Hopefully the final upgrade to my Jamis Parker III. I recently replaced the Truvativ Stylo Crankset with an 08 XT crankset. I also replaced the 80mm Turbolite Stem with a 90mm Thomson Stem. The biggest addition is a new wheelset. With the new crankset and hubs, that now makes my whole Shimano 08 XT groupset completely made in Malaysia.

The wheelset took a lot of thinking and planning. I wanted a light All-Mountain Wheelset. My old set was made of a Deore M555 directional hub with 6 bolt IS Disc Brake, I was using stout double butted stainless Japanese Asahi spokes and Mavic X223 rims. This set was made as a trail wheelset. It has done stairs, 2 foot drops and the occasional 3 foot drops. This is a reasonably tough set depending on who does the truing, but it is also a heavy set which is why I decided to upgrade. This set was made primarily for a XC/trail HT bike that I assembled when I sold my Bullit and decided to leave the scene and buy a Vespa but still needed to keep a mtb.

When I left the scene 4 years ago the word All-Mountain was not a common genre. You were either a XC rider, a Freerider or a Downhiller. My past wheelsets have always used Shimano XTs, I only used the Deore M555s because the design allowed spoke replacement without the need to remove the rotors and the cogset. I have always used Japanese Asahi spokes, having used Swiss DTs, US Wheelsmiths and Italian Stella spokes only for my road bikes. Going back to mtb past, these are some of the wheelsets I have built in the past. I had one set with Azonic Black Diamonds/Double Wall rims with thick Asahi double butted spokes on XT hubs, I also used the same rims and spokes on Hadley Hubs. Another combination was the Azonic Butcher rims on the same spokes, XT hubs or Hadley Hubs (Hadley started as a popular hub maker for tandem bicycles which is why they have a reputation for strength and reliability). I have cracked Mavic 521 and 517 rims with my type of riding which is why at the time I prefered the Azonic Black Diamond rims, they were strong and not as heavy as the Butchers but eventually became difficult to source, I saw an owner who sat on the rims before building them! They were that strong. My favorite build was made of the Azonic Black Diamonds, Asahi db spokes on XT hubs. My toughest build was the Azonic Butcher rims, Asahi db spokes on Hadley hubs.

I was considering a built wheelset in the form of the Mavic Crossmax ST or the Crosstrail, both of which was quite costly. I wanted to try the DT 4.1 or 5.1 rims but couldn’t find any, so with Mavic All-Mountain rims. XT IS 6 Bolt Disc Hub was also difficult to find as they now only build centerlock hubs.  Asahi spokes were just as difficult. The readily available spokes were DTs, Wheelsmiths or generic Taiwan spokes. I finally found a late model (I don’t know if they are 08s, the XT logo looks like an 08 design but I was told that all 08 XT hubs are centerlocks, anyway these hubs are made in Malaysia) XT IS 6 Bolt Disc Hubs FHM756 at Speedy Bagal, then found a pair of Sun Single Track rims and Wheelsmith spokes and alloy nipples at Sabak. Its my first time to use Sun rims and Wheelsmith Spokes for an MTB wheelset. I normally don’t use alloy nipples but what the heck it came with the spokes. I had Sabak build the wheels. I don’t weigh my bike parts as I believe it has a psychological effect. Time will tell how things will hold up.

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