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Disk rim recommendation?

Old 11-20-17, 02:45 AM
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3speed
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Disk rim recommendation?

I'm getting a new frame-set and will be switching to disk wheels. I weigh about 150lbs and tour light. The current criteria for the touring forum seems to be that the wheels can survive a bomb explosion(bomb proof). I don't know if I need anything that crazy. Should I be looking at light weight 622(700c)MTB rims? Any suggestions of good 32 spoke rims that don't need to survive riding over a bomb and therefore have the extra weight necessary for that?
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Old 11-20-17, 08:31 AM
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If you're building 700c rims, a 29" MTB rim wouldn't be a bad choice. Same size, bit wider and normally more options for stronger rims. I'm a Mavic man myself, old reliable haha
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Old 11-20-17, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I'm getting a new frame-set and will be switching to disk wheels. I weigh about 150lbs and tour light. The current criteria for the touring forum seems to be that the wheels can survive a bomb explosion(bomb proof). I don't know if I need anything that crazy. Should I be looking at light weight 622(700c)MTB rims? Any suggestions of good 32 spoke rims that don't need to survive riding over a bomb and therefore have the extra weight necessary for that?
what size tire, how much stuff, what terrain? tubeless? velocity dyad springs to mind pretty quickly. it's not as sturdy as some people seem to think.
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Old 11-20-17, 10:09 AM
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Can't help, I only buy bombproof rims.

Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
...velocity dyad springs to mind pretty quickly. it's not as sturdy as some people seem to think.
I am curious to know what problems you had with Dyads. I built up three wheels this past year with Dyads, two of those wheels I put on a touring bike and have toured on them with a load.
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Old 11-20-17, 12:19 PM
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Any crabon fibre wheels will assplode with or without a bomb, and should be avoided at all cost. You are aware the only difference between a disc rim and non-disc rim is the lack of a braking surface?
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Old 11-20-17, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I'm getting a new frame-set and will be switching to disk wheels. I weigh about 150lbs and tour light. The current criteria for the touring forum seems to be that the wheels can survive a bomb explosion(bomb proof). I don't know if I need anything that crazy. Should I be looking at light weight 622(700c)MTB rims? Any suggestions of good 32 spoke rims that don't need to survive riding over a bomb and therefore have the extra weight necessary for that?
All a heavy "bomb proof" rim is is heavy. It adds nothing to the wheel strength or close enough to nothing so that it doesn't matter. Rims only offer convenient places attach the spokes and a place for the tire to be connected to the hub.

You can take a steel rim, the strongest rim available, and an extremely delicate wheel out it by choosing the wrong spokes. On the other hand you can take the lightest rim around and make a superb wheel out of it by choosing the correct spokes.

I can, and do, make wheels that are quick, light and about as bomb proof as a bicycle wheel can be made. But I choose the spoke first and build the rest of the wheel around it. For me, that means starting with a triple butted spoke like the DT Alpine III, Pillar TSR or Sapim Force. The rim is an afterthought. This article explains nicely why you should be using triple butted spokes, especially if you want to use a 32 spoke wheel for touring.
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Old 11-20-17, 12:31 PM
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Dyads are what my current touring bike wheels are. I've toured on them(obviously) with no problems at all. They're perfectly true after thousands of miles, many of those on gravel rail trials, but mostly pavement.

However, Dyads weigh 535g. A lot of the MTB rims are sub 400g. I could shave 3/4lb of rotating weight by choosing different rims, and it would even be the same price-point, so basically a "free" upgrade. It seems like if rims are strong enough for MTBing then they should be strong enough for a lighter weight rider with a fairly light load. Me + bike + bags is still sub-200lbs. I'm currently considering the DT Swiss XR 331. It's 380g.

Terrain will be road and gravel trails.
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Old 11-20-17, 12:44 PM
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Disc-only rims are lighter because less material is needed due to the lack of a braking surface. If you don’t plan to ever use the rims on a bike with non-disc brakes, then go with a lighter disc-only rim. Plenty of suitable rims out there.
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Old 11-20-17, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
However, Dyads weigh 535g. A lot of the MTB rims are sub 400g. I could shave 3/4lb of rotating weight by choosing different rims, and it would even be the same price-point, so basically a "free" upgrade. It seems like if rims are strong enough for MTBing then they should be strong enough for a lighter weight rider with a fairly light load. Me + bike + bags is still sub-200lbs. I'm currently considering the DT Swiss XR 331. It's 380g.

Terrain will be road and gravel trails.
I wouldn't say that a lot of 29er rims are sub-400g. Some are but most land solidly in the 450g and above range. The DT XR331 may be only 380g but it also only comes in 32 hole drilling. That's a consideration to take into account.

The Velocity A23 would be worth taking a look at if you want higher spoke count wheels. 450g, available in 36 hole drilling and also available in OCR drilling which strengthens the wheel for dish.
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Old 11-20-17, 05:53 PM
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You might get lucky and score a good set of used wheels if you go to the swap meet.
2018 Bike Swap ? Brazen Dropouts

I have gotten some good used stuff at much better than ebay pricing. If you have a caliper it might be a good idea to bring it so you can check dropout spacing, some sellers will be selling stuff for friends and might not know if a hub is 130 or 135mm.
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Old 11-20-17, 06:33 PM
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I have toured on older no longer made mavic xc 717, 26in 32h rated at 420g per rim. Not sure of what spokes are on mine, but I can say that this combo has worked perfectly for a 135lb rider, on a roughly 30lb bike , with anywhere from 40 to 55lbs of load.

caveat--I was running 2in Supremes at lower pressures, about 40-50psi, so this added a certain amount of cushion.

rear rim got a slight dent in it from hitting a pothole at speed, yet no broken spoke and rim had the slightest of out of trueness, nearly nothing, and stayed that way for the next month of my trip and all this summer with no change.

no recommendations for rims, but this may help as a reference re rims of similar weight and strength given your riding weight etc etc.
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Old 11-20-17, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I wouldn't say that a lot of 29er rims are sub-400g. Some are but most land solidly in the 450g and above range. The DT XR331 may be only 380g but it also only comes in 32 hole drilling. That's a consideration to take into account.

The Velocity A23 would be worth taking a look at if you want higher spoke count wheels. 450g, available in 36 hole drilling and also available in OCR drilling which strengthens the wheel for dish.
I was thinking of maybe doing a 32 front and 36 rear. Do you think that's necessary with my lower weight and riding being on road or gravel trails? I just don't really understand all of this wheel failure paranoia. I've ridden bikes my whole life, used to beat on them a lot until ~20yrs old and I still MTB. And it's not like I've even had nice, hand built wheels or anything. I've never Once had a problem with a wheel. ...I mean, of course I will now that I've said this, but it just doesn't seem like a big concern to me.
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Old 11-20-17, 09:58 PM
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Unfortunately(or fortunately. I'm escaping the cold winter...) I won't be around for the bike swap.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I was thinking of maybe doing a 32 front and 36 rear. Do you think that's necessary with my lower weight and riding being on road or gravel trails? I just don't really understand all of this wheel failure paranoia. I've ridden bikes my whole life, used to beat on them a lot until ~20yrs old and I still MTB. And it's not like I've even had nice, hand built wheels or anything. I've never Once had a problem with a wheel. ...I mean, of course I will now that I've said this, but it just doesn't seem like a big concern to me.
Wheel failure "paranoia" is usually based on actual wheel failure. I've broken a lot of spokes, fixed a lot of broken spokes at my local co-op and it's a fairly common topic on the Bike Forums. Breaking one spoke may not be a trip ending problem but it can lead to more spoke failures which can end a trip. I've ridden about 100 miles on a loaded bike with a broken spoke out of necessity but I also missed part of the route because I ended up getting a ride to a shop that was further down the route. I kind of regret not seeing the bits I missed. Good wheels with good spokes is just cheap insurance.

That said, the DT's you are looking at aren't available in a 36 for the rear. Not many mountain bike rims are. You could get away with 32 spokes on both wheels if you use a triple butted spoke. Look at that article I linked to. Hjerberg says that triple spokes are the "equivalent to adding 10 spokes to the wheel." I wouldn't go that far but it's certainly like using a wheel with the next step up in spokes. A 32 triple butted spoke wheel is certainly equivalent to a 36 double butted spoke wheel.

Part of what won me over to the triple butted spokes was when I used them for the first time and the wheel lasted 10 hard mountain biking years. I'd never had a wheel last that long before. The only reason it didn't longer than 10 years was because I loaned the bike to someone who managed to overshift into the spokes and tore the wheel to pieces. What's odd about that is that I had never had the bike overshift into the spoke. I think he was fiddling with the limit screws to "improve" the shifting.

Basically, I see the triple butted spoke as a great tool for making a very good wheel without paying much in the way of penalty, even for light riders.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
...
Part of what won me over to the triple butted spokes was when I used them for the first time and the wheel lasted 10 hard mountain biking years. I'd never had a wheel last that long before.
...
Basically, I see the triple butted spoke as a great tool for making a very good wheel without paying much in the way of penalty, even for light riders.
I will remember this when in the future I have wheels made, so far Ive just used what has been on my bikes, bought new or used and its been fine, but its informative to hear your experiences.
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Old 11-21-17, 11:58 AM
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I have not broken a spoke since some time in the 1980s or 90s. And the wheel with that spoke was built in the 1960s, so I can't get too excited about debating modern spokes.

I use Wheelsmith DB-14 spokes and for the past four years I have been using Sapim nipples.

On the wheel in the photo, you can see one of the spokes has an odd bend in it. When I built the wheel I could not find DB-14 spokes in the correct length but I found some straight gauge Wheelsmith spokes in that length so that is what I used, along with Sapim nipples. I have no idea exactly what happened to cause that bent spoke, but I recalled an odd noise earlier in the day. I think the front tire threw a cobble up into the spokes in the back wheel and I think that jammed between the frame and spoke as I rode, bending the spoke. Later in the day I could feel the brake rubbing and the wheel was no longer true and that spoke was quite loose.

I suspected that the spoke or nipple threads had been pulled out, stripping the threads. But, I was lucky and was able to re-tension the spoke with a spoke wrench, did not need to strip off the rim tape and replace the spoke and nipple.

Bottom line, I still think that quality spokes are quite important, but the only spoke problem I have had in the past couple of decades was with a straight gauge spoke and I am still riding on that same spoke a year and a half later.

I do not want to get in a debate, but for a quality wheel I put rim selection up high, above spoke selection. But I would only buy spokes from one of the short list of top quality brands.
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Old 11-21-17, 06:47 PM
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Cyccommute, I did read the article. After doing so I was planning on using triple butted. That seems like a simple step to building up a stronger wheel with pretty much no penalty. Thanks for posting. The one thing that kinda concerns me is on Peter White's site, he says that butting in the middle of the spoke is important for allowing a little bit of stretch to prevent rim cracking around the nipple area.

And you are correct, I am having trouble finding lighter 36 hole disk rims. I'm torn on whether to chance a 32 rear or run mismatched wheels. I'd kind of like them to be the same front and rear, though. Hmm... If the triple butted spoke makes that much of a difference, maybe I'll be fine on a 32.
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Old 11-21-17, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
... I'm torn on whether to chance a 32 rear or run mismatched wheels. I'd kind of like them to be the same front and rear, though. Hmm... If the triple butted spoke makes that much of a difference, maybe I'll be fine on a 32.
My Lynskey Backroad that I built up last spring, I built that with 36 spoke rear and 32 spoke front. The front has a lot less weight on it so a few less spokes up front should not hurt too much.

I planned to use 36 on front and rear, but the dynohub I wanted for the front was temporarily out of stock in 36 so I decided to switch to 32 for the front to expedite things.

Decades ago some british utility bikes were 32 spoke front and 40 rear because they put the spokes where the weight was.
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Old 11-22-17, 12:35 AM
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Tourist in MSN, I plan to start running a frame bag where I'll put my heavier gear. Do you think that'll make much of a difference in the "stronger wheel in rear because that's where the weight is" theory? That'll put less weight right over the rear wheel, but how much of a difference will it make? Will it add much to the stress on the front wheel?

How much do rim eyelets matter?

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Old 11-22-17, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I will remember this when in the future I have wheels made, so far Ive just used what has been on my bikes, bought new or used and its been fine, but its informative to hear your experiences.
I'll add that I used to break spokes with regularity and still carry around spare spokes on tour. The last spoke I broke on tour was in 2005 on the west side of Lolo Pass. I've done 4 tours since then including 2 that were about twice as long and twice as rugged...my "Pokin' around the Poconos" tour was 50 to 60% dirt riding...with a similar (heavy) load. I haven't broken a spoke on tour since 2005. Those wheels have about 10,000 miles on them now and have been swapped over to my commuter bike because the rims on my commuter bike wheels wore out and I rebuilt new wheels for my touring bike. The wheels on my commuter bike, using the same spokes had about 17,000 miles on them.

And the only reason that I changed the spokes on the commuter bike wheels is pure and shameless vanity. My touring bike went from this

2015-01-11 12.20.06 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

to this

IMG_1444 (1) by Stuart Black, on Flickr

I could have just done a rim replacement on the commuter bike but when you can find snazzy rims....
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Old 11-22-17, 10:06 AM
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blingo-rama
your bike looks positively Swiss.
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Old 11-22-17, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Tourist in MSN, I plan to start running a frame bag where I'll put my heavier gear. Do you think that'll make much of a difference in the "stronger wheel in rear because that's where the weight is" theory? That'll put less weight right over the rear wheel, but how much of a difference will it make? Will it add much to the stress on the front wheel?

How much do rim eyelets matter?
You commented above that you tour light, weigh about 150 lbs and plan to use 32 spokes.

I just can't really comment on your questions above about wheel strength without knowing a lot more about the bike, what kind of surface you are riding on, how hard you are on bikes, etc. And even if I knew a lot more, my opinion would still just be one more persons opinion.

You can't put a lot into a frame bag, they just do not hold that much so I think it will not matter much for transfering much weight from rear to front wheel.

I think it boils down to how much weight will be on the rear wheel and how big will the pot holes be that you hit?

Rohloff for over a decade only made 32 spoke hubs because they felt that 32 was enough, but even they succumbed to customer demands for 36. I bought the 36 version for my Rohloff bike.

While four more spokes (from 32 to 36) is not a lot more strength, I just can't see a reason to not use four more spokes. So, all of my rear wheels are 36.

Rim eyelets, my A719 rims have them and I think in that rim that they spread the spoke tension across both inner and outer walls. My Gordo rims have them, I do not recall if the eyelets are only on the outer wall or not.

But my Dyad and Andra 30 rims do not have eyelets.

I do not really think that the eyelets are that critical. But I have never had a rim fail, maybe you should ask if people that have had rims fail if they had eyelets.

***

Regarding weight on a touring bike, nobody has ever accused me of packing light.
  • My newest bike is a Lynsky Backroad, I plan to use that on my lighter trips. But that would still mean four panniers and handlebar bag. This is the bike where I mentioned above that I used 36 spokes in rear, 32 in front. Dyad rims, rear hub is an XT M756A steel axle cup and cone hub.
  • My Thorn Sherpa is rated for 30 or 35 kg of weight not counting the weight of rider, that assumes teh weight is spread over four panniers, water bottle cages and a handlebar bag. I have probably approached the rated capacity on a couple trips when leaving the grocery store. Wheels are Salsa Gordo rims, 36 spoke front and rear, rear hub is an XT M760 steel axle hub.
  • My Thorn Nomad is rated for something like 60 kg excluding the weight of the rider. I have loaded it down with a full camping load and over two weeks worth of food, but I do not think I carried the 60 kg capacity, that is so much stuff that I do not think I have enough bags to carry it all on a bike. Wheels are Rigida/Ryde Andra 30 CSS rims, 36 spoke front and rear, rear hub is a Rohloff.
  • I used to have another touring bike, the rear wheel from that had a M752 XT rear axle and 36 spokes on a Mavic A719 rim. I still use that wheel on my rando bike. I used this wheel on my Pacific Coast trip.
If you are not sure about a pattern here, there is one. All rear wheels are 36 spoke and only the Rohloff wheel does not use 1/4 inch steel ball bearings in a cup and cone hub. And all are 135mm spacing.

I like the looks and design concept of the Grand Cru rear hub and considered it for my Lynskey, but I ended up buying the XT which was a much cheaper hub.

I am not a hard rider. Someone else commenting here has said he has broken a lot of spokes, but I have not broken a spoke for a couple of decades. And I have never broken a spoke on a wheel that I built. And I have never damaged a rim to the point were it needed to be replaced. Maybe I am over-building things, but I would rather not have a key component failure so I am content to ride a bike that is a bit over-built.

I mentioned here that I used several XT rear hubs, but I only use the steel axle variety in the rear. I have one of the newer types of XT Aluminum axle hubs on one front wheel, but for the rear I only want the steel axle type hubs.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 11-22-17 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 11-22-17, 10:59 PM
  #23  
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For my next bike I was considering trying the new Astral rims. I have heard great things from people who have Rolf wheels (the same company that now also makes Astral) and love to support MUSA stuff and love the idea of tubeless easy setups.

My current touring wheels are WTB Frequency CX i19 rims laced to Paul hubs and Sapim spokes and locking nipples that were properly built up by Bill Mould and they have had zero problems since being built by Bill. Personally if I had known what I know now I probably would have gone a little wider but I might still have stuck with WTB or if Astral had existed then probably go with their Leviathan.
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Old 11-23-17, 05:10 AM
  #24  
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XT is the hub I'm thinking of. How do you know if it has an AL or steel axle?
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Old 11-23-17, 08:47 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
XT is the hub I'm thinking of. How do you know if it has an AL or steel axle?
I think they switched to Aluminum with the M770 series of hubs and I assume they are still making Aluminum axles. But the M75X and M76X (put any digit in you want where I put an X) should be steel.

Or look at the exploded diagram for the hub, you are looking for 1/4 inch ball bearings, the Aluminum axle hubs use smaller bearings.

I often save the exploded diagrams on my hard drive for components that I use and might need to look at later, I had three hub diagrams on my hard drive. I do not know if this will work but I will try to attach them, they are PDF format.

I bought a new M756A last spring, the others that I have diagrams for might not be made anymore.

I do not have a problem with Aluminum axles but the axles had to be so big to be strong enough that they used smaller ball bearings in the hubs.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 11-23-17 at 08:50 AM.
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