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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did post this in commuting and touring forum, but thought I might have more luck here....

I would very much appreciate any recommendations for some mtb rims for touring. It would be for "medium weight" touring (not credit card touring, not round the world heavy duty stuff either, just tent, clothes, sleeping bag, etc). I've been using any old mtb rims (32h both front and rear) and broke a spoke the last tour. I figure it's about time to get "proper" rims for the job.

One thing: I currently use Specialized Fat Boy 1.25" tyres which I'm very happy with, and would prefer to keep them. I tried fitting these to a Sun Rhynolite rim, and wasn't convinced they fitted properly -if they had, I think I'd buy a Rhynolite 36h for the rear 3x spoke pattern, and put a 32h Rhynolite 3x spoke pattern on the front...... Rhynolites seem to be very well built. So if anyone can tell me that 1.25" tyres fit Rhynolite rims, I'd be interested in your experiences. Otherwise, it would be nice to keep the 1.25" Fat Boys on and find a good mtb rim that would do the job as I'm a cheapskate and prefer not to incur the cost of new tyres as well -particularly since I was very happy touring on the 1.25" Fat Boys.

Also, if anyone is really knowedgeable and can tell me if a good wheel build (all other things being equal) with a 32h 4x is about the same strength as a 36h 3x, I'd be very interested to hear their opinions.

Thanks!
 

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Rhinolites are indeed a bit to wide for a 1.25" tire. I wouldn;t run anything under a 1.75" on them. They are actually pretty popular as a "free-ride" rim for tires up to 2.5".

However, any pair of typical XC rims will work with those tires. Generally they have an outside width under 25mm, and an inside of about 20mm. Lots to choose from; pick a brand you like, and they'll have a model. Sun, Mavic, Bontrager, and even Arraya and Wienman make decent rims in that catagory.

As for 4x lacing, don't do it on a 32 hole wheel. You'll have spokes crossing over the heads of thier neighbors, which both reduces durability and makes replacing any that do break an unberable PITA. Spoke crossing has little to do with wheel load handling strength anyhow. Rather, it affects how rear and disc brakes deal with torque loads. And for 32 and 36 spoke wheels, 3x is enough to handle disc brake toque, let alone pedaling orque.
 

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Yeah, what he said...

I just want to underscore, highlight, and italicize the other posters comment: just about any typical XC rim should work for you, and most of the better ones are more than adequate. I also agree about staying away from 4X. I have never seen it look like it was "right" on a wheel--so much overlap and whatnot. I have had good luck with Velocity, Mavic, and Bontrager, and I would definitely choose those before Sun rims. I have always thought that the "RhynoLite" was a mediocre rim--soft and heavy, and most other Sun rims haven't impressed me either.

off roadie said:
Rhinolites are indeed a bit to wide for a 1.25" tire. I wouldn;t run anything under a 1.75" on them. They are actually pretty popular as a "free-ride" rim for tires up to 2.5".

However, any pair of typical XC rims will work with those tires. Generally they have an outside width under 25mm, and an inside of about 20mm. Lots to choose from; pick a brand you like, and they'll have a model. Sun, Mavic, Bontrager, and even Arraya and Wienman make decent rims in that catagory.

As for 4x lacing, don't do it on a 32 hole wheel. You'll have spokes crossing over the heads of thier neighbors, which both reduces durability and makes replacing any that do break an unberable PITA. Spoke crossing has little to do with wheel load handling strength anyhow. Rather, it affects how rear and disc brakes deal with torque loads. And for 32 and 36 spoke wheels, 3x is enough to handle disc brake toque, let alone pedaling orque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback -I wondered how 4x was going to come out. I was only willing to try it if several people had said they'd done it and it was worth it.

My experience underscores what you said -I've done a 500 mile tour and a 150 mile tour on some pretty cheap Akai 32 hole 3x mtb wheels, both times I ended up with a broken spoke on the rear wheel -most of my stuff is carried at the back with only a handlebar bag at the front taking. I figured a 36 hole setup with better quality rims would do the trick.

The only thing I might disagree with you is about the Sun rims! I have Rhynolites on my XC mtb and they've been the only rim on a rear wheel I've never had to true. Yes, they are heavy, but for the strength they give, I'm willing to live with it. Alas, I've had bad luck with Mavic mtb rims I've used -X138/X139s and an older model set of rims that just seem to be prone to warping or the rims seem to lack strength. I currently have an X139 front rim where it's trued to a good tolerance, but the spoke tension is considerably different to achieve this. I'm not an aggressive mtb rider either, and weigh about 200lbs. Although on the other hand I do run Mavic OPs on my road bike and love them, and would buy them again in a heart beat......

Anyway, thanks for reply, I'll see what 36h mtb rims are available on ebay.


elvisVerde said:
I just want to underscore, highlight, and italicize the other posters comment: just about any typical XC rim should work for you, and most of the better ones are more than adequate. I also agree about staying away from 4X. I have never seen it look like it was "right" on a wheel--so much overlap and whatnot. I have had good luck with Velocity, Mavic, and Bontrager, and I would definitely choose those before Sun rims. I have always thought that the "RhynoLite" was a mediocre rim--soft and heavy, and most other Sun rims haven't impressed me either.
 

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naranjito
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my touring wheels are mavic rims (they´re an older model but pretty similar to the 719 and 819 current models), laced 36H 4 cross on shimano STX hubs. I run vredestein spider tyres which work well on road and off. as others have said, and decent XC rim will work fine, but it´s worth looking at the brake wall thickness because depending on the weight you´re carrying and the hills you´re riding, you could end up wearing out some of the lighter weight racing rims.
as for 4 cross, i find it makes a good touring wheel, the spokes are longer so have a bit more 'give' in them (although the difference is probably minimal) and i have found them to be a bit stronger than a 3 cross wheel (the 4 cross have taken longer to go out of true, but then that depends on so many other things too). the main thing as someone said is not to build a wheel with the spoke heads crossed, because then you can get all sorts of problems.

foz
 

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Nigeyy said:
Thanks for the feedback -I wondered how 4x was going to come out. I was only willing to try it if several people had said they'd done it and it was worth it.

My experience underscores what you said -I've done a 500 mile tour and a 150 mile tour on some pretty cheap Akai 32 hole 3x mtb wheels, both times I ended up with a broken spoke on the rear wheel -most of my stuff is carried at the back with only a handlebar bag at the front taking. I figured a 36 hole setup with better quality rims would do the trick.
That's a good bet. 36 spoke wheels handle a heavy weight load better than 32, no doubt about it. In fact, having more spokes is a bigger benefit than having a beefier rim, when it comes to things like touring loads.
36 spoke wheels generally can be laced 4x with good results, but (for 36 spokes) there's really no benfit to it over 3x.
A 36 spoke asymetric XC rim, like say a Bontrager Mustang, would probably serve you quite well for a rear touring rim.
The Mustang is also available with a ceramic brake surface, which might be nice if you are the type who gets caught in the rain while touring. A bit of wet decending with a touring load can really put the hurt on a normal rim brake wheels brake track....
 
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