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  1. #1
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    Trek 7500 2009 - Bontrager rims low spoke count

    Hello,

    I am about to buy a Trek 7500 2009 with the low spoke count Bontrager rims 18 front 24 rear and i weigh about 225 + usually 10lbs of misc carryons, water, tools ect.

    I'm starting to have reservations about these Bontrager SSR wheels especially when i now see that the 2010 has increased the spoke count to 24 fron 28 rear.

    Does this indicate that the 2009 low spoke count model may have been an insufficient design per chance?

    Thanks for any insights!
    BobK

  2. #2
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    low spoke wheels + over 200 lb rider = trouble

    Even a well made, properly tensioned wheel will start to go out of true with a clydesdale on board. Best to go with 32 hole spoke rims like a Mavic Open Pro.

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    For that weight the best bet is a 36 spoked wheel built with doubled butted spokes. Low spoke count wheels are marketing hype.

  4. #4
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    For that weight the best bet is a 36 spoked wheel built with doubled butted spokes. Low spoke count wheels are marketing hype.
    +2

    Yup. It costs the manufacturer less to put these low-spoke count accidents on the bikes. And their marketeers tell us "They're Cool!" Phooey. I got rid of my Trek wheels that came stock with 20-front and 24-rear. In pairs. Built up a nice set of "real" wheels.
    Last edited by Panthers007; 10-05-09 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Oops! Sp.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    Think 5 year wheel warranty, lifetime frame warranty. No one has been hurt from cracked spoke eyelets that I know of.
    It's not rocket surgery.

  6. #6
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hamer View Post
    Think 5 year wheel warranty, lifetime frame warranty. No one has been hurt from cracked spoke eyelets that I know of.
    Think of wheels that spent most of their time in my Park Tool TS-2 - being sworn at.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    I think they are putting a more traditional wheel on the 7500 in 2010 not the paried spoke ones. The Bontrager wheels arent bad for what they are and the 5 year waranty isnt bad either. Buy the bike ride teh snot out of it if you have wheel problems do the waranty return thing and get anoter set.

    So who knows maybe when and if the old ones have a problem they will replace them with the new ones.
    Not all of them go bad I have see wheels ridden by heavier people that are still fine.
    If it looks like the $3000 bikes but costs less than a decent helmet, it probably isn't a wise investment.


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  8. #8
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater View Post
    low spoke wheels + over 200 lb rider = trouble

    Even a well made, properly tensioned wheel will start to go out of true with a clydesdale on board. Best to go with 32 hole spoke rims like a Mavic Open Pro.
    Open Pro is a lousy rim for a Clyde. Much better to go with CXP33 if you must do Mavic. Open Pro is an old design with noisy eyelet problems, but Mavic won't fix it. :-(

    For the record, we haven't had a single problem with SSRs. They've actually been some of the most troublefree wheels we've seen in a while.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
    Open Pro is a lousy rim for a Clyde. Much better to go with CXP33 if you must do Mavic. Open Pro is an old design with noisy eyelet problems, but Mavic won't fix it. :-(
    I agree that the CXP33 is a stronger rim but I do not agree that the Open Pros problem has not been fixed. The earlier Open Pro noise was a rattle caused by loose joint lugs. My Open Pros are 8 years old and have never rattled. I ride some very rough roads and the OP's are completely quiet. I don't know of any other Open Pros having noise problems for several years now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    For that weight the best bet is a 36 spoked wheel built with doubled butted spokes. Low spoke count wheels are marketing hype.
    +1
    Not only are the low spoke wheels a bad idea, the paired spokes present a problem of stabilizing or adjusting the rim in the gaps between the spoke pairs. A heavier rim is used to offset the stability lost from the missing spokes which results in poor climbing or acceleration performance.
    Last edited by Al1943; 10-06-09 at 09:04 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Just to confuse you a little more, I have the Gipiemme Grecal Parade wheels on my Cannondale. They have 16 spokes each. I weigh 215, plus the rack and trunk for commuting. The roads I ride are typical New England- frost heaves and potholes. I have never even had to true these wheels in the 4 seasons I have put onthe bike. So it isn't always about spoke count. A well built low spoke count wheel CAN BE very strong, and a higher spoke count wheel CAN BE garbage. I would ride them and see how it goes. If Trek (and your LBS) is willing to stand behind their product- even if it means swapping them out if they can't do the job, then you really have nothing to worry about.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    My 09' Trek XO1 cross bike came with the Bontrager wheel set with 18/24 spokes. Other than breaking one spoke, due to picking up some barbed wire while riding in the woods, the wheels have run true. I weigh 190 lbs and use the bike for cross practice and racing, as well as use the bike for as a foul weather bike in place of my road bike. Based on the abuse the bike takes in cross races and training I would say the wheels are bomb proof. In a race last weekend we had to ride off a 1' high ledge onto a hard surface on each of the 6 laps. In cross races the course can also be stony, muddy and bumpy and you just race over the surface as fast as possible and don't have time to take a clean line.

    With a 5 year warranty I wouldn't bat an eye about using those wheels.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  13. #13
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    I agree that the CXP33 is a stronger rim but I do not agree that the Open Pros problem has not been fixed. The earlier Open Pro noise was a rattle caused by loose joint lugs. My Open Pros are 8 years old and have never rattled. I ride some very rough roads and the OP's are completely quiet. I don't know of any other Open Pros having noise problems for several years now.
    I'm talking about the eyelets clicking-especially after a tire change when the wheel has undergone a tension change. You get a sound like running over little tar bubbles in the road on a hot day, or knuckles cracking once per revolution. Removing the tire, tube and rimstrip then putting a few drops of light lube where the eyelets contact the rim is the fix. No other rim I've ever built with does that.

    The Open Pro is an old design and Mavic is trying to kill their rim business, so they aren't expending any energy on it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
    I'm talking about the eyelets clicking-especially after a tire change when the wheel has undergone a tension change. You get a sound like running over little tar bubbles in the road on a hot day, or knuckles cracking once per revolution. Removing the tire, tube and rimstrip then putting a few drops of light lube where the eyelets contact the rim is the fix. No other rim I've ever built with does that.

    The Open Pro is an old design and Mavic is trying to kill their rim business, so they aren't expending any energy on it.
    That kind of clicking means low spoke tension and can happen to any wheel. I've never heard a click.
    I'm certainly not recommending Open Pros for the OP, but think your comments are off-base. Open Pros have been around a long time, there are some lighter similar rims available but they're more expensive. And this OP discussion is OT.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Reed Enwright's Avatar
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    I've got a 06 7500FX with Bontrger low spoke count rims. I weigh about 180 lbs. and the rims have been fine. Lots of curb hopping, light trail and generally abusive riding. I've had to true the rear only.

  16. #16
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capwater View Post
    low spoke wheels + over 200 lb rider = trouble
    A modification - low spoke wheels + broken spoke = carry bike + curse this fad.

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    With a 5 year warranty, I'd go ahead. If it later happens that they are going to replace your wheels on warranty, pay the dilfference and upgrade to 36 spoke wheels, with cartridge bearing hubs. bk

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    With a 5 year warranty, I'd go ahead. If it later happens that they are going to replace your wheels on warranty, pay the dilfference and upgrade to 36 spoke wheels, with cartridge bearing hubs. bk
    Actually radial bearings (cartrige) are cheaper for the hub makers to build. There is no real advantage to us, and the cup and cone bearing is more forgiving of misalignment and misadjustmnet.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
    Open Pro is a lousy rim for a Clyde. Much better to go with CXP33 if you must do Mavic. Open Pro is an old design with noisy eyelet problems, but Mavic won't fix it. :-(

    For the record, we haven't had a single problem with SSRs. They've actually been some of the most troublefree wheels we've seen in a while.
    Never the eyelet always the aluminum piece used to hold the 2 halves of the rim together for welding. I use a punch on either side of the weld to secure the extremely irritating noisemaker. If that doesn't work then drill a small hole and use some epoxy glue. Very irritating sound.
    Open Pros are pretty good and so are CPX33s but, that is a difference in opinions. I have a set of 36 H OP rims on campy hubs "Daytona" (= Centaur) that I built in 2001. Today use on a cross bike and the wheels are still true after 10K miles in mixed use. I am 210 lbs and really beatup the cross wheels on off road riding.
    I ride 32H OP and RR1 rims on the road. Never any problems. I have been riding with friends who have broken spokes on Kryserium, Bontrager, and other low spoke count wheels...usually this ends the ride for them limping home with a wheel that bangs the edges of the stays. I have broken a spoke and I can continue the ridw without any problems. Low spoke count wheels are not safe for Clydes no matter what ANYONE says. Advanced equipment today is designed for the Peleton or a spinoff...however if you ever check out the weight of the riders it averages about 130 lbs...175 is a monster of the Peleton Boonen??? Over 200 lbs then you should be riding a 36H A719 or a TK7.1 rim for a long lasting wheel set. At a minimum a 32H rim will work very well with the good rim.
    Last edited by Deanster04; 10-06-09 at 09:24 PM.

  20. #20
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    That 20-spoked radial wheel, and the 24-spoked X2 that came with my Trek were tensioned at over 200kgf on most (not all) spokes. And that's asking for trouble in my book.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  21. #21
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    My 09' Trek XO1 cross bike came with the Bontrager wheel set with 18/24 spokes. Other than breaking one spoke, due to picking up some barbed wire while riding in the woods, the wheels have run true. I weigh 190 lbs and use the bike for cross practice and racing, as well as use the bike for as a foul weather bike in place of my road bike. Based on the abuse the bike takes in cross races and training I would say the wheels are bomb proof. In a race last weekend we had to ride off a 1' high ledge onto a hard surface on each of the 6 laps. In cross races the course can also be stony, muddy and bumpy and you just race over the surface as fast as possible and don't have time to take a clean line.

    With a 5 year warranty I wouldn't bat an eye about using those wheels.
    A 5 year warranty probably isn't going to be much comfort when you're walking home with the bike slung over your shoulder after 1 spoke breaks and renders the bike unridable. You'll be O.K. Just don't get very far from home...or a bike shop.
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  22. #22
    Hell bent for pleather fatsoforgotso's Avatar
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    While I agree that a wheel with a higher spoke count is better for general riding and commuting, and requires less effort to keep its trueness, I think people are getting paranoid about this.

    I've been at around 200lbs bodyweight and have used 20 spoked wheels (Mavic Cosmics) for some fair mileage with no problem whatsoever (up till now). The roads around here have more potholes than a bombed airfield.

    Granted, with low spoke wheels you really have to avoid potholes, pray that the unavoidable/invisible pothole is not too serious, and remember that a single broken spoke is enough to render the bike unrideable.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobk544 View Post
    (...)Does this indicate that the 2009 low spoke count model may have been an insufficient design per chance?(...)
    That's a real possibility, as is the hypothesis that the old 24 spoked wheel was regarded by potential buyers as fragile, so Trek may have upped the count to 28 just to dismiss their fears. Again, I agree that the 28 spoked wheel is the stronger one, all things being equal, and having 4 extra spokes doesn't hurt, but how necessary is this really?
    you know, there's nothing worse than roadside surgery...

  23. #23
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster04 View Post
    Never the eyelet always the aluminum piece used to hold the 2 halves of the rim together for welding.
    <shrugs> Then explain why the noise, which clearly isn't coming from the joint, disappeared after placing one drop of ProLink at every eyelet....

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster04 View Post
    Low spoke count wheels are not safe for Clydes no matter what ANYONE says.
    What about tandems?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
    <shrugs> Then explain why the noise, which clearly isn't coming from the joint, disappeared after placing one drop of ProLink at every eyelet....
    That's a problem with the build, not the rim.

  25. #25
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    That's a problem with the build, not the rim.
    Conjecture. I know for a fact the build is good. Would it help if I told you our old Mavic rep said it was a known issue?

    Bottom line is there are better rims in the 435g range than the OP.

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