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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 08-18-10, 07:28 PM   #1
ChunkyB
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Wheels for chunky rider

I am getting tired of popping spokes, and never having true wheels. I want to get some new wheels, and wondering if anyone has any specific suggestions for strong wheels. I don't care about weight or aerodynamics. I am currently 266 (down from 288 in June).

I was looking at buying some wheels at bicyclewheelwarehouse. I've read enough info about the site in other threads, so I won't ask for reviews. They have a few options for wheels that are marked as super strong for heavy riders (DT Swiss RR1.2, Mavic A319, and a few house brand wheels). I may go with them, but if I do I have to choose my hubs/spokes/nipples. I am wondering if there is any difference in strength between 105 and Ultegra hubs, and if I should go with alloy or brass nips? Also, do I need to take anything special into consideration with spokes?

They have 1 set of wheels with a 36 spoke option, and I'm wondering if this is inherently more strong than 32 spokes, or if it comes down to the wheel more than anything.

If anyone has any suggestions on a different wheel set/build that I can ride without problems please post them.

And, I know this is a super broad topic, but if any heavy riders have any general advice about wheel maintenance/durability, please let me know.
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Old 08-18-10, 08:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
I am getting tired of popping spokes, and never having true wheels. I want to get some new wheels, and wondering if anyone has any specific suggestions for strong wheels. I don't care about weight or aerodynamics. I am currently 266 (down from 288 in June).

I was looking at buying some wheels at bicyclewheelwarehouse. I've read enough info about the site in other threads, so I won't ask for reviews. They have a few options for wheels that are marked as super strong for heavy riders (DT Swiss RR1.2, Mavic A319, and a few house brand wheels). I may go with them, but if I do I have to choose my hubs/spokes/nipples. I am wondering if there is any difference in strength between 105 and Ultegra hubs, and if I should go with alloy or brass nips? Also, do I need to take anything special into consideration with spokes?

They have 1 set of wheels with a 36 spoke option, and I'm wondering if this is inherently more strong than 32 spokes, or if it comes down to the wheel more than anything.

If anyone has any suggestions on a different wheel set/build that I can ride without problems please post them.

And, I know this is a super broad topic, but if any heavy riders have any general advice about wheel maintenance/durability, please let me know.
The key to a strong wheel isn't so much the components, but the build. A well built wheel, even with adequate components can easily last 15,000 miles, some last longer. Check with bicycle clubs and the local forum for your area and see if someone can recommend a wheel builder. You call the wheel builder, tell them what kind of riding you do, you tell them your weight, that you want a durable wheel, what size tires you want to run and how much your budget is. That's all they really need to know.
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Old 08-18-10, 08:36 PM   #3
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since you asked for equipment recommendations, I'll put in a good word for the Velocity Dyad rim. Or, if you want to run thinner tires, the Velocity Deep V can handle them.

I'm not expert enough to know, but I would think that more spokes = better, all else equal
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Old 08-18-10, 09:13 PM   #4
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You're wasting your time if you think spoke count is the only thing that matters. As Wogster said, find yourself a good wheel builder. They can either rebuild your old wheels properly or they can build you a reasonably priced wheel that will last you many thousands of miles. I wouldn't buy any wheel off the internet unless you know exactly who built the wheel whether they are marked as super strong for heavy riders or not. If the wheel is not built and tensioned properly it won't matter if you have 42 spokes.
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Old 08-19-10, 08:53 AM   #5
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I'll agree, but if you want to go cheap look at the 36h Vuelta XRP Tourist sold by Bikeisland. They are $$ cheap, and heavy, but I've found them to be bombproof with a load on my bike after a hundreds of miles. My caveat is I have less than a thousand miles on them, and most of that wasn't under a heavy load. And, I've ridden 20/24 wheelsets long distances and never have broken a spoke, so perhaps I'm not a good test case. But, if you don't want to pop for a custom build, it's an alternative. I've run them with 25 or 32 Schwalbes.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:58 AM   #6
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Colorado Cyclist puts together a good set of Mavic CXP33's with Ultegra hubs that have done well for me, even racing cyclocross on them @ 250lbs.
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Old 08-19-10, 06:42 PM   #7
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I don't understand why so many seem to have issues with wheels. I'm 293 lbs. last Monday,ride an old Bridgestone with funky old wheels. The front is the original Sakae/Araya and rear is an Abus (I think,it's dirty) large flange with a Campy rim. Both are 36 holers and I run 700X32's @ 86/90 PSI .So far since last October they've needed attention with the spoke wrench once. I am kinda anal and true with a dial gage to .010" OAR. In addition I ride half pavement and half gravel (tiny packed gravel with an occasional shale patch) that haven't been surfaced in recent memory. Are new wheels crappy or what?
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Old 08-19-10, 10:06 PM   #8
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I don't understand why so many seem to have issues with wheels. .....................So far since last October they've needed attention with the spoke wrench once.
Time has no indication of durability when it comes to a wheel. Mileage would be a better indicator. Are you doing 5,000-7,000 miles per year.

October is about 10 months, coming up on a year,how many miles have you put on that wheel. I've put 20,000 miles in 3 years, that was the life of one good wheel. If I rode only 1,000 miles per year, that would have made my wheel last 20 years.

So an mileage count on how many miles you put on those old wheels would be a better indcation of why wheels last much longer for some and not for others.

I love it when a poster says, I've had the wheels for 6 months with no problems. Doesn't mean much when the poster has only put 200 miles on the bike in those 6 months.
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Old 08-19-10, 10:14 PM   #9
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I've been riding Spinergy Xaero Lites since April, and I've got about 2,000 miles on them. I'm a relatively big guy, 6'1", was 280, now 260. The Spinergy wheels use a stranded-fiber spoke that is so flexibly you can tie it in a knot (kind of freaks some people out when I show them that with a spare spoke I got...just for that purpose). The wheels are light, and I haven't had to have them trued yet.

The fiber spokes have the additional benefit of soaking up the road chatter. I highly recommend these wheels. You can find them beginning at about $450, and you can get the spokes in several colors if you like.

Charles
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Old 08-20-10, 01:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChunkyB View Post
...
I was looking at buying some wheels at bicyclewheelwarehouse. I've read enough info about the site in other threads, so I won't ask for reviews. They have a few options for wheels that are marked as super strong for heavy riders (DT Swiss RR1.2, Mavic A319, and a few house brand wheels). I may go with them, but if I do I have to choose my hubs/spokes/nipples. I am wondering if there is any difference in strength between 105 and Ultegra hubs, and if I should go with alloy or brass nips? Also, do I need to take anything special into consideration with spokes?

They have 1 set of wheels with a 36 spoke option, and I'm wondering if this is inherently more strong than 32 spokes, or if it comes down to the wheel more than anything.

If anyone has any suggestions on a different wheel set/build that I can ride without problems please post them.

And, I know this is a super broad topic, but if any heavy riders have any general advice about wheel maintenance/durability, please let me know.
I have a new set of DT Swiss RR1.2's in 28 hole drilling that I am running on my vintage road bike laced up to vintage Dura Ace hubs that have been great so far with no issues. I weigh 265#. If you get the RR1.2's I think 36 hole might be overkill since its a semi aero design and very strong. The Mavic A319 rims are for loaded touring and are quite heavy, like 600 grams each. These are a little wider and permit the use of much wider tires like 700x32. A fellow club rider had these as standard on a Giant disc brake touring road bike he bought. His bike was cool but for the group rides he was always slower than everybody else.

For spoke nipples, you can't go wrong with brass. As for the Ultegra upgrade over the 105 hubs, I would seriously consider paying the upcharge for the Ultegra hubs just to get the better finish on the hub body, the nicer chrome plating on the locknuts on the axle and most likely a little better polish on the cones. For spokes, my mechanic always uses DT Swiss. I have butted spokes in the front and straight gauge for strength in the rear (due to just 28 spokes).
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Old 08-20-10, 08:07 AM   #11
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Time has no indication of durability when it comes to a wheel. Mileage would be a better indicator. Are you doing 5,000-7,000 miles per year.

October is about 10 months, coming up on a year,how many miles have you put on that wheel. I've put 20,000 miles in 3 years, that was the life of one good wheel. If I rode only 1,000 miles per year, that would have made my wheel last 20 years.

So an mileage count on how many miles you put on those old wheels would be a better indcation of why wheels last much longer for some and not for others.

I love it when a poster says, I've had the wheels for 6 months with no problems. Doesn't mean much when the poster has only put 200 miles on the bike in those 6 months.
How kind of you to use that to criticize me. And brag about the mileage you put down. What a guy.

Perhaps you missed the part about the old bike and wheels. Who knows how many miles they've seen.

Last edited by XR2; 08-20-10 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
since you asked for equipment recommendations, I'll put in a good word for the Velocity Dyad rim. Or, if you want to run thinner tires, the Velocity Deep V can handle them.

I'm not expert enough to know, but I would think that more spokes = better, all else equal
+1 on the Dyad! I have put over 2,000 miles on a rear wheel w/ a 36h Dyad rim, and it's only had to be trued once. It's remained dead arrow straight and true since truing and restensioning at the LBS and no broken spokes. I got the wheel (which came with a Deore LX hub) for $125 as a Handspun product through AEbike.com. Not sure if they're still carrying it, but if they are, I would highly recommend it.

I weighed over 300# when the wheel went on, am currently around 290, and regularly carry an extra 10 pounds of weight in my rack trunk on my daily commute.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:13 AM   #13
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+1 on the Dyad! I have put over 2,000 miles on a rear wheel w/ a 36h Dyad rim, and it's only had to be trued once. It's remained dead arrow straight and true since truing and restensioning at the LBS and no broken spokes. I got the wheel (which came with a Deore LX hub) for $125 as a Handspun product through AEbike.com. Not sure if they're still carrying it, but if they are, I would highly recommend it.

I weighed over 300# when the wheel went on, am currently around 290, and regularly carry an extra 10 pounds of weight in my rack trunk on my daily commute.
good to hear! I only have a few hundred miles on the Dyad so did not want to celebrate too much too early lest I be skewered by the Meaner Beaner :-) no truing necessary even after my first crash.

mine came with a Deore LX hub as well. tons of people told me this hub was too wide for my road bike and would invalidate the frame warranty and so on. but it's been great so far

I did pay a bit more than you did though :-(
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Old 08-20-10, 10:00 AM   #14
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Just looked. They still carry them, they're in stock, and are selling for $115 now. Free shipping on orders over $75 from them, too. Pretty good deal.
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Old 08-20-10, 10:08 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm gonna try to find a good local wheel builder to get me started.

Also, I've never even heard of using mountain hubs on a road bike. What are the ramifications of this? Are there any potential problems, and can you use your road cassette and stuff? Thanks.
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Old 08-20-10, 07:00 PM   #16
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Generally, more spokes the better simply cause it distributes the weight out more-so than 32, or 36 or whatever....but like it was said above, even a 42 spoke wheel can pop and snap if it was crappily built. Find a knowledgeable wheel builder and go from there. I personally would want more spokes, 36 is fine for me and anything over that is over-kill unless you are touring with a lot of weight in the panniers....and even then, a lot of people tour with the standard 32 spokes....so I guess to sum up, there is wisdom in going with a few more spokes but NOTHING beats a solidly built wheel by a pro.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:32 PM   #17
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How kind of you to use that to criticize me. And brag about the mileage you put down. What a guy.

Perhaps you missed the part about the old bike and wheels. Who knows how many miles they've seen.
Your reading comprehension seems to be lacking. The point is that it doesn't matter how old the wheels are unless you post the mileage.

I did not miss the part about being old, I missed the part about how many miles they have seen as you have missed the importance of the info that really means something to anyone. When you say you don't understand why others have so many problems, you fail to se the importance of the mileage I posted as it means something compared to your lacking post. Sorry if you fail to see the importance of mileage compared to years sitting in the closet.

Sorry to upset you but your post means absolutely nothing without the facts that actually matter.

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 08-20-10 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 08-21-10, 07:34 AM   #18
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Oh, dear. Back to the OP...

I went through a lot of heartache over this in my second full year of serious cycling. After lots of research, I discovered:

- good wheels are worth the investment, if nothing else so that I stop worrying about them
- it is possible to have wheels that hold up to my 230 and hammering style (I stand on hills)
- a wheel build is art -- not anyone can do it

After a number of false starts, I ended up with deep-vs, 28 front and 36 rear, dt swiss 2x and 3x, with ultegra hubs, from a reputable builder who spoke to me for about 40 mins before making a recommendation, and who guaranteed they would not go out of true.

It's very important to have wheels tensioned properly, and for the most part that cycle needs to include a re-tensioning ealry (say 200 miles in). In my case, that was done by the builder and I had them re-tensioned and fully checked over after 2,000 miles. Only needed a mild re-tensioning on the front. And now, they have about 5,000 miles on them and I love them.
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