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MA40 vs MA-2?

Old 08-13-20, 08:11 PM
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runninupthathil
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MA40 vs MA-2?

I got my back wheel stolen the other night, so I just went and bought a MA-2 set for $100. They are in great condition. Laced to RX100 hubs with a Shimano 8 speed free hub.

Today I noticed a wheel set in the corner of my friends space that I share an art studio with. They just happened to be MA-40s. How random! They are on unlabeled Specialized hubs with aa 6 speed Suntour freewheel.

I texted him and he said I could have them, so now I have two wheel sets. Planning on selling one I guess. Which would you keep/sell? Going on a late 80s trek if that matters at all.

Thanks !
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Old 08-13-20, 09:06 PM
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Size? 27? 700c?
Spoke count?
Butted or straight gauge spokes?
Stainless or plated spokes?

Lots of variables!!!
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Old 08-13-20, 09:21 PM
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The actual rim used to build the wheels matters less than the skill of the wheel builder and the amount of wear to the rims. An in person inspection of the wheels in question would be the only way to tell which wheel set is better
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Old 08-13-20, 09:51 PM
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On my Bertoni, I just switched from Module-E rims to the MA40 red label rims from the '80s. The velobase description is "elegant workhorse." They feel absolutely great and look even better.
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Old 08-13-20, 10:00 PM
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Keep them both, in case one of your wheels get stolen again. Or you slam a wheel-bending pothole. Or you want to run different size cog sets at different times. Or, or, or...
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Old 08-14-20, 06:11 AM
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The 6 speed wheelset likely has 126mm rear spacing, while the 8 speed is 130mm. If one of them is compatible with your existing rear spacing, that's the set I'd use, unless you're prepared to cold set your rear triangle and re-align your dropouts and derailleur hanger (critical if you've got indexed shifting).
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Old 08-14-20, 07:38 AM
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I have one MA40, 700c. If you're planning on using modern tires, be forewarned that they are VERY difficult to mount on that rim.
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Old 08-14-20, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
I have one MA40, 700c. If you're planning on using modern tires, be forewarned that they are VERY difficult to mount on that rim.
I can attest to this. They aren't Ambrosio difficult, but there's no way I could have mounted Paselas without a tool.
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Old 08-14-20, 09:35 AM
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Don't have any rubber-to-road experience with MA-40s, but I generally find that when mounting new tires to just about any rim, I need to use tire levers, sometimes a tire jack. After they're used awhile, the stretch makes it so that thumbs suffice to remount them.
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Old 08-14-20, 09:51 AM
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My hazy memory says an MA-2 and an MA-40 are the same base rim, just that one is anodized and the other isn't. My confidence level on this is not super high, so maybe someone can confirm or correct this.
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Old 08-14-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
My hazy memory says an MA-2 and an MA-40 are the same base rim, just that one is anodized and the other isn't. My confidence level on this is not super high, so maybe someone can confirm or correct this.
w h o is this guy?
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Old 08-14-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
w h o is this guy?
I often wonder the same thing.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . . .
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Old 08-14-20, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
I have one MA40, 700c. If you're planning on using modern tires, be forewarned that they are VERY difficult to mount on that rim.
Funny. I had them on my Miyata a few years ago and had the hardest time changing tires/tubes. Just thought I was losing my thumb strength. That makes more sense.
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Old 08-14-20, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
My hazy memory says an MA-2 and an MA-40 are the same base rim, just that one is anodized and the other isn't. My confidence level on this is not super high, so maybe someone can confirm or correct this.
I can confirm they are the same rim (at least in the early days) with double wall eyelets and the MA40 are anodized whereas the MA2 are not and are just plain silver.

I have a set of the MA40 rims built up on the specialized sealed bearing hubs from my very first "Race" bike that were built by Wheelsmith from back in 1984-1985 I believe it was. I was able to trade out the new Nuovo Record hubs from my groupo purchase for the complete wheelset for even money, saving me the added expense of having having the campy hubs built up into wheels.

The tires du jour were Specialized Turbo S with the kevlar bead. I can attest that YES, the tires were a ROYAL PAIN to mount, but I always chalked it up to the tires and never considered it was the rims...

Anyway, they are 36 hole and have been so used that there is no evidence at all of the anodizing on the side braking surfaces. I can't even begin to imagine how many miles they have on them. They've been off-roading with Specialized TriCross tires, and road racing and used as commuter/bomber wheels with double tires (one tire mounted inside of another tire to help prevent flats-- rides like rocks but works).

Not light. Not aero. But strong.
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Old 08-14-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
My hazy memory says an MA-2 and an MA-40 are the same base rim, just that one is anodized and the other isn't. My confidence level on this is not super high, so maybe someone can confirm or correct this.
I agree. Same rim.. One anodized, the other dark anodized.
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Old 08-14-20, 08:26 PM
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I'd have a tough time selling a wheelset I was just gifted and pocketing the money.

I ran MA-40's for decades and they are great rims. No experience with Specialized hubs. They don't command a very high resale for a sealed cartridge.

As for MA-40's being hard to mount wheels, I used a VAR lever. If the MA-2's are the same rim, then they are just as hard, so that is kinda moot.

John
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