Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - 20 spoke wheel durability?
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10-01-10, 08:30 AM
I'm still trying to piece together a cross bike, with used parts scrounged up and a few cheap ones from ebay.
I'm putting the bb/crankset from my road bike on, because I wanted to upgrade those components anyway.
I was going to use my road wheels for this cross bike - but now I'm worrying that I'll damage/wear them out. They have 20 aero spokes apiece.
Will riding around muddy fields and light trails be an issue for these? I'd rather not destroy them...but also don't want to buy new wheels for this cross experiment.
I don't think I'd do it. I've recently been convinced that there are wheels available with low spoke count that can be used for CX, but I still would only do it with wheels that are intended for CX. (I'm thinking specifically of the Roval Pave from Specialized.) The fact that you've got aero spokes tells me those wheels are built for speed, not durabiltiy.
If I were going to get new wheels to do this on the cheap, I'd probably go for 105 hubs, Mavic CXP22 rims and DT Competition spokes. Depending on what you weigh, you could use 28 or 32 spokes (assuming you can find such a wheel with 28 spokes). Looking at used wheels, I would be weary of anything at the low end that had already been used for CX. The CXP22 wheels are tough and cheap, so that might be something to look for.
On the other hand, I raced all last year on a set of wheels with cheap Alex rims and Tiagra (rear)/Deore (front) hubs with 32 spokes, and they held up beautifully under my 190+ pounds. The quality of the build is huge.
10-01-10, 11:36 AM
How about my Mavic Aksiums...I plan on using these for my current build but should I reconsider?
10-01-10, 12:30 PM
I weigh 138, which might help.
10-01-10, 01:02 PM
I'm old school, so I'd suggest 3x 32 spoke Mavic reflex, Tubulars,.. maybe a 28, 1x or, radial spoke for the front.
My 16" front wheel on my Brompton is a 20 spoke..
would be few an far between on a 700c wheel.
10-01-10, 01:25 PM
"How about my Mavic Aksiums...I plan on using these for my current build but should I reconsider?"
Those are fairly bombproof. I've raced on Ksyriums Equipes and never knocked them out of true.
10-01-10, 01:30 PM
I weigh 138, which might help.
It depends on your riding style. I haven't had any issue using light road wheel for CX. My feeling is that the wider tires absorb significant impact. My race wheel set are Mavic Heliums (tubs) and I weigh 170 but I ride "light".
I'm 172lbs racing on my steel frankenbike with my old Campy Vento (http://pedalforce.com/online/images/camp_ws_vento.jpg) wheelset for the second season in a row. I alternate between these and 32h Open Pros with double butted spokes.
The Open Pros have needed serious truing 4 times, the Ventos never. The deeper rim probably helps. I usually bottom out at least a couple of times per race. I cringe at the sound, but they've held up fine. (I probably just jinxed myself.)
Already stated above, wide tires + low pressure absorb most of the impact.
10-01-10, 06:49 PM
Last year, I ran some cheapie Shimano WHR500 wheels that I picked up ebay. 20 spokes front, 24 rear. They did OK, just required a bit of truing. Most courses (around here, at least the ones that I rode on) aren't that technically demanding.
10-01-10, 08:30 PM
Just run what you have.
10-01-10, 10:41 PM
At least you are going around and around a course thats a loop,
if it breaks you just have to walk a short ways.
10-05-10, 12:29 AM
If you can afford more durable wheels i'd do that. It seems that the less you care about weight and aero the cheaper everything gets. I've popped expensive 20 spoke wheels but i'm 200#. The thick cross tires should help... but if you're going to use the wheels for your roadie again later cyclocross might beat them up pretty bad not just from the rough ride but from the sand, mud, dust, water, ect.
10-05-10, 02:37 AM
I have used a 16 spoke wheel for the front, and it made it through the race, but it did need some significant truing. My regular front wheel is a 24 spoke wheel, and I've used it for several seasons now with only minor truing. I do have a 20h track wheel that i think would hold up fine (high flange, and deep rim). I think it a lot depends on the rim and how well you can ride. I'd say at your weight most 20h wheels would be fine for the front, but I would personally want a few more spokes for the rear (I use 32...)
I weigh 195 and ran 16/20 spoke Shimano RS20s for two races, two training races, and LOTs of single track. I recently got a set of Aksiums for my cross tires and put the RS20s on road/commuter duty, but Aksiums are everywhere at races and come stock on more than a few cross bikes.and i was riding a single track loop the other day with a 6" ledge and was repeatedly bunny hopping off that. I think they'll be fine. so far so good anyway
10-05-10, 08:02 AM
You won't have a problem at all at just 138 lbs IMO. Run what you have.
10-05-10, 12:05 PM
Yeah thats what I'm doing. I did a good couple hours on rough terrain this weekend and they were fine. If I do end up killing them, I'll just worry about it come spring.
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