Author Topic: My new wheelset  (Read 534 times)


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Re: My new wheelset
« on: December 03, 2012, 04:53:02 pm »
Mike -- thanks for the clarification on that.  I was not putting too much stock into the Neuvation comments, knowing that he was talking road wheels.  But still, his statements about spoke count are nevertheless interesting.  I did a little bit of reading in the meantime, and came across some stuff from Sheldon Brown and Lennard Zinn re. spoke count on road and mtn. bike wheels.  Their take on it is that the recent move to lower spoke counts is a way for bike manufacturers to make a wheel cheaper but make more profit by touting it as new and improved.  Wheel strength and performance are actually diminished.  OTOH, some respected wheel makers are putting out some well-reviewed products that have lower spoke count, but strong rim profiles.  This gets confusing...

The truth, and what will work for me on my 29er, may lay somewhere in the middle.  Or Brown and Zinn may be right.  I will need to do some test riding to see how different wheels perform.  Ideally, I'd like to find a bike with a strong frame to test ride, but with a middle-of-the-road lighter wheelset, and see how it feels.  If it has snappy acceleration and a solid feel, then I know the problem is with the frame of my own bike.  But if it's bendy, then I will go wheel shopping.

FWIW, the rear triangle of my bike is not the most rugged build.  Two of the 26 inch bikes in our family (an Opus and a Norco) have much better frame build than my Fischer 29er.  So I am not yet convinced that spending $600+ on new wheels will make much difference if the frame is not up to the job.  The good news is that I can get a new bike with a nicely made frame and similar geometry to my Fischer for about the same net cost as a new wheelset (factoring in the sale of my bike). 

Jim -- the Crossmax certainly look like nicely made wheels, and quite light.  And their tech info is helpful re. rim profile and spoke material and their affect on stiffness.  Interesting, though, that they don't give a recommended max rider weight like Stans does.  I'd be pretty nervous riding a light wheelset like that.  So darn expensive and light, I'd be afraid to give 'em a hard hit for fear of bending them.  Not the way I like to ride.  I'm not hard on my bike, but I like the confidence of knowing that if I hit a rock or a heavy root or log, that the bike will take it.  So far, I have to say that my Fisher and its Bontrager wheels have been great in that respect.  Only had to true a slight wobble in the wheels maybe twice in three years. 

I've said this before:  give me heavier but stronger components any day, and let me ride without inhibitions.  Leave the flimsy weight-weanie stuff to the racer boys.

I'll let you know if I get out for some test rides soon.  There's still no snow on the ground here, so no reason I couldn't visit a bike shop or two....   ;)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 04:57:56 pm by Svend »