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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 02-05-09, 02:05 PM   #1
wirehead
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I guess my bike thought that the 36 spoke wheels were a little too fred

...because I seem to have four broken spokes.

Bike came with Alex DM-18 rims, 36 spokes. After 1100 miles, it got a free adjustment from the bike store and they trued the wheels because it wasn't quite right. I felt that it was riding a little funny, checked, found that the wheels were out of true again, and took it to another store with a real wheelsmith.

We start out where he tells me that yes, the wheel really is out of true, the rear one in both axes. And no, it's really not normal for a wheel to require that much re-truing. Even if it's been used to hop off curbs and ride on rough pavement.

Eventually he checks the spoke tension with his fingers for the rear wheel and finds that four of the spokes had broken at the hub. Blames the previous bike store for truing the wheel too heavily and getting the spokes way out of tension by doing so and likely that the wheels just weren't made that well to begin with.

So, clearly the quality of the wheel's construction and tensioning is important, given that it's a fairly heavy 36-spoke wheel already. Thus I am having the bike store to build me a new rear wheel around a set of Sun Rhyno Lite rims and the existing hub.

Still pondering the front, if I want to learn about wheelsmithing and do it myself or if I just want to have them do the front wheel as well.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:20 PM   #2
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Learn how to build and true your own wheels after they take care of the rear wheel. A front wheel is much easier to learn how to build, IMO.
The most important thing about any wheel that you buy, if you don't know the smith who picked the spokes and built it up for you, is to make sure it has been tensioned properly. Poorly tensioned wheels will continue to break spokes, even as you replace the broken ones and re-true the wheel.
I ride a stock 32h DA16 with Deore on my Cross Check Complete. I had the wheels de/re-tensioned before picking up the bike, and they've been great. One truing at ~300 miles, and the rear wheel needs a minor (< 1mm) adjustment now that I've got 5000 miles on it.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:32 PM   #3
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So, clearly the quality of the wheel's construction and tensioning is important, given that it's a fairly heavy 36-spoke wheel already. Thus I am having the bike store to build me a new rear wheel around a set of Sun Rhyno Lite rims and the existing hub.
This just underscores what I've been saying for a while: having a lot of spokes isn't going to save you if the wheel is poorly built (or maintained)!

FYI, I'd be more inclined to trust a wheelsmith who used a tool (e.g. Park TM-1) to check spoke tension than one who didn't. If you need new wheels, I've been very happy with wheels built by Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. The only reason I mention this is because I live near Sunnyvale, CA and don't know of any shops that build great wheels at a reasonable price. Not that I've looked very much or very hard...
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Old 02-05-09, 03:04 PM   #4
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Yeah, they were big on properly tensioning the spokes where I went (Sports Basement in Sunnyvale). Looks like I'll end up paying a smidge more than Bicycle Wheel Warehouse for the convenience of having it done local, but not an excessive amount.

But, yeah, my thought was that, given the front wheel doesn't need to be dished or anything, I might as well just get a proper truing stand, a spoke tension tool, and the Jobst Brandt book and give it a shot and thus *know* that I'll be riding on a properly tensioned set of wheels. OTOH, if a properly tensioned set of wheels isn't going to require all that crap, maybe I should just have 'em do it.....
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Old 02-05-09, 05:11 PM   #5
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Yeah, they were big on properly tensioning the spokes where I went (Sports Basement in Sunnyvale). Looks like I'll end up paying a smidge more than Bicycle Wheel Warehouse for the convenience of having it done local, but not an excessive amount.
If I were going to have wheels built locally, I'd probably take a look at Mike's Bikes. They claim that their service techs are trained by Wheelsmith, which might be worth something if you need a wheel built. But, honestly, Bicycle Wheel Warehouse does such good work for such great prices that I'd probably just order from them...

Quote:
But, yeah, my thought was that, given the front wheel doesn't need to be dished or anything, I might as well just get a proper truing stand, a spoke tension tool, and the Jobst Brandt book and give it a shot and thus *know* that I'll be riding on a properly tensioned set of wheels. OTOH, if a properly tensioned set of wheels isn't going to require all that crap, maybe I should just have 'em do it.....
Building wheels yourself is expensive. Figure $60-70 for a decent stand, $50 for the Park tensioning tool, $5-10 for spoke wrenches, and $20-30 for spoke prep. You can cut some corners (e.g. use Loctite rather than Wheelsmith spoke prep), but you're still looking at $120-130 just for a stand, tension tool, and spoke wrenches. Then there's the cost of the wheel itself: hub, spokes, nipples, rims, rim tape, skewers.

Even if you owned all the necessary tools, you'll still end up spending quite a bit more than you would if you just bought wheels from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse or some other Internet vendor. Every time I think about building wheels myself, I do the math and it just doesn't seem worth it...
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Old 02-05-09, 05:34 PM   #6
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Perhaps you should try these. I'm not sure they are avail in 700......


"""So, clearly the quality of the wheel's construction and tensioning is important, given that it's a fairly heavy 36-spoke wheel already. """

ABSOLUTELY !!! I'm 245# ish & ride 20/24 spoke wheels. Getting them serviced with the annual tune-up has prevented problems.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:47 PM   #7
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Is that a 144 spoke wheel? That's a lot of spokes.
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Old 02-06-09, 02:41 AM   #8
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Front wheels don't have nearly as much stress placed on them as rears.
A rear has the "dish", plus when you are pedaling, you are trying to "unwind" 1/2 your spokes and "stretch" the other 1/2.
Plus, a greater % or your weight is on the rear.

I'm pretty sure that if you just had the fronts tensioned, you'd be fine!
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Old 02-06-09, 05:41 AM   #9
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Is that a 144 spoke wheel? That's a lot of spokes.
Yup 144. Not recommended for riding in a crosswind.....
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Old 02-11-09, 11:42 AM   #10
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I bet that 144 makes some interesting sounds while riding at speed.
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Old 02-12-09, 06:14 PM   #11
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See, if I work under the assumption that I'm going to have somebody build me properly tensioned wheels and then just not worry about it, just getting it re-trued every blue moon.... then it's totally not worth it to build 'em myself.

If I turn out to be a wheel-destroyer and/or nobody wants to do it right, clearly I need to do it myself.
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