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Discussion Starter #1
Alright...firstly, I'm looking for advice from urban, park or downhill riders. While all advice is appreciated, if you ride XC and trails, your experience probably doesn't apply. No offense meant, just please specify what style of riding you do so I can weigh your experiences in context.

Here we go! First ride of the year (unfortunately)...it was 65 today and I had wrassled my bike out of the shed last weekend, so I figured I'd finally get to clocking some miles. I ride a lot of urban...staircases and what not, and we also have a pretty sick woods park here. Anyway, I'm back on the bike to lose some more weight (last year was slow for me on the bike, and I put some weight back on.) Anyway, last year it was an Alex wheelset....met it's match when I dropped a staircase. My LBS hooked me up with what's labeled #MACH 1 XC-TYPE 2.10, and I was riding....flew down a hill and messed my timing up on a bunny hop...curbed the hell out of it, and it's got a REALLY nice flat spot. Normally I'd cruise over to my LBS.....but they closed last week :( and I don't like either of the other two shops. It will be this weekend before I can get to another shop I like (20 miles away.) I was wondering if anyone here abuses the hell out of their equipment and, if so, what holds up? I don't care about the weight....I'm already 250, so another 5 pounds isn't even going to matter. I just don't want to have to keep blowing money on wheels.

Thanks!
 

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turtles make me hot
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I weigh 260 and ride trails. I'm chiming in because I'm also pretty hard on equipment. Like XL29er said, if you're on 32 spoke wheels, you're gonna need to go to 36. I just went to 36 spoke Salsa Gordos and was able to back off on the spoke guage a little. My last set of 32 spoke wheels looked like motorcycle wheels, the spokes were so fat.
 

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I do a lot of urban riding, stairs, and big drops to flat, rocky landings. Also, being in Central Texas, our trails have rocks out the wazoo, so my wheels take a beating, especially given that I run with 22 PSI, so the rims do occasionally meet rock. I've slammed right into granite walls & dropped onto limestone boulders with my Mavic 823, 36 hole rims without any issues. Not the cheapest or the lightest, but it doesn't sound like you need light rims anyway. They are very solid rims, and I highly recommend them. Also, look into getting a high-volume tire so that they'll soak up some of the impact. I've found the 2.4 DMR Moto's make a great urban tire with lots of volume, and run 2.4 Maxxis ADvantages on the trail, which have a ton of grip & higher volume than most 2.5's & 2.6's. Be sure to also make sure your spoke tension isn't too high. I generally build my own wheels, and had the opportunity to sit in with a very good, experienced professional wheel builder during my last build, and he said he favors going with a little less tension on big-hit builds because they will give a little more before denting or flattening. I was skeptical at first as he built my 823's up with much less tension than I had used on my XC set, but the ride is amazing & the wheels have held up to some bad landings very well. Good luck. Hope this helps.

And FWIW, I have a buddy who also launches big stuff, and he loves his Azonic Outlaws. I can't personally vouch for them like I would for the 823's because I haven't ridden them, but they seem to have a reputation for bombing.
 

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I don't think casing curbs is agressive riding it's poor riding. Nothing is going to hold up to poor technique resulting in plowing into things. Throw your weight into the equasion and stuffs going to break.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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If you don't run enough pressure in a tire, you can find a way to ruin most rims. Slamming into a curb is one of those ways, one of the best ways.

That said, I don't think (at least from the info I could about the Mach 1 XC Type 2.10 or whatever your ill fated rim was) that rim was meant for that level of abuse. If it has "XC" in the name, it's likely meant to be an XC rim for XC level use. Dropping stairs and slamming curbs is not XC type riding.

And I don't think 36 spokes instead of 32 wouldn't have made a difference either. It would be stronger, but won't suddenly become immune to that sort of input.

Grab a Mavic EX 729 or an EX 325 and see what you can do to them, but run an appropriate tire with appropriate pressure so the rim stands a fighting chance.

I'd be thrilled to weigh 250lbs and I can ride into curbs with my EN 321 wheels by just pulling up a little on the bars on a full suspension AM bike with a 6" travel fork. This leads into my next point:

Your profile says your bike is a Hardrock (an entry level XC bike). If so, that is not a bike designed for dropping stairs and slamming curbs. My guess is that after buying beefy enough wheels, you're going to find the next weakest link, and then the next weakest link until you snap the frame.

If I may offer my $0.02,: Get a dirt jumper or another type of beefy bike that is meant for the type of riding that you do.
 

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DekerfTeamST said:
I don't think casing curbs is agressive riding it's poor riding. Nothing is going to hold up to poor technique resulting in plowing into things. Throw your weight into the equasion and stuffs going to break.
While I agree, wouldn't you rather have a larger margin for error by having a burly rim? Even the best riders occasionally case something. $h!+ happens even on familiar trails & routes, like when a rock on a tranny has been kicked up or wasn't there before pops into the equation. Technique plays a huge roll in keeping parts intact--don't get me wrong--but I'd rather have the confidence of a solid wheel than plan on everything being smooth as butter and end up in the middle of a trail with a tacoed rim because of something I didn't see or expect. Not saying any rim is invincible either, because they're not. But a little room to make mistakes seems better to me than hoping my technique never fails me.
 

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I have a old set of ryno lite dh rims with 14 gauge spokes put on phil wood 36 hole tandem hubs. not light in weight, nor is the rider....plus I seem too like at least a 2.4-2.5 width tire. a bit more cushion. gravity really works aginst me but ya gawta have good wheeles too hold ya up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DekerfTeamST said:
I don't think casing curbs is agressive riding it's poor riding. Nothing is going to hold up to poor technique resulting in plowing into things. Throw your weight into the equasion and stuffs going to break.

My technique isn't 100% on all the time. If yours is, good for you...have a cookie. It was my first ride of the year and I was sloppy. Dick.




I checked spoke count, sure enough 32. My tire is only 2.0, so I'll definitely check in to getting something with more volume. I run the pressure between 50 and 60 psi, as I used to pinch flat all the time. I'll also have to check in to the spoke tension and the wheels listed...I appreciate all the constructive advice. I'm hoping to get down to the shop tomorrow so I can see what they have available and meet the tech there. I'm hoping to start building my own stuff so that I don't need to rely on the shop so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
jeffj said:
Your profile says your bike is a Hardrock (an entry level XC bike). If so, that is not a bike designed for dropping stairs and slamming curbs. My guess is that after buying beefy enough wheels, you're going to find the next weakest link, and then the next weakest link until you snap the frame.
I do indeed still ride the hardrock comp. It's hardtail....I don't like full suspension. I will eventually buy a new bike, but I have a lot of expensive hobbies (guns, cars, scuba, skydiving, snowboarding, etc) so a $2000 bike is tough to fit in. I am saving up for it though. I don't even know if I can find a hardtail bike build for big abuse. I'd like to stay specialized, but all their big bikes go to FS.
 

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H3LlIoN said:
My technique isn't 100% on all the time. If yours is, good for you...have a cookie. It was my first ride of the year and I was sloppy. Dick..
I don't think he was trying to be a dick, but just say you can only expect so much out of your gear. You can build a bike stronger, but at some point things will break if they are abused.

Going to a 36 spoke wheel will increase strength, and look for a rim that is made for DH/freeride. Azonic outlaw is probably a good bet at a lower price point. Bigger tires will help a lot, definitely a must.

There are a number of hardtails that can take plenty abuse, use the search to look for all mountain or downhill/freeride hardtail. The frame you are on is definitely on limited time with the way you ride (not trying to be offensive, it is just not the right tool for the job).

And don't buy anything with an XC label on it :)

Hope that helps
 

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H3LlIoN said:
I do indeed still ride the hardrock comp. It's hardtail....I don't like full suspension. I will eventually buy a new bike, but I have a lot of expensive hobbies (guns, cars, scuba, skydiving, snowboarding, etc) so a $2000 bike is tough to fit in. I am saving up for it though. I don't even know if I can find a hardtail bike build for big abuse. I'd like to stay specialized, but all their big bikes go to FS.
Here are a few to look at:

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?spid=52718&scid=1004&scname=Dirt/Park/Street

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?spid=52717&scid=1004&scname=Dirt/Park/Street\

http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=stuff

http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=cowan

http://wheelworld.com/product/kona-2009-five-o-frame-7472.htm

http://www.gtbicycles.com/bikes/mountain/freeride/2011-la-bomba-orange

http://www.gtbicycles.com/bikes/mountain/freeride/2011-ruckus-dj-yellow

http://www.redlinebicycles.com/bikes/mtb/2011-device-d26-frame
 

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Discussion Starter #14
jeffj said:
Here are a few to look at:
Thanks for the links...most of those are urban/DJs which tend to be really small in my experience. I've been on the kona and the specialized and they are nice, but just tiny. I'll check that Five-O out though, that looks solid. Might be time to give somebody else a try. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm going to check out the mavic posted and the outlaws for this bike, and ride it like that until I can get something else built or bought. I know it's not the best tool for the job, but she's held up well this far, and hopefully will until I can get something else.
 

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Go custom. You could maybe find a DH wheel that will fit your frame, but I've seen 100 lb kids case some burly stock Halo wheelsets (he had a set of 8 foot elevated skinnies in the back yard, so... yeah).
For maximized flatspot resistance, what you really want is to eliminate dish (as much as possible), use a lot of butted spokes at high tension, and pick a rim that is as vertically stiff as possible (meaning its tall, more than wide). To eliminate dish, you want to go with a single speed or internally geared hub, meaning you have to change some other hardware too. You can maybe use multiple cogs on a single speed freehub (I think you can run 5 using 10 speed shifting, or 4 with 9 speed).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Turns out frame won't take more than the 2.1 that I have on there now. It's looking like I might just build up another, heavier duty bike. Pity though....this frame has handled close to 1500 miles of my abuse without complaint.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
2. different brands. First was stock Alex wheel that came on the bike...second was whatever XC thing I listed above. Will try and identify it better when I get home. Same bike. Different ordeals. First one I flattened jumping down a set of stairs. Second one I cased a curb. Both times I was running 2.1 dred tred @ max PSI.

As far as high volume tires go, does anyone have any experience with the Maxxis hookworm? 26 x 2.5....thinking about putting a set on the beach cruiser since I don't like the white walls.
 

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Hi H3lloN, here's my two cents:

First, I weigh from 185 - 200 lbs. in my riding gear. Yes, I do consider myself an urban rider. I've ridden light bikes with narrow rims, and my current bike is a heavy bike with wide rims. The lightest I've ridden was my under-21 lbs. KHS Alite aluminum hardtail, single-speed, front suspended, with Sun CR-17 rims that were low 400 grams. My current bike is a 31 lb. Giant STP dirtjumper with Sun MTX rims that are 660 gram rims.

I've tacoed rims, I've dinged rims, and I've flatspotted rims.

Here you go:
1. YOU can only determine how burly you need to go by YOU breaking stuff. Other people's opinions are helpful, but your particular needs are unique. I am not an abusive rider and can get away with lighter stuff than many "hack" riders, who indiscriminately plow through stuff and have lazy, lousy technique.
2. If breaking stuff is how you learn, then money and affordability is key. Talk is cheap, but very few people actually do grams-per-dollar-saved analyses and spec spreadsheets like I do. Rims by Mavic and DT Swiss are not cost-effective IMO.
3. The rim is where it's at. 36 versus 32 spokes is a non-issue where strength is concerned. Look at all the high-dollar all-mountain wheelsets like Specialized's Roval, Bontrager's Rhythym, and Easton's Haven: They're using 28 and even less spokes. Most downhill wheelsets are using 32 and less spokes. Crankbrother's wheels are a testament to this. The rim plays the most significant factor when it comes to strength.
4. The conclusion to all this is that if you learn by busting rims, then the best way to proceed is to buy inexpensive rims that you can swap out, yourself. Go light and move up the ladder. Two key considerations: 1. Stay with the 32-spoke format. The majority of hubs and rims are 32-spoke. Going to other formats will limit you, immediately. 2. Pay attention to ERD (Effective Rim Diameter) dimensions. If you stay near a certain ERD number, you can swap different rims without needing to buy different length spokes.

Additional points:
- Is the gram-counting worth it? When it comes to wheels, you'd better believe it. A heavy wheelset will seriously limit your range and airborne activity. Carrying unnecessary rotational weight is a great way to anchor you down, and it's actually very easy to do: heavy innertubes and tires abound. Those Hookworms you're thinking of? 1,150 grams, each. That's about 3/4 lb. heavier than something like a Kenda K-Rad or Kiniption. Are you sure you need to add 1.5 lbs. to your wheels? The MTX rims on my STP? If they're overkill for me, then what was the 140 lb. teen I bought the bike from thinking when he threw $400 down for what his buddies probably told him was cool and the norm for "serious riding?"
- Weight specs are very tricky. Even manufacturer's specs are sometimes off. Online stores aren't always so accurate, either. Universalcycles.com is a big offender when it comes to accurate rim weights.
- Your Hardrock frame? Bummer about the poor tire clearance, but IMO, depending on the year those frames are very trick and burly looking. I'd ride it till it breaks, if it actually does.
- Here's a link for Mach 1's rims: http://www.mach1.fr/uk_composants/index.html
- One thing is for sure about the MTX rims I have: I can ride them with full confidence. They are very heavy, and I could easily get by with RhynoLites, which are a full 120 grams lighter, but the MTX's are unbreakable for my ability level.
- If you truly want burly without having to really think about it, Alex's DM rims are a real value.
 
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