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  1. #51
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    Lightweight rims. Velocity Aeroheads as an example. 220.

  2. #52
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    I don't know how any Clyde rides on any rear wheel with less than 32 spokes. I fall into the Clyde category by only 10 lbs. (210 lbs.) and I have yet to find a low spoke count wheel that has lasted past the first year. Then again, i live in an area that has lots of hills. Finally, I have a pair of 28 spoke front/ 32 spoke rear Velocity Deep V wheels that I haven't even had to true in the 2600 miles that I've ridden on them. Heavy? Yes. But with 14 gauge spokes, they are bomb proof.

  3. #53
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The rear wheel on my friend's FS MTB is 32 spoke with a conventional 3 cross lacing and I think I have mentioned that he curbs out at around 240 pounds before he gears up.

    It is the most perfect set of wheels I have ever built due to the parts being pretty much perfect and the wheel was built to within 1/1000 of an inch tolerances on the lateral and vertical.

    Mavic 819's, Hope hubs, and DT butted spokes equals a serious good zero maintainence wheel and a fairly easy one to build as better parts make the whole process so much easier.

    He rides these on and off the road and logs a great number of miles and at last check, they were still within a 1/1000 tolerance.

    Note the brake rotors as besides needing bombproof wheels the guy has to run some massive rotors and hydros to give him adequate stopping power.



    A 26 inch wheel is of course, a much stronger beast than a road wheel.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    I don't know how any Clyde rides on any rear wheel with less than 32 spokes. I fall into the Clyde category by only 10 lbs. (210 lbs.) and I have yet to find a low spoke count wheel that has lasted past the first year. Then again, i live in an area that has lots of hills. Finally, I have a pair of 28 spoke front/ 32 spoke rear Velocity Deep V wheels that I haven't even had to true in the 2600 miles that I've ridden on them. Heavy? Yes. But with 14 gauge spokes, they are bomb proof.
    Contrary to belief there is no magic behind spoke count and Clyde status. There is no magic at work here that a 199lb rider can ride a 16 spoke wheel, where as a 200lb rider can not.

    The wheel must be properly built and tensioned for the riders weight, most wheels whether they have 16,20,24,28.32 or 36 spokes are not properly tensioned for the rider, they are built by machines which can not achieve proper tension in a sustainable way. Wheels must therefore be tensioned by a person with a spoke wrench and skill. This is why we have riders who say that they have a 24 spoke wheel that has 10,000 miles on it and is as true as they day they bought it, and other riders who have 32 spoke wheels that break a spoke every week.

    As rider weight increases, wheel stiffness must also increase, this can be accomplished 2 ways, higher spoke tension or higher spoke stiffness. Where spoke count is actually critical is if you break a spoke, a 16 spoke wheel will probably collapse where a 36 spoke wheel probably will not.

  5. #55
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Wogsterca, I'm sorry, but you are misinformed in your third paragraph. For practical purposes, there is no such thing as wheel stiffness. We are interested in strength alone. Spokes are under tension and do not receive any lateral forces, so there is no such thing as spoke stiffness.

    As spoke count increases, so does strength and therefore durability. There are no magic numbers for how many spokes you need at a given weight, but as weight increases, the need for more spokes increases.
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  6. #56
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    picked up a beater 10-speed today for $60 because the wheels are amazingly true. i've never seen such close brake shoe clearance. they're going on my steel commuter.

    since i don't want to replace the rear wheel on my hybrid after having paid another $30 for spoke and true - that bike will not be my commuter. for the rough stuff I'll use my old steel bike and just keep an eye out for good wheels. maybe I can keep these new ones in good shape too! (new to me, the wheels are actually 30 years old)

    thank you both for explaining some rationale for varying spoke count and this important news about caring for spokes. since my 24 spoke wheel is in good shape I look forward for many easy MUP miles.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  7. #57
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Wogsterca, I'm sorry, but you are misinformed in your third paragraph. For practical purposes, there is no such thing as wheel stiffness. We are interested in strength alone. Spokes are under tension and do not receive any lateral forces, so there is no such thing as spoke stiffness.

    As spoke count increases, so does strength and therefore durability. There are no magic numbers for how many spokes you need at a given weight, but as weight increases, the need for more spokes increases.
    So how is it then that an 8 spoke truck wheel can hold up about 60 clydes worth of loaded trailer? Simple, the spokes are a lot thicker, and that makes them stiffer and stronger, which makes the wheel stiffer (top to bottom). In said stiffness not lateral stiffness. There is a difference.

  8. #58
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Wogsterca, those are not similar spokes. On a truck, those spokes are under compression. A bicycle wheel gets its spokes from spoke tension, not compression. Not a proper comparison. A bicycle spoke provides tension in one direction only.

    rumrunn6, don't you just love bargains like that? What kind of bike is it, and how did you find it?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  9. #59
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Wogsterca, those are not similar spokes. On a truck, those spokes are under compression. A bicycle wheel gets its spokes from spoke tension, not compression. Not a proper comparison. A bicycle spoke provides tension in one direction only.
    Really though, getting back to bicycle spokes, given all other factors being identical, which will give a stronger wheel, a 2mm diameter spoke or a 5mm diameter spoke?

  10. #60
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    So how is it then that an 8 spoke truck wheel can hold up about 60 clydes worth of loaded trailer? Simple, the spokes are a lot thicker, and that makes them stiffer and stronger, which makes the wheel stiffer (top to bottom). In said stiffness not lateral stiffness. There is a difference.
    An 8 spoke truck wheel is architecturally similar in concept to a cantilevered bridge, with support from both the top and bottom of the wheel, whereas a bicycle wheel is more like an endless suspension bridge, relying on actually supporting the load by hanging on the top spokes and the lateral spokes prevent rim deformation.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  11. #61
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Really though, getting back to bicycle spokes, given all other factors being identical, which will give a stronger wheel, a 2mm diameter spoke or a 5mm diameter spoke?
    The answer to that is in The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt. The author is available for discussion in the rec.bicycles.tech newsgroup.

    The answer is "it depends" because you don't want your spokes to be too thin or too thick. If they're too thin, they'll break, and if they're too thick, they won't stretch under stress. As Jobst discovered when he did his measurements leading up to the book, spokes that are thinner than you would think are ideal make a more durable wheel because that stretching spreads the stress to neighboring spokes, reducing maximum stress to the individual spoke. He found that double butted spokes are ideal for this reason.

    Remember, anecdotal evidence is less valuable than repeated samples. In other words, when one guy says, "my wheels don't follow that design, and they've held up well (or they haven't)" it's only one person. What counts is large samples of the population. Brandt is the only one who measured these things. His book debunks a lot of myths that circulate in the cycling community.
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  12. #62
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    The answer to that is in The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt. The author is available for discussion in the rec.bicycles.tech newsgroup.

    The answer is "it depends" because you don't want your spokes to be too thin or too thick. If they're too thin, they'll break, and if they're too thick, they won't stretch under stress. As Jobst discovered when he did his measurements leading up to the book, spokes that are thinner than you would think are ideal make a more durable wheel because that stretching spreads the stress to neighboring spokes, reducing maximum stress to the individual spoke. He found that double butted spokes are ideal for this reason.

    Remember, anecdotal evidence is less valuable than repeated samples. In other words, when one guy says, "my wheels don't follow that design, and they've held up well (or they haven't)" it's only one person. What counts is large samples of the population. Brandt is the only one who measured these things. His book debunks a lot of myths that circulate in the cycling community.
    This is all fine, except for one thing, how is it that one rider can have a 20 spoke front and a 24 spoke rear wheel, weighs 240lbs, has been riding those wheels for years and they are as true now as when new. Another rider has 40 spoke wheels, weighs 225lbs and breaks a spoke a week. The difference is the first riders wheels are properly tensioned for that wheel, the second isn't. Telling riders that they MUST spend $200 each on new wheels because their current wheels don't have the required 36 spokes is doing them a disservice, especially when a $25 truing and tensioning by a wheel builder, who has a clue, will fix the problem.

  13. #63
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Riding style also affects this. Does the rider absorb road shock with their legs or just plunk down in the saddle? Do they try to choose the smoothest line, or do they beat their wheels to death? Do they curb hop?

    All of these are factors, as well.

    Personally, I don't sweat over the idea of saving a few grams on my wheels, and run deep profile, high spoke count wheels because they work best for me.....

    I don't like having component failure in the wheels, so I hand build bombproof wheels for my rides. Matter of fact, the wheels on my Allez, if the tires weren't so skinny, would stand up to rough offroad use. I essentially specced the wheels to be able to ride the Paris-Roubaix on the cobblstones if I chose to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    This is all fine, except for one thing, how is it that one rider can have a 20 spoke front and a 24 spoke rear wheel, weighs 240lbs, has been riding those wheels for years and they are as true now as when new. Another rider has 40 spoke wheels, weighs 225lbs and breaks a spoke a week. The difference is the first riders wheels are properly tensioned for that wheel, the second isn't. Telling riders that they MUST spend $200 each on new wheels because their current wheels don't have the required 36 spokes is doing them a disservice, especially when a $25 truing and tensioning by a wheel builder, who has a clue, will fix the problem.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  14. #64
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Riding style also affects this. Does the rider absorb road shock with their legs or just plunk down in the saddle? Do they try to choose the smoothest line, or do they beat their wheels to death? Do they curb hop?

    All of these are factors, as well.

    Personally, I don't sweat over the idea of saving a few grams on my wheels, and run deep profile, high spoke count wheels because they work best for me.....

    I don't like having component failure in the wheels, so I hand build bombproof wheels for my rides. Matter of fact, the wheels on my Allez, if the tires weren't so skinny, would stand up to rough offroad use. I essentially specced the wheels to be able to ride the Paris-Roubaix on the cobblstones if I chose to.
    Very true there are a lot of factors, which is why I have a problem with some people who look at spoke count as the only thing that matters and that there is a magical correlation between a spoke count of 36 and a rider weight in excess of 200lbs, and that if the spoke count were reduced to 34 (not sure how you would build a 35 spoke wheel) the wheels will immediately collapse. Some bikes look much nicer with the lower spoke count wheels, I'm thinking something like a Trek Madone here or an Opus Vivace, higher end CF "fun" bikes. They would look silly though on a Surly LHT or any other touring bike.

  15. #65
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I agree with Sheldon Brown's opinion on lower spoke wheels in that in many cases you need a heavier rim which offsets the benefits of having less spokes and the wheel itself is not superior to a conventional wheel... in the modern day a conventional wheel has 32 spokes which is sufficient for most riders.

    Lower spoke wheels can be very strong but a single spoke failure can and usually results in the wheel becoming un-rideable.

    I was once talking to one of the new mechs about wheels and was saying that you could take 4-5 spokes out of an old 40 spoke English wheel and it will still run true enough to be ridden. He was in total disagreement and then, not more than five minutes later a fellow came in with an old Raleigh 3 speed that had lost 5 spokes in the rear wheel.

    The wheel was still true enough to be ridden... and he had been riding it like this for some time.

    For commuters, tourers and utilitarian riders a conventional wheel makes more sense and bicycle companies and wheel makers offer low spoke wheels because they can be less expensive to make and have a high wow factor. Lacing up and building a low spoke wheel is rather easy as the rim itself is so stiff and is much like building BMX wheels which also have heavy and extremely stiff rims.

    I overbuild my wheels as although I am not a Clyde I do carry immense amount of gear and tow some very heavy loads (300 plus pounds).

    The people I build wheels for tend to be average folks who never want to worry about their wheels but I also deal with some pretty big folks who need serious wheels and just can't get them off the shelf.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Very true there are a lot of factors, which is why I have a problem with some people who look at spoke count as the only thing that matters and that there is a magical correlation between a spoke count of 36 and a rider weight in excess of 200lbs, and that if the spoke count were reduced to 34 (not sure how you would build a 35 spoke wheel) the wheels will immediately collapse. Some bikes look much nicer with the lower spoke count wheels, I'm thinking something like a Trek Madone here or an Opus Vivace, higher end CF "fun" bikes. They would look silly though on a Surly LHT or any other touring bike.
    There is no magic. But you are on one hand talking about fashion and on the other about engineering. Pick your hand and stick with it. I think the OP has a strength (engineering) problem, not a fashion problem.

    Certainly you would agree that each pair of spokes removed from a wheel weakens the wheel to loads that are statistically significant? If this has truth then when building new wheels would you not recommend most the robust design available for the OP? At the same time given economic, logistical, or time constraints having an existing wheel rebuilt and tensioned by a skilled builder whether it's 24, 28 or 32 spokes often makes sense doesn't it? Either choice will likely lead to more satisfaction than hemorrhaging money on a stream of cheap, poorly built wheels

    Later,
    HB

  17. #67
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heckboy View Post
    There is no magic. But you are on one hand talking about fashion and on the other about engineering. Pick your hand and stick with it. I think the OP has a strength (engineering) problem, not a fashion problem.

    Certainly you would agree that each pair of spokes removed from a wheel weakens the wheel to loads that are statistically significant? If this has truth then when building new wheels would you not recommend most the robust design available for the OP? At the same time given economic, logistical, or time constraints having an existing wheel rebuilt and tensioned by a skilled builder whether it's 24, 28 or 32 spokes often makes sense doesn't it? Either choice will likely lead to more satisfaction than hemorrhaging money on a stream of cheap, poorly built wheels

    Later,
    HB
    I agree, if your building new wheels for some reason, say a rim or hub failure, then by all means buy the best wheel you can, and the strongest wheel you can. However we need to get away from this idea that if you have a problem with a 24 or 28 spoke wheel, that the only reason you could possibly have any problem is that the rider is over 200lbs and the wheel has less then 36 spokes. I have heard here before, given the advice you need to spend $300 on a new wheel, when a $30 tensioning done by a good wheel builder will often suffice to making the current wheel work well enough.

    One of the real issues is that very few production road bikes still come with 36 spoke wheels, so if you spend $1000 on a bike, then the need to spend another $500 on wheels, it's going to break the bank for a lot of potential riders.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    I ...<snip>...

    One of the real issues is that very few production road bikes still come with 36 spoke wheels, so if you spend $1000 on a bike, then the need to spend another $500 on wheels, it's going to break the bank for a lot of potential riders.
    That is an offense of the marketing department. The entry level bike should certainly have a nice heavy duty set of wheels that'll last for a good long time.

    If you look at the link to the OPs bike you'll see that it has paired 24 spoke wheels although the rims look like they've got a pretty deep section. That is fashion over function in the worst way. Can these be rebuilt to last for the OP? I dunno.

    Later,
    HB

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    I think that when you break a spoke and then ride home you overstress the spokes around it, causing them to fail sooner.

    I got this little kit with a kevlar cord which can be used to replace a spoke which breaks until you get home.

    Other than that, if you're good about not using the wheel after a breakage and you keep replacing spokes and retensioning and they keep breaking anyway, the spokes are at the end of their fatigue life and the entire wheel should be redone.

    Last, I don't know if it's the deep rim or the low spoke count or the longer top tube leading to better aerodynamics but a new bike sure feels a lot faster than an old one to me.
    Last edited by garage sale GT; 05-16-09 at 07:29 PM.

  20. #70
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    Wogs,

    I don't think you'll see anyone on here disagree with the value of a proper tensioning and truing. But, please, quit trying to debunk the arguement for additional spoke count with "just tension" your wheels. I hope you would agree that if both are "properly tensioned" a wheel with higher spoke count is going to be more durable for a given rider, conditions and riding style than one of few spokes. If so, we are left determining how many spokes are "necessary" for said rider, his environment and style. Add to that a riders expectations with regard to maintenance intervals, etc.

    Some of those on here are riding lower spoke count wheels without issue. I suspect they have roads of reasonable repair, perhaps rural or mup where grates and man holes are less frequent, may have more riding skills with regard to riding light than would be expected of a new rider, have a working relationship with an individual they have identified as a reliable "wheelsmith", or have learned the skills themselves, etc. On the flip side, take a new rider, who hasn't yet mastered flowing through road obstructions, give them a low count wheel of less than high quality and ask a random mechanic from any shop to service that wheel and you're chances of trouble free riding go way down. Our only good honest answer to such a person, has to be to investigate wheels of higher spoke count. They still need to be tensioned properly, but they give a much wider margin for abuse from both the new rider and the perhaps less skilled mechanic than a pair of 16/20's or 20/24's.

    It wasn't long ago that I started a thread asking fellow clydes about their low spoke count experiences. From the limited respondents I noticed a couple patterns. One was, that low count wheels which had few or no negative replies were almost exclusively from what we would consider "higher" quality. Two, once you moved into mid-range or entry level low count wheels, for every rider that could say I have "xxxx" trouble free miles there was another who would report how many times they had broken spokes, relaced wheels, trashed bearings(not spoke count related), or in other ways destroyed such wheels.

    Look at higher spoke count wheels, 32-36, and while you'll still find the occassional horror story, they are far fewer and further in between. So, if someone posts on here, looking for advice about finding more durable wheels, don't be surprised when the overwhelming response is,"Get yourself some Ultegra hubs, laced 3 cross, with 14ga or 14/15 wheelsmith or DT spokes, to some Mavic Open Pro's, Velocity Deep V's or the like. Then, after a short break in, get them properly retensioned." It's solid advice.

    Leave the low cost, low count, wheels to those who are of low weight.
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  21. #71
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    so I didn't buy a wheel yet. I probably will but first I wanted to play and ride. Here's a bike I fixed up this weekend. It's a 40 yr old tank, but with Armadillos cranked up to 120 I flew and didn't notice the extra weight.
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  22. #72
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Ha. A Varsity. I just picked one up at the dump. We were just talking about these on another thread. Tank is the right word. Super heavy, but one of the most durable bikes built in 40 years. Built to withstand the abuse that only a 13 year old can dish out.

    The brake levers are too low.
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  23. #73
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    ... or a 50 yr old! :-)

    The brake levers are where I like them - right where my hands are. I sometimes even ride with my hands on the long flat part at the bottom of the drop.

    It might make more sense if I had a picture of me riding it.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  24. #74
    HAMMER DOWN SSBully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post

    Leave the low cost, low count, wheels to those who are of low weight.
    Low cost anything, on a clyde's bike is going to fail sooner than a higher quality component. So really the "high spoke count" advice that's being used here is just to save the riders who are inexperienced and don't want to/have the funds for proper gear for a rider of their skill level or size?
    Aaaaawwwww look at all of those cute gears and shifters and cables and derailleurs! Isn't that special! Overall it's a sweet bike! I do have one question though...........................Do they make them for men?

  25. #75
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Look, it's not rocket science. All things being equal, more spokes in a wheel make the wheel stronger. Some get away with low count spokes, but there is a point where you're testing fate.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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