Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    256
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    rim/wheel weight and 650b rims

    Hi, I thought I would try this section as people would likely have experience with 650b riding. I will likely miss another brevet season unless a magical bike appears in my life soon. I live in a rural area so commuting alone involves fairly long distances. I'd like the best rims for long distance riding, little tours and commuting and grocery/errand runs. I have an audax frame half built, want to go 650b, but unsure of which rims to choose. I am a small light rider so want to know if weight makes a difference if you are light. Apparently it does. Would spoke holes also make a difference? All bikes I have had as far back as I can recall have had 36 hole rims. I feel like I am exerting a lot of extra effort just on the bicycle. The pacentis pl23 are 404 grams, the velocity a23 a bit more etc.. Jan Heine just brought back the grand bois rims but they weight a bit more. I just would like to build a great bike that for once fits and is efficient.
    Last edited by Heatherbikes; 03-28-14 at 08:19 PM. Reason: forgot info

  2. #2
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In the wilds of NY
    My Bikes
    Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    1,243
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    Hi, I thought I would try this section as people would likely have experience with 650b riding. I will likely miss another brevet season unless a magical bike appears in my life soon. I live in a rural area so commuting alone involves fairly long distances. I'd like the best rims for long distance riding, little tours and commuting and grocery/errand runs. I have an audax frame half built, want to go 650b, but unsure of which rims to choose. I am a small light rider so want to know if weight makes a difference if you are light. Apparently it does. Would spoke holes also make a difference? All bikes I have had as far back as I can recall have had 36 hole rims. I feel like I am exerting a lot of extra effort just on the bicycle. The pacentis pl23 are 404 grams, the velocity a23 a bit more etc.. Jan Heine just brought back the grand bois rims but they weight a bit more. I just would like to build a great bike that for once fits and is efficient.
    For a light rider on paved roads, presuming you're not doing loaded touring, you'd do just fine with 28h rims.

    One of the biggest ongoing problems with 650B road rims is that manufacturers seem to have had difficulty getting them designed and/or built right. The Synergy offset rims have a reputation for cracking spoke holes. A lot ( heck, possibly even most ) of the others have reputations for being off-size enough or have poorly thought out rim beds that getting tires seated evenly is a chore. The A23 is one of the few 650B rims that people generally agree avoids those problems.

    Don't obsess over weight unless you're planning on being a cat 1 racer with a support crew; is a percent or two difference in performance honestly going to make a difference to the average rider? Nope, not really.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  3. #3
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middle Georgia, USA
    My Bikes
    2008 Kogswell PR mkII, 1976 Raleigh Professional, 1996 Serotta Atlanta, 1984 Trek 520, 1979 Raleigh Comp GS, 1995 Trek 950, 1979 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist
    Posts
    1,168
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    Hi, I thought I would try this section as people would likely have experience with 650b riding. I will likely miss another brevet season unless a magical bike appears in my life soon. I live in a rural area so commuting alone involves fairly long distances. I'd like the best rims for long distance riding, little tours and commuting and grocery/errand runs. I have an audax frame half built, want to go 650b, but unsure of which rims to choose. I am a small light rider so want to know if weight makes a difference if you are light. Apparently it does. Would spoke holes also make a difference? All bikes I have had as far back as I can recall have had 36 hole rims. I feel like I am exerting a lot of extra effort just on the bicycle. The pacentis pl23 are 404 grams, the velocity a23 a bit more etc.. Jan Heine just brought back the grand bois rims but they weight a bit more. I just would like to build a great bike that for once fits and is efficient.
    Hi Heather...

    You have some good questions... but be warned... you are diving into the realm of opinion. And you will get many answers that are simply that. Opinion.

    Having said that, here is my opinion:

    First factor: You are a light rider. That makes a difference because you don't beat up wheels like a 200 pound person might. Also take into account how aware you are of road hazards and debris. Do you avoid potholes or are you one of those who bomb through them? If you're a bomber, you may want to avoid super light wheel builds because IN GENERAL they tend to be more fragile than the beefier configurations. So consider your riding style as part of the equation. As far as wheel weight goes... lighter wheels with less rotating weight will feel zippier and more responsive because they spin up quicker. And I guess this tends to feel more pronounced to a really light rider... I guess it's because of the weight ratios of wheel to body weight. I'm not a flyweight, so I wouldn't know firsthand.

    Second factor: Spoke count. Low spoke count is waaaaay overrated. Maybe if you're riding time trials or track sprints or RAAM it would make a difference, but for normal humans... not so much. The advantages of really low spoke counts don't outweigh the disadvantages. And you used one single word that really influences my choice for you: commuting. For a bike that I'll be regularly commuting on, I would go with no fewer than 32 spokes. On a properly built 32 spoke wheel, you can pop a spoke and keep riding with about 30 seconds of roadside repair. That can mean making it to work on time. Pop a spoke on a 16 spoke wheel and it's probably not rideable without real repairs. If you're concerned about cutting spoke weight, use a nice ultra butted spoke like the DT Swiss Revolution or something like it. I think they're like 1.8/1.5 or something like that... they are really skinny in the center butted part and look really sexy to an old school guy like me.

    Third factor: Rim manufacturer choice. Stay with an established rim manufacturer. My LBS does not build wheels at all, so I have a deal with them to send their custom requests to me. In return, I agreed to buy my parts from their LBS. So I've built a lot of wheels both for myself and others. And many of them have been 650B wheels. I love rims from Mavic and Velocity... they build up easily and I've found them to be very dependable. OK... opinion time: I have to defend the Velocity Synergy offset rim. I use a lot of them because they allow me to build a wheelset that uses a single spoke length for an entire wheelset... front and rear. I have about 8 sets of them out in the world... including one set on my own commuter/rando bike... and I've never had one crack an eyelet. I've seen the reports of cracking, but I have to wonder how people are riding those wheels and how well they were built to begin with. But basically stay with a reputable company and you'll get a rim that has good build quality. It's usually a case of "You get what you pay for"... with cheap rims having bead seat problems and such.

    Good luck with your build... and ride safe!
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chesha Neko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    295
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm 200 pounds or so and run 32 spokes front and rear on my 650B using the Pacenti PL23 rims. As others have said, stick with 32 spokes or higher and you should be fine. The Velocity A23 rim seems to have the best rep right now of what is available.
    "I stick to my basic plan of simply keeping the pedals turning."
    -- Kent Peterson, The Way of the Mountain Turtle

  5. #5
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    My Bikes
    Borealis Echo, Ground Up Designs Ti Cross bike, Xtracycle, GT mod trials bike, pixie race machine
    Posts
    856
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another vote here for the A23, it is my favorite general purpose road rim out there right now. Light enough to be used on a bike meant to go fast and strong enough for daily use. I weigh 200lbs and use it on my commuter and gravel bike and it has been pretty solid (i have even mountain biked on it....) so as a light rider with a slightly smaller rim I would say 28 hole is pretty easy without worry, even with lightly loaded tours.

  6. #6
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,351
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A few grams on the rims is not going to make any tangible difference. Really.

    A trainer did an experiment, where he sent one of his trainees up the Alpe d'Huez on four runs, targeting a consistent power output (roughly 275w). Putting an extra 4 pounds on the wheels (specifically, water in the tires) added a whopping 2.5 minutes out of 52 minutes total. And that's on 8.6 miles and 6100 feet of climbing. (How much time does extra weight cost on Alpe d?Huez?)

    Plus, when you get into longer rides, the minuscule performance differences -- which plausibly might matter when you're in a racing context -- are overwhelmed by time spent at breaks and controles. Comfort and reliability (http://www.bikequarterly.com/BQPBPEquipsurvey.pdf)

    If you really feel like you're fighting your bike, I'd do things like check for brake rub or other mechanical issues. Next, I'd get a real fit, by someone who knows what they're doing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    256
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you. I am a cautious rider, so no bombing over cracks and potholes. I'm not overly concerned about weight to the point of 16 spoke carbon wheels which I think is ridiculous. It is just I have been dealing with overbuilt bicycles, so want some more efficiency and make riding fun again. No, it's not a mechanical issue. I just won some campy c record 32 hole hubs on ebay! I might barf when I get them!
    I am under 120lb, so I can probably get away with 28H. I am curious about the PL23 and the A23, only issue is that it bike parts are so expensive in Canada, that as my husband joked(or accused), a 650b wheel build could cost more than a decent bike. He got some cheap cheap 650b rims and has had problems with seating the tires etc.. I have dismantled wheels, but never attempted a wheel build though that might save some money?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    My Bikes
    SOMA Grand Randonneur, Gunnar Sport converted to 650B, Rivendell Rambouillet, '82 Trek 728, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 500, C'Dale F600, Burley Duet, Lotus Legend
    Posts
    865
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post
    ... a 650b wheel build could cost more than a decent bike ...
    I have had pretty good luck with the "Quality Wheels" 700c or 650b wheels. The prices tend to be a decent saving relative to buying parts and building a wheel from scratch. I usually find that they benefit from stress-relieving and then double-checking the tension at each spoke to make them all equal on a side and then truing them up. That is something that you could learn how to do, or you could have your local bike shop do it for you and you'd still probably save.

    front without dynamo=$113
    Quality Wheels Pavement Front Wheel 650b 32h Shimano LX / Velocity Synergy / DT Competition All Silver - AEBike.com

    front with dynamo=$150
    Quality Wheels Pavement Front Wheel 650b 32h Shimano Dynamo / Velocity Synergy / DT Competition All Silver - AEBike.com

    rear=$110
    Quality Wheels Pavement Rim Brake Rear Wheel 650b 32h Shimano LX / Velocity Synergy / DT Competition All Silver - AEBike.com

    Velocity Synergy has its problems, but supposedly they have got them under control, and in any case at your light weight, you're not as likely to have problems as a heavier rider.

    I don't know what the prices would be in Canada, but it seems like it shouldn't be much more than 18% more for GST?

    Nick

  9. #9
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ft Worth, TX
    My Bikes
    650B tandem converted from Santana Arriva, Santana Noventa, Boulder Bicycle 700C, Gunnar Sport, Trek TX700,
    Posts
    1,700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another vote for A23 rim. We killed 4 Synergy rims.

    Fairly light and very strong. We now use them on our tandem (36 spokes). Team weight including bike and equipment 330 lbs.

    I would suggest 32 spokes maybe 28 on front. Less than that and it is harder to true if needed due to distance between spokes.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •