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Thread: 29er SS Wheel Build Qs
05-06-2010, 01:28 PM #1
29er SS Wheel Build Qs
So I'm doing some long distance races this summer and some of them are going to be SS. I'm on a Sinister Simon Bar with adjustable dropouts, so the races the first part of the summer are geared, the second part of the summer are SS. I'm wondering about what wheel I should build up. Hub/rim combos people really like? I havent had a SS wheel since an old Surly flipflop so I havent paid too much attention to whats out there. I'd rather have a dedicated wheel than swap cassettes and deal with spacers.
Cost isnt so much an option since I've getting EP, but I don't want to break an axle 35 miles in. Hope? King? Stans rim?
05-06-2010, 04:52 PM #2
05-06-2010, 04:54 PM #3
the rim choice is easy: either Stan's Flow or Arch. Lots of tubeless-ready 29er tires that work well on those rims. I ride Flows since I like the width and strength, but for many the Arch seems to be a good choice.
re: hubs -- Hadley with the 72 pt engagement, and the 10 mm thru axle configuration. My wheelbuilder sells me a Hadley/DT Comp/Flow rear wheel for under $300, so for me the Hope rear is only on my budget wheelsets (e.g. on my commuter bike). I own hopes, CKs, hadleys, XTR, etc...hadley is my favorite overall.
re: hub configuration -- a growing trend in 29ers is to use a single speed hub (hope or hadley or whatever) and a 6 speed cog. there are threads devoted to this on mtbr's 29er forum. The increased dish means a strong but light wheel. I doubt I'll ever build a 29er wheel with a 9 speed cog again. still get 11-32 range, just less in-between cog sizes. But you want a SS dedicated rear wheel, right? OK fine, get the Hadley 'single speed' rear hub, and in the future you can always run it with 6 cogs if you ruin your other rear wheel.197 Katanas for sale, very low miles.
05-06-2010, 11:33 PM #4
For rims: I agree with Fro. If you are racing, you should definitely go tubeless, and I've (and many others here) have had heaps of success on the Stan's NoTubes rims. I personally use the Arches and have had no problems with seating a variety of standard (i.e. non-UST) tires on them (i.e. WTB Weirwolf LT's, Prowlers, & Nano's; Maxxis Aspens & Ignitors; Scwalbe Racing Ralphs's and Stan's Crow's have all seated easily and never blown off for me). I've used the Arches for over a year, and while they are starting to show their extensive use with a variety of dings in them, they still work flawlessly. If I weighed 10 - 15 lbs less (I'm generally around 180 lbs), I'd consider some of their lighter, more race-dedicated rims, but for an all-rounder the Arch is pretty good, is light enough, and plenty durable. As Fro, mentions the Flow is a little wider and stronger, but if you're racing XC, you'll probably want to save the weight where it counts...here in the rim, and thus, I'd recommend the Arch's or perhaps the lighter ones (can't remember the name right now) depending on your weight and riding style.
for hubs: I use the Industry Nine single speed specific hubs. They are pricey, but perhaps an EP will cut some of the sting out of that. For single speeding engagement is key and the I9 has the most: 120 engagement points and a quality of construction very similar to King if not better. It's not the lightest, but it's close enough, and it's been bomber in the year and a a half that I've had it. I've even been running it with ceramic bearings and the thing spins super smooth even with all those engagement points in there. It just goes....The I9 rear SS specific hub uses a traditional QR, but with thier straight aluminum spokes (described below) making for such a stiff wheel, I've never felt like I need a thru-axle and I dig the convenience of the QR as I change gearing quite a bit to suit different race courses/conditions.
I have the Arch's and I9 hubs laced together with I9's proprietary aluminum spokes. You can get their hubs built for traditional j-bend spokes, but their straight aluminum spokes are light and STIFF and they eliminate the need for a j-bend at the hub nor a nipple at the rim. One drawback is that they are like $5 a spoke if you break one. I have broken two in the year and a half I had them, and in both cases I was able to ride out 10 - 15 miles with a broken spoke and not damage the rim. (FWIW - Both spoke breaks were completely user error..on a technical climb I rocked the bike into a rock outcropping that got stuck into the spokes and SNAP!, and then second time was during a cross race. One of the barriers was a downed tree that was on the course and I was racing my SS mtb in SS class, and when I was climbing over the tree on my last lap, my bike slipped out of my hand and the spokes of the rear wheel landed on the tree and bent/broke one of them..put a huge kink in my brake rotor too..grrrrrr).
If I didn't have an I9 hub, my second choice would be those new single-speed specific Chubb hubs (www.bythehive.com). They make em with HUUUGE flanges so the spokes can be shorter for greater stiffness and strength. The hub shell is carbon as well, so for as large as they look they are really light. I picked one up at their Sea Otter booth and it nearly flew out of my hand because I didn't think it was going to be so light. I'm not sure on their engagement, but I hear second-hand that they are pretty good. The Chubb SS rear hub uses M10 bolts rather than QR.
Any other questions on racing single speeds fire away. I race SS a LOT.
Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 05-06-2010 at 11:48 PM.Waste your time, read my crap, at:
One Gear, Two Planks
05-07-2010, 11:40 AM #5
I was originally thinking the I9s, but my old roommate has been thrashing a set on his Spooky and they are thoroughly beat. That fact has kind of scared me away from them. His is a geared setup though and 26" if that makes any difference.
Stans sounds like a good bet, I'm never more than 160lbs so I can work with a light rim. I've run DT 240s on every bike I've had(mountain cross and road) and recently I upgraded the pawls to 36 from the stock 18 and love it. I've never ridden anything else so I can only imagine what 72 or 120 is like, but I'm wondering if you hit a point of diminishing returns.
Running QR would be nice since the frame has sliding dropouts I don't have to worry so much about slippage, right?
Tyrone, what gearing are you running? I've got an old M950 XTR crank and the E13 1x9 with a 34t ring. The terrain I'm in right now is pretty mellow with most of the climbs short and steep going up and down the 'knobs' (which is what they call hills in the midwest). But the race is in northern georgia so the climbs will be a bit more severe.
I'll price out the hub options--I had forgotten about Chub. I'll give them a look too!
Frorider, whats your service been like on the hadleys? I've heard second hand stories about exploding hubs but havent had any experience myself. I'm tempted to go with DT240s since I've owned them for so long(Currently have 4 wheelsets laced to 240s) but if there are better things out there I want to try them.
05-07-2010, 11:58 AM #6
EDIT: oh wait, just noticed you said "sliding" dropouts. Should def be more secure than just a horizontal dropout, but I'd still double check with others running a QR with sliders. I just don't have first hand experience with that set-up.
Originally Posted by cantdog
For more "real" races...I switch to something much spinnier. At Sea Otter I ran 34x19 (40 miles ~5,500 vert) and I got crushed in the Pro division getting 27th. I should have used 32x19 there or 32x20. For Downieville in July (29 miles, 5000 climbing), I will probably use a 32x19 or 32x20. (again this is all 29'er gearing).
One thing I have learned from a SS-racer buddy who is much faster than me, (he regularly gets top 10's in Pro SS at Sea Otter) is to "train hard & race easy". i.e. train/ride on a harder gear for some time prior than what you will race with in a particular event.
05-07-2010, 12:13 PM #7Not a skibum
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
I'm a 1x9 racer, but ride SS full time outside of race season on 32x19. The PA trails I race are pretty technical and rocky with lots of 300-600 vertical climbs (1500-2500k vert over 20 miles) and most of my expert/elite SS racer buddies are on 32x18 or 32x19.
05-07-2010, 12:23 PM #8
I just need to make sure my crank bolts are tight because wrenching that gear up steep climbs generates a lot of torque...see pic attached for a recent "just riding along" episodeWaste your time, read my crap, at:
One Gear, Two Planks
05-07-2010, 02:25 PM #9
My dropouts are vertical, so I'd probably be ok with QR. It looks like it depends on the hub though, some accept a M10, some a QR.
So, I should really decide if I want to go with a threaded on freewheel or a cassette freehub and use a cog. It looks like you lose weight with a threaded on hub, but gain it with the freewheel and vice versa. Are there advantages to either? I was looking at that Chub hub, which is nice and light and has huge flanges...and I guess if I ran a white industries freewheel I'd get 36pt engagement.
Besides not being able to run a 5 or 6 spd set up down the road with a hub like the chub, what am I gaining or losing with a threaded on SS hub?
05-07-2010, 02:36 PM #10Not a skibum
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
CantDog - White Industries makes a 72pt engagement trials freewheel, though i think it's 18 teeth only.
Nice tyrone. This week had a friend do something similar to a Chris King cog. 18 tooth turned into 6 on one JRA pedal stroke.
Next time you're in town (Exton/D-town) I can show you some real fun/punishing trails that start/finish at Victory with a crew of fast Elite/Experts.
05-07-2010, 03:57 PM #11in the zone of excess
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
- 3rd floor
I guess that along those lines you could argue that a cassette hub run single would give you more night-before-the-race gear switching options (assuming you don't want to buy a whole bunch of freewheels, or even (in an endurance race) maybe 18/19/20 cogs to choose between, assuming you're happy making quick brake adjustments or can live with small shifts in the rotor position w/o screwing up stopping too much...
I'd be interested if someone w/more wheelbuilding know-how can speak to what the differences are in dish...? My general impression was that a slightly wider-bodied threaded hub required less (dish) and therefore yields a slightly stronger wheel...but my guess is that the difference is probably pretty minimal if you're comparing between well-built wheels using good spokes and rims. Especially if we're talking about the "shorty" freehubs on something like the Hope.
It seems like it sort of depends on exactly which hubs you're comparing, and whether you're talking about shorty "SS" freehubs like the Hope and King ISO Disc or regular cassette hubs, since there are sometimes differences even w/in a manufacturer on the #pawls, body material, etc.
Frorider - any particular reason you like the Hadley's better than the CK or Hopes? I'm definitely jealous of a friend that delivers a stan's/hadley rear for less than 3 bills...
05-12-2010, 11:37 AM #12
great thread. I'm not yet on a 29er ss, but I do know a thing or two about endurance riding/racing on a 26er ss.
You really will notice the difference of the high engagement point systems (CK, I9, Hadley). I've been running a CK ss rear hub with the QR adaptor for two years now (72pt engagement). I recently had to run an older rear wheel for a training ride as I forgot to re-assemble my CK hub from some routine maintenance, and I was shocked by how much I missed the 72 pts engagement (vs I think 36 on the other wheel). Good news is all of the high engagement systems are also very serviceable.
No problems whatsoever with a QR rear in sliders, as long as the dropout is vertical on the slider (all are I think?).
Chubb- very very cool design idea, with the uber wide flange. Plus the carbon hub body fondly reminds me of the old Nuke Proof hubs. However, I really prefer QR so I don't have to carry around an 8MM allen to fix a flat. Of course, if you are running tubeless the need goes down, but, in a long race, you will prob carry spare tubes in case your tubeless system burps, which means you need the allen.
A random option to throw into the mix. anyone riding, considering Ellsworth wheels? Don't know anything about them.
05-12-2010, 04:13 PM #13
former uncle crud here.
the Chub dudes are good guys but one shortcoming of using the thread-on freewheel is that gearing changes are at least a chore and possibly expensive.
after using quite a few ACS freewheels at $15-20 apiece I popped for a White Industries ENO which engages nicely, has no "knock", coasts smoothly, and rotates true. but they're also spendy, like $80-100 apiece.
being able to change ratios becomes expensive at 80 bucks a ratio.
on the other hand with a Hadley or Hope Pro II, you can change ratios for the cost of a single cog.
I've used Hadley gearie hubs for a long time, I'd happily run their narrow-cassette "singlespeed" version.
I run a Surly rear hub on my SS.