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Rebuild or New Wheelset

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Matty F 5 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #806440

    Van G
    Participant

    Have a ’14 Anthem 27.5 that has been lugging me (6’3″, 220) around the Don for 2 seasons. Have broken some spokes and nipples (4 on the rear, 1 on the front) recently and have read that it could be a combination of my size/skill and the aluminum nipples/spokes and factory build.

    Over on MTBR I got a couple people pointing me to wheel builder in Buffalo for a set that uses Freq i25 on Hope Pro Evo 2 (uses Wheelsmith DB14 Double Butted spokes). About $800 CAD 🙁

    Wanted input if I can just rebuild my wheels with the i25 rim and good spokes/nipples but reuse the hubs (current spec below)? Would need good local wheel builder, such as @matty-f
    Rims – Giant P-XC2 27.5
    Hubs – Giant Tracker, sealed bearings [F] QR15 Thru-Axle, [R] 135×5 QR
    Spokes – DT Competition, double-butted, black w/ alloy nipples

    Old bugger, not racing, like to mash and will hit most of the stuff in the Don (no big drops). Approx 1000 kms on current parts.

    Thoughts appreciated.

    #806444

    Whynot
    Participant

    Giant branded components are pretty good, but I don’t know if I’d invest much money building a wheel around them with so many other options out there.

    As for the technical specs of a wheel build, I have no clue, sorry. But you’re spot on to be reaching out to @matty-f for advice and the build 😉

    #806447

    Matty F
    Participant

    Thanks for the shout outs, fellas. I always love chatting about wheels!

    The Frequency i25 is a solid rim for sure, but may be overkill, even for you. On a cross country bike, the KOM i25 may be more suitable. I would say you will have to pick how much you value the outright strength of the Frequency, versus the bit of weight savings of the KOM. Beyond what you weight, your general riding style and ability is going to dictate which is more suitable, but I definitely know a number of pretty aggressive 200lbs+ riders having success on the KOM. If your main problem is spoke/nipple failure, I think most of your strength issues lie in the quality of the spokes, nipples and build quality of your current wheels, rather than the rims.

    The hubs are hard to tell. Giant makes many different house brand hubs, some good, some bad. I really don’t keep much track of which is which, as they tend to change all the time. If they are working fine for you, they are probably worth keeping, as the hubs are the most expensive components of the wheels by far. However, if the bearings are starting to get rough, you may want to consider replacing them. You’ll also want to make sure the hubs are 32 hole, as anything else will severely limit your rims options.

    DT spokes are great, but I like Wheelsmith a bit more, and build with their DB14 spokes almost exclusively. Alloy nipples are absolutely not an option for you. I only recommend these for the most strict of race-day applications. They only save about 22g per wheel, are much more expensive, are more difficult to build with, and are far more prone to breaking, seizing and corroding.

    Hope this helps!

    #806449

    Van G
    Participant

    Thanks for reply @matty-f – you are at CS shop on Kingston?

    The Giant hubs are 32 hole with DT Internals. Apparently pretty good/low maintenance.

    Have a feeling its a combo of alloy nipples, factory build, and my riding not being the smoothest in the world…

    I have banged up the rims a bit on the sides so I don’t think I can get away with simply rebuilding wheel with appropriate spokes & nipples???

    KOM vs. Frequency – Freq seems to be aimed at my target – sacrifice some weight for durability and longevity. Also a pretty great price on CCR right now. See what can be had locally. Lots of other options as well – Flow EX, Oozy.

    #806451

    jcitizen
    Participant

    I like my KOMs that Matt laced up for me, so much so I laced up a second set this season (i23 and i25 respectively). I’m kinda fat and ride everything in the don aside from the biggest jumps and drops on a hardtail and/or rigid and haven’t had issues that have made me wish I went with the frequency. My front i23 on my rigid bike took a bit of a beating at the 24hour summer solstice on the roots, but still runs pretty true. That said, I’m on a 29er, so the lighter KOM may be of more benefit to me. Sometimes I’m kinda envious of small wheel rim & tires weights, haha

    #806452

    Nick Boers
    Participant

    Where have the spokes been failing? Have they been breaking at the J bend, or at the nipples?

    If not well stress relieved, spokes can start failing after 1-2000km due to fatigue. If the wheels have been fine for two years and are suddenly popping spokes frequently without any obvious cause, it’s possibly fatigue failures from a lack of proper stress release during the build.

    Rebuild with some DB14s or DT comps and brass nipples, Tension and stress relieve well and they should be fine for a long time.

    #806454

    Van G
    Participant

    All have failed at the nipples.

    #806458

    aerius
    Participant

    If they all failed at the nipples then I’m pretty sure I know why. I’ve seen a lot of machine built wheelsets where they cheap out and just use a single spoke length for everything when 2 different spoke lengths are required for a proper build. If they did this. all the spokes on one side are too short and/or all the spokes on the other side are too long. If the spokes are too short the heads on the spoke nipples aren’t properly supported, and if they’re aluminum they’re guaranteed to snap. And when the spokes are too long there’s either not enough tension on the spokes and/or they crank the nipples in so far that the nipples pinch into the spoke threads and create a stress riser, once again, snap. And that’s not even getting into the piss poor stress relief that’s done on those wheels.

    As for rims, the KOMs are too light for me, unfortunately I’m pretty good at mangling wheels despite my light weight. The Frequency i23 is almost as light as I can go in a 26″ size if I want the wheels to last, with the Spank Oozy Trail 295 being my lower limit. Every Stan’s rim short of the Flow gets bent & dented pretty fast, and with how heavy the Flow is I’d rather have the Spank Subrosa 30 Evo which is a fair bit stiffer and more dent resistant than the Flow.

    Given that you’ve banged up the sides of your rims as opposed to flat spotting them or folding them into a pretzel, rim strength is probably not an issue for you. I’d say stay away from the KOM series since they tend to dent a bit easier and go with either the Oozy Trail 295 or the Frequency i23. Add double butted spokes and brass nips and you’re good to go. Most importantly, get them built by someone competent. Also consider using a heavier stronger rim on the rear since it takes more abuse, and a lighter one on the front to save weight, there’s no rule that says your rims have to match.

    #806459

    Matty F
    Participant

    Thanks for reply @matty-f – you are at CS shop on Kingston?

    The Giant hubs are 32 hole with DT Internals. Apparently pretty good/low maintenance.

    Have a feeling its a combo of alloy nipples, factory build, and my riding not being the smoothest in the world…

    I have banged up the rims a bit on the sides so I don’t think I can get away with simply rebuilding wheel with appropriate spokes & nipples???

    The Giant hubs with DT mechanisms are pretty solid. I would hang on to those.

    I agree with pretty much everything @aerius said above. Machine built wheels with alloy nipples regularly come with spokes that are too short, which causes broken nipples. You will definitely want to get new rims if you’ve blown four spokes in your current ones. I just don’t think the rims necessarily caused the problem.

    I work at the CS on Parliament St.

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