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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-20-09, 01:35 PM   #1
bobthib
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32 spoke tandem FW?

I have a chance to get a tandem hub 700c front wheel with 32 spokes. Is that enough spokes for a strong tandem wheel? Our teams are about 350 - 370 lbs.
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Old 09-20-09, 02:50 PM   #2
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WE have used 32 spoke front wheels, but we are only 260 lbs. Probably depends on where you ride also.

Frank and Terry
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Old 09-20-09, 03:50 PM   #3
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I have a three spoke tandem wheel set (HED 3's). The number of spokes isn't as important as the quality of the build. I run 32 spoke wheels most of the time with no problem and am in the same weight range as you. My bike weighs about 20lbs less but that shouldn't matter too much.
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Old 09-20-09, 05:28 PM   #4
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Been running 32H front wheel for the past 25,000+ miles on our Zona tandem. We are a 250 lbs duo.
Wheel is built with DT Revolution spokes, Chris King hub and Velocity Aerohead rims. The nipples are alloy and have broken 3 of them (but not the spokes). Suggest using brass nipples instead of alloy for longevity.
If it's a well-built wheel and the price is right, go for it.
Just our experience/opnion.
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-20-09, 07:36 PM   #5
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Heck, our tandem has 32 spokes in TOTAL.

If the wheels are well built and designed the number of spokes isn't the defining factor for strength.

If the wheels are poorly designed and built more spokes won't help much.
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Old 09-21-09, 12:57 AM   #6
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The Edge rims I wanted to get on the Calfee Dragonfly I got coming, are limited to 28 holes. Edge holes are molded in the carbon, and so more cannot be drilled (like has been done to Zipps).

The wheelbuilders I talked to thought that 28 would be okay, but they used the more robust DT Comp's instead of DT aerolites, and preferred the deeper 68 rims to the 45's.

We'll see how it works out.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:29 AM   #7
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Same build in 26"

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Been running 32H front wheel for the past 25,000+ miles on our Zona tandem. We are a 250 lbs duo.
Wheel is built with DT Revolution spokes, Chris King hub and Velocity Aerohead rims. Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
I'm having the same build done in 26" wheels for my Santana Rio - On Road use only! I'll be using my Deep V velocity 40 spoke for the off road & trail riding.
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Old 09-21-09, 12:58 PM   #8
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We have 32 spoke MTB tandem hubs for our slick road wheels on our MTB tandem and we weigh 440lbs as a team. Properly built wheels in African conditions and havr had no spoke breakages or wheel truing since 2005.
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Old 09-21-09, 01:34 PM   #9
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Ritterview, I am excited by your 68s and the new bike, particularly cranks. Post pictures, specs etc please.

I don't think you will regret the 68s - I think you will appreciate the extra aero and won't notice the mass.

As an anecdote I am roughly as fast as my club mates on the flat in a paceline, but downhill the 38s allow me to sail past whenever the paceline hits 40mph down any hill compared with people on box section rims. On the tandem the 68s will be You will need good brakes!

On my single bike I conservatively went for 20, 24h and they have no sign of flex, even in uphill efforts. I haven't tried them on the tandem, but given some people are riding American Classic CR420s (which btw I think is nuts) I will give the front wheel a try at the weekend if I have time.
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Old 09-21-09, 07:32 PM   #10
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I've got a 28 spoke Deep V [30mm] rim without any issues. 400lbs
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Old 09-22-09, 11:41 PM   #11
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My understanding is that it depends on the depth of the rim. If you're using the traditional low-profile rims (e.g., Mavic MA-2), 32 spokes probably won't give you a confident margin of safety if you have to make a crazy high-speed maneuver with a 350-lb tandem. A slightly deeper rim may give you the additional strength. A Velocity Deep V with 32 spokes would likely be more than sufficient. I used a 16-spoke Campag Shamal front wheel for a couple of years for my 320-lb team. People looked at me funny, but I never had a problem. I only stopped using the wheel because it developed a crack in the rim. The Bontrager tandem wheels I'm using now have about 20 spokes each, but they're reasonably deep and feel very solid.

Luis
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