Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Question about wheels for light weight rider
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01-22-11, 03:52 PM
I have a new (old) bike coming to me that I am considering using for long distance rides and plan to change the wheels on it as they are tubulars, which I have no experience with. I will keep them because the are original to the bike, but will get new wheels to ride with. My question is, being only 130 lbs, are 32 spoke count both front and back fine? Would 36 rear and 32 front be overkill for randonneuring? I do have a bike I have done centuries on with 32s front and rear and have had no problems, but I have not been carrying anything, no fenders or lights. I am also considering going to 650b on the new bike and wonder if it would make 32 spokes front and rear absolutely enough due to the added strength of the smaller diameter?
01-22-11, 06:52 PM
I have my rando single torn down for a repaint. My old Rolf wheels are worn out, and I'll be replacing them with these:
My philosophy of randonneuring is to get up the road with as little effort as possible. Just get 'er done.
We run 36H rims on our tandem, 300 lb. team. Yeah, 32 spokes would be fine. 28 would be fine. As would 20 or 24. Depends on the whole build of the wheel, especially the rim.
01-22-11, 07:30 PM
I run lower count spokes that 32, and have for years. I weigh almost twice what you weigh(220-240). I run 32 spoke wheels on my tandem. A good quality 32spoke wheel should suit you fine for all the rando miles you care to put on them. Switching to 650b wheels will necessitate a change in brakes as well. Seems like a lot of money to put into an "older bike."
01-22-11, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like 32 will be more than enough for me. I was hoping that would be the case. Since I am already replacing the wheels, going to 650b won't really cost any more and I have been wanting to do a 650b conversion for a while. I think the bikes current brakes might have enough reach but will know for sure when it gets here and I throw some 650b wheels/tires that I have. Unfortunately those wheels are 40 spoke/36 spoke count and I would like to save some weight by getting new ones for the bike. I just happen to like old, lugged, steel frame bikes, and this one is very light weight as it was the top of the line when it was new. If the 650b wheels don't work I will not mind sticking with 700c.
01-23-11, 10:27 AM
Wheel weight isn't exactly a big issue for brevet riding. The importance of wheel weight is thought to be of more importance for time-trialing and sprinting. Now-a-days its impossible to predict wheel qualities from simply discussing spoke arrangements.
If I were you I'd use the same wheels that anyone else would use on a brevet. Simply being light isn't a reason to take chances with non-standard equipment. Or maybe going fast is more important than finishing to you.
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