Written by Douglas Southwick Wednesday, 02 December 2009 01:00
Tester: Douglas Southwick, Team Bikeman.com Rider, Certified Bikeman Product Tester
Conditions: Roots and rocks of New York.
I am not sure why but I am pretty rough on rear hubs, this year alone I destroyed two XT rear hubs to the point that they were not repairable. I normally use OEM wheels or pre built factory wheels. This time I wanted something better, I wanted hand built. The obvious choice was a Bikeman hand built wheel.
On the bikeman.com website you can choose single or wheelset build, you then have a choice of spoke package, nipple package and lacing pattern. I went with silver spokes and red alloy nipples laced 3 cross. Next you navigate to hubs in the component section. There is a wide variety of choices including road, mountain and singlespeed. I ventured into mountain disc brake section where I found selections from inexpensive Shimano Deore hubs all the way up to top of the line hubs like Chris King and Industry nine, and even Powertaps if your really serious about your training. I ended up deciding on a red Hope Pro2 rear disc hub. Next was to off to the rim section of the website where you will find rims from 19 inch to 700C. I ventured into the 29er section, and found many choices in brands and pricing. After reviewing the descriptions I decided on the No Tubes ZTR Arch 29'' 32h Black rim. Depending on your application and choices you may also need to add rim strips and a quick release skewer. Personally, I'd recommend going with a Salsa Flip-Off Skewer.
I thought I would have a long wait to get the wheel so I was surprised to see a big brown box only a few days after I ordered it. The wheel looked great, and was pretty light. Since then I have put many miles on the wheel and it's been rock solid. Also, thanks to the Hope Pro2 it sounds great! The pro2's twenty-four tooth steel ratchet engagement is also a great feature. I am super happy with the wheels performance and have received a lot of compliments from fellow riders. And even though I have several front wheels I soon will be ordering a matching bikeman hand built front wheel. So if you are thinking about some new wheels, I totally recommend doing it right and getting a handbuilt wheel or wheel set from bikeman.com
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