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  1. #1
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    Best 26" touring rim currently available?

    I'm building a set of 36-hole, 26" wheels around XT hubs for long distance, expedition style touring. I'll be using rim brakes. What are some of the better options for rims?

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    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    For expedition riding, I would personally recommend the Velocity Cliffhanger. You can obtain it in 32 or 36h patterns. The Cliffhanger is essentially the Aeroheat, but thicker and tougher.

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    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I have used Sun CR18 rims with a great amount of luck -but I have disc brakes so I don't have wear on the rims.

    On my mtb I have Sun Rhynolites with rim brakes for the last 5 years with plenty of use, and I really like them. However, these are wide rims so some touring tyres might have a problem on them.

    Some people have said Sun rims are soft, but personally never had problems with them.

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    Senior Member semperfi1970's Avatar
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    Sun rims cr-18 all the way.
    Its more than just a bicycle, it changed my life.

  5. #5
    Question Authority JoeMan's Avatar
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    I do quite a bit of gravel road biking - some of it very rough and I have never had problems with the Mavic 317 (32 hole). Like Nigeyy I have disc brakes so I do not heat up the rims. I weigh 145 pounds and my bike weighs 32 pounds (REI Safari) so I think the 32 hole is sufficient.

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    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    Salsa Gordo is bomb proof


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    Mavic 719's. I built a set with XT hubs and DT Alpine III spokes. Bomb proof. I weigh 230.

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    The Velocity Cliffhanger is a good choice. It's quite wide, so you get a little more air volume in your tire, the thickness means it will take longer for the rim sidewalls to wear away if you ride in dirt and dust and use rim brakes. The triangular cross section is very stiff and strong. My only objection is that it's a fairly heavy rim, but that's to be expected when you make a rim wide, thick and with a triangle cross section.

  9. #9
    Large and in charge emperorcezar's Avatar
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    I've been running Velocity Psychos for over a year and you can't destroy them. They are a "downhill" rim, and have the weight to backup that claim. It's triple box, double walled, eyeleted. I would strongly recommend it.

    The one issue is that they are wide, and I mean wide. I wouldn't go any thinner than 1.75 on them. I have the marathon pluses (1.75) on it and there was an issue at first getting it to stay at first. It did stay on and there isn't a problem now.

    When they die though, I'm going to try the Sun Rhyno Lites. I think they are of the same quality, but haven't gotten the chance to try them out yet. And they are cheaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emperorcezar View Post
    I've been running Velocity Psychos for over a year and you can't destroy them. They are a "downhill" rim, and have the weight to backup that claim. It's triple box, double walled, eyeleted. I would strongly recommend it.

    The one issue is that they are wide, and I mean wide. I wouldn't go any thinner than 1.75 on them. I have the marathon pluses (1.75) on it and there was an issue at first getting it to stay at first. It did stay on and there isn't a problem now.

    When they die though, I'm going to try the Sun Rhyno Lites. I think they are of the same quality, but haven't gotten the chance to try them out yet. And they are cheaper.
    Mavic EX 721's w/ 36h on my LHT and they are great wheels for tires 1.5" and up to 2.25" (I think)
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  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I'm building a set of 36-hole, 26" wheels around XT hubs for long distance, expedition style touring. I'll be using rim brakes. What are some of the better options for rims?
    Just about any mountain bike rim should do. Width isn't an issue since mountain bike rims take really wide tires on very narrow rims. I run Mavic XC517's that have a crossectional width of 22mm with 2.2" tires. A Mavic XM317, XM 517 or XM717 should fit the bill. The 517 is probably the best value.
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    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
    For expedition riding, I would personally recommend the Velocity Cliffhanger. You can obtain it in 32 or 36h patterns. The Cliffhanger is essentially the Aeroheat, but thicker and tougher.
    + 1 on the cliffhanger XT combo. I routinely abuse them commuting/grocery getting and some light offroad trail riding. They have never came out of true.

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    I have the Aeroheat, seems like a better weight for touring. I have used the Alex DH22 on 700C so it should work just as well on 26". It's a tough rim, and light.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    I have had a pair of Rigida Andra 30 rims on my bike for two years and have never had to true them for that two years, the only exception being after I was hit from behind by a truck. They are carbide coated so I can see them lasting at least another 3 years.

  15. #15
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    +1 for the XM 719s. 225lbs plus gear. Several off road tours and commuting and no problems. At 460 grams, they are a great combination of durability and lightweight.

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    Rigidia is manufactor of my choice. This Mavic I had bad experience, they always break in the warranty period - I get a new one - break again in the warranty period. I don't if I should be happy. The last one I bought in Aug 2008 in Kyoto broke July 2009 in Croatia. Now I shift back again to Rigida Exal [Exal = ex Alesia]. I broke several (7) Mavics than I bought an Alesia rim lived 6 years until a car crash. Had no money got again Mavic (crashed again 4 in 2 years).
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I'm building a set of 36-hole, 26" wheels around XT hubs for long distance, expedition style touring. I'll be using rim brakes. What are some of the better options for rims?
    Great question... I want to replace the alex wheels that came on my 54 LHT. What about hubs?

  18. #18
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    I'm bringing this one back with one final question. Thanks, by the way, for all the suggestions.

    I've narrowed my rim choice down to the Velocity Chukker (600g) and the Mavic XM 719 (475g). They both seem like great, capable rims that most likely will hold up to all kinds of loaded riding, on road and off.

    Two questions: Which is a better choice? And why (three questions, I guess)? Is 125g, or 4.4 ounces, a significant weight difference for a set of rims (I suspect the answer to be along the lines of "if you're riding thousands and thousands of miles, yes.")?

    Thanks again for all the help!

  19. #19
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    For conventional loaded touring the 719 inherits the features of some of the best touring rims ever made. The double eyelets are important to maintaining a light rim that can be built to the spoke tensions required for best durability. The other option is deeper or heavier rims. The 719 has acquired some controversy since it was adopted while mavic dropped arguably better rims from an earlier time. But it still has features found on few other rims (or possibly they are out there on some lesser known brands?)

    4 ounces on a rim is huge because it is rotating weight. Same principle as adding 4 ounces to each shoe, vs 8 ounces to your pack or waistline. exept possibly worse since a rim describes a larger circle than your feet. You can be confident that excellent rims can be made for 475 grams, probably less, and that is in a 700C! So while heavier rims may also serve light rims need not raise concerns if properly made. I tend to prefer downhill rims for touring, or the Dyad Aeroheat clan. These can run to the heavy side, and still make pleasant bikes to ride, but they are not the equal of lighter rims of an earlier time ( have some nos MA2s I am saving for a special bike).

  20. #20
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    Velocity Synergy with offset drilling allows for reduced-dish wheel build.

  21. #21
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    I have had a set of Mavic XC 717 Rims with 36 spokes laced up to XT hubs on my LHT since I built it up in the summer of 08. When they were first built the valve hole was machined a little rough and I had to file it down myself and then put some extra rim tape around it which solved the problem.

    Around the 2,000km mark the front hub started making a lot of strange noise and there was an issue with the bearings and caps or something, and I had to have the hub body replaced (this was done while I was in NZ and I wasn't entirely sure what the actual issue was, but this is what I remember being told by the mechanic).

    I have put about 7,500km on them, mostly on pavement, but around 500km on gravel/dirt roads, and maybe 50 of light mountain bike trails.

    Love the rims, and apart from the front hub I have had no problems. I feel confident riding on beat up back roads and decent MTB trails if I am not too heavily loaded.

  22. #22
    Large and in charge emperorcezar's Avatar
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    Is 125g, or 4.4 ounces, a significant weight difference for a set of rims (I suspect the answer to be along the lines of "if you're riding thousands and thousands of miles, yes.")?
    In my humble experience, I've found the following to be true. A heavier rim (for touring applications) results in less acceleration in that you have a heavier object to spin, but they have more inertia. Meaning that once your are up to speed, they will stay at speed with less effort. It's a trade off.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I'm bringing this one back with one final question. Thanks, by the way, for all the suggestions.

    I've narrowed my rim choice down to the Velocity Chukker (600g) and the Mavic XM 719 (475g). They both seem like great, capable rims that most likely will hold up to all kinds of loaded riding, on road and off.

    Two questions: Which is a better choice? And why (three questions, I guess)? Is 125g, or 4.4 ounces, a significant weight difference for a set of rims (I suspect the answer to be along the lines of "if you're riding thousands and thousands of miles, yes.")?

    Thanks again for all the help!
    I'd be curious what the relative wall thicknesses are of those two rims. In other words with the Cliffhanger do you get insane vertical strength but the same rim wear as the 719? My gut sense is that anything that is going to knock a 719 out of round is going to be doing a hell of a lot of damage on the rim bead/brake surface of the Cliffhanger that would lead one to rim replacement anyway. I'll defer to folks with actual experience on the matter but I'd be more inclined to have a rim with thick sidewalls like less expensive Rigida , Alex or use a Chukker rim than a quasi aero rim like the Cliffhanger where the extra metal isn't where the damage occurs, on the braking surface and bead.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Velocity Synergy with offset drilling allows for reduced-dish wheel build.
    This^^

    built really well...

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    "A heavier rim (for touring applications) results in less acceleration in that you have a heavier object to spin, but they have more inertia. Meaning that once your are up to speed, they will stay at speed with less effort. It's a trade off."

    I'm no physicist, but I think this is wrong. The rim is harder to accelerate, but pedaling is the process of constantly accelerating the rim to keep up to speed. Just stop pedaling for a few beats and you will have to visibly accelerate the rim back up to speed. This process is constant. I assume you are right about the extra inertia, but it does not seem to be an even trade to me. It is a widely accepted rule that wheel weight is net punishing and significant, so presumably someone can explain why.

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