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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 08-27-09, 10:25 AM   #1
Crabster
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Biking ain't fun anymore

So my son and I woke up bright and early this morning and went for a nice little 30 mile ride. At mile 18 I heard a BANG and felt the rear wheel start to get mushy. Stopped to check and sure enough broke a spoke. Had to call the wife to come and rescue us.

I've had issues with spokes getting loose on the rear wheel the last few weeks and my LBS worked on it each time. Keep in mind the bike , a Specialized Sequoia, was bought new last month. My last bike, a Specialized Crosstrail, had an issue of breaking rear spokes too. I took the bike back today. The owner says he will contact Specialized to see what other wheel options are available. He says we might even have to go the custom route and that there could be a price difference in the exchange of wheels.

Right now biking isn't fun anymore. If this is the way it'll be then why bother? All I want to do is go out and ride, and ride with my son too.
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Old 08-27-09, 10:34 AM   #2
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Interesting - I have a Specialized Crossroads where I've broken two spokes on the rear wheel within the last month, but the bike is about 3 years old with close to 3000 miles on it. You may have to bite the bullet and replace the rear wheel, (which is what I'm planning to do). Out here in Southern California, a new rear wheel for a hybrd runs around $60-$75, and if it lasts as long as my last one, its not a bad return on investment.

It is frustrating, isn't it? you just want to get out and ride and there the bike sits in the garage. After you get your spoke issues sorted out, you probably won't have problems again for a long time. By the way, how do you like your Sequia? I'm looking for an entry level road/ fitness bike and I've heard some good things about them. Anyway, good luck and don't give up!!
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Old 08-27-09, 10:35 AM   #3
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This problem can be solved. Wheels are highly variable in quality; I've bought some off-the-shelf that worked well but there have been others on which I continually broke spokes. Even after I had one of these rebuilt completely there was still a spoke-breakage problem, so that might be attributable to the rim.

If you have a bike shop you trust, go in and ask about a sturdy wheel. They may have to build it from scratch but if they have a competent wheel builder it should last you for years without trouble. There are probably other options I don't know about.
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Old 08-27-09, 10:47 AM   #4
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So what is going on in Clyde/Athena land today? Seems to be a lot of complaining today over nothing.

Broken spokes? Sucks but it happens. Would you throw in the towel over a flat tire or a skipping derailleur? This is all part of cycling, it's not a question of if something is going to break or wear out its a question of when. Some sooner than others. You might just have to bite the bullet and buy yourself a nice hand built wheel. I know once you start popping spokes on a regular basis the wheel is typically tossed altogether.
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Old 08-27-09, 10:54 AM   #5
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I would go spend $250 and get a set of Neuvation wheels - http://www.neuvationcycling.com/wheels.html

They take all the abuse I can throw at them (even running them on a cyclocross bike) and they keep on coming back for more.
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Old 08-27-09, 11:24 AM   #6
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Just venting was all. Two bikes in a row with rear wheel problems=frustration. Custom wheel? I have no problem doing that but then when you go to a builder http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.asp that suggests you lose weight first and then come back and look for a wheel, well it kinda takes the air out of your sails.

Flats? Skipping derailleurs? No issues there. For whatever reason I view that as "accepted". Those issues tend to be a luck of the draw; sometimes you get them when you ride and sometimes you don't. My spoke issue is every time I ride. So yeah I am a little frustrated with that.

The Sequoia in general is a really nice bike. Mine is the 61cm. It needed a little tweaking to get comfy on it and I changed to a shorter stem but it is pretty much dialed in now. In fact today's ride felt the best so far until the spoke popped. I would think about buying another one if I had to do it again.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:14 PM   #7
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With all due respect to Peter White and hs reputation, the fact that he stays away from building clyde capable wheels signifies that he has much to learn still in the wheel buliding world.

Mr. White will never see a penny of my money nor will I ever recommend his services.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:23 PM   #8
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Yeah what does he want us to do--swim? Oh, right, can't find a swimsuit that fits. haha



I'm not that stoked about riding right now either. The last 4 times we've (or I've) gone out, something terrible has happened. In order:
1) Fractured arm/stitches (not me)
2) tire melted
3) dead baby raccoons
4) someone being murdered? Animal slaughter? Not sure but it was a bad sound and I didn't like it

And my arm fricking hurts. And it's hot. But ... I am just about to go ride anyway. In a different place than usual, because WTF. Our usual route is has bad juju
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Old 08-27-09, 12:44 PM   #9
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With all due respect to Peter White and hs reputation, the fact that he stays away from building clyde capable wheels signifies that he has much to learn still in the wheel buliding world.

Mr. White will never see a penny of my money nor will I ever recommend his services.
The way i read it, he's saying I won't build custom wheels for a racing bike for people who "shouldn't be riding one", due to weight. he's sayign that a 23 or 25mm tire is too narrow for someone like this. My question is, how much of a difference does 3mm in tire (what he puts on the bike he recommends for larger people) does it really make?
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Old 08-27-09, 12:52 PM   #10
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Hm, so I had the guy at a local bike shop hand-build me a new rear wheel when I realized I had several broken spokes.

It's been perfectly true and trouble free ever since. It's even in a configuration that Peter White offers... (I think the main part of his rant was "Don't be over 200 lbs and ask for a lightweight rim that takes 23s" but I've never talked to the guy, just read his site)
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Old 08-27-09, 01:10 PM   #11
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For those breaking spokes alot, it might be no harm learning how to fix them. I know its crap when it happens and it means walking home but if you know how to replace one and tighten it up it means no trip to the bike shop. i'd say thats the worst part.
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Old 08-27-09, 02:30 PM   #12
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I think the problem with most people fixing a spoke is that they would have to ask the bike shop which spoke to get as they wouild not have an idea of which spoke it would take. And, you would probably need to replace more than one if one actually broke. A lot of times the other spokes have weakened because of that one breaking, but it also really would depend upon the wheel and the number of spokes.

I am riding on 23c's with less than 20 spoke count and I don't break spokes anymore.
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Old 08-27-09, 02:36 PM   #13
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Just venting was all. Two bikes in a row with rear wheel problems=frustration. Custom wheel? I have no problem doing that but then when you go to a builder http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.asp that suggests you lose weight first and then come back and look for a wheel, well it kinda takes the air out of your sails.
Wow. I agree with txvintage. Mr White would never see a penny of my money, simply because of his prejudiced attitude.

Take a look here:Joe Young Wheels.
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Old 08-27-09, 02:56 PM   #14
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So what is going on in Clyde/Athena land today? Seems to be a lot of complaining today over nothing.
I'm with you. I've noticed ever since yesterday I have felt cranky---must not be riding enough. Some days you just don't know whether to laugh or to cry!
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Old 08-27-09, 03:09 PM   #15
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I think the problem with most people fixing a spoke is that they would have to ask the bike shop which spoke to get as they wouild not have an idea of which spoke it would take. And, you would probably need to replace more than one if one actually broke. A lot of times the other spokes have weakened because of that one breaking, but it also really would depend upon the wheel and the number of spokes.

I am riding on 23c's with less than 20 spoke count and I don't break spokes anymore.
I understand that, take one of each side out and bring it in to the bike shop and ask for a few spare then you have the trouble of learning to true etc but its worth it in the long run i think

although in these times of financial difficulty it might be a good idea to support a local bike shop

I haven't broken any either (fingers crossed)
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Old 08-27-09, 03:27 PM   #16
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Quit messing around and get a Deep V. I built my own and have over 20,000 mile on it. If you go with the shop rec, you're in for more trouble. Even if he wheel lasts 2000 miles, it's still heartbreaking.

Some will say Deep V's are too heavy and too slow. C'mon, that's the engine!
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Old 08-27-09, 03:34 PM   #17
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For those breaking spokes alot, it might be no harm learning how to fix them. I know its crap when it happens and it means walking home ...
It shouldn't even mean that if the wheel has a decent number of spokes (say 32 for the rear). I had a broken spoke on a recent ride due to the wheel banging into the pedal of another bike mounted on the hitch-mount rack on our way to the start. Made the wheel a little out-of-true, but it was still usable for the 45 mile ride and I bought a replacement spoke ($0.55) on my way home.

If the rim rubs on the brake due to the broken spoke it can usually be corrected by slight loosening of the two adjacent spokes and tightening the pair that are two positions over. Keep track of how much you loosen/tighten them and you can quickly undo things once you get a replacement spoke and make the wheel true again. I always carry a spoke wrench in my basic tool kit, so a broken spoke is just a minor annoyance and not something that ends the ride.
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Old 08-27-09, 03:44 PM   #18
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Wow. I agree with txvintage. Mr White would never see a penny of my money, simply because of his prejudiced attitude.
I didn't see anything on White's site that indicated a prejudiced attitude - only a reluctance to accept a job order with conflicting requirements; i.e. a wheel that's strong enough for someone with twice the weight but still just as light as would be appropriate for a skinny racer. You can make it strong or you can make it really light, but there are technical problems with doing both at the same time.
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Old 08-27-09, 03:47 PM   #19
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For those breaking spokes alot, it might be no harm learning how to fix them. I know its crap when it happens and it means walking home but if you know how to replace one and tighten it up it means no trip to the bike shop. i'd say thats the worst part.
Like Prathman says, exactly why I use the 32h wheels. I can fix them anytime anywhere and get back. I've had buds with lowcounts that had to wait for a ride.

Really no harm in learining how to build them. I've hear building is like an art. I must be one heck of an artist cause my first wheel has over 20,000. I was waisting lots of time and money on the pro shops till I built my own. Depending on someone else to do it right sucks!
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Old 08-27-09, 03:58 PM   #20
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I would go spend $250 and get a set of Neuvation wheels - http://www.neuvationcycling.com/wheels.html

They take all the abuse I can throw at them (even running them on a cyclocross bike) and they keep on coming back for more.
great wheels. nothing but good reviews everywhere you look
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Old 08-27-09, 03:58 PM   #21
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Wow. I read the Peter White page linked earlier in this thread. I personally don't think the guy intends any ill will with his page but I surely see that it could be written with a little more subtlety.

He's very correct in what he's saying but it's just kind of blunt. I really don't think the guy is being discriminatory though. He doesn't say anything on that page to keep me from buying anything from him but I should add I'm not in the market to buy wheels from anybody at all right now, nor do I see it happening. I'm pretty content with stock wheels.

I kind of fit into his scenario. I'm not a bike racer, so why would I need race wheels.

Now all this being said. If I did need wheels, and his writing did make me sensitive then I'd be damned if I'd spend a nickel there. To each his or her own.

To the OP. Don't let anybody get you down and lower your motivation. There are good wheel solutions here on the forum and it smells to me that may be the way you need to go. Finding the proverbial bomb proof wheels, that is.

But don't let anybody break your stride or spirit.

Buy a spare set of wheels or something and if you need to be rescued, don't get rescued. Change the wheel and keep rolling.

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Old 08-27-09, 04:12 PM   #22
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Like Prathman says, exactly why I use the 32h wheels. I can fix them anytime anywhere and get back. I've had buds with lowcounts that had to wait for a ride.

Really no harm in learining how to build them. I've hear building is like an art. I must be one heck of an artist cause my first wheel has over 20,000. I was waisting lots of time and money on the pro shops till I built my own. Depending on someone else to do it right sucks!
i agree, its a control/power thing with me. I prefer to do it myself even if i didn't get it right and my new wheels now are flying. so far so good anyway i found the sheldon brown wheelbuilding guide dead handy the hardest is getting the right spoke size but with regular well stocked parts its not too bad
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Old 08-27-09, 07:40 PM   #23
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I know the feeling I bought a new bike this year and early in the summer almost ever weekend I went out for a ride I would snap a spoke, a couple of times I was lucky and close to home the last time I was about 20K out and no one home to pick me up. After the last break they replaced the stock rim with a Mavic A719 haven't had a problem since.
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Old 08-27-09, 08:22 PM   #24
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Wow. I read the Peter White page linked earlier in this thread. I personally don't think the guy intends any ill will with his page but I surely see that it could be written with a little more subtlety.
I nearly bought a 'bent last year that would have needed a set of wheels. I spoke with Peter White on the phone and he quite helpful and more than willing to build an appropriate set of wheels, even when I was weighing in at 250 lbs back then. He is somewhat blunt - I did ask a yes/no question once via email and received a response: "no" was the entire text of the message

Anyway - listen to Mr. Beanz. He's recommending a rim that works great for his Clyde self and he probably puts more miles on 'em than many of us put together. Here's what Peter White has to say about the Deep V rim:
The Deep V is a very stiff rim. While time trialists like it for the improved aerodynamics, I like it for the increased stiffness, which makes it suitable for heavier riders, and for reduced spoke count wheels. For instance, where I would not be comfortable recommending a 28 spoke Aerohead wheelset to a 200 lb rider, the Deep V works fine with 28 spokes.
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Old 08-27-09, 08:41 PM   #25
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Just adding more support to get a decent human built Clyde compatible wheel combo, I put 1k miles on a '08 Sequoia doing commutes and fitness rides this last year, in that time I broke a rear spoke, and spent at least once or twice a week truing spokes that would come loose during my 27mi commute and start to make noise each wheel rotation which was a signal to me that another spoke was ready to break... I kind of assumed the problem was not the bike but weekly wheel truing was just part of the pain of being a clyde and more motivation to lose weight...

This summer I decided I wanted to get into longer comfy/touring rides (centuries and maybe even overnight camping), so I bought a Surly LHT, it came with 36 spoke Alex touring rims, fat 37C tires and a steel frame, and after 400mi so far, not only is the ride so much more lush and comfortable over bumps on the LHT compared to the Sequoia, but I haven't even had to true the wheels once...

I definitely think it's the combo of 36 spoke touring wheel + wider 37C tires + human made wheels on the Surly which makes the difference in handling my clydeness without spoke problems so far, compared to the cheap, machine made 28/32 spoke wheels and skinny 25mm tire combo on the Sequoia...

I'd definitely recommend you consider getting a more clyde compatible wheel combo for your Sequoia, I know that's what I plan to do since I'll be keeping the Sequoia for my shorter quick MUP fitness rides where skinny tires, light aluminum bike and easy accelerations feel good.
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