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I'm looking at building up a set of 'cross specific single speed wheels. Of course, I'm looking to find the balance of cost versus function, (minimize cost, maximize function) but weight and aesthetic appeal are also considerations.

If you were building wheels, what components would you use? I'd rather be a little more bomb-proof and reliable than uber-light. I'm a fairly light guy (145-150lbs) and generally don't have an issue with broken spokes. I'm thinking of a flip-flop hub that I can run 16t / 18t or 19t freewheels on.

Recommendations for hubs, spokes, rims? Things you love/hate?

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Replies to This Discussion

this is the build I would opt for if building another set of SS wheels (may build it for next year)
Chris King SS rear and Cross front hubs
Sapim CX ray spokes and brass nipples
Mavic Reflex CD rims or velocity escape
laced 3x front and rear
bullet-proof wheels that are good looking and very light weight, cheap rims that will stay true and aren't 400 each

you mention gearing options.... I currently use a formula hub with a white industries uno dos 16/18 t freewheel. If I need crazy low gearing, i'll run a 38t front, but can also use a 39t or 42t using the same chain if the chain is sized to the proper length. I can also flip the hub and thread any other sized freewheel to that side if I need to, but multiple freewheels adds weight and they really arent that hard to remove if you have to remove the wheel anyway.
I'd purchase a few decent freewheels and a cahin whip before i though of flipping wheels around and using another freewheel.
(...assuming you'd consider clinchers...)

I've been running the following

Paul's 32h hubs
DT Revolution double butted spokes
Mavic Open Pro rims

I had the same requirements: reliable trumps uber trick/light. So far they've held up very well to all of my ham-fisted abuse. They accelerate nicely and are plenty stiff when cornering.

I agree that the purchase of a couple of good chain whips is the better deal. This is especially true when you're running directional tires like Mud 2's.
Did you have to change the axle spacing on the rear hub? The only Paul ss hub I can find is for mountain bikes.
I got a set that's worked really well for me:
Kinlin Niobium 25mm Tubular rims
White Industries H1 Front Hub 24h laced radially
White Industries ENO (non eccentric) 28h laced 3x
Sapim CX-Ray spokes
(I'm also using Sapim Laser on my pit wheels, cheaper and almost as light)
Aluminum Nipples

weight = 1440 grams
cost ~ $400 (2 years ago)

I've hit bumps hard enough to rotate my bars down but have not yet needed to true my wheels.
If you want clinchers, my pit wheels are built to almost the same specs except
Kinlin Niobium 30mm Clincher rims
Sapim Laser spokes

weight = 1490
Cost = $450 this year
Thanks for all the feedback so far. I have always just run clinchers, but I'm very seriously considering going tubies for next year.

I see two opinions on nipples, brass v. alu. I know aluminum would probably be lighter, but I assume brass would be stronger?

A chain whip will tighten the FW, what tool removes it?
I'm building a set of pit wheels right now and the LBS guy recommended I go with Brass on the SS. I'd prefer alloy but since it's a heavy duty wheelset (training and pit) I'll probably just go Brass. Definitely stronger, less likely to slip, strip or round off.
Park FR-8 freewheel remover, a wrench and often a long piece of pipe for leverage.
cool - thanks!
At 230lbs, I wanted strong and cool... Paul's High flange hubs, DT doube butted spokes, 32, 3x, Salsa Delgato CX rims. A little heavy, buy BOMBPROOF and smooth!!!
Paul makes a SS hub for track (120 or 130 spacing) and a SS hub for MTN (135mm). I think with the spacing on my bike, I would have to go with the track hubs - would there be any durability issues with mud etc? I would guess that track hubs aren't necessarily designed to be run off road?
Hubs arrived today. Pair of Black Surly's. Heavy but theoretically bombproof. Double Butted Spokes, 3 cross, Mavic Open Sport Rims. Should be able to train on these for years.

The fun will start next fall when I get to build up a race wheel set.


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