Originally Posted by Big Lew
Will a set of BCX2 Weinmann 32 DT swiss spoked 26x1.5 599 wheels stand up to touring long distance on gravel forestry roads while carrying 265 lbs? Both front and rear hub axles have been upgraded, so I'm not worried about them. Have used this set on several 240-5 lb. loaded tours, running on rough northern asphalt roads without any problems. (starting to second guess my set-up for up-coming tour)
Back when.. I was all 36 hole.. then a 48.. can't have too many SPOKES
. Then I bought a vintage steel road bike with 32.. 700c with older Weinmann aero's. My derailer went into my rear and snapped off a spoke with 4-5 more dinged.. minor bends in a few. I build my own wheels.. replaced only the broken one.. and road.. a real test of this 32's.. now compromised. Not a problem for over a 100 miles... yet not a sound idea to push it. So I replaced the damaged spokes.. this wheel strung 2.0/14 gauge spokes. I go high 250's. I previously read all the '32 hole' testimonies.. now I can see some merit.
Really your bottom line IMO is the maintenance of those wheels. Yes good wheel builds "stand".. but usually in this realm we're talking about hand built wheels. And yes lots of machine built last a long time.. yet a check of the tensions.. more correctly the balance of that tension might be in order. A few loose ones starts the domino effect of failure.
You can check this tension yourself... note a typical 3x (3 cross spoke pattern) shows parallel spokes on each side of the hub. Grab that pair with your hand and squeeze.. enough pressure to really feel the resistance. Go around each side.. comparing those pressure/resistance levels handling each pair at the SAME place from hub to rim distance. You'll note also the spokes form triangles.. those could be used also.. same routine as noted. On the rear the NON drive side will usually show a reduced tension.. the nature of rear cog wheels. Again UNIFORMITY is the key.. really significant loose spokes are readily found if present. THAT is your flag to get them serviced.. by someone who can do more than just use a spoke wrench.
Good firm uniform pressure all around.. then your good to go. Spoke counts.. brand names etc don't mean trouble free wheels.. balanced firm tension is what makes them "stand".