Advice on 26" wheels for retro (2008) DH bike


Retro Newbie
Hi all, I'm brand new and hoping for some useful advice please.

After a long haitus I've returned to mountain biking and so glad I did. Things have changed somewhat....I'm older and less brave/reckless and apparently 26" wheels are no more!!! And everything I still own bike wise is now retro/vintage. Hooray!

Anyway, I just rebuilt my old Kona Cowan hardtail that's been in a bike bag for 8 years. Needed a few bits (headset, brakes etc) but it's now my 'burly' runaround bike that let's me do stupid things like ride down the odd staircase. Had forgotten how nice the Halo Freedom Disc wheels that I fitted were! Even in 26"...

To the point. After selling a few bits on ebay I finally had enough for the basic FR/DH bike I've always wanted but could never afford. Not much £ but managed to find a local Commencal Supreme DH 2008 cheap and in very good shape. Its a beast at 40+ lbs but bike weight has never really bothered me tbh. The avid juicy 3s will have to go (just ordered some XT8000s) and the only other issue is the worn out DT swiss front wheel.

The rear has a Sun Singletrack rim laced to a Commencal hub and id be happy with another one of those for the front for now. There's one on FB for £15 but the seller is not answering any messages (nothing for 3 weeks). Its a weird hub on it...a Fat Joint?! Tried googling but no joy but it is 20mm bolt thru. Anyway, just trying to assess my options:

1) hold out for the cheapie on FB if the seller wakes up, try to find some compatible cup adapters if needed 2(could be tricky with such an obscure hub) for the 888 fork and spend the rest on some nice new pedals etc?

2) move the Halo Freedoms to the Commencal and buy something budgety but strong and nice looking for the Kona? Always liked the sound of the Halo SAS (like I said, not bothered by weight) and thought about building my own wheels set around them. Doesn't appear to work out any cheaper when you add up the components though and perhaps spending near £300 on a bike worth less is daft.

3) Buy a set of Halo Chaos/sun mtx 33s or similar (not that familiar with Halos their current range) in 26" for the DH bike, but again new a bit more that I'd like to spend on a cheap bike.

3) Hold out on ebay and appeal to the wider online mtb community (such as you guys) to see if someone has a redundant 26" wheelset or front Sun singletrack 20mm bolt thru gathering dust in their garage that they want gone? Imagine there's quite a few about not being used with the switch to 27.5/29".

Any advice, tips or offers would be very much appreciated and apologies for the rather long post! 🙏
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