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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My LBS owes me, and I have a chance at a wheelset upgrade from a lower level wheelset that came with my Rocky mountain Element mid-tier XC bike.

I'm looking at DT Swiss 240 hubs, and two possible rims: the Crests and the Arch EX's. I can't decide.

The Crests are lighter, but they are said to be flexy. They apparently also need tuning more often.

The Arch EX's are a bit heavier, but don't need truing very frequently. The rims are approx. the same width, with the Arch Ex's being stiffer.

I'm 180 lbs, without gear (so add 10-15 lbs to that for long rides). I ride mostly hardpack and loose gravel XC for training but also like to get over to the North Shore for some moderate rocky and rooty stuff, though usually no drops bigger than 6" - 8".

Thanks
 

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I've ridden probably 3-4k mountain miles on Crests. I've only bent one (relatively new) in that time. The straightening they have needed has been due to broken spokes with the one exception. I weigh 170 and do semi-aggressive XC riding with HT and FS 29er bikes. So all in all they have been relatively trouble free. However, I replaced the recently bent one with a WTB KOM rim. Wider than the Crests and Arch EXs but heaver than the Crests. Haven't put many miles on it yet though.
 

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I have fluctuated between 165 and 180-ish over the last couple of years and have put somewhere in the neighborhood of 3500 miles on a set of Crests with exactly zero truing needed. I've ridden them on east coast rocky, rooty singletrack and have dropped them around 2-2.5 feet without killing one yet. Now that I've posted this they'll probably spontaneously explode on the next ride.

If you get a solid wheel build you should be fine if you want the lighter weight. I haven't ridden many new-fangled carbon rims to compare (and I don't pay much attention to wheel stiffness) so the "flexyness" has never really been an issue for me.
 

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You might get away with Crests, but you're pushing their boundaries. Practical differences aside, you'll trust your bike more if you choose Arch EX's instead, and it will have more positive effect on your riding experience than the slight weight advantage of Crests. And I say this as a happy owner of wheels with Crest rims.
 

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I'm around 180 lbs, too. After two years no issues with my Crests. I ride "aggressively". Key is that you have a good wheelbuilder build it. Even spoke tension at the maximum allowed (~95 kgf). I've built the set myself but I have access to a tensionmeter. I wouldn't call myself a good wheelbuilder, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! That's the thing: I'm not a good wheelbuilder, and can't even true my wheels myself. The bike shop guy is good, but I don't really want to be worrying about going out of true.

Yep, I'm def. in the gray area between Crests and Arch EX's, it seems. Much like being between a big M and a small L in clothing.

Or, in Euro sizes, L and a small XL ;-)
 

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just curious, destroying as in breaking? What happened?
To start with, I forgot to check my tire pressure before the race, and it was probably WAY too low. I usually run around 21 PSI and I would guess it was around 18. It was during a race, so I was pushing harder than normal. It was a 10 mile loop and the first 4 miles was all climbing. I got to the top and was at my MAX+ HR. Now for some downhill :) I was not paying attention to my line at all and trying to recover, and still go fast. I was probably doing about 18-20mph and hit the rear wheel right on a babyhead rock sticking up (they were everywhere on this trail). Punctured the tire, and bent the sidewall of the rim so bad that it would not seal back up (tubeless).

I never felt like that rear wheel was very solid. I am probably not the best at picking my lines, but the rear always felt noodly to me (could have been the build). I knocked it out of true on my FIRST ride on it. Never had any issues with the front however (and it takes a beating also, but I would guess that 4 inches of travel in the fork help with that).

Since I switched to Arch in the rear (replaced my same spokes and hub up to it) the rear feels a lot better now. It really is not that much more weight, and for my weight / riding style I think ARCH Rear / Crest Front is the way to go :)
 

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My trail bike has a 240/crest/supercomp 26" wheel build. I weigh around 165. Have ridden them hard all over BC for 4 years. Been tensioned a couple times but have never been out of true.

I wouldn't hesitate building the same wheel again if I blew these up. There is a little bit of flex but this could be due to the thin spokes?

I love the feel of light fast wheels :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You sounds like the ideal rider for that wheelset, Lahrs! I'm 20 lbs more than you and am looking at getting a 29er wheelset. And I don't know the feel of light fast wheels (waaah!). Mind you, the lack of speed has to do with the engine too.
 

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I'm looking at DT Swiss 240 hubs, and two possible rims: the Crests and the Arch EX's. I can't decide.

The Crests are lighter, but they are said to be flexy. They apparently also need tuning more often.
I built my Crests two years ago on American Classic hubs (That were already a year old.

Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle fork


The wheels have been on two bikes (First a Blur, then the Nemesis). I raced the Blur in Texas and trained on the Greenbelt (Very, very rocky terrain).

They went through an entire XC season with no need for truing.

When I Broke the Blur, I went with a Hardtail and switched the wheels over. Now I live in Fort Collins, CO. The terrain here is fairly rocky with plenty of fast, nasty descents.

I have broken one spoke in the two years these wheels have been together. That caused the wheel to become untrue (rear). I replaced the spoke and retrued, no issues whatsoever.

I can personally vouch for the Crest's durability as an XC/Trail rim. Archs are stronger, but heavier. If you want a good, lightweight wheelset (Mine are at or under 1500 grams I believe) for racing, go with the Crests.

I'll be building a set of carbon rims when I tear these to pieces, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
 

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if not built properly Arch wheelsets will need frequent truing, as well.

I wouldn't be overly concerned with the truing issue. Simply drop off your wheelset once a year at your LBS and have it trued. This doesn't cost a world. Especially since he builds it. If your LBS is a good wheelbuilder there won't be an issue anyway. Both rims, Crest and Arch are a little tricky for wheelbuilding.

As I have already pointed out, I'm in your same weight class. I use a Crest wheelset for racing and an Arch wheelset for training. Since you do not use the wheelset for racing simply go with Arch rims. Peace of mind! The weight penalty won't hurt you.
 

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What self respecting racer DOESN'T check their tire pressure? You killed that rim.

Also, "noodle" feeling is most often an effect of the particular rear triangle stiffness than an attribute of a properly built wheel in my experience.
That is a little harsh... I do agree that I killed the rim, and it is my fault for not checking the pressure. However, to say I am not a self respecting RACER is a bit uncalled for. Also, I am pretty sure the build on it was poor to begin with, it was perfectly true when I put it on the bike and I knocked it out of true pretty considerably on the FIRST ride on it, and it was aired up to specs, and I did not hit very hard that time.

It was a bit hectic before the race. I was helping one of the Race sponsors setup their tent and bikes, and lost track of time. I ended up rushing a bit at the end to get ready for the race, and lost track of checking the tire pressure. I am sure you never forget anything, but as you get older, you will find that you sometimes "forget" things. I learned a lot at that race, and have taken steps to not make any of the mistakes again. I now have a checklist on my phone to go over before each race.

I also converted my rear hub to 14mm thru axle, as well as having the wheel rebuild up around an Arch Ex instead of a crest. The weight difference is so small, I think it would take a PRO to notice. The bike feels perfect now with these changes.

Just wanted to let the OP know that you do not HAVE to run the same wheel up front and in the rear. Many articles I have read actually suggest running a slightly beefier rear wheel than in the front. To each their own.

Here it is BTW with all the changes:

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Tire Bicycle frame Wheel
 
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