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Converting a 32h rim to 36h

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    Converting a 32h rim to 36h

    So all four of my bikes and both of my spare wheels all have the same rear rim, a 36h Surly Rolling Darryl. This discontinued item is an 82mm wide single wall aluminum 26" rim. Although it is a 36h rim, it has 72 spoke holes (two rows of 36h).

    Bath Cycle & Ski just heard from Surly that they have "no plans to manufacture any more of these in 36h." However, they are readily available in 32h. I just bought a 32h with no (weight saving) cutouts. Drilling out cutouts is not a problem. I have hired a machinist to do that before; upon receiving the rim, I just deburred the new holes and sent it to the powder coater. This time I will drill the cutouts myself after I drill the 72 spoke holes.

    So I just wanted to post my plan here to see if you guys see if I am missing anything. The rim comes set up for 14ga spokes. I use 13ga spokes, so the holes needed to be drilled out anyway. I have a guy who welds aluminum who can close all of the old holes. To save cost, I will clean up those welds (e.g., with a die grinder). Hopefully, the welder won't warp the rim out of true because the whole reason I am doing this is because one of my rims is slightly bent (from my previous jumping stupidity).

    How do you guys think it will go having the welder leave one pair of holes intact, and then using those two holes as a starting point for the 36h pattern? If I measure and drill carefully, and use the right sized drill bit, I ought to be okay, right?

    Note: if anybody is wondering why I don't just use some 36h rims that are readily available, it is because I like the aluminum and Surly brand. I also always have all of my parts match as much as possible. For me, steel is too heavy and, if I do any more jumping, it will be on the rim that is already slightly bent.

    Click image for larger version

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    I'd lay a strip of blue masking tape, draw a line with the correct offset from the bead hook with a divider, do my math, and then use a divider to walk the marks all the way around the rim. Do it until it all lines up correctly, then center punch your marks and drill. You should be fine. Once you have your divider dimensions right, use a caliper to get that measurement and write it down in case you ever need to do it again.


      Thank you very much for your response. I will follow those directions.

      Before I dive into this, I will call Surly and ask if they can sell me a few of these rims with no holes drilled in them. I have called Surly with similar custom requests before, and they are very consistent about only selling the parts in their catalog because they deal in bulk quantities.


        If anybody here ever runs across any 36h Rolling Darryl rims for sale, including Surly manufacturing a new batch, please PM me.


          I talked with Gage at Surly, and he said that the product development staff at Surly is fully aware that 36h has become the de facto standard for hub motors. When Surly discontinued their 36h rims, they remained open minded about possibly manufacturing another batch at some point in the future. He says that 36h is a topic which continues to come up in the product development meetings.

          I inquired about special ordering some Rolling Darryl Rims with no holes (either spoke or cutouts), and he says that they presently have none of these to offer. I understand that the rims come from Taiwan already drilled.

          Gage and I exchanged contact info, and I will buy a whole bunch of the 36h Rolling Darryls if Surly ever makes any more.


            According to this email, it looks like Surly will not be a source of 36h rims:


            I checked with our product management team and it looks like we don’t have any future plans to offer a 36h fatbike hoop period.


            Gage Jacobson //QBP //Utah// Sales and Service//Brand Support// 800.346.0004 x1637 "

            So we'll just have to drill our own! I will be drilling 13ga holes, so maybe I will just leave the old 14ga holes (as opposed to filling them).


              Time to change brands, or convert to mid-drives, or drill your hubmotors 32h.
              Alan B


                Originally posted by Alan B View Post
                Time to change brands...
                Advice followed: I bought one of these for testing The rim is only 2mm more narrow and it is double walled aluminum. It weighs 228g more than the Rolling Darryl.

                I did an exhaustive internet search for brand name, single wall aluminum, 36h, 26", 3-4" wide rims, and they are are impossible to find! See post #11 in this thread for unbranded options. Click image for larger version  Name:	Capture.PNG Views:	1 Size:	58.1 KB ID:	40024
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                Last edited by commuter ebikes; 07-16-2017, 12:30 PM.


                  Here are the same photos of a Rolling Darryl:

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                  Last edited by commuter ebikes; 07-16-2017, 11:55 AM.


                    Regarding the Origin8 rim linked above, it looks single wall in the photo and the part number says "SGL", but the photo of the cross section shows double walled construction, so I will just have to see what it is when it arrives.


                      Opening up the parameters to include questionable quality, here is a domestic source of single wall aluminum 26" 36h wide rims: as well as these single and double walled options: or

                      I will exhaust the brand name options before I test an unbranded/generic rim.
                      Last edited by commuter ebikes; 07-16-2017, 12:32 PM.


                        This is the last place place that has an Origin8 AT-PRO801-UL (with 36/72 holes) in stock:


                        This rim is similar enough to the Rolling Darryl that I will not be drilling new holes in my 32/74 hole Rolling Darryl rim.

                        I sure wish that I had stocked up on the Surly 36h Holy Rolling Darryl rims while they were available. To that end, I bought three of these Origin8 rims pictured (from three different places).

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                        Last edited by commuter ebikes; 07-19-2017, 10:19 AM.


                          I hate it when good stuff gets discontinued.
                          Alan B


                            I ordered three of these from three different online shippers and all three suppliers later cancelled my order saying that the item is, in fact, out of stock. One of the suppliers said that they expect more in stock in late August.

                            I found some of these, known as "Sku: 470059 26in Origin8 AT-PRO801-UL 559 74 80 23.5 Sgl NMSW Black" (the SKU of 470059 is the 36/72 hole rim)
                            on a very questionable website for a fraction of the normal price The ridiculously low price, combined with the fact of being the only place in the world to have them in stock, must be too good to be true. Nonetheless, I ordered two of them and I expect that to result in waiting 30 days, receiving nothing and then filing a credit card dispute. That website is so fishy (or should I say phishy?) that I disabled my credit card after the charge went through.

                            I emailed Origin8 to ask if the product has been discontinued. I also started an order for four of these rims with Max at Bath Cycle & Ski, an Origin8 reseller. Max says that they are listed as "Out of stock" on the Origin8 order page, so he sent them an email asking when more will be supplied.

                            Hopefully it is the case that Origin8 underestimated the demand for such rims (which caused their lack of availability) rather than the case that the demand for this product does not warrant continued supply.
                            Last edited by commuter ebikes; 07-20-2017, 11:22 AM.


                              Odd that something sells out but manufacturers choose to quit making them.
                              Alan B