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  1. #1
    Senior Member fatpunk's Avatar
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    Thoughts On Custom Wheels

    So as of lately my wheels keep coming out of true after a few miles or start popping spokes on my Giant Sedona. Fortunately for me the LBS that sold me my bike has a year of parts and labor free. Unfortunately, I live a hour drive from them and I honestly am growing tired of taking the bike in after every 100 miles. The guys at the shop are really kind to me about this issue and don't seemed to be upset but at the same time I feel like I'm abusing this perk.

    This last repair one of the mechanics recommended custom wheels. He says I can have a custom wheel built with tandem axles, triple walls, 14 gauge heavy duty spokes, 36/38 count spokes for around 90.00. I don't know the first thing about wheels, I have no idea if this is a good deal or if this will fix the problem.

    What are your thoughts or suggestions? It's not that I don't trust my local bike shop, I just want to make sure it's worth it. Otherwise I will just invest in a truing stand and the tools and learn to fix the problem myself till the weight comes off and it's no longer a problem.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    A truing stand and the associated tools will (at new prices) run you more than the custom wheels at $90.00 per.

    I don't have any experience with the Sedona, but, have you asked the LBS what they suspect the cause of the continued wheel problem is?

    It would seem to me, at least, that if they were properly tensioned to begin with you should be enjoying a better experience?

  3. #3
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    The Sedona come with 26", 32h, stainless spoked, double wall rim, wheels.

    How much do you weigh?

    Do you have any idea if the shop invested any time into tension balancing the wheels prior to delivering it to you?

    If the rims aren't already too badly worn and you're not too much over 300lbs, a set of quality spokes, properly installed, formed to the flange, stress relieved and tensioned should do fine.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    I had the same problem on my Trek 7100. I bought a stronger rear wheel from a bike shop and didn't have that problem for the next three years. I paid $100 for that wheel.

    Not long ago I started popping spokes again. Time for another wheel. This time I got a double wall rim, 36 spokes with a deore hub. I got lucky on this wheel. They had built it a year prior for another big guy who was having the same problem. He never showed up to pick up the wheel. They sold it to me for $60. I checked online and found that the hub and the rim would have cost me that much - never mind the cost of the spokes or the labor involved in building the wheel. I kept the old wheel and I am planning on respoking it myself - just to get the experience.

    No problem since. It's a nice wheel - not the best one out there, but light enough for my taste and sturdy enough for my big rear end.

    It was worth it. My wife thinks I'm nuts to spend the money I spend on the bike. However, I told her "Look, it's my ride. I commute on it. I go out for pleasure rides. It's helping me lose weight and it's the only kind of exercise I actually enjoy. If your car started messing up, would you spend the dough to fix it?"

    I figure it's just one of the extra costs of being a big guy - kind of like when I go to the store and have to pay a couple of dollars more per clothing item because it has more cloth in it.
    Last edited by SkippyX; 05-27-12 at 06:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    $90 for a wheel build for a clyde! Buyer beware. My last wheel upgrade was over twice that. 105 hub 36h Velocity Fusion 14ga spokes. LBS charged $45 for the labor in building it IIRC.


    Mark

  6. #6
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    how heavy are you? Do you ride hard, or lift out of the saddle for bumps?

    If you're a lower-end clyde and ride light (say below 230 or so), you may have a workmanship issue on the original wheels. Either way, if you're not 300+, you don't need that much of a heavy build. 32 spokes on a decent hub and rim should be more than enough for most lower-end clydes. I rode 36 rear and 28 front for 10,000 miles at 230-250 with zero issues. I'm now on 32/32 at 205, again, zero issues. Key is a human building them, truing and tensioning (NOT the same thing) and brass nipples.
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  7. #7
    Senior Member fatpunk's Avatar
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    I'm 400 lbs, I try to keep my tail off the saddle as much as possible when I see bumps coming up. The bike doesn't see much in the way of off road. It stays on roads and paved asphalt bike trails. Make no mistakes I knew coming into this I was going to have issues, I feel like the person who sold me my bike and said I shouldn't have issues had no idea what he was talking about. I also feel like a wheel set up to these specifications for such a low price seems a bit to good to be true.

  8. #8
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    $90 may or may not be to good to be true.

    At 400 you're out of my experience range. Hopefully others can chime in with what has worked for them.

    I "suspect" that hub strength isn't going to be as big an issue for you as rims and spokes. Most reputable hubs will probably be "ok". As long as they're 36 hole or greater. Since your bike has 26" wheels you should have an easier time getting a durable wheel than someone your weight on a 700c wheel. Something like a 36h Shimano SLX hub mated to a durable mtb rim (others will have more up to date knowledge on what mtb rims are most durable) and laced 3cross with straight 14ga or even 13ga spokes.

    Get more than 36h and you're typically talking about specialty tandem hubs and rims.

    There are plenty of tandem teams out there at your weight that get decent durability from 36h wheels if properly built.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 1FJEF's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm 270 & I consider a 32h hub out of the question. Since mid 2011 I've gone through two 36 spoke 26" wheels & one 40 spoke 27" wheel. The MTB I'm riding now will soon need a new rear wheel. I ride about 250 miles a month, 3000 a year, gently. I have yet to find a wheelsmith who knows how or is willing to make wheels that last for really big guys. Most consider 220lbs a huge rider.
    I may try peter white again, but there were grumpy issues last time I called.
    $90 bucks for a new wheel on your hub would probably mean a Sun Rhino Lite rim. You need the biggest tires your bike will allow also. They will act as a cushion to protect your wheel a bit. Inflate to max, then let out 4 or 5 psi at a time 'till you feel a bit of give or softness to the ride. Never at minimum pressure, at least a bit above.
    Try the Schwalbe Big Apple or Fat Albert, 26 x 2.375" . The front should last ages, the rear 750+ miles at your weight, maybe less but who cares if it helps you ride. They are rated at over 280lbs load each.
    Last edited by 1FJEF; 05-28-12 at 06:58 AM.

  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatpunk View Post
    This last repair one of the mechanics recommended custom wheels. He says I can have a custom wheel built with tandem axles, triple walls, 14 gauge heavy duty spokes, 36/38 count spokes for around 90.00. I don't know the first thing about wheels, I have no idea if this is a good deal or if this will fix the problem.
    Neither does your mechanic if he suggested a 38 spoke count.

    A well built pair of heavy duty 36 spoke wheels should hold you fine. A pair of beefy 40 spoke wheels shouldn't need trued unless you decide to ride down a long flight of stairs or do drops off a loading dock.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  11. #11
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    I would suggest a well built set of tandem wheels. Why tandem? Because they are designed for 400+ lbs of riders weight. Look at getting what you need from http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/ . It will NOT be cheap. It will be well made.
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  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    i loved the reliable wheels I built for My Loaded touring bike ..

    tandem like parts, 48 spoke rear..
    [Shimano has them can be modified to fit narrower frame]
    To retain the Cassette \STI drive train..

    Other than that, a regular 36 spoke wheel set, don't expect the wheels to stay fine
    without keeping the tension and truing Up. maintenance service

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