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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 02-08-09, 11:00 AM   #1
rugerben
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Strong enough for my dad?

I know this is a question that comes up A LOT here, so please bear with me. I need to know if a certain wheel set is strong enough for my dad. He's a bit on the heavy side and I'm afraid that the new bike i bought for him as a gift might need stronger wheels.

I bought him a bike from a seller on CL. The bike came with Gipiemme 24 spoke wheels. This pic shows the wheels in question:


My father is 5'11" and ~230lbs. He can go down to about 220lbs when he tries. The bike will be used as a road bike, going over mostly smooth road with the occasional pot hole, or rough patch. It's not a commuter, and won't be used to hop off sidewalks or other such abuse.

Are these wheels strong enough?

If not, I think These would probably do the trick with 32 spoke, right?

Last edited by rugerben; 02-08-09 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 02-08-09, 11:07 AM   #2
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I broke spokes on wheels with 28 spokes at 210 lbs.
Now have wheels with 36 spokes.
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Old 02-08-09, 12:03 PM   #3
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I say run them. At the worst he will break spokes, at best there will be no issue. Deal with things as they come up. If he rides much, he'll continue to lose weight anyway.
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Old 02-08-09, 12:17 PM   #4
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I broke higher spoked wheels and have had less problem with the less spokes that I have now, but I also do all of the truing on my own now. Try it and find out. Teach him to spin and not mash and he will have less problems.
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Old 02-08-09, 01:39 PM   #5
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I've ridden on a 16/20-spoke wheelset at 200-210lbs and never had a problem. But... those wheels were built by someone who knew what they were doing and the spokes were properly tensioned. If I were you, I'd take the wheels to a good wheelsmith and have them check/adjust the spoke tension and wheel trueness. Make sure they're going to use a tool (e.g. Park TM-1) to check the tension, rather than just plucking the spokes by hand. Should be quite a bit cheaper than a new set of wheels.
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Old 02-08-09, 03:04 PM   #6
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At 220 I couldn't get more than 10 months out of low spoke count wheels (5,000 miles). I built a set of Velocity Deep V's 32 spoke. Now have over 17,000 miles on them without having to touch them....Front is 28 no problems.


Looky the rear wheel on my bike. Now that's a strong wheel!

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Old 02-08-09, 03:07 PM   #7
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About those CXP 22's in the link. I myself wouldn't go for them. I know 150 lb rider that has had problems with them at his weight. BUT, knowing that cycling is an ongoing cycle of wearing out components. I might buy them, use the heck out of them then use the rear hub to rebuild a better stronger wheel using a Deep V or atleast a CXP 33!
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Old 02-08-09, 04:36 PM   #8
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I'm running 20 spoke front/24 spoke rear on my road bike and my commuter and haven't had an issue yet. I'm about the same size as your dad and my commuter crosses RR tracks several times a day on my commute (and some of the crossings are in pretty bad shape). I'd run with them and see how it goes. Just make sure you start out with true wheels and adequate, even tension on the spokes.
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Old 02-08-09, 07:37 PM   #9
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I'm 240 ish and ride 20 front & 24 rear. No issues to date (Approx 2500 mi.) Take them to your local wheel builder(bike shop) & have them retension/trued. Depending on the current condition, this is probably less expensive than rushing out & buying new wheels. Them ride them till they fail (or not). IMHO regular maintenance goes a long way in detemining component(wheel) life.
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Hope you dad enjoys the new ride!!! Keep us posted

But if you feel the need for a higher spokecount wheel these may be a bit of overkill:
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Old 02-08-09, 08:01 PM   #10
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I ride cxp-22's because they came with my bike, i'm 278 and only have 800 miles on my bike since getting it in Dec. I don't think they would be a problem for someone 220. Especially for the type of riding it sounds like your dad will be doing.
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Old 02-08-09, 08:40 PM   #11
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Depending on the type of riding the wheels shown might be fine. Or they might not. As someone else said, the worst thing that is likely to happen is broken spokes, then you know the wheels were not strong enough,

As for the CPX22 wheels linked, if they are tensioned and stress relieved properly then they will be fine - as would just about any 32-spoke wheel that is properly tensioned and stress relieved. I would be more worried about the longevity of the Shimano 2200 hubs - those are downright mediocre, and might wind up being a maintenance hassle for a big guy who rides a lot. A similar rim properly built on to a better hub is likely to be the ticket for a very long lasting wheel for your dad.
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Old 02-08-09, 09:02 PM   #12
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Perhaps the mavic open pro w/ ultegra hub. These get rave reviews in the roadie forum, and they are also 32 spoke wheels.
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Old 02-08-09, 09:59 PM   #13
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The only bad thing about that low of a spoke count is catastrophic wheel failure. I run 36 spoke Deep V's front and rear on my road bike and haven't had a single issue at all. Best investment I've eber made.

Running a 3 cross pattern on the rear and 2 cross on the front. Great lateral stiffness and solid wheels for a Clyde.
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Old 02-08-09, 10:48 PM   #14
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I say ride them and see how they do, I would check the tension and true first though. Then if nothing else, you might want to see about getting a 32 spoke on the rear.

Damn, Bonehead, the wheel must weigh about 10 lbs with all those spokes.
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Old 02-08-09, 11:10 PM   #15
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Wow guys. Thank you for all the replies.

There seems to be such a wide range of opinions here, that I really don't know what to do. Since the bike is for HIM, I'm going to send my father the link to this thread so that he can decide what to do with it.
I really appreciate all your wisdom.
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Old 02-09-09, 12:07 AM   #16
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Wait and see if the spokes break, thats the first step, if not keep riding. If they do well then you go from there.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:45 PM   #17
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Wait and see if the spokes break, thats the first step, if not keep riding. If they do well then you go from there.
THIS! As I stated earlier.....
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Old 02-09-09, 08:50 PM   #18
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I ride HARD, I can ruin a chain (with good maintenance too) in a thousand miles and get about twice that out of a cassette. I've only broken one spoke in all my riding and that was on my Trek 7.3FX at around 4000 miles. I ride a mix of wheels on my road bikes and have no issues with low spoke counts.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:50 AM   #19
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Showed the bike to my dad. A) he loved it.
B) he decided to keep the stock wheels and see what happens. If spokes break, he'll get a new wheel.
We are going to go get them all evenly tensioned and whatnot before he starts riding it though.

Now time for a soooper stooopid question. If spokes break, is the wheel toast? Or do you just replace the spoke, true the wheel. and move on?

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 02-10-09, 05:48 PM   #20
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I ride HARD, I can ruin a chain (with good maintenance too) in a thousand miles and get about twice that out of a cassette. I've only broken one spoke in all my riding and that was on my Trek 7.3FX at around 4000 miles. I ride a mix of wheels on my road bikes and have no issues with low spoke counts.

Good to hear.
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Old 02-10-09, 05:51 PM   #21
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Replace spoke, true wheel, move on.
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Old 02-10-09, 05:51 PM   #22
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Showed the bike to my dad. A) he loved it.
B) he decided to keep the stock wheels and see what happens. If spokes break, he'll get a new wheel.
We are going to go get them all evenly tensioned and whatnot before he starts riding it though.

Now time for a soooper stooopid question. If spokes break, is the wheel toast? Or do you just replace the spoke, true the wheel. and move on?

Thanks again for the advice.
Nope, just get a new spoke and you should be good, however, properly tensioned wheels should not give you any issues with it. If it continues to happen, then maybe look at having the wheel re-spoked with better spokes, or you could just get a new wheel at that point.
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