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  1. #1
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    wheel issues looking for recommendations for 240lb rider

    After reading several forums, last July I upgraded my wheelset to Mavic Open pro w/ 105 hubs (spoke count is 32). I have been having a awful time with breaking NDS spokes on the rear wheel. They snap @ the j-bend by the hub.

    The LBS that built the wheels have tried dt and wheelsmith spokes which made no difference. This season they swapped out the hub for an Ultegra. Unfortunately nothing has worked and I'm only able to get at most ~400 miles on the wheel before a failure.

    I'm perplexed as I have not had spoke issue on stock wheels on my 2 bikes (Mavic CPX2200 on my Allez or the Shimano R500 on my Cannondale). I wondering if anyone has positive feedback on:

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    The problem isn't the rim.
    Are they using double butted spokes?
    I'd rebuild the wheel using-
    14/15 DB spokes DS
    15/16 DB spokes NDS
    Cross 3

  3. #3
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I'd look for a new wheel builder. Your wheel builder isn't tensioning the spokes properly. The parts aren't the problem. I'm the same weight as you and have a set of OP's with over 20k miles on them.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  4. #4
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    +1 to homeys post
    There's indecision when you aint got nothin left

  5. #5
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    I rode on the stock wheel from my Roubaix at 240 for a long while and never broke a spoke. Just needed a bit of truing every so often. Then I got 32 spoke Chris King R45 hubs on DeepV rims. Now I don't even need truing. I don't think it's the wheel components.

  6. #6
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    No on the DB spoke, just straight 14. cross 2.

    There were 2 different wheel builders at the LBS. I have to say the LBS has been great standing behind everything. They are working w/ me so I'm tied into them for a bit. I'm just looking for the best solution.

    I do appreciate the feedback and experience.

  7. #7
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I believe its now clearly a builder issue. at that weight and with a 32 spoke rim, I have never heard of a wheel being built 2x vs 3x I would be willing to bet you there is not even tension on the spokes as well.

    Having built a wheel, and being a wheel builder are two different things.

    Just like 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class
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  8. #8
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    sounds like a bad mechanic. Get it trued at a different shop and ask them to check the tension to the rim specs for you. Might only cost you $50 for both wheels to have it serviced.

  9. #9
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    I have the exact same wheels in a 3x pattern and have had zero problems with them after 5K miles. They are hand built and properly tensioned.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ronno6's Avatar
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    I have ridden Open Pro/Shimano hub/32 spoke wheels with both straight 14ga spokes and 14/15/14 DB spokes (different bikes) without incident while weighing as much as 253#. They are excellent wheels.
    As others have indicated, your spoke tension is too low.
    Find a better wheel builder.

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I concur with everyone else who says 'builder issue; low tension.'
    I rode 32h 3-cross wheels, 2.0mm straight gauge spokes, from when I was 260 pounds down to my former race weight of 205.

    The only spoke I've broken in the past 5 years was just this week. It was a NDS rear spoke on my MTB, and it broke at the nipple end when I took a header and the rear end went sideways into a big rock. Not build related at all.
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  12. #12
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    I build my own wheels - there is no problem with the components, just the one putting them together.
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  13. #13
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    As if there wasn't already a concessus, add me to the list of riders suggesting it is a builder issue not a parts issue. I've successfully used OP's (albeit 36h) at up to 300lbs and accumulated tens of thousands of miles on them before breaking the spoke (and that was a drive side that had been scored by a dropped chain).

    I don't know why they would recommend 2X instead of 3. That just doesn't make much sense. But, more importantly is building the rear wheel to the maximum drive side tension that the rim will tolerate. Open Pros being a reasonably light box section won't tolerate as much tension as some other rims. But, you should be able to tension them to at least 110kgf and hopefully closer to 120kgf without them attempting to collapse into a potato chip. That should get the NDS tension up to at least mid 50's to low 60's kgf. If properly tension balanced the spokes shouldn't be failing from fatigue that quickly.

    If your builder has a Park TM-1 tension meter, ask them to input the numbers into Park's TCC spoke tension spreadsheet. The industry norm for tension variation is +/- 20%. As a clyde on those rims you would like to see that variation reduced to +/- 5%. At least on the DS. NDS may vary by a slight bit more. Another thing that they/you could try is to substitute double butted spokes on the NDS. The lighter gauge results in greater elongation for the required tension and this provide more elastic recovery before the extremities see a reduction in load and the fatigue cycles that lead to failure. If that makes sense.

    Best of luck. Let us know how things work out for you. But, rest assured that Shimano hubs are fine for clydes of just about any weight. Open Pro rims might not be the most durable rim in the world, but, they should be adequate for 240lbs. If it were my wheel I would ask them to rebuild the rear using a 3X pattern, 14 ga on the DS, 14/15 double butted on the NDS, tension the DS to the limits of the rim (I believe Mavic specify 110kgf for Open Pros), stress relieve the spokes with each round of tensioning and truing until doing so no longer effects either, and then tension balance them to within +/- 5%.

    If that doesn't solve you issue, I'll be left somewhat speachless.
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  14. #14
    Ancient Clydesdale 2 wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    As if there wasn't already a concessus, add me to the list of riders suggesting it is a builder issue not a parts issue. I've successfully used OP's (albeit 36h) at up to 300lbs and accumulated tens of thousands of miles on them before breaking the spoke (and that was a drive side that had been scored by a dropped chain).

    I don't know why they would recommend 2X instead of 3. That just doesn't make much sense. But, more importantly is building the rear wheel to the maximum drive side tension that the rim will tolerate. Open Pros being a reasonably light box section won't tolerate as much tension as some other rims. But, you should be able to tension them to at least 110kgf and hopefully closer to 120kgf without them attempting to collapse into a potato chip. That should get the NDS tension up to at least mid 50's to low 60's kgf. If properly tension balanced the spokes shouldn't be failing from fatigue that quickly.

    If your builder has a Park TM-1 tension meter, ask them to input the numbers into Park's TCC spoke tension spreadsheet. The industry norm for tension variation is +/- 20%. As a clyde on those rims you would like to see that variation reduced to +/- 5%. At least on the DS. NDS may vary by a slight bit more. Another thing that they/you could try is to substitute double butted spokes on the NDS. The lighter gauge results in greater elongation for the required tension and this provide more elastic recovery before the extremities see a reduction in load and the fatigue cycles that lead to failure. If that makes sense.

    Best of luck. Let us know how things work out for you. But, rest assured that Shimano hubs are fine for clydes of just about any weight. Open Pro rims might not be the most durable rim in the world, but, they should be adequate for 240lbs. If it were my wheel I would ask them to rebuild the rear using a 3X pattern, 14 ga on the DS, 14/15 double butted on the NDS, tension the DS to the limits of the rim (I believe Mavic specify 110kgf for Open Pros), stress relieve the spokes with each round of tensioning and truing until doing so no longer effects either, and then tension balance them to within +/- 5%.

    If that doesn't solve you issue, I'll be left somewhat speachless.
    You know some stuff about wheels; I'm impressed.

    It's definitely a wheel builder issue.

    I'm riding OPs, 32 spoke (DT butted), Ultegra hubs and they are doing well for my 230 lbs. One thing to consider is potholes or ledges. It's very important to lift one's weight off the saddle when approaching these obstacles. Otherwise, the wheels will "give up the ghost" way too soon.

  15. #15
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I have those same wheels. Ultegra hubs, DT (I think...but it really makes little difference) spokes, 32 spoke. Never go out of true. I'm down to 205 but used them when I was 250+ for high speed downhill rides/races. They are plenty strong for you and if you're having broken spokes....drum roll....it is totally the wheel builder at fault. I'm in complete agreement. Get somebody else to build them. I had an expert talk me through it, although I'd done a lot of tensioning previously, my Open Pros were my first set that I built myself. Perfectly true to this day.
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  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    The problem isn't the rim.
    Nor the hub.

    There are two issues going on here, masicili, is 2 fold. First, as everyone else has said, it's a build problem. The wheel was poorly built. The other, more important problem, is the spoke strength. Just about everyone is concentrated on the hub and rim selection when building a wheel and the spokes are an afterthought. Spokes should be the first thing you look at when building a wheel. Rims and hubs hardly matter at all. I would rebuild the wheel with DT Alpine III spokes (Sapim Strong or Wheelsmith DH13 will work as well) and have a worry free wheel. I first wheel I built with Alpine III in 2000 and the wheel lasted until 2010 on an off-road mountain bike. The only reason that the wheels didn't last longer is because the guy I loaned the bike to managed to shift the chain into the spokes.

    Everything I build now is done with Alpines.
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