Wheels Seeking Tough Wheelz for GEBE Build

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by Yoda Bob, May 22, 2010.

  1. Yoda Bob

    Yoda Bob Member

    I am shopping for wheels for a planned GEBE build. I've spent hours reading older posts and have learned a lot. There's a wealth of useful info to be found, just not all in one place. Thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread for the benefit of myself and others.

    Armed with newfound knowledge and the advice of savvy MBc members, I'm thinking about hitting the order button. Before doing so, I'd appreciate a final sanity check from those in the know.

    First off, priorities specific to my build:

    - 26" wheels wide enough for 1.5-1.9" tires
    - Rear hub threaded for 7-sp cassette freehub (Shimano STX)
    - Cantilever brakes front and rear
    - Affordability (price unfortunately an over-riding concern)

    Second, things I've so-far learned on this forum:

    - 12-gauge (or thicker) stainless-steel spokes ('cause thinner spokes often break!)
    - Double-wall, alloy wheels (superior weight, strength, and braking performance)

    I've looked online at quite a few wheel sets and have narrowed the field to a list of one. For others, I include a list of final contenders (which might make sense for your application):

    - GEBE's Eagle/Velocity wheels: Triple V 6000 Series aluminum rims, 36 x .105GA SS spokes (rear) and 36 x 14GA spokes (front). About $200/pair (shipped) - GEBE's website

    - Wheel Master Black Alloy Cruisers: Unspecified brand, apparently double-walled alloy rims, 36 x 12GA SS spokes (front and rear). About $100/pair (shipped) - Amazon.com

    - Wheel Master 26 x 2.125 Steel Wheels: Steel import rims, 36 x 12GA (SS?) spokes (front and rear). About $60 (shipped) - Amazon.com

    I can't afford the GEBE's, but think I can do better than steel. Have decided on the Black Alloy Cruisers, and am hoping to get feedback from others to help avoid wasting my hard-won cash. So, whaddaya think?

    - Is anyone running these wheels?
    - Have I missed a better value elsewhere?
    - Should I save longer and buy better quality?
    - See any reason why the wheels I've chosen won't fit my application?

    Please chime in to help end my agonizing!


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015

  2. The stock front wheels work fine on my GEBE equiped bikes. Most all the work, abuse, and weight are on the rear wheel. I don't think you can beat the Velocity Psycho rear wheel with the 105 spokes from GEBE. It is as strong a bike wheel as I've seen. I expect it will outlive the bike. I use a 26X1.50 tire on front and a 26X1.95 tire in the back, just cause it looks soooooo cool.
  3. Yoda Bob

    Yoda Bob Member

    Yeah, Mike:

    Big 'n littles are COOL; give the bike a dragster look, fer sure.

    I'm figuring on 1.75 Kevlar touring tires at both ends, just to keep the spares thing unders control. Boring: Yes. Practical: Maybe. Cheap: Uh-huh.

    Speaking of cheap, I made a decision. I'll build a set of wheels.

    I've got a set of decent 36-hole Shimano hubs that'll work good both with my existing 21-speed set-up and the GEBE drive ring. Was rooting around on Amazon when I found and ordered a box of 72 12GA spokes w/nipples for something like $15. Cha-ching!

    Rims? I've read a bazilllion reviews on the Alex DH18's, most favorable. Am itching to order a pair and get to lacing.

    Anyone wanna weigh in on inexpensive rim choices?

    Progress is slow, but I'll get there. Lots of other stuff competing for my time and $$$. Still, I get a little more done every week.

    I really appreciate this forum. Your experiences and pix keep me motivated and moving front-wards.

  4. PatrickW

    PatrickW Staff Member

    Wheel Guys...Bob Needs Some Help...

    Bob...I am no wheel expert, but just wanted to say that you are on the right track. There is someone here who will help you. I have read several other things you have posted and it seems you have your head screwed on straight. Everybody apreciates that, and you have done your research. You should get along well on the forums, here. Be patient and wait for some advice before you lay down the cash. Help should be on the way.

  5. Yoda Bob

    Yoda Bob Member

    Thanks, PatrickW:

    Patience is no problem. I'm not in any particular hurry, planning on taking well into the fall to complete my build. My priorities are simple, constructing a sensible, reliable machine as inexpensively as possible.

    I hope to get about 10,000 relatively trouble-free miles out of this bike over a period of eight months before having an opportunity for significant repairs or revisions.

    Broken spokes, cracked hubs, and taco-shaped wheels are things I hope to avoid.

    Looking over my previous post, I see a fat-fingered the wheel model: It should read Alex DM18. I've read a fair number of user reviews on the web and recall stories of folks riding it home flatted or on the rim, with little more than cosmetic damage to the wheel. Not bad, IMO, for a rim costing less than $20.

    Hubs and spokes in hand; rims are the next purchase in the queue.

    I've received plenty of solid advice from the members of this forum. Applying these nuggets of wisdom to my build will help to keep me out of trouble.

    If anyone has first-hand experience with these wheels (or wishes to offer an alternative) please let me know! Otherwise, I'll soon mash the "order-me" button and find out for myself.

    Either way, at some point in the future I'll be able to share my experiences for you folks to read.

    It's kinda like karma; no good deed goes un-punished!

    Fair skies & tailwinds,

  6. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    Hi Yoda,
    Just thought I would pass this link along. I myself have been guilty of starting a new thread when there was a better one out there.....

    Post number 143 might be just the thing you are looking for.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  7. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    A note on steel rims: very bad braking when wet, esp. with canti's.
  8. Yoda Bob

    Yoda Bob Member


    Steel is undeniably tough and very inexpensive. In warmer, drier climates, I wouldn't hesitate to use them on disc, drum, and coaster brake builds.

    They are not the "hot set-up" for calipers or cantilever brakes. The wheels get very slickery when wet, often contributing to dismal braking performance.

    And they rust.

    I'll be using v-brakes at both ends and am sticking with aluminum rims.

    The brake bands are worn out on my original equipment rims. Since I gotta re-lace and drill my hub for the thicker spokes, I might as just as well replace the rims while I'm at it.

    Fun project.

    I'm confident I can drill straight and easily chamfer the outside spoke eyes, but a little concerned about breaking spokes at the remaining sharp edged holes on the inner flanges of the hub. I think I can easily produce a consistent, light, assymetrical chamfer here with my little right-angle die grinder. This would eliminate the edges only where needed to prevent breakage.

    I've also used spoke washers (inside and/or out) to space the radius of the j-bend on the spoke away from the sharp edge. Failures at the bends stopped after adopting this practice.

    Details, details.

    So much of the fun for me is in doing all I can do to assure the quality of my build while, at the same time, minimizing the expense. Keeping things affordable is what makes them possible for me. Spending the time to do it right creates value.

    Riding on a set of lively and durable wheels I built myself is a very satisfying experience. I rejoice at my good fortune every single time I swing my leg over the bike. I'm excited to feel that again.

    I've decided on 12 gauge spokes front and rear. Am planning to commute by bike as much as possible - rain or shine. Tucking my toes in behind a pair of front mounted bike buckets (fairings for my feet!) might make life a little more bearable at times. An extra 25-30 pounds on the front end supports the case for over-building there, too.

    I ordered the brass spoke washers yesterday. Gonna pull the cassette, strip, and prep the hubs late next week.

    Gotta save a few more pennies before I order the rims.

    'Lil at a time; I'll get there when I get there.

    Got plenty to entertain me while I wait.
  9. Tanaka40

    Tanaka40 Member

    I got a GEBE 105g rear wheel and use the standard stock rim in front until it goes south. I am also running schwalbe marathon plus tires on both rimes. So far so good and NO FLATS.
  10. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    They're getting hard to find, but, I REALLY like the Sum Mammoth BFR rims w 36 spoke holes. They're way strong, and are wider than most (good support for the 2.125 inch tires...)
  11. Yoda Bob

    Yoda Bob Member

    Excellent suggestions Tanaka40 and loquin!

    Building 12GA, 36H, 4 cross wheels for both ends of bike.

    While I'd love a set of Marathons, I'm "settling" on a pair of CST Selecta's for starters. A smooth rolling tread pattern, Kevlar reinforced casings, and reflective sidewalls for less than $15/ea.

    I Googled the Mammoth BFR's... beefy, BEEFY extrusions! I imagine theyre double-TOUGH!

    Unfortunately, with spokes and hubs already in hand, I'm locked into rims having an ERD no greater than 546mm (and that's pushing things a little). The BFR's, with an ERD of 548, are no longer an option for me.

    Maybe next time...

    I'm going with the Alex DM18's when I scratch together the $$$. Rims, strips, tubes, tires, headset, and brake hanger: All good quality and less than $100 shipped.

    Come on Payday!
  12. Tanaka40

    Tanaka40 Member

    velocity Psycho's

    Another good rim choice would be Velocity Psycho rims. These babies look like they could take on about anything.:cool2: