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  1. #1
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    Ideal/dream 700c touring wheels

    What rims, hubs and spokes would you use if you were building your dream/ideal 700c touring wheels.

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    I'm not too big on flashiness, so for loaded touring I'd go with the standard functional combo of XT hub laced with good double- or triple-butted spokes to an A719 rim. Coincidentally, that's what I've got right now, on the rear at least

  3. #3
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    I have actually been wondering this myself. I have not found anything good enough and STRONG enough to replace my stock 700s. I did not have 1 broken spoke and only 2 times that I needed truing the whole tour. I am curious to see what others have to say.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

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    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReelExterminato View Post
    I'm not too big on flashiness, so for loaded touring I'd go with the standard functional combo of XT hub laced with good double- or triple-butted spokes to an A719 rim. Coincidentally, that's what I've got right now, on the rear at least
    Tough to beat unless you want to go more exotic, such as maybe a Phil Woods hub

  5. #5
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    My tourer has 26" wheels, but what the heck, I'll jump in and let everyone flame me.

    Hub: Shimano XTR or Deore XT. In a 700C wheel, I would probably want 36 spokes. My tourer uses 32 spoke 26 " wheels, but since the 700C rims wouldn't be as stiff I would want a few more spokes. My inclination would be to use cantilever or V-brakes on the back for reduced weight and complexity, but both these hubs are available in disc-compatible and non-disc version, so take your pick. My choice of front brake would be a "V' brake, again for simplicity, light weight and good stopping power.

    My tourer has a Schmidt SON generator hub, I like to have lights for bad weather, tunnels and the occasional day when I end up riding after dark for one reason or another. If I were to change to a battery powered lighting system, or a sidewall generator, I would go for XT or XTR front hubs.

    Rim: The Velocity Dyad is nice and wide, and the "V" shape is quite strong.

    Spokes: I like double butted stainless steel spokes, I think that's the most durable setup out there. I also like the Sapim Polyax nipples, which have a rounded seat that sits better in the spoke hole of the rim. Sapim's 14/15/14 spokes with Polyax nipples woould be my first choice. If the spokes will accept a thicker spoke, Sapim's 13/14/13 double butted spokes might be good for extreme loads or extreme conditions, although I don't expect to need that kind of overkill anytime soon.

    Veloplugs are a good lightweight alternative to rim tape. They weigh less and last longer than conventional rim tape, and they take up less space in the rim. This makes changing tires easier, and the extra space means that your tubes have a little more air in them. More air means more cushioning for you and your bike, although I don't think this is going to be too noticeable.

    Rim, spoke and hub materials and design have improved quite a bit over the years, and I'm not convinced that 40, 44 and 48 spoke wheels are as necessary as they used to be. I also think that wider tires and better wheelbuilding technique will reduce the need for high spoke count wheels.

    I build my own wheels, I grease the spoke threads, check the spoke tension repeatedly with a tensiometer, and stress relieve the spokes repeatedly throughout the building process. I think that careful attention to these details is at least as important as having lots of spokes in a wheel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Probably not my ultimate dream wheels, but my "affordable dream" wheels went on my bike today. As you can see I'm not much for flash either.
    Ultegra 36 spoke hubs, Wheelsmith double butted spokes, Velocity Dyad rims, Schwalbe 32mm Marathon tires. If I had 135mm rear dropouts, ReelExterminato's combination looks awfully good.

  7. #7
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    For a modern dream wheel I would go with Phil Wood hubs, 9 speed cassette, Wheelsmith double butted spokes, and Mavic A719 rims.
    Old school I would love to find a brand new set of the old Specialized sealed bearing hubs with Wienman rims. They were as smooth as silk.
    Either would be 40 spoke rears to carry my large self and gear.

  8. #8
    Which bike should I ride? bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Mavic A719 rims, 36 spokes, SON hub on the front, Campy Centaur on the rear. Nearly bomb-proof.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thcerblaretep View Post
    What rims, hubs and spokes would you use if you were building your dream/ideal 700c touring wheels.
    Phil Wood Field Servicable hubs, DT alpine III, Mavic A719 rim front. For the rear I'd either go with an A719 or an off-center rim, like the Aerohead OC or IRD Cadence VSR (although that one is a little light). The off-center drilled rims make for a slightly more symmetrical wheel.

    If you don't like cassette bearings, I'd look for a set of XTR hubs. Light and tough as nails. You can find 36 hole hubs with titanium freehubs for next to nothing if you don't want discs
    Stuart Black
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Phil Wood Field Servicable hubs, DT alpine III, Mavic A719 rim front. For the rear I'd either go with an A719 or an off-center rim, like the Aerohead OC or IRD Cadence VSR (although that one is a little light). The off-center drilled rims make for a slightly more symmetrical wheel.

    If you don't like cassette bearings, I'd look for a set of XTR hubs. Light and tough as nails. You can find 36 hole hubs with titanium freehubs for next to nothing if you don't want discs
    Do the Phil hubs have the necessary chamfered spoke holes to be properly built with the DT Alpine III's?

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Mavic A719 rims laced to Arvon hubs with Dt Swiss spokes would be the ticket although that would mean one would need battery powered lights.

    Arvon Stacey is a local frame builder who also turns out his own hubs which are rather plain on the outside but absolute perfection on the inside... where it counts.

  12. #12
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    What I have
    rebuilt sansin hubs, 36 spokes in front and 40 in the back, 14 gauge spokes, and Mavic A719 rims

    The dream
    Phil Hubs front and back same spokes and rims

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thcerblaretep View Post
    Do the Phil hubs have the necessary chamfered spoke holes to be properly built with the DT Alpine III's?
    Yes, they do. I've got two set built with DT Alpines. There were no issues with installation nor have there been any use issues.
    Stuart Black
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    this is easy. It's any well built wheel for the intended trip. When I was skinny and light it was 36 straight 15g cad plated spokes on Super Champion rims and Campy hubs packed with LOTs of grease. Now it's some variation of box rims , Shimano hubs, butted 14g spokes. But honestly the stock wheels that came with the LHT are damn nice, straight 14g and Alex Adveneturer rims.

    Do Phil hubs still have a little play in them?

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    this is easy. It's any well built wheel for the intended trip. When I was skinny and light it was 36 straight 15g cad plated spokes on Super Champion rims and Campy hubs packed with LOTs of grease. Now it's some variation of box rims , Shimano hubs, butted 14g spokes. But honestly the stock wheels that came with the LHT are damn nice, straight 14g and Alex Adveneturer rims.

    Do Phil hubs still have a little play in them?
    Not that I've noticed.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  16. #16
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    I just built a set with 40 spoke White Ind hubs (Phils are probably a better choice, I like the Rivendell phils in 36 spoke count). Dyad rims, and wheelsmith spokes. I dream of trying a mixed rear wheel of radial spokes on the non-drive side, and 3 cross on the drive side.

    The touring 700C I rode a lot at tandem weights were XT hubs, straight gage spokes, and Alex DH22 rims. Seems to be bombproof.

    What really makes for dream wheels is how they are built, and I pulled every trick in the book on my latest wheels (well three books and the internet).

  17. #17
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    While we idly fantasize, I want my wheels tied and soldered. Not because I think it makes any real difference, but just because it shows that the wheel builder really took their time to do it as best as possible. And I think it looks a little cool.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    While we idly fantasize, I want my wheels tied and soldered. Not because I think it makes any real difference, but just because it shows that the wheel builder really took their time to do it as best as possible. And I think it looks a little cool.
    could tying and soldering a wheel build a wheel thats almost too stiff fro a guy like myself weighing in at 135#. Would it feel harsh unloaded? not that it really matters but out of curiosity?

  19. #19
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    SON front hub and Rohloff rear hub. Velocity Dyad Rims. Triple butted spokes. Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thcerblaretep View Post
    could tying and soldering a wheel build a wheel thats almost too stiff fro a guy like myself weighing in at 135#. Would it feel harsh unloaded? not that it really matters but out of curiosity?
    I can't see how a bit of solder could possibly keep tensioned spokes from moving around if they wanted to, but my understanding is that if they're properly tensioned, the wheel bends very little so tying + soldering wouldn't do anything except for looks, as fuzz said.

    As for harshness, tire deformation is an order or two of magnitude greater than spoke elongation, so there's no such thing as a wheel that's "too stiff". If it's not near it's maximum stiffness, it's undertensioned and weaker than it should be.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf View Post
    Veloplugs are a good lightweight alternative to rim tape. They weigh less and last longer than conventional rim tape, and they take up less space in the rim. This makes changing tires easier, and the extra space means that your tubes have a little more air in them. More air means more cushioning for you and your bike, although I don't think this is going to be too noticeable.
    I tried using Veloplugs when I built my touring wheels and found them to be pretty miserable. Lots of flats! Anywhere the rim wasn't completely smooth (e.g. hole for valve stem, weld joint) I tended to get punctures. After 2-3 weeks of flatting on literally every other ride, I gave up on them and went back to standard, cloth rim tape. Don't think I've flatted since switching back. Won't use Veloplugs again, that's for sure!

    As far as the wheels go, I used Shimano XTR hubs, Velocity Synergy OC rims, DT Competition double-butted spokes, and brass nipples. 32 spokes per wheel, laced 3-cross. Front wheel has a Shimano XT center-lock disc brake rotor.

  22. #22
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    XT or XTR, Dyad, double butted... What I run and what works. Plenty of good options available like already mentioned. I get way more concerned about builds on my roadie.

    If it doesn't break it's a great wheel for touring.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member cabana 4 life's Avatar
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    i have been using alex adventurer 29rs laced to simano 105s and really like them. i love the 105s i think they will last forever and if not there affordable to replace.

  24. #24
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    48h phil wood hubs laced to velocity dyad rims. wheelsmith spokes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    36h phil woods
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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