Thursday, July 26, 2007

One of my favorite things...

When it comes to relaxing and clearing my head, nothing beats wheel building for me. Here's the wheel I built Monday night -- a WTB LaserDisc XC hub laced to a new Salsa Delgado Race 29er with 15g DT spokes and brass nipples.
In the stand -- the new wheel waits to be set up to run tubeless with MG's proprietary "next-gen" tubeless system, courtesy of Home Depot and Hobby Lobby...

You mean the rims aren't designed to run tubeless? Oh well... They're working fine for me, but Jason from Salsa says "Kids, don't try this at home."

Built right -- If you can't read the writing on the hub through the rim's presta valve hole, you might want to dig deeper into your wheel builder's credentials. With wheels as in life, the little details mean a lot.

My initial impressions of the Delgado Race rims are very good. They are not the stiffest wheels I've ever ridden, but they ride very nice and are staying true and tight. Had I used heavier spokes, they'd be stiffer, but since they're the wheels I intend to race on, and since I weigh a buck sixty, I consciously conceded a little stiffness for the weight savings.

I'll do a full report on the new rims soon, but I want to get a few more miles on 'em before I come to my final opinions. Look for it to-come on the Dirtblog in August.

On another note...
It's almost the weekend. Woohoo!! No mountain bike racing either, unless you're going out to the Laramie Enduro in Wyoming. What are you doing this weekend? Wanna' ride? If so, get a hold of me, 'cuz I'll be riding both days. Whatever you do, have fun and be safe.



len said...

dude, I hope you've perfected that system since we did that tuesday nighter back in like '05. you wiped me out of tubes that day.

I'd be interested in your system since I am running the disks. how low do you go in those bad boys? I've been able to ride about 30psi in my tubed 29ers without too much of a problem and I weight 185 and one of the trails i ride all the time is rocky as hell. only pinch I've gotten is when I nailed a tombstone head on and bunny hopped right into the edge of a stair.

let me know what you do, i might try it. running 28 psi would be pretty sweet.

Mom said...

Count me in, what time and where?



MG said...

lol... hey len. yeah, i've got it sorted much better than i had it back then. it's been through about a dozen iterations since then... and anytime you use non-tubeless parts to run tubeless, there's always a little bit of a risk. that said, i've got it pretty dialed now it seems. the only flat i've had all season was when i nailed a rock so hard it cut the casing. nothing will seal that. i had to throw the tire away... bummer.

super-low pressure isn't really my deal so much since i like to jump a lot. that said, i can get away with 28psi in Exiwolfs, Jones XRs, Ignitors, Nevegals and the new Maxxis CrossMarks, so that can be reality for you too, i suspect.

for me the primary benefits are a quicker feel at the pedals and their self-sealing nature. weight-wise, my system might be just a hair lighter than tubes, but the fast rolling is what really excites me. tubed tires feel 'draggy' to me now.

you pinched on a tombstone? jeez dude... where have you been riding?!!

mom -- c'mon down! you're always welcome, but the plan for the weekend has yet to develop. love you!


len said...

flated one on austin's greenbelt. 3/4 of the trail along the creek is rock with dirt between 'em. the other flat i got was in the ouachita. it was actually kinda sweet cause i got to use one of the like 6 tubes i was carrying.

i like that i can run low pressure in a 29 w/out problems. with a tubed 26 i start running into problems at 40psi. i run delgado disks, but would love to get to about 28psi. that pressure would really allow me to let it hang out in the turns. that's what i like about the 29, go faster and you can definately lean 'em over more.

now, can you share you knowledge? i will even write "Gersib Tubeless Tire Technology" with sharpie paint pen on my sidewalls, lol how you like red?

A.B. said...

If you've got nothing going on, you can come over to Omaha for the Goatheads' "3-2-1 Cycling Challenge" fundraiser Saturday morning (as long as it didn't rain too much). Check out or for route and info.
Have a great weekend!

A.B. said...

By the way, nice work on the wheel! I wish I knew how to do that.

MG said...

the standard delgado disc rims are a bad choice for tubeless conversion, sadly. if i believed you could do it reliably, i'd tell you straight up. but i know how you ride len. you hammer.

my experience suggests that the rims that typically work best for tubeless conversions are a bit narrower than your 28mm wide rims. the delgado race disc rims are 25mm, and the delgado 'cross rims i've had great experience with for tubeless conversion are only 22.5mm wide.

irrespective of tubed/tubeless, i don't feel like there's a revolutionary difference between 28 and 30psi when it comes to handling. in many ways i feel safer on 30psi simply because i can pump harder off the front wheel on roots and little lip jumps on the trail. you know what i'm saying there, no doubt. 28psi definitely folds over easier in those situations, and i don't consider that a benefit.

as far as giving credit, what i'm doing is an getto evolution of things others have done before. there's really not much "new" that i'm doing... and honestly, i can't condone you converting your wheels to tubeless, so i don't want my name anywhere near the wheels. i certainly don't write anything on my own wheels promoting the fact that there are no tubes inside. the only way you can tell is if you see a presta valve nut. i never run them with tubes, but obviously have to with tubeless.

gimme a call len... let's discuss.

have a great weekend! be safe, and don't try too hard to wake the dead.


MG said...

right on a.b. thanks for the heads up on the challenge.

wheelbuilding is a skill i'm very thankful for, and have worked hard to develop. you can build wheels too. "the bicycle wheel" by jobst brant is a great reference for this. another is bicycling magazine's bicycle maintenance guide, believe it or not, and it's available at good shops pretty much everywhere. "the bicycle wheel" is a little harder find, as i believe it's out of print.

hope to see you this weekend a.b. thanks again.


MG said...

i was wrong. the bicycle wheel is still available. woohoo!!!

czech it here

len said...

mg, good point. the benefits probably don't really outweight the costs. 28 isn't too much different than 30 and then i'm going to be running risks of denting my rims.

plus i don't like maintainence. found with as dry and hot as it can get here in the summer those suckers tended to dry out kinda quick and if found myself breaking seals a couple time riding

Bruce Brown said...

Ah, nice. So now you're going to having some matching Salsa disc rims on your new Orange race sled.

I approve! ;-)

I didn't know you built wheels. I may have to hire you to lace up some Velocity Blunts for me.

MG said...

oooooohhh... nice! i'd be honored to build wheels for you bruce. i haven't built up any of those velocity rims, and that'd be a valuable perspective for me to have as i evaluate the rims i'm building and riding myself.

give me a call -- four o two, three fourteen, twenty-one fifty.


Anonymous said...


Bruce Brown said...

I just got back from Chicago and now I'm off to the Black Hills for a week of riding and visiting family.

I'm in no rush to get the Velocity wheels built up for this season, so maybe we can work something out for upcoming months to get the wheels built. I don't even have any hubs chosen yet...

MG said...

heh heh heh... i like nipples.

travel safely bruce. i'll talk to you soon.