Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the whole MTB scene. I'm a roadie that's getting soft and finding it hard to get out when it"s in the 50's. It's funny how that happens, in Ma I rode a cyclo cross set up through the winter, but now here in SoCal 50 is too cold.
Any way I figure I won't mind it on the MTB so I'm going to build me a 29er. I'm going for the Big Mama and I'll build it through E Bay.
Now practicaly speaking how wide do the rims have to be? Most of my riding will be single track and fire roads. I was looking at the Salsa Gordo just because of the width, but at 700 g's they are fairly heavy. The Semi's 5mm thinner and over a 100 g's lighter. These examples are 35 mm and 30 mm respectively. Most other rims are low to mid 20's. Do I really need a 30 - 35 mm rim?
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,608 Posts
mackgoo said:
I'm new to the whole MTB scene. I'm a roadie that's getting soft and finding it hard to get out when it"s in the 50's. It's funny how that happens, in Ma I rode a cyclo cross set up through the winter, but now here in SoCal 50 is too cold.
Any way I figure I won't mind it on the MTB so I'm going to build me a 29er. I'm going for the Big Mama and I'll build it through E Bay.
Now practicaly speaking how wide do the rims have to be? Most of my riding will be single track and fire roads. I was looking at the Salsa Gordo just because of the width, but at 700 g's they are fairly heavy. The Semi's 5mm thinner and over a 100 g's lighter. These examples are 35 mm and 30 mm respectively. Most other rims are low to mid 20's. Do I really need a 30 - 35 mm rim?
No. You don't really need a 30-35mm width rim.

Gordo's are for riding through some serious chunk, bashing rocks, roots, logs, jumps, etc.... (or for riders that happen to weigh the same as an NFL lineman - or ride like one). I would say they might be a bit of overkill for fire roads and XC singletrack. It all depends on how you ride, what you weigh and your intended use. You do mention being "new" to the MTB scene. I think the Gordo might be best classified as a "specialty niche rim" that is outside the realm of your typical 29"er rider's needs. Once you add up the weight of those rims and some big tires and climb a few long fire roads - well.....I wouldn't want to discourage you from quitting mountain biking so soon.:D

If you are only looking at those two Salsa rims, the Semis are what I would go with if I was building a Big Mama (I've got similar travel full suspension 29"ers like the Mama and ride XC). Less rolling weight and certainly a trail worthy rim for your Big Mama. A bit more stout compared to Salsa's earlier rim in this range (the Salsa Delgado Disc was 29mm wide and weighed about 490 - 500g per rim). I've been banging my Delgado Discs for a few years now on my Dos Niner and my full suspension bikes. Mikesee laced them up to my old DT Swiss Hügi 240 hubs with Supercomp spokes. I use them for training, racing, and riding in all types of environments on all of my bikes. I would say the Semi is a better and more modern incarnation of that rim and should provide years of happy service with a good quality wheel build.

Here they are a few years ago:



And on the bike this year...



There are plenty of 24mm wide XC rims for 29"ers, but I have found over the years that a lighter weight XC rim around 28-29mm wide in the outer rim wall to wall measurement gives a very nice profile to the 29"er XC tires. I highly recommend rims in that width range because of it. But that's just me and my personal preference after riding several types of rims over the years. There is nothing wrong with the rims in the 24 - 24.5mm outer rim wall to wall measurement either. That's probably the most common width - especially for XC riding and XC racing. In spite of me liking the wider rims, I ride and race on 24mm rims for most XC races (American Classic disc wheels). You can get a good quality wheelset built for your weight and riding style from very light, to light, to medium to stout - all depending on hub choice, spoke choice, rim choice and $$$$.

Stans NoTubes, Mavic, DT Swiss, Sun, WTB, Velocity, Bontrager, etc... all make quality rims. The key is getting a good wheel builder to lace it all up for you. I've only used Mike at Lacemine.com and Lyle at SpinLite.com for my custom wheel builds. I am a happy and content customer from both. Any quality wheelbuilder will be willing to speak with you on the phone and discuss your needs and recommend wheelbuilds in your price range that match the performance you are seeking. Mike happens to be a 29"er nut as well, so he knows his gear and will do you right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
628 Posts
Mackgoo,

Well done on choosing to go with the Big Mama. I am enjoying mine very much.

I think there is some merit in the wider rims as a few months ago I converted my Velocity Blunts to ghetto tubeless and the wider rims give me better volume. I also feel a bit more secure on a wider rim running tubeless.

The Salsa Big Mama XT Bike from Speedgoat is on some amazing run out special at the moment and has the Salsa Semi rims. I'd be surprised if buying the frame and fishing for parts on eBay could be better.

Either way, you'll love the Big Mama. Have a great Christmas and don't leave us wondering what happened and what it looks like.

Bruce,

Thanks for all the help you've given me to date. I'm interested if you have had tubeless success on the 24mm rims you're racing on or whether you use those tubed? If so, do you use the usual ghetto method as per the Blunt/NanoRaptors? Do you think there is less bead security with more narrow rims, or not an issue?

Thanks and have a great Christmas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,633 Posts
I also will be going to wider rims soon - Stan's Flows, I expect. 28mm wide, with the added benefit of an easy transition to tubeless, if you see that in your future.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,608 Posts
MagicCarpet said:
.....I'm interested if you have had tubeless success on the 24mm rims you're racing on or whether you use those tubed? If so, do you use the usual ghetto method as per the Blunt/NanoRaptors? Do you think there is less bead security with more narrow rims, or not an issue?

Thanks and have a great Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you as well.

In terms of a more traditional 24mm wide XC rim, I run the American Classic disc wheelset tubeless with the NoTubes standard 26" strips (the recommended strip for the 29"er AC wheels according to NoTubes.com) with no problems. I've been running those wheels tubeless for several years and have used Racing Ralphs, Karmas, Crows, Fire XC Pros, Nanos, XR's, Aspens, Ravens, etc... with no problems outside of tearing one of the valve stems away from the strip when I yanked my pump off with too much zeal. Bead security has been the same - although I've never run the AC's ghetto. Only the Blunts and Delgado Discs which I also use with the NoTubes Freeride strips depending on my mood and tire I am converting.

BB

P.S. Sorry mackgoo for getting off track.
 

·
Welcome to the Gem...
Joined
·
813 Posts
i just went from velocity blunts to salsa gordos. i weigh around 200#. best upgrade ever =) i love the wider rim, as it really changes the profile of the tire. big apples for the win on the road... and having a stout up front is something to behold =P
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
29" tyres feel more unstable than 26" tyres to me a 21mm internal 29" wheel seems to ride about the same as a 17mm internal rim tyre role wise ( +7mm's for Rim's generally ish )

35mm rim will square the tyre off and make the bike drag so bad on the rear okay on the front but it'll add some extra volume to the tyre which is nice.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top