Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Bikes: Surly World Troller, Dahon Boardwalk, Raleigh 20, and the frame of a Surly Longhaul Trucker
I'm too lazy to look it up, but I do seem to recall Sheldon Brown discussing spoke count and saying that when you tried to go to a lower spoke count, you often did not get to reduce the actual weight of your tire by much, if anything, because the low spoke hubs had to be a little beefier to support the additional stress you get at the spoke holes when all the stress of the wheel is spread around fewer parts of the hub flange. Or something like that. The idea being that low spoke hubs may indeed run a little heavier than higher spoke hubs. Sheldon's conclusion was that you might as well go for a sturdier, higher spoked wheel. For my part, my newly built, 3 speed wheel has taken its first, short ride and seems to be doing fine. I hope to take a tensionometer to it tomorrow and see how that looks (I just did it by feel and by trying to turn all the spokes evenly as I put it together), but first impression is that it rides very well, and it seemed to true up fine, too, so we'll see. This is my first wheel, and if it goes well, I have several more I'd like to build -- an 8-speed hub for my other bike and a generator hub for both bikes.