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Confused about wheels!

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Confused about wheels!

Old 09-07-22, 01:16 PM
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attackontitan
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Confused about wheels!

Apologies for the amateur question...

I bought a bike that can supposedly accommodate a 42mm tire. It came with 700x38 road tires and is very comfy around town. However, I found a local trail (light gravel) that I'd love to ride. My goal is to get a second set of wheels on which I'd mount gravel tires. I read an article on REI about wheels and I have to admit, it's over my head. I'm looking for a dummies guide on wheels.

Here's what I can tell you:
- The bike has 700c wheels with the front one having a quick-release skewer and the rear one bolted on
- It's a single-gear bike (46T x 16T), so I don't have to worry about a derailleur
- The bike has disc brakes, so the new wheels must be disc-compatible
- I feel comfortable installing 6-bolt discs
- I can replace tubes and tires myself

What I'm confused about is hubs, cogs, and overall fit/compatibility (i.e. spacing). I looked at various wheel options on Amazon and other sites and I'm struggling to make heads or tails. I see that some wheels are for geared bicycles and some may require spacers (which I don't have experience with). I can't tell what will and will not fit. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

P.S. If it helps, following are the original wheelset specs according to the seller's website:
RIM : HJC-DA-300D 700x14Gx32H DOUBLE WALL ALLOY BLACK.
F/HUB : JY-D041DSE ALLOY BLACK W/QR. , R/HUB : JY-D244DSE ALLOY BLACK NUTTED.
SPOKE : 14G STEEL BLACK W/BRASS NIPPLE.

Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 09-07-22, 03:42 PM
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What you need to determine is the dropout spacing in the fork and frame. This is the inside distance between the fork and frame dropouts where the wheel axle is inserted. The fork dropout spacing is most likely 100mm, so any wheel should fit. However, the rear could be anything from 120mm to 142mm, depending on the frame. Once you determine this, we can better assist you in finding the correct rear wheel.
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Old 09-07-22, 04:14 PM
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Thanks man, appreciate it. I measured the front dropout spacing as 4" and the rear as 4-5/8". That would convert to 101.6 mm up front and 117.5 mm in the rear, but it's certainly likely that my measurements are a tiny bit off, so I'm going to go with 100 mm and 120 mm.
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Old 09-07-22, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by attackontitan
Thanks man, appreciate it. I measured the front dropout spacing as 4" and the rear as 4-5/8". That would convert to 101.6 mm up front and 117.5 mm in the rear, but it's certainly likely that my measurements are a tiny bit off, so I'm going to go with 100 mm and 120 mm.
OK, so any standard front wheel with a disc mount will fit w/o modification, with either a solid axle or hollow axle with a quick release. As to the rear, 120mm is standard track frame spacing, so you want a wheel with 120mm axle OLD (over locknut distance). Any track wheel will fit, but finding one with a disc mount will be difficult. The joy-tech (Novatec) JY-D244DSE rear hub that you mention is that type of hub, but they are not all that common. You definitely don't want a wider road wheel, because it will force you the spread your frame to make the wheel fit in the dropouts. Basically, you need to find a wheel like your current wheel.

I assume the rear of your bike looks something like this:


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Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 09-07-22 at 06:52 PM. Reason: added image
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Old 09-08-22, 05:49 AM
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Hi. Yes, you're spot on with that pic. Basically just like my bike.
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Old 09-08-22, 11:59 PM
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You should do what ever you want to do ultimately.

but in my case I would just send it on that trail. Then asses what you actually need after. Wider tires and finding the right gearing for you and that trail is where I would start.

if you really want a second set of wheels. A set of beach cruiser wheels would be cheap and easy to find and throw on some nobbie tires.

Last edited by Nofiltercycling; 09-09-22 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 09-09-22, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Nofiltercycling
You should do what ever you want to do ultimately.

but in my case I would just send it on that trail. Then asses what you actually need after. Wider tires and finding the right gearing for you and that trail is where I would start.

if you really want a second set of wheels. A set of beach cruiser wheels would be cheap and easy to find and throw on some nobbie tires.
I agree, the only thing about cheap beach cruiser 700c wheels is that theyíre usually loose ball bearing hubs and rather clunky. For gravel/dirt Iíd go with sealed hubs for longevity.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Yune_Garage
I agree, the only thing about cheap beach cruiser 700c wheels is that theyíre usually loose ball bearing hubs and rather clunky. For gravel/dirt Iíd go with sealed hubs for longevity.
sealed bearings are good but Iíve read on this forum enough times to consider for myself that loose ball bearings last just as long if you maintain them accordingly.
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Old 09-09-22, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Nofiltercycling
sealed bearings are good but Iíve read on this forum enough times to consider for myself that loose ball bearings last just as long if you maintain them accordingly.
Sure, thats with everything. On a road bike you can get away with it for extended period of time between servicing, but for dirt/gravel, itís a foolish move. Technically speaking, why you anyone choose the harder route having to unpack, clean the dirt and grime, re-greasing, and I eventually replacing scored ball bearings (from small rocks, etc) every few gravel rides when you could save yourself money, time and effort with sealed bearings? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

PS. Besides, sealed hubs are relatively cheap (Formula, Novatech, Oigin8, etc) or as cheap as old school loose ball hubs, but in my experience, even the freshly re-packed loose ball hubs and bottom brackets Iíve assembled donít spin like my used sealed hubs. Definitely no reason not to upgrade.

What has your experience been like with both?

Last edited by Yune_Garage; 09-09-22 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 09-09-22, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Yune_Garage
Definitely no reason not to upgrade.
your going to use absolutes?

you can but sure wonít

my personal experience is that sealed bearings works great but take some fun out of maintaining a bikes performance. I like to be hands on therefore donít mind the extra work.

Just to be clear my perspective of what your suggesting is to purchase a set of hubs and have them installed. I estimate those hubs are at least $30 each to your door and another $60 each to install them. Not mention the cost of spokes if the hubs have a different size flange.Thatís $180 or more upgrade on a 30/40$ set of wheels. How logical that is. Is really up to the op.
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Old 09-09-22, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Nofiltercycling
your going to use absolutes?

you can but sure wonít

my personal experience is that sealed bearings works great but take some fun out of maintaining a bikes performance. I like to be hands on therefore donít mind the extra work.

Just to be clear my perspective of what your suggesting is to purchase a set of hubs and have them installed. I estimate those hubs are at least $30 each to your door and another $60 each to install them. Not mention the cost of spokes if the hubs have a different size flange.Thatís $180 or more upgrade on a 30/40$ set of wheels. How logical that is. Is really up to the op.
I dont mean upgrade hubs, upgrade wheels, meaning IMO the OP shouldnít settle for inferior wheels. Also who wants to taco the front wheel after hitting a slight jump lol But I digress, I feel like Im beating a dead horse that doesnít need to be beat but buried. Besides, I donít think youíre going to convince anyone loose-ball hubs for a gravel bike is the way to go. But if thats what you would do, more power to ya brother.
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Old 09-09-22, 11:38 PM
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Nofiltercycling
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Originally Posted by Yune_Garage
I donít think youíre going to convince anyone loose-ball hubs for a gravel bike is the way to go.
ive yet to try but the chances I succeeded are out there if ever I fancy a crack at it lol

inferior wheels may have better odds than you think against said slight bumps. In my experience 60 year old steel Schwinn wheels and 10 year old aluminum wheels off an Electra bc are good enough for slight bumps and in my case 20+ mph gravel runs with inches of air time.

in the end it up to the op where he puts his money and how much of it.
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Old 09-10-22, 07:38 AM
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700 x 38 tires are gravel tires. Lower the pressure a little and go ride it.
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Old 09-10-22, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter
700 x 38 tires are gravel tires. Lower the pressure a little and go ride it.
Thanks man. It's been a hassle trying to find exactly the right wheel, so I might just go ahead and ride it as-is. It's not an extreme trail, so as long as I don't get a flat, I'll be able to use this bike as a dual-purpose.
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