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D2R2 2015 Equipment

Old 01-21-15, 11:53 AM
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D2R2 2015 Equipment

Hi All,

I'm hoping you can provide some feedback/information/would-be horror stories for me. I'm embarking on my first D2R2 (Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee) - a 180Km gravel/dirt ride though scenic conservation land in New England (info here: D2R2 | Franklin Land Trust). Im planning to take my fenders off my All-City Spacehorse, keep one pannier on the rear rack and switch up my tires (and possibly my wheels) to ride this. I have a stock-build (except some 44cm Ritchey bars instead of the salsa cowbell bars that came stock). I'm thinking of putting mixed wheels on:And maybe even changing to a different wheelset as I've found mine comes out of true pretty easily. I've been considered H Plus Son Archetype rims; Velomine has them laced to some CK R45 hubs.

Any thoughts, advice?

Much appreciated!
Thanks
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Old 01-21-15, 02:10 PM
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Nice to see another Space Horse rider on here! They make a great gravel bike - very comfortable yet still pretty quick.

I have two suggestions:

1. Get a handlebar bag instead of a rear rack and pannier - it is lighter (no need for the rear rack), and you can easily access it while still mounted on the bike. I have an Avenir Excursion bag - 484 cubic inches, cheap, and works well for carrying food/clothing while out gravel grinding.

2. Those Velomine wheels are machine-built (hence the low cost). So they won't be properly tensioned and trued. If you do get them, I'd take them to a real bike shop and have them fully tensioned and trued. For my Space Horse, I had a set of Velocity A23 wheels built up using 32 Sapim Race spokes and Velocity Race hubs. This guy built them: GVH Bikes Wheelbuilder Tool
Total cost was $500 shipped, and the wheels weigh about 1600 grams. Made the bike a lot quicker. If you have some more cash to spend, you could get nicer hubs.
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Old 01-21-15, 03:04 PM
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I did this ride a few years back. I posted a ride report in long distance forum. Basically, I'd want tires like the happy medium. You only really need the tread when cornering downhill. No treads up the center for me on a ride like this.
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Old 01-21-15, 05:06 PM
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I've done it 8X, 6 100K and 2 150K the last 2 years. Michelin Transworld Sprints 700X35 the first year, they were too squirrelly on the pavement. I switched to Schwalbe Marathon 700X47 for a number of years, smooth center ridge for pavement and some treat for dirt, but they are heavy. I rode Clement X'Plor MSO 700X40mm 120TPI this year and they were perfect, plush, low rolling resistance on the pavement, great traction for steep seated climbing in the dirt, yet plenty of rim protection and float. One of the guys I rode with this year had CX tires and he had to back way off on fast pavement descents because they were squirrelly.

It all depends on the conditions IMHO. Have a couple options, but you want something that rolls well on pavement. Something a bit wider with float if conditions are dry, you don't need larger knobs unless it's really wet. Clement X'Plor USH 700X35 would also be a good option.

Last edited by bgav; 01-21-15 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 01-21-15, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner
Nice to see another Space Horse rider on here! They make a great gravel bike - very comfortable yet still pretty quick.

I have two suggestions:

1. Get a handlebar bag instead of a rear rack and pannier - it is lighter (no need for the rear rack), and you can easily access it while still mounted on the bike. I have an Avenir Excursion bag - 484 cubic inches, cheap, and works well for carrying food/clothing while out gravel grinding.

2. Those Velomine wheels are machine-built (hence the low cost). So they won't be properly tensioned and trued. If you do get them, I'd take them to a real bike shop and have them fully tensioned and trued. For my Space Horse, I had a set of Velocity A23 wheels built up using 32 Sapim Race spokes and Velocity Race hubs. This guy built them: GVH Bikes Wheelbuilder Tool
Total cost was $500 shipped, and the wheels weigh about 1600 grams. Made the bike a lot quicker. If you have some more cash to spend, you could get nicer hubs.
The Velocity A23 is a pretty awful rim. It's pretty floppy, and the quality control is poor. They're way over-priced for the quality of the product. The H Plus Son Archetype is definitely superior at basically the same price. And those wheels on Velomine will absolutely not be "machine built." There's no way to get that combo except hand-building. The price is perfectly in line with what I would expect for Chris King R45s laced to those rims. Worth noting as well that the site notes they are a custom build and will take longer to ship. I do, by coincidence, have that same rim and hub combination and I like them a lot. Of course, I have no idea about the quality of Velomine custom wheel builds, as I've never even heard of the site before now.
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Old 01-22-15, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bgav
I've done it 8X, 6 100K and 2 150K the last 2 years. Michelin Transworld Sprints 700X35 the first year, they were too squirrelly on the pavement. I switched to Schwalbe Marathon 700X47 for a number of years, smooth center ridge for pavement and some treat for dirt, but they are heavy. I rode Clement X'Plor MSO 700X40mm 120TPI this year and they were perfect, plush, low rolling resistance on the pavement, great traction for steep seated climbing in the dirt, yet plenty of rim protection and float. One of the guys I rode with this year had CX tires and he had to back way off on fast pavement descents because they were squirrelly.

It all depends on the conditions IMHO. Have a couple options, but you want something that rolls well on pavement. Something a bit wider with float if conditions are dry, you don't need larger knobs unless it's really wet. Clement X'Plor USH 700X35 would also be a good option.
Wow, 40c! Im glad I can run up to 42's on my Space Horse. What pressure did you run the MSO 40's at? They're pricey, but anything is worth making the ride more fun and less mechanically frustrating!

Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner
Nice to see another Space Horse rider on here! They make a great gravel bike - very comfortable yet still pretty quick.

I have two suggestions:

1. Get a handlebar bag instead of a rear rack and pannier - it is lighter (no need for the rear rack), and you can easily access it while still mounted on the bike. I have an Avenir Excursion bag - 484 cubic inches, cheap, and works well for carrying food/clothing while out gravel grinding.

2. Those Velomine wheels are machine-built (hence the low cost). So they won't be properly tensioned and trued. If you do get them, I'd take them to a real bike shop and have them fully tensioned and trued. For my Space Horse, I had a set of Velocity A23 wheels built up using 32 Sapim Race spokes and Velocity Race hubs. This guy built them: GVH Bikes Wheelbuilder Tool
Total cost was $500 shipped, and the wheels weigh about 1600 grams. Made the bike a lot quicker. If you have some more cash to spend, you could get nicer hubs.
I have a handlebar bag, so I guess I could use that instead of a pannier. Any wheel I would buy online I would take to a LBS and get a once-over, just because I never know what happens in-transit. The A23's are a little shallow for a gravel/dirt build, no?

Originally Posted by grolby
The Velocity A23 is a pretty awful rim. It's pretty floppy, and the quality control is poor. They're way over-priced for the quality of the product. The H Plus Son Archetype is definitely superior at basically the same price. And those wheels on Velomine will absolutely not be "machine built." There's no way to get that combo except hand-building. The price is perfectly in line with what I would expect for Chris King R45s laced to those rims. Worth noting as well that the site notes they are a custom build and will take longer to ship. I do, by coincidence, have that same rim and hub combination and I like them a lot. Of course, I have no idea about the quality of Velomine custom wheel builds, as I've never even heard of the site before now.
I've used Velomine before (not for wheelsets) but I've been please with the quality and service. Do you have any reason to go with the White Industry T11 hub over the Chris Kings? I'm leaning towards the R45s just because Chris King is known for superior durability and overall quality.
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Old 01-22-15, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bigredkevbot
Wow, 40c! Im glad I can run up to 42's on my Space Horse. What pressure did you run the MSO 40's at? They're pricey, but anything is worth making the ride more fun and less mechanically frustrating!
I ran them at around 55psi (rider weight 165, bike weight 27). I err on the side of caution to avoid pinch flats. 60TPI version is cheaper, but the 120TPI version have a magic carpet ride.
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Old 01-22-15, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bigredkevbot
I've used Velomine before (not for wheelsets) but I've been please with the quality and service. Do you have any reason to go with the White Industry T11 hub over the Chris Kings? I'm leaning towards the R45s just because Chris King is known for superior durability and overall quality.
The White Industries T11 might be worth considering; the Chris King R45 is a nice hub but it does require that you stay on top of the service interval for best operation, and the servicing is not cheap. You get a surprising amount of water intrusion with that hub; from what I hear, it's not nearly as reliable as the rest of CK's hubs. I've been happy with mine, but I did have to get an extremely pricey servicing done last year after neglecting it for almost four years. I will probably try something different next time.
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Old 01-22-15, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby
The Velocity A23 is a pretty awful rim. It's pretty floppy, and the quality control is poor. They're way over-priced for the quality of the product. The H Plus Son Archetype is definitely superior at basically the same price. And those wheels on Velomine will absolutely not be "machine built." There's no way to get that combo except hand-building. The price is perfectly in line with what I would expect for Chris King R45s laced to those rims. Worth noting as well that the site notes they are a custom build and will take longer to ship. I do, by coincidence, have that same rim and hub combination and I like them a lot. Of course, I have no idea about the quality of Velomine custom wheel builds, as I've never even heard of the site before now.
I asked Velomine this question last year - handbuilt or machine built - and they told me they were machine built. Perhaps not every wheel they sell is machine built, but at least the A23/Ultegra hub set I asked about was. They would probably advertise them as "handbuilt" if they actually were.

My A23's have been fine. The fit and finish isn't that great, but they've taken a beating on gravel roads and singletrack and remained perfectly true. Mine have been tough without being too heavy. I would buy them again for a gravel/touring bike, but not neccesarily a road bike, mainly becuase they just don't look that good.

Last edited by DirtRoadRunner; 01-22-15 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 01-23-15, 10:04 AM
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I've had the Archetypes w/105 hubs from VeloMine since last October. They did require a quick trip to the LBS for some minor truing when I got them, but they've been absolutely flawless ever since. And they've seen some hard riding under a not-so-light guy. Not that this matters much, but they are quite sharp too.

I hope the ride goes well.
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Old 01-23-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner
I asked Velomine this question last year - handbuilt or machine built - and they told me they were machine built. Perhaps not every wheel they sell is machine built, but at least the A23/Ultegra hub set I asked about was. They would probably advertise them as "handbuilt" if they actually were.

My A23's have been fine. The fit and finish isn't that great, but they've taken a beating on gravel roads and singletrack and remained perfectly true. Mine have been tough without being too heavy. I would buy them again for a gravel/touring bike, but not neccesarily a road bike, mainly becuase they just don't look that good.
That's surprising to me, but okay. Not a big deal, though.

As for the A23, I hear this from people and it always amazes me because I've never had a good experience with a Velocity rim. I have had wheels built with the Aerohead, and currently have wheels built with both the A23 and Major Tom (basically the tubular version of the A23). They've all been extremely soft, prone to denting, bending, and very difficult to keep true. It might have something to do with riding style, but you should be able to ride hard without ruining a rim. In any case, the Archetype is better solely on the basis of stiffness for a similar price. Weight is similar. Looks nicer. Highly recommended.
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Old 01-23-15, 01:01 PM
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I had my LBS build me up a pair of Velocity A23s 32/32H (rider weight ~170lbs) with Shimano 105 hubs (8sp) to replace Mavic MA40s with Campy 7sp for my D2R2 bike. Had some issues with the rear wheel on some easy prep rides before D2R2. Rim had to be replaced due to a flat spot/dent, and I did *not* hit anything that would have caused it. My LBS was cool about it and replaced it free of charge. Then had some issues with the rear wheel getting way out of true. After getting trued twice it seems to be ok now.

Never had any issues with the Mavic MA40s, they were bulletproof.

I was considering Velocity Aileron wheels for my new Gunnar Hyper X build, but due to my experience with the A23s I opted for Boyd Altamonts for disc brakes instead.

Last edited by bgav; 01-23-15 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 02-22-15, 07:32 PM
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I rode D2R2 180K last year, 160K the year before, and 115K the year before that. The most recent two were done on Continental Cyclocross Speed 700 x 35 tires, with tubes + Stan's sealant. No flats, no problems with traction. (However, I've only ever ridden D2R2 in dry conditions. In wet/mud, I'd want a Cx tire with more knobs - but I frankly don't think I'd be capable of finishing this ride in muddy conditions.)

I ride with a hydration pack. I find this to be a good way to carry water (+ energy mix) - no bottles to lose on rough roads, plus there's room in the pack for spare tubes, patch kit, some food, wind shirt & arm warmers, etc.

I've chosen to use fairly traditional 32-spoke wheels: Shimano Ultegra ball + cone hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims. I have lighter/fancier wheels - Dura Ace 7850, Easton EA70 - with far fewer spokes & radial lacing etc. They're great in general, but seemed like the wrong choice for D2R2. (When I've lost 20 lbs, maybe I'll obsess about a few ounces of extra wheel weight...) My main recommendation is that you either have wheels made by a competent wheel builder, or have a competent wheel builder check & adjust whatever wheels you intend to ride. To me, that seems much more important/valuable than to worry whether you've got the Rolls Royce or Bentley of hubs (e.g., King vs. White Industries - both are fantastic, but it's certainly possible to build/buy a crummy wheel set out of the world's best components).
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