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if you are spending that much than you need to do a custom wheelset. "off the shelf" wheel sets will never be as good as a custom set. Any one will tell you that. Go with some Hadley or Chris King hubs, and your rim of choice from either Mavic or DT Swiss. I run Hadley hubs on both my trail bike and downhill bike, and am using DT Swiss EX500 rims on the trail bike and Mavic 823's on the downhill bike. 823's aren't the lightest but are absolutely indestructible. You can go with a butted spoke to save a few grams. If you want to lose weight, ditch the tubes. My 823's are tubeless ready so i just put a bit of Stans in them and they are good to go.
 

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if you are spending that much than you need to do a custom wheelset. "off the shelf" wheel sets will never be as good as a custom set. Any one will tell you that. Go with some Hadley or Chris King hubs, and your rim of choice from either Mavic or DT Swiss. I run Hadley hubs on both my trail bike and downhill bike, and am using DT Swiss EX500 rims on the trail bike and Mavic 823's on the downhill bike. 823's aren't the lightest but are absolutely indestructible. You can go with a butted spoke to save a few grams. If you want to lose weight, ditch the tubes. My 823's are tubeless ready so i just put a bit of Stans in them and they are good to go.
I second this.....Hadley on some mavic 823, double butted DT or Sapim.....Brass 14 or 16mm Nipples(sucks trying to find 16mm brass nipples in colors but they can be found electroplated in tawain)....Indestructible....

I dont ride downhill much cause i live in Florida....but taking your bike to Ockaheelee BMX track and hit the pro section on a mountain bike can be just as destructive
 

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You weigh 165?.. shhhhhhit you shouldn't damage any wheelset. Ive had a bunch of wheelsets over the years and I dont know if I agree with custom built are stronger than factory hoops. I have a set of Stans Flows on my 6" and they're doing just well as the Hope/rhino lites wheels I had built. I got a pair of Deemax wheels that have a ton of park days on them. No issues there either.

On the other hand I think the hand built/factory arugement is true once you start talking about light weight wheelsets. I had some Stans Crest wheels on my 29er after destorying the Bontrager junk that was on my Ferrous. the important word is had. Afterwards I had some Chris King hubs laced up to another set of Crests. The new wheels are great and I don't have to true and tension those every week!
 

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Yeah, with that budget, I'd build a set. I would choose Hadley or I9 over King hubs (less maintenance than king), some sapim bladed spokes (for rigidity, not aero performance), and some DT Swiss FR600s or similar. Or I'd get a pro deal with Enve somehow.
 

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I just picked up a set of new Spikes for a few dollars more than that pb posting so I wouldn't buy the used ones you have listed for sure. I really dig the Spikes, and they are comparable to wheels that cost twice as much so I wouldn't hesitate to get those. It would save you some cash for other upgrades or a nice bike trip or two. If you really want to put that money into wheels, as the other guys here mention, go with a custom build. I'd throw some carbon rims on Hadley hubs but that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, thanks for all the feedback, guys.

I have never had a custom wheel set built so what kind of prices and weights should I be aiming for. I was also thinking about ditching the muddy mary in back for something lighter. I'll be going tubeless for sure.

I recently rode my buddy's bike which weighs a few pounds less and it felt sooooo much better, maybe I'm not that strong of a rider so the reduced weight helps me move the bike around.

So some ideas are: Mavic 823's for hoops, hadley (seems like you guys say that's the best way) hubs, and butted or blade style spokes.

Opinions welcomed!
 

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Ok, thanks for all the feedback, guys.

I have never had a custom wheel set built so what kind of prices and weights should I be aiming for. I was also thinking about ditching the muddy mary in back for something lighter. I'll be going tubeless for sure.

I recently rode my buddy's bike which weighs a few pounds less and it felt sooooo much better, maybe I'm not that strong of a rider so the reduced weight helps me move the bike around.

So some ideas are: Mavic 823's for hoops, hadley (seems like you guys say that's the best way) hubs, and butted or blade style spokes.

Opinions welcomed!
Not sure on the weight exactly, but my Hadley/823 combo with my tires set up tubeless, weighed the exact same as my Azonic Outlaws set up with tubes. It isn't the lightest set up, but Hadley's are IMO the best hub out there and the 823's will be indestructible. You can easily substitute a different rim to save some weight, but you might be sacrificing stiffness and durability. I tend to lean more toward durability/reliability when building wheelsets rather than light weight.
 

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Hadley's are awesome. Hope's are a little cheaper and lighter, not the same amount of points of engagement though. Next wheel build, I'm going to try a set of Profile Racing hubs.
At your weight, I would suggest a set of Hadley's laced to some Stan's Flow EX using some Spain CX-Ray spokes. Your complete wheel build will be right around 1900 grams compared to something like 2200grams for the same with Mavic 823. The Mavics will definitely be a little stronger but a lot heavier. With some shopping and good research, you could build your wheels for $600-700.
 

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Dt Swiss 240, Hadley, or Chris King hubs, double butted spikes of your choice, and WTB i25 rims. This will net you a wheelset at 1900 or so grams that is very strong, tubeless and should last you years without trouble. Figure $800-900 built by a good wheel builder.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD so please forgive the typos that occur when typing with two fingers.
 

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Definitely go with DT Swiss 240 hubs, DT spokes and Mavic rims. I have had incredible durability with DT Swiss 240/340/440 hubs here in the PNW weather, only replacing bearing once every couple of years. Kings are too finicky with adjustment and require more maintanance, Hopes require more frequent bearing maintainance and replacement also, and I have no experience with Hadley. Mavic rims are the best, Dt swiss rims are awesome but very soft so they get dented up pretty quick. Stans are great rims also but are pinned and not welded. Engagement is over rated in my opinion... DT swiss 36 tooth is plenty of engagement, I was happy with there old 18 tooth.
 

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Dt has too little engagement. 18 poe is inexcusably low. Makes your riding feel sloppy, and gives an underlying feeling of "cheap". Its ****in absurd that you have to buy a $100 kit to upgrade to 36pt. It should come standard. Its up to you, OP, to determine if engagement matters to you.
 

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If you want to save money, go Hope or look for some used Hadley wheelset - used dh sets are easier to find and cheaper than AM ones. I had great luck with Spank Spike rims - I had the 35mm one, but at 20 lbs lighter than me, you could probably get away with either the Spank race 28 or Subrosa 30.

If you've got the time and a little mechanical ability, building wheels is not that hard. There are good instructions you can find online that will walk you through it. Wheelbuilding
I've had better luck with all the wheels I've built than with any I've bought, except for the ones by OddsnEndos.com out of Florida, but I don't think he builds wheels anymore.
 

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If you want to save money, go Hope or look for some used Hadley wheelset - used dh sets are easier to find and cheaper than AM ones. I had great luck with Spank Spike rims - I had the 35mm one, but at 20 lbs lighter than me, you could probably get away with either the Spank race 28 or Subrosa 30.

If you've got the time and a little mechanical ability, building wheels is not that hard. There are good instructions you can find online that will walk you through it. Wheelbuilding
I've had better luck with all the wheels I've built than with any I've bought, except for the ones by OddsnEndos.com out of Florida, but I don't think he builds wheels anymore.
Mike Garcia (oddsnendos) is unfortunately not building wheels anymore. The set he built for me were incredible. I would call Chad at Red Barn bikes or contact 4slomo on this board. Both are excellent wheel builders. You should also have not trouble finding a good wheelbuilder in Southern, CA, just ask around.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD so please forgive the typos that occur when typing with two fingers.
 

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They are pretty light, but not too durable. They are a nightmare to keep true. Once you have to to take a spoke wrench to them, you will never be able to stop.
 

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Universal Cycles have a wheel builder link on their web site. You can play with different combinations, prices are reasonable and their build quality is top shelf.

I have had a set of 823s and loved them. I would highly recommend a high engagement rear hub, well worth the money. My last build was with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and they are night and day compared to other options.

I have King hubs and won't buy their front hub again. It's superb quality but I've owned a Hope Pro II front 20mm and it was every bit as good at half the price, put the extra money into the rear hub and spokes. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Universal Cycles have a wheel builder link on their web site. You can play with different combinations, prices are reasonable and their build quality is top shelf.

I have had a set of 823s and loved them. I would highly recommend a high engagement rear hub, well worth the money. My last build was with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and they are night and day compared to other options.

I have King hubs and won't buy their front hub again. It's superb quality but I've owned a Hope Pro II front 20mm and it was every bit as good at half the price, put the extra money into the rear hub and spokes. Good luck.
High engagement just means a tight ratchet or many clicks per rev?

I was thinking of trying to go a little lighter than 823s. My bike is fast but a pig.
 
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