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MTB Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I am doing research on exactly WHAT parts would be good to build a Clyde wheel??

Spokes:
Straight or Butted. My hunch is that a straight spoke is stronger and better.

Hub:
Cone and Cup or Cartridge Bearing. I think that Cone and Cup has advantages in lateral stressing. But it seems like a cartridge bearing hub may be able to deliver 4 bearing sets instead of 2. Ergo, each bearing is loaded less, and this is good for heavyweights.

Rims:
Recommendations???? Is 36H recommended or is 32H enough???
 

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Chilling out
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You didn't say how much of a Clyde you're focusing on ... which is a bit of a factor IMHO ...

spokes: I disagree about straight-guage, I had a lot of problems when I moved to Austin blowing spokes until I switched to double-butted. I think that the greater elasticity allows them to recover from hits better, and result in a more durable build. There may be a slight sacrifice in absolute rigidity of the wheel, but I prefer durable to rigid for whatever sacrifice this has been (I have had no reason to complain).

For someone under 240, I think 32h is fine ... at least for me who rides very regularly and a bit agressively on rocky technical terrain 32 spoke wheels have been holding up fine - my front wheel is going into its third season and the rear the second. For someone over that, it may be worth going 36h for the peace of mind ... it's not really that much more weight.

I'm sure there are stronger rims out there - and more costly, but for me I've been getting good mileage out of the Mavic XM321 (formerly F219) disc-specific rim. I've only managed to ding one badly enough that I had it replaced, and that with a couple thousand miles on it at that point anyway.

FWIW: My front wheel is a CK disc hub, 32h, DT double-butted spokes with brass nips laced to a mavic f219. Rear wheel is CK disc hub, heavy-duty (stainless steel) driveshell, 32h, DT double-butted, brass nips, mavic xm321. My backup wheels are pretty much identical, but black ano spokes, and Hugi FR hubs instead of ck (got a screaming-deal on a Magura FR Disc wheelset from Hammerhead, lucky me).
 

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MTB Rider
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Butted ...

bear said:
You didn't say how much of a Clyde you're focusing on ... which is a bit of a factor IMHO ...

spokes: I disagree about straight-guage, I had a lot of problems when I moved to Austin blowing spokes until I switched to double-butted. I think that the greater elasticity allows them to recover from hits better, and result in a more durable build. There may be a slight sacrifice in absolute rigidity of the wheel, but I prefer durable to rigid for whatever sacrifice this has been (I have had no reason to complain).

For someone under 240, I think 32h is fine ... at least for me who rides very regularly and a bit agressively on rocky technical terrain 32 spoke wheels have been holding up fine - my front wheel is going into its third season and the rear the second. For someone over that, it may be worth going 36h for the peace of mind ... it's not really that much more weight.

I'm sure there are stronger rims out there - and more costly, but for me I've been getting good mileage out of the Mavic XM321 (formerly F219) disc-specific rim. I've only managed to ding one badly enough that I had it replaced, and that with a couple thousand miles on it at that point anyway.

FWIW: My front wheel is a CK disc hub, 32h, DT double-butted spokes with brass nips laced to a mavic f219. Rear wheel is CK disc hub, heavy-duty (stainless steel) driveshell, 32h, DT double-butted, brass nips, mavic xm321. My backup wheels are pretty much identical, but black ano spokes, and Hugi FR hubs instead of ck (got a screaming-deal on a Magura FR Disc wheelset from Hammerhead, lucky me).
I guess I just don't buy the whole "butted" theory. Making a spoke thinner at point means that point will flex more specifically. I'm inclined to believe a straight spoke would load in a uniform fashion and flex that way as well. I'm not so much interested in a "lighter" wheel so much as a stronger one.
 

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Chilling out
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willtsmith_nwi said:
I guess I just don't buy the whole "butted" theory. Making a spoke thinner at point means that point will flex more specifically. I'm inclined to believe a straight spoke would load in a uniform fashion and flex that way as well. I'm not so much interested in a "lighter" wheel so much as a stronger one.
I don't buy it for the lighter theory either ... for the flexible theory. What I do know is that since I switched from straight-guage to butted I've stopped pulling spokes out of rims, and stopped cracking rims at the spoke holes.

It's interesting to note that the DT Alpine III, which AFAIK know is their strongest spoke and designed for DH, trials, BMX, and freeride, is triple-butted.

But, alas, that's the glory of choice. To each their own.
 

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Butted spokes do break less often than straight that is a fact. It is because they give instead of failing. DT Alpines are the best, although I have never run them I have heard lots of great feedback from hardcore users. I have had great luck personally with DT DB spokes having only broken one after years of serious abuse including 15' drops etc. I would suggest brass nipples for obvious reasons, I like the black brass one personally (based on looks).

As far as rims go you can't beat the Mavic EX721 (formerly D521) they are tough-as-nails and very light (540gm I want to say?) considering their durability. They come in either 32 or 36 hole and I haven't really been able to tell a difference in strength between the two having used both extensively. I read once that Tioga concluded that 32 hole rims break fewer spokes than 36 hole again because they can flex more and absorb shock.

For hubs I would think that King or Hadley would be well up to par and if you ever did wear out the bearings you can easily service them. For a loose-ball ("cup-and-cone") I'd say try Shimano Saint as they are designed to be beat on and they have replacable races so theoretically they should last forever with proper maintenance unlike many loose-ball hubs which once the race wears out the hubshell is garbage. Plus they have a burly axle that ties directly into the derailluer for supreme drivetrain stiffness and spot-on shifting.
 

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President, CEO of Earth
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Straight Guage

Butted spokes probably are less likely to break due to impact. Luckily, though, spokes generally never break do to impact. The problem with butted spokes is that the added flex allows the rim to flex into its plastic (permenently deformed) state more easily. Most wheel damage is not due to broken spokes, its due to a warped rim. Sttraight guage spokes keep the rim in a less deformed state for any given stress scenario. This means that the impact that will warp a rim laced to DB spokes is less than the impact needed to warp the same rim laced to straigt guage.

And if you are getting a lot of cracks and spokes pulled through your rims you need to tell your builder to use less tension.
 

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err, 27.5+
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I am just under 240 in gear and ride aggressive (multiple 3-5' drops in my regular loops). I also build my own wheels and have about a decade as a shop mechanic.

My take on durable clyde or DH wheels. Keep it simple.
1) Get a good rim:
- Mavic are my favorite (d521/ex721) in particular. They just are easier to build and maintain. The ex721 is good for clyde all mountain or dh race wheelsets, providing good strength with minimal weight penalty. The XM321 will due in a pinch too, but not quite as nice and no maxtal(better alloy)
- Velocity rims. Heard good things. Never run them personally.
- Atom Labs. Strong, heavy, suck to build though due to crap rim joints
- Vuelta. Pretty good, but another company that could take some lessons on rim joints.
2) Spokes:
- I prefer st ga 2.0mm. Strong. Inexpensive. Readily available at any shop (in the event one does break)
3) Nipples:
- Brass is the only way for a clyde or dh rider. Alloy will strip out or snap in half.
4) Builder:
- Get someone who is familliar with clydes or dh'ers to build your wheels. Not just any geek off the street can build a reliable wheel for a big guy.
5) Hubs:
- All are not created equal, but just because you are a clyde doesn't mean you need to drop $600 on CK hubs.
- Shimano hubs are great, cheap, and rebuildable (I prefer the XT). With shimano you can also convert to solid axle with nuts for additional strength.
- Hugi hubs are nice too, also expensive. I ran a set of the originals for 3 seasons. The FR are suposed to be just as good.
- Ritchey makes nice and simple hubs that can be found for around $30 on e-bay.
- Atom labs rear hub is great. Cartridge bearings and allen nuts to lock it to the bike. Their 20mm f hub leaves a lot to be desired.

That is really it. Don't sweat the little stuff too much (leave that to your builder). Get a decent hubset and a good rim. The rest is primarily in the build.
 

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featherweight clydesdale
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TobyNobody said:
And if you are getting a lot of cracks and spokes pulled through your rims you need to tell your builder to use less tension.
Disagree here. It could also happen from having not enough tension. The down force of rider's weight on the hub gets applied mostly to 1 or 2 spokes (being pulled from the top of the rim) at low tensions. Higher tension distributes the weight to more holes.
 

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Your right too.

Fattirewilly said:
Disagree here. It could also happen from having not enough tension. The down force of rider's weight on the hub gets applied mostly to 1 or 2 spokes (being pulled from the top of the rim) at low tensions. Higher tension distributes the weight to more holes.
I agree that could also be the problem. But usually the spokes will break before the rim if the tension is really low, and you can pull a spoke through the rim while you are building it if you try(most people don't try). Breaking a new spoke while building is rare.
 

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6'4"-6'9" with the afro
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Don't cheap out

You don't have to spend mucho $$$ on hubs, but you DO have to spend some... I went thru 4 freehubs on a Deore hub before I finally coughed up some money for something more substantial. My last breakdown left me stranded 10 miles from the car... Learned my lesson.
 

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Wheelbuilder

I had a good wheelbuilder make me some, I went through a lot of wheels ( lots of XT/mavic stuff) and due to my 240 lbs spokes would snap and wheels go out of true all the time. I eventually had a professional wheel builder make me a nice set 32H King hubs and I haven't had to touch them in 3 years! Well worth the money, plus I got a 2 year warranty on em.
 

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Are you gonna eat that?
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500 Posts
Chipping in 2 cents for RhynoLites

I had my bike's rims (OEM Sun CR18s) replaced on Friday with RhynoLite XL's (sick deals from Cambria, $28 each) with 14g spokes and am very glad I did.

Yesterday I completely ballsed up a bunny hop over a big rut and my rear wheel landed smack in the face of it causing the bike to nearly spit me over the handlebars, I can guarantee you that if I'd used the original rim it would have folded, as far as I can tell the new one just shrugged it off.

I weigh 250, so rims have always been an issue, but these ones definitely seem to be doing the job now (as does the rest of the bike, I figure if anything was going to break, this would have broken it).
 

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Yeah Rhyno Lites

Yeah also have run Rhyno Lites for years with little to no truing or adjustments. 250 Lbs.

Kyoseki said:
I had my bike's rims (OEM Sun CR18s) replaced on Friday with RhynoLite XL's (sick deals from Cambria, $28 each) with 14g spokes and am very glad I did.

Yesterday I completely ballsed up a bunny hop over a big rut and my rear wheel landed smack in the face of it causing the bike to nearly spit me over the handlebars, I can guarantee you that if I'd used the original rim it would have folded, as far as I can tell the new one just shrugged it off.

I weigh 250, so rims have always been an issue, but these ones definitely seem to be doing the job now (as does the rest of the bike, I figure if anything was going to break, this would have broken it).
 
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