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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 01-13-12, 08:31 AM   #1
Sportster2009
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Will the stock wheels on a 2011 Synapse Carbon 6 be OK under my 250lb body?

I am close to pulling the trigger on a 2011 Syanapse Carbon 6. My LBS has it on sale for 1450.00. Seems like a great deal. Hopefully next week we will have a nice weather day so I can go test ride it and make my definate decision. Anyway, I used to ride a lot, but 3 years ago I sold my Specialized Roubaix, and got a hybrid. I didn't think I would miss the road bike and wanted somethig I could ride with my family on the rails to trails yet still be able to ride on the road. Well I miss my road bike and being in shape. I plan on dropping weight quick and usually do. But right now I am 250 pounds, and looking at the wheels on the bike, they only have 24 spokes or so. The sales guy at the bike store says they should be OK but they would be the first thing he would upgrade. I really don't want to have to spend more money other than the bike right now, so if they will work for now, perhaps next year I could upgrade them if I feel the need. Do you guys and gals think the stock wheels will be OK. Also, I'm assuming the carbon frame will be OK also, is that correct? I'm really psyched about getting back into road biking! Here are the specs on the bike, with the wheels listed.

'11 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 6 Specifications



Specification

Description



Frame

Cannondale Synapse Carbon



Fork

Cannondale Synapse SAVE carbon



Rims/Wheels

Shimano R500



Hubs

See Rim/Wheels



Spokes

See Rim/Wheels



Tires

Schwalbe Lugano, 700 x 25c



Crankset

SRAM S150



Chainwheel

50/34



Front Derailleur

SRAM Apex



Rear Derailleur

SRAM Apex



Rear Cogs

SRAM Apex, 10-speed: 11-32



Shifters

SRAM Apex



Handlebars

Cannondale C3



Stem

Cannondale C3



Brake Levers

SRAM Apex



Brakes

SRAM Apex



Saddle

Cannondale Stage



Seat Post

Cannondale Synapse SAVE carbon
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Old 01-13-12, 10:24 AM   #2
Seattle Forrest
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The number of spokes don't matter. The quality of the build, and of the rim, and the way you ride, are what's important. I'm not quite as heavy, but I've been riding 16 and 20 ( or maybe 20 and 24 - I don't remember ) spoke wheels for a year and a half. They're near the end of their life because I've worn down the brake surface, but the wheels themselves are true.

The worst that can happen is you'll eventually need to replace the wheels. With such a nice bike, you'll want to anyway...
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Old 01-13-12, 10:53 AM   #3
Sportster2009
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Thanks for the input Seattle.
I'm thinking of buying a set of Mavic Aksiums right off the bat because I'm pretty sure my LBS will only make me pay the difference between the Aksiums and the stock ones. Even if not, I am thinking of doing it because the stock wheels will be brand new, never ridden so I should be able to get a little something for them off of craigslist.
Do you think this is a good idea or am I wasting money.
From what I've read the Aksiums are great training wheels, very solid, but heavy. I'm not overly concerned with weight right now since I have so much to lose myself. I'm more concernced with having a reliable wheel that will handle my weight and down the road if I decide I want faster lighter wheels I can upgrade. I also do not want to make a linear upgrade. If I buy these wheels I really want them to be better, stronger, perhaps a little faster, but mainly stronger and not slower. Do you think I am on track with this?
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Old 01-13-12, 12:38 PM   #4
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My wife recently got an Al synapse and my impression of the wheels is that they're just fine BUT!!!! they're machine built, and I think it's a lower model than the one you have. The spokes are already starting to sound different. My guess is that if you get your LBS to make sure they're tensioned properly (they can probably just check) and then commit to retensioning them at about the 200 mile mark, they'll probably do fine for you.

The key for larger fellas like us is "hand built."

Nice bike btw. Enjoy
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Old 01-13-12, 12:50 PM   #5
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Trojan,
Boy, you just answered my next question. I just got back from my LBS and they have a set of Mavic Aksiums, and then for only about 30 bucks more a set of handbuilt Mavic Open Pros with Tiagra hubs, and 32 spokes. I guess it's pretty much a no brainer to go with the open pro ones. I like the look of the Aksiums, but looks wear off. I'm trying to talk myself into doing the right thing and not go based on cosmetics.
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Old 01-13-12, 01:06 PM   #6
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Ask around town and see if you can find out whether the shop has a reputation for wheel building. I guarantee you're better off on a machine built wheel than you would be on one I put together for you. In a less extreme way of putting it, the skill of the wheel builder is important.
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Old 01-13-12, 01:56 PM   #7
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OK, hand built by somebody who knows what they're doing. I should have mentioned what I was thinking but when you buy wheels some say they're hand build at the factory. I have a pair of easton EA90 SL that have been rock solid. Got 'em as part of a bike build kit or I never would have spent that much, but they're hand built and still true. Before that I had some open pros (still do but they're wobbly now) that lasted forever.

Hand built by some rookie at your bike shop is probably less reliable. One of the keys to a well built wheel is even tension in the spokes. You can pluck them with your finger nail and similar spokes should sound similar. If you get some that start to sound really tight or loose, even if your wheel is still true, you're looking at an eventual problem.
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Old 01-13-12, 02:02 PM   #8
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So if they are not built well, is it just a matter of getting the spokes retensioned by another builder? Or is there more to it than that?
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Old 01-13-12, 02:12 PM   #9
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I have 3 sets of shimano wh-r550 which are considered a fairly solid wheel 16F/20R spokes, straight pull, never any problem with some hard use. However once I'm over 240# I do choose a bike with different wheels and wider tires, I run 28's on my Fuji Team Pro the biggest I can run on that bike. Not sure if you would have a problem or not but they may not be upto the chalange just my opinion. Best of luck
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Old 01-13-12, 05:44 PM   #10
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Shimano wheels have no disclaimer regarding larger riders.

http://www.shimano.com/publish/conte...-.wh_road.html

Quote:
We recommend that you ask authorized bicycle dealers to adjust the spoke tensions
if there is any initial play in the spokes and after the first 1,000 km of riding.
The bike is very nice so at some point you will probably want to get a better / nicer wheelset. With that, you wouldn't be alone as pretty much all higher end road bikes have lower end run-of-the-mill OEM wheels and tires when originally sold.

It's usually one of the first up-grades.
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Old 01-13-12, 06:00 PM   #11
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At Point of sale the price of trade in of wheels, which cause you concern,
for those which are of a more conservative design, will be best.
unless you want to work on a personal sale, after the fact.

Spoked, laced as normal, 32 front 36 rear , Mavic Open Sport rims , is a proven combination ..
around which ever hubs your drive train uses, Sram or Shimano..
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Old 01-16-12, 11:40 AM   #12
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Those wheels should be just fine. They are over built and can take a lot of abuse.
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Old 01-18-12, 11:59 AM   #13
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Hi,
I bought a 2010 Synapse Alloy 5 with Shimano RS-10's (16/20 spoke count) last spring. The RS 10's are pretty equal to the 500's (not sure of the differences).
I was worried about the wheels too - i weigh >270 (but less than 260 in season!). No problems after about 2000 miles.
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Old 01-18-12, 08:29 PM   #14
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My new bike came with R500's. I weigh 245, and have had no problems (fingers crossed) after 300 miles or so.

I figured I bought them, so I would just ride them until they blew up. Then worry about an upgrade for replacements.
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Old 01-19-12, 04:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onedayrider View Post
Hi,
I bought a 2010 Synapse Alloy 5 with Shimano RS-10's (16/20 spoke count) last spring. The RS 10's are pretty equal to the 500's (not sure of the differences).
I was worried about the wheels too - i weigh >270 (but less than 260 in season!). No problems after about 2000 miles.
Interesting data point. I bought a 2010 CAAD9 with RS-10 wheels and at around 260lbs I was having all sorts of problems with loose spokes and the rear coming out of true after about 1000 miles. I guess I don't ride as light as I thought

My solution was a set of 32H Handspun wheels built up with 105 hubs, DT Swiss rims & spokes. So far they've been great for me.
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Old 01-19-12, 05:53 PM   #16
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I have heard it is a good idea to put in a few hundred miles, and then to take them to your favorite wheelbuilder, and have them make sure they are perfectly tensioned.
They say it isn't as much about the wheel itself, as it is the wheel builder behind it.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:41 PM   #17
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If the rs500's are on par with rs10's as stated, your in trouble. I had hose wheels for a short time (stock on my six) and the back flexed like a slinky. I actually thought the fact that I went to carbon was the reason. I had a piece of 33's hand built & was amazed at how it stiffened up the bike.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:52 PM   #18
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I decided to have them put on some mavic kysrium equipes. I have always liked the looks of them and have read bunches of good reviews of them.
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