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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 04-06-10, 09:44 PM   #1
mwchandler21
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Spokes

I'm looking at buying this bike. http://www.rei.com/product/796397
My only real concern is the spoke count of the wheel set (front 16, back 20). Can a Clyde ride these okay? Is the main concern that they will go out of true more often or break? My main route has its share of bumpy parts (Cracked pavement, bridge expansion joints). So an occasional jar is inevitable.
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Old 04-06-10, 10:38 PM   #2
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I'd not risk it, myself. Just seems like you want at least 24 count in the back if you are beyond the normal weight range.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:03 PM   #3
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If I were to buy a bike it would be that one. It gets RAVE reviews in the road forum, awesome frame all around. However, I'd swap the wheels out immediately. It's not just the low spoke count, it's those specific wheels that are pretty weak, heavy, and crappy all around.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:15 PM   #4
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I'm stretching my budget to get to it to begin with. Normally would a shop buy back the unwanted wheels and sell the bike with the wheel set I'm more comfortable with at the difference between the parts? Or am I looking at buying a second set of wheels on top of the bike? Which will probably price me out of this bike.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:52 PM   #5
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You'd be better off spending about $1000 on a bike, and getting some better wheels with the $600 left over. You could get some nice wheels for that amount.

Or you could look at this one: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...enuItemId=9257

It is a very comfy road bike, was designed around people who use the bike for charity rides or centuries. Has a reasonable amount of spokes, good drivetrain, the same gearing, a slightly larger tire, and stronger wheels.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:55 PM   #6
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It depends on the shop. All you can do is ask and see what they can do for you. Now what you could do, if nothing else, is buy the bike then sell the wheels on eBay for some money towards some more clydesdale appropriate wheels. Or buy the bike, start saving some more money and use them until they go out then get you a better set of wheels.
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Old 04-07-10, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwchandler21 View Post
I'm looking at buying this bike. http://www.rei.com/product/796397
My only real concern is the spoke count of the wheel set (front 16, back 20). Can a Clyde ride these okay?
How much does this Clyde weigh? I put quite a few miles on a set of 16/20-spoke wheels when I weighed 210+lbs. Never had a problem, never needed to true the wheels, and they're still in great shape. I think the wheels I rode could have easily handled a 250lb rider...

Quote:
Is the main concern that they will go out of true more often or break?
Yes to both. If you listen to the people in this forum you'll also be worried that low-spoke wheels might: explode into flames, embezzle money from your retirement fund, or run away with your wife/girlfriend to the Cayman Islands.

The truth is that none of these things is likely to happen if the wheels are well-built, the spokes are properly tensioned, and your weight isn't too extreme. Will wheels with low spoke counts be more likely to go out of true or break a spoke? Sure. Is it guaranteed to happen? No. Would a set of 24/28-spoke wheels be better? Yes. Are they required? No.

The CAAD9-4 is an awesome bike! If I were you, I'd buy it in a heartbeat! If you're worried about the wheels, I'd suggest the following:

1) Buy the bike now and start riding it

2) Save money for a wheelset with more spokes. You won't need them immediately, but you may want them at some point. For $200-300 you can get a great set of hand-built wheels from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse, among others.

3) Buy a Park TM-1 tension meter and a spoke wrench, learn how to use them, and check your spoke tension regularly. This will go a long way toward eliminating possible wheel problems. Should only add $60-65 to the purchase price of the bike.
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Old 04-07-10, 10:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwchandler21 View Post
I'm stretching my budget to get to it to begin with. Normally would a shop buy back the unwanted wheels and sell the bike with the wheel set I'm more comfortable with at the difference between the parts? Or am I looking at buying a second set of wheels on top of the bike? Which will probably price me out of this bike.
I have a bike stock equipped with low spoke count wheels. My plan is always to ride the wheels, get what you can out of them. Maintain them as best possible but buy a component here and there (good sales) for a replacement because the day will come. I always plan ahead to replace the rear wheel first.

Keep an eye out for riding buds. I myself have given away a gang of bike parts, hubs, wheels etc. Also had others offer me Ultegra wheels because the rims were bad. So you never now when one might help you out with a good qulaity hub that will ease the pain (cost) when a new wheel is needed.
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