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  1. #1
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    Spoke upgrade vs new wheels

    I just had some spokes replaced after many miles of riding to work (30 miles round trip). The LBS said the spokes were cheap and I should replace all of them with beefier ones for $100. They also offered replacement wheels for $250. Any thoughts? Bike is Diamondback insight 1 hybrid. I am 5'7" and 265 lbs.

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Depending on how much wear there is to your current rims, the new wheels might be a better option. You say "many miles" and your commute is about the same distance as mine. I know that through the winter I put some hurt on a pair of rims. PNW winter rain and road grit makes for some nice sanding paste for rim brakes.
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  3. #3
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I'd pass on the $250 more than likely cheesy wheel set then spend it on one good hand built rear wheel by someone who knows what they are doing.

    Front wheel should be fine for some time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 69isfine View Post
    I just had some spokes replaced after many miles of riding to work (30 miles round trip). The LBS said the spokes were cheap and I should replace all of them with beefier ones for $100. They also offered replacement wheels for $250. Any thoughts? Bike is Diamondback insight 1 hybrid. I am 5'7" and 265 lbs.
    The replacement wheels are going to be machine built and likely suffer from the same problems.

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    Senior Member maidenfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I'd pass on the $250 more than likely cheesy wheel set then spend it on one good hand built rear wheel by someone who knows what they are doing.

    Front wheel should be fine for some time.
    I agree. In addtion, find a good builder in your neighborhood as all (good ones anyway) will warranty their work. I've had two wheel sets built and will have more built by the same gal as she treats me right and she builds the wheel to my needs.
    "Others don't understand because I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs." Alexandr Karelin - the most dominating Greco-Roman wrestler - ever

  6. #6
    Senior Member libero's Avatar
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    hi
    I'm a bigger than average guy at 200 lbs. I recently was faced with a similar decision as you. My first thought was just to get new wheels. However, upon inspection I found out that my Ultegra hubs and Mavic CXP33 rims were quite good. I measured the spokes and found that they were a bit on the skinny side. And reading some good threads in these forums led me to conclude I would be better off with a sturdier set of spokes. In the end, I paid a local wheel builder to replace spokes.

    I can't make this suggestion to you without knowing what hubs / rims you are using.

    But in general, heavier gauge spokes and higher spoke count do make a difference. Results for my wheels were much better. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    A rebuild with newer spokes should be more in the 60.00 range.. Is your hybrid 130mm or 135mm spacing? Lot of good options for 250.00..

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    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Before I ever bought my bike (used) Windsor Tourist I had read it was subject to spoke problems. I went with a wait and see approach. Well 2 spokes went last year and when I broke a few more this spring I went to the LBS I trust for advice with some lofty idea of buying new 48 count wheels. After the sticker shock on that one I asked the owner what he would advise. He said there is no telling with the generic spokes what the problem is if its assembly or quality of spokes and he said he didn’t really see any reason my hubs and rims were not of good enough quality to replace the spokes with something better. So I went with DT spokes in both wheels even though only the back was failing. they were 36 spoke wheels and it ran about 200 bucks and that came with a bring it back anytime you want and we will check it and adjust if needed verbal guarantee.

    For what it's worth I asked for a few of the old spokes back and also a couple of the new ones, as I have a metal testing lab where I work I can use. I did a few simple tension pulls on each of the spokes and found that the no name spokes were the same strength as the DT spokes. They tested to be about 150,000 PSI or something like 750 pounds per spoke. I could see a difference in how the heads were formed and to be honest even though both types broke at 750# the DT spokes took a little longer to yield once they started going.

    I am fairly convinced that the wheel building plays every bit as big or bigger part in this as do the spokes. As many others had told me prior to finding out on my own. I most likely could have had the spokes redone by a qualified person and never had a issue when I bought the bike. I most likely could have not had the front wheel spokes replaced and just re tensioned and been fine also.

    But there is something to be said for peace of mind knowing what you have under you.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    A rebuild with newer spokes should be more in the 60.00 range.. Is your hybrid 130mm or 135mm spacing? Lot of good options for 250.00..
    Around here labor runs $70-$90, spokes would be about $40, and with tax on top you'd be looking at $120-$140.

    That's still less expensive than repeatedly buying $250 sets of machine built wheels that are likely to suffer the same fate although the better fix is to learn wheel building, buy DT Competition 2.0/1.8 spokes online for $0.70 each, and do the deed yourself.

  10. #10
    Member Perigee's Avatar
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    In my opinion, learning how to build wheels is not an option. It's not like learning how to tie your shoes. Taking a wheel back apart to try again will weaken the spokes. I built dozens of wheels before they became reliable and a hundred before I had the calluses on my hands to prestress them properly. I weigh almost 300 lbs and the manual labor in the building of a reliable wheel is more important than its component parts, in my opinion. Putting larger gauge spokes into a used hub isn't a good idea either. The grooves made in the hub by the smaller gauge spokes might crack with larger diameter spokes on top of them.
    Your best bet is to find a good hand wheel builder (LBS don't usually have one) who can evaluate your current components and build it up correctly the first time. You get what you pay for and it won't be cheap.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    Around here labor runs $70-$90, spokes would be about $40, and with tax on top you'd be looking at $120-$140.

    That's still less expensive than repeatedly buying $250 sets of machine built wheels that are likely to suffer the same fate although the better fix is to learn wheel building, buy DT Competition 2.0/1.8 spokes online for $0.70 each, and do the deed yourself.
    You must be talking about labor costs for both wheels? i suspect the op's problem is just with the rear wheel as it usually is. DT double butted spokes from a shop should be $1 each and labor should be $30-$50. IF the original rims aren't damaged then PROPERLY rebuilding the rear wheel is far better than the cheapo prebuilt wheels this guy is talking about. If your existing rim is garbage, reuse your hub and buy a new rim. A velocity deep v rim can be had for $50, and then you still have the same spoke costs and labor to build so you would be looking at about $110 for a new rim, new spokes, laced to existing hub including labor.

    to the person that weighed 200lbs and talked about his spokes being "skinny" that is garbage. OP is 265 so he is a bit heavier but there is no reason a regular old dt doublebutted spoke shouldn't be good for him PROVIDED HE ISN'T ABUSING THE BIKE (jumping curbs, going full speed through potholes)

    To the person who says "you get what you pay for and it won't be cheap" Its tough to say, I don't think $50 is expensive for labor for a wheelbuild, some people think thats a ton of money. but bottom line here is that the op already has hubs and spokes aren't that expensive. As long as the shop doesn't try to get ridiculous with how much they mark up rims and spokes its worth rebuilding with existing hubs. otherwise op should source his parts online (at least the rims anyways, some builders wont build with spokes user provides in case they are the wrong size) to get the best possible price on the parts. I know velocity rims sell for $75 on velocity's webiste and at most shops but online they can usually be had for $50.

    EDIT:your bike is a hybrid so you may want a wider rim than a deep v so that you can fit wider tires better. look at the velocity chukker, Mavic A319 or Mavic A719

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalesclyde View Post
    You must be talking about labor costs for both wheels?
    No. $70-$90 per wheel.

    DT double butted spokes from a shop should be $1 each and labor should be $30-$50.
    It depends entirely on where you live. Prices need to be substantially higher in expensive areas where the LBS pays $50/square foot in rent ($241,000 a year for the 4822 square feet averaged by LBSes and generally not including building maintenance, insurance, or property taxes) than middle America where it can be under $8 ($39,000 a year).

    In Palo Alto (not downtown) it'll cost you $70 for labor, you'll pay full retail for the spokes ($1.20 each), and you'll pay 8.25% sales tax on top of that.

  13. #13
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    I wound up buying a Mavic wheel with double butted spokes and shimano hubs along with a 700x38 tire to protect the rim. Total cost was $100. One last try.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69isfine View Post
    I wound up buying a Mavic wheel with double butted spokes and shimano hubs along with a 700x38 tire to protect the rim. Total cost was $100. One last try.
    That's not a bad price for Victoria. With HST at 12% these days, $100 CDN is a fair price if the wheel lasts. If it doesn't, you may want to think about perhaps learning to build your own wheels. Yes, for some like Perigee suggested, it can be a difficult skill to master. But it does have many benefits once you do master it. I'm an advocate for learning to do your own wheelbuilds, because for most Clydes, if you ride a lot, it's just going to be a matter of time before you realize better wheels are something you can't live without. And you'll save a beaucoup d'argent if you acquire some low-cost tools and learn to build them yourself.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

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