Perhaps, the most pointless 29'er Wheelset shootout EVER

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Perhaps, the most pointless 29'er Wheelset shootout EVER

Postby Tomcat65 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:02 am

3 wheelsets, with honorable mention of a 4th set.. The rules are simple. Weight, Stock condition/build quality, and overall quality, and heavily opinionated opinions too! The WTB was not present, therefore was not able to defend itself properly, but.. well, it did pretty dern well for itself anyway.. so no undue credit will be assigned. There will be a bare wheel weight, and a fully loaded, assembled wheel weight. Just the spec. facts, then opinion. Right

The Contenders:
The Mongoose Deception stock wheelset, The Cross 29, 28mm wide, with the original tires and tubes.
The Schwinn Ascension stock wheelset, Schwinn XL29, 34mm wide, with the big wire bead 2.4" CST Rock Hawks
The new Velocity Dually, 45mm wide wheelset with CST folding tires
And a guest appearance, the WTB Frequency i23 wheelset with the CST wire bead Rock Hawk.

Why these wheels and tires? Because that's what I've got/had/whatever...

First things first. I was shocked to learn that a rear wheel without the freewheel is very close to the same weight as a front wheel. So to over simplify the results and give all parties a fair representation, I used only the front wheels for direct comparison.

Cross29, stock Mongoose Deception wheelset
28mm outside width
23mm inside width
17mm deep
Single wall
36 spokes
Quando hub
1226g. 2lb 11.25oz Bare
2834g. 6lb 4oz. Loaded, with a 160 disc, the stock Mongoose tire @ 1198g. a schrader tube, the stock skewer, a lightweight clip on reflector, and a tiny twist knob mounted speed sensor

Schwin XL29, stock on the Schwinn Ascension
34mm outside width
29mm inside width
14.4mm deep
Single wall
36 spokes
Unbranded hub
1246g. 2lb 12oz Bare
2848g. 6lb 4.5oz Loaded, with a 203mm Brake disc, a 2.4 wire bead CST @1174g. a shrader tube, and the skewer.

The Velocity Dually 29
45mm outside width
39mm inside width
18mm deep
Double wall
32 spoke
Shimano Deore M-525 hub
1286g. 2lb 13.4oz Bare
2816g. 6lb 3.33oz Loaded, with a 203mm Brake disc, a 2.4 folding CST Rock Hawk @1000g, a presta tube, and the skewer.

WTB Frequency i23
27.4mm outside width
23mm inside width
19.5mm deep
Double wall with I beam
32 spokes
Shimano XT-HB-756 hub
1123g. 2lb 7.6oz Bare
2726g. 6lb. and a fuzz Loaded, with a 203mm brake disc, a 2.4 wire bead CST Rock Hawk @1174g, a shrader tube, and the skewer

What did I gather from all of this? The wheelset with the most potential for gain, is the Cross29.. It has the heaviest tire in this comparison. Seriously, 5lb 4.5oz of skinny 1.95" tires spinning under that bike about 13.5lb with both wheels and the freewheel. Insane. Both of the 2.4 CST folders weigh 4lb 4.5oz... A whole pound less with a HUGE wide tire in comparison. Even the CST wire bead 2.4 is a tiny bit less at 5lb 2.8oz lol.. What are they feeding those cheap tires? AND then, there's not 60 grams between the first 3 of these wheels, only a hundred grams between the WTB Frequency i23 and the Cross29. Imagine a reasonable folding 1.95 or 2.0 tire, even with a 220g tube, I'm thinking the weight around 800g range each, making 3.5lb of tires. That's nearly 2lb down and then imagine a light 21mm wheelset with a better hub and a 160mm brake disc. I'm thinking 9lb total wheel weight, front and rear, That's Four and a half pounds less rotating weight.

But what do I know? I'm going to be rolling a 13lb set of fairly big azz wheels and tires and frisbee sized brake discs, that cost more than the bike did new. :roll:
But it's just eating me alive, that the Mongoose Deception Cross29 wheel is only 60g lighter than the Twice as wide Velocity dually. And with the stock tires on, it's actually heavier than the Dually with the big tires!! It's crazy!

Look at those numbers, how close the end product is.. For me, it's obviously my 2.4" tire obsession that keeps my weight in a perpetual limbo. I mentioned in my Ascension build that a trail bike is going to be heavier than a Cross country bike. The Mongoose Deception is a very Cross Country style bike. The steep head angle and the low layout of the frame, makes it feel like a long reach, but then your foot hits the tire in a turn if you don't have it positioned properly on the pedal. The Schwinn Ascension has a slack head angle compared, IIRC, 67* to the Deception at around 71* I'm not knocking the Deception here, just saying, the lighter tire/wheel combo would be such an asset to the Deception. My son likes the whole cross country thing, And he loves the flatbar road bikes. The Deception is perfect for him. I'm sure I'll be buying a lightweight set of tires for that bike soon, and a wheelset later, but he doesn't really care lol..

The Cross29 is NOT a tubeless ready wheel rim, neither is the Schwinn XL29. The Cross29 is a single wall rim with no bead rail. The Schwinn XL29 has a slight bead rail and holds a low pressure tire well.
The Dually is tubeless rated, but gets mixed reviews on line for the shallow bead rail, but few reports of failures. The WTB Frequency is a tubeless wheel by design, a definite bead rail makes it seal well and stay put.

Sidewalls Do vary between rim widths,
The WTB Frequency 23mm inside rim width, and 2.4 wire bead gave me a Very round profile, with a high looking center crown
The tread to tread at the widest point was 2.45" and the sidewall was 2.27"
The Schwinn XL29 29mm inside rim width and 2.4" wire bead gave me a nice fat look with a relaxed looking crown
The tread to tread at the widest point was 2.46" and the sidewall at 2.325"
The Velocity Dually 39mm inside rim width and 2.4 folding tire gave me a more squared look with a more relaxed, almost flattened crown
The tread to tread at the widest point was 2.405" and the sidewall was 2.40"
Not quite what I expected, but the wide rims let the side knobs stand up instead of rolling them outward

I weighed 2 freewheels and 2 cassettes:
7 speed Freewheel Shimano Megarange 14-34 @482g. 1lb and more of that fuzz I mentioned
9 speed Freewheel DNP Epoch chrome 11-34 @574g. 1lb 4.25oz.
9 speed Cassette Shimano CS-HG-50-9 11-34 @436g. 15.38oz.
9 speed Cassette Shimano XT CS-M750 9 11-34@302g. 10.65oz.
The more expensive cassettes are lighter, but the freehub adds some weight back in the wheel itself.
The bare freewheel hubs are surprisingly close to the front hub weight, I came up with 48g. difference
Oddly though, the Dually freehub body and internals were only 122g heavier than the Dually front hub wheel when loaded.
So, with a heavy cassette, you could possibly still come up with a heavier drive system (cassette/freehub) than a freewheel design

The Schwinn XL29 wheelset.
I kicked the Cross29 wheelset pretty hard, but it's partly because I expect a 34mm wide wheelset to weigh more. I also expected the 2.4 wire beads to weigh more than the 1.95. I admit, it's the stock tires that sink the Cross29, but I guess I was just disappointed that the Cross29 was such a cheap single wall on the inside. The Schwinn XL29 is a cheap, unbranded, no name, single wall wheelset, but it has redeeming qualities that make it more than it appears... in my book anyway! The bead rail is built on reinforced side channels that most likely accept pins at the welded joint. I did not notice how the Deception Cross29 joint was welded, but I suspect it's just a butt weld and call it a day. Double wall wheels are often sleeved at the joint with a custom fit, formed sleeve. Which makes a really strong joint even before the welding. So, while the Schwinn wheels are what they are, I'll be keeping my set as long as I have this bike and they'll be my "go to" spare set. The Cross29 set, would probably go to whoever wanted them, or maybe to keep around just for fitment comparison.
Cross29 SchwinnXL29 Dually29.jpg
Cross29-Schwinn XL29-Velocity Dually 29
Cross29 SchwinnXL29 Dually29.jpg (191.67 KiB) Viewed 529 times

Pointless? maybe, but there's a lot to consider when buying new wheelsets and you need to consider carefully what you want, compared to what you expect. The review of the Velocity Dually will be posted back on the Schwinn Ascension 29 AM style build link below somewhere around pg.8.. maybe by the end of July. The Deception will get a build link when I buy the new wheelset for it. possibly never. My next planned wheelset is going to be an aluminum set to replace my 37-590 steel rim set on the Murray X12 road bike. I hope you guys get something you can use out of this!
Keep your beads tight and your receipts hidden from mama!
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Location: Western Kentucky

Re: Perhaps, the most pointless 29'er Wheelset shootout EVER

Postby dddd » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:31 pm

That is quite a wheel collection and quite a shootout. I was surprised to see such wide rims coming stock on a bbb, not that my Hondo doesn't set a high bar with 57mm (50.5mm inside) rims.

It would be interesting to hear your riding impressions of how the different rims and tires handled different pressures and how much grip resulted. That kind of testing takes a while to accumulate, and can be skewed by changing trail conditions as the seasons pass.

My foray into the 29" realm with my converted Schwinn Broadway hybrid at least confirmed for me that the skinniest rims can still allow me to ride technical, rocky terrain with just 25psi in 1.9" (actual inflated width) tires supporting my modest 140lb body mass on that 35lb bike. Those stock Schwinn rims are 19.8mm wide (just 14mm inside, LOL).

Thanks for posting all the data and photos. About the welded vs. sleeved/pinned rims, note that it is the welding that best stiffens the torsional load bearing (as if twisting a length of the rim extrusion with one hand at each end) at the rim joint. Rims resist bending loads in large part by resisting any twisting along the length of their section to each side of the side force, which is also why singlewalled rims so easily bend out of plane to where they won't quite spring back and to where the spoke tensions begin to force instability into the rim structure. Adding pins and sleeves to the joint adds strength and reduces the stress on the weld, also holds things in alignment if the weld starts to crack (I've see this when a rim was bent back into shape during a race).
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