As mentioned elsewhere, there are many Michigan roads whose spring pot hole season is severe enough to destroy cars. From my experience, additionally, we don’t always believe in sidewalks with consistent level paving. (although limiting oneself to bike paths, the trails are smoother.)
For this reason I wonder how the cost equation would change to go with a splined hub and pedals. Has anyone built a 32" uni from a splined hub and with a disc hub?
I think a 32 build discussion warrants its own thread… so… please join me there…
As to the 29 …we are discussing this at home, if the 32 is becoming an excuse to not commit to a commuting uni and give up on my fitness program that I’m currently in. …honestly it might be…
I’m from Chicago originally, and lived in Michigan for a couple of years. I know that the potholes are bad, but for the most part I still think you are in the realm of what a square taper hub can handle. Usually it starts to be an issue when people start doing 2’ drops.
As for a disc brake there are a lot of opinions on hub mounted vs. crank mounted and here’s mine: If you are going to mount it to the hub you will want an extra wide (127mm) spaced hub and frame. The wheel will still be weaker due to the asymmetrical dish, but not as bad as if you went with a standard 100mm hub.
If you want ISIS the Qu-Ax hub at Goudurix is $50, and you may be able to pick up a good deal on a frame at the same time. Also, the Zero-Q cranks look pretty cool (especially the black ones with the steel pedal inserts). If I was going to get a single size I would recommend 125’s or 140’s. Dual hole cranks bridge the gap nicely (i have 120/140 cranks on mine).
As for building the wheel. It’s a good time, and worth the effort.
Seeing as how the rim is 48h and that means any hub mounted disc option would have odd lacing on the wheel, you might consider just getting a standard isis hub and spririt cranks (I’ve had problems with all my cotterless unis, probably jumping on them…). Perhaps even wait before getting the brake and upgrade later. I have been riding my 32" with 125 mm cranks and never needed a brake, now I have switched to 100 mm cranks and I have a rim brake on it but I really still don’t use it often (however I do usually ride on a paved, mostly flat trail). Anyway, good luck if you plan on going for it and as far as lacing your wheel I’d say go for it. There are plenty of great guides online and I felt like it gave me more of a reason to be proud of my 32"
In some of Ben’s earlier posts, he indicates that he lives in an area of lots of hills, some pretty steep (30% ). So I would recommend a brake. I use my brake frequently, on long downhill descents, and every time I dismount (off the back, bringing the uni to an instant stop with me). However, fitting the rim brake was a challenge (special adapter blocks needed to be built to fit with the different wheel size), so I agree that a disc brake would be a more straightforward option. (I wanted a rim brake because I am also running a Schlumpf hub, and reviews about using discs with Schlumpfs have been mixed.) Anyway, I’m not familiar with disc setups, so follow the advice of the other posters on that issue.
I agree about lacing the wheel yourself. I had never done it before, but there are tons of “how-to” videos out on the web, just find one that you like and go for it. Mine turned out fine. I took it to a bike shop for final adjustment/truing, and the guy only spent about 5 minutes on it, if that, and said it was a well-done spoke job.
Good luck, and keep us posted!