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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently picked up a used 2016 santa cruz highball CC for a crazy good deal. The wheelset that's on it though is a cheap mavic cross wheelset that weighs around 1900gs. Looking around it seems like there are more wheelsets in boost spacing but not as many non boost offering anymore so im looking for suggestions. criteria are as follows
29er 15*100 & 12*142
around $800 USD
25mm ID (putting a 2.35 tire on it)
good for a 160 lbs rider
hopefully under 1700g
A hub with over 36poe or upgradeable

Am I correct in assuming at this price point it would be better to get a good set of alloy rims instead of cheap carbon rims?
thanks for any and all suggestions


 

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powered by peanut butter.
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Pretty sure you could get a nice set of wheels with DT350s or similar built for under $800 from Prowheelbuilder.com (https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/)

There are other custom builders out there, but I've only used PWB as they are local-ish to me.

Edit: Just out of curiosity, I used their wheelset builder (https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/dt-swiss-mountain-bike-wheel-set-package.html) to price out 350 hubs with 54t. star ratchet upgrade, XM421 rims, and Sapim Race spokes. Came to $754, 1776 grams.
 

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Build your own set. Get the parts and have a local builder assemble the wheel. You can build a set with some DT350 or Hope hubs and some Light Bicycle (or any other Chinese carbon rims) for around your target price. I have three sets of wheels done this way.

Last set I had a shop build up was around $900 (including labor). That was with some Hope Pro 4 hubs, DT Swiss Competition spokes, and Apex carbon hoops. That set was 39mm IW rims for a B+ bike. So a set of 25mm IW would have been about $80 cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Build your own set. Get the parts and have a local builder assemble the wheel. You can build a set with some DT350 or Hope hubs and some Light Bicycle (or any other Chinese carbon rims) for around your target price. I have three sets of wheels done this way.

Last set I had a shop build up was around $900 (including labor). That was with some Hope Pro 4 hubs, DT Swiss Competition spokes, and Apex carbon hoops. That set was 39mm IW rims for a B+ bike. So a set of 25mm IW would have been about $80 cheaper.
I had thought about that I just wasent sure how good the cheaper carbon rims from overseas comanys are. Also how do you know what kind of spokes you need?

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There are many different types of spokes to choose from. I’ll usually look for ones that are “double butted”. Spokes are something I let the builder order for me. When it comes to hoops...Light Bicycle is one of the brands that have a pretty good rep...and they also have a US number you can call. There are also a number of brands out of China that have been pretty good for a lot of people. Check the wheels forum for more info.
 

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I had thought about that I just wasent sure how good the cheaper carbon rims from overseas comanys are. Also how do you know what kind of spokes you need?
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I second buying some light bike carbon rims and finding some good hubs (hope or dt swiss) then finding a good wheel builder in your area and having them built out.

Let the wheel builder order and worry about the spokes and the build ect... Should be able to get a good light carbon wheel set built out (parts and the build) in the $800 to $900 range.
 

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Building your own isn't all that hard. As for spokes, it's debatable if butted are any better other than the weight savings. But you can find calculators online for the lengths, just need to know the hub spoke hole diameter and rim ERD. You'll need the parts obviously, a spoke wrench and a comfy chair, then you can true them on the bike.
 

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Building your own isn't all that hard. As for spokes, it's debatable if butted are any better other than the weight savings. But you can find calculators online for the lengths, just need to know the hub spoke hole diameter and rim ERD. You'll need the parts obviously, a spoke wrench and a comfy chair, then you can true them on the bike.
Debatable?

I don't think I've ever heard any knowledgeable person suggest straight gauge spokes will build a stronger, more durable wheel.

Double butted = more durable wheels. End of story.

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I second buying some light bike carbon rims and finding some good hubs (hope or dt swiss) then finding a good wheel builder in your area and having them built out.

Let the wheel builder order and worry about the spokes and the build ect... Should be able to get a good light carbon wheel set built out (parts and the build) in the $800 to $900 range.
I third this. Inexpensive Chinese carbon rims have been great since 2013 or before. Don't necessarily get attached to any one vendor though. For most of the rims that are available, they are made by an OEM, then "re-sold" by many marketing companies. However, only buy from their website, DO NOT buy something that's unknown from ebay.

Vendors will good reputations include:
  • Light Bicycle (these are now typcially more expensive than others)
  • Nextie
  • Carbonal
  • Carbonfan
  • BLTOS
  • eie
  • carbonbicycle.cc
  • Tandell
  • Yishun (these guys are on OEM, and you'll need to contact them for how to buy, they have rims that generally aren't available from elsewhere)

Be aware that the trend in rims is for them to be more compliant and comfortable. This is typically being done via changing the way the rims are made (the carbon lay-up), and by making the rims lower e.g. 20-25mm tall rather than 30mm tall.

Regarding spokes, carbon rims are typically so stiff that one can use a lightweight double-butted spoke, and the wheel will still be plenty stiff.

Hope and DT 350 hubs would be awesome. Bitex hubs also get a lot of good feedback (not at the same bulletproof level as Hope/DT though). e.g.:
https://www.bikehubstore.com/product-p/mtb270.htm
https://www.bikehubstore.com/product-p/mtf.htm
See the thread over on the Wheels and Tyres forum
 

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Ok then, end of story. Thinner spokes are stronger than thicker spokes.
I know of at least one company that flat out tells you not to use straight gauge spokes and in fact doing so will void the warranty. From NOBL's website:https://noblwheels.com/wheel-building/

***Warranty is void if rims are built with (2.0mm/14g) straight gauge spokes***

Use bladed or double butted spokes. Do not use straight gauge spokes as they are too stiff and can cause carbon rims to crack prematurely. 2/1.8/2mm DT Swiss Competition Spokes are stronger than DT Swiss Champion in most situations as they go through an additional forging process.
 

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Ok then, end of story. Thinner spokes are stronger than thicker spokes.
Hi again Slashcrazy, re sapva's response:

Thinner spokes flex more, which places a lower load on the spoke itself (including the thread and spoke head), and on the nipples and the rim eyelets. Thus, even though the spoke is more flexible, is creates a more durable wheel - the wheel is less likely to fail

Also, regarding handbuilt wheels vs machine built wheels, handbuilt wheels are often favoured due to e.g.:
  • not using any proprietary parts that are or expensive and/or hard to find (a real issue if you travel with you bike)
  • the better technique and attention to detail used a well-built set of hand-built wheels, including de-stressing

If you don't have a good LBS, there's quite a few shops/builders that do great work e.g.
Chad from Red Barn Bikes in Montana
Mike Curiak from Lacemine29.com (mikesee on MTBR)

Both of these guys ship stuff worldwide and are good value.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I had thought about that I just wasent sure how good the cheaper carbon rims from overseas comanys are.
Just as good as the multi-thousand dollar ones from Envy. I've been bashing LB and Nextie rims for years, enduro, DH, etc. My XC race-rims are Oxive "superlight" 290g rims, raced them all last season, just did a race tonight. I push this stuff hard as a Cat 1 racer and if there was an issue I would have found it years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just as good as the multi-thousand dollar ones from Envy. I've been bashing LB and Nextie rims for years, enduro, DH, etc. My XC race-rims are Oxive "superlight" 290g rims, raced them all last season, just did a race tonight. I push this stuff hard as a Cat 1 racer and if there was an issue I would have found it years ago.
looking at those superlight rims they almost seem to good to be true at that price, how aggressive is you XC racing? I want to make sure the would be good enough for some pretty harsh single track.
thanks for all the response everyone you guys are great!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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looking at those superlight rims they almost seem to good to be true at that price, how aggressive is you XC racing? I want to make sure the would be good enough for some pretty harsh single track.
thanks for all the response everyone you guys are great!
Cat 1. I won a race last weekend, not as much competition there, but punching into top 10 again with the full field. It's pretty hard to be riding at this level and not pushing the equipment hard. Found a crack in the frame last year (not from impact), but luckily the company stood behind it and replaced it. Whiskey Off Road wasn't my best this year, recovering from surgery previously, but I've been training and improving back to my previous level. I'm running them through their 2nd hard racing season and they are doing great. The only thing is I run the "race" wheelset for pretty much "race" only, I don't really know if that means they are getting less abuse, as the racing is pretty abusive, but my heavier older nextie wheelset with 2.35" tires is more comfortable, so I run that with a slightly bigger fork in-between races on this bike. But back to the 290g rims. I was pretty suspicious when I weighed them, as far as whether they'd hold up and not be a joke, but they have been the real deal.
 
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