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Which Wheels Then??
Following on from the almost obvious debate of my attending a stag weekend or buying wheels...

Im now looking for wheels!!!

Most popular option on the forum(s) seems to be Mavic 717 on XT hubs via Merlin.

I only do XC, nothing lairy, so looking for lightweight and reliable wheels, LIGHTER than my stock giant wheels I have now.

As you almost all know now, Im attending an enduro (maybe 2) this year whether that helps your advice.

What advantage would Hope hubs give me, apart from a majorly loud freewheel?

Advice, comments & guidance most welcome my sage friends........
Well. I have XT hubs and 717's on the Breezer and have an issue with the front hub bearings but that was from new so kinda irrelevant. They are cup and cone so potentially more faffing if they need tightening or renewing but are good value

I have 717's and Pro II on the 5 Spot and they are nice. The rear Hope hubs ARE SO FRIGGING LOUD AT FIRST ITS BEYOND A JOKE. Ramblers a mile off will turn round which is useful when you need to pass them. They quieten down with age and early on it just means you have to pedal more so good for training lol.

Looking at rim prices alone on CRC (disc only for both), XC717 are £34, XM317 are £22 and according to the specs they must be wider as it states suitable for 2.3" whereas the 717 are 2.1" however on my 717's it does say you can run 2.3" but my point is, they are narrow and 2.3's are pushing it and if you run low pressure they will wobble around a bit. So confirm via mavics website but for the sake of 50grams extra weight, if I was buying new wheels now I would get the 317's (presuming they are wider) so I could run wider tyres fine and actually save myself £24 across both wheels

The other Hope related thing is regarding the freehub body which is quite soft. You will need to search but iirc you should only run cassettes on them where the larger 5 or so cogs are joined together ie do NOT run ones where all the cogs are seperate which is probably just real top end xtr and whatever the sram equiv is. The reason is that due to the soft freehub body, if you ran seperate large cogs combined with the greater torque you produce in those gears, it cuts up the body quite bad leading to potentially a £30 odd bill for a new freehub body when you change the cassette. Mine had small marks with a XT cassette when I came to change it but only a mm or 2 and that was after a year so no big deal

Front Pro II's you can easily swap between QR, 20mm and QR15 for the sake of £10-15 adapters, can you do that with XT?
My mate is running 717's and has had 2.35 High Rollers on since he got them, never had a problem with them.  Im only mentioning the 717's because thats what he's got and Im familiar with them.

So Hope hubs not worth upgrading to? - What hubs are available and reasonble which are not cup and cone? (Assuming there is an alternative?) or is that perfectly acceptable.  Im finding Im quite often tightening mine up now the bike is 3yrs old.

"Breezer" Wrote:Front Pro II's you can easily swap between QR, 20mm and QR15 for the sake of £10-15 adapters, can you do that with XT?

I have no idea what your comment above means! (noob with this kind of thing) - Can you explain?
Likewise ive run my 2.3" conti's on my 717's but if you run them at say 35psi you will notice a bit of tyre flex whereas the far wider 521 on the front of my Inbred has a 2.35" Kenda on it and its lovely and firm with no flex in the corners so as above, for a tiny weight deficit I would get the wider rims and save yourself some money

Unsure on other hubs as I only have XT and Hopes, well except the back of the Inbred which has a Halo wheel although the freehub on that is now almost siezed up after a year so I need to take it apart, the Pro II on the 5 spot is a fair bit older and sweet as...

Until the last couple of years and ignoring long travel downhill forks, all forks have the good old quick release skewers as you know and love. Then Rock shox bought out the 20mm Maxle axel which was a bolt thru axle but quick release, far wider than a standard 9mm quick release (by 11mm heh) so much stiffer. These started becoming more common to the point where most 140mm travel or more forks now have 20mm axles either using maxles or bolted in like my Manitous, even the latest 120mm Rebas now have it as an option. You may have heard of Fox and Shimano working together and bringing out QR15 which is their version but 15mm wide......

anyway, point is you need obviously a different sized hole etc on the hub to accomodate it. With my Pro II that was originally standard old quick release, I spent £15 and got new adapters which went in place of the existing ones so that I could then use a 20mm axle. The ~1.5 year old XT hubs on the Breezer do not have that feature so if I wanted to run forks on that with a 20mm or 15mm axle I would need a new hub as well....

You can still buy most <140mm forks with standard quick release or a 15/20mm axle dropouts but if you have the choice, go for the 15/20 as they are stiffer etc. You may not be buying new forks now but plan for the future......latest XT may let you change the ends, I dont know...
#5   quick release but centre lock disc mount ie Shimano only so add on cost of centre lock to standard 6 bolt if your rotors are like that
Bit out of my price range that one, the £130ish price point of those 717's+XT are quite appealing - I was wondering if Im missing out on alternatives at this price point.
oops I clicked on wrong one lol, which ones are you looking at?
These seem silly cheap considering the rims are £47 odd on CRC? Plus are 6 bolt hubs so more likely to be suitable for your existing discs
Im using the Customer Wheel Builder:

Handbuilt Wheels - Rear Disc
Hub Upgrades:      XT 6 Bolt Disc
Rim Upgrades:      XC717 Black Disc
Spoke Upgrades:      ACI S/S DB
          67.00      Remove      Update
Handbuilt Wheels - Front Disc
Hub Upgrades:      XT 6 Bolt Disc
Rim Upgrades:      XC717 Black Disc
Spoke Upgrades:      ACI S/S DB
          57.00      Remove      Update

NB: Carriage added at final checkout stage if applicable.
Sub-total £:      124.00
Total £:      124.00      
Don't go for 317s - 50 g per wheel is an extra quarter of a pound you'll be turning every time the wheel goes round, but the main reason is that they are reputedly quite fragile.  Mine have a couple of dings in them and i'd love to switch to either 717s or 819s when i get the money.

A guy called Roger Musson has some good alternative builds and his reputation for building is second to none.

Lots of people advise 717s on XTs for the best budget XC wheel and i bet it would transform your bike from the factory standard ones!

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