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Touring rims

HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
edited November 2010 in Road buying advice
I am building up a lightweight tourer and am considering rims. In the past I've ridden fairly heavy expedition bikes with commensurately heavy-duty rims and used in pretty remote places. This one will be for light touring, mainly B&B. I was looking at Mavic Open Pro but they just seem a little too light perhaps, at 435 grams, and better suited to training or racing. Alternatively I was thinking of Rigida Chrina (510 grams) or Sputnik (690 grams)

I'm not overly worried about a few grams, preferring reliability over speed, but neither do I want to carry a lot more rolling weight than I need to. THat said, although I am not an overly heavy rider - about 76kgs - I could always quite handily and profitably lose the couple hundred grams in question off my good self :-)

I've got Open Pros on my road bike and they seem quite nice. An advantage to the Rigidas is of course their low cost; they seem about half the price of Open Pros.

I've not used Rigidas - any thoughts from those who have?


  • graham_ggraham_g Posts: 652
    I like my Rigida's but they'll not be noticeably stronger than an Open Pro - they're almost identical profile wise but just a bit thicker/heavier (more hard-wearing?!) by 100grams or so. However, if you're building 36h and you're not carrying any more than say a large saddle bag + bar bag then they'll be ample. If you end up with a pair of panniers with a good chunk of kit in (if you fail at the 'lightweight' bit basically) then I'd be a bit more hesitant. Sputniks are basically a bombproof touring rim and would be overkill on a light touring bike. Have a look at Exal rims - I can't recall which model but they do a rim that fills the (obviously vacant for mavic and rigida) gap between a road and a wide hybrid/touring rim.
  • Get the stans 29r rims, they're a mtb rim, but 700c size. Very very tough and an excellent strength to weight ratio. Far stronger than any of the touring rims.
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    I run A319s on my winter hack. They've been pretty tough, and IIRC they were fairly cheap.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • I've run Rigida DP18 for a couple of years. 36 at rear, 32 at front. PG spokes as well.

    Best wheels I've had. Stiff and strong.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    Open Pro CD rims will be fine for light touring. I have them on my commuting bike with 25 or 28C tyres. They can easily with stand carrying very heavy loads as I sometimes do in my panniers. I would suggest 36H though for heavier loads which is what I use but 32H is adequate if the wheel is built properly by a good wheel builder. I also have a 32H Open Pro CD wheel on Campag Record hub which has performed flawlessly over many many years.

    Alternatively how about the Mavic A719 rims?

    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
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  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Many thanks for the thoughts. The Exal looked interesting (Exal 17 was the model I looked at; nice) as did the A319 and A719. The STans would be too heavy for my purposes, and with too wide a tyre required.

    I was particularly interested in hearing the Open Pros worked as touring rims. I was kind of leaning in that direction, but wanted to hear if anybody had used them for touring. I would be getting a 36-hole rim, and I am very accomplished at packing light (I am a travel writer by profession) so no worries about bringing the kitchen sink.

    I appreciate all the thoughts and suggestions.
  • I have Xero Tarmac XBR-1's on my cyclocross bike. They're designed as light touring wheels and have stayed perfectly true so far this 'cross season. Great if you can get them, but hard to find...
    "Orbea, Bianchi, Ridley, Van Nicholas, Planet X, Niner. My Euro-bike menagerie was going well up to the last 2..."
  • bobloboblo Posts: 360
    I have the Exal 17's on Tiagra for the sort of touring you're doing. So far, so good. Not dear either. Handbuilt by Spa @ £130 pair.
  • PeterBLPeterBL Posts: 209
    Which width tyres would you be running? I think that is fairly important. If I wanted a light touring rim, a width of 17mm would be nice (28mm tyres as standard, but able to take bigger).
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    I'll be using 28mm tyres. I will be having long-reach caliper brakes and with mudguards a 28mm tyre will be pretty much the limit of what I will be able to run. I have a very sturdy expedition bike (a Thorn eXp) so if I was going to be going someplace where a wider tyre, and more strength would be required, I'd use that bike instead. So that base is covered.

    This bicycle will be pretty much for light, breezy, B&B style touring.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    I've used 36h Open Pros for touring since MA2 went out of production. There's no problem at all provided they are properly built up (which goes for any rim).
    That extends from saddlebag only to a camping tour with a large saddlebag full of photographic stuff as well as 4 panniers, and also includes rough stuff tracks, loaded.

    Open Pro at 15mm are a bit wider than Chrina and many other lightweight alternatives, and should be a bit better with 28mm tyres. They should also allow 32 or 33mm tyres if you discard the mudguards, which Chrina etc probably wouldn't

    I've switched to Exal LX17 on the new bike to allow larger tyres (Marathon Winter at present)
  • NervexProfNervexProf Posts: 4,202
    I built a pair of wheels for my Roberts Audax bike using Rigida Sputnik rims - very strong - with re-inforced eyelets. Won't break the bank either!

    see here: ... els_-_Rims[email protected] ... 048133146/
    Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom
  • How much do you weigh? How much will you be carrying? How hard are you on bikes?

    I've toured extensively on machines as utterly unsuitable as a carbon racing bike with 23c tyres on Aksiums, but at the time I weighed 52kg and I carried only 6kg of luggage in a saddlebag.

    Personally, I'd be completely confident in a pair of 36h Open Pros even with a pair of overstuffed ortliebs on the back, but that's just for me and my circumstances.

    It bears pointing out that a well trued wheel is much, much stronger than even a marginally wonky one. You can get away with a great deal if you carry a spoke key, spare spokes and nipples and are religious about keeping your wheels straight.
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