (can get silver or black)

Recommend:
*Thomson post
*WB 1.0 fork (spring version)
*180 cranks are plenty - some pinoneers of 29ers (Wes Williams) beleives people should run shorter cranks, not longer. A 6'1" he tried to talk me into 165's.
*Comfortable Saddle - Maybe a Titec Beserker (DH model?)
*7 or 8" rotors
*Nano's are my favorite tire of all time, but maybe an EXI for the volume to start on???

At 320, I don't think you're really a SUPER clyd. At your height, you probably don't look that big (in girth)...

I have a long time buddy who was racing at around 310. He raced on the following bikes, in order, with ZERO issues:

1) Fisher Sugar - 26" version - 28 spoke Bonty race wheels, flimsy as heck
2) Titus Racer X with Mavic Crossmax's - 28 rear, 24 front - zero issues
3) Current bike: Sugar 293 with 28 spoke 29er wheels - zero issues

Now, I'm not recommending that, but I share this to give you some perspective into what's been done by other 300+ clyds.

With some A719's, 36H, 7-8" rotors, good saddle, and a smart build, you'll be ROOCKIN' in bullet proof style.

Related: with 2000 bucks, you should be able to make a super nice bike. No corners cut at all.
Awesome.

I already have the Thompson Seat Post, and two seats, a WTB Comfort type and a Koobi Enduro. (I have a Koobi Xenon on my road bike...currently, it is killing me. )

I'll stick with 180 cranks I suppose. Will the XT's be burly enough?

I'm trying to make a WB fork happen....

Thanks to all for the suggestions, this info is golden to me, and for sure will de-stress my LBS a little...they are ready to murder me.
 

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Beer it does a body good!
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250 Posts
In my ballpark

Ok, Im 6'-7 ¼" and now 285 lbs. I have been as high as 330lbs. I can lift 850 on a leg press. That said I can snap chains if I ride like a bull. I have a KM 22" with 36 H delgados with XT hubs and DT 14ga spokes. I have a 181mm cook brothers RS crank (old but very strong) Titec stem, big al, Ti bar, riser titanium bar, titec titanium seat stem. XT drive train with grip shift shifters. Rigid KM fork. WTB motoraptor tires until my exiwolfs come in and stans no tubes. Tektro quartz brakes. Ritchey severe conditions head set .

I have ridden this bike now my third season. All I have replaced is tires, chains, grips brake pads and sprockets from normal wear. Nothing has bent, broken etc.

I like to ride fast on very rocky stuff. No worries so far.
 

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This place needs an enema
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Rim stuff

As far as rims I can't give a strong enough recommendation for the Kris Holm Unicycle rims. Nothing else made in 700c even comes close. I'm only 180lbs, but I ride a lot of miles and I spend a lot of time on steep, technical trails, and these are the only rims that haven't failed me yet.

I've built and ridden the Mavic T519, T520, and A719, (same rim, different names represent different model years), and while they're a decent xc rim for light-to-medium weight riders, I can't recommend them for anyone over 180lbs. I've only folded one (front) but even with 36 beefy spokes I can flex them all over the place on any descent. Which means that if you don't ride much or if you don't need to be able to keep the bike on the trail, these MIGHT work for you, but I wouldn't bet on it. I've also built up some 48 hole Mavics, but given the choice I'd always opt for the KH UNI's in 36h.

I've also built and ridden a few sets of the Sun Rhyno Lite, and while these are noticably better than the Mavic's, they're still a bit whippy compared to the Uni rims.

For their weight and price, the Salsa Delgado's are a good solid rim, but for the life of me I can't understand how Cronometro has gotten so much use out of his. Mine lasted just a few months before they were unable to be trued. Again--I'm only 180.

I'm not in any way affiliated with any of the above companies--but I've gladly purchased 6 Unicycle rims and will gladly do so again.

Good luck with your project.

MC
 

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Recovering couch patato
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14,019 Posts
Mike, with your experience in...well, wrecking wheels, what hubs would you advice to be used in order to get the most out of a rim, apart from 36h minimum, that is? Any hubs that have stiffer QR axles, or flange design that just make for a stiffer/stronger wheel?
 

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Beer it does a body good!
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250 Posts
I dont get it

mikesee said:
As far as rims I can't give a strong enough recommendation for the Kris Holm Unicycle rims. Nothing else made in 700c even comes close. I'm only 180lbs, but I ride a lot of miles and I spend a lot of time on steep, technical trails, and these are the only rims that haven't failed me yet.

I've built and ridden the Mavic T519, T520, and A719, (same rim, different names represent different model years), and while they're a decent xc rim for light-to-medium weight riders, I can't recommend them for anyone over 180lbs. I've only folded one (front) but even with 36 beefy spokes I can flex them all over the place on any descent. Which means that if you don't ride much or if you don't need to be able to keep the bike on the trail, these MIGHT work for you, but I wouldn't bet on it. I've also built up some 48 hole Mavics, but given the choice I'd always opt for the KH UNI's in 36h.

I've also built and ridden a few sets of the Sun Rhyno Lite, and while these are noticably better than the Mavic's, they're still a bit whippy compared to the Uni rims.

For their weight and price, the Salsa Delgado's are a good solid rim, but for the life of me I can't understand how Cronometro has gotten so much use out of his. Mine lasted just a few months before they were unable to be trued. Again--I'm only 180.

I'm not in any way affiliated with any of the above companies--but I've gladly purchased 6 Unicycle rims and will gladly do so again.

Good luck with your project.

MC
I dont understand how Salsa Delgado rims get a bad rap. I have three sets, all 36h. One on my cyclocross bike about one season old. One set on my Karate Monkey third season. One set single speed, ridden twice, I dont have a single speed I just swap out my monkey when I get a wild hair. I have trued the frist two once so far. The were built by the second best builder in the area and stress relived five times before riding. Martni has a set that are at least a season older than mine no troubles and he is about 235 lbs. I just don't get the whole del taco thing. And yes I like the real rocky stuff just ask any one that rode with me at the Gnome Fest.
 

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Beef

I think at 330 you might want to consider a 100mm WB through axle dual crown dual slalom fork, some 36 hole wide rims, strait gauge spokes brass nipples and I would consider the Shimano Saint components if youre going to challenge youreself technically. Look for an Answer alumalite handlebar at a motorcycle shop; cheap, about a pound of aluminum but they use them on 125's, or one of those 28" Dh bars. 8" rotors for the Disk brakes that you should probably use.
 

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The Duuude, man...
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3,537 Posts
cronometro said:
I dont understand how Salsa Delgado rims get a bad rap
agreed, I rode them hard at above 200 pounds, 32 hole build, no problem.

The Mavic 520/719/etc series are Tandem wheels, stiff as hell. I catagorically disagree with MC's characterization of them. They are stiff as hell and beefy, and still fairly light. Not quite as strong are the Salsa's - which represent the best VALUE on the market for a strong all purpose rim that's also fairly light.
 

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This place needs an enema
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17,071 Posts
Crono-

cronometro said:
I dont understand how Salsa Delgado rims get a bad rap.
I never said the Delgado's were a bad rim--in fact I said that they were a good solid rim at their weight and price. The fact that they aren't welded had me a bit concerned before I built my first set, but it was never a joint failure--they simply didn't hold their true and before long (less than 3 months) the tensions were uneven enough that they were no longer safe to use.

I'm really impressed that you've had good luck with yours, and I know there are others out there that have had similar results.

But for the guy who started this post, especially since he's starting from scratch, I have no doubt that the Uni is a far superior rim.

YMMV.

Cheers,

MC
 

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This place needs an enema
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ncj01 said:
agreed, I rode them hard at above 200 pounds, 32 hole build, no problem.
The Mavic 520/719/etc series are Tandem wheels, stiff as hell. I catagorically disagree with MC's characterization of them. They are stiff as hell and beefy, and still fairly light.
Easy on the 'tude there, big boy. Great that you've had good luck with your rims, but how many hard off-road miles have each of these sets actually seen before you sold them and moved on to newer pastures? 1000? More? Not likely.

The Mavic's were my first love for 29" wheels, but over the years as I tried new rims/spokes/builds, it became obvious that they weren't as good as some of the other offerings out there. As mentioned above I'm only 180lbs (actually 173, but with gear/shoes/helmet/pack/etc... it's usually 180+) and I simply have to use the Mavic's with 36 3x 2.0/1.8 spokes to be able to keep the bike on the trail (due to wheel flex). But even that isn't enough--there's a big difference between keeping the bike on the trail and being able to push it hard and have a good time. Eventually I lost confidence in the Mavic's and moved on.

The T520/A719's are noticably stiffer than an Open Pro or a Sun CR18, but that's relative as those two road rims are pretty noodly.

The Rhyno Lite's are stiffer than the Mavic's by a longshot, but both are trumped heartily by the Uni rims. It's not the same league, same game, or even the same ballpark.

Goin' for a ride...

MC
 

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Just Ride!
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mikesee said:
Easy on the 'tude there, big boy. Great that you've had good luck with your rims, but how many hard off-road miles have each of these sets actually seen before you sold them and moved on to newer pastures? 1000? More? Not likely.

The Mavic's were my first love for 29" wheels, but over the years(approximate) as I tried new rims/spokes/builds, it became obvious that they weren't as good as some of the other offerings out there. As mentioned above I'm only 180lbs (actually 173, but with gear/shoes/helmet/pack/etc... it's usually 180+) and I simply have to use the Mavic's with 36 3x 2.0/1.8 spokes to be able to keep the bike on the trail (due to wheel flex). But even that isn't enough--there's a big difference between keeping the bike on the trail and being able to push it hard and have a good time. Eventually I lost confidence in the Mavic's and moved on.

The T520/A719's are noticably stiffer than an Open Pro or a Sun CR18, but that's relative as those two road rims are pretty noodly.

The Rhyno Lite's are stiffer than the Mavic's by a longshot, but both are trumped heartily by the Uni rims. It's not the same league, same game, or even the same ballpark.

Goin' for a ride...

MC
I've been riding Mavic MA3/105 combo on my cross bike for the past 2 years and MA3/XT on my big wheeled mtb for 6 months and both are still round and true. I would also say that I don't consider them flexy. I guess if the wheel is built properly it should not flex as much. Both wheels are 32 hole and I weigh in at 198. And yes I ride both of them hard offroad and no, I'm not planning to replace them yet till they die a horrible death:D Oh yeah,
Just came back from a ride.
 

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No Reputation!
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1,728 Posts
How about Saint cranks?

Maybe the Saint cranks would be a little better for 330#'s if you're building from scratch. They aren't cheap but they'll be stronger than the XT's. My brother in law is about 295# right now and riding a GF x-cailibur in stock configuration but he's mostly cruising the bike paths so I'm not sure how much that applies.
 

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Big Fat Slow Dude
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
GreenG said:
This is a long shot, but does your last name start with "Mc"?
Indeed it does. ;) Now you have me curious.

Again, TONS of good suggestions and advice. Even when you guys don't agree. I know one of the mechanics at my LBS is a very good wheel builder, and so I'll give him all the data and let him tell me what he thinks will hold. Every time I ride in there on my new R700 road bike, he walks over and spins the rims to see if I have ruined them yet. I'm their 'test case' I guess.

I was wondering about the Saint components, but I had not heard much, and did not see a lot of people mentioning them. I'll look more into those.

Keep the advice coming, I am loving it and taking many many notes.

Hal
 

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The Duuude, man...
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3,537 Posts
mikesee said:
Easy on the 'tude there, big boy. Great that you've had good luck with your rims, but how many hard off-road miles have each of these sets actually seen before you sold them and moved on to newer pastures? 1000? More? Not likely.
MC
There was no attitude in my post. Every time you respond to a post of mine, you slam me for re-selling bikes or parts, say I don't ride enough miles, tout your superior miles, then say or imply that nothing I say or contribute has meaning becuase of my inferior milage. I grow ever weary of it. Your milage does not make you smarter, or better than anyone on this board. I resale a lot of stuff. So what? You say every part or bike you ride (well, every bike/part are sponsored on) is the holy grail. Hadn't heard you talk about Airborne in a long time...wait, moots, no wait, Lenz, wait, fishers suck, right? Hayes brakes ROCK!! Oh wait, zipp road rims ROCK - they're light, narrow and stiff!! No, wait, 900g Uni rims ROCK, they're WIDE, heavy, and STIFF!! OK M "anything I ride is the best and anything you ride sucks becuase I have more miles" C. You need one of those single speed frame stickers "your bike sucks." But photo shop it to "your opinion sucks" and toss in a "and you're a worthless slug if you dare go against the word of the holy one."

OK, so take note: this post is the one with the 'tude.

The only way I can reconcile your aggressive stance on the Mavic Tandem wheels is that your high miles allow you to make super fine distinctions between different parts. To you maybe there's a big difference between the Mavic, the Sun, and the Salsa, and the Uni's run way above those. To the other 99.9% of the riding public, probably there's all the flexy wheels like road rims, and stock Bonty 28 hole stuff, then a set of similar much more stiff rims like the Mavic, Sun, and Salsa's.....then above that (no one disputes) the Uni. But with your added miles you sense finer distinctions. It's like me and sun screen. I know becuase I work in Sun Screen that there's only very very marginal differences between SPF 30 and SPF 50, but most people on the street probably thing there's a big difference. Maybe that example is backwards, not sure.

Pigtire said:
I've been riding Mavic MA3/105 combo on my cross bike for the past 2 years and MA3/XT on my big wheeled mtb for 6 months and both are still round and true. I would also say that I don't consider them flexy. I guess if the wheel is built properly it should not flex as much. Both wheels are 32 hole and I weigh in at 198. And yes I ride both of them hard offroad and no, I'm not planning to replace them yet till they die a horrible death Oh yeah,
Just came back from a ride.
Watch out, MC will tell you that a Mavic Tandem wheel is so flexy he can't keep it on the trail. At 198 pounds, on a road rim like the MA3, and still true after 6mo, that's like blasphemy. You can't be right. You haven't ridden enough miles to have an opinion, much less an opinion that can be stated without evoking the wrath of the above revered holy one. You should throw those wheels in the trash right now!! Pick anything HE rides, narrow, heavy, wide, light, whatever, any of those options will be better than anything you or I could pick. You're not allowed an opinion or preference free of attack, my 15 yrs of riding and 10+ years of racing mean nothing, mostly becuase I took a year off and sold several bikes. Your opinion doesn't count becuase....well, I don't know why, but probably something to do with not having enough miles.
 
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