disc wheel build - ideas and options

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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maddog 2
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Location: Lancaster, UK

by maddog 2

I'm going to have a set of disc wheels built up for my road trainer/commuter.

They aren't going to be superlight race wheels (sorry) but I still want them pretty light.

Any ideas for suitable rims and hubs? and spoke count and type too.

Rider is 77kg and I've probably got up to £450 to spend but would prefer £350ish (UK based)

Rear dropouts on the frame are 132.5mm so either a road width (130mm) or MTB (135mm) hubs will be fine. Both are 9mm QR.

Quite fancy the idea of the Stans Alpha rim but they aren't cheap and non-eyeletted (if that matters) so may opt for a Ambrosio Excellight or vanilla Open Pro instead. As for hubs; Hope, DT, AC, any others? Would prefer a UK seller ideally.


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by theremery

I wouldn't use AC in the UK as their seals are pretty primitive and they zap through bearings quickly (they are not hard to change but.....)
Updated: Racing again! Thought this was unlikely! Eventually, I may even have a decent race!
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by Irish

http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/ He can build up Novatec hubs with interchangable bodies (for campag/shimano) with disc mounts.

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maddog 2
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by maddog 2

Ta. I've dropped Derek at Wheelsmith an email so we'll see what he says.

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by jooo

Of the rims you've listed the Open Pros are pretty much the bottom, often because of the eyelets coming loose etc - so eyelets aren't really something you should get hung up about. The Alpha is good but...

If you're building a 'disc only' set and if your frame is happy with 135mm rear spacing - one option to consider is just buying a 29er wheelset. You might be able to find a really good deal on a pre-built wheelset that would fit well under your budget.

Otherwise, build something similar yourself. NoTubes/Stan's Crest rims are available fairly cheap at places like Wiggle. In 29er form the weight is similar to the Alpha but the extra width is a bonus for larger volume tyres and they're generally cheaper than the road rim. Not only that but lots of 29er rims are similar/less weight than aluminum road rims without really giving up any strength (lighter from not having brake tracks basically).

Hope hubs would probably be a good choice for you being the UK. 32 spoke 3X is pretty standard on things like Crests and should be fine with your weight. I think you're still under the weight limit for the 'stock' Crest build that Stan's sell with light Alpine spokes so I doubt you'll have too many problems with a build like that.

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maddog 2
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by maddog 2

cheers jooo, I'll look into that

Emailed Derek and he felt hub weight was less important than rim choice, and that 32h was sensible.

He initially suggested Alpha on Novatec

Alphas are clearly a light option, and I am tempted.

This page http://www.notubes.com/ZTR-Rims-C18.aspx

shows that (all 32h)
Alphas (350g) are 17mm internally
Crest (380g) are 21mm
355 (405g) are 19mm (discontinued it seems)
- so very little in it

[Alpine are 26" only and Arch are heavier]

I'll do some more webbing.... maybe a Hope Hoop (Pro2 on Crest) will be a good value buy....

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by djconnel

Why? Won't the disk be too stiff? For general purpose riding, I'd think you'd want something with a more comfortable ride.

Nevermind.... I was thinking disk wheel..... (whoops)

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