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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been been riding again for a little over a month after not riding for close to 20 years. I'm pleasantly surprised how many skills have come right back.

Long story short, I've decided to upgrade the wheelset on my Giant trace X 29 2 to celebrate losing the 20 lbs I want to lose. I'm about half way there, so i started looking for new wheels. I used to be a good mechanic but I'm still getting up to speed with everything new. The drivetrain is Shimano SLX 1x12 microspline setup.

I'm looking for all around trail/ enduro style wheels. I'd like them to be lighter than the wheels that came on the bike. Any recommendations on where to start?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Help us to help you. Please let us know:
  • Your weight.
  • Budget.
  • Riding Style (i.e., only ride buff single track, no jumps or drops over two feet, or ride boulder infested fields with constant five foot hucks to flat).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Help us to help you. Please let us know:
  • Your weight.
  • Budget.
  • Riding Style (i.e., only ride buff single track, no jumps or drops over two feet, or ride boulder infested fields with constant five foot hucks to flat).
Weight is 180lbs (185 with everything on).
Goal is to get down to 160lbs.

Budget is flexible but let's call it up to $1,500, but could go up or down if justified. Less is always good, bit I'm not afraid to spend for quality.

Riding style is mainly single track, lots of roots and a few rock gardens. Mostly blue to black, fairly technical trails.
I'm not hitting big drops or crazy hucks. The occasional jump, but nothing huge. No big drops, they still make me more nervous than jumps.
 

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The world is your oyster with a lot of choices. The baseline hubs for a nice wheelset are DT Swiss 350 hubs, with some spending more for I9, Onyx, a few on King, even fewer (like me) Hadley. Above the DT Swiss 350 you get a bit better engagement and more color choices. For rims, you have to decide Aluminum or Carbon. I would target a 30mm internal width, which has become the general width used for all mountain and enduro and what most 2.4-2.6 tires are designed around. Roughly at the different prices your options look like:
  • DT Swiss 350 with Aluminum rims (Race Face Arc 30, DT Swiss XM481, Spank 350/359)- 1900-2000 grams, about $600-700 from a good builder.
  • DT Swiss 350 with Chinese Carbon Rims- (i.e. BTLOS WM-i30AS)- 1600-1700 grams, about $900 shipped to your door.
  • Specialized Roval Control 29 Carbon (350 Hubs with Specialized Rims)- 1450 grams, $1350.
  • We Are One Union/I9 1/1 hubs- 1900 Grams, $1400 (rims and hubs are manufactured in North America- We Are One has a lifetime warranty on the rims).
You current wheels are probably about 2200 grams. People will argue back and forth until the end of time about aluminium v. carbon, Chinese v. North American Carbon, factory built versus a custom wheel builder, and weight v. strength and warranty. I suggest reading up a bit to figure out what balance works for you.

Personally, I would reach out to someone like Mikesee on this forum (lacemine29.com) who is a custom wheelbuilder. The cost of having handbuilt wheels is not much more than the price you can get the components (and sometimes less), but you also get the knowledge base from a builder that builds over 1000 wheels a year of what works, what doesn't, and what your tradeoffs are at any given pricepoint.
 
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I have a '19 Giant Trance 29 2. I just purchased a custom set of Industry Nine Hydra hubs mated to DT Swiss 511 endure rims. This may be overkill for you but,Im in Western North Carolina and the trails are rough. Your biggest issue will be availability.... Get familiar with the hub brands and the Point of Engagement. I9 Hydras are 690 poe and my Factor hubs on my ebike are 120 poe.
 

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Weight is 180lbs (185 with everything on).
Goal is to get down to 160lbs.

Budget is flexible but let's call it up to $1,500, but could go up or down if justified. Less is always good, bit I'm not afraid to spend for quality.

Riding style is mainly single track, lots of roots and a few rock gardens. Mostly blue to black, fairly technical trails.
I'm not hitting big drops or crazy hucks. The occasional jump, but nothing huge. No big drops, they still make me more nervous than jumps.
DT Swiss E1700 will be about half the price of your budget, maybe aso upgrade ratchet to 54T. Bombproof wheels on friendly budget.
Won't even go into carbon vs ALU debate - personally i rather have 2 sets of quality ALU, one with summer and one with winter tyres and just swap them as needed - all for the price of one carbon wheelset. Weight difference is too small to notice.
Just my 2 cents, i'm sure other think different. But thats what you get if you ask on public forum :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The world is your oyster with a lot of choices. The baseline hubs for a nice wheelset are DT Swiss 350 hubs, with some spending more for I9, Onyx, a few on King, even fewer (like me) Hadley. Above the DT Swiss 350 you get a bit better engagement and more color choices. For rims, you have to decide Aluminum or Carbon. I would target a 30mm internal width, which has become the general width used for all mountain and enduro and what most 2.4-2.6 tires are designed around. Roughly at the different prices your options look like:
  • DT Swiss 350 with Aluminum rims (Race Face Arc 30, DT Swiss XM481, Spank 350/359)- 1900-2000 grams, about $600-700 from a good builder.
  • DT Swiss 350 with Chinese Carbon Rims- (i.e. BTLOS WM-i30AS)- 1600-1700 grams, about $900 shipped to your door.
  • Specialized Roval Control 29 Carbon (350 Hubs with Specialized Rims)- 1450 grams, $1350.
  • We Are One Union/I9 1/1 hubs- 1900 Grams, $1400 (rims and hubs are manufactured in North America- We Are One has a lifetime warranty on the rims).

Personally, I would reach out to someone like Mikesee on this forum (lacemine29.com) who is a custom wheelbuilder. The cost of having handbuilt wheels is not much more than the get the components (and sometimes less), but you also get the knowledge base from a builder that builds over 1000 wheels a year of what works, what doesn't, and what your tradeoffs are at any given pricepoint.
Personally, I would reach out to someone like Mikesee on this forum (lacemine29.com) who is a custom wheelbuilder. The cost of having handbuilt wheels is not much more than the price you can get the components (and sometimes less), but you also get the knowledge base from a builder that builds over 1000 wheels a year of what works, what doesn't, and what your tradeoffs are at any given pricepoint.
I took this advice and have a set of wheels coming from Mikesee.
 

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I ended up with DT350 hubs with the 54 tooth ratchet on the rear, laced to Derby carbon TR rims with DT butted spokes.
That should be a great setup that will run without issue for years.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Latest update.
Wheels came in on Friday.
I got the tires installed (after fighting majorly with the Maxxis Assegai on the front).
I rode Sunday and Monday for a total of around 25 miles.
I'm super happy with the wheels. The weight loss in the rims is immediately noticable when accelerating at low speed. I'm enjoying the noise of the rear hub. It's not too loud.

Now I've just got to bear down and lose the rest of the weight I want. I'm down to just over 170 from 190lbs.
 

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I have a '19 Giant Trance 29 2. I just purchased a custom set of Industry Nine Hydra hubs mated to DT Swiss 511 endure rims. This may be overkill for you but,Im in Western North Carolina and the trails are rough. Your biggest issue will be availability.... Get familiar with the hub brands and the Point of Engagement. I9 Hydras are 690 poe and my Factor hubs on my ebike are 120 poe.
How have these worked out? I have a 2021 Trance X that I'm looking to reduce some weight on. Did you find any weight savings on those wheels? The i9 Hydra is a great hub, so do you feel a difference on the bike upgrading from the stock wheels (I'm going to assume that the Hydra was a huge improvement over the stock hubs)? Thanks.
 

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How have these worked out? I have a 2021 Trance X that I'm looking to reduce some weight on. Did you find any weight savings on those wheels? The i9 Hydra is a great hub, so do you feel a difference on the bike upgrading from the stock wheels (I'm going to assume that the Hydra was a huge improvement over the stock hubs)? Thanks.
Not really a weight savings.... The DT Swiss 511s are an Enduro rim and are pretty tough. I also added Cush Core,no weight savings. The wheel set is much smoother rolling and has better technical climbing capability with the Hydra hub. I live in Western North Carolina and we have a lot of rocks and roots that tear wheels/tires up.
 

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Not really a weight savings.... The DT Swiss 511s are an Enduro rim and are pretty tough. I also added Cush Core,no weight savings. The wheel set is much smoother rolling and has better technical climbing capability with the Hydra hub. I live in Western North Carolina and we have a lot of rocks and roots that tear wheels/tires up.
Next question: The Hydra hubs - Are folks finding these requiring more routine maintenance than a ratchet DT Swiss hub? I watched the Hydra maintenance video and it seemed fairly time consuming. Thanks!
 

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Next question: The Hydra hubs - Are folks finding these requiring more routine maintenance than a ratchet DT Swiss hub? I watched the Hydra maintenance video and it seemed fairly time consuming. Thanks!
Good question…. I haven’t serviced them yet. Hasn’t been necessary.
 

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DT Swiss E1700 will be about half the price of your budget, maybe aso upgrade ratchet to 54T. Bombproof wheels on friendly budget.
Won't even go into carbon vs ALU debate - personally i rather have 2 sets of quality ALU, one with summer and one with winter tyres and just swap them as needed - all for the price of one carbon wheelset. Weight difference is too small to notice.
Just my 2 cents, i'm sure other think different. But thats what you get if you ask on public forum :)
I have XM 1700s with 350s (plus 54t ratchet kit) and you're right, absolute bombproof! When I got my bike I figured I'd eventually get WAO Unions or Nobl 37s with either CK or i9 hubs (I love the noise... It's probably my favorite sound on Earth tbh). NOPE!! Not needed. I ride mostly bike parks, lotta jumps and steep tech, lotta crashes and overall I'm a sketchy rider. These bad boys haven't even budged, and for such a durable wheelset, they're not real heavy.

Of all my components, by far the one I rant and rave about the most is my wheelset. Everytime I ride I think to myself how much I love them, and I'm riding around with some pretty decent hardware, so it's not like they're higher quality then anything else.

Just can't say enough good things about them.
 

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Good question…. I haven’t serviced them yet. Hasn’t been necessary.
Next question: The Hydra hubs - Are folks finding these requiring more routine maintenance than a ratchet DT Swiss hub? I watched the Hydra maintenance video and it seemed fairly time consuming. Thanks!
I'm not a mechanic so hopefully somebody else will chime in, but I've read on these forums that DTs are notoriously simple to maintain, and Hydras, not so much. Most mechanics I've spoken to don't really like i9s and think they're overpriced. That said, pretty much every rider I've spoken with who rides them, has nothing but great things to say, so who knows?!
 

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I'm not a mechanic so hopefully somebody else will chime in, but I've read on these forums that DTs are notoriously simple to maintain, and Hydras, not so much. Most mechanics I've spoken to don't really like i9s and think they're overpriced. That said, pretty much every rider I've spoken with who rides them, has nothing but great things to say, so who knows?!
I've maintained Torch, Hydra and DT 350s. They are all very easy to work on. The Torch's drive side bearings wore the fastest, but the Hydra design fixed that, it seems.
 
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