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  1. #1
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    Low spoke count on a commuter?

    I'm sure this has come up before, but I couldn't find anything by searching, too many matches to dig through. What do you guys think of low spoke count wheel on a commuter/work bike? I picked up a Bontrager Race Lite front wheel for free and am thinking of throwing it on but the low spoke count (only 20) worries me. I did find this review site http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...6_2490crx.aspx and a lot of people seem to be sayig they're bombproof but I don't know how many are putting them through what I would, ie. many miles on bad city streets and probably the occasional curb...

  2. #2
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do it, but that's just me. Especially if you are loading bike down with more than you.
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    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Depends on you, the load you carry, and the riding conditions. But I'd say anything that was free is good to use as long as it remains relatively safe to do so. Assuming the wheel is in good condition and built properly, try it and if the wheel performs to your satisfaction, I wouldn't worry about it.

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    Yea, free is kind of the key here, I busted the rim on my set of Trek Matrix so I'm thinking if I just switch the front rim to the rear hub and ride the Bontrager on front I can have a full wheelset again without buying anything. Just wanted to check with those who know more than me to see if anyone thought it was doomed to break right away.

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    I've been commuting lately with 16 on the front.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

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    Don't do it if you are a fatty

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Front wheel doesn't carry too much weight does it? Not as much as the rear anyway. I'd chuck it on 'specially since it was free.

  8. #8
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    I had a set of the bontrager Race wheels. They work OK on the front., But I would not use them on the back as the paired low spoke count wheels are not for bigger riders (190). But, since its free, you don't have anything to lose. I now have the Mavic Open Pro Ultegera wheels. They are great.

  9. #9
    still commuting...... Brian T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by State View Post
    Don't do it if you are a fatty
    that's funny, I almost pee'ed my pants....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
    that's funny, I almost pee'ed my pants....
    Yea, my favorite too. I'm 150 so I'm gonna go fot it, worst comes to worst I break my free rim..

  11. #11
    Cat None SDRider's Avatar
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    I have Ksyrium ES wheels on the road bike I've been commuting on lately and they've been bombproof. Never even had them trued once. 18 spoke front/20 spoke rear.

  12. #12
    rhm
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    I found a couple of those Bontrager wheels in the trash a few years ago; 20 spokes radial front, 28 2-x rear, 9-speed hub. They were a bit worn out by brake wear, but perfectly true; I really don't know why someone chucked them. So I put my summer tires on them and in stead of switching tires when the weather got nasty, I switched the whole wheels. It worked fine, except that I got to liking the lighter wheels so much I didn't switch back to the winter ones. I ended up a whole nother bike as a winter commuter, with dynamo lights and snow tires, and using the one with the Bontragers only during the summer; and more recently I've been riding my folding bike with 16" wheels almost exclusively; so I guess I haven't even put 1000 miles on them yet. But they're holding up fine. I weigh about 165.

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    I run 18\20 on one bike and slightly more on my touring bike. No issues for me. I do weigh slightly under 160.
    Still, with such a low spoke count if one breaks I am afraid the wheel will go significantly out of true. On my next online gear order I plan on adding an emergency kevlar spoke for both bikes.

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    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    low spoke, well built = great wheels.

    Zillions of miles on my low spoke count Cane Creek wheelsets, very little truing needed, 250-275lb total load. cheers
    beer-bottle target

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    DoB
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    I'm sure this has come up before, but I couldn't find anything by searching, too many matches to dig through. What do you guys think of low spoke count wheel on a commuter/work bike? I picked up a Bontrager Race Lite front wheel for free and am thinking of throwing it on but the low spoke count (only 20) worries me.
    Biggest problem is that if you do break a spoke the bike will probably not be rideable. That means a long walk or calling for a ride.

    I run 36 spokes, and I've ridden home with two broken on one wheel.

    To me, commuting is about the hardest thing you can do to wheels (besides bombing downhill off road). It's a day-in day-out grind of high miles, heavy loads and usually (at least here) bad pavement. Plus I ride in the dark so much that even with my lights I tend to hit a lot of potholes.

    I like a wheel that can take a broken spoke in stride, cause the last thing I want is to have my wife load the four kids in the van to come get me.

  16. #16
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    I wondered the same thing and asked Bontrager. here is the reply I got.

    The selects are strong wheels but we do
    make a stronger wheel the Bontrager Classic. I recommend to most people
    ride what the bike comes with and then upgrade when it is time to
    replace. Most times you will be shocked how well the stock bike
    performs.

  17. #17
    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
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    I ran Rolf Satellites on my MTB for a while. I'm over 200lbs and didn't have any problems.
    Idaho

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by calderp View Post
    I'm sure this has come up before, but I couldn't find anything by searching, too many matches to dig through. What do you guys think of low spoke count wheel on a commuter/work bike? I picked up a Bontrager Race Lite front wheel for free and am thinking of throwing it on but the low spoke count (only 20) worries me. I did find this review site http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...6_2490crx.aspx and a lot of people seem to be sayig they're bombproof but I don't know how many are putting them through what I would, ie. many miles on bad city streets and probably the occasional curb...
    Bontrager rims on the front are fine. I rode 4 double centuries on the 20 spoke without a problem. The back rim is the problem and will not stay true. I have a set in my garage - probably save them for a swap meet.

    I have commuted 3,000 miles this year on Cane Creek Volos wheel set. The back rim is great.
    __________________________________________

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    2004 Lemond Zurich

  19. #19
    Roadie Noobie Snacks Atomick's Avatar
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    I'm commuting on those very wheels with 160lb bodyweight and 20lbs in the backpack, over typical roads (loads of variation, from tons of sealer to busted-up MUPs to silky smooth roads). Not a single problem yet.
    2007 Trek Madone 5.0 | 2008 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro
    Atomick Industries

  20. #20
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Giant has low spoke count wheels on both their cross bikes. You should be fine as long as you watch the potholes and curb surfing.

    http://www.giant-bicycle.com/en-US/b...ad/1239/29259/

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

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