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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Using MTB wheels on Touring bike?

    I just bought a Specialized AWOL touring bike and the stock wheel gave on the first ride. LBS is going to try and get credit from Specialized to put towards a new wheelset. They are suggesting a put MTB wheels on the bike. Stan's 32 spoke MTB wheels or Roam 24/28 bladed MTB wheels. The bike has disc brakes on it.

    I'm assuming they will give me a better deal on those wheelsets because they have them in stock, but I don't know much about either one. They seem to think the bladed lower spoke Roam's would be stronger than the Stan's 32 spoke, triple cross MTB wheels.

    Are their recommendations logical or should I spend some extra coin and buy a set of wheels elsewhere? If so, what?

    For some background info, I'm around 275lbs. I typically ride on a road bike with a set of DT Swiss RR440 rims with DT Revolution 2.0/1.5 double butted spokes with alloy nipples. This setup is fine for me on a 19 lbs carbon fiber bike. So 275 + 19 on those wheels & 25mm tires = no problem.

    This AWOL probably weighs around 25 lbs as it sits. I'm planning on added front and rear racks to it with bags. I'm guessing loaded it will add another 30 lbs to the bike and that is likely overestimating. I suspect it will come in lighter than that. I plan on running 28mm Specialized Armadillo Elites on it when I do my light touring. So 275 + 25 + 30 on 28mm tires = what wheels?

  2. #2
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    MTB wheel, 29er or touring wheel, it's all in a sticker, you can use the same wheel for each application. I use DT TK 7.1 rims on my hybrid with 28mm tires, but have also used them for MTBing with 29x2.25 & touring with 37mm tires, no difference in the rim for any of the tire choice.

    The build is important here, why did yours fail, can they not be trued/re-built?

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    Touring bike wheels need fixability, so should use fairly std components.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    The build is important here, why did yours fail, can they not be trued/re-built?
    LBS called it a bad day at the factory. Poor build, rim is shot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Touring bike wheels need fixability, so should use fairly std components.
    I was thinking the same thing. Blades don't seem to fall into that category.

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    24/28 spoke on a touring bike? For a 275 pound rider? I dunno 'bout that...

    Personally, I'd be looking for 36 spoke wheels for the use and weight load you're suggesting. And I'd definitely be looking into Jim's question: Why did the original wheels fail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    LBS called it a bad day at the factory. Poor build, rim is shot.
    Poor build? Like poor spoke tension? That's easily correctable before the wheel gets damaged, and I'd expect the LBS to check that before selling a bike, especially to a big guy like you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Whatever the reason, the wheel is shot. They're standing behind it and making it right, that's all I care about.

    But from here, I'm trying to get into the right wheelset so this never happens again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Go conservative and get 36 spoke hubs and stout rims like the mavic a719 or the velocity dyad. If you want something even more bulletproof, go with the velocity NoBS rim.

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    I've come to prefer certain mountain bikes for distance riding and partly because of the wheels. What I do isn't exactly touring, but rides of 40+ miles with 5 or so pounds of gear are getting somewhat similar.

    What I particularly like about them are the ability to mount wider tires. I find that good balloon tires like Big Apples don't really cause much more fatigue than narrow 700c tires, but they are much more resistant to snakebite flats, ride much better over gravel and dirt, are much more comfortable and controllable on rough pavement and generally just give a more comfortable ride.

    I've had good luck with Rhynolite rims. They're cheap and they're tough and they allow for either rim or disk brakes. I'm a fairly big guy myself at 200 lbs and I've bunny hopped up a lot of curbs on those rims and have sometimes completely flubbed my landings, landing hard on the edge of the curb and not once did it knock them out of true. I taco-ed the rim on an Electra once doing the same thing and used to have to regularly true up a pair of single wall rims that I used to have, but those cheap Rhynolite rims have been great.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Since you have disc brakes, you don't have to worry about keeping a similar width rim to match up with V brakes.
    I put skinny rims on my hybrid and had to add a lot of spacers to move the pads closer to the rim to avoid having the pad slip off the rim toward the spokes. Not totally "ideal".
    Carrying 300 lbs. & touring means you want reliability. Therefore, I'd recommend 36 spokes.
    Sun Rims CR-18 rims are a solid, inexpensive rim that would be a good fit for 28mm tires. DB spokes and Deore quality hubs should make for a relatively inexpensive wheel set suitable for a tandem. IF desired, 32 spokes front should be adequate.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input so far. I found out the wheelset that they LBS is offering is a Stan's Arch EX 29 set:

    Custom Wheelset - Stan's Arch EX 29 Rim with Cartridge Bearing Hub

    Are those any good? I don't know much about Stan's reputation.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Seems a decent bike this Specialized Bicycle Components trying for the same market segment as trek 520

    I know nothing of the hubs SBI has made for them.. Trek has been using Bontrager as a trade name ..

    Mid line Shimano hubs in a 36hole drilling... as the Dominant Component company,
    will be at least able to be serviced in small shops that are not Specialized Brand carrying

    here thats in a different town , a Days ride south. Local is a Trek Dealer.

    Id stay away from exotics on a touring Bike . Rim : Heavy .. People Like Velocity here I built a set with Sun Rhyno the Heavier one , I dont see any More
    the Rhyno Light is more common in 700c/29er that should be OK.

    Need someone to build and ship wheels? Peter White Cycles in sales tax free New Hampshire is well Known..

    But any Bike Shop with a QBP wholesale account can order wheels Made there and shipped when done to the shop

    Peter would be using retail Priced parts, QBP is 1 step further up the food chain so has a cost advantage .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-12-15 at 12:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    Are those any good? I don't know much about Stan's reputation.
    Go mountain biking, and your probably see more Stan's rims than any other brand (the big decals help) The big advantage with Stan's is they are Tubeless ready out the box, not something you may need, but could be useful (they will run with innertubes fine)

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    Last time I built with Stan's ( ZTR Olympic or something like that), I was surprised at the low value for recommended Max spoke tension. While nice from several other angles, I wouldn't want to use them for a high-mileage build.

  16. #16
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    The LBS was recommending 24/28 wheels for touring, at your weight? Terrible advice! I would find a new shop ASAP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    Thanks for the input so far. I found out the wheelset that they LBS is offering is a Stan's Arch EX 29 set:

    Custom Wheelset - Stan's Arch EX 29 Rim with Cartridge Bearing Hub

    Are those any good? I don't know much about Stan's reputation.
    Those look fine but they're pretty light. At your weight I would strongly recommend a well built 36 spoke rear wheel with a rim that weighs at least 450g but somewhere in the 500g range would be better.

    Super light wheels + touring + 275lb rider + racks/bags/etc = broken wheels when you're far from home.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the info so far.

    Does the sturdiness of MTB rims in that role translate to loaded touring? I'm still trying to figure out what makes a 700 road rim different from a 29" MTB rim.

    Also, would I want to use a MTB (XT/XTR) over a road (Ultegra) hub?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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  20. #20
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    To answer your question about hubs, get whatever one matches the O.L.D. of your frame. If you have a mountain bike frame it's going to be 135mm so in that case get a Deore/XT/XTR or other Shimano MTB hub.

    700c and 29er rims are the same size so it's a matter of which rim you're talking about. But usually rims that are labeled "29er" are going to be wider and for disc brakes only. "700c" rims are usually road rims meant for rim brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    Yeah, I'd say those are overkill. Especially the 40h front. Also, I'd want Shimano hubs and not some off-brand.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  21. #21
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Thanks for that info. I called Specialized and they said it was 135mm in the back.

    I built these up on Excel's wheelbuilder:

    Front Wheel

    Shimano XT Front Hub M785 32 Hole $44.95
    Stans NoTubes ZTR Arch EX Rim 29" 32 Hole $79.00 (460 gram)
    DT Swiss Competition 14/15 Gauge Spokes Black 3 Cross $40.00
    DT Swiss 14g Brass $4.48
    Labor $25.00
    Sub Total $193.43
    Less Discount -$16.84
    Total $176.59
    Total Weight 893g

    Rear Wheel

    Shimano XT Rear Hub M785 32 Hole $66.00
    Stans NoTubes ZTR Arch EX Rim 29" 32 Hole $79.00 (460 gram)
    DT Swiss Competition 14/15 Gauge Spokes Black 3 Cross $40.00
    DT Swiss 14g Brass $4.48
    Labor $25.00
    Sub Total $214.48
    Less Discount -$18.95
    Total $195.53
    Total Weight 1058g

    Grand Total $372.12

    The XT hub on the list doesn't specify 6-bolt disc, but I guess they are? I can call them in a bit when they open.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    Anyone know why these are priced so differently? I don't know what a cartridge bearing hub is.

    Custom Wheelset - Stan's Arch EX 29 Rim with Cartridge Bearing Hub

    versus these:

    Stan's NoTubes Arch EX 29" Wheelset - 15mm Thru Axle

  23. #23
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    Anyone know why these are priced so differently? I don't know what a cartridge bearing hub is.

    Custom Wheelset - Stan's Arch EX 29 Rim with Cartridge Bearing Hub

    versus these:

    Stan's NoTubes Arch EX 29" Wheelset - 15mm Thru Axle
    Well, they both were nearly the same price but one of them is on sale now. They both use cartridge bearing hubs but one has a front Thru axle and one has a standard QR front axle. You need to make sure you get the one that works with your fork.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    You probably don't want a 15mm axle???

    Google "cartridge bearing"
    Different from loose ball/cone.

    You haven't stated if the rear is 130 or 135mm spacing.

  25. #25
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    Thanks for that info. I called Specialized and they said it was 135mm in the back.

    I built these up on Excel's wheelbuilder:

    Front Wheel

    Shimano XT Front Hub M785 32 Hole $44.95
    Stans NoTubes ZTR Arch EX Rim 29" 32 Hole $79.00 (460 gram)
    DT Swiss Competition 14/15 Gauge Spokes Black 3 Cross $40.00
    DT Swiss 14g Brass $4.48
    Labor $25.00
    Sub Total $193.43
    Less Discount -$16.84
    Total $176.59
    Total Weight 893g

    Rear Wheel

    Shimano XT Rear Hub M785 32 Hole $66.00
    Stans NoTubes ZTR Arch EX Rim 29" 32 Hole $79.00 (460 gram)
    DT Swiss Competition 14/15 Gauge Spokes Black 3 Cross $40.00
    DT Swiss 14g Brass $4.48
    Labor $25.00
    Sub Total $214.48
    Less Discount -$18.95
    Total $195.53
    Total Weight 1058g

    Grand Total $372.12

    The XT hub on the list doesn't specify 6-bolt disc, but I guess they are? I can call them in a bit when they open.
    This looks good to me. I'd go with a heavier rear rim, or 36 spokes on the back, or both. But if the wheels are hand built by a competent builder you could be ok with that setup.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

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