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Old 05-22-07, 06:59 PM   #1
europa
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Wheel weight

I'm asking this here because the thread won't be swamped with weight weenies

I'm looking at some new wheels for my fixie (the lovely green Europa in my avatar ) She's being built as an urban terrorist, not a racing or training ride, so weight isn't an issue but the ability to live on urban goat tracks is.

For a variety of reasons, cost being one of them, I'll be buying Velocity wheels. The choice seems to be the Deep V, the Fusion and the Aerohead.

The Deep V is the heaviest (at 520gm) but the strongest. The Fusion is 45gm lighter per wheel but still has the deepish V cross section so is still a strong wheel. The Aerohead is 115gm lighter than the Deep V (at 405gm) and is described as a training or racing rim.

The question is, how is the weight going to affect the bike and the ride? Sure, it's weight I have to carry but at 105kg and not shrinking, I'm a big puddycat so carrying the weight of the wheel isn't an issue. But, how does that weight affect the way the wheel works and how significant is that effect in an urban environment? Does that fact that I'm riding a fixie make any difference from the point of view that I'll be changing speed all the time and don't have the benefit of gears to ease the load on my legs?

Richard
btw, I've just realised that the term 'urban terrorist' may not be as appropriate as it once was - it's being used in its traditional sense and isn't intended to be threatening.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:28 PM   #2
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I live in the city, work in the city and do most of my recreational and group rides in the city.

I'm currently having a Velocity Aerohead/Aerohead OC wheelset built up. I had similar concerns regarding the strength in an urban environment. The wheelbuilder said that a sensible spoke count is a major factor in wheel strength and durability, and generally more important than heavier hoops and has less impact on weight than heavier hoops. Exceptions being excessive amounts of jumping, riding stairs and like, in which case you'll want both high spoke count and heavier hoops.

Now that I'm thinking about it, the only durability problem I've had with any wheel has been broken spokes. I've never had any issue with the hoops.

As for the flywheel effect of the hoop weight, I suppose it may be a greater concern with fixies, but since I don't own one, all I can possibly do is speculate. I suggest you take that part of the matter to the Fixed Gear forum.

BTW, my favorite group ride is our off-season Tuesday Night Urban Assault. Despite the image conjured up by the name, none of us carry firearms and the only Kevlar to be found is in our tires. Explosions are limited to the occasional blowout or burst of profanity.

Oh, one more thing: There's a 200 gram difference between the two types of TUBES I use. 75g for the everyday ones, and 275g for the thorn-resistant ones I use when I venture out to the suburbs, exurbs and rural areas. I notice the difference only when I look for it.

Last edited by tsl; 05-22-07 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:43 PM   #3
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I rebuilt the wheels for my tandem using Velocity Dyad rims. I've only got around 200 miles on them but the early returns on them are very good. As I recall, I was over the moon with how the building process went. On one of the wheels, after I completed the tensioning process, I didn't have to do any trueing at all and the other was nearly as good.

I tried building with some Fusion rims but I wasn't satisfied with how the building process went. I kept getting varying tensions and wavey rims during the tensioning process. I can't say for sure whether it was something to do with the rims or something that I was doing wrong. I've built hundreds of wheels, however, so I'm pretty confident in my ability.

Dyads are a little wider than Deep-v's. They're a little lighter but they have a shorter profile so they're a thicker extrusion and consequently should be a little more robust. I's think they'd be an outstanding choice for an "urban terrorist" bike.
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Old 05-23-07, 05:31 AM   #4
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My guess is you'll be okay with a little heavier wheel given the type of riding you intend to do. Where you will notice the little extra weight is getting up and going and acceleration. Once you get it spinning you'll enjoy the wheels very much. If you don't need quick bursts you should be fine.
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Old 05-23-07, 06:00 AM   #5
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I agree with jppe. In the urban environment the weight (this is not a real heavyweight rim by the standards of what comes on this type of bike originally) will be unnoticable.

I have become a fan of the deeper v section rims with 32 spokes for large riders and the rim is stronger and can be laced to a reasonably high tension.

I think you might consider double butted spokes 2.0/1.8/2.0 to give the wheel a little cushon.
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Old 05-23-07, 09:50 AM   #6
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For best reliability and strength-to-weight ratio, you definitely want at least 32 spokes per wheel, in a conventional 3-cross pattern. Today's fad of reduced spoke counts does reduce air turbulence minutely, but in every other sense it is a silly violation of sound engineering practice.
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Old 05-23-07, 01:46 PM   #7
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You say cost is one of the reasons- so I assume these are a stock wheel off the shelf. I have not had good experiences with these so I went another way- I contacted a wheel builder and he built me a set of wheels to my budget. Custom built for me and the quality was superb. That was around 10 years ago and he still hand builds my wheels for me. They need not be expensive either- so If you have the chance- Hunt out a local wheel builder and talk to him.
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