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  1. #1
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Stupid @#($*&@#$ wheel!!!

    Okay, so this morning my Mavic MA3 rear rim cracked at a spoke eyelet. This wheel has been nothing but trouble, 8 or so broken spokes, had to retension it a couple of months ago (which I thought had solved the problems for good), now it's done for...

    So, I need to figure out a cheap but tough replacement wheelset. I'm going to replace the front wheel as well because I've heard such bad reports about the MA3s from others as well. I'm trying to keep the total price low. I'm also trying to avoid Mavic in general!!!

    * 36H Alex Adventurer rims ($46/pair) with Shimano Deore M475 disc hubs ($42/pair) + about $40 for spokes - I could upgrade to LX non-disc hubs for about $20 more... any thoughts on that??
    * 36H Alex DM18 rims ($40/pair) with Shimano Deore M475 disc hubs ($42/pair) - The DM18 rims are heavier but cheaper than the Adventurers... how do they compare?
    * Pre-built 36H Sun CR18 rims with Shimano Alivio 8/9 speed hubs (only $80 total) - Claimed to be hand built by the seller: http://shop.greatdealsonbikes.com/me...tegory_Code=HY
    * Pre-built Sun CR18 rims with 32H Deore non-disc hubs and DT spokes ($120/pair)
    * Pre-built Sun WTB XC rims with 32H Deore non-disc hubs and DT spokes ($120/pair)

    Any thoughts on what I should choose, or where I should choose to spend more money? Any reason *not* to use disc hubs? I know they add a bit of dish to the front wheel, but that doesn't seem to be a huge issue.

    The $80 Sun CR18 with Alivio hubs seems to be an awfully good deal, but I dunno about those cheap hubs. Then again, I've never had any problems with cheap hubs.

    Hmm...
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  2. #2
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Ah, yes. You've worried about this coming for awhile now, eh?
    I take it this is for your "touring" (relatively-speaking) bike.

    If your bike has 135mm-spaced dropouts (I assume you do, since all the hubs you mentioned are MTB hubs), I'd just go for the CR18/Alivio wheelset. You know enough to tension them up perfectly, and the Alivio hubs will be fine if you take care of them.

    Does your frame have disc attachments? I don't see much purpose in disc brakes except on mountain bikes used in muddy conditions.

  3. #3
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    Sun seems to be where Mavic would like to be from my reading of various lists. Generally, you shouldn't go wrong with the CR18s, and if you can go with the Deore over Alivio, then do so.

    I have had a less than satisfactory experience with Alex rims.
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  4. #4
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Ah, yes. You've worried about this coming for awhile now, eh?
    I take it this is for your "touring" (relatively-speaking) bike.

    If your bike has 135mm-spaced dropouts (I assume you do, since all the hubs you mentioned are MTB hubs), I'd just go for the CR18/Alivio wheelset. You know enough to tension them up perfectly, and the Alivio hubs will be fine if you take care of them.

    Does your frame have disc attachments? I don't see much purpose in disc brakes except on mountain bikes used in muddy conditions.
    Indeed, I guess I've had this coming! I gotta say, this wheelset was absolutely the worst $100 I've ever spent in terms of the grief it's given me It's amazing how many reports I've read of cracked MA3s.

    I'm planning to spread the dropouts to 135 mm, it's lugged steel so no big issues there. I don't have disc attachments, but I figure since the hubs are only about $5 extra, it might be worth it for future-compatibility. Then again, that may just be silly.
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  5. #5
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    I could upgrade to LX non-disc hubs for about $20 more... any thoughts on that??
    .
    If it comes down to this choice, I'd spend the extra $20. The extra bulk that's on disc-compatible hubs adds a fair amount of weight. For $20 that's a good bit of weight savings for the money (not to mention the upgrade from Deore to LX, which I have no idea if there's any meaningful difference in quality there). I'm certainly no weight weenie, and it doesn't sound like you are either, but hauling around a disc hub without disc brakes is just hauling dead, useless weight-

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Sun seems to be where Mavic would like to be from my reading of various lists. Generally, you shouldn't go wrong with the CR18s, and if you can go with the Deore over Alivio, then do so.

    I have had a less than satisfactory experience with Alex rims.
    Thanks, Rowan. I've gotten the same good vibe about the CR18s. What were your issues with the Alex rims? Quality control in terms of roundness and trueness, or cracking, or what?
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  7. #7
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Could you go with CR18's and road-spaced rear hub?
    Or, take a couple washers out of the non-drive-side axle of the MTB hub and redish the wheel slightly, with hub spacing at 132mm or so.

    I don't think disc is worth it because I don't see them as being worth it on a road bike, in principle.

  8. #8
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked
    but hauling around a disc hub without disc brakes is just hauling dead, useless weight-
    +1
    Plus, if I'm not mistaken, you would need to add some way to attach the disc brake calipers, probably welded (brazed) and that would require some paint touch-up.

  9. #9
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Could you go with CR18's and road-spaced rear hub?
    Or, take a couple washers out of the non-drive-side axle of the MTB hub and redish the wheel slightly, with hub spacing at 132mm or so.
    Absolutely, I could easily respace the rear hub. Basically the hub spacing is a non-issue for me... I can spread the frame or redish the wheel as needed.

    I don't think disc is worth it because I don't see them as being worth it on a road bike, in principle.
    Yeah, you and everyone else seem to be in agreement on this. And there's nothing wrong with my current canti brakes, so I suppose I oughta just forget about disc hubs!
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  10. #10
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    +1
    Plus, if I'm not mistaken, you would need to add some way to attach the disc brake calipers, probably welded (brazed) and that would require some paint touch-up.
    Plus disc brakes change up the force requirements on forks, a lot. Typical fork blades bear very little bending force because that's all handled by the brakes where they attach higher up. Forks for disc brakes need to be designed differently, so you can't just braze attachments onto any steel fork.

  11. #11
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Lemme throw another rim into the mix: Sun Rhyno Lite. They're slightly more expensive than Sun CR18s, and lighter. How do they compare in toughness?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Rhyno Lite's are very tough but they weigh more than CR-18's. 565g vs. 484g in 700c size. They're 5mm wider too so that might limit your tire choices.

  13. #13
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Lemme throw another rim into the mix: Sun Rhyno Lite. They're slightly more expensive than Sun CR18s, and lighter. How do they compare in toughness?
    This all depends on what you're going to use the wheelset for. Loaded touring through Nepal? Two-day, one-night rides in the D.C. area? What sort of terrain, load, etc?

    36-hole CR-18 should be plenty durable, and I was also under the impression that the Rhyno Lite was heavier than the CR-18.

    Unless you're building a performance-touring wheelset, I'd just go with the CR-18 + Alivio, and I think they'll be plenty durable and you can't beat the price.

  14. #14
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Rhyno Lite's are very tough but they weigh more than CR-18's. 565g vs. 484g in 700c size. They're 5mm wider too so that might limit your tire choices.
    Ah thanks, I couldn't find any info on the RL width. Since I'm gonna run 28-35 mm tires, the CR18s are a better choice.
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  15. #15
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Unless you're building a performance-touring wheelset, I'd just go with the CR-18 + Alivio, and I think they'll be plenty durable and you can't beat the price.
    I agree. As Retro Grouch said, the Rhyno-Lites are heavier and wider. In 700c, I imagine they're used mostly on 29" mountain bikes, as the 26" Rhynos are good, tough rims for mountain biking.......And you probably already know this, but despite what the seller says about the wheels being "handbuilt", I wouldn't be surprised if the wheels need truing right out of the box, maybe even a complete re-tensioning. But heck, at that price, it's still a deal-

  16. #16
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked
    I agree. As Retro Grouch said, the Rhyno-Lites are heavier and wider. In 700c, I imagine they're used mostly on 29" mountain bikes, as the 26" Rhynos are good, tough rims for mountain biking.......And you probably already know this, but despite what the seller says about the wheels being "handbuilt", I wouldn't be surprised if the wheels need truing right out of the box, maybe even a complete re-tensioning. But heck, at that price, it's still a deal-
    Yeah, I emailed them to ask if they can do Deore LX hubs instead. If they're really built-to-order, that should be no problem since they've got Deore LX wheelsets in the MTB section And if not, well I guess I'll have to retension them. I certainly don't want to repeat the fiasco of this MA3 wheelset
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  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Plus disc brakes change up the force requirements on forks, a lot. Typical fork blades bear very little bending force because that's all handled by the brakes where they attach higher up. Forks for disc brakes need to be designed differently, so you can't just braze attachments onto any steel fork.
    Actually forks do experience a lot of bending. The moment is defined by drawing a line between the caliper mounting-point and the tyre's contact-patch. The torque twisting the fork backwards is then the braking-force at the surface pushing back multiplied by the distance to the calipers.

    Disc brakes with the braking-surface closer to the axle results in a shorter moment. However, in order to generate the same braking-force and torque, they have to apply a much larger clamping force at the disc.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-13-06 at 06:52 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Thanks, Rowan. I've gotten the same good vibe about the CR18s. What were your issues with the Alex rims? Quality control in terms of roundness and trueness, or cracking, or what?
    Out of true and round. It was extraordinary, but I kept breaking spokes. Even after replacing them all with good ones. And even after "retiring" it by putting it on my FG with no dish -- a broken spoke within 100km. No other wheel I have built has caused as much grief. They were standard fit on the Fuji, and I have subsequently read of several other owners of later Touring models suffering similar spoke breakages.
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  19. #19
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Out of true and round. It was extraordinary, but I kept breaking spokes. Even after replacing them all with good ones. And even after "retiring" it by putting it on my FG with no dish -- a broken spoke within 100km. No other wheel I have built has caused as much grief. They were standard fit on the Fuji, and I have subsequently read of several other owners of later Touring models suffering similar spoke breakages.
    Sounds a lot like this dearly departed MA3 rim... yech!!
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  20. #20
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    I've actually had zero problems with Alex rims (except one that taco'd after I went straight into a stop sign), but the CR18s with Alivio hubs sound like a good deal, even if you need to do a little work on them.
    Also, if you end up getting 135mm spaced hubs, you probably don't need to actually cold set the frame or anything like that...it's pretty easy to flex the dropouts apart by 5mm.
    It seems like it's a choice between an $80 wheelset you might have to work on versus a $120 wheelset that you built yourself and the strength of which you are confident in.
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  21. #21
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reve_etrange
    I've actually had zero problems with Alex rims (except one that taco'd after I went straight into a stop sign), but the CR18s with Alivio hubs sound like a good deal, even if you need to do a little work on them.
    Gotcha! Yep, I'm leaning heavily towards the CR18+Alivios because they're so cheap... unless craigslist comes through for me and somebody responds to my wanted ad with a pair.

    Also, if you end up getting 135mm spaced hubs, you probably don't need to actually cold set the frame or anything like that...it's pretty easy to flex the dropouts apart by 5mm.
    It seems like it's a choice between an $80 wheelset you might have to work on versus a $120 wheelset that you built yourself and the strength of which you are confident in.
    Yeah, the thing is my frame is currently at 126 mm and I'm running 130 mm hubs, so I think I'll have to spread it for 135. I'll probably try to spread to 132 so that I can run either 130s or 135s easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by reve_etrange
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    Dude you rock! Stay tuned for the automatic Bike Code encoder/decoder
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  22. #22
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Yeah, the thing is my frame is currently at 126 mm and I'm running 130 mm hubs, so I think I'll have to spread it for 135. I'll probably try to spread to 132 so that I can run either 130s or 135s easily.


    Dude you rock! Stay tuned for the automatic Bike Code encoder/decoder
    You should have the dropouts aligned when you do the spreading, otherwise you'll break axles.

    I just got my encoder/decoder in a box of Lucky Charms!
    Wanna borrow it?

  23. #23
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    You should have the dropouts aligned when you do the spreading, otherwise you'll break axles.
    Yeah, I've heard that can be an issue... though 126 mm to 135 mm is only about 1 degree change in dropout angle. Hmm.
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  24. #24
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    Why don't "you" just replace the rims on your current set of wheels? Buy the CR18 rims, align them correctly with the MA3's and tape them together, switch the spokes over (Use new nipples), and true/dish/tension (Or have a shop do it). Inexpensive, good result, and no spreading/aligning the drop-outs.

  25. #25
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gruppo
    Why don't "you" just replace the rims on your current set of wheels? Buy the CR18 rims, align them correctly with the MA3's and tape them together, switch the spokes over (Use new nipples), and true/dish/tension (Or have a shop do it). Inexpensive, good result, and no spreading/aligning the drop-outs.
    Yep, I've considered just rebuilding the rear wheel with a spare 32H rim I've got sitting around, and continue to push my luck with the front rim. Free is good However, the hubs are 105 which are good but not so well-sealed, to the point that I've had to repack the rear twice in just about 1.5 years... so I'm hoping that by going to MTB hubs I'd get better water/dirt resistance.
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