Recommend me a trail capable wheelset

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  • Recommend me a trail capable wheelset
  • wurzelcube

    Hi All,

    Having destroyed my Specialized 420SL rims at the weekend I’m in need of a new wheelset for my Stumpy FSR.

    Currently my front hub has a 9mm DT RWS bolt thru type thing – it would be nice to keep this setup as from reading reviews it reduces flex (whether its true or not I have no idea)

    As I need new rims I intend to go for UST rims to remove the need for the tubeless conversion kit so am looking at Mavic XM819s or similiar.

    From looking around the options seem to be:

    – Superstar wheelset on switch evo hubs – mixed reviews over build quality
    – Mavic Crosstrails (I know where I can get a set for £270)
    – Hope Hoops
    – Getting my LBS to build my existing specialized hubs with new rims.

    I’m not the lightest rider (14 stone) and do a mixture of cross country and trail centres (Coed-y-Brenin, Cwm Carn etc).

    Recommendations / advice please 🙂


    Do not know about rest but I do not think the specialized hubs are that good so I personally would discount that. What about checking what Merlin would charge for handbuilt wheels, iirc you can go to the website and spec your wheels and it will give you the price


    I’d go for the hope hoops. They’re tried and tested, easy to get parts for, plenty strong, have all the hub options you could want, are easily serviceable and perform very well. This is coming from a mavic wheelset owner.
    The superstars may or may not fail; if they do the CS is likely to be poor/non existent.
    The Mavics will be OK but not as good as the hopes. IMHO you need to spend a few quid on mavics.
    I wouldn’t bother on the rebuild either. They could well fail next week and you’ve then wasted your moneys.


    looking at Mavic XM819s

    Prior to last weekend I would’ve agreed with you but I tacoed a 819/db/20mm XT front when it scrubbed sideways in a corner. One of Merlin’s finest, spoke tension highly pingable.

    Premier Icon madhouse

    I’ve been looking into these things and it seems Hope Hoops get consistently good reviews, No Tubes Flow rims seem to get a good write up too so you might want to check them out before going for the 819’s.


    The Merlin custom build is looking good at the moment – from what I’m told the Hope hubs aren’t compatible with the 9mm RWS?

    Comparing a Hope hub rear build against a Shimano XT build what does the extra £100 get me? (other than a nice looking blingy hub)

    That is worth knowing about the XM819 – maybe I should look at the EX823.

    From what I read on Google the Stan’s rims they require a stan’s rim strip whereas the Mavic rim just need a UST tyre.

    Premier Icon LAT

    Hope do make RWS end caps for their Pro 2 front hubs. I don’t think they are an option on the wheels, though. So you’d probably have to buy them separately.

    Stan’s rims need a layer of tape to seal the holes. It is more of a rim tape than a rim strip, if you know what I mean. You also need a valve. Once installed you can fit UST or normal tyres without a tube.

    Premier Icon LAT

    From the options you are looking at, I’d go with the Hope Hoops. I’d have the Stan’s Flows over 819s, though. They are wider (by almost 50%) and lighter.


    You can get 9mm thru end caps for pro 2 evo’s

    from here

    Ask nicely and they might include a set for free if you order their hope hoops wheels.

    Editted to add:
    I’ve just went from an XT rear to a hope pro 2 and there’s a couple of downsides IMO:
    Less points of engagement on the hope; 24 compared to 36. Not a massive issue but I noticed immediately.

    The hope is a lot more draggy compared to a well set up cup and cone XT. Not sure how much real world difference this makes but turning the bike upside down and spinning the wheel there’s a huge difference in how long the wheel takes to stop

    b r

    Hope Hoops running Crests would be a good choice, wider than 819’s but far lighter.

    I have both.


    Hope hoops, Pro evo hubs with either the Flow or 521 rim would be my choice.

    Just remember that you need to specify 15mm adaptor (they are supplied with 20mm) and that they dont come with skewers

    around £360, pretty hard to beat.

    Mavics are nice too,

    Wouldnt put superstars on a pram


    I posted a similar topic and the conscious was Stans Flows with a Hope Pro II Evo hub, I ordered them today and they should be in for Thursday, if you don’t need pretty coloured hubs then you can save around £60 and get a factory set, still made by Hope! Save the £60 and buy some new skewers for about £30!


    I posted a similar topic and the conscious was Stans Flows with a Hope Pro II Evo hub, I ordered them today and they should be in for Thursday, if you don’t need pretty coloured hubs then you can save around £60 and get a factory set, still made by Hope! Save the £60 and buy some new skewers for about £30!


    i definetely dont recommend mavic crosstrail, yes they look the part and weight is good but if you actually use them for mountain biking (ie cycling up, down and across mountains)after about 6 months they will fold.believe me a front wheel which folds itself unexpectedly is not nice, and when you look for the so called two year warranty you willbe politely told to **** off !


    I like the Mavic 521 rim or if your riding a nmore freeride/downhill then try the 721. I have never had any issues with Mavic rims just pick the right ones.

    I like Hope hubs (I have a pair) mated to 721 rims but I would buy them again due to price. I normally build wheels for customers with XT hubs and have a couple of XC wheels built using these. I would use these again for my self without hesitation, although the hopes have given me years or faithful service.

    The one thing about Hope they do use decent spokes – Sapim race it what i use as well. If you get custom wheels make sure they use decent spokes. Also avoid annosied nipples, they may look pretty but alloy nipples will sieze in short order and make any subsequent truing more expensive.

    I have never had any of Hopes wheels has anyone put one in a jig and measured the lateral and radial run out?


    I was looking for a new set of wheels it was out of crank brothers cobalt 3 mavic cross trails and hopes after a long hard think and searching for reviues went for the hope pro2 evos with dt Swiss spokes and mavic 321 rims the lbs had some ex823 rims in (very heavy) good rims for down hill but wouldn’t like to do a full days riding in lakes with them!
    hope all the way unbeatable but chosing the rims is hard work good look fella!


    Does anyone have experience of Roval Traverse ELs?

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