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Wheel Build Advise Please

March 27, 2019, 11:50 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 27, 2019

I am new to the Vancouver area and need to get a set of wheels built. Who can advise on a good shop to get a set of mountain bike wheels built? 

For context, I am focusing on durability rather than performance as primarily for cross country bikepacking adventures, but want to to be able to ride some trails. I don't want to break the bank either. 29" wheels wanted for a steel frame Kona Big Honzo and I am a big guy at 240lbs. 

Any pointers appreciated!

March 27, 2019, 3:07 p.m.
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Before I started building wheels myself, I always went to DreamCycle on Commercial Drive.  Might be a candidate for some 36 hole hubs?  No idea if they even make 36 spoke 29er rims....

March 27, 2019, 9:46 p.m.
Posts: 1012
Joined: June 26, 2012

Wheelthing built me a rear wheel last fall. I haven’t had to touch a single spoke, which says a lot. I would recommend them.

March 27, 2019, 9:53 p.m.
Posts: 1070
Joined: May 11, 2018

Dreamcycle is good for that kind of stuff. They carry lots of less common stuff like 36 hole 29er rims and hubs and I have had good work done there. 

I also always feel good about the work I get done at steed cycles. They have great service and some excellent mechanics. 

As for the wheel build, if you are looking for durability I recommend butted spokes and prolock nipples. I guarantee they will hold their true better than anything else. Prolock nipples have been a real game changer for me - the wheels don't even need to be retensioned! (And I'm 220lbs).

March 28, 2019, 9:04 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 27, 2019

Wonderful, thanks! I will check out the few suggested at the weekend. I will likely go with 36 hole if I can get decent components to build up, every little helps. I have had wheels built for touring bikes and generally go with 36 holes so it will depend what is available for 29er rims/hubs as I am less familiar with the mountain bike space.  I'll check out the prolock nipples too.

March 29, 2019, 10:15 a.m.
Posts: 1682
Joined: July 11, 2014

Dave at BicycleHub is awesome at wheel building and he really enjoys it which is a good sign. They are located on the north shore off Main st right by the second narrows. Highly recommended.

March 29, 2019, 11:02 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 27, 2019

Hi JBV, I would think I will be hard wearing on just about anything yes. I haven't decided yet, any suggestions? Likely a hope hub, of the boost variety. Hope Pro 4 MTB Boost maybe. I will pop into a couple of the suggested places there and discuss what they think is best.


 Last edited by: fishbowlcyclist on March 29, 2019, 2:51 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
March 30, 2019, 12:25 a.m.
Posts: 2035
Joined: Jan. 5, 2010

I’ve broken a few hubs and replaced them with a hope to never have another issue. I’m not that big though.

You can order a complete wheelset off chain reaction cycles if you can wait 2-3 weeks for it to get here.

I was riding my 29r cyclocross bike on mountain bike trails for a bit and ended up blowing up the hub. I ordered a hope pro 2 laced to hope’s XC rim and it’s been problrm free for many years now. And I just got hope pro 4 hubs laced to their DH rim for my park bike this year, but haven’t ridden them yet.


 Last edited by: Cheez1ts on March 30, 2019, 12:29 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 30, 2019, 12:47 p.m.
Posts: 399
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: JBV

yeah Hope would probably be a good choice. the other most commonly sited as being very durable under big riders would be the DT 350 with the stock ratchet. big teeth equals low engagement but failure is all but unheard of. 36t ratchet, failures are rare 56t failures are almost common (from what i've read). i sent DT a direct email and asked about it and they said they don't recommend the 56 for heavy riders on demanding terrain. many true clydes choose the DT hub.

My 36 ratchet failed. Probably too much grease causing the stars to stick a but and not fully engage. I only weigh around 142.  I only use a hint of grease in any ratchet system and have not had any failures in ages.

March 30, 2019, 12:52 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: July 23, 2006

I'm a big guy and absolutely destroy any Hope hub I've had. The inboard freehub bearing just disintegrates after a few rides. I also crack their alloy free hub bodies so make sure to get a steel one.

March 30, 2019, 5:06 p.m.
Posts: 1302
Joined: March 18, 2017

I over lubed a set of 36T DT star ratchets with Slickoleum causing failure. 

My next set I bought were installed with significantly less lube and have been trouble free. 

Bought a set of Hope hubs for my DH bike to see the hype. Colourful yet loud. 

Current bike has silent boat anchor ONYX hubs. Loving those CL beasts.

March 30, 2019, 6:43 p.m.
Posts: 11911
Joined: June 4, 2008

Pretty sure this is why Jesus invented chair-lifts.

April 2, 2019, 8:50 p.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 27, 2019

Posted by: ryando

I'm a big guy and absolutely destroy any Hope hub I've had. The inboard freehub bearing just disintegrates after a few rides. I also crack their alloy free hub bodies so make sure to get a steel one.

What do you use if you are destroying Hope hubs? And what type of riding is that? Cheers!

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