Touring - Bontrager SSR 20 spoke wheels?
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03-23-07, 12:53 PM
Hello all, my 2006 Trek 7.5 FX has slowly morphed over the last year. Trekking Bars, Freddy Fenders, 35 Marathon Tires and now a front rack & pannier set up. It's my everyday commuter but the more I look at it the more I wanna start doing some touring with it. So my question is this, are the stock Bontrager SSR wheels (20 spokes front & 24 spokes rear) just not sufficient enough for "real touring"? I'm thinking I might take it to the LBS & see about some thicker/stronger spokes. I don't want to buy a new wheel-set.
03-23-07, 01:30 PM
I wouldn't trust them for loaded trouring. 36 spoke is the recommended amount, 20 is alot less.
Maybe invest in a spare set of wheels for touring.
03-23-07, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the repy, I kind of thought as much with 20/24 spokes. I think I'll do some small weekend or so trips & if I really enjoy it pony up the cash for another wheel-set. Wait a second, this may give me a reason to buy another bike. :p
The Human Car
03-25-07, 03:07 PM
FWIW I love my Bontrager Select wheels for touring (also on a Trek 7.5 FX.) I have had no serious issues while touring with these wheels (though I have had rare car free issues in the city trying to haul too much stuff too fast over too rough of roads.) I tried Maverick 36 spoke rims and I did not like them at all (kept busting spokes.)
I would recommend trying a short tour near home to see how the wheels work out for you. While the conventional wisdom may be that strength is only in ridgednes (more spokes) I think flexibility (fewer spokes) can have strength as well. Standard disclaimer: YMMV
The usual recomendation is that you need rigidness either way, with small numbers of spokes, you need deeper rims, with floppy rims you need sufficient spokes. I think a flexible rim made with tension only spokes (aerowheel type is a different mater) is asking for trouble.
In that book called Wheelbuilding, there is a story about a 24 spoke wheelset they built to hammer on MTB style and that they then hammered with a 1000 miles loaded tour (which is long, but also short in the big picture). Personally I think 20 spoke wheels are pretty ridiculous unless you are world class athlete who measures success in seconds, and weighs what that kind of rider does, but a person might get away with it anyway.
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