Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

Wheels and Tires:

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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

complete wheelset (click to enlarge)

Hubs – Hope Pro II

Why I chose Hope Pro II hubs

I chose the Hope Pro II’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 Hope’s.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

rear 135mm bolt-on hub (click to enlarge)

Nipples – DT Swiss Pro Loc Aluminum

Why I chose DT Swiss Pro Loc Aluminum nipples

I went with DT’s Pro Loc nipples because I wanted to have a strong wheelset that I wouldn’t have to worry about losing tension. The Pro Loc’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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

Rims – DT Swiss 5.1d

Why I chose DT Swiss 5.1d rims

I went with the 5.1d’s because they are lightweight and should have enough strength to handle the type of terrain I’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 don’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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

DT Swiss 5.1d rim (click to enlarge)

Spokes – 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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

Tubes – Nokian MTB 26 Lite / Kenda Standard

Why I chose Nokian MTB 26 and Kenda Standard tubes

For right now I’m running some MTB lite tubes from Nokian and I have some other standard Kenda tubes I’ve been running too for the moment. They are holding up fine so far. Once tire testing and fitting is done I’ll set up a more permanent configuration using DT Swiss’ or Stan’s tubeless kit.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike


Depending on the conditions and the type of riding I’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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

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. It’s a tire the rolls very nicely and offers a good profile.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

  • 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 Kenda’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.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

  • Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR – The Minion’s are my full on downhill tire of choice. They have a nice tread that grips very well and rolls decently enough.

, Proof of Concept: “Do-It-All” Bike

To see more pictures of the build check the gallery.

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