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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-25-10, 01:54 AM   #1
Zardhex
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My rear-wheel woes...an update

this was my post from last summer:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t=#post9515468

last month my lbs EPBC hooked me up with what looks to be THE clyde wheel for my commuter...after all the headaches and endless spoke replacements and wheel work i've endured the past year with my heavy and once beer-bellied frame, the puzzle has finally been solved....

Mavic a719 36H rim
DT Swiss 2.0 spokes
Shimano Deore XT Hub

All black (matching the front stock front Trek 7.2fx wheel, which is still holding up nice)

Trued and re-tensioned twice by my LBS, since the install, and after endless daily hammerfests, rough-riding over the potholed, crappy WV backroads while always pushing to beat my personal best times to shorten my commute back'n'forth to work...and after several hundred miles, and with a 95-100psi Conti Gator hardshell slapped on, is not even flinching...it's like the dang wheel is laughing at me, saying "Is that all you got, big boy?"

Life is good

Thank you, to everyone who responded back then...the Mavic rim was definitely the right place to start

and... Thanks, Bryan!
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Old 05-25-10, 04:46 AM   #2
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Glad it is working for you. I'm 6'5 and close to 240 at the moment , so I was worried about durability when I built my own wheels as part of the fun / experiment when I built my super-commuter. Salsa Delgado Cross (36H rear, 32 front), DT, brass nipples, XT disc front and Nexus rear. They've held up like champs. Trued out a very slight shimmy and checked tension after 500 miles, still doing great after ~3000.

The Salsas came highly recommended but I never heard a bad word about the Mavics, either.

I had been truing and playing with the spoke plucking method of tension for a while, but when jumping into the from-scratch wheel build I sprung for the Park tensionmeter. I was surprised at what difference it made. Feel is only for the grossest tension issues. The pluck method works by tone. I'm no bike wheel guru but do know pitch. Just in experimenting, pitch was a decent start but the tensionmeter would pick up significant (e.g. 20%) differences in same pitch, and same tension in different pitch. My blind guess is something to do with subtleties in the cross and nipple seating changing the tone more than the tension. Perhaps the great builders shape the wheel through that and eliminate those inconsistencies, perhaps the tensionmeter is really best. It certainly mattered for rookie me. Quality rims matter, but not even the best can compensate for a low or inconsistent tension in the build. I think the tensionmeter is what made the difference for me.

BTW, it can be a PITA to use.
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Old 05-25-10, 10:55 AM   #3
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I do not understand commuters who ride with low spoke count wheels - but then again I don't understand those who commute in sports cars or pick-up trucks.

I have two commute/utility bikes, with ~20K miles between them. No issues with the rear wheels - both have 36 spoke hubs, one is a Shimano 105 with Mavic Open-Pro rim, the other is a Phil Wood hub with a Mavic A-719 rim. The bikes are used daily, usually heavily loaded and I don't have issues with wheels needing to be trued or repaired.
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Old 05-25-10, 06:44 PM   #4
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Why I gravitate towards Touring bikes. Most come with rock solid hubs and36 spoke wheels. I'm 225. Busted a spoke on a 32 spoke replacement wheel last week Did take me about 1500 miles and I did not retention the wheel from the time I put it on till it broke the spoke. Funny but the bent wheel it replaced never broke a spoke and its front mate is still on the bike and doing fine. I have put about 2200 miles on it in the 1.5 years I have owned it. The bike is a 95.

My main commuter just got rebuilt with it's factory Parallax hubs and new set of Sun CR18 rims. Time to buy the CR18's for the other bike and get the 36 spoke back on the bike.
My 84 Fuji came factory with a 48 spoke rear. It is BOMB proof.
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Old 05-26-10, 12:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Grim View Post
Why I gravitate towards Touring bikes. Most come with rock solid hubs and36 spoke wheels. I'm 225. Busted a spoke on a 32 spoke replacement wheel last week Did take me about 1500 miles and I did not retention the wheel from the time I put it on till it broke the spoke. Funny but the bent wheel it replaced never broke a spoke and its front mate is still on the bike and doing fine. I have put about 2200 miles on it in the 1.5 years I have owned it. The bike is a 95.

My main commuter just got rebuilt with it's factory Parallax hubs and new set of Sun CR18 rims. Time to buy the CR18's for the other bike and get the 36 spoke back on the bike.
My 84 Fuji came factory with a 48 spoke rear. It is BOMB proof.
Yeah, i'm not a wheel expert by far, but even with the bent rim it seems that spoke tension is much more important than keeping the rim perfectly true...i noticed that the mavic has an ever-so-slight hump to it(not noticable when riding though, so i know the a719 is not dead perfect) but the tension is pretty close to my ears with the plucks, so it sounds like everything is dialed in...i had a wheel built last summer with the CR18's and i had constant truing issues, and then the popped spokes, but i think the tension was too low on the non-drive side spokes to begin with, because i had someone else build it, who, in all fairness to him, didn't really understand how heavy i was, and how hard i ride ...i read good things about that rim, though...and a 48-spoke? Wow, your legs must be tree-trunks
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Old 05-26-10, 12:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
Glad it is working for you. I'm 6'5 and close to 240 at the moment , so I was worried about durability when I built my own wheels as part of the fun / experiment when I built my super-commuter. Salsa Delgado Cross (36H rear, 32 front), DT, brass nipples, XT disc front and Nexus rear. They've held up like champs. Trued out a very slight shimmy and checked tension after 500 miles, still doing great after ~3000.

The Salsas came highly recommended but I never heard a bad word about the Mavics, either.

I had been truing and playing with the spoke plucking method of tension for a while, but when jumping into the from-scratch wheel build I sprung for the Park tensionmeter. I was surprised at what difference it made. Feel is only for the grossest tension issues. The pluck method works by tone. I'm no bike wheel guru but do know pitch. Just in experimenting, pitch was a decent start but the tensionmeter would pick up significant (e.g. 20%) differences in same pitch, and same tension in different pitch. My blind guess is something to do with subtleties in the cross and nipple seating changing the tone more than the tension. Perhaps the great builders shape the wheel through that and eliminate those inconsistencies, perhaps the tensionmeter is really best. It certainly mattered for rookie me. Quality rims matter, but not even the best can compensate for a low or inconsistent tension in the build. I think the tensionmeter is what made the difference for me.

BTW, it can be a PITA to use.
I've been toying with the pluck-method while constantly fixing spoke issues on the rear of my fun-to-ride, but small-framed Nishiki (it had a cheap wheel put on after a bad wreck at the beach last summer) I still haven't gotten it right,and i'm replacing spokes (mostly ripped off from the old back wheel from my Trek) and,yeah, it's a constant battle now, because i know the wheel needs an all-new spoke rebuild, and maybe a better rim, but i'm trying to keep expenses down on it, for financial reasons...maybe i will attempt to build a new wheel one of these days BTW, don't know much about Salsa, but they got some sharp looking bikes
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