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Thread: Strong 700 rim

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    Strong 700 rim

    Hey everyone. I hope you are cool with a noob dropping by with a question.

    This fall I gave myself a graduation gift in the form of a new commuter bike (a Marin Fairfax). Eight months later I start losing multiple spokes on my rear wheel despite my best efforts to keep things true. I was perfectly happy to accept the idea that the bike wasn't designed to carry someone of my weight (225 lbs) off the shelf. But, what I wasn't ready for was the people at the bike shop showing me $200 and $300 wheel sets that were "a little" stronger than what I was replacing. Eventually, I paid $90 for a rear wheel with a Mavic CXP22 rim and a Shimano 2200 hub (I think it is this one). But I wasn't exactly filled with confidence that the new wheel would last longer than the 8 months that the first one did.

    I would like to hear some suggestions as to what I should do when I blow this next wheel. If this is going to be a recurring expense (please, somebody, tell me it doesn't have to be) I should definitely take advantage of the internet to maximize the strength/$. However, the online stores don't exactly list their offerings by strength. As I mentioned, I'm 225 lbs (and put a lot of oomph on the pedals) and have a commute that is 10 miles round trip. The trip is entirely on paved roads (although the road quality leaves a lot to be desired) and is mostly flat.

    Thanks.

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    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBigJ
    Hey everyone. I hope you are cool with a noob dropping by with a question.

    This fall I gave myself a graduation gift in the form of a new commuter bike (a Marin Fairfax). Eight months later I start losing multiple spokes on my rear wheel despite my best efforts to keep things true. I was perfectly happy to accept the idea that the bike wasn't designed to carry someone of my weight (225 lbs) off the shelf. But, what I wasn't ready for was the people at the bike shop showing me $200 and $300 wheel sets that were "a little" stronger than what I was replacing. Eventually, I paid $90 for a rear wheel with a Mavic CXP22 rim and a Shimano 2200 hub (I think it is this one). But I wasn't exactly filled with confidence that the new wheel would last longer than the 8 months that the first one did.

    I would like to hear some suggestions as to what I should do when I blow this next wheel. If this is going to be a recurring expense (please, somebody, tell me it doesn't have to be) I should definitely take advantage of the internet to maximize the strength/$. However, the online stores don't exactly list their offerings by strength. As I mentioned, I'm 225 lbs (and put a lot of oomph on the pedals) and have a commute that is 10 miles round trip. The trip is entirely on paved roads (although the road quality leaves a lot to be desired) and is mostly flat.

    Thanks.

    I will base my recommendations on your riding style (commuting on variable quality roads), your weight (225 lbs), and your desire for strength/reliability.

    Rims: Mavic A719 (36hole) - this rim is heavy duty and great for a reliable commuter or touring.
    Hubs: Shimano 36h - any of 105, Ultegra, LX, or XT would be very good. Reliable and easy to service.
    Spokes: 14/15 double butted - Wheelsmith or DT (use brass nipples).

    I say that you are better off with a 36 spoke wheel, based on your weight. Get wheels with a 3x spoke pattern. This is tried and true and very reliable. You could either have these made at a reputable shop, or look around and find something stock. A front and rear made to these specs would probably cost $300-350, but would be well worth it and likely last a long time. A great commuter tire, if you've never seen them, is the Panaracer T-Serv. They are very tough and pretty light at the same time.

    Good luck with your next set of wheels!
    "Work is the curse of the drinking class."
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    Mavic A719, Velocity Dyad, Alex Adventurer, Sun CR-18.

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    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    x2 on the velocity Dyad. Many messengers here in NYC use them on their work wheels.
    For absolute strength in a rim, consider the Velocity deep Vs. They are ugly depending on your tastes, a little heavy too, but are strong contenders when it comes to choosing the strongest rim possible.

    Personally I use cxp22s because they're cheap and strong.

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    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    I agree with cascade, but for me, the 36 spoke on the rear wheel is essential for someone "about your kilograms". Take good quality stainless steel spokes, as thick as possible.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Add the Mavic MA40 to the list of rims. I built a set of those for a 240 lb velodrome rider, and they never needed truing. As with te above posts, 36 spokes with a 4x pattern would be good for a guy of your size. If you decide to get wheels like these, find a good local builder then find a deal on the parts. $50 in labor will get you a set of wheels built for YOU, not the average joe out there.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think you are right about the 36 spoke rims. I wonder why they never suggested that at the bike shop (especially after I repeatedly asked if there was something they could order that would be better suited to my needs.)

    Another question I had: when I was being shown all the different wheels at the store, all the most expensive and "best" wheels had spoke configurations where the spokes came into the hub perpendicular (as opposed to the more conventional configuration where the spokes enter the hub tangentially). The people at the store claimed this was a stronger setup, and while I can imagine it might be stronger for road bumps it seems like it would be weaker for accelerating and braking. Is this spoke configuration really stronger? Why? Or were the people at the store just guessing that more money=stronger?

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    Senior Member masi61's Avatar
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    Here is another contender for a brute workhorse of a rim: http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp...t=260&brand=71.
    I haven't tried them myself and they say they are for "29'er" use which I believe is a specific mountain bike configuration where they use 700c wheels and disc brake hubs. But these have machined sidewalls so I would think they would make an awesome touring or commuting rim that would lace up to your choice of hubs perfect.

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    I'm gonna break with the crowd a little bit here and suggest that maybe the quality of the wheel build had more to do with the problems you had than the wheel itself. A 32 holer built up well shouldn't have too much of a problem with someone your size, but on a bike in that range the wheel probably wasn't built with a whole lot of TLC. Hopefully the new one will be better for you, but it might be worth having a pro rebuild it for you if the shop didn't build it themselves. Should be about a $40 job. The wheel you have now is pretty good, BTW -- I have a set of those rims sitting on my couch right now, and they're great for the money. But even your old wheel could have been built up properly and lasted you years and years.

    Also, if you remember which side your spokes broke on, you might have been suffering from what Sheldon Brown describes under the heading "Half Radial" near the bottom of this page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBigJ
    Hey everyone. I hope you are cool with a noob dropping by with a question.

    This fall I gave myself a graduation gift in the form of a new commuter bike (a Marin Fairfax). Eight months later I start losing multiple spokes on my rear wheel despite my best efforts to keep things true. I was perfectly happy to accept the idea that the bike wasn't designed to carry someone of my weight (225 lbs) off the shelf. But, what I wasn't ready for was the people at the bike shop showing me $200 and $300 wheel sets that were "a little" stronger than what I was replacing. Eventually, I paid $90 for a rear wheel with a Mavic CXP22 rim and a Shimano 2200 hub (I think it is this one). But I wasn't exactly filled with confidence that the new wheel would last longer than the 8 months that the first one did.

    I would like to hear some suggestions as to what I should do when I blow this next wheel. If this is going to be a recurring expense (please, somebody, tell me it doesn't have to be) I should definitely take advantage of the internet to maximize the strength/$. However, the online stores don't exactly list their offerings by strength. As I mentioned, I'm 225 lbs (and put a lot of oomph on the pedals) and have a commute that is 10 miles round trip. The trip is entirely on paved roads (although the road quality leaves a lot to be desired) and is mostly flat.

    Thanks.
    A well built 32 hole hub should easily be able to cater for you. I would get exising one rebuilt. I had the same ****e from LBS about the 36 hole one, fixed 2 spokes myself, tensioned it and 2 years later not one broken spoke. Rim wore out due to v brakes but that is normal after 8k miles in Ireland on roads over here.

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    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    I'd wait and see how the new one does before getting too concerned. But if it does give you trouble, I'd look for a Mavic CXP33 or Velocity Deep V (deeper cross-section), or a Sun CR-18 or Mavic A719 (wider). If built right, 32 holes would be fine and would allow you to re-use either or your rear hubs (although 36 is probably a safer bet and those hubs are hardly worth re-using). If you are wanting a good back-up option to have on hand right now, consider something like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Ritchey-Rock-Pro...QQcmdZViewItem
    Last edited by dtrain; 04-20-06 at 12:06 PM.
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    CR-18 if you don't mind a rim thats a tad bit wide. Good price to.

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    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    I use Mavic A719s. They're nice and bombproof...

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    look into the shimano R535 (or their succesors)-- this is a wheel with fewer spokes, they are paired, but they are bomb proof. The wheel is a little heavy, but I have hit potholes and it has NEVER been out of true-- and the pair I have are on the bike over 4 years now, with over 10,000 miles on them. I have had to replace the tires

    train safe-

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBigJ
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I think you are right about the 36 spoke rims. I wonder why they never suggested that at the bike shop (especially after I repeatedly asked if there was something they could order that would be better suited to my needs.)

    Another question I had: when I was being shown all the different wheels at the store, all the most expensive and "best" wheels had spoke configurations where the spokes came into the hub perpendicular (as opposed to the more conventional configuration where the spokes enter the hub tangentially). The people at the store claimed this was a stronger setup, and while I can imagine it might be stronger for road bumps it seems like it would be weaker for accelerating and braking. Is this spoke configuration really stronger? Why? Or were the people at the store just guessing that more money=stronger?
    The phisical explenation I do not know, but for sure is related the way the force vectores are transmited from the rim through the spoke to the hub and from the hub to the adjacent spokes and back to the rim again. For sure in the "prependicular" spoke configuracion (in reality tangencial spoke patern) the sum of all forces result in a less moment afecting the hub.

    About your wheel, again I say, if you do not want to think about your back wheel in the future, take a 36 spoke semitangencial patern (as you refered "tangencial")

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBigJ
    Another question I had: when I was being shown all the different wheels at the store, all the most expensive and "best" wheels had spoke configurations where the spokes came into the hub perpendicular (as opposed to the more conventional configuration where the spokes enter the hub tangentially). The people at the store claimed this was a stronger setup, and while I can imagine it might be stronger for road bumps it seems like it would be weaker for accelerating and braking. Is this spoke configuration really stronger? Why? Or were the people at the store just guessing that more money=stronger?
    If you mean perpendicular as in radial laced, that is the WEAKEST configuratioin, but very light weight. Let me tell you a little about bike shops. I worked at one as a mechanic, and the dealers were always asking my advice for what parts to put on their bike. In most cases, the dealers have no clue what they're talking about, so they just say more $$$ is better, especially since they usually get commission. Go figure, you're better off listening to a bunch of internet junkies than actually going to a shop for auggestions.

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    The "perpendicular" spoke setup you are referring to is radial lacing, and it is most definitely NOT stronger than a standard 3-cross pattern (your "tangential" pattern). The 3x is regarded as just about the strongest lacing pattern available.

    I have 36 hole track wheels built on CXP-33's, as recommended by a friend of mine who is a very highly regarded shop veteran. They haven't proven wrong yet.

    I also have a fair amount of mileage on Salsa Delgado-X cyclocross/touring rims built to WTB LaserDisc Lite hubs (32-hole) on my 29"er mountain bike. I weigh about 200lbs, and I've been riding them for a year and a half with no problems. The original wheel build was solid and properly tensioned, so the only maintenance they have needed was an initial tension check at the 30-day mark.

    The DT TK 7.1's are also very good rims, but they aren't cheap. The Salsa's are a very reliable rim, and they are pretty reasonable. If a bunch of guys can race 29"er mountain bikes on the Delgado's, you should be able to commute on them.

    I'll also agree that Shimano hubs are a great value for the price, and they are easily serviceable. They aren't the lightest on the market, but they're cheap and fairly reliable.

    As others have said, the initial wheel build is one of the most important things. The build will usually cost you $25-40 per wheel (just for the labor), but it's worth it. If you spend +/-$200 (total) for a custom-built rear wheel, it should last you a LONG time - quite a bit longer than that $90 wheel you're on. Ride it until it fails, and then buy a good custom-built wheel or wheelset. If you buy mail order, take it to a shop and have them re-tension it, b/c machine-built wheels generally don't have even tension.

    In my opinion, you need to go to a different bike shop. The people helping you don't seem to really know what they are talking about or have your best interests at heart. Sounds like they simply wanted to sell you something they already had in the shop instead of what you really need.

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    I think he's talking about paired spokes, not radial lacing. There aren't too many all-radial 700c rear wheels in captivity, whereas I'm betting he was shown some snazzy paired spoke bontragers or some other such race gear.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis Buxton
    The "perpendicular" spoke setup you are referring to is radial lacing, and it is most definitely NOT stronger than a standard 3-cross pattern (your "tangential" pattern). The 3x is regarded as just about the strongest lacing pattern available.
    That depends on how many spokes there are. 36 spokes are most tangential in a 4X pattern, 32 spokes are 3X and 24 are 2X (28 falls in between 2X and 3X). Most track sprinters run 36 spokes 4X in the rear wheel for strength, sometimes even tie and solder the crosses as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Landgolier
    I think he's talking about paired spokes, not radial lacing. There aren't too many all-radial 700c rear wheels in captivity, whereas I'm betting he was shown some snazzy paired spoke bontragers or some other such race gear.
    So many rear wheels have a radial laced non-drive side now, I figured that was what he's talking about. But I don't remember which models are paired, etc.

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    Hi all,

    I am going with what Landgolier said. Anytime I hear of multiple spokes breaking on a fairly decent wheel I wonder who built it. I weight 200 lbs and had a excellant wheel builder build me a set of mavic open roads with 32 spokes. I have approx 15000 miles on the set with just 2 very minor spoke adjustments and one broken spoke. I have hit objects in the road that have knocked me almost a foot in the air and several pretty good crashes. I am very wary of mail order wheels etc and sets that come with the bike. No substitute for having someone you know and trust build the wheel for you. The prices of wheel sets are just getting stupid.(minor rant*S*)

    Bikinguy

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    ^ Very good point. The OP should just find a decent wheel builder and have him/her build up a set of wheels. NOS Mavic rims are always on sale on ebay for great prices. You could get a decent pair of rims for $20-30 on ebay, go to the LBS or online and get an Ultegra hubset for $150, buy the correct length 14g spokes for about $30, and pay a master builder $25-30 per wheel to build them up. Full set of bulletproof, hand tensioned wheels for about $250.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBigJ
    ...I start losing multiple spokes on my rear wheel despite my best efforts to keep things true. I was perfectly happy to accept the idea that the bike wasn't designed to carry someone of my weight (225 lbs) off the shelf. But, what I wasn't ready for was the people at the bike shop showing me $200 and $300 wheel sets that were "a little" stronger than what I was replacing. Eventually, I paid $90 for a rear wheel with a Mavic CXP22 rim and a Shimano 2200 hub (I think it is this one). But I wasn't exactly filled with confidence that the new wheel would last longer than the 8 months that the first one did.

    I would like to hear some suggestions as to what I should do when I blow this next wheel. If this is going to be a recurring expense (please, somebody, tell me it doesn't have to be) I should definitely take advantage of the internet to maximize the strength/$. However, the online stores don't exactly list their offerings by strength. As I mentioned, I'm 225 lbs (and put a lot of oomph on the pedals) and have a commute that is 10 miles round trip. The trip is entirely on paved roads (although the road quality leaves a lot to be desired) and is mostly flat.
    People in our weight range shouldn't be breaking spokes on a regular basis...at least I know I don't.

    Most likely your problem was caused by mono-buttocked wheelbuilding technique and/or cheesy spokes. There's no particular reason to think that you will have trouble with your new wheel unless you're an abusive rider.

    You need to make sure you're not "lead assing" over the bumps...need to raise slightly off the saddle and let your bent knees act as "shock absorbers."

    Also, avoid mounting "cowboy style"...this is very abusive to the wheels.

    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/starting for an explanation of this term.

    It always surprises me when people think that the answer to a spoke breakage issue is a different rim! If you're breaking spokes, it's a spoke problem, not a rim problem.

    Sheldon "It's The Spokes, Folks!" Brown
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    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight
    ^ Very good point. The OP should just find a decent wheel builder and have him/her build up a set of wheels. NOS Mavic rims are always on sale on ebay for great prices. You could get a decent pair of rims for $20-30 on ebay, go to the LBS or online and get an Ultegra hubset for $150, buy the correct length 14g spokes for about $30, and pay a master builder $25-30 per wheel to build them up. Full set of bulletproof, hand tensioned wheels for about $250.
    +1 for this line of advice. However, I think the price for Mavic rims is a bit understated here - unless they are quite old or slightly used. Generally, even their NOS stuff seems to hold it's value very well. A pair of CXP33's will be something like $70-90/pair plus shipping. Open Pro's that have been hanging in someone garage for 5 years still fetch at least $60/pair. Shoot, even Sun CR-18's are closer to $50/pair by the time you account for shipping.

    Certainly Sheldon has a point about us focusing too much on the rim as the problem...but I doubt he'd suggest that someone go to the trouble and expense of having a wheel completely rebuilt around a Formula hub or Alex rim without taking the opportunity to upgrade the quality of these parts. Maybe I'm wrong, though.
    Last edited by dtrain; 04-20-06 at 04:31 PM.
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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    dtrain you're right. The mavic rims I saw on ebay are already up to $26 a pair with 2 days left, and $46 a pair with 3 hours left. That makes me feel better, because about 5 years ago I built up a set of MA40s on Sachs hubs, al of which I got at a bike swapmeet for $5/rim and $5/hub! The spokes cost more than the rest. Ahh well, still not a bad idea to have them built professionally, even for $300/set.

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    Ok, I have a bit more confidence now that my new wheel might actually last. It wasn't hand built, but they did go over the spokes before they handed it over to me and it had a much more solid feel to it than I've ever felt on a wheel before. I was a little concerned when they said there was not a re-tightening included with the purchase after a month...

    I'll definitely look into finding a good wheel builder in my area. Anyone have any favorites in the Boston area?

    Going back to the rims for a second (although I think I've been convinced that the build is more important) I'm curious as to what I should look for when I choose a rim. Here's what I dug up on the suggestions in this thread:

    Reference rims: (weight) (approx price) (style)
    Alex DC19 (replaced) 530g ? V
    Mavic CXP22 (current) 490g $43 V

    Suggestions
    Mavic A719 564 70 V
    Velocity Dyad 480 53 V
    Mavic MA40 (couldn't find this one)
    Alex Adventurer 520 35 Box
    Sun CR18 575 38 Box
    DT Swiss TK7.1 540 74 V
    Velocity Deep V 520 55 V

    (Prices mostly came from Speedgoat--is this the recommended e-tailer for bike parts?)

    Looking at the pictures, it seems like there is two basic styles. A "V" shaped inner wheel, and an interior with 3 interior 'boxes' for strength. Is there a consensus on which is stronger? I guess the other stat to look at is the depth of the V as this will influence the strength.

    I guess my question is, when I look at a chart like this (or perhaps the chart I SHOULD have made) what should I be looking at? How should I evaluate these rims for my needs?
    Go figure, you're better off listening to a bunch of internet junkies than actually going to a shop for auggestions.
    This has been well established in any area I have cared to get involved in. Thanks again for the advise.

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