Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Project Wide Gravel Wheels v2: Final Word

The PWGWv2 has seen its last ride.
First off, if you did not see the last post on this subject, here is the link. There are links there to see even more on this subject if you want to go down that rabbit hole. 

This post will likely be the last word I post up on this since I've made up my mind about the set up. I'll try not to cover too much ground concerning previous ideas which I've presented. (That's what the link is for) So, here is a bullet point list inspired by my friend Grannygear:

The Good:

  • The Spank rims claim to have some vertical compliance built in. Meh...... Big tires at low pressures mask a lot of that, but I will say that these rims do ride well and they built up nicely. 
  • The width of the Spank rim creates a big air chamber which allowed stupid low pressures (sometimes less than 30psi) without any perceived loss of low rolling resistance. 
  • The Cannonballs from Teravail are not my favorite tires but on this rim I could live with them. That's saying something here for me. 
  • The wheels, as far as that goes, would be great on a frame for wider tires, like up to 2.6"ers.  
  • The DT Swiss 350 hubs are awesome. 

The Not So Good:

  • These wheels feel like they weigh a ton. Once spun up though they want to roll and roll. 
  • These wheels only work with really wide gravel tires limiting their use for my bicycles with through axles.
  • The hubs are 100mm/142mm OD which means a MTB type bike which could go with bigger tires probably wouldn't work because everything is Boost spaced now. (yes- I realize Boost adapters are a thing, but that is a bit of a kludge)
  • The Cannonball set up is fine, but there is minimal clearance on the BMC, and that is too little for my peace of mind long term. 
  • I'm stuck with a wheel set I cannot really use as is.

So, where do I go from here? First off, this project is over and my take away is what I posted in the previous post in this series, but suffice it to say that the answer is 'no'. So, I need to move on and figure out what to do with what I have here. The first plan of action will be to take off the wheels and break down the tires and components off the wheel set. I'll put the Spinergy wheels I have on the BMC for now. 

Now if I can score some QR end caps for a DT Swiss 350 hub set, I could put these wheels to better use. They would make a fine set of wheels for my Gen I Fargo, as a matter of fact. So, that will probably be my first option.

Barring that, I probably will blow these wheels apart. Then I'd use the hubs and lace those to a brand new set of Velocity Blunt SS rims which probably would work on all of my gravel bikes since that rim has an internal width of 26.6mm, right at what I now consider to be the maximum for inner rim width for gravel tires. 

The Spank rims would go up on a hook for another day. Maybe they would be built into a wheel set for a future bike I don't have. I don't know, but obviously I would have to find a set of hubs appropriate for the job. Again- they could end up on the Fargo. 

Either way, it looks as though I'm building another wheel set!

Okay, if anyone has any further thoughts, please chime in. Otherwise, PWGWv2 is over. Stay tuned for PWGWv3.......


DT said...

Thanks for taking the time and effort to run this experiment. I put 29mm (or was it 30mm?) inner width rims on my AWOL back in 2017, and came to similar conclusions. Just my opinion, I think the best best is getting those QR endcaps; at least to try them out on your Fargo. It's such a quick and easy swap, and you could run another test before deciding to tear them apart. Just my $0.02

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - Thank you! Yeah, the end cap route is what I will pursue first. But DT Swiss sure thinks a lot of their end caps! ($$$)

I’ll be making a decision soon.