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  1. #1
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    Rear wheel for a heavy rider.

    I'm 6'6" - 245 lbs. My original equipment rear wheel is beginning to have spoke troubles. I have heard that I should replace the original with a wheel with more spokes.

    My equipment details are:

    Bike - 2005 Specialized Roubaix 62 CM
    Original Wheel - ALX 290 EXA 622x14 24 Spokes
    Rear Derailleur - Shimano Ultegra
    Rear Brake - Shimano 105

    Any advise regarding wheel make/model/configuration will be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks - GR

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest a Rhyno Lite with XT hub, but I suppose it's not the right combination for your bike.

  3. #3
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I've met this guy in his shop, read a few years of his contributions to rec.bicycles.tech, and know his reputation as a wheelbuilder.

    I'd pop him an e-mail or give him a call. There are likely a few who are as good, but I doubt there are any who are better.

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  4. #4
    ppc
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenRiver
    I'm 6'6" - 245 lbs. My original equipment rear wheel is beginning to have spoke troubles. I have heard that I should replace the original with a wheel with more spokes.
    I weigh 260 lbs (and used to weigh more). While better quality wheels are always a plus, there is really only one thing that'll make your wheel solid, durable and true for you: correct spoke tension. To give you an idea, my commuter bike, which I abuse hard, has $20 supermarket wheels front and rear, and they work fine. My previous MTB had cheap Mavics on it and I regularly took 3 foot drops with it, again without any trouble with the wheels.

    Being heavier, my experience is that when I get a new rear wheel, I ride a little with it first (10 to 100 miles, depending on the quality of the wheel), then the wheel gets out of true and the spokes lose their tensions because they have bedded in. So I re-tighten the spokes to their proper tension and retrue the wheel, and the wheel usually stays fine and true for the rest of its life. Sometimes I have to retrue the wheel a third time after 1000 miles, especially if it takes a lot of abuse, but that's just normal aging.

    Learn to true a wheel and you'll never have to spend more money than needed on wheels. To re-true a new wheel like I describe, you can usually do it on the bike in 30 minutes, it's not hard. Also, no need for an expensive tool to check spokes tension, simply get a tuning fork and use the musical method to check the tension: http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/tension.htm.

    Keep your money to buy other stuffs, your wheels are probably fine if you tune them up good.

  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I suggest you try Velocity Deep V rims. Get a 28 or 32 hole with Competition spokes. ANd a pretty hub, the hub is nost so critical here. Just dont get one thats all carbon fiber
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  6. #6
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    For a road bike, my guess is that any off the shelf 36 spoke wheel will do the job. I weigh 300 and have weighed as high as 365 and have not had a spoke problem yet.

    It is my impression that with higher end wheels you pay for lightness while retaining strength, not necessarily more strength.

    This does not negate the earlier suggestions here that proper tension and truing is key!

    Enjoy the ride.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, strength as in how much load a wheel takes before it deforms is a function of overall spoke-tension, and to a lesser extent, the rim. So the more spokes you have, the stronger the wheel. Cheapo 27x1-1/4" commuter-bike wheels are pretty bomb-proof, even though the single-section Araya/Weinmann rims are crap.

    If you're having problems with your existing wheels, check the spoke-tension to see if that's possibly the problem. On a 24-hole wheel, spokes should be around the 140-150kgf range of tension. If we don't identify the cause of the problem, you may continue to have the same symptoms.

    So get a 32 or 36-hole rear wheel, it'll spread the load across more spokes. And ppc's right-on about spoke-tension; fatigue failure occurs much faster when spoke-tension's incorrect, too low.

  8. #8
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    Go to your local lbs and have them provide you with a hand-built rear wheel / get a 36 hole rim and hub and have it laced cross four. To match your component mix, I suggest you ask for a 105 hub, a good 420 - 450 gram rim (Velocity, Sun, Mavic, etc), 14/15 gauge spokes, and brass nipples. Such a combination will be reliable, light, provide a nice ride, and be easy to service if need be. Good luck!

  9. #9
    DvB
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    I'm "only" about 195 lbs, and I STILL went with a 36-spoke rear wheel for my newest wheelset. I got Velocity Aerohead OS (offset) rear rims. In case you're not aware, the "center" of these rims (the apex of the aero shape, where the spokes enter) is offset to the non-cassette side, allowing the wheel to be built with less dish and therefore more uniform spoke tension on both sides of the wheel. Done properly, the resulting wheel can be a good bit stronger than one with a traditional design. And just go with 36 spokes. The resulting 20-gram (or so) savings over a 32-spoke wheel is less than two-hundredths of one percent of your total riding weight. Think you'll feel that?

  10. #10
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    Thanks to all for the replies. DvB - a local guy recommended the 36 spoke configuration. I'm sure that I'll be able to bear the extra 20 grams. Thanks again - GR

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