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Best reliable/light, wheels.

golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
So I did some work for a local shop and we've decided to do a trade out. We settled on some race wheels... whatever wheels I want. I've never gone into a wheelbuild without a budget... so I'm kinda stumped.

Maybe some King or I9's with Crest rims, or some of the Crank brother cobalts. Funny how no limitations really makes it hard to choose.

Anything out there I need to look at?
 

-BB-

I broke all the rules, but somehow still became mo
Sep 6, 2001
4,256
28
Livin it up in the O.C.
Without a doubt I would do Hadley bolt-on hubs with 14/15db spokes and Flow rims... maybe Crest if you don't mind the skinny width but I thing the extra few grams are worth it.
 

golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
Without a doubt I would do Hadley bolt-on hubs with 14/15db spokes and Flow rims... maybe Crest if you don't mind the skinny width but I thing the extra few grams are worth it.
I have a pair of Arch wheels built up now. THey are fine, but looking for something lighter specifically for racing. Flows are kinda heavy, especially compared to crests.

Why Hadley over King or I9's?
 

slowitdown

Monkey
Mar 30, 2009
554
0
I have a pair of Arch wheels built up now. THey are fine, but looking for something lighter specifically for racing. Flows are kinda heavy, especially compared to crests.

Why Hadley over King or I9's?
Hadley are better quality than King in my experience and many of my friends' experience as well... more durable, fewer problems over the long haul, needing fewer adjustments/tweaks/repairs. And lighter too, in many cases, for equivalent spec.

Hadley are heavier than a Hope Pro 2, for example, so if ultra light weight is what you want the Hope might make for a nicer wheelset weight... but the Hope Pro 2 users I know have had problems with durability. I ran a set for about 6 weeks and had no problems but friends who have run them for several years have seen cracked hub shells, cracked flanges, broken pawls, broken springs.

I've never had a problem with a Hadley hub. One set I'm running now has been on 5 different bikes and is 8 years old. And I ride a lot. The most I've done has been to clean them 2x, and re-lube after cleaning. Never had to mess with bearing preload, never had to mess with anything.

Flip side on the hub weight argument: you feel hub weight only when you pick up the bike, not when you pedal it.
 

oldfart

Turbo Monkey
Jul 5, 2001
1,205
24
North Van
I prefer DT Swiss hubs myself. Very simple to work on if you need to. Kings are sweet but I hear are fiddly. Often they are stiff and come out of adjustment easily. Hope are really simple too. I have a pair of those. One front bearing went in 8 months though but it was a filthy winter season here. What King and Hadley and I think I9 have is very quick engagement. DT Swiss have slower engagement even with the 32 point upgrade ratchet.
 

mellow_sparky

Monkey
Aug 21, 2009
133
0
Washington State
Hadley makes great hubs - I had a set on my old bike. I haven't shopped for hubs in a few years but when I got the Hadleys, they had a few benefits over King: cheaper, 72 pt. engagement, titanium freehub body, pre-load adjustment (great to reduce play in the bearings - if you care).

I have DT Swiss now - nice hubs but not near the engagement that the Hadleys had.
 

SteezyWeezy

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2006
2,436
0
portland, oregon
maybe its my PNW bias, but king or GTFO. hadley/I9 are equally nice though, no argument there. lightweight rims go for the crests, with bladed spokes :drool:

edit: also, kings are lighter than both hadleys and i9 i believe...
 
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dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,734
543
Curious to know how those rims hold up.

For a heavier/rougher rider who doesn't want to change the rims for a while (looking @ myself here) I'd get the flow rims. The minor weight penalty is well worth the peace of mind.
 

golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
Curious to know how those rims hold up.

For a heavier/rougher rider who doesn't want to change the rims for a while (looking @ myself here) I'd get the flow rims. The minor weight penalty is well worth the peace of mind.
Friend of mine is ranked 4th in the state and has gone 2 years with his same Crests. We ride daily on the same trails and race all the same courses, plus we weigh the same. I'm pretty sure they'll hold up.

I have a pair of Arch wheels too, currently living on the SS... nice midpoint between the Crests and the Flows. Not to heavy either.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,734
543
Gotcha, so we're roughly in the same neighborhood. I'm a bit heavier.
 

SteezyWeezy

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2006
2,436
0
portland, oregon
just got my crest to kings built up, i'm about the same size and i love them so far. mine came out to about 1600 with tape and valve, you do something wrong? ;)
 

Polandspring88

Superman
Mar 31, 2004
3,075
0
Broomfield, CO
Glad I saw this thread, I'm in the process of building up a set of Crests to Hadleys for my XC bike. It'll be my first departure from Mavic and my first time going with a rim under 400 grams.

Plan on getting the Arch's for my AM bike later this year as well.
 

golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
Glad I saw this thread, I'm in the process of building up a set of Crests to Hadleys for my XC bike. It'll be my first departure from Mavic and my first time going with a rim under 400 grams.

Plan on getting the Arch's for my AM bike later this year as well.
Best thing about the Stan's rims isn't the weight... it's how easily the tires seat up. I've never had an issue with seating a tire to a stans rim, where with DT (for instance) some tires can be a huge pain in the ass.

EDIT: Just saw above that you're going to run tubes in your Stan's rims. You shuld at least try them tubeless... 25lb of pressure hooks up a hell of a lot better than 40+... and I cant remember the last time I had a puncture.
 
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ZoRo

Turbo Monkey
Sep 28, 2004
1,226
8
MTL
These (Sun Ringlé Black Flag Pro) ? People have been saying good things about them. Sub 1600 and still stiff and durable although you don't get instant engagement on the rear hub like a King, Hadley or I9

 

golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
These (Sun Ringlé Black Flag Pro) ? People have been saying good things about them. Sub 1600 and still stiff and durable although you don't get instant engagement on the rear hub like a King, Hadley or I9

These are nice wheels for the money. Uses Stan's technology on the rims too, so you know tires will seal up easily. I'd have considered them if they hadn't only come in gold.
 

Polandspring88

Superman
Mar 31, 2004
3,075
0
Broomfield, CO
These (Sun Ringlé Black Flag Pro) ? People have been saying good things about them. Sub 1600 and still stiff and durable although you don't get instant engagement on the rear hub like a King, Hadley or I9
The specs on Universal's website lists the Black Flags as having 72 engagement points, so you actually do have the same amount as Hadley and King, though you lose a little bit to I9.

Especially since they are designed to be tubeless. The damn things say "notubes" on them.
Is tubeless really that much better? I get maybe 1 or 2 pinch flats per year on that bike, so the added hassle of setting them up to run tubeless isn't very appealing...
 

auntesther

Monkey
Oct 15, 2001
294
0
Boston, MA
The specs on Universal's website lists the Black Flags as having 72 engagement points, so you actually do have the same amount as Hadley and King, though you lose a little bit to I9.



Is tubeless really that much better? I get maybe 1 or 2 pinch flats per year on that bike, so the added hassle of setting them up to run tubeless isn't very appealing...
You lose the weight of the tube so less rotational weight, you definately get much better traction as you can run much lower tire pressure with little concern, pinch flats are completelty a thing of the past. The only issue I have had with tubeless ( and have been running them for years) is I tore a sidewall on a ride. Just meant I had to throw a tube in til I got home.

Setup is really not a hassle at all. Seat one side, add the sealant, seat the other side, pump. Very rarely does it ever take any other effort. If you use the Stans valves with the removable core, you can use the syringe to add the sealant and its even easier.
 

golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
Is tubeless really that much better? I get maybe 1 or 2 pinch flats per year on that bike, so the added hassle of setting them up to run tubeless isn't very appealing...
I get far less pinch flats running tubeless than I ever did with tubes. And thats running 25-30psi. You can barely pinch a tube and it will flat. It takes a very large impact to pinch a hole in a tire (depending on tire).

You should at least try it. Only going to cost you some tape, a pair of valve stems and a couple scoops of sealant.

EDIT: as said above... torn side walls are an issue. You have to choose a good tire. I've had great luck with Geax, New generation Michelin, and Specialized Control, but horrible luck with some lighter Maxxis tires, Continental, and anything Sworks.
 
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mariahayes

Chimp
Jun 13, 2011
2
0
United States
Look for our full review of Lightweight Standard wheel set to come.


It contains lightweight Standards Full carbon rims with foam core (Tubular Only) including front hub Carbon fiber body with Lightweight cartridge bearings and rare bub Carbon fiber body with Campy Record 10-spd hub. Carbon fiber spokes with weight almost 660 gms.
 

ZoRo

Turbo Monkey
Sep 28, 2004
1,226
8
MTL
The specs on Universal's website lists the Black Flags as having 72 engagement points, so you actually do have the same amount as Hadley and King, though you lose a little bit to I9.
I'm sure it's a mistake because the hub has about 24 points of engagement not 72 that's for sure. You can see in the pic here the detail of the hub.



Mini-review: I got these wheels a couple weeks ago. They are crazy light, that's for sure. It sure is nice that they come with adapters for q/r, 15mm and 20mm front axles, so they are sure to fit your front fork unless you run something really esoteric.

First impressions: the rear wheel does not come tight enough. I had the wheel come loose and wobbly on the first couple of rides. Now, I know that you are supposed to check before riding the tension in the spokes, but I had the false impression that high quality wheels like that didn't require such a procedure. Anyway, I put lot more tension in them, trued them and they have not moved since.

Did I mentioned they were light! They shaved a good pound 1/2 off my old wheelset so I really feel the difference. The wheels are stiff... although it's pretty hard to tell an immediate difference with my old wheelset; being that stiffness is a pretty subjective term used inappropriately by mountain bikers to brag about their knowledge about parts when the real difference is almost always non-existent.

Overall positive impressions so far except for the initial tension in the rear wheel. Rear hub is quite noisy, not Hope noisy but def. more than a Shimano.

Will report if catastrophic failure ensues!!!

EDIT: the wheels come with Stans sealant (2 bottles) and yellow tape installed. Since I run tubes, I can't comment on how they are when set up tubeless.

 
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golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
That's a good looking hub. Internals look exactly like the stan's ZTRs that I have on my SS. They are also crazy light. I know they are both Made by sun, so I guess that makes sense.

The ZTRs are fairly loud, how are those? I will say that the ZTRs don't hold a candle to the loudness of my Hopes though.
 
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golgiaparatus

Out of my element
Aug 30, 2002
7,344
41
Deep in the Jungles of Oklahoma
Look for our full review of Lightweight Standard wheel set to come.

It contains lightweight Standards Full carbon rims with foam core (Tubular Only) including front hub Carbon fiber body with Lightweight cartridge bearings and rare bub Carbon fiber body with Campy Record 10-spd hub. Carbon fiber spokes with weight almost 660 gms.
What is with all the :spam: lately?
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,683
514
Groton, MA
I'm sure it's a mistake because the hub has about 24 points of engagement not 72 that's for sure. You can see in the pic here the detail of the hub.
I always thought engagement = # pawls X # teeth in the hub shell? 3 Pawls X 24 teeth = 72pt engagment? 24pt engagement would be a ****ty ass hub...

Similarly the 108pt engagement Hadley had was 3 Pawls X 36 teeth, I9 was 120pt with 3 pawls X 40 teeth (technically 6 pawls, but 3 pairs that engagement 2 at a time).
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,734
543
If you want to quiet it down, a bit more grease usually does the trick.
 

ZoRo

Turbo Monkey
Sep 28, 2004
1,226
8
MTL
I always thought engagement = # pawls X # teeth in the hub shell? 3 Pawls X 24 teeth = 72pt engagment? 24pt engagement would be a ****ty ass hub...

Similarly the 108pt engagement Hadley had was 3 Pawls X 36 teeth, I9 was 120pt with 3 pawls X 40 teeth (technically 6 pawls, but 3 pairs that engagement 2 at a time).
Hum, I wouldn't doubt your reasoning, but just from the feel of the hub when you ride it, and especially since I use the wheels for gate practice on my Yeti Dj, I can definitely feel that there is not 72pts of engagement. Otherwise, like other higher eng. point hubs I've tried, I would not be fiddling to find the sweet spot when placing the cranks before the snap. Very unscientific I know!!
 

ZoRo

Turbo Monkey
Sep 28, 2004
1,226
8
MTL
That's a good looking hub. Internals look exactly like the stan's ZTRs that I have on my SS. They are also crazy light. I know they are both Made by sun, so I guess that makes sense.

The ZTRs are fairly loud, how are those? I will say that the ZTRs don't hold a candle to the loudness of my Hopes though.
I mean they are loud hubs, but not Motorhead concert loud. I like loud hubs so these are, for me, at the bottom of the loud hub spectrum, Hope being the loudest closely followed by the weird buzzing loudness of I9s.