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Custom Wheels- Which is more important to you? - Hub vs Rims

Oct. 3, 2020, 9:08 a.m.
Posts: 131
Joined: Feb. 8, 2016

In four years of riding I've only ever bent one rim to the point where it needed replacing, but dents are a different story. Yes you can use pliers or a hammer to smooth them out a bit, but that mid season rear tire change still ends up being a multi-hour ordeal trying to get the bead to seat and not just spew out sealant. So last year, I splurged for a DT240/E13 carbon wheelset when I bought my Range.  Although the engagement is nothing to write home about, reviews of the 240s suggest that they're reliable and easy to maintain. The rims were a bit of a gamble, but two seasons in I haven't touched a spoke and despite countless rim strikes, they're still going strong.

Oct. 3, 2020, 10:22 a.m.
Posts: 283
Joined: March 6, 2017

It depends if you look at a rim as a wear item or a performance item. I have King hubs because I'm sick of pawled hubs and blowing them up so it was cheaper in the long run for me. I look at rims as performance items so I have carbon hoops but if I was a freeride hucker whistler type I'd probably have disposable aluminum.

Oct. 3, 2020, 1:22 p.m.
Posts: 405
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

I killed a set of Bontrager wheels with the 108 point engagement hub upgrade. Recently bought a pair of XM481 rims and some dt competition spokes to lace them up to. At about $320 bucks since I already had the hubs and I'm curious to try building a set of wheels anyways seems tough to go wrong. 

I might buy a new frame next spring and it might be 157, but once that's settled I'd personally prioritize hubs.

Oct. 4, 2020, 7:33 a.m.
Posts: 1080
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

So you guys that buy high end hubs and keep them longer term - each time you break a rim I assume you buy a new rim, new spokes and then pay someone to rebuild the wheel? How much does that cost each time? Close to $300 after tax I would guess?

Oct. 4, 2020, 8:16 a.m.
Posts: 283
Joined: March 6, 2017

Posted by: Bull_Dozer

So you guys that buy high end hubs and keep them longer term - each time you break a rim I assume you buy a new rim, new spokes and then pay someone to rebuild the wheel? How much does that cost each time? Close to $300 after tax I would guess?

Personally I have lifetime warranty on my rims so I haven't had to purchase a new one. I did replace one over a year ago, stupid mistake on John Deer but all I did was tape the new rim to the old rim and transfer the spokes over. Took 2 beers and that wheel is going strong today.

Oct. 4, 2020, 8:41 a.m.
Posts: 203
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Bull_Dozer

So you guys that buy high end hubs and keep them longer term - each time you break a rim I assume you buy a new rim, new spokes and then pay someone to rebuild the wheel? How much does that cost each time? Close to $300 after tax I would guess?

I  built my own wheels, so I am usually just out the cost of the rim, assuming I can find the same one.  My aluminum rims last 2-3 seasons typically, so there's no way I can justify carbon. My DT 240 hubs have been on 3 different bikes.

Oct. 4, 2020, 9:02 a.m.
Posts: 604
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: Bull_Dozer

So you guys that buy high end hubs and keep them longer term - each time you break a rim I assume you buy a new rim, new spokes and then pay someone to rebuild the wheel? How much does that cost each time? Close to $300 after tax I would guess?

So far anyways I've moved my Hope hubs to new bikes that used a different wheel size 26 -> 27.5 -> 29  so I got new spokes and paid for a wheel build, but I would have had to do something regardless since the old wheels would not have worked on the new bike. I have yet to kill a carbon rim and using an accurate pressure gauge [and an insert of the rear of my HT] has lessened the likelihood of dings in my metal rims. So now that I have moved the whole fleet to 29er wheels I'm hopeful my wheels will last a long while before needing any attention.

My Hope hubs were convertible to 148mm, but I don't think any of them can be converted to 157mm since they started life as 100mm/135mm/142mm hubs. Not that I am interested in 157mm since I just got my whole fleet standardized around 29 x 110mm/148mm. I plan to stay with this wheel configuration as long as possible.

Oct. 4, 2020, 9:21 a.m.
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: Bull_Dozer

So you guys that buy high end hubs and keep them longer term - each time you break a rim I assume you buy a new rim, new spokes and then pay someone to rebuild the wheel? How much does that cost each time? Close to $300 after tax I would guess?

Assuming I’m keeping the same size rim, and I haven’t damaged the spokes, I would be replacing the rim and nipples only. Obviously if there is a rim diameter change, new spokes are needed, but that’s less frequent. I build all my own wheels, so that cost is saved. It’s basically just the cost of the new rim, some tape and nipples.

Oct. 4, 2020, 10:33 p.m.
Posts: 6
Joined: May 17, 2018

Hubs. Rims are disposable. A good set of hubs will out last a multitude of bikes.

Standard changes are different animal all together. Give me a set that one can upgrade as well & it is wonderful.

Oct. 5, 2020, 8:16 a.m.
Posts: 11904
Joined: June 4, 2008

Posted by: Bull_Dozer

So you guys that buy high end hubs and keep them longer term - each time you break a rim I assume you buy a new rim, new spokes and then pay someone to rebuild the wheel? How much does that cost each time? Close to $300 after tax I would guess?

Lifetime warranty on carbon rims means I just relace it to the existing hub when I get it back.  I run two sets of wheels so I have no downtime.

I'll always re-lace with brand new spokes and nipples as I find the spokes tend to go after a full-season of riding.

I do the wheels myself, so the cost of that is a few beers.  I buy my spokes and nipples by the box from Germany.. I think it was $0.75 a spoke.

Oct. 5, 2020, 11:40 p.m.
Posts: 1000
Joined: May 11, 2018

Where do you buy your spokes from?

I build my own wheels as well. Its a serious pain when your hub fails. As noted above, rims will eventually fail and when they do, its pretty easy to lace up a new one. IMO, it would be a pain to have to lace up your old rim when your hub fails. Or worse, replace the whole wheel every time one component of it fails. 

Finally, cheap hubs really suck to ride. I think the 8 degrees of engagement hope offers is the least I would happily ride. I had a spank wheelset that I used to curse because whenever you got into chunky technical riding, the engagement would let you down. Once you've tried a premium hub with better engagement, there is no going back.

Oct. 5, 2020, 11:49 p.m.
Posts: 11904
Joined: June 4, 2008

bike-components or bike-discount.

I just noticed the price of the black spokes are now €20 more than when I bought them a year and a half ago.  The silver ones are still the same price.

Oct. 6, 2020, 8:24 a.m.
Posts: 364
Joined: April 15, 2017

"I had a spank wheelset that I used to curse because whenever you got into chunky technical riding, the engagement would let you down. Once you've tried a premium hub with better engagement, there is no going back "

Ah bollocks. Guess I'll be looking into some Hopes again soon.

For all you home wheel builders, what gear has served you best in terms of wheel stands/gauges/dishing ? It would be very easy to go all out and buy the top of the line stuff but that's almost the cost of a set of We Are One's...I did a course at Wheelthing and they had a full set of really nice gear. And then there's all the de-burring stuff....

Oct. 6, 2020, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 11904
Joined: June 4, 2008

Posted by: DanL

"I had a spank wheelset that I used to curse because whenever you got into chunky technical riding, the engagement would let you down. Once you've tried a premium hub with better engagement, there is no going back "

Ah bollocks. Guess I'll be looking into some Hopes again soon.

For all you home wheel builders, what gear has served you best in terms of wheel stands/gauges/dishing ? It would be very easy to go all out and buy the top of the line stuff but that's almost the cost of a set of We Are One's...I did a course at Wheelthing and they had a full set of really nice gear. And then there's all the de-burring stuff....

Unless you use this, there is simply no point in trying to build a wheel:

https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/products/dt-swiss-truing-stand

Haaaaaaaaa.  Park Tools truing stand is perfect with the little quick-release hub end cap thingies.  Next would be a good spoke wrench like the Park Tools master wrench or the similar one from DT-Swiss.  Finally I recommend the park tool tensionmeter.  You can wing it by listening to the spokes when you ping it with your nail, but when you're learning how to build wheels it's so much easier.

Oct. 6, 2020, 8:34 a.m.
Posts: 364
Joined: April 15, 2017

Holy cheese, that looks like something I'd expect an espresso out of....

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