Fax Transport Specialist
2nd set of wheels for off-road
I need a 2nd wheelset. The roughest thing I see is light singletrack, small roots or occasional rock/branch. I'd probably dismount and carry the bike over anything larger than a curb. I think I do a decent job absorbing the bumps I can see, but sometimes one will catch me by surprise. The hardest impacts feel comparable to riding off a 6" curb, which I'd like to be able to do occasionally (and bunny hop small obstacles).
I weigh 135 lbs, the bike is a fuji cross pro with the stock alex ace-19 wheels/formula hubs/14gauge straight spokes (these will be put to road/rollers use). I'll stick to either 32mm tires or maybe 35mm.
I'm tempted to just get an open pro/ultegra setup (looking at bicycle wheel warehouse), but I'm wondering if I can go with something lighter to help when I carry the bike. I can save weight in hubs, spokes (fewer/fancier/radial?), or both, but I don't know how much I'll save or what I can get away with before durability becomes an issue. I'm open to any suggested combinations though.
The OpenPro/Ultegra's are always a great option, and are in fact what I ride on for most of my singletrack/fireroad excursions. A lot of times though, I find myself wishing for something a little wider to give the tire a rounder, fatter profile, something like the Salsa Delgado Cross, Sun CR18 or WTB Dual Duty. The downside of course, is that the brakes have to be readjusted for the new rim width compared to the stock rims.
I can be as much of a weight weenie as the next guy, but if your only concern is carrying the bike, I wouldn't worry about going with the UOPs.
The UOPs come in around 1800 grams. If you went for something like the exploding Mavic R-SYS wheels instead, those would be around 1360 grams. So you'd save maybe a pound (not counting the weight of your wallet). If you got something more reasonable like the Mavic Kysrium SL, you'd only save about two-thirds of a pound (300 grams).
Assuming you've got a 20 pound bike, that's like a 3 to 5 percent change. If you're racing, it might cost you a couple of seconds. If you're out riding in the woods for fun, it still might cost you a couple of seconds, and you'd have to carry extra weight on the order of magnitude of a half empty water bottle.
Considering that the alternative is carrying the 20 pound bike a couple of miles out of the woods, I'd go with the stronger wheels.
But really, the UOPs are probably much stronger than you need them to be.
you should talk to psimet about wheels
maybe some kinlin deep dish rims with a novatech hub and you would be well on your way to a light and strong wheel
BTW you can run light wheels especially at your size and based on what you are telling us about your riding. wide low pressure tires are great at protecting rims so you dont need the equivalent of a touring wheel for cyclocross