I want to do a tour on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I've decided I want to do it on a 29er (it's an excuse to build a new bike, right?) I ordered a 29er frame from Performance for $99 (hard to pass up) and I'm going to take a year or more to build it up.
I'll be carrying camping gear, clothes, etc. I want strong wheels - especially in the rear. I've had problems breaking spokes on a road touring bike before and it's a drag. It would be worse on this route where I could be a few days' ride from civilization.
I've done a little research on the internet. Leonard Zinn recommends 36-spoke wheels on a 29er for big guys. I'm 6'4" and weigh 200 lbs. so I qualify. He mentions Mavic 719 rims.
I've looked for 36-spoke 29er wheels available for purchase and I'm not having much luck. So I got to thinking, why don't I just build them myself? I built the wheels on my latest tourer (using Mavic 719's) and I've taken them on 3 multi-week tours with a big load and haven't broken a spoke.
I'd appreciate any advice on this topic. Can I use the same rims as I'd use for my 700 road wheels? What are some good hubs? I want disc brakes. What size spokes do you use for discs?
While I'm on the subject, do you have any suggestions for tires? I want knobbies, but with excellent flat protection.
You can probably guess that light weight isn't a priority. Durability is the most important thing. I'd like to have a trouble free tour and not get stuck in the middle of nowhere in the woods with a catastrophic failure. I'll be carrying plenty of weight, so a few extra ounces in a wheelset isn't going to make much of a difference.
Thanks in advance!