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Size vs. Strength NooB wheel Question

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Size vs. Strength NooB wheel Question

Old 08-09-22, 07:40 PM
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mr,grumpy 
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Size vs. Strength NooB wheel Question

So, I had this old 26er that I was riding around for years, Hardrock. Super low-level bike that I bought used. But hen, my kid needed a bie so I went down to the local bike shop and got him a Marlin5. We went riding and I thought to myself "there is no way that he is so much better than me"! So I was all like, "let me try that bike". And I did. And the exact trails that I rode on the hard rock only moments before that had me struggling over the rocky and rooted New England Trails were SO MUCH easier on the 29er.I rode it a few other times when he wasn't around on what I imagine are "easy" local trails around here and it was so much better than the 26 inch wheeled bike.

So now I'm in the market for a new hard tail mountain bike. There is only one qualification for this new bike: It MUSY be equipped with a RockShox fork (always wanted one could never afford one). So, I'm looking at the high end of the 100mm, entry level cross country bikes. Which are pretty darn close to the low end of the 130mm "Trail" bikes. It would be pretty easy jump except most of those bikes are 27.5 and that's pretty close to the 26 that I have always struggles with on the local terrain that the 29er just rolled over.

One other consideration is that I'm a Big Boi. At 220 lbs, am I less likely to bend or break a 27.5 than a 29 of is that even a real consideration?
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Old 08-09-22, 08:17 PM
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A cheap wheel is going to be a cheap wheel. If you are having wheel issues getting one hand built by a professional wheel builder is going to be the key. Certainly shorter spokes are going to be stronger but cheap-o machine built wheel of smaller size is probably going to be weaker than a hand built wheel of larger size. Also with a smaller wheel potentially you might have more room for wider tires which will help.

Not sure why it has to be a Rockshox, Rockshox makes some decent forks but the do some lower end stuff as well so keep that in mind. Fox would be a better option for higher end forks as they really don't have any low end stuff, Anywho as long as you have a decent air shock you are probably OK. I get those parts you wanted as a "yute" but Kashima coating yummo))))

Anywho I currently have a 100mm RS fork and wish I had a 130mm travel it would be such a better ride and more capable bike and the bike currently has the geo for it but I did get a good deal on the SID XX fork so it going to be tough to find a fork that nice for the price. Basically don't limit yourself get a bike that is going to make the most sense.
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Old 08-10-22, 07:01 AM
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While in theory a smaller wheel could offer some strength advantages, in practice the wheel size for a MTB is pretty much irrelevant in this regard. Loads of people heavier than you run 29" wheels. Heck, even DH racing has mostly gone 29". This notion that 29" wheels would be weaker than 26" stuck around for years when 29ers first hit the scene. That is pretty much settled as a non-issue these days.

If you liked the feel of the 29" wheels, get 29" wheels. There are reasons for some people to go with 27.5" on some bikes (and I am not talking about how tall they are), but you would probably know if you were one of those people.

Here is some unsolicited opinion/advice: If your use for this is going to be primarily trail riding, you might look at some other offerings with more "modern MTB" geometry. The Marlin's geo is typical of what MTB hardtails were 12 years ago. For bikes that spend a bit of time on something other than singletrack, this is fine. It is a sensible compromise for a bike that spends a lot of time on roads (paved, dirt, gravel, commuting). But for primarily singletrack riding, geometry has improved dramatically in the past 5-7 years. Basically, modern MTB geo has gotten better for actual mountain biking, but less desirable for riding on roads (paved or otherwise). That's my take, anyway.

Is there a reason for Rock Shox in particular? Rock Shox makes a solid product at nearly all price levels from entry to top-tier, but there are other good options. Fox is also excellent, and offers high quality forks starting from affordable (this would be their Marzocchi branded stuff) to top tier. For my the reason I like RS forks is that they are relatively easy to rebuild, But if you don't do that stuff yourself, it is not really a selling point. Manitou is also making good stuff these days, though I don't often see them on stock builds. At the price point you are looking at, being brand-specific could really limit you option. Look at the model, not just the brand.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
While in theory a smaller wheel could offer some strength advantages, in practice the wheel size for a MTB is pretty much irrelevant in this regard. Loads of people heavier than you run 29" wheels. Heck, even DH racing has mostly gone 29". This notion that 29" wheels would be weaker than 26" stuck around for years when 29ers first hit the scene. That is pretty much settled as a non-issue these days.

If you liked the feel of the 29" wheels, get 29" wheels. There are reasons for some people to go with 27.5" on some bikes (and I am not talking about how tall they are), but you would probably know if you were one of those people.

Here is some unsolicited opinion/advice: If your use for this is going to be primarily trail riding, you might look at some other offerings with more "modern MTB" geometry. The Marlin's geo is typical of what MTB hardtails were 12 years ago. For bikes that spend a bit of time on something other than singletrack, this is fine. It is a sensible compromise for a bike that spends a lot of time on roads (paved, dirt, gravel, commuting). But for primarily singletrack riding, geometry has improved dramatically in the past 5-7 years. Basically, modern MTB geo has gotten better for actual mountain biking, but less desirable for riding on roads (paved or otherwise). That's my take, anyway.

Is there a reason for Rock Shox in particular? Rock Shox makes a solid product at nearly all price levels from entry to top-tier, but there are other good options. Fox is also excellent, and offers high quality forks starting from affordable (this would be their Marzocchi branded stuff) to top tier. For my the reason I like RS forks is that they are relatively easy to rebuild, But if you don't do that stuff yourself, it is not really a selling point. Manitou is also making good stuff these days, though I don't often see them on stock builds. At the price point you are looking at, being brand-specific could really limit you option. Look at the model, not just the brand.
Thank you. I do want this bike for trail riding. No roads I have bikes for that. Rockshox only because hey were aspirational when I was little. Others might be better but also more costly and without that satisfying "click" of a life goal completion. My NEXT bike might have better. I'm open to other options obviously, and would love to have suggestions. I've looked at the numbers for most of the competition and they are all pretty close, as far as geometry goes. The "trail" bikes are a step up from the top tier Marlins and Rockhoppers. My nerve starts to waver as the price comes closer to $2k and I start to think about all the "real things" that I could be spending that money on.

My Front Runners right now are the Kona Mahuna and the Giant Fathom 1 (without the RS, I know...) Perhaps more Reilly available are the Marlin 7 that I mentioned and the Rockhopper Elite or maybe a Giant Talon 1 that would be very comfortably under budget.

What "smaller" brands should I look at that are going to offer a trail hardtail in that +/- $1500 range?
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Old 08-11-22, 11:41 AM
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Marlin 7 and 8 have rockshox --

X-Caliber 8 is a good bit under 2k too - just speaking of Trek -- brands like Trek, Specialized, Giant will offer more bang for the buck than a smaller builder in general because they purchase parts from Shimano/SRAM etc by the shipping container load

This is why a lot of smaller brands - Santa Cruz, and brands similar - dont even play in the low to mid priced arena
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Old 08-11-22, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by J_Chickles View Post
Marlin 7 and 8 have rockshox --

X-Caliber 8 is a good bit under 2k too - just speaking of Trek -- brands like Trek, Specialized, Giant will offer more bang for the buck than a smaller builder in general because they purchase parts from Shimano/SRAM etc by the shipping container load

This is why a lot of smaller brands - Santa Cruz, and brands similar - dont even play in the low to mid priced arena
Rockshox means nothing they make some lower end coil shocks as well. Yes if I was to have a bottom end fork sure Rockshox would be the way to go but I wouldn't really want a coil shock unless it was something high end and even then I think I am fairly well sold on air shocks.

The Marlin 8 does have a Judy Solo Air shock which would be fine. It is an entry level air shock but well regarded enough for an entry level bike.

Santa Cruz doesn't play in the low end bikes because they don't need to muck around in that and dilute their product range as there are already established brands like Trek and Specialized and others who already have that market.
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Old 08-12-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Rockshox means nothing they make some lower end coil shocks as well. Yes if I was to have a bottom end fork sure Rockshox would be the way to go but I wouldn't really want a coil shock unless it was something high end and even then I think I am fairly well sold on air shocks.

The Marlin 8 does have a Judy Solo Air shock which would be fine. It is an entry level air shock but well regarded enough for an entry level bike.

Santa Cruz doesn't play in the low end bikes because they don't need to muck around in that and dilute their product range as there are already established brands like Trek and Specialized and others who already have that market.


Yeah --- im a long time Fox guy myself, so am not up to speed on RockShox's product line - i just assumed Suntour ruled that low end coil spring market now.

Interestingly enough (and speaking of Santa Cruz) in 2006 i had a Superlight custom specce'd by Cambria Bicycle Outfitters while in the area on business. I actually requested that they install a Fox Vanilla coil fork on there for me with the springs appropriate for my weight. Air forks were well established by this time, but a good coil fork had a ride quality that was not yet matched , and didnt pack when it got hot like the air forks of the day tended to do - The guys' at CBO warned me the coil fork added about a pound of weight , but after speaking to me they realized i had actually given it some thought

Not trying to counterpoint you or anything, as that was -- sheesh - over 16 years ago. My new bike is all air , and even some of the big travel DH forks are air now, so im guessing they got the packing issue sorted out long ago
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Old 08-12-22, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by J_Chickles View Post
Yeah --- im a long time Fox guy myself, so am not up to speed on RockShox's product line - i just assumed Suntour ruled that low end coil spring market now.

Interestingly enough (and speaking of Santa Cruz) in 2006 i had a Superlight custom specce'd by Cambria Bicycle Outfitters while in the area on business. I actually requested that they install a Fox Vanilla coil fork on there for me with the springs appropriate for my weight. Air forks were well established by this time, but a good coil fork had a ride quality that was not yet matched , and didnt pack when it got hot like the air forks of the day tended to do - The guys' at CBO warned me the coil fork added about a pound of weight , but after speaking to me they realized i had actually given it some thought

Not trying to counterpoint you or anything, as that was -- sheesh - over 16 years ago. My new bike is all air , and even some of the big travel DH forks are air now, so im guessing they got the packing issue sorted out long ago
There are still good high end coil shocks but most you will find stock aren't so good. SR Suntour does rule that market but they also make some nicer forks as well. I probably wouldn't generally run their stuff as I do prefer Fox or Rockshox though the look of the Manitou with the polished crown is pretty hot.
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Old 08-13-22, 10:44 AM
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There could be a lot of reasons your kid's 29er is faster - but the 29er part is likely one of them. They definitely roll over bumps better. Other very likely reasons might be tire quality, or the condition of the ball bearings (how old is your 26er's grease?), or the fit.

As for "what bike," I think you are on the right track. For your use you could get the Marlin or Roscoe (or competitor brand equivalents, what's in stock is probably more important than brand lately) and be happy as a clam. You could get a cheaper one and upgrade the fork, it would be fine.

Fork - The less expensive Rock Shox forks with TK or Motion Control come in a variety of sizes with a lot of names but they all work the same, which is good enough for most people who aren't nerds. Main difference is that cheaper ones (sometimes named "Silver) have chrome steel sliders and maybe a coil spring, the more expensive (sometimes "Gold") ones are all aluminum and definitely air spring. From the heaviest in this family (35 Silver R) to the lightest (Recon Gold) is a loss of a couple of pounds! The "TK" ones are open/lock and "Motion Control" have adjustable damping. The really premium forks with shim stack dampers start at $500 or more retail and come on $4000+ mostly full suspension bikes. Probably the cheapest such fork is the Marzocchi Z2, followed by any RockShox with a Charger damper or any Fox.

Wheel strength - A few years ago I got a bike with Plus tires and a fairly inexpensive wheelset. I figured, no way was this thing ever going to pop rear spokes. The load is transferred into the wheel over the region the tire distends by the rim, and it would be spread way out, and the rim is just huge, I thought. But it still did pop a spoke. And I had to go over the wheel and touch up the tension. And it's been fine since. The best preventative maintenance for this is to take your bike into the shop after a few hundred or a thousand miles and have them go over the wheel. Inexpensive bikes just have s--- wheel builds and they all do this. We say "machine built wheel" as a dis because an experienced human with an hour can make it perfect, but there are good machines and not so good ones, and the not-so-good machines are the ones they use on $1000 bikes. The type of spoke also plays a role here. Cheaper wheels like this have straight gauge spokes. Better wheels have spokes which are the same thickness as ever at the ends but thinner in the middle ("double butted") so they are stretched further for a given tension, and thus they don't come out of tension so much and the bends stay seated and don't get fatigued and snap. But you aren't going to get those except on a pretty expensive bike, or your own specified wheel build at the shop.

The Roscoe has some features that are a bit more serious, but we disagree here sometimes about whether they are needful for everyone. I have a bike with a QR rear that is convertible to thru axle, and it came with a Silver fork. I've had it pop out once on a jump landing, which was scary. When the cheap hub craps out, which is finally happening, it's getting converted to TA with a cartridge bearing hub and DB spokes. It's taken me four years to use it up and get sick of it. I also got a slightly clapped out premium fork I was able to repair and it's way, way better than the RS Judy that the bike came with. Some people would have tossed those features out instantly or taken the upcharge at time of purchase, or built frame-up. Some people would never have run into trouble with them in the first place.
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