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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 03-14-08, 10:34 PM   #1
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hello everyone, durability question

Hello I am new here and wanted to greet everyone. I have been riding trails for a while and recently made the jump to a road bike and whereas my mountain bikes always seemed solid I have Just bought a 20lb road bike and wondered if there is anything i should worry about durability wise.

I am about 6'0" 235lb

New Road bike: Fuji Roubaix Pro (got the 07 for a good deal) ALX 200 Wheels have 24 spokes (rear) the LBS guy said they should be plenty sturdy. the paired spokes on the treks scared me away

my current mountain bike: a 08 trek 6500

I wanted to post here because this section seemed a little bit more laid back than the Road section, though i like reading their forums and imagining what i would buy for >$3000...
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Old 03-14-08, 10:38 PM   #2
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You should be fine. I owned and rode a bike similar to that when I started at 280 pounds and never had any real problems, though if you're worried I would suggest getting a hand built rear wheel.

Happy riding
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Old 03-14-08, 10:45 PM   #3
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24 spokes? Shop dude is foolin' you or lacking knowledge. Getting a well built rear wheel(atleast 32) is much better than a stock wheel.

The paired spokes are 24 spokes also, so what's the difference?
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Old 03-15-08, 05:39 AM   #4
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I am at 235 and was higher with 24 rear and a 20 front. No problems what so ever!!! I had 32 rear and it was worthless and broke spokes. The LBS owner upgraded me to these because the wheel was built better than the wheel set I had before.

I know some of you say 32 is needed. I climb so really steep inclines and do not have any problems. I have not had any problems with the Shimano wheels. Maybe I am lucky, or maybe my LBS owner knew what would work. I don't ride on smooth bike trails, I ride this on city streets and highways that are not smooth either. This bike gets a lot of abuse and the wheels are working fine.

Just my $.02, and please take it as that.
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Old 03-15-08, 06:59 AM   #5
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havent had a problem with my 24 spoke rear yet either. I had a loose spoke the other day, but i just tightened it up and was good to go. Some of the shops actually told me that a higher spoke count on some of the seriously lower end bikes didn't really help much because the wheels were crap anyway. I weigh like 240 tho, and I can't really foresee having an issue.
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Old 03-15-08, 08:03 AM   #6
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It took a couple of truings and me dropping below 240 before I stopped having problems with the 24 spoke rear wheel on my Trek.

To their credit- they appears to be built with DT swiss spokes and they've never broken on me- only loosened up. They always got me home no problem.
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Old 03-15-08, 08:47 AM   #7
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Ha. I guess the treks do have 24...i must have misscounted. Thanks for the answers... from the split in answers i guess i will take my chances unless things go wrong.

If i was looking for a racier wheel set that would be durable for under $500 that would still be long lasting and low maintance what should i be looking at?

i have been eyeing the Mavic Ksyrium Equipes and Easton EA70s, i wouldn't plan on purchaing for a while it just seems like everyone on the internet says of any bike under 2 grand that a wheel upgrade does wonders... i am not yet pretending that i would notice the difference, but maybe by next season i would want a second set.
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Old 03-15-08, 09:13 AM   #8
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I'm sorry Flip, but 2,000 miles is barely enough to break in a wheel. Sure 32 spokes can be crap, I've had them. A rider needs a good builder. I've paid $100 for a build that didn't last 40 miles at a pro shop. Started my own and now have 13,000 miles with no problems.

23 centuries in a year, 10,000 ft climbs caused my 24 spoke wheels to last only 7 months. I guess it is only your 2 cents that your bike takes alot of abuse but like you said, it's your 2 cents. Mine would be that your bike hasn't even been on the road yet. I've done 4,000-7,000 miles every year for the last 10 years. So my 2 cents is 2,000 miles on a set of wheels isn't worth writing a review for wheel durability.

I've got about 45,000 miles and about 35 centuries under my belt so I think my 2 cents comes from experience. Where does your 2 cents come from?

To the OP, go ahead and throw your money away on low count spokes! You will be much faster and they will last for years of enjoyment! Yeah right!

BTW, don't think I am or upset, or don't get upset, just a good ol debate. Curious as to where you get your info, reason, or experience.
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Old 03-15-08, 09:20 AM   #9
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Just a little more background and experience. This is the last century I did. I've done centuries like this for the last 5 years or so. After training with several fellow riders, some near my weight, I've found that the 24 spokes are not durable for us 200 plus riders. But this is my 2 cents on riding hard and climbing.


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Old 03-15-08, 09:36 AM   #10
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[snip]
To the OP, go ahead and throw your money away on low count spokes! You will be much faster and they will last for years of enjoyment! Yeah right![/snip]
the low spoke count wheels come on the bike. He wasn't asking about spending crap loads of cash on a new low spoke wheelset. You ride what you have, and if you have to buy a new set of higher spoke count wheels, so be it. why bother at first when the bike is still rideable?
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Old 03-15-08, 09:45 AM   #11
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why bother at first when the bike is still rideable?

Some would say it's a safety concern.
While there's plenty of strong, low spoke count boutique wheels out there, I'm all for a 32 spoke 3 cross minimum on my bikes.

32 spoke 3 cross front wheel has a spoke failure on a 40mph downhill and it goes out of true and has a "hop" until you put a new spoke in it.
20 spoke radial boutique front wheel has a spoke failure at 40mph, and you'd better be paid up on your dental premiums.
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Old 03-15-08, 09:52 AM   #12
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^^^ this is true. but i dont have the cash right now to even consider new wheels. They arent even that expensive...I'll just have to wait or maybe sell some stuff on ebay.
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Old 03-15-08, 10:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by heckler View Post
Hello I am new here and wanted to greet everyone. I have been riding trails for a while and recently made the jump to a road bike and whereas my mountain bikes always seemed solid I have Just bought a 20lb road bike and wondered if there is anything i should worry about durability wise.

I am about 6'0" 235lb

New Road bike: Fuji Roubaix Pro (got the 07 for a good deal) ALX 200 Wheels have 24 spokes (rear) the LBS guy said they should be plenty sturdy. the paired spokes on the treks scared me away

my current mountain bike: a 08 trek 6500

I wanted to post here because this section seemed a little bit more laid back than the Road section, though i like reading their forums and imagining what i would buy for >$3000...
There are two schools of thought:

School one, anything less then 36 spokes is insufficient.
School two, even a low spoke count wheel, given a proper wheel build is sufficient.

They are actually both right.

When spoke tension is too low, as the wheel goes around, it flexes slightly, which bends each spoke slightly where it bends to go into the hub, when a piece of wire is bent many times in succession, it will break. The important other factor is rider weight, a 250lb rider causes much more flex then a 150lb rider,

The more spokes you have, the less each one flexes, so a 36 spoke wheel, even with lower tension, is less likely to break spokes quickly, then a lower spoke count wheel with the same tension and rider weight. If your dealer is good at what they do, and hand tensions and trues wheels on bikes they sell, then it's not an issue. If the dealer offers a free first tune up, get that done after the first 100 miles or so, ask them to check the spoke tension, at that time.

If the wheel does fail, in the future, then you get a stronger wheel built at that time. Bike frames are built using the geometrically strongest structure, the triangle, in fact there are two in a diamond frame. At 235lbs, even the plastic (carbon fiber reinforced plastic or CF) frames are strong enough.
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Old 03-15-08, 11:06 AM   #14
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Ride the 24's until they break. I got 1800 miles out of my Velomax Vistas at 245 - 230ish range. I ride 32 spoke Aeroheads and Topolinos. Topolinos are ROCK SOLID - my four year old Aeroheads are great as well.

-Mike
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Old 03-15-08, 11:10 AM   #15
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^ thats what i'm thinking of doing...tho, when i get a bit extra cash i might upgrade my front wheel sooner. its on a 20, and i'm like 240, but steadily losing weight
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Old 03-15-08, 03:11 PM   #16
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the low spoke count wheels come on the bike. He wasn't asking about spending crap loads of cash on a new low spoke wheelset. You ride what you have, and if you have to buy a new set of higher spoke count wheels, so be it. why bother at first when the bike is still rideable?

Then please go back and read post #7!

Just for argument sake, you had a loose spoke just the other day, but have no issues with the wheel?...Just how many miles do you have on the wheel? AND how many miles since the no issues loose spoke?

I had a loose spoke at about 4,000 miles on my 24 wheels. Then it was all down hill from there.

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Old 03-15-08, 03:54 PM   #17
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A word about the shop guys, if you haven't alrady figured it. Sure they are going to tell you that high end low spoke wheels are great, fast and durable under big bodies. Their business is to sell you stuff you don't need just to make a buck. Unfortunately my bud didn't listen to me either. This is him on a training ride in the mountains. He has a BEAUTIFUL Giant outfitted with all Dura Ace stuff. He also spent $800 on some Mavic wheels cause the guys at the shop said they were fast and would hold his 210 lb body and strength.

Well they lasted 9 months before the rear wheel cracked at the nipples. About 2 months earlier, he broke a spoke. He is a strong rider and does pound the pedals like a clyde should. So he goes back to the shop, they send the wheel in for a warranty claim. He says they only charged him $300 to fix them.

Before he leaves the shop, the shop guy talks him into buying the $1300 (red spoke) set cause they are lighter and even more durable. So he does his first ride in the same place these pics were taken. He gets 7 miles up the 21 mile climb and POP! Broken spoke.

He has them replaced under warranty but stashed them in the closet for a special day. All cause the guy at the shop said they were fine under his powerful body. Yeah I trust them with my money!



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Old 03-15-08, 05:56 PM   #18
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I guess that each persons ride is different. I am not after fast and light at this point, as I am trying to work hard at loosing fat, gaining muscle and being able to complete an Olympic distance triathlon in 2008. I never said I would guarantee that 24 spoke count is going to be the best for everyone, but until I have a failure of my 24 spoke count after coming off of a 32 spoke count (with multiple failures) and not failures with 2000+ more miles than the 32 spoke count, I will stay with what I know.

I will trust with your experience that you feel more comfortable with the 32 and the reasoning behind it is very much believable. In my situation, that has not been the case, and I don't climb as much as you do. I ride on hilly roads, but nothing climbing like you do.

I am not a bike mechanic, but I am learning everything I can about bicycles, because I am really liking it very much and want to know more. If I do something more serious as a cyclocross/commuter bike, I will probably feel a little more different about the rims, but it will really depend upon my location and rides. Currently I will stay with what I have, and unless I trash them for some unkown reason, I will keep enjoying them.

Sorry to hear about your friend that went with what was recommend and had failures. I am sure that I would probably have to change my gearing to ride the things you do, otherwise I would have to do some mashing and I am sure I would break something then. I ride very much with a cadence of around 90, unless I run out of gear on a steep grade.
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Old 03-15-08, 05:59 PM   #19
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Well I am 275 and commute on my road bike, but am an avid mountain bike rider. the only advice I have for you is just from personal experiance. That is to upgrade your rims to touring rims. That has been great for me and well worth the $$ I spent. my .02 cents!

Now back to your regular forum!
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Old 03-15-08, 07:14 PM   #20
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Then please go back and read post #7!

Just for argument sake, you had a loose spoke just the other day, but have no issues with the wheel?...Just how many miles do you have on the wheel? AND how many miles since the no issues loose spoke?

I had a loose spoke at about 4,000 miles on my 24 wheels. Then it was all down hill from there.
i must have missed that. my bad. I apologize. I have no issues with the wheel because I have no money. I dont have the cash to go out and buy a good set of wheels because i'm graduating from college in 2 months. I can't complain, all i can do is suck it up, and tighten the spoke when it gets loose. I will be buying a new rear wheel though as soon as i can afford it before i even buy clipless pedals. I have crap wheels, but they are as good as i can get right now. So, therefore, no issues.

edit: and the more i read about it, the more i see my problem. I probably will bust a spoke and bend a wheel or something sometime soon. I can't see myself ever getting below 210lbs(check with my gym, the body fat% will be 7.5% if i gain no muscle between now and then). so if i get a good heavy duty rear wheel and a so-so front i can transfer to another bike when the time comes. maybe i'll see about getting the rear as a graduation present...once i explain my rationale.

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Old 03-15-08, 07:44 PM   #21
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I just try to pass on words of wisdom! Lots of heartache, money and experience when it comes to breaking wheels. Even those built by high end pro shops. I've learned I was just a number so I started building my own. Much cheaper and far better quality. After going thru 6 or 7 shops, I found one guy that could build a set that lasted under my heavy bod. Now I'm #2! Flip ought to start there when it comes to learning to work on his own.

Sheldon Brown has some good stuff on his wheel build site.
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Old 03-15-08, 09:50 PM   #22
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I have the truing stand and the tools. That is what I am going to start with. I can already do the general maintenance and I think I have the deraileur adjustments better, but still not great. I have purchased the Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, so I have something to refer back to. I have a maintenance background, so there is nothing that I can't do without the proper tools.

I have also worked on dirt bikes (motorcycles), so I will try and use that experience in working on my bicycles.

I just wish I really had a local bike shop, so I didn't have to drive an hour to have them look at my bike, or a place where I could hang out and learn more. Mine is going to have to be by trial and error.
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