Bike build project (part 3): A new set of wheels

Bike build project (part 3): A new set of wheels

Time for a update on my bike build project (based on the frame of a 2009 Genesis Croix de Fer), in the last part I talked about spec-ing up the wheel set. Well, the wheels are now built and I just thought I would re-visit the subject with a wee bit of hindsight, not that I have any regrets. It’s just that a discussion I had with Steven (who gave me the frame in the first place) has set me thinking about it some more.

When I drew up the specification for the wheels which I have now had built, I considered a range of rim options. Looking back at them now, I am not sure why I came to the conclusion that the Alex TD17 (Disc) is possibly the best rim for my purpose, this would give me a choice of tire widths from 25mm to 37mm, suits my just fine. Looking again the Alex XD-Lite (Disc), which was part of the original specification, thiswould be also have been a good choice, as it has a tire width range of 28mm to 40mm, and is also lighter at 470g. Maybe I was swayed by the TD17 having an “Anti-Snake bite” design, but I think it was more to do with the narrower internal width. Either way, it is academic, as Alex rims are almost impossible to source in the retail market. Also, I think my final choice of Mavic Open Pro rims is also good for my purposes, even if the tire width range of 23mm to 32mm is a little narrow.

Moving on to the hubs, as I am using Avid BB7 disc brakes, I immediately started looking for six bolt hubs, but could I have used centre lock hubs? Well, it was only after I had had the wheels built that I came across the Avid G3 centre lock rotor and started to wonder if using centre lock hubs could have been an option after all, but, is there any advantage to using centre lock over six bolt?

The main advantages of Centre Lock are:

  • Rotors are always centred on the hub
  • The hubs can’t be written off by a stripped bolt
  • Rotors are stiffer and less prone to bending
  • Rotors are easier and quicker to remove
  • Lighter hubs (about 20g)

The main disadvantages Centre Lock are:

  • The rotors tend to be slightly heavier (about 20g)
  • Limited availability of non Shimano rotors
  • Rotors tend to be more expensive
  • The need for a Centre Lock tool
  • Centre Lock hubs tend to be more expensive

So, at the end of the day you pays your money and makes your choice. I made mine and, having had my wheels built, I find that I have a wheel set that weighs in at 2.1Kg (without rotors fitted), which is no bad.

Next: Bike build project (part 4): Buying the bits.

8 thoughts on “Bike build project (part 3): A new set of wheels

  1. Nice wheelset! I’m already looking forward to check out the Avids, I wonder how they feel compared to hydraulic disc brakes. By the way I got your chainrings yesterday. Any components still missing or do we (yes I’m willing to help 🙂 just have to put things together?

    1. I think I have most things now, just a few wee odds and ends to find, brake cable, saddle, bar tape, work stand, torque wrench, that sort of thing then we are ready to put it all together. I am really looking forward to doing this 😀

  2. I’d be scared to weigh my tourer’s wheels, I’m farily certain they have their own gravitational field 😉

    I’m enjoying following your bike build, incidentally – the Croix de Fer was one of the more interesting Genesis bikes of ’09, should make a nice ride.

  3. Not bad indeed; I hope they live up to expectations. When I had a wheelset built some months ago I think each wheel must have weighed at least that much. Mind you, it was for touring, with heavy rims and spokes (and a lot of them), so what can you expect?

    1. These are not dissimilar to the current wheelset on my Norco Volante which I currently use touring. These have remained true over three years of none to gentle use, but then I only light tour. I don’t carry camping gear, so the pannier weight is generally less than 15Kg. That said I have had up to 20Kg in the pannier on short trips, either shopping or returning from the allotment.

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