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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...living in Canada sucks sometimes...especially when the parts you are looking at for wheels come from the US and you have to add 1/3 more to all the prices and add shipping. :( I think I'm finally down to the final iterations here on the new set of wheels for my Cervelo S2. My Campy Zondas have been good and treated me very well, but it's time to build "my own" for this bike now...as everything else I own is shod in "my own" wheels.

I'm looking to build something faster / more aero than the Zondas for my long distance, solo riding (which is a vast majority of what I do...and my Cervelo S2 is looking a lot like a TT/Tri bike as a result of my adaption to this), but that can still take my Clyde butt's abuse (solid clyde....think 240 lb range, rather than 200lb). My normal riding is fairly flat (rollers at best), but we have a local river valley with nice trails but some nasty grades. I also hit the mountains a couple times a year.

Here's the front running finalists:

Option 1) Onyx road hubs laced 28/32 (2x/3x) to Boyd Altamont rims, Sapim CXray spokes, 14 mm polyax nips

Option 2) Hope RS4 hubs laced 24/32 (radial/3x) to Flo60 carbon clincers, Sapim CXray spokes, 14 mm polyax nips with washers.

Option 1 has a much lower drag and virtually silent hub with a slightly more aero rim than the Zondas. The hubs have a 5 year warranty and some other perks, and are reputed to be the lowest drag hubs in the industry so they'll roll forever when coasting (nice when out for a long ride and you get a chance to let gravity do some of the work). They are also super rare hubs up here, so there's a degree of bling factor there, and the silent coasting has a certain allure to it. The hubs are heavier, but the weight is in a less critical spot (hub) and Boyd Altamonts are no slouches when it comes to alu rim aero either, being roughly equivalent to Flo30's or Zipp101/30 rims.

Option 2 uses a hub brand I have experience with (12,000+ km on my Pro II mountain bike set so far) and can be upgraded to 4 pawls if needed, but they have more drag. It has a much more aero rim from a company that has put a lot of CFT and tunnel work into the design (and has been very open about their process...props to the Thornham boys on what they've done there). The rims are 60mm deep and carbon...the allure is there for the looks on my aero frame...and Hopes, though not as well known in road cycling circles, have a strong reputation and can put up with my local conditions and abuse.

I'd love to be able to do an Onyx hubs and Flo60 rim combo (best of both sets), but it's just not in the budget...by the time the exchange rate and shipping is taken into account, I could pick up a set of Enve 5.6 wheels off the shelf locally (DT240 hubs) and convert them to a Campy freehub for what I'd pay on an Onyx/Flo build.

So...what are folks' thoughts who have built with Altamonts, Hope, Onyx or Flo stuff? Am I missing / overlooking something, thinking too hard on this or ?? Both will take my clyde butt and be an improvement in performance, but which would actually be "better" for the riding I do? Thoughts?

Thanks :)
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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First of all, I am really glad you are planning on building wheels that are at least 24 spoke front / 32 spoke rear. You would be amazed how many 200lb+ riders come on here wanting wheels that are 20 spokes or less. :confused:

As far as rims, the Boyd Altamonts (not the lites) look like a great choice for you. I didn't know that you could buy just the rims without a full build, but I guess I was wrong. I'm not sure I would ride carbon rims at your weight, but with 32 spokes rear, they may be OK.

As far as hubs, if you had good mileage with the Hopes, why not build those with the Boyd Altamonts? The Onyx hubs have less of a record behind them, so I'm not sure how they will hold up. If you like a quiet freehub, why not go with a pair of Shimano Dura-Ace 9000's? They are lighter, less expensive, roll nice, quiet and are rock solid reliable. The only downsides are they are less blingy and have fewer points of engagement (only 18) if you care about that.
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Lombard, thanks for the feedback on the Altamonts :)

I try to be "reasonable" when it comes to wheels....the Zondas I'm currently running are rated well weight-wise, and have held up well for such a low spoke count set of wheels...even if they weren't "mine", they show that hand built >> machine built. But it's time for something that's a bit burlier, better performing for my riding and not "off the shelf", I think :)

If I go with the Altamonts (yes, not the lites), I'd actually be getting the parts through a reputable (and highly recommended) on-line builder...they may insist on building them up to meet their obligations (though for shipping / duties purposes, I'd rather have them send me all the parts). If they do have to build them, it would be my design, their build and my final checks/tuning before I consider them done. Not purely "mine", but close enough that I'm fine with it.

For carbons, I'm not looking at the inexpensive Chinese jobs, but rather some decent quality ones from a firm that already offers a Clydesdale build (theirs Clyde builds are 20/28) and then going with even more spokes than that...the rims are up to the task and, with the correct pads, should be fine for me. I have the designer's say-so on it ;)

For the Hubs, the Shimanos are not really an option. Don't get me wrong, the higher level Shimano hubs are good hubs, but I'm on a Campy driveline...though 11-sp is supposed to be compatible, it's more of an "it works" rather than "it's perfect" thing. I'm just as anal with my driveline tuning as I am about my wheel builds, so it just isn't quite something I'd go for.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Merc,

Oh OK, for some reason I thought you were going to build your own wheels. I good reputable hand wheelbuilder is much better than a factory set. In fact, if you know a good local builder, all the better. I've heard good things about Boyd wheels.

It sounds like you have a good handle on your decisions and are very reasonable in your expectations, so no worries. I'm confident you will make a good choice.
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lombard,

You had it right...if I can get just the parts I'll be building the wheels myself (definitely if I go Hope/Flo...but Boyd doesn't sell rims alone for insurance reasons, so I'd need to go through a wheelbuilder that carries them and order as parts... if they will let me... otherwise I'd have to let them assemble and bring them up to my level of anal-ness when they get here).

Still, it sounds like the build I have in mind will be good either way.

I guess it depends on whether I go with proven, low drag hubs (just fairly new to road) with a shallower rim or higher drag hubs (also less common for road but proven in the dirt) with a deeper rim.

😀
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Drag on hubs matters less than you might think once you are on the bike. IMO, your final decision shouldn't be because of that, but rather how well the bearings will hold up or how often they will need maintenance. Are Onyx the ones that have a nearly infinite engagement points or it that the Stealth hubs? Both are whisper quiet and that is certainly a consideration since you can't use Shimano.
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are Onyx the ones that have a nearly infinite engagement points or it that the Stealth hubs? Both are whisper quiet and that is certainly a consideration since you can't use Shimano.
Yes, Onyx hubs use Sprag clutches instead of pawls/ratchet or a ring drive. It's a different system than Stealth, though a somewhat related idea. Onyx uses hybrid ceramic bearings that seem to hold up well...at least in BMX and mtb circles to date. They also have a 5 year warranty.

The Hopes use a conventional bearing and pawl/ratchet drive, though with only 2 pawls in the RS4 freehubs. They will take the 4 pawl freehub found on the rest of the Hope lineup. I've had good experience with Hope hubs, (my Pro II's are on their second mtb and going strong ~12,000 km later) but looking at the online reviews, it seems like they have occassionally had issues....some swear by them, some swear at them ;) I believe they have a 2 year warranty.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Yes, Onyx hubs use Sprag clutches instead of pawls/ratchet or a ring drive. It's a different system than Stealth, though a somewhat related idea. Onyx uses hybrid ceramic bearings that seem to hold up well...at least in BMX and mtb circles to date. They also have a 5 year warranty.

The Hopes use a conventional bearing and pawl/ratchet drive, though with only 2 pawls in the RS4 freehubs. They will take the 4 pawl freehub found on the rest of the Hope lineup. I've had good experience with Hope hubs, (my Pro II's are on their second mtb and going strong ~12,000 km later) but looking at the online reviews, it seems like they have occassionally had issues....some swear by them, some swear at them ;) I believe they have a 2 year warranty.
Do you happen to know what the difference is between the Onyx HG-130 and the DS HG-130 rear hubs? One appears to weigh more than the other, but contrary to what one might believe, the heavier one is more expensive. I can't find any other differences. See below.

https://onyxrp.com/store/road-hubs/road-hg-130-qr/

https://onyxrp.com/store/road-hubs/road-ds-hg-130-qr/
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you happen to know what the difference is between the Onyx HG-130 and the DS HG-130 rear hubs? One appears to weigh more than the other, but contrary to what one might believe, the heavier one is more expensive. I can't find any other differences. See below.
Yup...I sure do know the difference. The DS is a dual Sprag Clutch design. For those of us who put out more power, the DS has the additional clutch to handle the load. 2nd clutch = more weight and a bit more expense.
 

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Yup...I sure do know the difference. The DS is a dual Sprag Clutch design. For those of us who put out more power, the DS has the additional clutch to handle the load. 2nd clutch = more weight and a bit more expense.
Ahhh, interesting. Thanks!
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I have had Boyd Johnson and Chris Thornham provide me their inputs too....so I know what the bosses think. Any more user side inputs on Flo or Altamont rims or the Onyx or Hope hubs?
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Trigger pulled....went with the following for a set more aero than what I'm currently riding, able to take my Clyde abuse and for the sweet, sweet silence of near drag free freewheelin':

Boyd Altamont rims (red decals)
Onyx DS road hubs (Campy), red with black widgets, front hub is the helix version with a black axle to match the widgets
the rear will be custom engraved to tie in with the Ride to Conquer Cancer that I take part in every year as a rider, medical crew member and captain of the volunteer rider safety team
Sapim CX-Ray spokes (28 h fr 2x / 32 h rr 3x), did 2 colors of spokes - black trailing, silver leading
Red Sapim Polyax nipples

This should be a nice step up and I will likely be the only road cyclist locally running Onyx :)
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Got the new wheels on Friday :) I'm a happy camper...well, rider ;)

Don't have pics of them on the bike yet, but I'll post them when I get a good one to share. Got everything set-up on Friday night (thew on my Schwalbe One 700x25c rubber with latex tubes to compare directly to what I had before), which meant a fair bit of fiddling with the brakes too as my previous rims were much narrower. Rubber is a little tight on the front (it's an aero frame), so I may need to go to a 23 mm front tire if I get back into the fork "sanding" issues like I had with Conti GP4000 tires.

Speed is up slightly (at least for the first 50 km, I didn't do a full Metric, but was on my usual Metric route so I could compare), but the sound was interesting...only the road crunch and whisper of the chain. Ride was just as sublime as before (latex tubes....I'm a convert). Cornering, though, has gone to another level with the wide rubber...a revelation for my clyde butt ;)
 

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Congrats on your new hoops, Merc! Wishing you lots of happy miles on them!
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Lombard.

I'll keep you all posted on how they hold up...including the Onyx hubs, as those are not as common on road bikes. Must say, though, if my hands weren't so big (and I didn't mind the moving brakes of Dura-Ace) or I had gone electric shift, you almost wouldn't be able to hear if I were coasting, attacking or somewhere in betwee. :D
 

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Thanks Lombard.

I'll keep you all posted on how they hold up...including the Onyx hubs, as those are not as common on road bikes. Must say, though, if my hands weren't so big (and I didn't mind the moving brakes of Dura-Ace) or I had gone electric shift, you almost wouldn't be able to hear if I were coasting, attacking or somewhere in betwee. :D
Hi there.

How have the Onyx hubs worked out?

Looking at them myself...

Thanks.
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi there.

How have the Onyx hubs worked out?

Looking at them myself...

Thanks.
I've been tickled pink (or candy apple red in the case of my hubs) with them. Still silent and infinite engagement, with no issues to date. They have handled my clyde class butt taking them up and down some pretty nasty hills (foothills and Rocky Mountains here in Alberta) and pounding out long miles without a hiccup. The BMX guys thrash their hubs pretty hard, and Onyx has transitioned their tech from that environment to the trail and the road quite successfully, IMHO.

In going back and forth between my mountain bike (Hope Pro 2's) and road bike (the Onyx hubs), I really notice the difference in sound and feel. My road bike whispers along pedaling or not, while the mtb is machine gun loud if I'm not pushing the pedals. The infinite engagement is really nice, but the feel of the engagement is just a bit different. If you've ever ridden Hopes, you know they lock in solid (4 really solid pawls...low points of engagement, but all four pawls engage, so it's as solid as can be)...the Onyx still engage solidly, but it's a bit more of a "soft landing" when they do, if that makes sense...it's the difference between walking into a brick wall vs. a padded wall at a Dojo / Dojang, if you can wrap your head around the difference.

I recommend them...good quality and nice riding. The additional bonus would be how quiet they are in riding solo and how you can be a "hole in the water" during a group ride ;)
 

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My other bike has knobbys
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle fork Bicycle handlebar

Here's what the wheels look like on the Bowman....the Helix front hub throws an interesting shadow in the right light :)
 

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Awesome and thanks for the really useful info!

Dreaming up my wheel build might be as much fun as actually having them.

Sweet ride by the way!
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Hi there.

How have the Onyx hubs worked out?

Looking at them myself...

Thanks.
They're gorgeous blingy bits of kit. Dead silent, great feel. There are lighter hubs out there, but for the same bling, they'll be machine guns, and won't engage as quick. Spec'd the MTB hubs for Le Groading Bik.







 
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