I went with a custom wheelset because I wanted to be able to pick and choose the build pieces. I was able to custom tailor the wheelset to the exact specifications I wanted. The wheelset was designed to be light yet very strong and I am impressed with the results so far.
complete wheelset (click to enlarge)
Hubs â€“ Hope Pro II
Why I chose Hope Pro II hubs
I chose the Hope Pro IIâ€™s for some pretty simple reasons. They are cheap, light, and offer decent durability. I kicked around going with a Hadley in the rear due to its reputation and quicker engagement. In the end I chose to go with the Hopeâ€™s.
front 20mm hub (click to enlarge)
The front is a standard 20mm hub and the rear is the 135mm bolt-on model. I chose to go with the bolt-on vs a quick release for added strength and durability.
rear 135mm bolt-on hub (click to enlarge)
Nipples â€“ DT Swiss Pro Loc Aluminum
Why I chose DT Swiss Pro Loc Aluminum nipples
I went with DTâ€™s Pro Loc nipples because I wanted to have a strong wheelset that I wouldnâ€™t have to worry about losing tension. The Pro Locâ€™s are designed in such a way that they keep the spoke-nipple connection from coming loose. This should keep the spokes tight. I went with aluminum nipples for extra weight savings.
Rims â€“ DT Swiss 5.1d
Why I chose DT Swiss 5.1d rims
I went with the 5.1dâ€™s because they are lightweight and should have enough strength to handle the type of terrain Iâ€™ll be throwing at them. A lot of discussion has gone on about these rims and whether or not they can handle season long abuse. I donâ€™t weigh as much as most riders, so I believe they should work out for me just fine. The rim width is a nice size which sets up a good tire profile.
DT Swiss 5.1d rim (click to enlarge)
Spokes â€“ Sapim CX-Ray
Why I chose Sapim CX-Ray spokes
These were a must have for me when I built this wheelset. The CX-Ray is a phenomenal spoke with lots of great qualities. They are built very very strong with some of the highest fatigue rates around. The spoke tension built into these wheels is around 25% higher than a standard wheel making the whole wheelset much stronger.
Tubes – Nokian MTB 26 Lite / Kenda Standard
Why I chose Nokian MTB 26 and Kenda Standard tubes
For right now Iâ€™m running some MTB lite tubes from Nokian and I have some other standard Kenda tubes Iâ€™ve been running too for the moment. They are holding up fine so far. Once tire testing and fitting is done Iâ€™ll set up a more permanent configuration using DT Swissâ€™ or Stanâ€™s tubeless kit.
Depending on the conditions and the type of riding Iâ€™m doing I plan on having few different sets of tires to choose from. Each has their place and time and have worked really well for me in the past. Below I have listed my choices and why I chose them.
The biggest issue with any tire selection will be the actual inflated tread width. The Balance does not have the available clearance for some larger sized tires. I have yet to test all of the tires I currently plan to run but the 2.5 Continental’s currently on the bike barely clear.
rear tire clearance with a 2.5 Continental Diesel ProTection’s (click to enlarge)
Continental Diesel ProTection – I like the Diesel ProTection from Continental because it is a very light tire that actually offers a decent amount of sidewall protection. The tread performs relatively well in most situations and has enough grip. Itâ€™s a tire the rolls very nicely and offers a good profile.
Kenda Nevegal – When I want to ride a little bit more aggressive and need some bigger lugs in my tread I will switch over to Kendaâ€™s Nevegal. It is a highly proven tread pattern that works really well in a lot of situations. There are enough versions of the tire to allow the Nevegal to be used for lots of different disciplines and terrain.
Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR – The Minionâ€™s are my full on downhill tire of choice. They have a nice tread that grips very well and rolls decently enough.
To see more pictures of the build check the gallery.