Advice needed: wheelset for light touring - 32 or 36h?

So I’m planning to get a wheelset built for my new Surly Cross Check, which I plan to use for long day rides on gravel roads and some overnight bikepacking.

What I’m looking to have built are Hope Pro3 Mono hubs, laced with double butted spokes to Mavic A719 rims (700c). Should I look to get 32 F+R, 32 F + 36 R or 36 F+R?

Advice would be most appreciated.

I should add that I’m planning to run a porteur rack for in the city and a more conventional rack/s when on the open road.

Also the Hope hubs are low-mid flange on the front and high flange on the rear.

Spoking pattern would be three-cross rear and two-cross front, right?

Oh, and I weigh 75kgs.

Get 36h. the A719s are top notch, 36h 3x will result in indestructible wheels. I have an A319 32h 3x front with an LX generator hub, and while great, went slightly out of true from a minor incident with a fence. 36h 3x all the way.
I don’t know anything about those hubs though.

36H isn’t totally necessary at your weight and not going heavy touring. A fence will untrue a 36H wheel too.

I have 32H F&R on the rSogn with Synergy/Dyad rims and no issues to date.

As you’re planning to commute / overnight, I’d strongly recommend you get a dyno front hub. Budget without being junk: Shimano 3N72, Best value: Shimano 3N80, Best performance: Schmidt Sondelux. (Go check out the MGG#5 thread and see the photo of Tris, Angry & my bikes).

It’s only a small upcharge now for the dyno over the Pro 3 front, you won’t regret it. Commuter had some raging deals on Schmidt hubs recently, worth asking if there’s any left.

I believe the Pro 3 rear has an aluminium carrier? That’d be my only concern about the hub in the long term. If you wanted serviceable and robust without being expensive, Deore / Deore LX (not XT with aluminium axle and smaller bearings) will do the trick.

32H dyno front, 3x, 32H Hope (Angry has one on his rSogn), 3x, DB spokes, will be a reliable wheelset.

A719 is a good rim choice, if you were worried about wheel strength you could look at a shallow, wide vee rim like the Dyad

PS: TAS Hope Pro 3 Front Hub - Mavic XM 719 Rim

Quit negating my opinions with logic, arsehole.
And check your email.

32 front, 36 rear. 3x all the way, double butted spokes. 2x is a waste of time … saves a few grams, makes for a far less stronger wheel.

Depending on hub and rim choice and who builds the wheels you could go to 28f/32r.

Is that because the aluminium axle is not as strong as the conventional steel one? Also why do they have to use smaller bearings?

Lower strength, larger OD axle (to compensate for lower material strength/stiffness) means smaller bearings, susceptibility to fatigue failure. Fine for racing / trail riding, but not for long term reliability when getting stranded is an issue.

I want a set of WTB New Paradigm hubs that take a Shimano cassette and have the Grease Guard system. And the modified CK headset with GG.

Gotcha. But the weight is reduced!

Is that the same grease guard system Suntour licensed for their XC Pro hubs?

That lower weight will help when you’re carrying your bike home.

Yup, one and the same.

Those XC Pro front hubs go for nothing on ebay

I think you can get a steel freehub body if you want for the hope hubs. If you don’t buy a dyno hub buy my red front pro 3 for $30.

The best touring hub on the market today is the Shimano SLX. Same 36 point freehub as the XT and the same hubshell, but uses standard 1/4" bearings and a steel axle. Go 36h, make sure you use disc hubs to avoid the embarrassing inevitability of having to lace up new wheels when (not if) you switch over to a disc brake bike.

The aluminium axle in the XT hub has its own problems, particularly with getting locknuts tight enough. Lots and lots of new XT hubs have destroyed themselves when the driveside cone comes loose, tightens itself onto the axle, cracking the bearing races in the hub and freehub. It’s particularly poetic when it’s part of an XT wheelset and the straight pull shell is not available as a replacement.

But I digress!

(going 36h will mean you can use 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes on the front wheel, use 2.0/1.8/2.0 on the rear, brass nipples all around)

  • Joel

Thanks heaps for all the advice guys - very much appreciated. Hmmmm… Dynamos, eh? Those Schmidt hubs are one nice piece of kit. Bit out of my price range thought, probably I’ll have to leave them to the likes of Prolly (OOOOOHHHH!!) Maybe the Shimano is the go. 200+ extra grams… is that a deal breaker? Probably not.

But I have to say that I haven’t been too impressed with the Deore hubs I used to have on the MTB, just as Tomacropod the cones have a bad habit of rattling themselves loose on the axles, presumably from the vibrations of off-road riding. That’s why I was looking at the Hopes - Sealed bearings, solidly built, option of a a SS freehub.

I’m thinking 32h 3X F+R will be fine as I’m running rim brakes. If I was running discs I’d probably want something a little beefier. I’ll stick with the 32 front in case I decide that I really like the porteur rack for day rides.

Tomacropod, I’ll save the disc upgrade for when the Hydro-Brifters are released, and then I’ll wait a further 3 years until they become affordable. :wink:

Thanks again guys!

DICE, waiting for a disc upgrade is fine, but having disc mounts on your hubs now costs you nothing extra in money or weight (with Centrelock hubs). If the cones on a steel axle are tightened properly it’s pretty much impossible for them to come loose. A lot of people including bike shop mechanics will only tighten the left hand cones on a hub, as the driveside cones are harder to access. These, therefore, are the ones that come loose. Set them up right from new and they’ll be perfect.

  • Joel

Thanks for the info Joel!

Dice: The 3N80 is a worthwhile upgrade, the extra weight isn’t an issue. Shimano and Schmidt do disc versions of the dyno too.

Hope still make a steel freehub body.

The Alfine dynamo hub is a more polished version of their non-series and is pretty cheap. Runs smoothly too. I like my Schmidt but honestly can’t tell the difference.

  • Joel

Do you get any vibration in the bars from the Alfine? I get some from the LX and 3N80.

Supernova also have a hub out now that looks pretty good.

Which XT hubs are you referring to? The newer T780 & M785?
I’ve just built a set of wheels with M756 and they have solid cromo axles.
Originally I’d bought a pair of M775 centrelock hubs but decided I really didn’t like them for this project.
These look like the start of the oversize aluminium axle.