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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 10-03-10, 07:37 PM   #1
Lone_rider
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Breaking spokes on road bike

Hi everyone. I bought myself a new road bike with the intentions of losing more weight the problem the bike came with 700 x 23 tires so after 400 k I started to break spokes during my rides. On my last post they recommend a post here I weigh in at 255 lbs and at 6' 6" can be hard on equipment. Any suggestions on better rims would be great I live in Canada so not sure where a good wheel builder can be found.
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Old 10-03-10, 09:01 PM   #2
Steamroller67
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I weigh approximately 260, down from 296 and have split tires and popped spokes in the past. I currently ride Mavic CXP 22 rims with Conti GP 4 seasons 700x23 clinchers. I haven't flatted or popped a spoke in 2 years...i'm just a recreational rider who puts on 800 miles a year. Hope that helps out.
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Old 10-03-10, 09:19 PM   #3
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My best wheel for standing up to abuse is a Velocity Fusion rim with a Shimano Ultegra hub, 32-spoke. Even it develops a wobble occasionally, but I trued it up & it's fine.

As far as wheel builders, Bike Forums swears by Psimet, although I've not had any of his wheels.
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Old 10-03-10, 09:31 PM   #4
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i weigh 259 and ride on mavic kysyrium elites cont gatorskins no problems with spokes
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Old 10-03-10, 09:36 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Lone_rider;11564493]Hi everyone. I bought myself a new road bike QUOTE]

Did you mean truly new or is this bike "new to you"? If this bike is brand new, take it back to the LBS and get the wheels replaced under warranty. Then whatever they give you back, make sure they do some extra to check the tension on them before you walk out the door withthem. I was 255 when I got my bike in february, I'm down at 235 now (6'3" and muscular so i'm not going a whole lot lower than that) and routinely ride with a my 8lb kryptonite chain and 20 lbs of equipment in my backpack so I'm still putting 260+ lbs on my bike with zero issues with my spokes and these are just regular stock wheels on a low end Giant Rapid 3 but I know my lbs did the extra work with the wheels first.
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Old 10-03-10, 09:48 PM   #6
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Spoke break because the spokes go slack as they pass by the bottom of the wheel, allowing flexing at the elbow.
Additional spoke tension is needed to support the weight, *BUT* too much tension may cause the rim to start cracking around the nipples.
In this case, the better solution is a higher spoke count.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:29 AM   #7
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Tandems use 48 spoke wheels because they work. If you are like me and weigh as much as an average tandem team, then perhaps 48 spoke wheels should be considered for you, too.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:37 AM   #8
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Tandems don't all use 48 spokes! Mine use 32 spokes and work just fine, thank you very much. Rolf makes and OEM 16 spoke tandem wheel.

Spoke count is irrelevant next to a competent wheel builder...
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Old 10-04-10, 08:04 AM   #9
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You can always email Peter White or Joe Young, both are very good wheel builders.

Also, PSIMET on this site is spoken highly of. He may be able to help you.
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Old 10-04-10, 08:07 AM   #10
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I broke more spokes on a tandem 35 yrs. ago than I could shake a stick at. 48 spoke wheels took care of the problem for me.
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Old 10-04-10, 10:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
I broke more spokes on a tandem 35 yrs. ago than I could shake a stick at. 48 spoke wheels took care of the problem for me.
48 tandem wheels for a 255 pounder? OVERKILL! I'm close to the OP's weight, 20,000+ on a 32 spoke wheel (brake surface wore out, but still true). Current wheel is 28 spoke and doing great after 5,000 miles. But I use 30 mm rims (Velocity Deep V) and I buld them myself, so they are well built!
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Old 10-04-10, 10:42 AM   #12
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I like my Aerospokes.
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Old 10-04-10, 12:37 PM   #13
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48 spoke wheels are a crutch for a poor wheel builder. Simple as that. A 16 spoke wheel built by a competent wheel builder will last tens of thousands of miles with no problem, even on a 35yr old tandem

btw, Shimano also makes 16 spoke tandem wheels that are standard on current Santana models. If you break more spokes than you can shake a stick at you need a better wheel builder, not more spokes...
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Old 10-04-10, 12:53 PM   #14
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If fewer spokes are always better, then why aren't we all riding around on 6-spoke wheels?
That is all you need to center a hub in a wheel.
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Old 10-04-10, 01:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
If fewer spokes are always better, then why aren't we all riding around on 6-spoke wheels?
That is all you need to center a hub in a wheel.
No one stated that fewer spokes are always better. What is being said is this: A competent wheel builder with 16 spokes is always better than an incompetent wheel builder with 48 spokes. Any number of spokes, if not tensioned correctly and evenly will ultimately break. Minor variances in tension put undue stress on the other spokes and weaken them over time. Excess weight only speeds up this process.
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Old 10-04-10, 01:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
If fewer spokes are always better, then why aren't we all riding around on 6-spoke wheels?
That is all you need to center a hub in a wheel.
It's not that fewer is better, for 200+ riders there is a happy medium.. I have 21 spoke wheels that work just fine and also ride on 36 hole wheels for training purposes.. Most clydes are fine with 32 spoke wheels built on a medium to deep dish rim for overall riding.. It is nice to have a light fast set of wheels, but using them on fast rides or centuries is what I keep my lighter wheels for..

I know plenty of people that ride on 28 or 32 spoke wheels for tandems and they have very few issues..
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Old 10-04-10, 04:15 PM   #17
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Thanks Socalrider and Slowandsteady for providing excellent answers and reading my mind. I'm not advocating any number of spokes. I'm an advocate of good wheel builders. The number of spokes should be down on the list of important factors. A happy medium is perfectly fine. A well build 32 spoke wheel built by a good wheel builder should be good for tens of thousands of miles and many years.
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Old 10-04-10, 05:50 PM   #18
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The bike was brand new but the bike shop went out of business about a month after I bought the bike. The rims are made by Aclass - wheels I am guessing they are probity the bottom of the charts for quality.
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Old 10-04-10, 06:18 PM   #19
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I've been very happy with my Velocity Dyad rim. It's too wide to run 23s, but if you are Ok it is a solid rim.

well, except that the LBS didn't put a pie plate on it and when my derailleur went out of alignment I dropped a chain and shredded most of the spokes on the drivetrain side. sigh...
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Old 10-04-10, 07:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Lone_rider View Post
The bike was brand new but the bike shop went out of business about a month after I bought the bike. The rims are made by Aclass - wheels I am guessing they are probity the bottom of the charts for quality.
The warranty should be from the manufacturer not from the shop so you should still be able to get them replaced. Contact the bike manufacturer directly, normally the lbs would handle this for you. If you are willing to buy a new set of wheels, then perhaps take the bike to the lbs that you would consider buying the wheels from. They may be willing to process the warranty claim for you even though you didn't buy the bike from them, especially if you are going to buy a wheelset from them.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to have a 2nd set of wheels. get a nice set built for you and then if you get them replaced under warranty, have them retensioined and give them another try as training wheels.
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Old 10-04-10, 09:29 PM   #21
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The warranty should be from the manufacturer not from the shop so you should still be able to get them replaced. Contact the bike manufacturer directly, normally the lbs would handle this for you. If you are willing to buy a new set of wheels, then perhaps take the bike to the lbs that you would consider buying the wheels from. They may be willing to process the warranty claim for you even though you didn't buy the bike from them, especially if you are going to buy a wheelset from them.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to have a 2nd set of wheels. get a nice set built for you and then if you get them replaced under warranty, have them retensioined and give them another try as training wheels.
True, when my Trek broke, the claim was handeld by an LBS other than the original shop. As long as it was TREK dealer, I was able to chose.

Actually a pretty good idea to work out a deal with the shop on a wheel upgrade. I bought my bike knowing that the wheels were subpar for my needs. I didn't waste my time with the warranty, I built my own. That was the plan even before buying the bike. A stock wheel is usually JUST a stock wheel.

I believe your is an ALEX rim (Model:A Class)
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Old 10-05-10, 02:30 AM   #22
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I'm uber and roll on 40 spoke (14G DT Swiss) tandem wheels (Velocity Dyads). No issues thus far (6,000 miles). You have to get yourself a good wheel builder.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:49 AM   #23
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Dyads rock. 3,000ish miles on Velodity Dyad 36h rear wheel from Handspun for $125. One truing/tensioning and no issues w/ broken spokes. Love em. Like mtalinm said, too wide for 23s, but I run 35s now and next set of tires will be 32s, so I don't need a narrow rim.
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Old 10-05-10, 03:07 PM   #24
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The secret to keeping your spokes in one piece is deep "V" rims. I weigh 235 (again )and am the same height as the OP. I ride on a 24 spoke rear and a 20 spoke front. These wheels have a couple of thousand miles on them and are still true even though I climb a lot of hills with them and ride on some really crappy roads too.

Before I bought these wheels I broke a few spokes and constantly had out-of-true wheels.

Deep V rims. 'Nuff said.
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Old 10-05-10, 04:32 PM   #25
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Deep V's are not the answer in-and-of-themselves. Sure they are a strong rim but a crappy wheel builder is still a crappy wheel builder even if they build a Deep V. If you get a Deep V built by someone who doesn't know what they are doing you're still going to have problems. I know Beans is a strong proponent of Deep V's but I think even he'll agree to that.
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