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12/4/2016 5:03 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/4/2016 5:05 AM

Anyone care to weigh in?

I'm buying a Specialized Enduro 29... trying to decide between carbon and alloy. Am 6'7" 105kg, so 230-240 pounds... ex moto dude. Riding will be Northern Beaches of Sydney, occasional trips to thredbo DH. I've picked the Enduro because I like how solid it feels vs a stumpy, comfortable being a big moto background.

One of the factors is of course price, and the dude at the shop thinks at my size 32 or 36 spoke wheels might be a good idea, he's offering to build at an exchange plus cash for the stockers.

Thoughts? Necessary? The Enduro has 24/28 spoke Roval traverse with same hubs or Specialized in house brand on 15mm/12mm axles. It's another cost, when combined with pedals, shoes, new gear might mean I can't justify the carbon/Lyrik combo...

Cheers chaps!

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Cheers, Crush
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12/4/2016 9:30 AM

At your weight, I'd say definitely build the stronger wheels. Perhaps go alloy and use the savings for the new wheels. That or go carbon and start saving for new wheels while destroying the stockers. Just my opinion. Though I was pretty impressed with my old 28 spoke Mavic DH's. I too am 2 meters, but only 190 lbs.

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12/5/2016 12:55 PM

Thanks bud. It's definitely a toss up.

Me and a MTB bud kinda roughly worked out that the price the guy is quoting to include helmet, pedals, shoes, pump and the upgraded wheels seems like a pretty damn good deal over the RRP... BUT i'd previously not even thought about it and having just got out of moto it almost seems lunacy to spend 7K on a MTB! Really really really like the carbon enduro tho, feels amazing.

More looking at payslips haha!

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Cheers, Crush
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12/5/2016 3:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/5/2016 3:02 PM

We've had some pretty big dudes test some lower spoke count wheels in the past. Obviously, results can and will differ from wheelset to wheelset, but the point is a wheel's overall strength doesn't hinge on spoke count alone.

Check out these two reviews of comparable wheelsets, with the Easton wheelset using 24/28 configuration and the Bontrager using 28 all around. (Click on the brand to see the review)

In both those tests, the tester (me) weighed 240lbs. It's also worth considering that Roval has been well received so far in regards to their MTB line of wheels.


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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

12/5/2016 3:40 PM

Thanks for the reply mate, will have a read through! You might have saved the carbon frame haha

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Cheers, Crush
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12/6/2016 5:19 PM

Crush, I'm going to give you a philosophical perspective, rather than a factual one.

The way I look at it, if I spend $5K on something which is almost what I want, I feel like I wasted money. If I spend $7K on the thing I really, really wanted, it was worth every penny.

If you really want the carbon bike, go for it. You'll thank yourself later.

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12/6/2016 5:47 PM

Cheers Falcon... actually a pretty good point. I had a chat with two riding buddies yesterday... And one said what you said and the other said you won't notice the difference between the two really... Mind you, they both have carbon bikes, a Camber Pro and a Santa Cruz sled of some sort.... so... ha

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Cheers, Crush
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12/7/2016 7:48 AM

Hey man. I can't speak to the Specialized side of the question because I have never ridden one. But I am 6'7" and currently tip the scales at 260lbs. I ride a carbon Giant Reign and have had zero issues with the carbon. I also built up a set of Spank Spike Oozy 295 rims on DT swiss hubs a couple years ago and have been pretty hard on them. The wheel build with DT Swiss revolution spokes came in at like 1650 grams. I have used these wheels for everything from everyday trail riding to lift access to enduro racing. I wouldn't get to hung up on getting overbuilt wheels. If the wheel is built and tensioned properly a 28 or 32 spoke wheel would be fine. 36 spoke is just overkill, extra weight, and unnecessary.
Good luck with your bike decision! I figured since I am a large guy who has been riding very light wheels for my weight I should at least weigh in wit my opinion.

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12/7/2016 9:20 AM

every one of us will say something different...

if it was me, i would get aluminum frame and upgrade wheels. why?

1) you are huge. you are gunna break things. save the cash for replacing parts when you break em. and servicing the bike properly.

2) you have a moto history. again, you are huge. and you are gunna break things even more so with a history of moto in you. you will be a little more rough on a bike than your average rider with the (yes, i am stereotyping) "lean it and forget it" mentality. btw, absolutely nothing wrong with that. moto guys on mtb's shred SO HARD!

3) you WILL bust your wheels up. how hard you are on wheels depends on so many things but I will guess that you'll smash your wheels up gooooood. that being said, if your shop will buy your stock wheels, thats cool. not many shops will. get yourself a SOLID set of wheels. DO NOT expect rims do not last forever. BUT QUALITY hubs do last forever if you take care of em. buy a good strong hub (dt [lowest maintenance], hadley, hope, chris king [highest maintenance]). once the rim is trash, re-lace to your awesome AF hub. believe me when i say that no one wants to re-build to a garbage stock hub from specialized. and now that i am ranting...i can't believe anyone is saying anything other than an upgraded wheelset... i'll put money on you blowing the freehub body pretty darn quick at your weight.

4) you are not going to feel a difference between the carbon and aluminum frame.

riding a quality, well maintained bike is way more beneficial than a clapped out expensive one. if its in the budget, carbon is rad. but if that digs into maintenance budget, no. way. most of the time, machine built stock wheels are not the way to go.

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12/7/2016 10:51 AM

Just a heads up. I just checked and there is a 240lbs weight limit on the Roval Traverse SL Fattie 29 wheels. Not sure which model of Traverse wheel comes on the bike you're thinking about, but that's something to consider.

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I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

12/7/2016 11:03 AM

I just wanted to chime in and say that people who say there is no difference between carbon and aluminum frames apparently have not ridden both. Carbon is stiffer than aluminum so the bike will flex less. Its especially noticeable in hard cornering, foot out flat out moto style. My two cents. Get the carbon Enduro since it has a better spec than the aluminum Enduro. Dont worry about the wheels just yet. Thrash and trash'em while you save for a different set if the time ever comes. Roval wheels are pretty durable and use dt swiss hubs so they should last a bit. Also, and this is might totally throw off everything giving you more choices. Have you thought of the 27.5/650b Enduro. A little more travel and better suited for really aggressive riding like what you would be doing at Thredbo. Wheels will inherently be stronger too since they aren't as big.

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Its not how fast you ride,....Its how you ride fast

12/7/2016 11:33 AM

Rdot84 wrote:

I just wanted to chime in and say that people who say there is no difference between carbon and aluminum frames apparently have not ridden both. Carbon is stiffer than aluminum so the bike will flex less. Its especially noticeable in hard cornering, foot out flat out moto style. My two cents. Get the carbon Enduro since it has a better spec than the aluminum Enduro. Dont worry about the wheels just yet. Thrash and trash'em while you save for a different set if the time ever comes. Roval wheels are pretty durable and use dt swiss hubs so they should last a bit. Also, and this is might totally throw off everything giving you more choices. Have you thought of the 27.5/650b Enduro. A little more travel and better suited for really aggressive riding like what you would be doing at Thredbo. Wheels will inherently be stronger too since they aren't as big.

1) i will guarantee that all but elite riders will not feel the difference between a carbon frame and aluminum frame. AND riddle me this - will an carbon frame with shit wheels or a aluminum frame with tight wheels "flex" more?

2) i am assuming that the specialized wheels come with the bottom of the barrel dt hubs driven by a pawl system. which are garbage. if they come with the dt star-ratchet system, i take it back. another argument - stock wheels have straight pull spokes that you may have a hard time finding when you break em. jus sayin.

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12/8/2016 2:44 AM

Thanks again chaps. Getting some more detailed pricing details to do a little more reading and comparing specs etc.

FWIW, I'm not worried about massive jumps, i'm pretty conservative, but I am big, and the riding we have here is pretty rocky also.

Anyone have anything to say regarding the Intense Tracer and/or Carbine as an alternative? The dealership has just taken them on also...

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Cheers, Crush
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12/8/2016 5:00 PM

I rode a buddy's T275A (aluminum Tracer) a few months back and it was unreal!

Then again, I'm a moto guy (as you know) and my MTB is a 12-year old POS, so what do I know? Haha.

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12/22/2016 9:56 PM

Happy to say I put the deposit down on the Elite today and the price for the upgraded wheelset was pretty sweet with the exchange so thought, stuff it. Falcon's point about $5 v 7K kinda hit a chord... and the bank balance, but all good, pretty happy.

I'm a designer so have started throwing together some frame guard decal ideas. Going to go a bit mental on it I think.

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Cheers, Crush
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