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  1. #1
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    Are ultra lightweight no-name CNC hubs trustworthy?

    A lot of options for super lightweight hubs imported directly from Taiwan. I.e., front hubs that are CNC milled, weigh less then 100 grams, and cost < $50.

    Are these unsafe, especially for a 200+ lb rider? I mean a Dura-Ace front hub exceeds 100 grams and costs 4x as much.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    What can a 200+ pound rider possibly hope to gain by saving a few grams in his hubs?

  4. #4
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Are non-brand name hubs made in Taiwan resold with brand-name labels trustworthy?

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    Are non-brand name hubs made in Taiwan resold with brand-name labels trustworthy?

    =8-)
    Well exactly. The question is whether or not a cheap hub can lead to higher incidences of out-of-true wheels, or whether lead to incidences of catastrophic hub failure when shooting down a hill going 40 miles-per-hour.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    Are non-brand name hubs made in Taiwan resold with brand-name labels trustworthy?

    =8-)
    Well, at least you know who is responsible for them and can assume they've done some testing to assure the strength and reliability since they have a real legal liability if they haven't. A no-name hub sold by who knows who has no vetting at all.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Well, at least you know who is responsible for them and can assume they've done some testing to assure the strength and reliability since they have a real legal liability if they haven't. A no-name hub sold by who knows who has no vetting at all.
    So a Chosen A3633 or A3735 sold by Halo is vetted, tested and assured, but is not without the Halo label?

    So a Novatec track hub is not vetted, tested and assured, but when it carries the label "SOMA", "All City" , "Dimension", "GodSpeed" or "Raleigh" it is?

    So a Formula track hub is not vetted, tested and assured, but it is when it carries the "Origin8" or "IRO" label?

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  8. #8
    Senior Member Delmarva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
    Well exactly. The question is whether or not a cheap hub can lead to higher incidences of out-of-true wheels, or whether lead to incidences of catastrophic hub failure when shooting down a hill going 40 miles-per-hour.
    How.could anyone generalize about the failure rate of a wide range of unbranded hubs? The hub won't fail as a consequence of being spun at 40 mph. Rather it will be from the athena you describe hitting a few bumps while riding. A heavyweight person should not be looking to install the lightest components regardless of whether tbey are branded Shimano, Campy or Taiwan No-name.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    So a Chosen A3633 or A3735 sold by Halo is vetted, tested and assured, but is not without the Halo label?

    So a Novatec track hub is not vetted, tested and assured, but when it carries the label "SOMA", "All City" , "Dimension", "GodSpeed" or "Raleigh" it is?

    So a Formula track hub is not vetted, tested and assured, but it is when it carries the "Origin8" or "IRO" label?

    =8-)
    You happen to know the origin and pedigree of these hubs so you know they can be relied on. The OP does not know if the hub he buys is from any of these known and trusted sources. They may be and they may not. Are the hubs you mention the only ones available so there are no really poor ones too?

  10. #10
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    So a Chosen A3633 or A3735 sold by Halo is vetted, tested and assured, but is not without the Halo label?

    So a Novatec track hub is not vetted, tested and assured, but when it carries the label "SOMA", "All City" , "Dimension", "GodSpeed" or "Raleigh" it is?

    So a Formula track hub is not vetted, tested and assured, but it is when it carries the "Origin8" or "IRO" label?

    =8-)
    No warranty is provided by Wheels By Fleming for its wheels.

    That's the difference between having no name and a name.....
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  11. #11
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    If you want light hubs, I suggest taking a look at American Classic's lineup. They're not cheap, but they're reasonably priced and a good value considering you're getting some very lightweight stuff along with great customer service and warranty support (in my experience, anyway). It's a company you can call and actually talk to someone in customer service who knows what they're talking about and can talk you through any wheelbuilding questions or technical problems/questions you may have with their products, etc. For lightweight wheelbuilds, they're my favorite hub.

    As far as light, strong, and cheap......Keith Bontrager said it best: pick two. There are exceptions, but it's a good general rule to live by when it comes to bicycle stuff.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    1. My point was that the OP was basically starting a circular argument. Hillrider of course took the bait. Bill Kapaun provided the better avenue with a link - focusing instead on CNC versus Forged, flange thicknesses and elbow snug. The link ended by referring to two brands names - but stopped right there. I suspect a primary reason why Sheldon Brown articles are relatively good ones is because they purposely avoid the circular religious run-around stuff...

    2. I've noticed lately that several people, don't know if it's a vicious attack or what, seem to be pointing to a lack of a warranty on my website as part of an argument, even though I haven't attacked any one's person business here. Is this personal? Just curious...

    Now "miamijim", and yes, let's add "SortaGrey"....

    Since you both love to peruse my website, perhaps you'd like to inform everyone here about my limited warranty including the details...yes I actually have one.

    That includes turning on your brains and figuring out why I would state "AS-IS no warranty"...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  13. #13
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    the OPs question was "are they unsafe?" and I think the answer is that they're no less safe than any other hub. That isn't a statment of quality, but reflects that fact that if built with 28h or 32h the demands are pretty low, and sudden catastrophic failure is very rare.

    Even if a flange should crack, the wheel has enough redundancy that it'll continue to hold up, though out of true, so the liklihood is for stranding not injury.

    About the only ways cause injury is by bearing lock up, almost always caused by the bearing adjustment (if any) not being secured and the bearing progressively tightening until the hub locks, which is a serious problem in the front. Rear hubs can also cause an injury if the freewheel mechanism fails under load. Some ultralight hubs skimp there and the pawls sheer off at high loads. This should be of the greatest concern for a heavy rider, especially in a hilly area where the torque load can be significant. While sudden loss of pedaling resistance may not cause direct injury, it can result in loss of control and swerving into a traffic lane.

    Everyone finds his own balance between cost, weight and strength/reliability and there's no perfect answer. Given his weight I'd factor strength a bit more and find a balance between weight and cost.
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  14. #14
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    I didn't "take the bait", I just asked if the broad generality of "Ultra lightweight, no-name CNC hubs" could easily include those not to be trusted. You, on the other hand jumped to their defence because you happened to know of some specific suppliers that made good ones. We are probably both correct. Some are good and some none of us know about.

    Let me propose a hypothetical question; If a potential customer brought you a hub of unknown origin, no maker's or importer's information at all, and asked you to build a wheel on it and asked for assurances the wheel would be sefe and reliable, would you do it?
    Last edited by HillRider; 02-17-12 at 10:13 AM.

  15. #15
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    What can a 200+ pound rider possibly hope to gain by saving a few grams in his hubs?
    A .005% improvement in hill climbing ability or whatever it calculates too. In other words, essentially nothing.

    Don in Austin

  16. #16
    AEO
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    by the way, DA front hubs are heavy because of a few things.
    1) they have a normal sized flange
    2) they use a decent count of ball bearings
    3) they use titanium axles
    4) they use a conventional ball and cone design

    On the other hand, ultra light hubs really shave off what's unneeded
    1) they use very small flanges
    2) they use less balls in their sealed cartridge bearings
    3) they are made entirely out of aluminum
    4) they use a design that allows for an oversized aluminum axle

    I would say that, were it were possible to use the DA front hub for the rear, it would be more than overkill for a that application.

    One caveat with the micro flange design, is that it doesn't allow for as much material to be used in the flange, so this limits its spoke count to a maximum of 28. I would even say that 24 is the ideal spoke count for these hubs. The DA hub does allow for higher spoke counts, so this would make it more suitable for heavier riders.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  17. #17
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    "Some are good and some none of us know about."

    That should have been your answer from the outset...

    Funny thing, there's a bike shop back east - the owner of which who I know - who makes roughly the same statement as you - but appends it with the fact that those of which we do know tend to be re-labels wherever they are sold in the world - and wryly notes that credit for the good ones go to the seller - not the manufacturer...

    Of course, this is old news...Schwinn comes to mind...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  18. #18
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    by the way, DA front hubs are heavy because of a few things.
    1) they have a normal sized flange
    2) they use a decent count of ball bearings
    3) they use titanium axles
    4) they use a conventional ball and cone design

    On the other hand, ultra light hubs really shave off what's unneeded
    1) they use very small flanges
    2) they use less balls in their sealed cartridge bearings
    3) they are made entirely out of aluminum
    4) they use a design that allows for an oversized aluminum axle

    I would say that, were it were possible to use the DA front hub for the rear, it would be more than overkill for a that application.

    One caveat with the micro flange design, is that it doesn't allow for as much material to be used in the flange, so this limits its spoke count to a maximum of 28. I would even say that 24 is the ideal spoke count for these hubs. The DA hub does allow for higher spoke counts, so this would make it more suitable for heavier riders.
    This particular part:

    "One caveat with the micro flange design, is that it doesn't allow for as much material to be used in the flange, so this limits its spoke count to a maximum of 28. I would even say that 24 is the ideal spoke count for these hubs. The DA hub does allow for higher spoke counts, so this would make it more suitable for heavier riders."

    ...brings to mind the occasional weight weenie who'll bring that front hub to me and say, "I want radial lacing..."

    =8-P
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  19. #19
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    This particular part:

    "One caveat with the micro flange design, is that it doesn't allow for as much material to be used in the flange, so this limits its spoke count to a maximum of 28. I would even say that 24 is the ideal spoke count for these hubs. The DA hub does allow for higher spoke counts, so this would make it more suitable for heavier riders."

    ...brings to mind the occasional weight weenie who'll bring that front hub to me and say, "I want radial lacing..."

    =8-P
    I have 2 of those weenie wheels actually.
    novatec A291SB 20h, DT super comp in radial, brass nipples, XR-270
    novatec A291SB 24h, DT comp in 2x, brass nipples, XR-270

    I don't remember the exact weights, but they are both around 700g and they go with the triplet rear wheels I've built on FH-7801, DT comp/super comp, brass nipples, XR-270 which are around 900g each.

    But heck, I'm only 130lbs, so these wheels are perfect for me and only me.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  20. #20
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    I have 2 of those weenie wheels actually.
    novatec A291SB 20h, DT super comp in radial, brass nipples, XR-270
    novatec A291SB 24h, DT comp in 2x, brass nipples, XR-270

    I don't remember the exact weights, but they are both around 700g and they go with the triplet rear wheels I've built on FH-7801, DT comp/super comp, brass nipples, XR-270 which are around 900g each.

    But heck, I'm only 130lbs, so these wheels are perfect for me and only me.
    More beer and peanuts AEO...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  21. #21
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    I've noticed lately that several people, don't know if it's a vicious attack or what, seem to be pointing to a lack of a warranty on my website as part of an argument, even though I haven't attacked any one's person business here. Is this personal? Just curious...

    Now "miamijim", and yes, let's add "SortaGrey"....

    Since you both love to peruse my website, perhaps you'd like to inform everyone here about my limited warranty including the details...yes I actually have one.

    That includes turning on your brains and figuring out why I would state "AS-IS no warranty"...

    =8-)
    I'll agree with 'sortagrey'....

    The reason people get all up on you is that you roll in with your 'I'm right and your wrong' mentality and it just doesnt work like that. I checked your profile...I wanted to see if you have 'street cred', remember the last debate we got into over in C&V? Myself and the 3rd party in the debate threw down our resume's, you didnt. I understand your need to promote your buisness and that's fine....I have nothing to gain or lose in these debates....except my reputation. And I will readily admit that I have learned from your writings......

    You know what's funny? what's funny is that a long time ago when I'd give wheel advice I'd sign of with something like '3,000+ wheel builds since 1984'(which I can back up)...a little ironic that I see that in your sig.....
    Last edited by miamijim; 02-17-12 at 01:21 PM.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  22. #22
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    "The reason people get all up on you is that you roll in with your 'I'm right and your wrong' mentality and it just doesnt work like that."

    Okay, I'll bite...

    1. In the past, I've been accused of being a "know it all" - so to speak - and I've made it very clear that I'm not. One clear indicator of that is that I stay clear of most threads outside that which are wheel related - because either I don't know the material - or I'm behind. (IGH technicals is something I'm very behind on.) And I've said it outright - I don't know everything. This is a fact you can verify yourself - others can do the same for you.

    2. Either I'm right or not on the following:

    - ERD is a reference to the ends of opposing spokes in an already built and functional bicycle wheel. (Yes or No)
    - Dish has a two part definition: One a reference to the appearance of "dish" - one a reference to the centering of the rim between the ends of the locknuts. (Yes or No)
    - Nipple type, and nipple and thread interaction influence a wheelbuilder's decision making process when making an estimate of ERD. (Yes or No)
    - When you modify a spoke length to YOUR preference for the second build of the same wheel - you are no longer using the manufacturer's published ERD but rather your OWN because of the fundamental property of a balanced equation. (Yes or No)

    - When swapping a rim - just comparing ERD's of the current rim and the proposed rim is not good enough. It is a good idea to check if the reference used for the ERDs is the same or close as well. (Yes or No)
    - The tension meters commonly used do not "see" crossings, gauge or spoke length, they just "see" deflection for a given distance of material. (Yes or No)
    - Separation of nipple head from nipple barrel is most commonly caused by a spoke that does not penetrate the rim thickness enough - or not at all. (Yes or No)
    - For all the amount of strength that our current spokes have and can be brought to and applied to a wheel - the rim is a major limiting factor. (Yes or No)

    That's a list of things in the past that people have argued strongly with me on to the point where I've had to be very forceful and direct. For the few that have admitted that I'm right - most go silent. And in many cases others have stepped in noting that I'm correct.

    So what's your answer to each one above?

    3. As to what is relevant to Bicycle Forums - my signature just so happens to be my resume in brief. The rest is in the introduction to my website.

    If you want my much larger resume, feel free to ask - but its awful long - and possibly quite boring.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Some of the difference in terminology usage realates to age (in experience, not biological), and sometimes convenience.

    Take ERD, years ago this was the actual measurement ) of the rim at the nipple seat (effective Rim diameter). On the same rim eyelets would increase the ERD slightly because they moved the nipple outward.

    Most spoke length formulas return the end of the spoke to the ERD, leavinmg them just short of the head of the nipple. Since the spoke has to engage the head, there are two approaches, either add the head engagement desired at the end of the calculation, or add it up front by increasing the ERD accordingly. Problem is that some rim makers now publish "compensated" ERD values, while others publish the raw data, and some calculators build in the correction. There's no consensus here, which is why I measure all rims myself, and use the same calculator each time, adding the nipple height along with the rounding of the result.

    As to dish some use it as a verb, others as an adjective, and some, including myself, refer to a dished wheel or to dishing a wheel only when referring to asymmetry (front wheels aren't dished). Here, it really doesn't matter because the context makes the definition and we all know what is being described.

    Overall, I consider mrrabbit knowledgeable, though a bit rough, but that doesn't bother me because we're all here to help those who ask for it, and as long as nothing seriously wrong is posted, it's all to the good.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  24. #24
    dbg
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    Is this a quiz? Can I play? N, Y, N, Y, Y, Y, Y, Y. (am apparently unsure of ERD dfn)

    My resume: obsessive hobbyist, BS-EE, MS-CS, BA-Geography, CISSP, 100+ wheels built, accepting payment only in liquid form.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  25. #25
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    No offense FBinNY:

    Here's Jobst Brandt discussing ERD, and it just so happens to be the same line taken by Damon Rinard, and the master framebuilder I started out under who is critical of anyone who tries to define or discuss ERD as a standard or fixed reference to a rim per se,


    Source: rec.bicycles.tech via Google Groups


    I think the concept of an Effective Rim Diameter is a mystery to most
    who encounter the concept. Its raison d'etre is that spoke length for
    any given lacing pattern is derived from a diameter that is neither
    the outside or inside diameter of a rim. That is why I chose ERD as a
    determining dimension for spoke length calculation for wheel building
    and defined how it is measured.
    What others have made of it seems to be some sort of fetish whose
    appeal I cannot understand.
    > If someone were to get an ERD quoted for a Mavic rim from spocalc,
    > add 3mm under the mistaken impression that ERD = SSD, then their
    > spokes would be too long, by enough that it might actually be a
    > problem.

    The height of spoke nipple heads and what to do with it is up to the
    practitioner to decide. Whether it is 3mm or greater depends on what
    one chooses and what sort of spoke nipples are used after computing
    spoke length.
    > Like others I think SSD is the more sensible measurement to quote,
    > but whatever you do, don't *redefine* ERD. Instead start using SSD
    > and let the term ERD die a natural death.

    This reminds me of the years of writers from the UK attacking "the
    Bicycle Wheel" being all wrong about load distribution in a wire
    spokes bicycle wheel and that the wheel hangs from the spokes at the
    top of the wheel.
    > The number of long threads debating what the hell it means on RBT,
    > and the fact that you-- who invented the term in the first place--
    > are now getting it wrong yourself are enough evidence that it's a
    > confusing idea.

    That's your interpretation. As I said, the ERD is neither the ID or
    OD of a rim and must be determined for reasonable spoke length
    calculation. I find your assessment revisionist.
    > Gene summarized it well here:

    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/rec...acabf03c04d182...
    > and here

    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/rec...67ea8bbbbdac11...
    That's fine if you want to see it that way but the basis of
    determining required spoke length is based on ERD as I defined it and
    published the equations that produce the desired result. Your
    redefinition is not useful for the process and Damon Rinard knows that
    as well.

    Jobst Brandt


    Hope the above quote helps...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

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