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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 11-30-11, 10:02 AM   #1
tony_merlino
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Road wheel recommendation for 200+ rider

Based on recommendations I got here, I've decided to take my road bike out of mothballs and start riding it again. It hasn't been ridden in almost 14 years, so I already know I'll need to replace the tires, tubes, and lube+possibly replace the cables.

The rim of my front wheel has a pretty deep gouge in it from hitting a cobblestone border the last time I rode the bike (don't ask...), so I'm thinking that I'll need to replace that as well. I was advised that, at my weight (about 215 lbs right now), I might do well to look into 36h wheels.

I've been looking online, and the price range is enormous. I'd like to find a good compromise among weight, strength and price. Does anyone have any recommendations for a recreational/exercise rider? (Not looking to race or keep up with anybody, but don't want something so heavy that my road bike starts to feel like my utility bike...)

Also: Does it make sense to go 36h on the front wheel, particularly if I'm not changing out the back wheel? Or will a lighter configuration with fewer spokes be ok to carry my weight?

And finally: Do wheels typically arrive close to properly tensioned and true when you order them online? I believe the vendor is Niagara Cycle.

I know I should be patronizing my LBS, but I think I need to find another one - the one I've been using does decent but not great work, e.g. I had to readjust my cables and shifters as soon as I got them back from them - they had it set so I couldn't get to the lowest gear on the cassette.... And the owner is always trying to up-sell me (not a problem), and work always costs about 30% - 50% what he originally estimates (which is a problem that is causing me to look for a new LBS...). In the meantime, I'm trying to learn to do most of the work myself.

Thanks!
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Old 11-30-11, 10:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
Also: Does it make sense to go 36h on the front wheel, particularly if I'm not changing out the back wheel? Or will a lighter configuration with fewer spokes be ok to carry my weight?
200+ is a pretty big range... Forgive me for asking, but is is 200+5 or 200+200?

If your weight is close to 200lbs, you almost certainly don't need a 36-spoke wheel... though it certainly can't hurt. I put thousands of miles on a set of wheels with 24/28 spokes when I was 200-210lbs and never had a single problem. Also spent a bit of time on 16/20-spoke wheels, again without any problems. These days, I tend to think that 24/28 is a pretty good compromise between strength and weight assuming, of course, that they're built by someone who knows what they're doing.

That said, I've been riding for quite a while and tend to "ride light": I'm not constantly slamming the wheels into pot holes, curbs, or other obstacles; if there's something in my path I swerve around it or unweight the wheels as I pass over it. If you do tend to hit pot holes, speed bumps, and other obstructions at full speed with all of your weight on the saddle & bars, then you might want to look for a more robust wheelset (ex: 32/36).
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Old 11-30-11, 10:39 AM   #3
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210 lbs, have 28,000 miles on a set of these.
I get the hubs and spokes checked every 2500 miles.

http://www.everybicycletire.com/Shop...elset-622.aspx

I broke spokes with 24 and 28 spoke wheels.

No broken spokes on the above.......
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 11-30-11 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 11-30-11, 10:43 AM   #4
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Crazy talk for road riding, non-touring. I'm your weight or a tad more, ride 16-24 spoke front wheels from different manufactures all the time, zero problems. For example, I've had a good experience with Neuvations http://www.neuvationcycling.com/wheels.html and they are dirt cheap.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 11-30-11 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-30-11, 11:31 AM   #5
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200+ is a pretty big range... Forgive me for asking, but is is 200+5 or 200+200?
I thought I did mention it in my post - I'm about 215 right now.
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Old 11-30-11, 12:31 PM   #6
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Spoke count is. . . well only one piece of the puzzle. Rim, spoke gauge, and tension (just stay away from "exotic" lacing patterns) are also important. I'd say that a expertly built 24 spoke wheel has a more than reasonable chance being "better" than a generic 36 spoke wheel. More spokes and/or wider, heavier rims give one more wiggle room for. . . inconsistencies.

Problem is, how do you know?

Speaking of which, I need to order some spokes. . .
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Old 11-30-11, 01:54 PM   #7
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I've been close to 270 at my heaviest. Truth be told I'm probably not far from that now.

I ride Mavic Aksiums (24/20 and 20/20) and Neuvation M-28s with no problem whatsoever.
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Old 11-30-11, 01:55 PM   #8
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How does this one look? It's 32 spokes. Not many reviews (just 1), but the one it got was glowing. (Probably the seller's mom... ).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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Old 11-30-11, 02:12 PM   #9
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it is a cheap wheel, YGWUPF, buy it, and then buy something else when It goes.
OTOH, a Hand built wheel , attention is given to details,
grease like anti seize on the threads, so the nipples do'nt freeze,
is never done on machine built wheels , as there is no time, to meet the cost target..


you need to learn to like the nearest Bike shop, they will help you with Maintenance.
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Old 11-30-11, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
I thought I did mention it in my post - I'm about 215 right now.
You're right: you did say 215 and I missed it when typing my reply. At 215, I think you'll be fine with a well-made 24-spoke wheel. I've had good luck with Bicycle Wheel Warehouse and Neuvation Cycling but there are lots of other vendors for hand-made wheels. Also very happy with my Easton EA90SL wheels, though they're a bit more expensive.

I would avoid buying wheels on Amazon and eBay unless they're a brand-name you recognize (ex: Mavic, Easton, Reynolds).
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Old 11-30-11, 06:49 PM   #11
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I'll second the recommendation of the Neuvation wheels, especially for the money. I bought a pair as backup for the Shimanos that came on my Synapse and have had no issues with either set, and both of them are 16 front, 24 rear. I've been riding them at weights anywhere between 190 and 205. I do try to ride light, though.
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