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HogtownWheelsmith

I'm Jake Brennand, the Owner & Master Technician at Toronto-based Hogtown Spokes Elite MTB. We specialize in bespoke MTB wheelbuilding, offering the most professional and data-driven assembly process in Ontario. We're a fully registered Canadian business. I have years of experience in custom fitting golf and cycling equipment, and I'm also a mature law student in my spare time, with a focus on common-law jurisprudence. I strongly believe in an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming MTB environment. Positive vibes only, please. Find us at HOGTOWNSPOKES.COM.

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HogtownWheelsmith mikekazimer's article
Feb 8, 2022 at 17:17
Feb 8, 2022
Review: Roval Control Carbon Wheels
@mobiller: That figure (2mm) is really the maximum of the acceptable leeway for a spoke length that's a little off of perfect. But if off, you always want to be longer rather than shorter in a build. You're not likely to toast through 301 mm spokes in a build meant for 300 mm anytime soon -- and there can even be advantages to going "too long." Namely, you will run the spoke further through the rim and help to eliminate the most common location of a stress riser in the nipple: the area underneath the nipple head, where it hooks up with the rim hole. Additionally, going long is like adding (non-messy) Loctite or some other adhesive agent to a spoke. The spoke will run out of threads and end up tacking in part using the non-threaded and higher-friction section below its threads, which then makes the spoke resistant to vibration-caused loosening during riding. The only hard no - especially with alloy nipples and particularly if the alloy nipples aren't Double-square or Squorx-head designs (which essentially "fit long" as standard) - is to run 298 or 299 mm spokes in a build meant for 300 mm. Spokes that are too short will almost always cause problems over the long run. This likelihood perhaps gets magnified in the case of a wheelset such as this one, where people may ride it beyond its factory-intended level of aggressiveness. The more you intend to push a wheelset, the better and more accurate the build needs to be in the first place.
HogtownWheelsmith jamessmurthwaite's article
Jul 8, 2021 at 17:18
Jul 8, 2021
HogtownWheelsmith jamessmurthwaite's article
Jul 8, 2021 at 10:35
Jul 8, 2021
The Mountain Bike Tech Infiltrating the Tour de France
Lolol. One of the best aspects of this new trend, as GCN and others have noted in the Tour coverage, is that XTR 9100 rotors are all but set to be adopted by Shimano as the new Dura-ace level rotor design. Turns out most of the peleton pros and their mechanics prefer the XTR floating rotors to the current Dura item as a lighter, superior product. Will be really interesting to see if this becomes the official spec when Shimano formally launches Dura-ace 12S in the coming months.
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Jul 2, 2021 at 9:28
Jul 2, 2021
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HogtownWheelsmith StansNoTubes's article
Jun 29, 2021 at 12:48
Jun 29, 2021
Stan's Introduces New MK4 and S2 Rims and Wheels
@lyfcycles: Agreed - I also have never had an issue. As you clearly know, a number of Stan's rims now have a spec for max tension at or north of 125 KgF (which is beyond the DT Swiss threshold, for those commenters who will, fairly so, bring DT's benchmark products into this conversation). Numbers aside, I agree that the modern Stan's rims are strong and will last if properly assembled. When rims crack at the spoke beds - certainly not always, but often - failing to use washers in the build or using straight-gauge spokes are the likely long-term culprits. Straight-gauge spokes take needed "suspension" forces away from the rim (and hub) material, expediting fatigue on the hoops as well as shortening the usable lifespan of the spokes themselves. And washers obviously spread loads better at the spoke holes, reducing the concentration of those large pulling forces on these critical flashpoints in the structure. (In doing away with eyelets on many of their rims, DT now supplies washers with their premium items - which is always welcomed and a smart practice that more companies should emulate.) Mix the build elements described here with really low tire pressures on non-gravity tire casings in a rugged MTB context and any rim is much more likely to fail, whether alloy or carbon. That Stan's rims are "soft" for tensioning purposes is an MTB canard that has now been superseded by better iterations of their product lines. These are quality hoops and have been for several years.
HogtownWheelsmith mikekazimer's article
Jun 10, 2021 at 6:07
Jun 10, 2021
First Look: Schwalbe's New Wicked Will Tires
Former golf industry tech and competitor here. Pretty solid description in the article of how golf shoes work...well done @mikekazimer. The only exception would be if you were wearing metal studs like Bryson recently (fuelling the bro-down with Brooks Koepka in the media; metal spikes are banned at most courses in North America and Europe, but PGA Tour pros may use them - though most don't, as they end up putting spike marks in other players' putting lines). I guess the MTB equivalent would be showing up on fresh singletrack in the early summer just bristling with confidence and crushing trails with some fresh Schwalbe Ice Spikers mounted, lesser mortals be damned!
HogtownWheelsmith sarahmoore's article
Jun 10, 2021 at 5:58
Jun 10, 2021
Video & Interview: Aaron Gwin on the Tire Testing Process
@Dustfarter: Fair enough. At this point, I would take the tire off - even though ideally you shouldn't have to do this! - and remove the usable pools of sealant with a syringe. Also remove any clumped particulate that will end up rattling inside your tire if left inside there. But leave in the thin sealant film that will have covered the inside of the tire. Don't wipe all of that off. Let the air hit this film overnight and codify the sealant into a hardened thin layer inside the tire. The hardened latex will effectively become another layer of airtightness, and it's not likely to become re-liquified once you re-add the sealant again after mounting the tire once more. If you're sure that it's not the tape at this point, try what I've suggested and you will find that you hopefully seal off any remaining micro-pores inside the tire. The issue right now, despite having so much sealant inside, is that it would almost all be liquid - no doubt superior to having nothing in there or not enough sealant, but perhaps not fully effective to address the leaking. This is a hack, but it has worked for me in the past with the odd fussy tire.
HogtownWheelsmith sarahmoore's article
Jun 9, 2021 at 6:01
Jun 9, 2021
Video & Interview: Aaron Gwin on the Tire Testing Process
How many layers of rim tape do you have inside and are you running inserts? Unless rim tape is applied methodically and sometimes heat-shrunk to the rim, a single layer is not enough, even if perfectly sized - despite the imagery in those many dream bike internet build videos for MTB and road. Inserts also tend to compress the tape away from the rim sidewalls, toward the center channel, creating a point of egress for air at the crucial bead seat/rim wall area. So in both cases, more tape and the right type of tubeless tape is needed for airtightness (the more compliant the better; Muc-off makes awesome stuff, as does DT Swiss and Peaty's). Furthermore, with rims like Spank (which are great overall, in my experience), the "Oobah" ridged design in the middle tends to make taping more difficult - because it eliminates a uniformly flat surface for the tape to adhere to. This makes methodical taping even more critical with Spank rims. Obviously, I have no idea what you're running rim wise or how much tape you've applied, but those are just some important points to double check as you address this issue, which is certainly frustrating to deal with. My experience with Schwalbe is that no TR tire holds air better, to the point where you can end up getting away with less-than-perfect taping or rim combinations for sealing purposes in a way that you couldn't with almost any other tubeless tire brand. A lot of this comes down to how burly the new Super Gravity and even Super Trail casings are (let alone the full DH iteration). Just something to think about. Cheers and good luck!
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Jun 8, 2021 at 18:36
Jun 8, 2021
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Jun 8, 2021 at 5:00
Jun 8, 2021
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