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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 08-06-08, 12:29 PM   #1
WhoRidesaGT?
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Least Amount of Spokes You've Ridden On

Hi there,

New member here, and I'm hoping you can help me with a quick question.

What's the least amount of spokes some of you have ridden on?

I'm looking to upgrade my wheelset but a lot of the nice sets have 28 spokes or 24 spokes or 22 spokes. At an athletic 215 lbs I'm afraid of investing in a set of these wheels and then being too heavy for them. I use the bike to commute to work and for training.

Do I need to stick with 30+ spokes? or will I be ok on wheels with less?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-06-08, 12:38 PM   #2
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32+ is our general rule of thumb with a deep section wheel. I run a pair of 36 spoke deep V's (Hand built and tensioned) on my bike, because I ride some rough roads here and I'd rather spec too strong than too weak.
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Old 08-06-08, 12:43 PM   #3
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I ride a 20 spoke radial front and either a 21 or 27 spoke rear. I haven't blown any of them up yet.
I try and ride fairly "light".
The 27 spoker survived many bunny hops on the last group ride since the university decided to remove multiple full lane width sections of pavement on part of our loop.

The Bonty selects one of the other lighter fellows rides did not fare so well and the we did an emergency spoke tighten and wheel true further in on the ride since they apparently unwound from the "stress relief" exercise previously mentioned.
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Old 08-06-08, 01:14 PM   #4
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My road bike has 20 soke up front and 24 in back. 1,000 trouble-free miles so far. I plan to move it to commuter duty (hopefully by next spring) and, if it develops issues then, I'll put on a higher spoke count wheelset. In the mean time, its working fine for this recently sub-220 Clyde.
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Old 08-06-08, 01:28 PM   #5
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5/wheel

(Had Aerospokes on my tri bike back in the early 90s)
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Old 08-06-08, 01:41 PM   #6
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Old 08-06-08, 01:44 PM   #7
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Started at 223 lbs, 4800 miles on 28 spokes.
Now 200 lbs and Broke one on the front. LBS fixed for free.
Seemed to have been a defect, as it broke inside the nipple..
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Old 08-06-08, 02:52 PM   #8
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Fulcrums Racing 7's. 20/24 and holding up fine. Had to have the front trued once due to a bonehead mistake on the rollers.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:21 PM   #9
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24 in the back / 20 in the front. I'm 5'10" and 225 lbs. Shimano ultegra wheelset that came on my cannondale carbon synapse. 1000 miles since I got the bike in April. no problems. This includes a one day ride of 203 miles - Seattle-to-Portland. The LBS convinced me that this wheelset was just as strong as my 28 spoke Mavic Open Pro's. So far... they've been right.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:32 PM   #10
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I'm using Neuvation M28 Aero2s with 16 spokes in front and 20 in the rear. I started riding them when I was around 200-205lbs. Haven't had any problems so far, though I've dropped about 10lbs since I acquired them.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:41 PM   #11
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Depends on what you are using the bike for...

If this is your daily driver, or your dirt road commuting bike, or your long distance touring bike then stick with a handbuilt 32 or higher spoke wheel. Chosen wisely these are nearly as light, stronger, and about a million times easier to repair when something goes wrong. For less money than a Shimano Ultegra wheelset you can get a set of Ultegra hubs, mavic rims (for example) and DT spokes built into the perfect wheels for the riding you do.

If this is your 'bling' bike that you ride on recreational and fast group rides and races, etc, many people have had good luck with low-spoke-count wheels. Find some that many other clydesdales have ridden successfully. I have heard many horror stories about bontrager wheels and big riders, unfortunately.
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Old 08-06-08, 06:07 PM   #12
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Bonti 20/24's Select and Race, lasteded only 4000 miles (6.5 months).....Mavic handbuilt Op's 32 spoke lasted only ten months

Velocity Deep V 32 spoke rear, self built has 15000 miles with no trouble at all and stil going strong.

Don't waste your time with low spoke count. 1,000 -2,000 mile durabilty reviews are not reliable. That's only a month and ahalf for some of us. I hoep your wheels last longer than that. Maybe 10,000 mile reviews would be more credible with durability claims!

I've heard some people claim high durability with the wheels after 3 years. Of course they've only done 1000 miles in that 3 years.
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Old 08-07-08, 05:55 AM   #13
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I had a set of Shimano WH-R550, 16 spoke front and 20 rear. snapped a spoke in the rear which nearly tacoed after about 900 km. Repaired and sold that set :-)
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Old 08-07-08, 07:01 AM   #14
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spoks

I have a set of Easton/velomax wheels 28 back 24 front. they have 13000 miles on them. There are times I ride at 250 pounds. Ihave never had a single problem with them. I have replaced the bearings twice but never even had to true the wheels. It would take alot for me NOT to buys these wheels again.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:38 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=WhoRidesaGT?;7218542]Hi there,

New member here, and I'm hoping you can help me with a quick question.

What's the least amount of spokes some of you have ridden on?

One less than came on the wheel twice in the last hundred miles. I've also had flat tires on the bike this AM and the car this weekend. Maybe I'm not living right
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Old 08-07-08, 07:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Bonti 20/24's Select and Race, lasteded only 4000 miles (6.5 months).....Mavic handbuilt Op's 32 spoke lasted only ten months

Velocity Deep V 32 spoke rear, self built has 15000 miles with no trouble at all and stil going strong...
My experience has been that most builders use too low spoke tension when they build for clydes... our spokes have got to be tighter because (I think this is why) the range of cyclic stress (the excursion from max load to min load) is so high. I think Jobst Brandt calls this "negative loading" or something like that.

If the spokes are too loose each spoke will cycle from 0 load (when it is at bottom dead centre) to very high load at top dead centre - imagine taknig a peice of wire and bending it back and forth repeatedly, and evutually it will break. If the spokes are tightened more, the spokes will not reach zero tension at the bottom and more spokes will be sharing the load when at the top.

I have built my own wheels for years (as well as wheels for customers), and I recently broke a spoke on the monutain wheels I built in 1997 (broke a frame in 2000 by jumping down a flight of stairs while using these wheels). This is with 398g WTB rims and DT straight guage spokes.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:05 AM   #17
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My bike originally had 36 spoke wheels and I was able to break a few and keep on riding. They would never stay straight before or after that though. I picked up some Mavics with 24 straight pull "aero" spokes front and back and *knock on wood* haven't had a lick of trouble with them.
I'm around 270 and my bike with commuting gear is pushing 60. (it ain't no 14lb sissy bike )

Used them on my 200k (which turned out to be over 135 miles) last weekend. Lots of chipseal some very poor. It is also my all weather all road commuter and I have banged them wheels around pretty good.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:25 AM   #18
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got the stock 36 count wheels front and back that came w/ my bike. I ride a converted MTB, and these wheels have been rock solid since I got the bike in '02. I now run 1.5" roadies on it, though.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:28 AM   #19
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+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
Depends on what you are using the bike for...

If this is your daily driver, or your dirt road commuting bike, or your long distance touring bike then stick with a handbuilt 32 or higher spoke wheel. Chosen wisely these are nearly as light, stronger, and about a million times easier to repair when something goes wrong. For less money than a Shimano Ultegra wheelset you can get a set of Ultegra hubs, mavic rims (for example) and DT spokes built into the perfect wheels for the riding you do.

If this is your 'bling' bike that you ride on recreational and fast group rides and races, etc, many people have had good luck with low-spoke-count wheels. Find some that many other clydesdales have ridden successfully. I have heard many horror stories about bontrager wheels and big riders, unfortunately.
FWIW:
I'm 5'10" 240# & have Xero XSR-3 20/24 spoke wheels on a Giant OCR Limited (Carbon Frame.)
http://archive.giant-bicycles.com/us...06&model=11445
http://www.xerowheel.com/prod_detail...&id2=19&pid=20

After 2000+ miles I have had no issues w/ the frame or wheels. I did have the wheels retensioned & trued as a preventive maintenance action @ around 1400 miles. They didn't look or feel bad, but were in need of tensioning.

Having said that, generally I ride on good, smooth roads & don't race (have ridden a few centuries on rough roads.) From what I understand, getting the wheels retensioned and trued after a few hundred miles is key to spoke/wheel life.
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Old 08-07-08, 09:38 AM   #20
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I'm on 16 front 20 back.. So far so good. Though last night I had to patch my front intertube and noticed my wheel looks a bit out of round. :/ And I'm somewhere between 260-270 I guess, I don't have a scale.
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Old 08-08-08, 06:28 AM   #21
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Wheel spokes

Here Here to what Tom said:
I got a Motobecane Imortal Force and the min I saw the specs on the wheels (bladed,20 fr. 24 r)I went Uh Uh..
BikesDirect assured me Ritchey had no weight limit on the wheels.
Well,Ritchey may not but the forces of nature sure do.
Got above 21mph and the wobble began.
Got onto a long downhill and...the wobble began.
Got onto road surfaces with those tar ribbons and...felt like tubulars that hadn't had the glue set up before riding.
Tapping the brakes put everything right temporarily.

For the rest of this season I'll be staying under 18mph and trying to stay under 210 lbs. Next season..It'll probably cost me half what the bike cost to get a set of wheels I can trust.
Shop around and look at what's available out there. There are some pretty good custom built wheelsets as well as factory built. and..imho,stay away from the bladed spokes.
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Old 08-08-08, 09:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger63 View Post
Here Here to what Tom said:
I got a Motobecane Imortal Force and the min I saw the specs on the wheels (bladed,20 fr. 24 r)I went Uh Uh..
BikesDirect assured me Ritchey had no weight limit on the wheels.
Well,Ritchey may not but the forces of nature sure do.
Got above 21mph and the wobble began.
Got onto a long downhill and...the wobble began.
Got onto road surfaces with those tar ribbons and...felt like tubulars that hadn't had the glue set up before riding.
Tapping the brakes put everything right temporarily.

For the rest of this season I'll be staying under 18mph and trying to stay under 210 lbs. Next season..It'll probably cost me half what the bike cost to get a set of wheels I can trust.
Shop around and look at what's available out there. There are some pretty good custom built wheelsets as well as factory built. and..imho,stay away from the bladed spokes.
Have you had the wheels tuned by a competent mechanic who knows what he's doing? I've seen lots of wheels with decent components that didn't perform well because they were either out of true or the spoke tension was incorrect. This is especially true for the machine-made wheels that tend to come on less-expensive bikes. My local shop will tension and true wheels for $20/ea. Might be a worthwile investment if you plan to keep the wheels...

Edit: you might also consider a new set of tires if you think your wheels are true and properly tensioned. I mount my own motorcycle and bicycle tires, and in my experience you occasionally get one that's just a complete piece of junk.

Last edited by sstorkel; 08-08-08 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 08-08-08, 03:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Have you had the wheels tuned by a competent mechanic who knows what he's doing? I've seen lots of wheels with decent components that didn't perform well because they were either out of true or the spoke tension was incorrect. This is especially true for the machine-made wheels that tend to come on less-expensive bikes. My local shop will tension and true wheels for $20/ea. Might be a worthwile investment if you plan to keep the wheels...

Edit: you might also consider a new set of tires if you think your wheels are true and properly tensioned. I mount my own motorcycle and bicycle tires, and in my experience you occasionally get one that's just a complete piece of junk.

Here her to what SStorkel said. I had a bike with 36 straight SS spokes. Rear wheel wobbled when I got up to speed. Took it to a good shop mechanic. Said it wa lacking on tension. Retensioned, never happened again!
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Old 08-08-08, 04:42 PM   #24
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I rode on this front wheel for about 6 months, over 1000 miles:



No problems with it and I wasn't easy on it. I'm 6'1" and 275~ pounds.

I was never really confident in it though so I did upgrade to 32 spoke wheels.
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Old 08-08-08, 04:51 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=SUPERMAN;7235077]I rode on this front wheel for about 6 months, over 1000 miles:



1000 miles is hardly anything to some riders and hardly enough for a review.
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