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TimmyR

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I was listening to the 11/25 podcast of Riding Gravel and noted that Ben's #1 suggestion to upgrade on a bike is wheelset. I am riding a ’14 Spec Crux EVO Elite Disc On OEM Axis 2.0s. I like riding dirt, gravel, occasional light single-track (and some road) out here in NH. My longest rides will likely be less than 100 miles in the upcoming year. I clock in around 200# without gear and am just starting to look for an upgraded tubeless wheel-set for my bike. I typically run 40c Clement MSOs right now. I may run tires as small as 33c just because I have them in my garage, but they could easily be limited to my Axis 2.0s which I figure I should just keep. I’d like to make them versatile in the event that I decide to upgrade my bike in A couple years. So far the consideration there I think would be ease of switching from quick-disconnect to thru-axle

I've been to two LBS's and asked another mechanic I know. I am looking to spend less than $1,000.

Here is the list of recommendations I have so far. 

  • Bontrager Paradigm
  • Velocity Aileron
  • Mavic Ksyrium
  • Boyd Altamont with White Industry hub
  • WTB KOM i23 rims laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs
What experience and recommendations are out there regarding any of these options or others I have not yet considered?

Cheers,

Timmy

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Jim_H

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't have a lot of experience with different wheels.  Mainly because the wheels I have have been so durable and comfortable.

I have two sets of these wheels, one is a road/rim brake bike that has 30,000+ miles on it.  I've never had any kind of failure on them and other than basic hub servicing (clean/lube), I've not done anything special to them. 

I also have a set of the Disc version that I use on gravel with wider tires.  They are a bit newer, but seem to be every bit as high quality as that first set.

They are a little over your budget for the disc version, but for me, they are well worth the money.

Chris King/HED Belgium Plus R45D 
http://wheelshop.chrisking.com/hed-belgium-plus-disc-r45d-28-28/

Edit to add:  These are not weight weenie wheels by any stretch, but what they lack in lightness, they more than make up for it in durability and comfort. 
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #3 
Velocity ailerons aren't deep enough to really be aero so the extra depth just adds weight. They're also designed for like 25mm tires if you want aero benefits. They're sturdy and stiff, but I'd use Blunt SSs over them.

I replaced my Ailerons with some clearance Nextie Premiums laced to white industries hubs. They're wider, shallower, and like 120g lighter per rim.
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Pynchonite

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Reply with quote  #4 
Stan's Grail rims on DT Swiss 350 hubs.  Really, anything over 400g laced to DT Swiss 350's with 28-32 spokes will work just fine.  The Grails are similar in design to the Ailerons, but they're designed to hold tire beads at low pressures for larger CX and gravel tires as well as at high pressures for road tires, whereas the Aileron is mainly a road rim.  I've been impressed with the quality of the Stan's rims that I've used (they're either on, or have been on, every single one of my bikes by now).
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #5 
Volsung - how do you like the White Industries hub? My LBS loves them (and recommended the Boyd Wheels laced to them).
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #6 
They're great. I've got some weird leg power issues that destroyed a Chris King hub, but no problem with my Whites. They hold up better in MN sloppy winter's than my old Hope hubs too.

EDIT- Why did my phone change MN to MAN? Dummy.
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clarksonxc

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Reply with quote  #7 
I had a set of HED Blegium+ rims laced to DT350's, I think 28 or 32 hole.  They have performed really well, and I think the price without rotors was around $900.  The beauty of the DT Swiss hubs is the ability to change end caps and freehub body's to support a wide range of axle and cassette standards.
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JGamm

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Reply with quote  #8 
Make sure you look into the hub spacing on your crux. Specialized did a different hub spacing for a couple of years called SCS and it makes it difficult to find hubs that will fit from other companies. We ran into this with my wife's Crux but can't remember if hers is a 2013 or 2014.
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Pynchonite

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Reply with quote  #9 
SCS started the year after.  If you do have a bike with SCS spacing, a new derailleur hanger will change it to normal hub spacing and you can contact your local Spesh dealer for that.
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JGamm

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Reply with quote  #10 
Great tip I didn't know that you could get a new hanger to solve that problem. Guess my wife doesn't need to get that new S-Works now.
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Jim_H

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Reply with quote  #11 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volsung
They're great. I've got some weird leg power issues that destroyed a Chris King hub, but no problem with my Whites. They hold up better in MN sloppy winter's than my old Hope hubs too. 


I'm curious to hear more about this.

I have wheels with King and White hubs.  They are both really well made, durable, high quality kit.  You can't go wrong with either.

I'm just curious how you could 'destroy' one of the most durable hubs on the planet with 'weird leg power issues'.   If you are going to make a claim that King hubs are vulnerable to something like this. At least tell us enough detail so we can understand the risks and make a reasonable decision about our own purchases. 

For my part, I live in the wet and sloppy Pacific Northwest, and I'm 6'5" and weighed 300+ pounds when I bought my first set of HED Belgium Plus/Chris King wheels.  I'm down to about 220lbs now, and have 30,000 miles between two sets of them (one has about 20,000).  The hub has shown no significant asigns of wear. Not even significant notching on the freehub body/driver.  The only servicing that's ever been done to either of them is to clean/relube/adjust the preload once per season.   I honestly thought the things were nigh on indestructible under normal use.  

They only thing I've honestly ever heard anyone complain about with CK hubs is that there are lighter hubs out there (same can be said for White Industries), and that they are pricey (no more expensive than the Whites). I've never heard of anyone complaining about durability issues with them (assuming they were properly adjusted and maintained).

For my money, a set of HED's on CK hubs (for ~$1000) is about as good of a long term investment as you can make on a gravel/CX/Rando/Touring bike that sees a lot of miles.

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Pynchonite

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGamm
Great tip I didn't know that you could get a new hanger to solve that problem. Guess my wife doesn't need to get that new S-Works now.


No worries.  Zipp and a few other companies made SCS wheelsets as well.  But, you know, don't let me stand in the way of a new S-Works.
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #13 
My right leg was getting weaker and weaker and my left leg was overcompensating. I'm having new cadaver cartilage put in and having my tibia cut and bolted back in in a different way in a week and a half. (Aka not normal people problems)

It caused damage to the axle and NDS bearings, apparently. CK rebuilt them. It might have been exacerbated by 450mm chainstays, big grippy tires, and a skinny little quick release. Also I rode them in MN year round.
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Pynchonite

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Reply with quote  #14 
Having worked on bikes that served all year in Minnesota, I can only hope that you cleaned the living sh!t out of it in the winter.  I had to saw the derailleur off one of my friends' bikes, it was so rusted into the hanger.
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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #15 

Yeah I clean the hell out of the outside about once a week and then take everything apart in the spring.

 

I did put on like 5k miles on the Kings and got them used (but looked like low miles).  They're fine hubs but more expensive, heavier, and feel like they have more drag than my Whites.  I'd never buy them new.

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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGamm
Make sure you look into the hub spacing on your crux. Specialized did a different hub spacing for a couple of years called SCS and it makes it difficult to find hubs that will fit from other companies. We ran into this with my wife's Crux but can't remember if hers is a 2013 or 2014.


Good input. Is there an easy way to see that on my Crux or look it up or do I need to take it to a local Spec dealer? I have not found that info yet.

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Pynchonite

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Reply with quote  #17 
Like I said, that whole thing started the year after your bike.  You can get a replacement hanger that deals with the issue from your local Spesh dealer.
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks...I did some research and then realized I also have an OEM set of Axis 2.0's off of a Roubaix for road and now just my trainer wheel. I think the rear is standard.



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GravelInSipsey

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Reply with quote  #19 
I have a ‘15 Crux. . Replaced the stock hanger with a non-SCS hanger from Wheels manufacturing. Let’s me run a standard 135mm disk hub. For gravel I run a i23 WTB frequency rim with Novatech hubs and 40mm nanos. Road wheel set is similar, but with 28mm conti GPIIs. Went from a ~2100 g wheel set to a ~1700 g wheel set by getting rid of the Axis 2’s. Much stiffer as well.
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slo_rider

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyR

I was listening to the 11/25 podcast of Riding Gravel and noted that Ben's #1 suggestion to upgrade on a bike is wheelset. I am riding a ’14 Spec Crux EVO Elite Disc On OEM Axis 2.0s. I like riding dirt, gravel, occasional light single-track (and some road) out here in NH. My longest rides will likely be less than 100 miles in the upcoming year. I clock in around 200# without gear and am just starting to look for an upgraded tubeless wheel-set for my bike. I typically run 40c Clement MSOs right now. I may run tires as small as 33c just because I have them in my garage, but they could easily be limited to my Axis 2.0s which I figure I should just keep. I’d like to make them versatile in the event that I decide to upgrade my bike in A couple years. So far the consideration there I think would be ease of switching from quick-disconnect to thru-axle

I've been to two LBS's and asked another mechanic I know. I am looking to spend less than $1,000.

Here is the list of recommendations I have so far. 

  • Bontrager Paradigm
  • Velocity Aileron
  • Mavic Ksyrium
  • Boyd Altamont with White Industry hub
  • WTB KOM i23 rims laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs
What experience and recommendations are out there regarding any of these options or others I have not yet considered?

Cheers,

Timmy


I'll recommend contacting Mike or Dave at November Bicycles (and they're sorta local in Newport, RI). They specialize in hand built wheels, both pre-built and full custom, with a pretty broad range of top shelf components. I hate to sound like a shill, but I've been a bike nut since the mid-80s, and I couldn't be happier with the set of non-custom wheels I bought from November last spring.

And even if you end up buying wheels from another, their blog is almost always informative, entertaining, and about as BS-free as it gets.

https://novemberbicycles.com/
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slo_rider
I'll recommend contacting Mike or Dave at November Bicycles (and they're sorta local in Newport, RI). They specialize in hand built wheels, both pre-built and full custom, with a pretty broad range of top shelf components. I hate to sound like a shill, but I've been a bike nut since the mid-80s, and I couldn't be happier with the set of non-custom wheels I bought from November last spring. And even if you end up buying wheels from another, their blog is almost always informative, entertaining, and about as BS-free as it gets. https://novemberbicycles.com/


It's funny you say that. I was just getting ready to ask for recommendations for local wheel builders in New Hampshire.  I just signed up for their newsletter.  Thanks.

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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volsung
Velocity ailerons aren't deep enough to really be aero so the extra depth just adds weight. They're also designed for like 25mm tires if you want aero benefits. They're sturdy and stiff, but I'd use Blunt SSs over them. I replaced my Ailerons with some clearance Nextie Premiums laced to white industries hubs. They're wider, shallower, and like 120g lighter per rim.


If you don't mind me asking, what tires do you use with your Blunt SS?  Or what is the smallest tire you use, or would/could use?

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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #23 
They were on my mtb so I was running 2.4s mainly, but I did run a 44mm Snoqualmie Pass on the front for a while. I'd say anything over 38 would be great.

I can't use em both right now though unless I get a SS dropout for my gravel bike.
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Noah_Deuce

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Reply with quote  #24 
I’d definitely recommend DT-Swiss hubs over Kings. I’ve owned both, and in my experience, the Kings require more maintenance more often, and it requires more work to do that maintenance. The other advantage to the DT-Swiss hubs is they’re modular - you can easily convert a 135QR to a 142x12TA, and do similar swapping with the front hub.
If you want the easiest and most economical version of that, get a 350 rear and 240 front. If you’re going to pay big money, get 240 front and rear.
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #25 
Thanks to all...I am likely going this route....

Boyd Cycling Altamount Alloy Clinchers set up tubeless with White Industry Hubs. They've come up at least 3X from separate sources as recommendations. 

Cheers.

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