Deux = Two
French, ya know. Gettin' all international on ya there. Must be all the Tour De France watching I have been doing.
Well, remember what I was saying about the new wheels for the SS Monkey? How I was going to stay all cheap and simple? Well, change of plans. It had occurred to me that in the future I wanted to upgrade the wheels on the Lev. They had been bought for the KM with the option of being transferred to the FS. Check! Done that. They are good wheels actually, DT Swiss Onyx hubs, DT Swiss TK7.1 rims and a nice hand build. Not real light or flashy, but pretty darn good everyday wheels.
But, in the semi-near future, I want to upgrade the fork on the Lev to the new Reba with a 20mm Qr, the Maxle Light. The bigger wheels do stress the fork/frame interface a bit more and at my weight and size, I think the 20mm is the way to go. However, that requires a new front hub since the Onyx cannot be converted from QR to 20mm.
Well, if I could get a new front wheel with a hub that could be run either way, I could use it now on the Lev and be ready for the new fork next year. The best hub in the mix now for that is the Hope Pro II, decent cost, light weight, and very easy to swap over.
So as I mentioned the other option was to upgrade the Lev wheels now and move the DT wheels back to the SS Monkey. Yeah, they are disc hubs, but that just gives me options in the future as well. So, I needed to spend about $300.00 dollars for the build on the SS wheels OR go the whole hog route and spend more for the long term plan. Trouble was, my immediate budget was $400.00. No much headroom for fancy wheels, but if I was patient and had a keen eye, maybe I could find a nice set of used wheels.
I really had a hankering for a Chris King rear hub. Not sure why. Just do. But, to find a used wheelset with a Hope front hub and a King rear hub with tubeless ready rims...oh yeah, I wanted to be ready for easy tubeless coversion, I mean why not?...finding that combo could be a challenge.
So, I watched the classifieds and eBay. Nothing, nothing, nothing. I had almost grabbed the LX hubs I had on my desk and headed to the bike shop to get them built but I was having rim decision issues. Good thing I was waffling.
Just after hanging up the phone from talking to the nice folks at Stan's Rims about the ZTR355 for the SS build, I checked the MTBR classifieds one more time. Well, hey...looky there...wheels. Hope Pro II hubs, Stan's Flow rims and Sapiem spokes. How much? $400.00 shipped. Oh baby. Pay Pal and they are mine. So, plan deux is fully in action. Another $25.00 for the conversion pieces to get to QR and I am ready for the future.
The Hope Pro II rear hub is actually lighter than the King hub AFAIK, but it certainly is lighter than the Onyx hub due to the alloy freehub on the Hope. I will save 25Gs per rim and even more weight savings if I go tubeless, and I certainly will with the Flow rims making that simple. One thing I am not so crazy about is that the Hope rear hub is a noisy fella, quite the 'clacking' going on back there. Well, I guess I will just turn the iPod up a bit more.
Anyway, come on Big Brown Santa. Bring me baby's new shoes.