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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this has been asked in some form or other before, but I like my answers fresh out of the oven, if that makes since.
I weigh 235 and I have a loved Big Sur frame that originally had Piranha parts on it (I got a warranty frame upgrade due to defect of my piranha). I have turned her full rigid-SS (Which I love), and upgraded to some light(er)weight parts where it counts, so far the crank/BB and the fork....next up: I want to replace the clunky Bontrager Ranger wheels with something light-ish and fast, but I am afraid I will ruin anything xc-oriented due to my weight and the fact that I do occasionally hit some rough spots (no downhill drops or anything)....so what wheels have worked well for you other big riders?
 

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snailsongs said:
I'm sure this has been asked in some form or other before, but I like my answers fresh out of the oven, if that makes since.
I weigh 235 and I have a loved Big Sur frame that originally had Piranha parts on it (I got a warranty frame upgrade due to defect of my piranha). I have turned her full rigid-SS (Which I love), and upgraded to some light(er)weight parts where it counts, so far the crank/BB and the fork....next up: I want to replace the clunky Bontrager Ranger wheels with something light-ish and fast, but I am afraid I will ruin anything xc-oriented due to my weight and the fact that I do occasionally hit some rough spots (no downhill drops or anything)....so what wheels have worked well for you other big riders?
For bigger riders, it is more a question of pre-fab vs. Hand-built. I suggest contacting Chad at Red Barn Bicycles for some wheels!

Many riders are happy with Hope Pro II hubs laced up to DT 5.1 rims - at about 1890g for the set, I have been really happy (and have weighed more and ride more AM than your XC). You might be able to get away with something even lighter though.
 

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I weigh...

between 225 and 230 dependin on the time of year. Tis the season when we put on a few pounds you know.

I've never had a problem with using lighter weight "XC Wheels". The key is not to go "stupid light"! I would no more put my big old butt on a set of 1400g race wheels than I would try to ride on skinny little 390g tires. Either one is a sure recepie for disaster for a clyde.

The key is in the components and the build. I'm currently riding the lightest wheel set I've ever owned and have been for the last 2 years with excelent results. I laced a set of Hope Pro II hubs to Bontrager Mustang TLR disc rims, with DT Competition spokes and alloy nipples. Total weight for the build 1790g. I built them up myself and was very meticulous about getting tension correct and even. The wheels have been faultless and I haven't had to true them yet. And I ride pretty much as you do.

So for components, generally, a quality rim in the 420 to 460g weight range, a good solid hub, wise spoke choice and a solid quality build will give you a realatively light wheel that will hold up to your weight no problem. Oh and another recommendation, NEVER go with a spoke count lower than 32 per wheel.

Bottom line is, yes a Clyde can get away with a lighter wheel set. It just depends on how and where you ride. We certainly can't go as light as the 150 to 170lb racer boys of course. But we can certainly get away with lighter wheels than many people think. Where this idea came from that anyone over 200lbs has to ride on heavy assed DH components is beyond me. If you ride primarily XC, ride with finess and don't bash into every obstical on the trail, and keep the wheels on the ground most of the time, then there's no reason you can't go with lighter weight stuff. As long as you steer clear of ultralight "Race Day" components you should be fine.

Good Dirt
 

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Master of the Face Plant
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With wheels its all about the build. I am 210 and I ride xc and AM. I am pretty aggressive and I have had several ruined wheels. I got a custom build from Dave Thomas at speeddreams.com and after almost 3 years they have never even needed to be trued. I got king hubs wrapped in ztr 355 rims. The build is very, very stiff and about 1650-1700 grams.
 

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Making fat cool since '71
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It's been said: quality build is important. At some point though...clydes do need good (stronger) components. I've never (ever) had an issue with Sun Rhynolite XL...ever. They are cheap as well. I build wheels professionally and will use (almost) whatever components folks want, but for my money and riding...The Rhynolite XL is the all-around winner. There are lighter weight options I would suggest for racing, but for every day wheels...nope.

Here's a light (and semi-expensive) hub that just failed on Tuesday's night ride. Flange broke...bummer. It's off my 'cross bike. Things happen even when done right.

Brock...
 

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mathlete
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I'm currently riding on a set of Mavic 819's laced to saint hubs and they are relatively light and hella strong. I've purchased a set of stans ztr 355 anticipating to build those up soon onto Hope pro II's with straight 14g. spokes. A friend of mine has the same setup (ztr/hope) and they've held up solidly. He's within 5 lbs of my weight. I posted a similar question a while back. I'm at 204 now (was at 221 in May'08) since I started riding the pedal bike 2-3x a week...but that is a different post.
 

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I'm 235lbs and running some sweet custom wheels built by a local wheelsmith. Mavic X717 Disc rims, DT butted spokes, Formula sealed cartridge bearing hubs (pretty much a Hope knock-off). Total weight is 1560 grams. I had them built in the spring and these wheels have stood up to everything I can throw at them (typical rough XC stuff, rock gardens and the like). My wheels are light and strong but not cheap, for a clyde to go light you have to shell out the cash on custom wheels IMO, you won't regret it.
 

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im not sure how much you paid, but 717s on formula hubs is a pretty affordable build. you can get a set off the shelf with XT hubs for under 200 bucks.. not sealed, but its a similar quality hub. a good tension away from being great.

for being sub 400 grams, those 717's are pretty stiff.
 

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tomsmoto said:
im not sure how much you paid, but 717s on formula hubs is a pretty affordable build. you can get a set off the shelf with XT hubs for under 200 bucks.. not sealed, but its a similar quality hub. a good tension away from being great.

for being sub 400 grams, those 717's are pretty stiff.
My wheel build was around $600 Canadian and was not "off the shelf", like I said it was a custom build. The formula hubs are the DC38 and DC94, pretty kick ass hubs IMO much better than any Shimano hubs I've ever had.
 

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Making fat cool since '71
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RhynoliteXL=550 grams (up to 2.7 tire) AM/FR hoop, super strong
Equalizer 23= 410 grams (up to 2.3 tire) XC hoop, sorta strong
819=450 or 475 grams (up to 2.3 tire) XC hoop, sorta strong
719=475 grams (up to 2.3 tire) XC/AM hoop, pretty strong
Velocity Aeroheat=442 grams (up to 2.3 tire) pretty strong

Brock...
 

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ImaKlyde said:
RhynoliteXL=550 grams (up to 2.7 tire) AM/FR hoop, super strong
Equalizer 23= 410 grams (up to 2.3 tire) XC hoop, sorta strong
819=450 or 475 grams (up to 2.3 tire) XC hoop, sorta strong
719=475 grams (up to 2.3 tire) XC/AM hoop, pretty strong
Velocity Aeroheat=442 grams (up to 2.3 tire) pretty strong

Brock...
Hi there, I'm also looking into a new wheel sets, I'm currently planning on shopping at universal cycles for wheel sets,

Do you think the Sun Rhyno Lite XL will be strong for someone w/ 250 pound..? since is has only 32 holes..
I really don't care about the weight.

also what hub would you recommend w/ this rim..
 

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Making fat cool since '71
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FWIW, I use the 32 hole XL on my RFX and do everything from all day rides to full on FR hucking. I've only folded one in the last two years and that was after messing up the tranny on a 15' gap to hip and I ditched it into the farside bank and bent the front. I *was* able to bang it and true it a bit and ride for another hour that day. I"m 255-265. The wheels have seen drops as high as 12 feet pretty regularly and moderate sized step-downs, ski jumps, gaps, etc. There are stronger hoops, but they tend to weigh 90 to 140 grams more and cost $40 more, and up.

Hubs? I have King, Hope and White Industries on my mountain bikes and am happy with them all. Hadley and I9 make great hubs as well. I like lacing them up and folks are happy with them.

If you like a bit of "bling" the Sun Equalizer hoops are holding up very well for a couple of buddies I built them up for. They have the 31mm models and use them for full on FR stuff.

Having said all that....I lust after the I9 DH/FR wheelsets...but I don't have the jack or the need really.

Brock...
 

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yes a us heavy guy can ride light bikes. one thing you really need to remember is the way you ride, if you are not finessed in your riding you will destroy light bike parts for sure. i'm lucky because my riding style is very flowy and i don't seem to stress out my bike parts too much. i weight 260 lbs and my xc bike weight a light 25 lbs and it could be lighter for sure but i like the over all fit on my dh'ish width bars and other items like that. my big point in mentioning that bike is that the wheels on that bike only weight 1750ish grams. that is light by even most light people standards. the thing is that they were built right and are maintained right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
SHIVER ME TIMBERS said:
rim failures suck....just get some Azonic outlaws
I was totally going to do just that, but then I realized that the rims are 30-32" wide or something, and not good for running skinny tires....since I like to roll fast I really enjoy my skinny tires....so I'm looking for a more normal width rim....please correct me if I'm wrong because I was sold on the Azonics until this rim width issue came up....
 

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I weigh in @ about 225-230, and I'm rolling a set of 819's laced to Cannondale hubs (24 spoke!), and they're the best wheels I've ever rolled!

If the rim width of Outlaws bothers you (30-32mm, not 30-32", btw), then get some 819 rims in 32-spoke; plenty strong unless you're a real beast.
 

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The standard aluminum freehub body is the one thing I wouldn't be willing to deal with on the Hope Pro II rear hub. I would go for the SS freehub body and gladly suffer the weight penalty since it is at the hub where the effects will be greatly minimized. Even with cassettes that have a carrier, the last few cogs will dig in.

Sure it's nice to say your wheelset weighs xxxx grams, but as long as you keep the rim weight fairly light and run smallish tires and light tubes, that is where you will notice weight differences.

If you want to run larger tires, pay attention to the size and inflation pressure limits on rims you are considering (a lesson I learned the hard way) or you could have a long walk out.

A fellow super-clyde recently purchased a set of the Azonic Outlaws and has managed to trash both the front and rear in a fairly short duration. For how much they weigh, I'm not impressed and they don't really seem to fit the OP's search criteria.

Even with a good build, all wheelsets that weigh close to the same are not going to perform equally. A Hope Pro II hubset with the upgraded freehub body with a pair of Mavic 719 or similar rims sounds like a good solid performing wheelset that won't be terribly expensive and should handle the OP's intended tire needs and riding style for quite some time.
 

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I've had good luck with Pro II's laced to Mavic 819's (DT Comp spokes and brass nipples). The set weighed in at about 1940g but has been bulletproof for my 235lb self doing everything from commuting to XC to light AM to a day at the local ski hill / bike park.

Sure, they are a little heavier, but I like the UST option as it has basically eliminated pinch flats for me and I can run a lower pressure for additional traction when I need it (like on the built up stuff where 2.2's need all the help they can get).
 

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Another great rim is the DT Swiss EX 5.1d. I've been hammering on a set for a few years on my uphill bike (which occasionally sees shuttle duty) and they are very strong for a 500 gram rim. Plus they are nice and wide, which really helps give bigger tires (2.3+) a better profile and stability in corners, plus massively reduces pinch flats.
 
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