I have had a specialized rockhopper (it was about $650 MSRP, I think the lbs changed a few of the OG parts as well) 29er. It came with some 2.1 wide Jalco tires and I’m still running tubes, for now. I’ve had this thing about 5 weeks on around 15 rides and have folded my back rim 4 times now.
It’s usually due to poor 180s and endos, or trying to spray dirt on a turn (is that called roosting or something?). Anywho, I’m probably going to need a new rim soon. I definitely like a more playful feel and like to go as aggressive as I can as new biker in Indiana and weigh around 200lbs.
With that said, I’m not sure where to start looking or what I’m looking for? Most of the trails close to me are straight XC, but I know there are a few places like Brown County that have some narly technical sections. Also, any tips or guides for truing a wheel? I don’t want to keep paying for truings.
There are tons of online resources for wheel truing/building from basic to complex. Unless you get serious about wheel building just knowing the basics should serve you well.
Regarding your wheel, if you’ve truly folded your wheel that many times it’s time to get something else. The bike you have was never designed for a large (>150 lbs) aggressive rider. You can buy a pre-built wheel that would work online or simply take the wheel to your lbs and have them rebuild it with a stronger rim. The latter option may a little cost more, but you’ll know what you are getting and likely end up with a better result.
How can I tell if a bike can handle my weight in the future? I found this bike at the LBS and they didn’t mention anything about this not being able to handle my weight–even after the multiple truings I’ve had them do. They always say that bikes generally just won’t be able to handle the lateral pressure of landing sideways on the bike from endos and 180s, especially with the larger sized wheels.
@AlexHokanson: “How can I tell if a bike can handle my weight in the future? I found this bike at the LBS and they didn’t mention anything about this not being able to handle my weight…”
This is a very deep rabbit hole to go down. However, 90% of the people that buy mountain bikes in the US at roughest may ride down a dirt road. Your Speshy, while a number of notches up from a department store bike was not designed with your riding efforts (poor 180s, endos, roosting and 200lbs of rider) in mind. I don’t believe the bike shop steered you in the wrong direction, because they honestly rarely know what how anyone rides. Most people are not honest with themselves either thinking they can get a lower cost rig and it will perform the same as something more expensive. Once in awhile you’ll will come across bikes that punch above their price point, but this is the exception and not the rule. The moral of the story is to go for sturdy and durable.
@AlexHokanson: “They always say that bikes generally just won’t be able to handle the lateral pressure of landing sideways on the bike from endos and 180s, especially with the larger sized wheels.”
Your bike shop is correct here. The larger the wheel diameter, the more flexible the wheel will be. The exceptions to this are more expensive or really heavy, but there is a reason BMX bikes run 20″ wheels. 29er bikes have only begun to be used for aggressive riding in the last half dozen years. Prior to this they were the domain of cross country bikes. As such, you are not going to find many low cost heavy-duty 29er bikes.
Back to your conundrum of rad-getting on a bike on less than rad built wheels. Your least expensive option which may still run you $200-300 would be to have your lbs build you more sturdy wheels (new rims, spokes and use your hubs). You could just do the rear wheel too. If you stick with it then do your research for your next bike. Party.
That all makes really good sense. I appreciate it a lot and will definitely be doing more research. I guess the parking lot tricks will have to hold until I can pay for continual wheel changes or get a sturdier, more specific usage bike.