13 January 2010

Wheel Building Advice Needed

You all know that I have wanted a dynohub for ages. I didn't end up building the SA vintage front hub for a lot of reasons, but that's ok because Santa brought me a Shimano instead!

I am *very* excited.

The remaining challenge is choosing a rim. Here's the scenario I see -
  1. 99% of the time this wheel will be used for commuting in Boston. I look forward to being brighter still during our long winter (I'll keep using my battery light) and I may use the wheel year-round for safety like Velib' and others do. The rear rim I'm using is a Salsa Delgado.
  2. Once or maybe twice a year I will use this wheel on long-distance randonneuring rides. My husband rode his last year for the 400k while I fumbled through with two battery lights (only because his illumination helped, and I don't suggest learning this lesson the way I did), and if I were to do a 600k or even maybe (maybe!) Paris-Brest someday then this wheel will see some distance. The rear rim I'm using on that bike a Mavic Open Pro.

So, what do you wise readers think? Is there a suitable rim that falls between those two uses - sturdy enough for a front wheel year-round commuting, but with enough performance to roll long distances once or twice annually?


Anonymous said...

I laced my dynohub to a Mavic Open Pro, and as both my day-to-day commuter and my long distance randonneuring bike, it has performed rather well. That wheel is going on roughly 20,000 miles at this point (including two D2R2s and a dirt road Vermont tour, as well as PBP and three salty commuting winters) and still spins true.

I built up my girlfriend's dynohub with a Sun CR18, which I feel is sturdier than the Open Pro's (I have CR18's on my loaded touring bike) The fact that the CR18's are 25 grams heavier than the Open Pro is relatively negligible given the fact that her primary use is commuting and the occasional tour.

dr2chase said...

Keep in mind that I am SO not a weight weenie, the Sun Rhyno Lite is cost-effective.

Failing that, I have some experience with Velocity Dyad in the back of a cargo bike, back when I still tried to run 700c -- it took a whack that bent the edge of the rim, and kept on rolling after I bent it back into place with pliers. Dyad is 480g, says Peter White. Open Pro is 425g.

melancholic optimist said...

I have a Salsa Cross double-walled rim on the rear wheel of my Electra Amsterdam, and it has held up well over a couple thousand in-town miles with not only my weight, but sometimes up to 50 lbs of extra stuff on it (and hasn't needed truing yet, really). It's not light, but it probably wouldn't increase the overall weight of your bike much (though I don't have specs on the weight or anything).

Anyway, I've been very happy with it.

Brian said...

I've used a Shimano dyno-hub going on year 6 of year round commuting in all sorts of conditions. It runs a little notchy now, but that can be expected an abused hub. I have the 36 hole version laced to Mavic Open Pro, so a bit heavier but uber strong too. That eventually wore through and was replaced with another Open Pro. I wasn't patient enought to search around for a ceramic coated rim, but that would be ideal for longevity.

Mark said...

I second the Sun CR18 suggestion. Nothing fancy, they just work and last. For a slightly wider and cheaper option, the Alex DM18 is a good choice. For something narrower, maybe try the velo orange PBP rim.

Dominic Dougherty said...

CR18, Open Pro or Rhyno Lite.
My favorite 3 rims of all time (and space).

kfg said...

I'll fourth the CR18; and for that matter when you wear out the OP put a CR18 on that wheel too. The only rational reason to choose a rim that narrow is because you are time trialing - for money.

Or for that matter just put another Salsa Delgado on it and have matching rims now.

These rims have sufficient "performance" that I wouldn't be averse to mass start road racing them, especially if I'm the one paying for them. For PBP throw something on the order of 32mm tires on them and finish faster and in better shape than with a "performance" setup.


The Stouts said...

considering your level of class the polished version of a cr18 might do nicely thanks to Velo Orange.


Personally I tend to pick things that are a little more aero since its not only makes a stronger wheel, but also a faster wheel. A good reasonably priced rim of this type is the Alex DA28, but your hub would have to be the 32h version for that to be an option.

Enjoy, I've become an enormous fan of modern dynamo lighting. I'm running a Sturmey X-FDD with a schmidt E-Deluxe on my high mileage commuter and LOVE the combo.

Traffic Bikes said...

My suggestion is a little out of line with the rest of them, but here goes:

I'd advise against the Open Pro, if only because I'm really not that impressed with Mavic's ratio of quality control to price. Instead I'd suggest one of two rims: the Delgado and the DT Swiss TK540. I find that Salsa products are totally worth what you pay for them, and although I don't use them myself all that much, they perform very well. As far as DT goes, I find that they've really taken a solid hold on the high-end rim market - while Mavic has declined significantly in stature. The TK540 is comprable to Mavic's A719, but I find they're considerably better with respect to that quality-to-cost ratio. As far as the Velocity and Sun/Ringle products go: I have close friends who swear by those rims, and have used them myself many times; I just think they serve very specific purposes (namely trendiness and low cost, respectively).

You should keep in mind that comparing the Open Pro (or DT's very nice road rims, the RR series) to the Delgado, Dyad, CR18 or Rhyno Lite is a stretch. The former are road rims, the latter trekking/CX/touring/29er rims. You should first decide what type of characteristics you require from your rims, and then determine what price point and special features you're most comfortable with.

Spencer Wright
Traffic Cycle Design

Jono Davis said...

I've got to agree with Spencer. I've built up wheels with both the DT Swiss TK trekking rim and the Salsa Delgado Cross. The DT has a much nicer welded seam, but that doesn't mean that the Delgado's pinned joint isn't plenty strong enough. Both have a nice solid box construction and spoke eyelets, and niether are "race light".

I'd recommend the matching Salsa rim if it's going to be in that pairing 99% of the time. There's no reason in my mind why a rim that's tough enough for your dailygrind wouldn't work fine for some extended rides.