So here's the situation. I just bought a trek 950 frame, and I want to build it into my ideal commuter bike, to use in the rain/snow, when I am hauling groceries, when we do longer bike rides on dirt trails or gravel. previously I have had an older bianchi hybrid, which is fine, but I want the athleticism of 26" wheels rather than teh 700 (particularly since my frame size is 15 - 16") and I wanted steel rather than aluminium. So, I now have my frame.
Question #1: wheels. I want to build my wheels. I want a light, narrower rim that isn't super expensive and is sturdy and a smooth hub. Suggestions?
Question #2: drivetrain. My current hybrid has a triple crankset, and I have never used the smallest chainring. It also has a 9-speed drive train, and I've never used the lower gears. I'd like to run a double crankset and 8-speed cassette--is this possible on a mountain bike? Suggestions on what I should use,a dn what shifters to pair with it?