As some of you might remember, for a while I've been rocking a 16-spoke wheel up front on my fixie. One of these to be exact. Very light, very aero, very sexy. Overall, I'm still pretty impressed with the durability and general quality of the wheel. Still, it was always a bit squishy, and over the last couple of weeks as my mileage has shot up, it started creaking and making other weird sounds and I started to worry. I'd just rather not have a catastrophic wheel failure on my way to work. So I ordered in a Shimano 105/Mavic machine-built wheel through the LBS and when it came in today, I put a tire on it, threw it on the bike, and gave it the run around town.
The new wheel is noticeably stiffer, as in quite a bit, and one thing I immediately noticed is how much more secure it feels in the turns. Road bumps from MO's crappy roads are a little worse, but oh well. Overall, I definitely dig the improved handling that comes from twice as many spokes and a stiffer wheel.
I've had similar results unless I was running one of the deep section (i.e. >30mm) rims with bladed spokes. Then, the aero wheel was stiffer and more direct in the turns. I think what you noticed is magnified on the fixed, as you tend to have more load on the wheels in the turns.
I was rollin a 650c front end for awhile, with a 20 spoke radial laced wheel. I recently put the stock fork back on with a mavic ma3 rim around a 32hole 105 hub. The ride quality and stiffness have improved noticeably.
I miss the lower front end, it made turned super-quick, gave me great leverage, and there was no issue with toe clearance. (I wear a size 15 shoe)
unknown make TT bike, fixed; Romet Sport, gone; titanium Pinarello gone;Colnago with Campy C-Record/Super Record,on it's way; Funny Gianni Motta; Buehler track, Polrad track chrome; titanium MTB on 28'', fixed; Tri Wheeler, fixed
I second that.
My 12 spoke Shamal is stiffer than regular low profile 32 spoke wheel which in turn is stiffer than fancy 16 spoke Gipiemme. This is at the expense of the weight and weight placement - Shamal is heaviest.