Looking for a mullet wheelset

Bac

Member
Sep 13, 2021
44
41
New Zealand
I run the Reserve HD30 they've been brilliant and the warranty is awesome. They've had an absolute pounding, always stayed perfectly true, and never needed to touch a spoke. Until I obliterated the rear wheel in a rock garden, replaced under the lifetime warranty, and great customer service although took a couple of weeks to sort and new wheel arrive. I also run I9 on my DH bike the Grade 315 Carbon (top of their line) nice wheelset, but rims appear to just be We Are One carbon rims, rebranded and not finished anywhere close to the Reserve rim quality - the jury is out on these still
 

cusick510

New Member
Apr 3, 2023
3
2
USA
I've just ordered a new '23 Levo SL frameset - with the intention of stealing all the parts off my '19 Levo SL.
Since the '23 Levo SL comes as a mullet, I feel I should try it out as a mullet. My '19 model is a 29'er, and the only original part (other than the frame) are the Roval carbon wheels.

I'm looking for recommendations for a wheelset - in the UK!
I'd like something carbon, strong and lightweight... mainly for aggressive trail riding, and the occasional run down the downhill runs...

I've had Roval wheels on my last few bikes, and have always found them to be decent enough... however since I'm actually buying a set, I'm open to suggestions. The real issue seems to be buying a 'set' or unmatched wheels doesn't seem to be an option for most brands.
I've always fancied ENVE as I have ENVE bars and stem... but I think they may well be out of my price range. Ideally I'd like something under £2000, and preferably under the £1500 mark.
Although Roval don't sell mixed pairs, I believe my LBS can order them as singles.

Suggestions (and preferably links to where I can get in the UK!) would be appreciated. I have a couple of weeks until the frame is here (estimated 20th May), so have a little bit of time. I can always run it as a 29'er too if I had to wait for something.

TIA 👍
How about Spinergy MXXe? Fiber spokes, Carbon rims, Hadley Racing cassette bodies

IMG_4400.jpeg
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
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Dec 14, 2019
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Scotland
Having ridden my bike now as a 29/29, I'm now wondering if I actually need to go for a 27.5" rear.
Hopefully some technical riding at the weekend will help me decide that.

My current Roval Traverse 29" set are fine, but I've been thinking about replacing them for a while, as they've taken a bit of a beating over the last few years. Fine to keep as a spare set though, maybe with some faster rolling rubber on them for winter when I do more fire track / cycle path riding.

If I was to replace them with a 29" set, it would have to be with something a bit lighter to make it actually worth buying.

I was seriously considering going down the route of the We Are One Convergence (Triad), however with i9 Hydra hubs and Sapim CX Ray spokes, they're about 1720g excluding the nipples and XD driver. A very nice looking solid set of wheels, however not really any weight saving v's my current set, and at a cost of almost £1900.

The other viable option is Sixth Element 'trail' rims, DT240 hubs and the Sapim CX Ray spokes, which come to about 1600g at a cost of £1670.

"Ryan" will build a set of wheels using Light Bicycle AM rims, with Berd tallon hubs and Berd spokes for £1625 at a little over 1500g. I'm not sure how much maintenance the 'fabric' spokes need though?

Too many choices!!!!
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
191
Park City Utah
Having ridden my bike now as a 29/29, I'm now wondering if I actually need to go for a 27.5" rear.
Hopefully some technical riding at the weekend will help me decide that.

My current Roval Traverse 29" set are fine, but I've been thinking about replacing them for a while, as they've taken a bit of a beating over the last few years. Fine to keep as a spare set though, maybe with some faster rolling rubber on them for winter when I do more fire track / cycle path riding.

If I was to replace them with a 29" set, it would have to be with something a bit lighter to make it actually worth buying.

I was seriously considering going down the route of the We Are One Convergence (Triad), however with i9 Hydra hubs and Sapim CX Ray spokes, they're about 1720g excluding the nipples and XD driver. A very nice looking solid set of wheels, however not really any weight saving v's my current set, and at a cost of almost £1900.

The other viable option is Sixth Element 'trail' rims, DT240 hubs and the Sapim CX Ray spokes, which come to about 1600g at a cost of £1670.

"Ryan" will build a set of wheels using Light Bicycle AM rims, with Berd tallon hubs and Berd spokes for £1625 at a little over 1500g. I'm not sure how much maintenance the 'fabric' spokes need though?

Too many choices!!!!
My mountain bike is a 29er, my ebike a mullet. I'm not sure why dropping weight would be a priority on an ebike. It's not like you're going to save a lot on battery life! I have a Berd wheelset on my mountain bike and it doesn't require extra maintenance. They're nice and light, but they aren't measurably faster than the wheelset the bike came with - but they are more compliant and feel better. I'd just get a solid, durable set with the inner width you want or need.
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
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Dec 14, 2019
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My mountain bike is a 29er, my ebike a mullet. I'm not sure why dropping weight would be a priority on an ebike. It's not like you're going to save a lot on battery life! I have a Berd wheelset on my mountain bike and it doesn't require extra maintenance. They're nice and light, but they aren't measurably faster than the wheelset the bike came with - but they are more compliant and feel better. I'd just get a solid, durable set with the inner width you want or need.

Weight is part of the reason for buying an SL bike rather than a full fat bike. I’m reasonably fit and wanted an e-bike to give me a little bit extra on my legs. I bought a Trek Rail and found it to be like a motorcycle with the amount of assistance it provided… and changed to a Specialized Levo SL when they came out.

I ran my old one at 35% assistance on the 35Nm motor, and am running the new one at 20% so far. Part of the charm of the SL bike is that it weighs ~17kg rather than 24-25kg like a normal e-bike. To me, it handles much more like my old Stumpjumper, whilst giving me a bit of help when I need it.

I spent a lot of money on my original SL bike shaving about 1.5kg off it… and don’t really want to add more weight with a heavier wheelset.
Nothing to do with battery life or being faster… it just seems counter productive to have a lightweight bike and add a heavy wheelset.
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
191
Park City Utah
Weight is part of the reason for buying an SL bike rather than a full fat bike. I’m reasonably fit and wanted an e-bike to give me a little bit extra on my legs. I bought a Trek Rail and found it to be like a motorcycle with the amount of assistance it provided… and changed to a Specialized Levo SL when they came out.

I ran my old one at 35% assistance on the 35Nm motor, and am running the new one at 20% so far. Part of the charm of the SL bike is that it weighs ~17kg rather than 24-25kg like a normal e-bike. To me, it handles much more like my old Stumpjumper, whilst giving me a bit of help when I need it.

I spent a lot of money on my original SL bike shaving about 1.5kg off it… and don’t really want to add more weight with a heavier wheelset.
Nothing to do with battery life or being faster… it just seems counter productive to have a lightweight bike and add a heavy wheelset.
Yeah, I forgot you're getting a frame set. I like my Berds (with Hydras). Just got back from three days in Moab using them. I go there a lot, Moab can be tough on rims, and they are holding up fine. I think I'm on the third year on them.
 
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p3eps

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Dec 14, 2019
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I think I'm going to keep the bike as a 29'er... so now I need to pick a wheelset.

If all options were available to me at a reasonable cost, I'd being going with the Industry Nine 315 with 32 spokes on Hydra hubs... purely for the customisability! Those wheels look awesome... but a fully pimped set are going to cost about £2600 for me in the UK.

My next choice is a set of WeAreOne Convergence Triad wheels - with Sapim CX-Ray Spokes and i9 Hydra hubs. Somewhere about £1900, and just under 1900g (inc XD driver)... which isn't much of a weight saving from the Roval Carbon wheels I have on at the moment.

I could get Sixth Element a bit lighter / cheaper with DT240EXP hubs... but they come out more expensive than the WeAreOne's with i9 hubs at £2031 and about 1775g.

Another option is to buy a set of Roval Traverse SL wheels - which are about 1770g, and I can probably pick up the set for £1300. I feel like if I'm going to spend that on a set of wheels, I should really get something nice that don't look like they came stock with the bike though!

I'm a bit torn now. The Convergence rims look awesome with the twisted effect, and are my front runner...
Just a shame you can't buy i9 spokes over here at a reasonable cost.
 

Ou812

Active member
Jun 26, 2022
657
455
Fort William
I think I'm going to keep the bike as a 29'er... so now I need to pick a wheelset.

If all options were available to me at a reasonable cost, I'd being going with the Industry Nine 315 with 32 spokes on Hydra hubs... purely for the customisability! Those wheels look awesome... but a fully pimped set are going to cost about £2600 for me in the UK.

My next choice is a set of WeAreOne Convergence Triad wheels - with Sapim CX-Ray Spokes and i9 Hydra hubs. Somewhere about £1900, and just under 1900g (inc XD driver)... which isn't much of a weight saving from the Roval Carbon wheels I have on at the moment.

I could get Sixth Element a bit lighter / cheaper with DT240EXP hubs... but they come out more expensive than the WeAreOne's with i9 hubs at £2031 and about 1775g.

Another option is to buy a set of Roval Traverse SL wheels - which are about 1770g, and I can probably pick up the set for £1300. I feel like if I'm going to spend that on a set of wheels, I should really get something nice that don't look like they came stock with the bike though!

I'm a bit torn now. The Convergence rims look awesome with the twisted effect, and are my front runner...
Just a shame you can't buy i9 spokes over here at a reasonable cost.
Spokes are cheap, check out Spoke X in the US, they have their own custom coloured spokes and offer more colours than I9. I’m sure shipping some spokes over here wouldn’t be too expensive.
 

p3eps

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Spokes are cheap, check out Spoke X in the US, they have their own custom coloured spokes and offer more colours than I9. I’m sure shipping some spokes over here wouldn’t be too expensive.
Might be worth a shout - take my own spokes to the store and ask them to supply rims / hubs and assemble?
The cost of the i9 ones from there are cheaper than the Sapim CX-Ray, so hopefully shipping isn't too excessive. 64 spokes shouldn't weight too much!
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
191
Park City Utah
Might be worth a shout - take my own spokes to the store and ask them to supply rims / hubs and assemble?
The cost of the i9 ones from there are cheaper than the Sapim CX-Ray, so hopefully shipping isn't too excessive. 64 spokes shouldn't weight too much!
282 grams if they're (64) Sapim CX-Rays. 156 grams if they're (64) Berds. I've broken enough nipples that I just prefer brass, which is heavier. The Berds seem indestructible so far and without the weight of brass nipples. If you're going to build up wheels anyway and can find someone who knows how to build up with Berds, it'll save weight for sure. My Berd set is around 1350 grams (29 front and back with I9 Hydras and 27mm rims).

From your previous post:
"Ryan" will build a set of wheels using Light Bicycle AM rims, with Berd tallon hubs and Berd spokes for £1625 at a little over 1500g. I'm not sure how much maintenance the 'fabric' spokes need though?"

It's a tough sell to say that a spoke that actually floats in water is super durable, but that does seem to be the case. Anyway, since you're considering weight advantages, maybe you should look at this spoke option seriously. I'd buy them for feel and durability even if they weighed the same.

OTOH, I'm 70 and ride in the Wasatch in Utah and our climbs start at around 7000' and go to 10000'. I need every advantage I can get. My typical big mountain bike ride is around 16 miles with 3000' of climbing. As I said, I love the compliance - feel - and durability of my Berds, but compared to a 1700 gram i30 wheelset on my mountain bike, I don't see a significant reduction in time to climb data on my rides with the same tires, and that's on a 27 pound bike. But I do understand the attraction of weight reduction!
 
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p3eps

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282 grams if they're (64) Sapim CX-Rays. 156 grams if they're (64) Berds. I've broken enough nipples that I just prefer brass, which is heavier. The Berds seem indestructible so far and without the weight of brass nipples. If you're going to build up wheels anyway and can find someone who knows how to build up with Berds, it'll save weight for sure. My Berd set is around 1350 grams (29 front and back with I9 Hydras and 27mm rims).

From your previous post:
"Ryan" will build a set of wheels using Light Bicycle AM rims, with Berd tallon hubs and Berd spokes for £1625 at a little over 1500g. I'm not sure how much maintenance the 'fabric' spokes need though?"

It's a tough sell to say that a spoke that actually floats in water is super durable, but that does seem to be the case. Anyway, since you're considering weight advantages, maybe you should look at this spoke option seriously. I'd buy them for feel and durability even if they weighed the same.

OTOH, I'm 70 and ride in the Wasatch in Utah and our climbs start at around 7000' and go to 10000'. I need every advantage I can get. My typical big mountain bike ride is around 16 miles with 3000' of climbing. As I said, I love the compliance - feel - and durability of my Berds, but compared to a 1700 gram i30 wheelset on my mountain bike, I don't see a significant reduction in time to climb data on my rides with the same tires, and that's on a 27 pound bike. But I do understand the attraction of weight reduction!
The video I watched from "Ryan" was him having to drill a non Berd hub to fit the spokes, and then saying what a relief the new Talon hubs were as the spokes fit them without the need for drilling.

Did they have to modify your Hydra's to get the Berd spokes on?

I think the fact Ryan was going to pair the Berd hubs / spokes with Light Bicycle rims put me off a bit, as I've heard more than a few negative stories about them. Perhaps I could ask him for an alternative rim option?
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
191
Park City Utah
Did they have to modify your Hydra's to get the Berd spokes on?
Yes, they do have to be smoothed out to prevent abrasion at the hub. I didn't think that was a big deal, but they did that at Berd.
Also, there was a comment that over time the fabric could stretch some, so you can tighten the "spokes" after 6 months or so. That hasn't been necessary for me. Part of the wheel building process does involve letting the wheel sit for a week or so as I recall. Apparently, that is enough to stretch the spokes.

 
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p3eps

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Yes, they do have to be smoothed out to prevent abrasion at the hub. I didn't think that was a big deal, but they did that at Berd.
Also, there was a comment that over time the fabric could stretch some, so you can tighten the "spokes" after 6 months or so. That hasn't been necessary for me. Part of the wheel building process does involve letting the wheel sit for a week or so as I recall. Apparently, that is enough to stretch the spokes.

Thanks - the video I watched had some sort of spoke stretching / tensioning device being used prior to fitting.
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
191
Park City Utah
I'm not really trying to advocate for Berd, but it is an interesting technology. As to compliance, I had been on a set of I9 Trail 270's with the alloy rim. They're 24 spoke, so they have a nice ride characteristic. These are a little better. The compliance seems to be in the plane of the wheel. So, impacts feel a little less jarring. Outside the plane of the wheel, though, they are not flexy, IME. They track where you put them laterally, but are compliant vertically, if that makes sense. I'm not sure they would be worth the extra $500 in spoke cost, but I have my children's inheritance to get to zero.
 

Jukka4130

Member
Jun 27, 2021
36
34
Finland
Apparently, that is enough to stretch the spokes.
To be more exact, the build process entails tightening and letting the spokes set under tension for 24 hours – three times. In other words, there's quite a bit more work involved when building wheels with Berd Spokes. In certain applications, it's well worth it, though.

Regarding hub choices. All J-bend hubs need to be prepared before installing Berd Spokes. For most manufacturers, this will void warranty, at least when it comes to the hub shell. Using hubs with propieritary Hook Flange design, made specifically for Berd Spokes, makes life so much easier during the build process – while keeping warranty intact. Besides Berd Talon hubs, Onyx has their Vesper lineup available in Hook Flange versions. The Vesper is not approved for e-bike use, however.
 

Montana St Alum

Active member
Feb 13, 2023
239
191
Park City Utah
I have way too much gear in my basement. Decided to throw an Assegai I have on instead of the stock DHF, as I'd like a bit more braking bite up front. I put the Assegai on the Trail 270 front and threw on a 203 rotor. It saved 320 grams for that one wheel. I'd have saved close to 450 grams if I'd put my front Berd on, but I really need the weight savings more on my mountain bike. Now to go riding!
 
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