Monday, November 02, 2015

Project 1X1: The Wheels Part 1

I chose Velo Orange's "Fixed High Flange" hub for the rear wheel
The Wheels:

Project 1X1's wheel build is the central focus for getting the 1X1 up to snuff for the duties that I have in mind for it. Those include urban assaults, errands, some single track, and commuting back and forth to work.

The drive train needs to be very simple for reliability and durability. Our Winter weather features slop on the roadways that is really bad on derailleurs, cassettes, and chains. Things get real spendy when your drive train needs to be rehabbed twice a Winter. Single speed drive trains are more robust, and I have had them last through a complete Winter on many an occasion, so that was why I wanted single speed hubs. I also wanted to have peace of mind and ease of security when I do errands and run into a store for a few minutes. So, that pointed me in the direction of nutted axles. That led me to Velo Orange and their Fixed High Flange hubs. They not only have a "flip flop" capability, but their hollow axles also would allow for a quick release conversion at some point if I wanted that. With a flip-flop hub, I plan on having one side fixed and the other free wheel for more choice and a fail-safe in case the free wheel quits on me. The matching front High Flange hub was also purchased to be part of this wheel build and also has the same axle set up as the rear hub.

The Velocity Cliffhanger rim was an obvious choice for my rims.
The rims needed to have a rim brake track since the 1X1 is old enough that it does not support disc brakes. Also, the rims had to be 26" diameter ones, so I didn't have to jerry-rig up something for brakes to fit a different wheel size. 26 inch stuff isn't where the industry is going, so wishing for wide, quality rims might be a tough call. Having them be tubeless ready was pie-in-the-sky thinking, but guess what? Velocity USA's Cliffhangar rims were just redesigned, and by golly! Those things matched up with everything I wanted perfectly. Heck.......they are even made in the USA. So, I had Velocity set me up with a pair of these in 36 hole drilling with black anodized coloring.

The Cliffhangar rims are a 30mm wide rim with a 25mm wide inner dimension which will be perfect for a set of wider tires that will provide a tubeless ride having great traction, comfort, and stability. They are touted as a strong design as well. Here's what Velocity has to say about them:
"Strength comes first...short and stout sidewalls guard against pinch flats and denting from impacts: a pothole, a rocky descent, or dodging that rhino outside of Jakarta."
Velocity's excellent tape and tubeless stems
Sounds right up my alley! With the tubeless capabilities, I also had Velocity send over their excellent tape and valve stems so when I get the tires I have in mind for the 1X1, I will have an easier time of it when going tubeless. 

I've used the blue Velocity tape numerous times in the past and it is a very effective, durable, easy to apply tape that I trust. The valve stems I only started using recently on another wheel set, but they haven't given me a lick of trouble, so I expect that these will do the same. I'm going to hold out for a certain tubeless tire, which is not quite available yet, so I may run tubes in these wheels to start out with, and of course, the blue Velocity tape is perfectly fine for use with tubes.

With the rims and hubs sorted, I needed to come up with something for spokes. DT Swiss makes a Champion model stainless steel spoke that is perfect for an all-around use bicycle and with 36 of those in each wheel, I should be able to beat the tar outta those hoops! Nipples are also DT Swiss and since my 1X1 has a bit of red going on with one of the stickers I have on the frame, I decided on red alloy nipples. Now, I know many of you will say that the entire wheel build is going to be compromised by using alloy nips, but I've never had issues with them failing unless I crashed. One has to know the proper method for lacing with alloy nipples, and the troubles tend to go away then if you do it right.

So, stay tuned for the results of the Project 1X1 wheel build, coming soon!


teamdarb said...

I'd never heard of this rim, and have been looking for a replacement for my rhynolite. Thanks.

50voltphantom said...

They sound great. I hear people getting nervous about alloy nipples all the time but that's all I've ever used and never had a problem, even on my BMX bike as a kid.

K said...

This is great. I have a single speed Troll as the "worst winter weather" bike but I tried SS CX races with it recently and I'm hooked. I was thinking upgrading the wheels with Velocity Aeroheat but Cliffhanger sounds interesting, too (if not a bit too heavy for my purpose). Looking forward to hearing more!

Unknown said...

Any alloy nips on a daily commuter I've ever seen go through Chicago's heavily road-salted winter end up seizing badly. You can build them up just fine, but will they be serviceable after two years? And for what, a couple of shaved grams and red highlights? For a winter commuter I would avoid them like the plague, just my two cents. Happy riding!

Guitar Ted said...

@Chris W: I've seen brass nipples seize, (on a daily basis here at the bike shop), so that isn't a panacea for bad maintenance or bad riding conditions either. Again- My experiences are that alloy nipples work fine for me through Winters, bad mud, mtb stuff, etc. you have to go with what you are comfortable using, and if that is brass nipples, then have at it.

I like the colored accents, and I have had no issues using alloy nipples so, for me, I am quite confident and comfortable with alloy nipples.