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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

I run the following:
mavic cxp 33 rims (stiff, not superlight)
db spokes (strong)
36h phil wood hubs (not superlight, damn near indestructible)

Definitely bomb-proof (I take them mountain biking, dropping 1 foot hucks without any worries, though my forks have crapped out before the wheels needed truing).
Definitely not uber-light, but they're not too bad. With 36 spokes, they were built for strength.

I would not go with a flipflop. When I ran one, I rarely flipped may as well just swap it out (especially since you should do this every so often anyway, to keep it from freezing on there).

I am a big fan of Phil wood hubs. I use (abuse?) the crap out of mine (cx racing, winter/snow/salt commuter, rainy day commuter/trainer the rest of the year). New bearings are $11 when you finally need them, but the number one reason is this: my hubs are 13 years old (only about half that time in heavy use) but the last time I tried to replace the bearings, the shop couldn't disassemble the axle body properly. They sent it back to Phil, and they also had problems with it. They ended up replacing everything but the shell for $42 (it would have been $150 for a new hub). I like companies that stand behind their stuff, even when their stuff is ancient and ridden hard.

High flange might be a little heavier, but they mean shorter spokes = less likely to break. I've never broken any personally on this setup, and I true them about once a year, if that.

Regarding track depends. The bearings tell the tale. If they are properly sealed, you should be fine, but I've heard about some high-end Dura-Ace track hubs that shouldn't even be ridden in the rain, as you can practically see the bearings from the outside. If the axle looks like it's thinner than a pencil, it might make me think twice about bombing on it.


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