At DCR we are proud to offer one of the widest ranges of wheelsets anywhere, with master chefs ready to cook up any meal of your choosing. However, the overwhelming choice can become confusing. To help, we have provided some menus for you to consider which are combinations that work very well together and some signature dishes which can be adapted to suit the palates of individual riders.
Road rim brake sets
We now have a specific rim brake road wheelset section where you can buy our ‘signature dishes’ directly through the site. You can visit this here.
Alternatively feel free to browse our product pages. These contain hubs, rims and spokes sections to choose between alternative components for a custom rim brake wheelset.
Road disc / gravel / Cyclocross sets
As with our rim brake sets, you can choose to either go down the custom route or the ‘signature dish’ route.
Signature disc brake dishes can be found here.
We have an article on aero wheels, which you can read here.
Aero wheelsets are increasingly fashionable, mainly because it is becoming increasingly recognised that at a competitive level, it is where the greatest advantage will be gained. That is not to say that the greatest benefit for every rider will be to move towards more aerodynamic components, however it should be a consideration for every rider looking to ride at speed.
Aerodynamic components are generally heavier. The profiles are more exotic and generally require more material which adds weight. It can, often, at the same time add stiffness though and as long as the profiles are structurally sound, material can be kept thin to save weight so the penalty need not be massive. Weight limits in professional cycling is another major reason for getting more aerodynamic components.
Information on rims for mountain bikes can be found in our article ‘Which MTB Rim?‘.
All DCR MTB wheelsets can be 650b (27.5″/584mm) or 29er (700c/622mm). Don’t worry, we do still have options for riders on 26″ too. All can be run tubeless and have internals ranging from 21mm – 45mm. They can all be used in XC and AM conditions. Most can be adapted to Enduro conditions. They can all be in various interfaces – QR, 9/10mm thru axle, 12mm, 15mm or 20mm, as well as boost and non-boost, and can be supplied with the freehub body of your choice.
For a rider with up to 2.2″ tyres, a good starting point would be:
DCR Standard Disc hubs, DCR XC/AM rims (25mm internal), 28h, D-Light spokes, £370 inc. rim tape and delivery.
From here you can go wider; for tyres of 2.3″ and above we recommend our XC/AM ‘Big Boy’ rims, which are 30mm internal leading to a better tyre profile at this size.
For riders looking to run plus size tyres, for example 2.8″ and above, we offer even wider rims. These rims are also incredibly tough. See the article ‘Which MTB Rim‘ for more details.
When it comes to buying a set of ‘track’ wheels, there are two key routes that people go down. DCR Premium hubs, or ‘other’.
The DCR Premium route involves using the DCR Premium hubs which are excellent value and last fairly well. They have steel axles, well sealed cartridge bearings and come with track nuts. You can have them in single speed, double fixed, fixed/free and in black or silver. They are 100mm at the front and 120mm at the back.
These are generally built up with either Sapim Race spokes for a silver spoked build or Sapim D-light spokes for a black spoked build.
Prices start at £180/pair but a more common budget is something like £300 for which you get a quality rim – for example the H+Son Archetype (very popular with track and fixie riders because of the all-black machined sidewall). You could also have any of the DCR aluminium or carbon rim range.
In terms of the ‘other’ route. This means a more exotic hub choice and that is generally either Phil Wood or Royce, and the prices for which are broadly the same. Prices generally start at around £540 but you may well get a lot of different flavour options including high and low flange options and colour options – especially with Phil Wood hubs.
When it comes to touring, generally people want to have a tough set of wheels, but mostly I try to offer either an exceptionally strong set of wheels or a set of what I consider to be more like Grand Tour/Audax wheels. While I do offer some everyday touring wheelsets, it is generally more appropriate to get a set like this from a builder of more ‘everyday’ wheels. I.e. wheelsets that are worth sub £170/pair. For this set of wheels, the specialist tooling and tolerances that I always build to are not required.
If you are looking to go down the grand touring route, key components to consider at the NovaTec A171/F172 and the Royce hubs as well as White Industries and Chris King.
You can consider these sets as suitable for weights of upwards of 100kg including rider and luggage however they are not necessarily intended for this on a permanent basis. They are provided in ascending strength order:
DCR road hubs, Sapim Race spokes, alloy nipples, DT Swiss TK540 rims – £350. This set is fairly light and will spin up well. The rims are welded and strong – despite a not-too-heavy weight. They are well suited to tyres of 28c upwards. The hubs themselves are appropriate for all year round use, with our special bearing preparation and other parts that are cheap and easy to replace and a full stock is carried here for that purpose. Maximum intended weight is approximately 100kg. The H+Son Archetype and TB14 rims are also popular for this sort of set, the latter being of a more vintage style and will make a set which is roughly £50 cheaper.
As above with Royce hubs – £532. The Royce hubs make a large difference to durability with reports of them doing in excess of 200,000 miles on their original bearings. The hubs need occasional lubrication but beyond that very little is required in terms of maintenance. Royce hubs make an excellent grand tour option. Royce hubs can also be in a 130 or 135mm spaced incarnation and the front can be either ultra light or mid flange for either added performance or added durability.
As above with Phil Wood hubs and strong spokes. £616. The Phil Wood hubs are very strong. It is hard to say whether Phil Wood or Royce offer better strength/durability as the return rate on both to date is zer0. However, the drillings on the Phil hubs are larger which allow them to accept a larger spoke. That, then, means you can build a stronger wheel with them. They also have a larger number of pawls which in itself should improve their loading capacity.
As above with Velocity Chukker rims. £596. When it comes to making a rim stronger there are generally a number of ways of doing it. Improve wall thickness, opt for a stronger alloy, make the profile deeper, make the profile wider. What Velocity have done with the Chukker is throw all of those techniques into the melting pot and the result is probably the strongest rim on the market. The actual weight limit on this sort of set is very difficult to estimate, but at their strongest (assuming the maximum spoke count of 48 per wheel is used and Strong spokes are used throughout) it is probably somewhere between 400 and 500kg.
For heavier riders
A quick aside: I am not here to judge you on your weight, irrespective of what it is. Assessing the weight of any rider is essential in providing the right wheels for their intended purpose. Moreover, riders can be heavy for a big range of reasons and may not in any reasonable sense be considered ‘overweight’, they are simply too heavy for conventional ‘stock’ wheels. Finally, even if a rider would benefit from losing weight, cycling is an excellent way to do this and I find success stories on this topic very uplifting. There is no need to apologise for your weight, whatever it may be, it is simply a case of finding components with appropriate rims, spokes, bearings and axles to cope with the increased strain, both from the static and dynamic load but also from what can be considerably increase power output.
It is worth considering the above touring options, in particular the last option for very heavy riders. However, the touring sets will generally be intended for wider tyres and often larger spacing at the back. Often with disc brakes as well but not necessarily.
In this particular section, I would like to flesh out a few key options with regard to what I consider to be tough road rims. I am not going to go into detail about spokes and hubs as this information is available above and elsewhere but what I intend to provide is information on some strong but narrow rims for running with narrow tyres:
Velocity Fusion – this is an interesting rim because its strength does not seem to have compromised it too much when it comes to weight. That said, it is probably the least strong, strong rim. I would say riders of up to 120kg will be appropriate on this rim. Prices start at £270/set.
Velocity Deep V – this is essentially the bigger brother of the Fusion. It is deeper, to add strength. It is used on tandems on a regular basis but is still probably not ideal for riders over 160kg.
H Plus Son SL42 – this is a rim I feel more comfortable with for heavier riders. It has a welded joint and it is made from G609 alloy which is stronger than 6061. It is closely linked to 6069 alloy. A rider weight limit has not been discussed but they are certainly strong. I would say up to 160kg is probably appropriate on the right build however it is likely that this rim will be more stable than the deep V.
If you are in excess of 160kg, it is generally advisable to use a different sort of bicycle. You need to think about all sorts of components when it comes to strength. A 135mm QR or thru-axle at the rear is advisable as is a wider tyre. 26″ wheels are naturally stronger and stiffer than 700c.