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  1. #1
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    some rim/wheel advice

    I've been scouring the threads and haven't seen my general question answered, so I figured I'd just ask. In advance, "sorry" and "thank you". At 35, I've recently re-discovered the 12 year old in me who knew how to tear apart and put back together bikes. And living in Chicago, my <8 mi. commute just makes more sense via bike. I've got two older bikes--dad's old schwinn that's older than me, and a hybrid that I bought new in '92--that have been converted to single speeds out of convenience (broken/substandard deraileurs were out of my league as a kid and remain that way today). But I'm having some trouble with rear wheels going out of true. I've broken a few spokes, and recently replaced a rear rim (cheaply) and now its out of whack too (after about 80 miles). First off, I'm a little over six feet tall and about 210 or so (fairly good shape, I'd like to believe). My commute is city streets and I try to avoid potholes and lift myself up when I hit bumps. I'm not racing to work, but I do keep my cadence up a bit. I'm not looking to spend a fortune on a wheel, but taking these in at $30 per visit is more depressing. What should I look for in a rear wheel? more spokes? Do deep v's help, or is that just for kids listening to Wavves? I don't care about a matching set, I'm all about utility. I'll pay for something that works, but not for something pretty. My LBS seems a little aloof around me. So I turn to you, world bicycling community, to guide me properly.

  2. #2
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    Yes, a good deep-V wheel will help, but you will still break spokes on occasion, especially if your commute involves pot-holes like mine does. I've now got a collection of spare spokes and a homebuilt truing stand in my basement. Much cheaper and faster than having the LBS fix it each time I break one.

    Head on over to the Clydesdale forum... there are many posts there about this issue.

  3. #3
    Goathead Magnet aley's Avatar
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    Most of my spoke breakage and out-of-true problems have been the result of low spoke tension. When the spokes are not under proper tension, you get full reversal of the loads in the spoke (from tension to slight compression, albeit very slight before spoke buckling kicks in with its bending loads), and the load is not distributed among all of your spokes. The result is fatigue failure, manifested in breaking the spoke at the elbow that goes through the hole in the hub.

    Next time you have the shop true your wheel, ask them to up the tension, or if you feel bold, give all the nipples half a turn on your own. If they're still loose, give them another quarter turn, and keep going until the tension is right. How tight is right? I don't have a quantitative number - I tend to run lots of tension in my spokes, so I go until the nipples start to deform around the spoke wrench, but this is probably a bit on the high side.

    Breaking a spoke now and then, or having to true a wheel once in a while, is all but inevitable. If you're only getting a few miles out of a newly-trued wheel, though, they're doing it wrong - work on them to do it right (and maybe to do it again, properly this time, for free), or find another shop with a better wheel guy. Consider learning to do at least basic truing yourself - it looks much harder than it is, and unless you get ridiculous about it, you won't permanently damage your wheels.

  4. #4
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_antares View Post
    Yes, a good deep-V wheel will help, but you will still break spokes on occasion, especially if your commute involves pot-holes like mine does. I've now got a collection of spare spokes and a homebuilt truing stand in my basement. Much cheaper and faster than having the LBS fix it each time I break one.

    Head on over to the Clydesdale forum... there are many posts there about this issue.
    I'm from over in the Clyde forum and I build all my own wheels. 6'6", 235-ish (down from 255).

    I don't ride deep section rims. I don't ride anything higher than 32 spokes. It's not about having a huge rim with a gazillion spokes on it, it's about having a wheel which is built properly. I've used everything from old rims (1991 Wolber T410 Alpine on my singlespeed) to new rims (DT RR1.1 on my brevet bike) to cheap rims (Alex DA16 came stock on my Cross Check, no-name singlewall box section on my cruiser.) I've had all these wheels over potholes, hopping a curb here and there, and even some miles of loose gravel and hardpack fire-roads.

    1) Proper spoke tension
    2) De-stress the spokes throughout the build process
    3) Use quality spokes (I prefer DT Champion 2.0 straight gauge*)
    4) When possible, use eyeletted rims

    * There's a lot of back-and-forth over what's better for big riders: Straight or butted spokes? Butted spokes get high accolades from Sheldon because they allow a wheel to flex more and absorb road shock from things like potholes etc. I find that a butted spoked wheel also feels "mushy" when standing and hammering on the pedals, no matter how high you run the spoke tension. A straight gauge spoke is going to give you a stiffer wheel all around. More transfer of road vibration, but also less flex when tossing the bike back-and-forth under yourself hammering up a hill or sprint starting from a stoplight. The vibration can be mitigated with running a larger tire (at 210, a 25mm should be fine) or dropping the pressure by a few psi.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  5. #5
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aley View Post
    Breaking a spoke now and then, or having to true a wheel once in a while, is all but inevitable.
    Truing, sure. But not breaking spokes. Unless you're a DH racer or dirt jumper or doing other things that really put a heavy amount of odd torque on the wheels, it's unacceptable to be breaking spokes 'just out of the blue'. I thought I was doing well on my RR1.1/SON28/3-cross Champion 2.0 front wheel which has about 9000 miles on it and only a single truing at 300 or so miles... Until I read about Mr. Beanz' handbuilt set which has over 10,000 miles of stomping some majour climbs without needing a truing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt_t View Post
    ... I've recently re-discovered the 12 year old in me who knew how to tear apart and put back together bikes. ... I'm having some trouble with rear wheels going out of true. I've broken a few spokes, and recently replaced a rear rim (cheaply) and now its out of whack too (after about 80 miles). First off, I'm a little over six feet tall and about 210 or so ... I don't care about a matching set, I'm all about utility. I'll pay for something that works, but not for something pretty. My LBS seems a little aloof around me. So I turn to you, world bicycling community, to guide me properly.
    Agree with posters. Cheap wheels (at least ones not tensioned properly and trued) may not be so cheap. If you like to "tear apart bikes", you could do it yourself (particularly if the LBS seems "aloof") with a few proper tools and instructions on the web at Sheldon Brown's site and the entire chapter on wheel building from Barnett's at LINK (which is so methodical it may drive one nuts). Although wheels can be trued on the bike, it is a lot easier with a nice truing stand, for example LINK if you want to half-DIY one.

    Or find a different LBS.

    Also, Peter White Cycles comments that some rims are not built for big guys nor will they take appropriately wide enough tires very well.

    And yes, visit the Clydesdale forum & search it.

    p.s. If you go the truing route, or particularly the wheel building route, and prefer a book to on-screen, The Art of Wheelbuilding: A Bench Reference for Neophytes, Pros & Wheelaholics by G Schraner is quite good. The book by Jobst Brandt is also good, but I think Schraner's has more useful information on the how & what while Brandt is better on the design and engineering.
    Last edited by Giro; 09-05-09 at 02:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giro View Post
    Although wheels can be trued on the bike, it is a lot easier with a nice truing stand, for example LINK if you want to half-DIY one.
    You don't have to go with some thing that fancy. I built mine out of scraps of plywood that were sitting in my basement and a couple of angle brackets. I followed the general guidelines in Roger Musson's "Professional Guide to Wheel Building" http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php but didn't make it as fancy as the one shown in the book.

    If you have really discovered your inner 12 year old, wheels and spokes are something you should dig into.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    after rebuilding a rim myself for my 98 T700 C-Dale with a set of CR-18 rims this is a SMOKING deal.
    http://www.velo-orange.com/sh105plcrwhs.html

    How old is your Schwinn? Mid 80's they had a LOT of good frames. The Electro forge frames (Suburbans, Varsity's etc) from the 70's were bricks. The bare bones bikes were pushing 40lb. The upper end frames like the Le Tours were reasonably light. I have a 88 world sport built by Giant I also have a 85 Traveler and a 77 Super Le Tour. The Traveler and Le Tour are both listed as 26lb. If the rims ever needs replacing that is what I am going to do next time. With friction shifters and a 130mm spaced rear wheel it would be no problem running a 9 or 10 speed cassette on a older bike with a 126mm spaced rear drop out.
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  9. #9
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    Why do people love deep-v's? They're not even eyeletted. I would either pick up a pair of 36 hole Mavic A319's laced to Deore hubs (pre-built, you can buy these for about 70$ front, 100$ rear.)

    Or I would keep your current hubs, and get them handbuilt to a A319 rim. A319 is tough, double eyeletted and reasonably priced.

  10. #10
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    or yeah, build it yourself following Sheldon Brown's instructions (with 1 minor mistake in there that is confusing, plus he makes his outer spokes lead instead of trail for some reason)

    Build them with linseed oil on the threads. Do the final tensioning with a tire pumped up fully on the rim.

  11. #11
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I'm a Clyde, going to have some wheels built this winter. I am leaning towards Velocity Dyad rims. Very, very tough.
    Old Man Maine

  12. #12
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stomppow View Post
    Why do people love deep-v's? They're not even eyeletted. I would either pick up a pair of 36 hole Mavic A319's laced to Deore hubs (pre-built, you can buy these for about 70$ front, 100$ rear.)

    Or I would keep your current hubs, and get them handbuilt to a A319 rim. A319 is tough, double eyeletted and reasonably priced.
    They aren't eyeletted, but they're a very strong rim. The deep profile doesn't allow for much flex in either plane, and it allows you to use a shorter spoke which leads to a stronger wheel. They're heavy, in part because of the profile, but also because they're just a thick metal at the apex of the rim profile where the nipples pull through.
    While I've heard of 3 friends with my rando club having issues with other rims (including Mavic eyeletted rims) having cracking problems at the eyelets, I've not heard of anyone with a similar problem on a Velocity Deep V.

    For an eyeletted deep rim, look at either the Mavic CxP-33, or the DT RR1.2 hoops.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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