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XC Wheelsets and gearing

100%100% Posts: 236
edited March 2009 in XC and Enduro
Hi,

I'm hopfully going do a number of XC races this year, having spent the winter racing cross.

I'm just debating a few upgrades to the drivetrain of my bike, given that the chain is jumping around and I'm probably going to have to replace chain+cassette and possibly chainrings.

I'll probably go with an XT crankset + BB. I am, however wondering if it is worth getting a set of wheels for racing, and keep my existing as spares in case of puncture or breakages? Not quite sure how this sort of thing works in XC races...

Also, I've been considering using an Ultegra or Dura-Ace 9 speed 12-27 cassette instead of a standard MTB cassette (do 11-28 MTB specific setups still exist?). I can't see why this wouldn't work with an XT rear mech and Shimano chain - anyone tried it? Is it worth it? I am assuming that if I'm in the granny ring and need anything bigger than the 27 sprocket I'd probably be quicker running!

Cheers,
Steve
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Posts

  • I've often wondered about this too. If I'm in the 'granny' ring I never drop below 3rd or 4th at the back. Makes you think if you need such a low gear as 32 or 34 teeth!
  • I've got an Ultegra 12-27 cassette on my best mtb , no problems using a Raceface chainset and sram 991 chain. Saves a bit of weight as well coming in just over 200gms. Couldn't afford a Dura Ace :cry:
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    edited February 2009
    I've got these...

    http://www.bike-zone.com/photos/2008/tech/reviews/roval_control08/Specialized_Roval_Controle_XC_full_view.jpg

    (Specialized Rovale Controle XC)

    They are stupidly light and yet very strong. I think there is a tiny amount of flex in them but it doesn't detract from them being an excellent set of wheels.

    Si
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • BikerbaboonBikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    you dont need a higher geared rear cassett you just need bigger hills :D
    Nothing in life can not be improved with either monkeys, pirates or ninjas
    456
  • 100%100% Posts: 236
    Thanks guys!
    I've often wondered about this too. If I'm in the 'granny' ring I never drop below 3rd or 4th at the back. Makes you think if you need such a low gear as 32 or 34 teeth!

    Indeed - I never really considered it until I started racing cross. The other option would be some kind of double chainring setup, but that looks far too expensive!
    you dont need a higher geared rear cassett you just need bigger hills

    I see where you're coming from...still think I might be quicker running! I guess it all depends how long the climb is!
  • 100%100% Posts: 236
    Thanks Bikefotos. Did you have to shorten your chain for your setup to work?

    Si, do you mind me asking roughly how much those wheels set you back? They look expensive! I meant to say in my first post I was considering an XT wheelset.

    Cheers,
    Steve
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    100% wrote:
    do you mind me asking roughly how much those wheels set you back? They look expensive! I meant to say in my first post I was considering an XT wheelset.

    They should have been around £400 but I got them for around £300 courtesy of our clubs sponsors, Beyond Mountain Bikes and Specialized, a great perk of riding for West Drayton MBC :)

    I'm currently using an XT set up with them on a carbon Scott Spark 20...finished with Scott Spark 10 kit weighing in at around 23.5lb's :)
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • Double MTB set up doesn't need to cost the earth I'm running an XT chainset with the outer ring a 42t on the inside off the outer spider and bought a 28t TA 68pcd chainring off the internet.
    All you'll need to do is pop a spacer on your drive side off the B+B. Runs perfectly fine.
    I've just bought a 11-34 ti rear cassette as I was running a 12-32 with my triple so since going double I've kept the same spread.
  • 100%100% Posts: 236
    Interesting...I was thinking of a double setup but the dedicated chainsets look expensive! Thanks, pinarellodude!

    While I'm at it, it's a bit slimy round my way at the moment but I'm thinking of going with some Nobbley Nics with some kind of slime to avoid punctures.

    Any other suggestions?

    Cheers,
    Steve
  • If you want new wheels, just og tubeless, works much better than slime, which doesn't really.

    For wheels, get handbuilts, either 819 on xt or dt hubs with dt spokes from merlin.

    or for tartier, buy some wheels with stans rims from justridingalong.co.uk, chose hubs and spokes according to budget.
  • SiLanc wrote:
    I've got these...

    http://www.bike-zone.com/photos/2008/tech/reviews/roval_control08/Specialized_Roval_Controle_XC_full_view.jpg

    (Specialized Rovale Controle XC)

    They are stupidly light and yet very strong. I think there is a tiny amount of flex in them but it doesn't detract from them being an excellent set of wheels.

    Si

    Second these I'm 13st and came to these after a set off Hope hubs with 717XM rims and you can feel how light these are and very stiff considering how light they are!
    These are a good 100gms lighter than the top off the range Mavic Crossmax and Fulcum wheelsets. :D
  • 100% wrote:
    Interesting...I was thinking of a double setup but the dedicated chainsets look expensive! Thanks, pinarellodude!

    While I'm at it, it's a bit slimy round my way at the moment but I'm thinking of going with some Nobbley Nics with some kind of slime to avoid punctures.

    Any other suggestions?

    Cheers,
    Steve

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-TA-T ... -16607.htm

    This is the chainring I bought and run it with the 42 outer chainring. And you should have a set off washers that come with a XT BB. Pop one washer on the outside off the BB just enough to keep the inner ring off your chain stay.
    I'm finding it better finding I'm crossing the chain a lot less and because it's just a double front your not up and down the front rings all the time.
  • 100%100% Posts: 236
    That looks very interesting. Thanks very much!

    Are you using a road double front mech or just set up a standard MTB mech and using only two of the 3 positions?

    Cheers,
    Steve
  • Just using a standard MTB front mech but I'm running old schooll thumb shifters made out off 10spd Dure Ace shifters, but should be fine on a typical 3 spd shifter all you'll need to do is adjust your stops on the front mech.
    If you what the tunablity off a thumbshifter tho you can pick up cheap front mech thumb shifters on ebay cheap? :D
  • Im also running a 12-27 ultegra cassette...absolutely no problem at all. Using it with xt rear mech and standard ratio xtr cranks....very light cassette....perfect close ratios and cost about £30.
    pain is temporary..... but it does hurt!
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    100% - My wheels are tubeless ready. I was at a race with a mate who also has tubeless and he couldn't believe how easy they were to set up. It took me only about 3 minutes longer to get the wheels\tyres tubeless and ready to hit the trails than it would have taken me to pump up a tyre with a tube in it :)

    A lot of racers from West Drayton MBC use these wheels...admittedly the huge discount helps...but that speaks for itself in my opinion. If they were censored we wouldn't use them :)
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • Aren't tubless a pain in the censored if you Puncture mid race? Mate was racing at Grisedale and just became a nightmare with that slime stuff and had to pull out. Swore he'd go back to tradional tyres and tubes?
    But yeah I've only done a handfull off rides etc on the Rovals but so far so good! :D
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    Aren't tubless a pain in the ars* if you Puncture mid race? Mate was racing at Grisedale and just became a nightmare with that slime stuff and had to pull out. Swore he'd go back to tradional tyres and tubes?
    But yeah I've only done a handfull off rides etc on the Rovals but so far so good! :D

    I don't know. I haven't had a puncture in two years and I ride several times a week and did 16 races last year :)

    You have to refill the sealant every 5 months or so as it dries up. Grizedale is very unforgiving and can shred tyres. I've never had a puncture there and I train there all the time...must be lucky...or careful! When I'm racing I carry a tube and a CO2 cannister.

    Coincidentally my avatar (next to my name) was taken at the NPS Enduro there last year...an amazing and very tough race. So many people had bike failures or dropped out.
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • davebdaveb Posts: 4,137
    I just bought some Stan Olympic rims on Hope Pro II hubs and replaced my XC717 rims on DT hubs. Lighter, faster rolling and gone tubeless so hopefully less punctures.

    Interesting about the cassette ratios, I have thought about using a road cassette before but wasnt sure how compatible they were.
    Daveb
  • davebdaveb Posts: 4,137
    Aren't tubless a pain in the ars* if you Puncture mid race? Mate was racing at Grisedale and just became a nightmare with that slime stuff and had to pull out. Swore he'd go back to tradional tyres and tubes?
    But yeah I've only done a handfull off rides etc on the Rovals but so far so good! :D

    Not really, as said just carry a spare tube and CO2 cannister with you.
    Daveb
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    If you go with the CO2 cannister route a word of warning...when you use it the cannister will get incredibly cold and will stick to exposed skin...if this happens you can rip the cannister out of your hand and suffer the pain, wait for about 5 minutes or p*** on your hand...

    I'm not telling you how to live your life...the decision is yours :)
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • mattbarnesmattbarnes Posts: 295
    Just had a set of wheels built for the better weather/summer months. Hope Pro2 hubs, Stans Olympic rims, DT Revolution spokes and alloy nipples - 1480g front and rear. Lighter than both Mavic SLR's and Fulcrum Red Metal Zero's. And £300 cheaper.
    Just as well I saved a tidy sum, an unpleasant meeting with a gatepost at high speed today saw me take a nasty spill. That'll be one knackered set of carbon bars then! :cry:
    Society is like a stew. You have to stir things up now and again otherwise the scum will rise to the top.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    Is that a claimed weight? Pro IIs aren't amazingly light.

    Also with the Rovals do they require a rim strip to be run tubeless? If this like a standard Stans/Joes strip or just something to sit on top of the spokes?
  • mattbarnesmattbarnes Posts: 295
    Toasty

    Thats not a claimed weight, I own the wheels and thats the weight on the wife's kitchen scales (they're a decent, accurate set of scales, she's a chef).
    The advantages of this build are many. The strength of the Olympic rims and the aftermarket service of Hope. Sorry, did I mention the weight...
    Society is like a stew. You have to stir things up now and again otherwise the scum will rise to the top.
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    Toasty wrote:
    Also with the Rovals do they require a rim strip to be run tubeless? If this like a standard Stans/Joes strip or just something to sit on top of the spokes?

    I forget if I used a rim strip or not, I'm 95% certain I did. I remember a friend who has a tubeless set up watch me set the tyres up and he said it took about the same time as putting in and pumping up a tube!
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • 100%100% Posts: 236
    Just using a standard MTB front mech but I'm running old schooll thumb shifters made out off 10spd Dure Ace shifters, but should be fine on a typical 3 spd shifter all you'll need to do is adjust your stops on the front mech.
    If you what the tunablity off a thumbshifter tho you can pick up cheap front mech thumb shifters on ebay cheap? :D

    Sorry to be a pain in the censored - is there any chance of a picture of this setup? I can't visualise it.

    Cheers,
    Steve

    P.S. I'm thinking the 2x9 setup with 11-32 or 11-34 cassette will be better in the long run than a triple up front with road bike cassette purely to cut out the changing between front chainrings.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    mattbarnes wrote:
    Toasty

    Thats not a claimed weight, I own the wheels and thats the weight on the wife's kitchen scales (they're a decent, accurate set of scales, she's a chef).
    The advantages of this build are many. The strength of the Olympic rims and the aftermarket service of Hope. Sorry, did I mention the weight...

    Ah sorry, no I didn't mean to sound quite like that. Just curious as claimed wheel weights are always drastically out, it's nice seeing a proper weight to give myself some basis of comparison. Sounds really nice, the only thing that would concern me is the strength of Revo spokes for day to day use, all down to your weight and type of riding I guess

    On a similar token I think the Rovals would scare me even more. :)
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    I've been using the Rovals for all sort's of riding...I don't do any big drops over a few feet and although I'm no trials or freeride specialist I do ride down a fair few flights of stairs...I have another mate who uses them for everything and they've given him no problem. I think with Roval's you'll be fine in places like Wales, Lake District, etc (I've used my extensively in the Lakes) but if you're planning on doing some serious freeriding or downhill (like Comfortably Numb in Whistler, i.e. very big jumps, drops) then you should really look elsewhere. They're a great XC wheelset though.
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    I'm sure they would, they're mind boggling light though. My head can't quite understand how 24x revo spokes can make a strong wheel. I've never seen a bad word about them though.

    Same goes for the Traversees, I was very tempted with a set for my Meta, once again though I don't understand what magic makes 24x Supercomp spokes into an AM wheel while most brands AM wheelsets weight 2000g.

    I'd heard they required a rimstrip for tubeless as well which would outweigh a lot of the saving if you did opt for tubeless tyres, the Joes one was 80g per wheel for example.
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    I would have thought 80g for a strip and then a bit more for some sealant will still be lighter than a full tube...and then there is the fact that you've removed the rolling resistance between the tube and the tyre....hold on I'll get my blackboard out!
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
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