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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My teammate and I are racing TransRockies this August. It's the first time racing it, or anything like it for both of us. We're both just 40 years old, we will be one of the 81 men 80+ (combined age) teams. We're both on light 4" bikes, Turner Fluxes. I'm trying to figure out what wheels and tires I'm bringing. I'm big; 6'2", 204lbs. Money is snug, and I already have a fairly fresh DT 340 / 32h / XR-4.2D wheelset. DT-Swiss calls it "340-XC", and claimed weight is 1694g a set. I can convert it to tubeless with the DT-Swiss kit, which is much like Stans, and race them. I am drawn to making the wheels a bit lighter since there's 22,000 meters of climbing in the race. (Before you rag on me, there's not much fat on me. Yes I know I'm big. I have been training my ass off this year.) I can get a good price (below cost) on the XTR (WH-M975) wheelset, the Fulcrum Red Metal wheels and the next-lighter DT-Swiss XR-1450 wheelset (240 hubs, 28h, 4.1D single-eyelet rims, 1450g). Another option is 240 hubs, 28h supercomps, Mavic 819 rims. Chris King, Mavic and other brands are out of the picture for me, at the moment.

The XL Flux with 340-XC wheels, inner tubes and Maxxis Advantage 26 x 2.25" tube tires is 27.5lbs at the moment.

What would you recommend, run the wheels I've got or one of the lighter sets? I can swing the lighter wheels, just means trade-offs elsewhere.

My teammate and I are also thinking of racing the Racing Ralph 26 x 2.25" UST tires, and maybe bringing some other tires in case of rain & mud. The RR 2.25" UST is almost exactly the same (claimed) weight as the Maxxis Advantage 2.25 tube tire I'm currently running. We'd run UST tire + sealant + conversion kit or UST rims, depending on wheelset.

I'll probably post this on the TransRockies forum too, and maybe in the wheels and tires section. Hoping someone who's done the race can give me real feedback.

Thanks,

Morgan (obsessing)
 

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Not having ridden the race, I would only mention that at your size, I would steer clear of XTR freehubs. I generally love Shimano stuff, but break their freehubs every time I try another one. I pedal hard, but you outweigh me by nearly 40 lbs.

IMO, at your weight, the DT swiss hubs you already own (and their star ratchet freehub mech) are the best bet this side of CK's.

"To finish first, you must first finish!" (some famous race car driver, I think)
 

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I'm doing transrockies this year as well. I settled on the 2008 XT wheelset (WH-M775) and have been really happy with the choice, maybe not as light as some of the others, but I blew my budget for the year with darn race fees.

I'm struggling with tire choices. I've been running the new python tubeless ready tires this spring and they grip well and are light, but don't seem durable enough he rocky terrain we have here in north idaho. I've been getting tears in the tread of the rear tire that have been difficult to seal up, I finally had to put a tube in the tire yesterday after a particularly large tear.

Any suggestions for a more durable, light, fast tire? Has anyone had good luck with Racing Ralph durability in rocky conditions?
 

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my .02.....forgo a little weight savings for durability....you'll be hittin' epic days at race pace......you and your bike will brutalized, put thru the ringer and hung out to dry....it'll be AWESOME.....:)

i weighed about 45lbs less than you and basically killed my shock, fork, 2 sets of tires, a set of wheel bearings, BB bearings, pedals and handlebars for my stage race (i crash alot though....ugh)....

good luck Morgan!...i am jealous.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CHUM said:
my .02.....forgo a little weight savings for durability....you'll be hittin' epic days at race pace......you and your bike will brutalized, put thru the ringer and hung out to dry....it'll be AWESOME.....:)

i weighed about 45lbs less than you and basically killed my shock, fork, 2 sets of tires, a set of wheel bearings, BB bearings, pedals and handlebars for my stage race (i crash alot though....ugh)....

good luck Morgan!...i am jealous.....
Damn, Chum! Thanks. I guess I'll skip the lightweight wheels, tho I did just score some 28H 819 rims. I was thinking 28H 819 + DT 240S hubs, but I'll just run the ones I've got. Durability is really important, you're right. I built a new bike this spring mostly because of TransRockies.

I am jonesing to get some training in but this smoke is keeping me off the bike. See you at Napa Skyline Sunday?

Morgan
 

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morganfletcher said:
Damn, Chum! Thanks. I guess I'll skip the lightweight wheels, tho I did just score some 28H 819 rims. I was thinking 28H 819 + DT 240S hubs, but I'll just run the ones I've got. Durability is really important, you're right. I built a new bike this spring mostly because of TransRockies.

I am jonesing to get some training in but this smoke is keeping me off the bike. See you at Napa Skyline Sunday?

Morgan
no skyline for me.....finishing up the CCCX series.....in which i did abysmal (i'll take 5th overall sport SS).....i am just not an XC guy...those dudes are fast....i am not.....

really looking forward to your write-up......gonna be a sweeeet adventure for ya :thumbsup:

PS - i'm off the bike due to smoke myself....ugh
 

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having wrenched at 2 tr races now don't think to mucxh about it. Unless your contending for an overall finish worry more about durability over weight. >40 gr is not worth 3 flats and a tire boot going into elkfords rocky sections.

Big success with kenda small block 8's, larsen TT, and crossmarks.

just my two bits
 

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Tire choice

I live on the transrockies route and I am registered and am training for BC Bike Race next year, so I have ridden much of the terrain that you will ride. I have the following advice:

Go with whatever wheelset you are comfortable with - I am a clydesdale as well 6'4" 210 and I ride 240s on Stan's Arch rims. The tubeless works wonderfully. The biggest issue you can have out in the alpine is pinch flats. The lower tire pressure will make your ride way easier.

Regarding tires, many people are out on nevegals, nobby nics, and crossmarks for cross county. 2.1 is plenty wide for the conditions. I have been testing the crossmarks this summer and I think they would be ideal for the TR. Very fast on the roads, but solid in the loose over hardpack climbs. I run non-UST stan's converted tires which means they run about 570 grams.

The racing ralph's might be good for some days, but I would not recommend them for what they have planned the first day!!! Get ready to get back to nature as the day one route is truly epic. Stay away from the small block 8's - they are just too small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
FWIW I thought about building up some light wheels and tires, but went too light and sold the parts before I built them. I will be rolling on DT-Swiss 340-XC wheels with the DT-Swiss tubeless kit and UST Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.2" tires, and a little Stan's sealant. We'll bring some extra tires in case we need them. The wheels should be sturdy enough and hopefully the tires work out. I ran the same casing (Nobby Nics) at Downieville a couple times, so I think they are tuff enuff. Will find out. :)

We leave tomorrow, wrist fracture notwithstanding!

Morgan
 

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Good luck man, I volunteered for the TR in '06 and my buddy(who I met there) is going back to sweep trail this year.
Bring some earplugs if you can't sleep through train whistles 50 meters away from camp.
This race is on my list of things to do.
 

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Hi Morgan,

first time TR participant as well.... for the wheelset, I can't say anything as I am probably a good 40lbs lighter than you are. I agree with what was said before though. Unless you're competing for a position in the top 15, durability is the main words as TR is the equivalent of a whole riding season compressed in 7 days.
For tires, I live in Alberta, so I ride terrain that is probably similar to what we are going to find, and I have had good luck with the Little Albert and Smart Sam. As you, I have tried the RR 2.1 and 2.25 and I didn't like them for our terrain. The sidewall is just too weak for the rocky terrain that we have. What also surprised me was that the Smart Sam grip better than the RR and roll faster as well.
When I was shopping for tires, I got recommended the Larsen TT and the Crossmark. Another tire that seems to do well in TR is the Hutchinson Python. A couple of guys on the TR forums are raving about them.
I personally like the Maxxis Advantage in 2.1 and I will be bringing one to swap with the Smart Sam if we get some rain as it has much better traction in wet conditions, but it is too aggressive for dry conditions.

The course looks brutal this year with almost 9'000ft of climbing on day 2.... Good luck to you and see you next week.
 

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morganfletcher said:
Damn, Chum! Thanks. I guess I'll skip the lightweight wheels, tho I did just score some 28H 819 rims. I was thinking 28H 819 + DT 240S hubs, but I'll just run the ones I've got. Durability is really important, you're right. I built a new bike this spring mostly because of TransRockies.
If you want a super light wheelset that is virtually indestructible, check out Spinergy Xyclone Disc wheels (disc refers to disc brake compatible, not disc wheels). I have a set and they're unbelievable. 1610 grams for the set, with miniscule rolling resistance (I've spun the front while on my stand, walked away and come back after two minutes, and it's still spinning). I've beat the crap out of them on seriously rocky and rooty trails for a couple of years and they still run perfectly true. Take a look at the reviews on mtbr
http://www.mtbr.com/cat/tires-and-wheels/wheelset/spinergy/xyclone-disc/PRD_365383_157crx.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I ended up going with the wheels I had, and some nice tubeless Schwalbe tires.

Wheels were DT-Swiss 340-XC factory-built, based on 340 hubs, DT Competition Spokes and XR-4.2D rims. They are 32-hole, 3X front and rear. I used the ti RWS skewers, the DT-Swiss tubeless conversion kit and Schwalbe 2.2 UST Racing Ralph tires. They were trouble-free and worked fine. I suppose a lighter wheel might have been OK. I did see some very light wheels and tires there. One of the guys who won my field (80+ men) did the race on Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels with Small Block-8 tires. He's almost as big as me. I saw tires as light as the Stans Crow on some race bikes, but with much smaller riders. Day 5 featured a rock garden descent that was pretty crazy. I rode it, went as fast as I could and I'd lost some air in my rear tire after it ended. I figured the tire had burped, pumped it up and we finished the stage. The next morning I saw three white dots on my rear tire where Stans fluid had sealed tiny punctures. It still had 35psi (my pressure all week) in it so I raced two more days on it without touching it. The rear wheel also withstood a derailleur in the spokes.

What many others told me - durability first, performance second - is good advice. We tented it, so couldn't bring spares. If I had an RV following me and extra wheels, I might have gone with racier stuff. Wish I was racier. :)

Here's my report:

http://www.hahaha.org/blog/morgan/?p=29

FWIW the cranks barely turn now. (Shimano XT cups) This bike will get a full overhaul. It saw plenty of water.

Morgan
 
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