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  1. #1
    I want to ride my bicycle
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    Recommendations for good, strong, lightweight wheels

    There are a plethora of expensive 26" XC wheels out there to choose from. I'd like to get some advice from those that have forked over some cash for new wheels to upgrade from stock to see what their thoughts are.

    Review what you have here so we can get a good list going for those that want to upgrade.

    My 2006 Trek Fuel Ex8 came with great Bontrager tubeless compatible wheels. I'm looking to turn those into road-ish/slicks and get a new lighter, stronger set for trails.

    I'd like to see why my options are for improving on these from budget greatness to over-the-top wheelsets.

    I never shopped for a wheelset like this so edumacate me

    Dub

  2. #2
    Sucks at loife DickyJ's Avatar
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    Budget?
    '06 Stumpjumper HT

    - Toddorado - "I speculate that, like cats, your other bikes(s) have been out at night having unprotected bike sex"

  3. #3
    Just rollin' thru... scelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
    Though I love mountain bikes, rarely would I consider one "beautiful". This one is. I hope you don't mind, but I used this picture as my wallpaper.

  4. #4
    Sucks at loife DickyJ's Avatar
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    Oh, didn't notice you said expensive

    Yeah, I9's ftw
    '06 Stumpjumper HT

    - Toddorado - "I speculate that, like cats, your other bikes(s) have been out at night having unprotected bike sex"

  5. #5
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Just buy some I9s and be a happy camper.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  6. #6
    ****** (can I say this?)
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    Wow, those are about 300$ more expensive than my current bike. I dont think I'v even invested $900 in my MTB and road bike combined.
    “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.”- Jeremy Clarkson

  7. #7
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    I have owned serveral high end wheelsets over the years - my favorite is a good set of hubs hand built to a good set of hoops. Like - king hubs, DT revolution spokes, brass nipples, Mavic rims - beats a pre built set any day (as long as you have a good wheel builder). Also - I always get extra spokes and nipples when they are built - just in case.

  8. #8
    M_S
    M_S is offline
    All Mod Cons M_S's Avatar
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    King with whatever.

  9. #9
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Hope hubs with mavic xm 819 disc's.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rbrsddn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    I have owned serveral high end wheelsets over the years - my favorite is a good set of hubs hand built to a good set of hoops. Like - king hubs, DT revolution spokes, brass nipples, Mavic rims - beats a pre built set any day (as long as you have a good wheel builder). Also - I always get extra spokes and nipples when they are built - just in case.
    Werd. Can't go wrong with CK's or I9's
    1999 Fat Chance Ti
    1998 Rhygin SS road

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scelia View Post
    those flanges are scary looking... ewwww


    i guess i'm a little old school when it comes to wheels.

    i'm actually running 08 racexlite tubless non disc wheels... like em

    but u have the exact opposite bike of me.

    u have suspension and disc brakes... i have full rigid and v-brakes!!! soon to be cantis!!!
    Last edited by jerseybmx; 09-10-08 at 02:46 PM.
    ride fast or die trying.... myspace.com/bmxer4130
    1985 cannondale 600 touring (commuter)
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  12. #12
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smashy View Post
    Hope hubs with mavic xm 819 disc's.
    True dat. What about the I9 All Mountain wheels? They're 1/2 lb lighter...
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  13. #13
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I9's have been mentioned several times already and decided to be different.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  14. #14
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smashy View Post
    I9's have been mentioned several times already and decided to be different.
    Sorry, I should have clarified. I concur with your suggestion of the Mavic/Hope combo. A couple of other people had mentioned the I9 Enduro. However, the I9 All Mountain is ~200g lighter than the Enduro, and is pretty well-suited to XC/AM riding. It was sort of a general question to the group at large.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  15. #15
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    Call Dave at Speed Dream and get a set of handbuilts with King hubs and ZTR355 rims.

    http://www.speeddream.com/mountain_disc.php

  16. #16
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    I have a set of wheels as such:
    DT 4.2 rims, 28/32 hole
    XTR-965 hubs (centerlock)
    Wheelsmith 2.0/1.7 spokes
    Alloy nipples

    Total cost was ~$525 including a new set of XTR-965 brakes. These wheels are LIGHT (~1500-ish grams), and are plenty durable for me. Best money I spent on the bike. If you are careful scrounger you can build some for cheap too.

    They dropped 2 lbs from the bike in the just the wheels! You can feel this! However, just make sure to lace disc wheels 3x ALWAYS. Nasty things happen otherwise.
    I have a personal MPG of 100. That is per gallon of cytomax.

  17. #17
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    I'm kinda old school about this. I prefer wheels with conventional spokes/hubs. No bladed, no straight pull, no black spokes, etc.. This all just makes it simpler/easier to replace a spoke or re-lace a hub. Of course this is all predicated by the fact that I build/work on my own wheels.

    One exception is that I have a set of XTR Centerlock/Mavic 717/DT 15ga. wheels. Not particularly light- I think about 1800 grams. But for $300 I just went ahead and bought them at the time. Strong wheels for sure. I tensioned/trued them up a bit out of the box.
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  18. #18
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
    I'm kinda old school about this. I prefer wheels with conventional spokes/hubs. No bladed, no straight pull, no black spokes, etc.. This all just makes it simpler/easier to replace a spoke or re-lace a hub. Of course this is all predicated by the fact that I build/work on my own wheels.
    You're not old school, just unenlightened. I9 spokes can be replaced without removing rotors, cassettes, or even removing the wheel from the bike.

  19. #19
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    My budget is a lot happier with 'old school'.
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  20. #20
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenhill3 View Post
    My budget is a lot happier with 'old school'.
    That's understandable - imposition of personal budget constraints (even when the OP specifically inquired about "over the top wheelsets") is the bikeforums way. But you could just say that rather than try and manufacture reasons, particularly when you have no direct experience with the product you're denigrating.

  21. #21
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro View Post
    That's understandable - imposition of personal budget constraints (even when the OP specifically inquired about "over the top wheelsets") is the bikeforums way. But you could just say that rather than try and manufacture reasons, particularly when you have no direct experience with the product you're denigrating.
    I denigrated nothing, I gave my own opinion and experience.

    The OP, as I read it, asked for opinions on wheel upgrades, not specifically "over the top wheelsets":


    "I'd like to see why my options are for improving on these from budget greatness to over-the-top wheelsets."

    .
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wheelhot's Avatar
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    Take a look at Stans wheelset.

  23. #23
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    i personally just don't see what is so great about the I9 wheels. Of course, I haven't ridden them. But, they are 1400 grams and $900. Just not the best deal if you can handle building your own lightweight wheels (which most amateur wheel builders can't).

    i am also distrustful of Al spokes screwed into an Al hub. how wouldn't these things seize once exposed to nasty elements?

    and, about convenience, how long does it take to remove a cassette and a centerlock rotor? 5 minutes, maybe.

    for whatever its worth, they look cool though. i'll let other people pay for them until they get cheap enough for me to tinker with.
    I have a personal MPG of 100. That is per gallon of cytomax.

  24. #24
    ****** (can I say this?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mic2377 View Post
    and, about convenience, how long does it take to remove a cassette and a centerlock rotor? 5 minutes, maybe.
    .
    How do you remove the cassette and centerlock rotor on the trail? Cant imagine it would be much fun to carry a wrench and cassette tool in your camel back.
    “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.”- Jeremy Clarkson

  25. #25
    Senior Member wheelhot's Avatar
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    for whatever its worth, they look cool though. i'll let other people pay for them until they get cheap enough for me to tinker with.
    Erm, most likely, I9 wont be dropping their prices cause they a group of loyal devotees and every rider that I know who owns I9, loves it. Not much negative comment so that's why their price will stay the same.

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