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  1. #1
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Suggestions for good 29'er touring wheels

    Hi need some suggestions for inexpensive but strong rims/hubs for 29'er, some offroad and on road riding, aiming for a lighter end of the spectrum load on the bike.

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    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    29'er is nothing but a 700c rim. Anything higher spoke count should be fine. You'll probably need 135mm rear hub spacing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    Hi need some suggestions for inexpensive but strong rims/hubs for 29'er, some offroad and on road riding, aiming for a lighter end of the spectrum load on the bike.
    While yes, a 29'er is just a 700c wheel, many 29'er wheels are disc specific, so Aquakitty, you need to be more specific.

    Disc or rim brake?

    What size of tires are you considering?

    What price range?



    The question of strong and inexpensive comes up often for wheels. What's inexpensive to one is high to another.

  4. #4
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    MAVIC SpeedCity is a great wheelset
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=10760
    I've used a set for about 5yrs

    road wheels are not 29er's
    road rims are not 29er rims

    road wheels, and rims do share the same effective rim diameter as a 29er

    the basic difference is rim width

    altho, with a set of SpeedCity's I have used plenty of 29er MTB tyres, all the way up to 29x2.35"
    and of course you can go down to 23c

    here's a decent set for $170
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...s.aspx?sc=FRGL

    the thing with using a skinny rim with a MTB tire, and running the tire around 25psi, and riding the bike hard, is that there is a chance that the tire will slide/creep on the rim, which usually pulls the valve stem until it rips.

    but if you keep the PSI up, and don't run the brakes super hard, the tires will more than likely stay put.

    a wider rim (29er rim), will accommodate MTB tires at lower psi without creeping.
    but then you trade off being able to use a set of 23c road tires.

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    goodness, can't go wrong with a Mavic A719 or a Sun Rhynolite laced to your hub of choice.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
    It's true, man.
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    I rolled 36 hole XT disk hubs with Velocity Dyad rims for the Divide Trail with a 285 lb load - bike, gear and water. I'd take them on singletrack anytime. They'll run tires from 28mm to as wide as your frame will take.

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    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    Hi need some suggestions for inexpensive but strong rims/hubs for 29'er, some offroad and on road riding, aiming for a lighter end of the spectrum load on the bike.
    you should also be thinking of a tubeless conversion... no flats.
    use a latex sealant like Stan's.
    http://www.notubes.com/support_movies.php
    http://www.notubes.com/movie_newdemo.php


    so you can either use a wheelset that is Tubeless ready
    or you can do a conversion

    basically the deal is to seal the spoke holes and valve stem
    use latex sealant and it seals all the leaks
    viola! no more flats... unless you happen to just rip the tire wide open, like slash a tire with a knife

    the other method is to use a Tubeless ready wheelset, therefore no rim conversion needed
    and/or use a "Tubeless tire"

    in the world of MTB's, just about any tire/rim combo can be converted to tubeless.

    for tires I'd suggest WTB Vulpines or Nanoraptors

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    Why would she benefit from tubeless tyres?
    They only serve to prevent pinch flats and you make everything harder to replace/repair on the road...

  9. #9
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lechatmort View Post
    Why would she benefit from tubeless tyres?
    They only serve to prevent pinch flats and you make everything harder to replace/repair on the road...
    not accurate

    I've been running my 29er tubeless for sometime now
    I just finished 1,000 miles along the Continental Divide, in the dirt, in 7 days
    not a single flat

    especially if you use a latex sealant, like Stans
    see videos: http://www.notubes.com/support_movies.php
    specially: http://www.notubes.com/movie_newdemo.php

    once you've worked with it a little bit... its actually easier than using tubes

    I know...
    its crazy right?

    the crazy part is that once you set up the tires, there really is no reason to remove them. More than likely they will always self seal.
    personally, I like to rotate my tires, so I take them off every so often, simply break the bead, dump out the sealant, save it, remove tire(s), rotate, or change them...whatever, and add more sealant. you can use the old sealant, no problem.
    I have a tendency to go between Vulpines and Nano's

    I was using Tubeless on a set of CrossMax with Hutchinson Python UST around 2000, doing 24hr races... etc.
    in those days there was no latex sealant
    however, even then, I never got a flat, even tho I ran over a roofing nail once. somehow the way the a UST tire is made, the inside of the tire is kind of "goopy" <--- for lack of a better description and it sealed around the hole. Later I did end up patching the "tire", just like patching a tube, but instead you patch the tire from the inside.

    now days, I run a set of CrossMax with either WTB Vulpines, or NanoRaptors
    the tires are not UST
    so I use a latex sealant
    at the moment, I'm using Stans
    not a single problem

    its crazy

    if I ever get flats, I don't know, because they simply seal up
    its nothing like slime.

    I've used Slime a bunch of times, and Tubeless with a latex sealant is much better.

    I'm getting ready to try it with a set of WTB Thickslicks on the set of CrossMax that I have.

    Specifically; with the Vulpines, I've ran from 20-50psi, no problems

    50psi is plenty hard and fast for pavement
    20psi in the front, for me, at 170lbs, is a bit squishy, 25psi is better
    25-30psi in the rear, lets the tire conform to surfaces. i.e. mtb riding
    on gravel roads, it totally rocks!
    http://www.asanacycles.com/Asana_Cyc...2010/6/12.html

    road bikes are already going tubeless
    a bunch of my buddies are running that set up.
    I've only seen 1 time when the tire was totally cut, when the latex foam blew all over the place
    otherwise, they simply self seal.

    I know it sounds crazy
    but quite honestly, with latex sealant, there almost is no reason to use inner tubes.

    i suppose an issue is rim compatibility
    so for instance as set of UST rims, i.e. MAVIC CrossMax wheelset
    the rim is smooth on the inside, there are no spoke holes
    no rim tape
    just use the valve stem that is provided
    use a UST tire
    or use any MTB tire, probably can use a 32 or 28c road/touring/cx tire if you wanted, and add latex sealant, to seal the tire (casing)

    if somehow, you get a huge flat, like this deck screw that went thru a Schwalbe Marathon Cross
    simply break the bead, dump out the remaining latex, push out the tubeless valve stem, and replace with tube.

    in the case of that huge deck screw, obviously I had to "boot" the carcass. I used a piece of vinyl that I found along side the hwy, as if it was a strip from a freezer warehouse door.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    but then you trade off being able to use a set of 23c road tires.
    Why would you even want to use a 23mm tire for loaded touring?

    I love how you say they're not the same then give an example about how they work for MTB and road. As most do unless you're looking at racing wheels, but you're not going to find many of them in a 135mm hub now are you?

  11. #11
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Why would you even want to use a 23mm tire for loaded touring?

    I love how you say they're not the same then give an example about how they work for MTB and road. As most do unless you're looking at racing wheels, but you're not going to find many of them in a 135mm hub now are you?
    its a reference to versatility of 29er wheelset

    if I recall correctly the OP had stated that she's about 100lbs
    if she was doing a paved tour at any point, with a very light load, like using CDW bags... she could get away with 23c tyres, especially i the Conti 4 Season realm.

  12. #12
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
    While yes, a 29'er is just a 700c wheel, many 29'er wheels are disc specific, so Aquakitty, you need to be more specific.

    Disc or rim brake?

    What size of tires are you considering?

    What price range?



    The question of strong and inexpensive comes up often for wheels. What's inexpensive to one is high to another.
    Disc

    I like fat tires, was thinking of something close to a schwalbe marathon + for on and off road. I will not be using suspension so a little fatter tire is no problem.

    Well, this is where it gets confusing. I would like to build my own wheels. I want to do this cheap as possible but within reason (I realise you get what you pay for) So I would have to buy the wheel truing gear as well. I want to do it but might be easier to just get prebuilt and tune them up, or get the LBS to put the pieces together. I do all my own bike mechanical stuff... except for building my own wheel so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    MAVIC SpeedCity is a great wheelset
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=10760
    I've used a set for about 5yrs

    road wheels are not 29er's
    road rims are not 29er rims

    road wheels, and rims do share the same effective rim diameter as a 29er

    the basic difference is rim width

    altho, with a set of SpeedCity's I have used plenty of 29er MTB tyres, all the way up to 29x2.35"
    and of course you can go down to 23c

    here's a decent set for $170
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...s.aspx?sc=FRGL

    the thing with using a skinny rim with a MTB tire, and running the tire around 25psi, and riding the bike hard, is that there is a chance that the tire will slide/creep on the rim, which usually pulls the valve stem until it rips.

    but if you keep the PSI up, and don't run the brakes super hard, the tires will more than likely stay put.

    a wider rim (29er rim), will accommodate MTB tires at lower psi without creeping.
    but then you trade off being able to use a set of 23c road tires.

    Yea, not riding 23c is no issue, I will not likely ever be riding a tire that skinny, if I do it'll be a dedicated road bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    its a reference to versatility of 29er wheelset

    if I recall correctly the OP had stated that she's about 100lbs
    if she was doing a paved tour at any point, with a very light load, like using CDW bags... she could get away with 23c tyres, especially i the Conti 4 Season realm.


    Ha, the rear of my bike might be 100 lbs Loaded I would be over 200 lbs most likely.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    building a wheel is not that hard
    there are plenty of books out there
    like you've said, you'll have to buy the tools, etc...

    I'd be looking at a MAVIC 317 or any of the Stans

    for 29er stuff you'd be better to lurk the MTBR.COM 29er forum

    http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=61

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    AC

    I think the nightmare scenario would be a broken drive side spoke on a tubeless, or is it just a mater of spreading the goop aside and doing the repair, then putting it back? I also don't like the idea of depending on some stuff I know my tourside LBS won't have to keep my tire integrity, but if I could always just slap in a tube in the worst case, I wouldn't mind about that. What I like about the idea of tubeless is weight savings. The tubes I use are like 400g, and while there are lighter ones, they aren't all that great in a number of ways. Will I get significantly lighter weight along with the idea oa self-sealing. I would be up for that.

  15. #15
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    ......road wheels, and rims do share the same effective rim diameter as a 29er......
    Same bead seat diameter, not necessarily effective rim diameter (ERD).

  16. #16
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    Same bead seat diameter, not necessarily effective rim diameter (ERD).
    your right, my gig... 622

  17. #17
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    AC

    I think the nightmare scenario would be a broken drive side spoke on a tubeless, or is it just a mater of spreading the goop aside and doing the repair, then putting it back? I also don't like the idea of depending on some stuff I know my tourside LBS won't have to keep my tire integrity, but if I could always just slap in a tube in the worst case, I wouldn't mind about that. What I like about the idea of tubeless is weight savings. The tubes I use are like 400g, and while there are lighter ones, they aren't all that great in a number of ways. Will I get significantly lighter weight along with the idea oa self-sealing. I would be up for that.
    the broken spoke problem:
    i.e. I'm using a set of MAVIC CrossMax... if a spoke breaks, I'm probably SOL, unless I happen to have one with me. the LBS would probably have to order a spoke like that. As crazy as it seems, being that MAVIC is huge, and that most shops that I know of have MAVIC parts... but for a set of CrossMax? Maybe not. But then again, I've used other MAVIC spokes on other MAVIC wheels, like a spoke for a Ksyrium on my SpeedCity's

    if it were a typical wheelset that is converted to Tubeless. i.e. by using the Stans conversion method, with their rim strip it could be a pain. The other way would be to use some strapping tape/electrical tape to make up the rim strip and use a tubeless valve stem. Then you could simply replace the spoke, replace the rim tape, and use an innertube.

    you're right. The broken spoke issue could be a hassle.

    I know it sounds crazy, but in this method you are really putting a lot of confidence in the entire wheel.
    at first it made me nervous
    but I have a lot of miles and a lot of years on MAVIC and WTB

    at this point I don't hesitate to trust this setup.

    a MTB wheelset is obviously designed for the rigors of a mountain bike.
    CrossMax are designed for racing
    any of the Stans wheels are also designed for that level of performance
    honestly... touring in the "BikePacking" method is more than likely not going to place that kind of demand on the wheelset.

    in my personal experiences of over 17 years, I have never had a problem with MAVIC
    in the last 3 years, of all the tours, backcountry jaunts, races, etc... not a single problem with MAVIC

    in my opinion, CrossMax with Vulpines or Nanos with latex sealant is a setup that is very hard to beat.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    here's a very informative "tubeless" thread on MTBR.COM
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=406115

  19. #19
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    Aquakitty, I'd agree that wheel building is not that hard, but to make really good wheels, ones that stay true and round after they are built, that takes experience and skill. Myself, I pay to have this done from a dedicated professional, and I never need to touch them after I recieve them. So ..... there is a balancing act of cost(parts and labor), time(building and/or servicing your wheels for their life), and quality of the build(spokes, hubs and/or rims failing).

    There's a lot to consider, starting with the hubs and rims. If you're building your own, you don't have to have a disc rim, so this widens your choices. A Mavic A119 or A319 may suit you, and can take 2" tires. I'm partial to Mavic rims because they seem to have good qaulity control, better than others. No one's perfect though.

    For hubs, Shimano is probably best for your price range, parts are readily available, as you may need them.

    Prebuilt wheels are attractive, but I always give pause to these because of their often proprietary nature and the prospect of parts down the road.

    If you have the time, patience and skill, you can build your own easily. How they hold up though, depends on your knowledge applied to the build. Any Monkey can build a set of wheels, but it takes a skilled monkey to build a set that stands true and round after building them..

    I would give one suggestion for a set of well made wheels that you will not have to true or touch after you receive them, check Rich Lesnick's hand built wheels at Rivendell. http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/700c-wheels/18-102 They have a good selection, the ones with the A119 rims are $320 a pair , which is a very fair price. If you want wheels you may never have to true, get some from Rich.

  20. #20
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
    Aquakitty, I'd agree that wheel building is not that hard, but to make really good wheels, ones that stay true and round after they are built, that takes experience and skill. Myself, I pay to have this done from a dedicated professional, and I never need to touch them after I recieve them. So ..... there is a balancing act of cost(parts and labor), time(building and/or servicing your wheels for their life), and quality of the build(spokes, hubs and/or rims failing).

    There's a lot to consider, starting with the hubs and rims. If you're building your own, you don't have to have a disc rim, so this widens your choices. A Mavic A119 or A319 may suit you, and can take 2" tires. I'm partial to Mavic rims because they seem to have good qaulity control, better than others. No one's perfect though.

    For hubs, Shimano is probably best for your price range, parts are readily available, as you may need them.

    Prebuilt wheels are attractive, but I always give pause to these because of their often proprietary nature and the prospect of parts down the road.

    If you have the time, patience and skill, you can build your own easily. How they hold up though, depends on your knowledge applied to the build. Any Monkey can build a set of wheels, but it takes a skilled monkey to build a set that stands true and round after building them..

    I would give one suggestion for a set of well made wheels that you will not have to true or touch after you receive them, check Rich Lesnick's hand built wheels at Rivendell. http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/700c-wheels/18-102 They have a good selection, the ones with the A119 rims are $320 a pair , which is a very fair price. If you want wheels you may never have to true, get some from Rich.
    +1...GREAT POST!

    To quote "Dirty" Harry Callahan..."A man's got to know his limitations". I stink at trueing or building wheels and it makes more long range sense to have an expert build them for me.

  21. #21
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
    MAVIC SpeedCity is a great wheelset
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=10760
    I've used a set for about 5yrs

    road wheels are not 29er's
    road rims are not 29er rims

    road wheels, and rims do share the same effective rim diameter as a 29er

    the basic difference is rim width

    altho, with a set of SpeedCity's I have used plenty of 29er MTB tyres, all the way up to 29x2.35"
    and of course you can go down to 23c

    here's a decent set for $170
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...s.aspx?sc=FRGL

    the thing with using a skinny rim with a MTB tire, and running the tire around 25psi, and riding the bike hard, is that there is a chance that the tire will slide/creep on the rim, which usually pulls the valve stem until it rips.

    but if you keep the PSI up, and don't run the brakes super hard, the tires will more than likely stay put.

    a wider rim (29er rim), will accommodate MTB tires at lower psi without creeping.
    but then you trade off being able to use a set of 23c road tires.
    What is the lowest size tire you can use on a 29'r rim?

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    Aquakitty, if the Handspun production wheels are as good as what comes on the Surlys those would be a good value. The only way I think you'll find inexpensive, light AND quality will be through shopping and finding deals more than identifying lower cost parts where labor in construction is a large part of the quality of the wheel. If you're a light person I could see you'd be a candidate for the entry level Mavic wheelsets but I'm not familiar with their durability. A LARGE part of the weight in mtn bike wheels will be the tires. A side benefit to being a light person is that you don't need the fatter tires a heavier person needs so I'd suggest picking out light tires for the surfaces you're riding on as much you're looking for light wheels.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    What is the lowest size tire you can use on a 29'r rim?
    the concern is:
    tire width vs rim width
    in that the tire bead needs to adequately interface with the rim.

    for instance on a set of Mavic SpeedCity wheels, the rim is 19mm wide, I've used 23c up to 2.35"
    http://www.mavic.com/mtb/products/sp....995624.1.aspx
    the tire recommendations are 19c to 32c

    MAVIC C29ssMax (29er CrossMax), I think the internal rim width is also 19mm... I have a set of WTB ThickSlicks, that I'm about to try out. 700x25c I'm thinking that this skinny of a tire is pushing the limit. I have yet to actually try this. (not recommended)

    the widest 29er rim on the market is the Salsa Gordo, which are 35mm wide... probably the skinniest 700c tire I'd try on something like that is 37c... I think that would be pushing the limit tho. You could probably use a set of Freedom Ryder (by WTB) touring tires in 38c
    http://www.freedombicycle.com/compon...art/Itemid,58/

    really its dependent on what rim you choose.

    as you can tell, I really like WTB and MAVIC.

    if you look at the MAVIC website: http://www.mavic.com/mtb/products/xm....323320.2.aspx
    in the product description, under dimensions the recommended tire widths are listed.
    typically 1.50 to 2.30"

    32c = 1.25"
    35c = 1.38"
    38c = 1.5"
    42c = 1.65"
    47c = 1.8"
    50c = 2.0"
    53c = 2.1"

    while I seriously advocate paying attention to the MFG recommendations
    I also point out that you might be able to use those recommendations as guidelines
    you have to make that judgement call, and I suppose that is the part where experience comes in.

  24. #24
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Marathon XR 700x40c comes in at 750g
    http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/1320
    40c, a little wider than 1.5"

    WTB Vulpine 29x2.1" (50/52) comes in at 650g
    http://www.wtb.com/products/tires/29er/vulpine29er/
    50/52 is the height/width measure of the tire

    so the 700x40c tire compared to the 29x2.1 tire is skinnier and not as tall
    plus its 100g heavier

    in pure milage, the Marathon XR will out last the Vulpine (altho I get about 3,000 miles out of a set of Vulpines, by rotating them regularly)
    Marathon XR's rubber is harder and thicker compared to Vulpines
    Vulpines are taller and wider

    a tire with a taller sidewall, provides the rim that much more distance from the ground, thereby reducing smacking the rim.
    a taller tire also gives more gear inch
    48x11t with a 29x2.1 tire comes out to be around 127 gear inches
    53x12t with a 700x23c tire comes out to be around 116 gear inches (road bike)

    plus in the realm of MTB's, obviously they have a granny gear usually at 22t, and a rear cog of 32 or 34t
    so thats a whole lot of super low gear

  25. #25
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Though tubeless sounds interesting I don't think i will go that route for this tour... I recently accidentally bought on of those self sealing tubes, and it tore (during a ride), and I got this messy goop everywhere, all over the tire, my clothes, the rim, the floor.. if that is what it is like to run tubeless I think i will pass (me and messes seem to make themselves). I thought I rolled through some construction material till I realised why that particular tube was so expensive (duh).

    I "really" want to get good at building my own wheels. After reading sheldon brown again I see I can substitute a bunch of tools for now... I mean if i screw up or feel I can;t do it I can always take it to the LBS. Out of curiosity how much does an LBS charge for building a wheel if you have you own parts?

    Seems so much cheaper to build my own... can build a good set for under $100 depending on the spokes I pick.

    Anyways after looking around I think I will go with something like deore hubs and these rims

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/165...R-29er-Rim.htm


    Can't seem to find any good value rims with 36H

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