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First wheel upgrade - trying to decide between two wheelsets

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First wheel upgrade - trying to decide between two wheelsets

Old 08-01-20, 03:39 PM
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matheus.hro
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First wheel upgrade - trying to decide between two wheelsets

So I had a problem with my WTB ST i23 wheels, that came stock with my Norco Search XR gravel bike. Basically, the rear tire popped out of the rim 3x, with tubeless and tubed setups, one time still in the bike shop while they were inflating the tire. The support I got from WTB was ridiculous (they wanted me to retape the rim with wider tape and try it again. I'm sorry, but I won't be risking an accident again). So now I am looking to upgrade my wheels, but I have never done an upgrade like that myself and I'm quite confused with my options. The configuration is 12x100 and 12x142 TA, with disc brakes.

For reference, I weigh around 63 kg/139 lbs. I ride year-round in Toronto, so weather protection is very important to me. Most of the riding I do is in the city itself, so lots of potholes, and very frequently carrying loads (pannier + saddlebag usually), since I do backpacking sometimes. Also, I like to ride fast. I am basically trying to decide between those two wheelsets:

1. Spank Wing 22
Pros: Hex Drive 102T hub w/ 3.5-degree engagement; hub seems to be easily serviceable; lots of resources (I do most of the maintenance on my bike, so I love having literature, specs, etc.)
Cons: only 28h option; a bit heavier than the other wheelset (1.764 kg)
2. Hunt 4 Season Superdura
Pros: 32h spoke count; comes with tubeless tape already, lighter than the Spank ( 1.677 kg); brand has a lifetime crash replacement program for 67 bucks
Cons: 36T hub, 10-degree engagement; no information about hub servicing; support page lacks more technical information overall, which is a bit dubious

The price will end up being the same since I have a discount code for Spank. I think my main question right now is if 28h is enough for how I use my bike, and if 32h is worth the tradeoff for a (seemingly) worse hub.

Any opinions, or even recommendations of other options, are welcome!
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Old 08-01-20, 03:49 PM
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You want the Spank Wings, obviously. Also, I need to get a set of their decals.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
You want the Spank Wings, obviously. Also, I need to get a set of their decals.
Thanks! Any specific reasons why? Do you think 28h should be enough?

Last edited by matheus.hro; 08-01-20 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 08-01-20, 04:20 PM
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Ha, just a joke. With a name like that, how can you not?
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Old 08-01-20, 05:06 PM
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Googling that spanks hub, its a boost 148mm hub and the adapter is to make it a QR 12x141.
The boost doesn't fit your bike and I dont even know what 12x141 QR is as thats different from the common 12x140 TA and the 12x135 QR sizes.


At your weight, a properly built 28 spoke wheelset will be more than enough for road(paved and gravel) riding, so a properly built 32 spoke wheelset will be that much more indestructible(or overkill, depending on how you look at it).

Also, degree of engagement on a road bike isnt exactly a critical statistic. Its important for MTB, but not for road riding where you just pedal forever and don't need immediate engagement to get up and over obstacles with quick punches of immediate torque.

I wouldnt choose either of those wheelsets, but to each their own.
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Old 08-01-20, 05:54 PM
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Curious as I’ve got near 1000 miles on that WTB, tubeless and tubes, never had any issue. It’s the stock wheel on the Cannondale Topstone aluminum, there’s zero comments about a similar problem on the FB page for that bike.

I’d re-tape the rim.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Googling that spanks hub, its a boost 148mm hub and the adapter is to make it a QR 12x141.
The boost doesn't fit your bike and I dont even know what 12x141 QR is as thats different from the common 12x140 TA and the 12x135 QR sizes.

At your weight, a properly built 28 spoke wheelset will be more than enough for road(paved and gravel) riding, so a properly built 32 spoke wheelset will be that much more indestructible(or overkill, depending on how you look at it).

Also, degree of engagement on a road bike isnt exactly a critical statistic. Its important for MTB, but not for road riding where you just pedal forever and don't need immediate engagement to get up and over obstacles with quick punches of immediate torque.

I wouldnt choose either of those wheelsets, but to each their own.
Thanks for the input. Maybe you were looking at the MTB version of the hub. The road version does have 12x142 TA (unfortunatelyI cannot paste links here). What wheelset would you get for a similar price range?
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Old 08-01-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
You want the Spank Wings, obviously. Also, I need to get a set of their decals.
Imagine if Mike and Dave had gone with Spank Wings instead of November... Their blog would be even better than it already is.
__________________
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
In other news, to effect quick passes of other cyclists out this morning, I did dial it up to 400w to pass several times. It doesn't actually feel like much of anything for that duration. Not sure what that guy was on about.
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Old 08-01-20, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Curious as I’ve got near 1000 miles on that WTB, tubeless and tubes, never had any issue. It’s the stock wheel on the Cannondale Topstone aluminum, there’s zero comments about a similar problem on the FB page for that bike.

I’d re-tape the rim.
I do believe that it is a decent set of rims, and maybe I just have a defective unit. That being said, this already happened to me 3x, and I fell and got hurt the second time (and it was set up with a tube, not tubeless, so the tape shouldn't make any difference). The biggest problem here is that WTB wants me to try and retape the rim first, to ascertain that the rim is the problem. I kind of felt like a lab rat at that point, not a customer. What if it happens again, and I'm not that lucky? Don't you think that, as a big company, they could think of my whole experience with their products, and simply replace the rim for me? It cannot be that expensive, it's not even a high-end model.
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Old 08-01-20, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by matheus.hro View Post
I do believe that it is a decent set of rims, and maybe I just have a defective unit. That being said, this already happened to me 3x, and I fell and got hurt the second time (and it was set up with a tube, not tubeless, so the tape shouldn't make any difference). The biggest problem here is that WTB wants me to try and retape the rim first, to ascertain that the rim is the problem. I kind of felt like a lab rat at that point, not a customer. What if it happens again, and I'm not that lucky? Don't you think that, as a big company, they could think of my whole experience with their products, and simply replace the rim for me? It cannot be that expensive, it's not even a high-end model.
Where is the local shop in all this ?. I would think they’d be offering to swap the wheels ?
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Old 08-01-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by matheus.hro View Post
Thanks for the input. Maybe you were looking at the MTB version of the hub. The road version does have 12x142 TA (unfortunatelyI cannot paste links here). What wheelset would you get for a similar price range?
It took some looking, but I found(I assume) the wheelset you refer to.
I admittedly don't know much at all about the brand or its products. $630 just seems like a lot for an aluminum rim that has comparable measurements to other quality rims, some butted spokes, and light hubs.

prowheelbuilder.com
- H plus son hydra rims, 28h hope rs4 hubs, sapim laser spokes laced 3 cross, sapim brass nipples. Handbuilt. $590 shipped free(discount applied) and 1606g listed weight.
- H plus son hydra rims, 28h bitex 106 hubs, sapim laser spokes laced 3 cross, sapim brass nipples. Handbuilt. $493 shipped free(discount applied) and 1593g listed weight.


Either of these are still overbuilt for you and both weigh less and cost less.
I like bitex hubs and have a similar build on my gravel bike(I have 32h and sapim race spokes instead), but recognize that they may be too inexpensive for some to consider them good enough, which is why I also listed the hope hubs.

I really have no idea about this spank brand, so take everything I've posted with a grain of salt. If they make wheels that are going to make you fly and work for decades, then buy em right away.
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Old 08-01-20, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
It took some looking, but I found(I assume) the wheelset you refer to.
I admittedly don't know much at all about the brand or its products. $630 just seems like a lot for an aluminum rim that has comparable measurements to other quality rims, some butted spokes, and light hubs.

prowheelbuilder.com
- H plus son hydra rims, 28h hope rs4 hubs, sapim laser spokes laced 3 cross, sapim brass nipples. Handbuilt. $590 shipped free(discount applied) and 1606g listed weight.
- H plus son hydra rims, 28h bitex 106 hubs, sapim laser spokes laced 3 cross, sapim brass nipples. Handbuilt. $493 shipped free(discount applied) and 1593g listed weight.


Either of these are still overbuilt for you and both weigh less and cost less.
I like bitex hubs and have a similar build on my gravel bike(I have 32h and sapim race spokes instead), but recognize that they may be too inexpensive for some to consider them good enough, which is why I also listed the hope hubs.

I really have no idea about this spank brand, so take everything I've posted with a grain of salt. If they make wheels that are going to make you fly and work for decades, then buy em right away.
Thanks for the input. I did try a few builds at prowheelbuilder, but the thing is that I live in Canada, and there would be extra shipping, duties, + conversion. Spank offers free shipping and a 20% discount for first purchases, plus they handle the duties themselves, so it end up being 850 CAD flat for me. A $659.00 purchase from prowheelbuilder would end up costing me ~1100 CAD or more (with shipping, conversion and duties). Also, where did you get the discount?
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Old 08-01-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by matheus.hro View Post
Thanks for the input. I did try a few builds at prowheelbuilder, but the thing is that I live in Canada, and there would be extra shipping, duties, + conversion. Spank offers free shipping and a 20% discount for first purchases, plus they handle the duties themselves, so it end up being 850 CAD flat for me. A $659.00 purchase from prowheelbuilder would end up costing me ~1100 CAD or more (with shipping, conversion and duties). Also, where did you get the discount?
Oh Canada changes things for sure since shipping and extras is nuts.
The discount is a % based on cost. Its listed in a link at the top of the main page in a changing banner.
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Old 08-02-20, 09:37 AM
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Your original internal width of rim was 25 mm, so with any new wheel I would keep that width. The two models you posted are a little on the thinner side. Yes, you could use them but why compromise on a brand new set of wheels?

What I would do is use the hubs you have right now (no name sealed bearing, most likely Formula) and put new rims on those. It saves some money and you will have at least a hand built pair of wheels better than the originals. Plus you will get 32 spokes for peace of mind.

Sorry I can't be brand specific as I am out of the loop on aluminum rims. If you are in GTA you might want to look up forum member Dan Burkhart as he is a formidable wheel builder.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Your original internal width of rim was 25 mm, so with any new wheel I would keep that width. The two models you posted are a little on the thinner side. Yes, you could use them but why compromise on a brand new set of wheels?

What I would do is use the hubs you have right now (no name sealed bearing, most likely Formula) and put new rims on those. It saves some money and you will have at least a hand built pair of wheels better than the originals. Plus you will get 32 spokes for peace of mind.

Sorry I can't be brand specific as I am out of the loop on aluminum rims. If you are in GTA you might want to look up forum member Dan Burkhart as he is a formidable wheel builder.
My current rim width is 23 mm, but I usually use 38c - 42c tires so even 20 mm width should be enough. My current hubs are 28h, so that's one of the reasons why I would like to fully upgrade to 32h, instead of paying for a new rim + labor now and then having to do it all again in the future.
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Old 08-02-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Where is the local shop in all this ?. I would think they’d be offering to swap the wheels ?
They will help me out, but even if they manage to replace my rims I was thinking of upgrading either way. I just needed a nudge.
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Old 08-02-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Your original internal width of rim was 25 mm, .
The WTB ST i23 TCS is a 23mm internal width rim, according to the WTB site.

https://www.wtb.com/pages/tire-rim-fit-chart
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