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29er/700c strongest wheelset

Old 03-22-15, 12:27 AM
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azza_333
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29er/700c strongest wheelset

I am considering going on a long expedition tour in a few developing countries, with a few long gravel roads, fully loaded. I ride a 2015 Kona Sutra with 700c wheels. and I'm wondering what the strongest rims, hubs, and spokes are that I could build into the most bomb proof wheels. Also 36, 40, or 48 spokes?

Currently I have
Rims: WTB SX19
Hubs: Shimano Deore
Spokes: Sandvik Stainless 14g

Last edited by azza_333; 03-22-15 at 12:31 AM. Reason: add
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Old 03-22-15, 01:49 AM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/99...mendation.html

and 100 other threads have your answer.

Obviously most people would probably say 26er, but for your situation, 700c is fine. Large tires mean a smoother ride, and less stress on spokes. 36 is OK, I would go 40, you are probably going to need to ship or carry any replacements, so I think in that situation why not go for some oddball spoke option, and roll with the max wheel. I don't really think 48 is necessary though.

If you use a razor saw in 3 or 4 places a rim can be preped for compact carry, or easy shipping.
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Old 03-22-15, 02:01 AM
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Want longer lasting wheels? Carry less stuff.

36H is plenty.

Define long tour. Are you going for a few weeks, months or years? Odds are I wouldn't worry much if I were you. Most major companies ship anywhere in the world.
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Old 03-22-15, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkyGA View Post
Define long tour. Are you going for a few weeks, months or years?
4-6 months
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Old 03-22-15, 08:00 AM
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Mr IGH
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I just had the same need, for my Saga Disc. I choose tubeless ready mountain bike rims, SunRingle Helix TR27. Only 520gms, stronger than my 599gm Mavic a319 rims and 80gms lighter. If you are using rim brakes I'd still use Mavic a319. I used straight gauge 2.0mm DT spokes, Shimano XT756 rear hub and Shimano 3D71 dynamo front hub. I didn't bother to try to find 36 or 40 hole rims and hubs, these wheels are as strong as my 29er MTB wheels.

The new tubeless ready disc rims have a much better design compared to older hookbead clincher rims. There's less material in the beads and more material in the spoke track, the section is deeper. Stronger and lighter through proper, modern design.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:48 AM
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theoretical topic of strength..

seems an IGH rear wheel , because of the symmetry of the spoke bracing angle and greater flange width spread, is stronger than a Derailleur Type.

as the right drive side of the hub has to be more tight , left too looser .. to make room for all those 'speeds'..


Will you be able to afford the tour after the cost of building the perfect bike.. ?
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Old 03-22-15, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by azza_333 View Post
I am considering going on a long expedition tour in a few developing countries, with a few long gravel roads, fully loaded. I ride a 2015 Kona Sutra with 700c wheels. and I'm wondering what the strongest rims, hubs, and spokes are that I could build into the most bomb proof wheels. Also 36, 40, or 48 spokes?

Currently I have
Rims: WTB SX19
Hubs: Shimano Deore
Spokes: Sandvik Stainless 14g
No wheel is perfect and there is no combination of perfection that really can be achieved. Tourists especially like to worry about the what-ifs and for some of us it keeps us up at night. "what if my wheel fails, should I overbuild it or maybe if I don't take the rain fly I can lose some weight but what if it rains, I might get wet..."

36h is probably plenty unless you are an overpacking clyde. Take a look at what gear you are taking and see what you really need and what you think you need because of your planned travels. Maybe do a test tour without that gear you think you need (since you are in Aus. you can probably do some gravel road touring away from cities pretty easily but still have a safety net in case) and if it all works out then you are probably fine if not maybe add back what you needed.

Anything can happen just about anywhere for any number of reasons and unfortunately we cannot prevent all of them but if we lighten the load and maintain our bikes generally things are going to be o.k. Plus if you really need something on tour you can usually get it shipped by someone.
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Old 03-22-15, 04:55 PM
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Doug64
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My wife and I both use Velocity Dyad rims, Wheelsmith double butted spokes and either XT, Ultegra, or 105 hubs. The XT and Ultegra hubs have the most miles. On a tour in 2011 part of our route took us over 400+ of dirt roads and trails, and 500+ of cobbles and sett paving. Both wheels held up very well. A well built 36 spoke wheel will hold up amazingly well.

As I said in an earlier post: Co-Motion uses the Dyad rims on their tandems, touring bikes and on the "Americano" their expedition bike. Take a look at the specs on their wheels, and you will probably have good idea what a quality built trekking wheel will look like.

However, I do think the Mavic 719 rims may be a little more rugged. The reason I didn't go with the 719 is that they are a little heavier.

I don't know about the WTB SX 19, but I ran a pair of WTB DX 23's (32 spoke)on my CX bike. The wheels had a lot of hard use, including a ride across the U.S. They are the only touring wheel that I ever broke spokes on, all on the front wheel. I think the fault was the result of an over-zealous shop mechanic when he trued and tensioned the wheel. I broke three spokes within a week, right after they were worked on.

Last edited by Doug64; 03-22-15 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 03-22-15, 05:07 PM
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If you don't have a lot of miles on your wheels, I'd go with the ones you have and replace if and when needed. If going with new wheels, you'll need to decide on cup and cone vs sealed bearing hubs , straight gauge versus double butted spokes, and the rim of course. The velocity dyad and mavic A719 which others have mentioned are both fine rims. I'd add the DT Swiss TK 450 to that list. Trying to save weight on your trip will make life easier on you and your wheels.
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Old 03-23-15, 09:39 AM
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To answer the question of strongest wheels, in 700c, IMO would be:

1. Carbon MTB Enduro rims, which I believe you can request in 'Stronger' which are heavier duty than standard and I believe you can get custom spoke drillings, bead hook-less rims carbon 29er light bike rim tubeless compatible Light-Bicycle
2. 48 hole Rohloff or Phil Wood hubs
3. Brass nipples and double butted spokes.
4. Biggest tires you can get, which look to be 40c.

Realistically though, 36 hole rims like A719 w/Shimano Xt hub or a nice step up to Phil Wood is plenty for most, unless your hauling 200 lbs of gear. Good tires run at a reasonable pressure will go a long way in keeping a wheelset alive.

I think your Deore hubs are good enough. I'd honestly ride your current wheelset for a bit, get it looked at by a wheelbuilder and re-tensioned / re-trued and call it good.
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Old 03-23-15, 10:55 AM
  #11  
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For what it's worth. I wanted a "bomb proof" wheelset for my build also and this is what I ride on. Velocity Chukkers, Phil Wood Rear Hub, SON 28 Front Hub, 40 spokes front and back.
  • The Chukkers not for the aero profile but the extra material adds strength and excellent heat dissipation on long descents.
  • Phil Wood touring rear hub for the build quality and serviceability.
  • SON28 front hub because I wanted a genhub and this is arguably the best made and it comes as a 40 hole option.
  • Wheelsmith DB14 spokes


My concerns were all about reliability and safety, I did not want a wheel to be a constant problem or worse, have a catastrophic failure. I pushed off from Anacortes WA at 325 pounds rider weight + 55 pounds pannier contents + unknown bike weight (LHT/Racks/stand/fenders etc...) so over 400 pounds rolling weight, easy. 15k miles later these wheels are still in great shape with the only noticable (but normal) wear being in the swept braking area of the rims. Since I had never built a wheel from scratch and I did not want to be my own guinea pig I opted for the advise and experience of a professional. Because the builder (Peter White) approved of the components based on my requirements he backed these up with a lifetime guarantee. These wheels have so far met the "bomb proof" standard.

Now, all that being said, I understand that these are not inexpensive and they reflect my personal preferences. Each rider has to weigh the various components, costs, and environmental requirements for their situation and needs. I went this route because I was very nervous about starting a huge tour being so heavy after a few years off the bike. The extra dollars spent on what I think are great components gave me peace of mind so I could stress out about other things instead !

NOTE: The invoice below contains 200$ in lighting and 120$ in tires so you'll have to do your own math.


.

Last edited by Bicycle365; 03-23-15 at 11:07 AM. Reason: # symbol converted to target links by forum software
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Old 03-23-15, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bicycle365 View Post
For what it's worth. I wanted a "bomb proof" wheelset for my build also and this is what I ride on. ... ...
Nice wheels.
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