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If you’ve bought into the world of 29+, you’re probably enjoying a cush ride, gobs of traction, and the feeling of monster truck supremacy as you roll over everything in your path.

You may also be running into limited options when it comes to replacement parts as Jeremy has, who writes, “I bought a Stash 5 Trek with 29in 50mm width rims and 3″ tires to ride the Divide (The Great Divide Route). The bike worked out great, but 428 miles into the ride the rear wheel gave out. I’ve been looking for an upgrade (same size rim) but can not find a quality manufacturer who makes that size rim. Any suggestions?”

There’s a lot to unpack here, especially without further clarification on what part of the rear wheel actually ‘gave out,’ so we’ll answer this as best as we can given the information.

First, The Divide Route could be considered one of the ultimate tests for both man and machine. Whether you’re racing it in the Tour Divide, or just doing your own tour, riding that many miles non-stop has the potential to turn a small problem into a big problem without maintenance intervention. Say your spokes weren’t properly tensioned from the factory, and you set out on this journey, eventually they would start to loosen up which would lead to major problems on trail. If your issues were spoke related, it’s entirely possible that it was the result of the wheel build, not the components themselves.

Also, I’m assuming you were riding with at least somewhat of a load which increases the stress on the wheels. According to the Trek website, the Stashe 5 includes Sun Ringle Duroc 50 SL rims in 28h. Given the nature of your riding, and the likelihood of it being loaded, I would think the standard Sun Ringle Duroc 50 in a 32h would be a better fit. A 32h wheel would be a bit heavier, but it’s generally held that more spokes make for a stronger, more durable wheel.

There aren’t a ton of other options for 29″ rims in 50mm widths, though there are a few. The Halo Vapour 50 is a 29″ rim with a 45mm internal measurement, available in 32h with double wall tubeless compatible construction and stainless eyelets. While not quite 50mm, Velocity offers their Dually in a 45mm external width with 39mm internal, and in 32 or 36h. If you wanted to jump to carbon, there’s always the Jones C-Rim with a 56mm outer, 49mm inner width and 32h.

If your issues were hub related, you could rebuild the wheel with a new hub assuming the rim is still in good shape. Or, better yet, get the best local wheel builder in town to custom build you a new wheel or wheelset that is specifically tailored to bike packing and adventure riding. You can buy the the Duroc 50s above as a complete wheelset, but you may be better off with a custom built wheel set that uses J-bend spokes in case you have to replace one in the middle of nowhere. More often than not, a custom hand-built wheel will outlast its factory-built competitors, and you’ll be more likely to get what you’re looking for in terms of performance.

Is there a 29+ wheelset that’s ideal for bikepacking that we missed? Let’s hear it below.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. You forgot about WTB, which makes the KOM in 40 and 45mm inner width. (The previous WTB 29+ rim was the Scraper).

    Also, it’s my impression that the OEM version of the Duroc is not the same as the aftermarket version. Supposedly, the aftermarket rim is manufactured differently and is stronger than the one that comes stock on the Stache.

    And not to be too picky, but it’s “Stache” not “Stash”.

  2. It’s Stache, not Stash, and most wide (35mm or wider) internal rims will work well. I kept the stock set for winter use with the 1120 fork and went with Tairin wheels for summer. Very solid setup, no issues to date.

  3. Also Race Face Ar or Arc Offset rims can be had in i45 width which will make for a durable wheel. Durocs are i46. The hub on my 2017 Stache 5 was crap right away. Rough bearings and the cassette was wobbling sideways when the wheel coasted. No manual on the internet and no spares available to fix it. Given the wheelset comes with just 28 spokes which are further straight ones rather than butted I would consider a new wheel.
    I personally can recommend the RF AR rims. So cheap to have (in Europe at least) for 52€ each. Build a set with hope hubs and could use same spoke length drive/non-drive. Very good tension balance.
    Further Spank Oozy Trail 395+ of which I believe are i37 whereas 395 refers to outer width of 39.5mm

  4. I would not go back to the 50mm (inner width i45mm) rim. i35 rims work very well with 3.0 tires and are lighter than i45 rims. I used i35 rims with 3.0 tires for years and that setup works great. However, if you really want to improve your wheels switch to i30 rims with 2.8 tires or i35 rims with 2.8 tires. With i30-2.8, you get get all the benefits of wider Plus tires and rims but with a lot less weight. Your bike will feel a lot more lively. Or go even lighter with i30-2.6.

    In addition, nearly every rim/wheel manufacturer makes the i30 and i35 width. You can buy complete wheelsets right off the shelf at good prices and nearly every bike shops keeps i30 wheels in stock. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, you could easily get an i30 wheel over-nighted to any small town. You might be able to buy a complete i30 or i35 wheelset for the price of having a single custom i45 wheel built.

    By going to narrower rims you also get the option to use narrower tires. 2.2-2.8 Mountain tires can be reasonably mounted to i30 rims. 2.4-3.0 Mountain tires can be reasonably mounted to i35 rims.

    I ride the 29+ full-sus Trek Full Stache with i35-2.8. I love the bike but I think the name is goofy. What the heck is a Stache???

    • “What the heck is a Stache???”

      It’s abbreviated from the word “moustache”, specifically facial hair grown on the upper lip. Ref: Burt Reynolds; walrus[es]; Tom Selleck; Donald Glover.

      • And what the heck does a mou-Stache have to do with a Mountainbike. Give a bike a name that implies speed or strength or mountains. Not lip hair! Like I said, “GOOFY”! The Stache might be the worst named bike ever. I’m embarrassed to say it. Let’s name a bike Wimpy. That would be worse.

        • It was a fun bike name for at the time niche bike. I like it better than most of the sterile bike names from most large companies. If your masculinity is challenged from the name of the bike you have more issues….

    • Bike Nerd,
      Just wondering what 29×2.8 tire you are using, that you love so much more than a 3.0.

      I went from WTB Ranger 29×3.0 light supple on WTB i35 Asyms to the Teravail 29×2.8 Tan Coronado on the same rim and the only benefit I got was a more durable tire (and I only have issues with the Ranger when getting greedy with too little tire pressure) and I like the look of the Tan Walls, performance was not better, tire is heavier and does not roll as well and traction was not an improvement either. I have a set of Rangers to go back on once I wear out the Coronados. So just interested in hearing what 29×2.8 tire you are rocking.

      But I agree with the i35 rims. The i35 and Ranger 29×3.0 is a great combo.

      Thanks,
      Matt

  5. Stans are selling the hugo 52s at a huge discount. The v2 rims are very good. Incredible that you haven’t mentioned these. Build with plenty of spokes.

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