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Old 03-19-12, 11:52 AM   #1
alan s 
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Wheel suggestions 26" for offroad Surly Troll touring

I'm in the process of upgrading my Surly Troll commuter for touring, and need a stronger set of wheels. Current wheels are Mavic Crosstrail 26", which are fast and light, but probably not strong enough for loaded offroad touring, with only 24 spokes and fairly narrow width. I rode the C&O Towpath last summer with a very light load, and the wheels were fine, but an upgrade is clearly needed for carrying a load.

Most riding will be on the C&O Towpath and GAP for now, with a little more rugged singletrack in the future. The total weight of bike, gear and rider will max out at around 250 pounds for longer rides.

Here is a photo of what I have so far from a trial run this weekend. Still tweaking the OMM Sherpa racks so the front fender will fit, but this is close to completion.



I'm thinking Salsa Gordo or Mavic EN 521 36-hole rims with XT disc hubs. Currently running Schwalbe Big Apples 26 x 2.35, so the rims should accomodate a tire width of 2.0-2.5. Trying to keep the price reasonable, around $400-500 including rotors and cassette.

May try building these myself, or have them built by a pro, but either way, any suggestions would be most appreciated.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:29 PM   #2
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Using a heavy rim doesn't necessarily make the wheel any stronger, but it definitely makes it slower.

Consider the Velocity Synergy off-center drilled rim (4mm bias). Although not as wide or heavy as Gordo or 521, the Synergy will build a stronger rear wheel by reducing dish. You'll be able to put more tension into the non-drive side spokes when building, which will improve the longevity of the wheel.

Synergy will accommodate 2" tires (I'm using 26x2 now on 2 bikes), but can't personally vouch for 2.35, although it seems like it should work.

Do whatever you like for the front, as it doesn't matter much due to the typical weight distribution of 40/60% to 20/80% (f/r). You can use the front wheel you already have, as it's more than adequate for touring. If you must "match" wheels, then you can use a regular symmetrically-drilled Synergy rim, or even a second assymetrically-drilled Synergy rim (would serve as a spare in case of failure of rear, and they are hard to find). A front disc wheel does have it's own dish, although not as extreme as the typical cassette rear, so this "dish trick" has less potential for improvement on the front.

AFAIK all Synergy rims have a ground brake track, so you won't be able to have all-black rims for the disc wheels (a cosmetic consideration only, unless you have a rim-braked bike you can use them on). You could paint the rim before building (leave alone for weeks/months so paint can harden). This actually works better than you'd expect for only $5 of rattle can paint from Walmart.

Last edited by seeker333; 03-19-12 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:30 PM   #3
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Rohloff hub.. being wide and dish-less 32 is plenty spoke wise.

I like the EX721 rims that came on my Koga WTR.. I use a 1.75"wide tire .
stock was Conti Travel Contact, Now I have Schwalbe Marathon Plus..

in my case Im using Schmidt SON-dyno, and R'off, IG hubs.. so 32 hole..

For regular gears, now that XT/XTR, is using an aluminum axle
I'd go down a notch,
to get a hub with a steel axle at it's core..

36 rear 32 front will be a decent pick, since rear dish is a compromise,
to get all those speeds in, on the right end..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-25-12 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 03-20-12, 08:38 AM   #4
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I have this exact wheelset, from this seller actually and they only have 500 miles or so since I have got them but they have carried quite a bit of weight as they are on my troll/Xtracycle combo (most weight I carried with them is 150lbs, co-worker into work) and a good bit of offroad and I have been very very happy with them. Mavic is known to for great quality rims and I like cartridge bearing hubs and Sram has always been great for me.
Sram X7 Mavic 521 wheelset
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Old 03-20-12, 09:18 AM   #5
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Quite happy with 36 spoke Salsa Gordo rims.



The diameter data for sizing spokes that is printed on the rim did not agree with the data on their website when I laced them up two years ago, I do not recall which was correct.
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Old 03-20-12, 11:20 PM   #6
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Sun Rhyno Lite

Check out Sun Rhyno Lite rims. 36 spokes, double walled, with eyelets. Bombproof.
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Old 03-21-12, 07:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the ideas so far.

My LBS is suggesting Mavic XM 719 Disc rims with XT hubs, DT Swiss db spokes and brass nipples. While they are just within my budget, my concern is width. Mavic specs say they are for 1.5" to 2.3" tires, and my favorite tires (BAs) are 2.35". Also, my LBS is a more focused on MTB than touring, so it's hard to tell whether their recommendations are the best for touring.

http://www.mavic.com/en/product/rims...ms/XM-719-Disc

Anyone have any experience using XM 719s and wider tires? Probably need to run them at lower pressure to avoid overstressing the rim, which is fine for offroad, but slower for pavement.

Nubcake, those wheels are a great price, but the X7 hubs don't get the best reviews. Are they at least double butted spokes and brass nipples?
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Old 03-21-12, 12:10 PM   #8
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The bad reviews come from them having a low number of engagement points, not so much durability issues. People get very tied up in number of engagement points but the reality is it is very rarely an issue except on all but the most technical of climbs on single track and trials riding. Although if you are having your shop built them, XT hubs are great too.

The 719's could certainly handle 2.35's and even though it is a fantastic mountain bike rim I would want something heavier buty for touring like the 321 or 521.

My wheels are straight gauge DT 2.0 spokes with brass nipples. I wanted to keep things somewhat cheap so these are fine, if I was able to spend more money at the time I would have went with DT Alpine spokes though.
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Old 03-25-12, 01:55 PM   #9
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Found a good deal on Universal Cycles. Anyone bought from them? I'd like to know the person building them at my LBS, but they don't come close in price.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:20 PM   #10
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http://handspunwheels.com/products/view_product/1696/
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Old 03-26-12, 09:10 AM   #11
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Well, I went ahead and ordered the Mavic XM 719 Disc 32-hole rims with XT M756 hubs, DT Swiss db spokes and brass nipples from Universal. Hard to beat the price with the 15% coupon code (vip15). Comes to $310 including shipping.

Handbuilt and in stock, so they should arrive in the next couple days. With rotors, cassette, tubes and tires, I'll easily stay within my budget. Maybe will spring for a pair of Schwalbe Duremes.

I would have preferred a 36-hole wheelset and maybe a little wider rim, but that would mean a more expensive custom build. 32-hole should be plenty strong.
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Old 03-26-12, 08:02 PM   #12
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Found an even lower price at BWW, and Universal lowered to almost match the price. Close enough for me. The Internet is great for consumers if you take the effort. New wheels are on the way!
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