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Which aluminum 29er rim?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by SkullCrack, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. SkullCrack

    SkullCrack Monkey

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    I'm looking to build up a new wheelset for a long-travel 29er and I'm trying to decide on rims. I'm thinking ~30mm internal width. What have you guys had good luck with? Flow MK3, DT Swiss 511, WTB, others?

    I had considered possibly going carbon, probably We Are One Agents, but maybe that $ could be better spent elsewhere on the build. Opinions welcome!
     
    #1 -   Jan 9, 2019

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  2. tacubaya

    tacubaya Monkey

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    Spank Spike 350 Vibrocore
     
    #2 -   Jan 9, 2019
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  3. 4xBoy

    4xBoy Turbo Monkey

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    Race face ARC.
     
    #3 -   Jan 9, 2019
  4. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    stanflow or chiner carbon
     
    #4 -   Jan 9, 2019
  5. Electric_City

    Electric_City The orangutans are loose!

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    Though I don't have any 29'ers, I can tell you that DT rims are good. I built up several sets and was really surprised at how straight and round they were. I have a nip driver by Var to set the spoke to a consistent preset depth. Once done with that, it was very consistent. Maybe 1 full turn on the drive side nips and 3/4 turn on the disc side and the spokes were tensioned consistently and it seemed all the wheels were true with minimal run-out. A little tweaking and done. After my first ride, I retentioned the spokes and were good to go. At the end of every season I'll retention them with minimal adjustments. No flat spots, dents, or bends. 9 of 10 in my book.

    Spanks- I love their looks a lot better than DT's 'black with red and white stickers'. Spanks are available in different colors and the graphics are laser etched. That's good. Unless you want to remove them (like you can on DT's). I've yet to ride these, but purchased them cause they seem to get really good reviews. From a builders standpoint, I wasn't too impressed. Preset the spoke depth, turned 1 full turn each side and though dished correctly and ran pretty true, the tension was widely inconsistent. In the end, they came out good, but it took at least 2-3 times longer to get them tensioned consistently, true and have no run-out to be acceptable. On the plus side I'll say this, those grooves on the inside of the rims and their diameter are flawless with Specialized tires. The tires mounted by hand very easily, I put in some sealant (trying a different one this time) and filled it with a floor pump. It's sitting in the basement for 2 weeks unridden and hasn't lost any air.

    Edit: @slyfink these were the race 33's and I also think spank is a pretty dumb name.

    2 notes about the Spanks- Both were harder to get to be acceptable than any wheel I've built in a while. Maybe it was that batch, but I doubt it cause one was from Jenson and the other CRC.

    The other thing was their ERD. Their website and the tag on the rim both had the same ERD listed. But on the rim was a different ERD. My measurement gave me a significantly different ERD. I always measure the ERD on my own and haven't been wrong yet, but 3 different ERD's is 2 too many.

    Ps, Stans- I purchased on for my Remedy when I was selling it. Seemed fine to build. But I doubt I'd run one cause it had a max tire psi on it and for me it was low. Maybe 30 psi or something? I really don't recall too many rims with a psi limitation. Especially that low.
     
    #5 -   Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  6. Katz

    Katz Chimp

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    I ran two pairs of WTB Asym rims, i23s and i29s, during the past couple years. They rode like any other aluminum rims but they seemed to ding more easily than DT FR570s (which are heavier so maybe not a fair comparison).

    YMMV.

    Edit: since you're talking about a long-travel bike, inner profile of the rim should be taken into consideration if you intend to run foam inserts. I imagine Spank's Oobah profile makes mounting a tire extra bitchy with a Cushcore.
     
    #6 -   Jan 9, 2019
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  7. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    The three rims on my "to consider next" roster are (in order of preference - but I have yet to check on price): Chromag Phase 30, WTB KOM Tough, Spank Race 33.

    I don't know what it is about the Stans that I don't like. Maybe it's just that they're too common (that's a dumb reason, but there it is), but I also get a sense they may be a little too flexy and get knocked out of true a little too easy (I'm running an Arch MK3 front and Flow EX rear at the moment).

    I liked my Spanks (Oozy Trail 295), but found they are a bit of a faff to seal tubeless. Especially the valve hole. I had to try three or four different valves before I found one that wouldn't leak. They nice and stiff, and very strong though. I hate their stupid name, and would love to be able to take the stickers off, but can't. I even tried Sharpie-ing the logo off, but it didn't work. It's at least 50% of the reason they're #3 on my list. The other 50% is that they're the heaviest of the three.

    I haven't tried the new crop of WTB rims, but I'm curious to hear about them.

    Chromag rims are new. They don't seem to be a rebranded rim from another manufacturer and there's a few good reviews on the NSMB boards. I find Chromag generally takes their time to put products out, and I get the sense their design philosophy is function first, then looks. But I also really like their looks. Depending on price, they will probably be my next set of rims.
     
    #7 -   Jan 9, 2019
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  8. Electric_City

    Electric_City The orangutans are loose!

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    I never liked the name. Stan's? Really?

    Nice bar! Who makes that?

    Oh thanks, it's a Tim's.

    Stans rims, Tim's bar, and Brian's suspension? Nope!

    I'd say give the Chromags a try.
     
    #8 -   Jan 9, 2019
  9. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

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    Another Spank rims rider here, would give them a solid "meh". I have their Spike Race wheelset on my DH bike and smoked a back wheel on my 3rd day out, seems that their rims are so vertically rigid that a ding in the material tends to deform the whole rim. That and the sidewalls are fairly thin, so they ding/fold fairly easily. They're very reasonably priced, but I probably won't buy them again provided I can afford something else next time.

    I'm also running the Oozy 350 rim as the rear rim on my Sentinel, and that one has actually been quite good. Nice vertical compliance so doesn't feel too harsh, a couple of rim strikes haven't yielded any flats or rim damage, and it sealed up tubeless a bit more easily. The E.13 valve cores are awesome and work super well with the Spank OohBah profile, I had tons of trouble with standard valves seeping and the E.13 sealed up immediately.

    As another couple folks mention above, the process of building the wheels was lackluster...the rims don't seem perfectly straight out of the box, and it takes some massaging to get them round and true - certainly more than I would think acceptable for an $80-$100 rim.

    If you have the funds, the newer DT rims are ridiculously strong and very good quality. Pick your poison between the EX 471 and EX 511, both supposed to be excellent.
     
    #9 -   Jan 9, 2019
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  10. SylentK

    SylentK Turbo Monkey

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    Stans Flow MK3. A dozen bros racing enduro on their 29ers with these can't be wrong. I run them too...
     
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  11. djjohnr

    djjohnr Turbo Monkey

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    *Below is for 27.5 not 29 - should be the same results though*

    I've been through WTB Frequencies, Stans Flows and RF/Easton ARCs the past few years. The WTB Frequencies have been the most flat spot resistant by far. I put a big flat spot in another ARC this weekend (not too surprising, I had it on the rear of the big bike) and am going back to a Frequency in the rear with maybe a light pool noodle to protect the bead hooks (the only thing I've ever damaged on those rims). I think the i-beam design of that rim is inherently more resistant to flat spot type impacts.
     
    #11 -   Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  12. rpet

    rpet Turbo Monkey

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    I’ve never ridden a 29er but I will still say Flow or DT.
     
  13. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    i have vibrocore bars that i really like (and i switched to these from a carbon bar, barely noticeable difference). how are the rims?
     
  14. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    i had this issue as well. my solution is to cut a teeny piece of an inner tub, stab a hole in the center, then jam the valve through it before installing in a rim. works every time (although on the spanks i sometimes need 2 pieces).

     
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  15. CheetaMike

    CheetaMike Monkey

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    4 seasons on Spank Oozy never had any issues. 3 seasons tubeless as well.
     
  16. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    i have a set of spank oozy rims as well, the 260's i believe (got them on closeout for like $45 each). my experience is pretty in line with others. nothing spectacular that stands out, but they have been solid and reliable. I didn't have the same challenges lacing and tensioning that others did, so that that for what you will. i use them as my winter / crap conditions wheels now. they're not wide by today's standards, but i am only running 2.5" tires max on them
     
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  17. mykel

    mykel Turbo Monkey

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    My take on the WTB Frequency I25.
    They don't dent easily, but I have taco'd two front rims. (DH bike though, so....)
    I check spoke tensions a couple times a year with a Park Gauge.
    Going to something else for the new 29r build.

    My top is DT xm481 / ex511 followed by Spank VibroCore350 and RF Arc30. Will have to look into the Chromag.
     
  18. tacubaya

    tacubaya Monkey

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    I will have to admit I'm biased as my company imports and distributes Spank in Mexico. But let me tell you this, we've sold hundreds of rims and we've heard very good things from the customers and shops that purchased them.

    Right now I'm riding the Spike Race 28 and it's quite narrow in today standards but damn.. for the 500g weight, it's extremely strong. Not a single dent and they've had two long trips to Squamish/Whistler already. I'm a light rider but I do fuck up in line choices and they haven't let me down.

    Spike 28 - Narrow but very strong.
    Oozy 295 - Very light but not as strong compared to current Spank offerings.
    Oozy 345 vs Race 33 - They are very similar but the feedback we've received indicate the Race 33 is stronger/longer lasting.
    Oozy 350 vs Spike 350 - These are the new generation of Spank rims with a wider but shorter profile, so far we've received nothing but praises. The difference between the two just lies in the Vibrocore, the Spike 350 has it inside the rim profile while the Oozy doesn't. Spank claims that the Vibrocore "core" inside the rim makes it a bit stronger and more comfortable.
     
  19. 6thElement

    6thElement Schrodinger's Immigrant

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    Race 28's had me snapping Pedro's tyre levers trying to mount Minions on my wifes DH bike (650b).

    I figured if we ever got a flat while riding I'd just throw the wheel away....So sold them and bought some DT Swiss rimmed wheels instead.
     
  20. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah, the "W" shape of the 295s was very difficult to deal with, trying to get the tire over the middle hump and breaking the tape in the process, otherwise decent rims, not convinced the "W" channels do anything useful or helpful.
     
  21. mykel

    mykel Turbo Monkey

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    ...and that is one of the main reasons I'm thinking DT over Spank. The oobah profile while looking really cool, also looks like it would be a total ass-job to tape. Then as mentioned keeping the tape in place when you do the bead scrape dance whilst trying not to break your plastic levers, or dent / scratch if you broke out the big-gun metal levers.

    The 30mm internal of the Vibrocores should help with available real-estate for bead wrangling, but taping and mounting still looks about as much fun as a hemorrhoid convention.

    Still interested though. :banghead:
     
  22. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

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    Taping them does kind of suck, but the Spank tape (rebadged Kapton tape) works well when you're careful about application. After a year of destruction in the Whistler Bike Park and destroying both front and rear tires, I can tell you that removing tires from the Spank rims really hasn't been any harder than other rims I've had. I'm running Cush Core in the rear now and Huck Norris up front, and have run both E.13 (don't buy them) and Maxxis tires without issue.
     
  23. mykel

    mykel Turbo Monkey

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    Good to hear.
    Over at the Pink-Palace, they have a review up of the 29r Banshee DH bike.
    It is riding on 350 Vibrocores.

    If they are tough enough for a DH sled, then my trailbike will be golden.
     
  24. CheetaMike

    CheetaMike Monkey

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    They used to used Fratelli tape , that was then company making their rims.
     
  25. Electric_City

    Electric_City The orangutans are loose!

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    I used the blue tape (Velocity I think) and it fit perfectly into the Ooh-bah profile without issues. Getting the Specialized Ground control and Purgatory tires on/off didn't require much at all. One lever to get them off and no assistance to get them seated. A floor pump seated them and they sealed right up. The tire lever didn't affect the tape at all either. Not that I'm trying to sell you on them, but there is some good in these rims. I've yet to ride them though.
     
  26. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    I think it was the fratelli tape was rebranded kapton? Either way it works, despite the quirks with taping it. I'm recently a fan of the Orange tape. More pliable.
     
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  27. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    This is one of those "too perfect to Trust™" posts. While I believe you got tires on them, nothing is ever that easy...unless you are a lizard.
     
  28. tacubaya

    tacubaya Monkey

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    Anvil Industries and Fratelli Industries are the companies that own and operate the manufacturing facilities in Taiwan where Spank rims and handlebars are made. Gavin Vos founded all three (yeah, somewhat confusing).

    Fratelli tape works really well on Spank rims and it's the tape we recommend... other tapes can have a hard time sticking to the bead blast finish.

    I use tubes so I don't care about taping, ha.
     
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  29. CheetaMike

    CheetaMike Monkey

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    That,s the only issues I had with Spank rims. I tried several tape variations including gorilla and nothing stuck. The Fratelli tape worked very well so that,s what I bought .
     
  30. Electric_City

    Electric_City The orangutans are loose!

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    Believe it or not, I think it's the tires. The Purgatorys were mounted on the Spanks, but I thought they were a little too aggressive for what I wanted them for. I got the Ground Controls and mounted them on the Spanks also without issues. The Purgatorys went on the DTSwiss XM 481's by hand and only a floor pump was necessary for 5 of the 6 times I mounted lizzard tires.
     
  31. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    i've got vibrocore handlebars and like them. i switched to them from carbon and it was hard to tell the difference. the intent of the foam is to redce vibration and i'd say it does it pretty well. have you ridden vibrocore rims?

    since you import them, do you see a lot of warranty claims?
     
  32. Happymtb.fr

    Happymtb.fr Monkey

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    About the taping, why not just tape the ridge in the middle? I have done that a few time and I did not notice any drawback
     
  33. ZHendo

    ZHendo Turbo Monkey

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    I am 99.9% sure that the Fratelli tape is rebadged Kapton. Thought they looked similar so bought a roll of Kapton after my last Fratelli roll ran out and...voila, same product, Kapton just cheaper.
     
  34. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    some tire / rim combos need the extra thickness from a layer or 2 of tape to help seal at the bead. i don't think this is very common anymore.
     
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  35. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Also, sealant will work into the tape if you do this. It often takes a while with decent tape, but it's an eventuality.
     
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  36. tacubaya

    tacubaya Monkey

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    I haven't ridden Vibrocore rims, I'm still using the Race 28's I bought a couple of years ago.

    We haven't had a single warranty claim but I don't find that surprising as rim damage is rarely an issue derived from a manufacturing defect and more an issue derived of an improperly built wheel or low tire pressure.
     
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