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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-27-07, 05:25 PM   #1
Bearonabike
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Got to go with a stronger rear wheel

Well, my Trek 7100 stood up well for 2 years after I went to a 4X lacing pattern with the rear wheel's spokes, BUT, the last 3 rides have all seen popped spokes. The LBS mechanic suggests a 40 or 44 spoke wheel and I've found a 48 spoke wheel on the web. It's a move I'll be glad to make because I can load the panniers down for return trips from local shops.

Looks like standard issue 36 spoke rims can't take 300+ pounds for 2 years and stand up to the punishment.
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Old 01-27-07, 05:45 PM   #2
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Were they hand built?
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Old 01-27-07, 06:00 PM   #3
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I've got a (very hard) 700 miles on 36 spoke el-cheapo stock Specialized Hardrock rims. They've withstood me from 420lbs to 380lbs, and are true as the day I bought it. And when I say very hard, I really beat the tar out of this bike.

I'm looking at roadies now, and it seems the general opinion is hand built 36 spoke Mavic Open Pros. Every shop I've talked to has said those will withstand anything I can throw at 'em.
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Old 01-27-07, 08:17 PM   #4
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why not just relace the rims with new spokes if the hubs and rims are in good shape, why replace them? Maybe get some better spokes or have you started putting more weight on the bike in the last 3 rides??
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Old 01-28-07, 06:23 AM   #5
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I went 2,000 miles on my stock Trek Bontrager Select rims before a spoke popped. The LBS relaced it and I went almost another 2,000 without problems. I had them rebuild the wheel again just to be safe.
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Old 01-28-07, 08:56 AM   #6
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I have some 32 spoke Ritchey Comp. rims on my Fuji, after 800 miles I started breaking spokes at a rate of about two a week, I called Fuji and they had me send the rim in to get it hand rebuilt at no cost to me, that was two years ago and haven't had a spoke go since. My weight goes between 230 - 275. I think that says something about having a hand built wheel verses a mass produced built wheel.
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Old 01-28-07, 11:09 AM   #7
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A 36 spoke wheel should be able to stand up to 300 lbs. Touring cyclists use them all the time (40 is probably better but harder to find) without too many problems. With a touring load and me, I push well over 300 lbs and I've ridden mine on some pretty bad roads. But the wheels have to be built properly.

First, get a good hub. Shimano XTs are great hubs and a really good value. They are built to take a beating for mountain biking.

Second, a good rim is also necessary. Mavic touring rims either A319 or A719 are good choices. Lots of people use Velocity too. The Dyad is a good touring rim.

Finally, and most importantly, get good spokes. Don't do straight gauge, they aren't stronger. For large guys or heavy loads, DT Alpine III are the best spokes around. They are made for the job. They can be hard to find (I'm trying to fix that personally ) but they are worth the effort to find. I have a mountain bike wheel that I built with them and I haven't had problems in 5 years of hard riding.
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Old 01-28-07, 11:15 AM   #8
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The wheels are the standard Matrix 550 that comes with the trek 7100. As I said, I had them re-laced to a 4X pattern about 18 months ago. I've gone from 360+ to 330 on them and I have used them to support the bike, full panniers and myself (I waited until I was down 25 pounds to do it though. My last 3 rides I had only myself, water bottles and the emergency repair kit on the bike. I also pull a trailer onthe bike fairly regularly.

I think I want to go to a 40 to 48 spoke bike rather than mess with hand built etc. for a few reasons.
1) It will get the job done
2) When I load the bike down for overnight trips, I won't have to worry as much about popped spokes while I'm in the middle of nowhere.
3) Since I'm not after speed but endurance, the weight concern, although present, isn't what it is for a person riding a racing bike.
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Old 01-29-07, 07:34 AM   #9
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Sapim CX-RAY spokes are really strong aero spokes. I highly recamend them.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:31 PM   #10
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All clydesdales should have a spoke tensiometer in their toolbox. This allows you to check that the spokes are up to tension and evenly tensioned. This is as important as a tire pressure guage, but doesnt have to be used quite as often.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:48 PM   #11
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I went through a bout of popped spokes last summer. The cure was to get good Sun rims and the heaviest spokes available, then have someone who knew what they were doing build the wheel. It's a real art form. If the guy in the shop doesn't know what he's doing and sets tension too tight or too loose you're going to start popping them right away.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
I went through a bout of popped spokes last summer. The cure was to get good Sun rims and the heaviest spokes available, then have someone who knew what they were doing build the wheel. It's a real art form. If the guy in the shop doesn't know what he's doing and sets tension too tight or too loose you're going to start popping them right away.
Agreed, and in this case, it doesn't matter of you are riding with 36, 40 or 48 spokers!
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Old 01-29-07, 03:35 PM   #13
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I have a set of Mavic T-217 Treking rims with White Industries Hubs. 40 spokes in the Front, 48 in the back. They are now over 10 years old and I have yet to pop a spoke, and they have only needed to be trued 3-4 times over the year. If the shop doesn't know what they are doing, nothings going to help.
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Old 02-17-07, 05:51 PM   #14
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I built my own wheels and never looked back. DT Double Butted Spokes, Mavic box rim (MA40) and 36 H XT hubs. I followed the Bicycle Wheel Book as a guide. 12,000 miles and not even a touch up needed. I took a chance and ordered a set of Performance Wheels , 32H Ultegra Hubs , DT Spokes and Mavic Open Pro rim. I did retentioned and true them myself and they have been just fine after 5500 miles.
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Old 02-17-07, 06:11 PM   #15
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My local wrench used DT spokes to replace the stock ones as well. I haven't popped one since they were hand built.
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