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  1. #1
    bicycle love ChicagoDave's Avatar
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    Loaded touring wheels...

    I'm trying to price a full build on a LHT for a trip across the US. I have an avid cycling past but not much experience with choosing touring equipment. What sort of wheels are good - anyone have good combinations that worked well for them? High spoke count is about all I know - what type of hubs, rims... thanks ! David

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...TOKEN=74884464

    You want a beefy rim over 500 grams. You want beefy hubs. LX or XT are beefy, but Shimano road hubs wil take more abuse than you'd think. 14 straight gauge spokes, 36 of them, brass nipples.

    Oh, you didn't mention if your LHT had 26" or 700c, which is it?

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    XT hubs and either a Mavic EX721 or a Sun Rhyno are a tough and affordable combination for 26". Not exactly light rims, but will take you just about anywhere.

    For 700c XT hubs and Sun Rhyno Lite.

    36 spokes front and rear is more than enough.

  4. #4
    nun
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    Nice Rudge avatar, Love that chainring, I wish companies still put logos in their chainrings
    On topic, I looked into some touring wheels a while ago and chose White Industries Racer X
    hubs and Velocity Dyad rims. Not the cheapest combination, but I hope they'll last a long time.
    For more touring wheel ideas check out.

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.asp

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    I have used Coda, Alex Adventurer, and Sun CR18 rims with Coda, Shimano LX, and Shimano XT hubs (respectively) for touring. All were built into 36 spoke, 3x wheels using 14 gauge spokes. All of them worked just fine.

  6. #6
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...TOKEN=74884464

    . . . 14 straight gauge spokes . . .
    Gotta disagree here. 14/15/14 gauge spokes will hold up better. The swagging moves a bit of the spoke-stretching and compressing forces from the bend at the hub-hole (where almost all spoke failures occur) to the middle of the spoke (where virtually no spoke failures occur), enough to make a difference in longevity.

    I do agree that 36 spokes should be plenty strong enough. Also, your choice of MTB hubs (e.g.,. LX or DX) vs. road bike hubs (e.g., 105, Veloce) will best be determined by the spread of the rear droputs of your touring frame: 135mm spread = MTB hubs; 130mm spread = 8- or 9-speed road hubs (personally, I wouldn't tour on a 10-speed cassette - I don't trust the narrow chains plus too much dish on the rear wheel);126mm spread = 7-speed road hub; 120mm spread = 5- or 6-speed road hub.

    Also, do not forget to have spare spokes (all needed lengths - you will have at least two, maybe three), a spoke wrench, a way to get your cassette off, and knowlege of at least the rudiments of wheel truing so that you can at least fix a busted spoke well enough to get you to a good LBS.

  7. #7
    "I love lamp"
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    I am rocking some Sun Rhyno Lite rims with XT hubs, 36 spokes 14 gauage, 3x in front, 4x in back. I chose those wheels because I am fat and one day at work (lbs) a flyer came in the mail with xt hubs on sale and sun rims on sale so I said why not! They replaced the stock rims on my aurora, alex rims with Ritchey zero hubs (they really do reduce dish and make the wheel stronger), 36 spokes 3x in front 4x in back. Those wheels are just taking up space in my garage if youre interested.

  8. #8
    Senior Member metal_cowboy's Avatar
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    I am running a pair of shimano LX hubs laced to Mavic A719 rims (36 spoke) that I bought from performance bike. They are good wheels that were around $200 on sale about a year ago. My next set of wheels will be custom built by Peter White. I am thinking about Phil Wood hubs and Mavic A719 rims. I am going to go with 40 in the rear, and 36 up front. Some may say that a 40 spoke wheel is overkill and the rotational weight is greater..blah, blah blah: the extra 4 spokes weigh no more than a couple of bites of a Power Bar; the addtional strenght is well worth it.

    This is a good set of wheels that are being sold on Ebay.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Hand-Built-X...QQcmdZViewItem
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  9. #9
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    I put my faith in 48 spoke Phil Wood hubs with Mavic T719 rims for our next big trip. I rode around the world on 48 spoke Alesa rims with Maxicar hubs, had to true my wheels once halfway. Never broke a spoke (knock on wood). Sure they are heavier then 36 spokes, but who is counting on a long biketrip.

  10. #10
    bicycle love ChicagoDave's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I believe I'll go with the XT hubs and some 36 hold mavics with 14-guage spokes. I'd love to go with the phil woods - but price is (as always) an issue. Thanks again ~ David

  11. #11
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer
    Gotta disagree here. 14/15/14 gauge spokes will hold up better. The swagging moves a bit of the spoke-stretching and compressing forces from the bend at the hub-hole (where almost all spoke failures occur) to the middle of the spoke (where virtually no spoke failures occur), enough to make a difference in longevity.

    I do agree that 36 spokes should be plenty strong enough. Also, your choice of MTB hubs (e.g.,. LX or DX) vs. road bike hubs (e.g., 105, Veloce) will best be determined by the spread of the rear droputs of your touring frame: 135mm spread = MTB hubs; 130mm spread = 8- or 9-speed road hubs (personally, I wouldn't tour on a 10-speed cassette - I don't trust the narrow chains plus too much dish on the rear wheel);126mm spread = 7-speed road hub; 120mm spread = 5- or 6-speed road hub.

    Also, do not forget to have spare spokes (all needed lengths - you will have at least two, maybe three), a spoke wrench, a way to get your cassette off, and knowlege of at least the rudiments of wheel truing so that you can at least fix a busted spoke well enough to get you to a good LBS.

    You know, I agree with you about the spokes, but a lot of guys don't.
    Maybe I'll try that with my next wheels. I thought about mentioning dropout spacing, but I figured I'd cover that when he told us which wheel size he was using. 10 speed, blecch. I have been meaning to get one of those kevlar spoke splints.

  12. #12
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Here is a wheel set that will handle the load and perform great, Rolf Vigor Tandem. It dosen't get much better than this http://www.rolfprima.com/products/vigor_tandem.html
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  13. #13
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty
    Here is a wheel set that will handle the load and perform great, Rolf Vigor Tandem. It dosen't get much better than this http://www.rolfprima.com/products/vigor_tandem.html
    Not knocking the Rolf's, but low spoke count wheels are probably not an optimal choice for a touring cyclist.

    If one were to damage or break a spoke (ie from bad baggage handling, a crash, or a "stick in the wheel"), it would be incredibly difficult to keep the wheel true with a roadside repair. I'd think anyways.
    mmmm coffeee!

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  14. #14
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    I've used a Mavic A319 wheelset (700C) with Deore hubs and 36 14-ga. spokes that have been fine for loading touring (~90 lbs. + me). They were suprisingly cheap too, about $199.99 Canadian for the set.
    Last edited by bccycleguy; 02-15-06 at 07:26 PM.
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  15. #15
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bccycleguy
    I've used a Mavic A319 wheelset with Deore hubs and 36 14-ga. spokes that have been fine for loading touring (~90 lbs. + me). They were suprisingly cheap too, about $199.99 Canadian for the set.
    Or A719 rims for 700c size...

  16. #16
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Don't skimp on your spokes.

    The only reason I know of to use straight gauge spokes is price. Two experienced and observant wheelbuilders, Jobst Brandt and Peter White, prefer butted spokes. Look at wheelbuilders' websites for further direction on this.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#spokes
    excerpt from Sheldon Brown's instructions for wheelbuilding:

    "Double-butted spokes do more than save weight. The thick ends make them as strong in the highly-stressed areas as straight-gauge spokes of the same thickness, but the thinner middle sections make the spokes effectively more elastic. This allows them to stretch (temporarily) more than thicker spokes.

    As a result, when the wheel is subjected to sharp localized stresses, the most heavily stressed spokes can elongate enough to shift some of the stress to adjoining spokes. This is particularly desirable when the limiting factor is how much stress the rim can withstand without cracking around the spoke hole.

    # Triple-butted spokes, such as the DT Alpine III, are the best choice when durability and reliability is the primary aim, as with tandems and bicycles for loaded touring. They share the advantages of single-butted and double-butted spokes. The DT Alpine III, for instance, is 2.34mm (13 gauge) at the head, 1.8mm (15 gauge) in the middle, and 2.0mm (14 gauge) at the threaded end.

    Single- and triple-butted spokes solve one of the great problems of wheel design: Since spokes use rolled, not cut threads, the outside diameter of the threads is larger than the base diameter of the spoke wire. Since the holes in the hub flanges must be large enough to fit the threads through, the holes, in turn are larger than the wire requires. This is undesirable, because a tight match between the spoke diameter at the elbow and the diameter of the flange hole is crucial to resisting fatigue-related breakage."

  17. #17
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel
    Not knocking the Rolf's, but low spoke count wheels are probably not an optimal choice for a touring cyclist.

    If one were to damage or break a spoke (ie from bad baggage handling, a crash, or a "stick in the wheel"), it would be incredibly difficult to keep the wheel true with a roadside repair. I'd think anyways.
    This is a tandem wheel set with oval stainless spokes, your chances of problems with an extra 50 lbs of gear is very remote, this is the lightest, strongest set going. Probably overkill for this forum, oh well.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  18. #18
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    I ordered my xt/719 rims through quality and they according to the shop, they were spot on and didn't require any tensioning or truing out of the box. I am 225 plus my gear and no problems. Quality does a great job and if you buy them at REI, you get 10 percent back.

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    That Rolf tandem wheel is for 145mm dropouts. The aero-section rim is going to be too harsh for touring. Boutique wheels may be strong and reliable but they are not as repairable as traditional spoked wheels and damage to one spoke will throw the wheel out of true.

    You should take the experts advice and use butted spokes. Laymen often assume that more metal makes a structure stronger but engineers realise that structures fail at their weakest point not their strongest point. If you remove metal from the strongpint, you can transfer stress away from the weakpoint and enhance the structure as a whole.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer
    Gotta disagree here. 14/15/14 gauge spokes will hold up better...
    +1 on bikingshearer's advice. FYI, there are also 13/14/15/14 spokes available that are FAR superior for loaded touring. The 13 ga. spoke head reinforces the bend in the spoke where most spoke failures occur. You'll have to drill out your hubs for the larger spoke heads, but it should be worth it in reduced breakage and stress. I recently had Rev. Chuck build me some heavy-duty wheels with these spokes & I'm happy with them.

  21. #21
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    No one has mentioned Velocity rims. Very popular rim for the tandem folks. On my LHT, I use a 40 spoke Velocity "Dyad" rear 14/15 butted spokes laced 4/cross. 36/3cross on the front. Phil Woods high flange "touring" hubs. Bullet proof!

  22. #22
    Senior Member metal_cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jens5
    No one has mentioned Velocity rims. Very popular rim for the tandem folks. On my LHT, I use a 40 spoke Velocity "Dyad" rear 14/15 butted spokes laced 4/cross. 36/3cross on the front. Phil Woods high flange "touring" hubs. Bullet proof!
    I have Velocity Dyads on my Tandem(40 spoke). With a tandem team of 400lbs, we have never had a problem with the wheels.
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  23. #23
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metal_cowboy
    I have Velocity Dyads on my Tandem(40 spoke). With a tandem team of 400lbs, we have never had a problem with the wheels.
    This is the wheel set that Co-Motion puts on the Americano single, no worries with this set up.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  24. #24
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    +1 on bikingshearer's advice. FYI, there are also 13/14/15/14 spokes available that are FAR superior for loaded touring. The 13 ga. spoke head reinforces the bend in the spoke where most spoke failures occur. You'll have to drill out your hubs for the larger spoke heads, but it should be worth it in reduced breakage and stress. I recently had Rev. Chuck build me some heavy-duty wheels with these spokes & I'm happy with them.
    I'd second the 2.3/1.8/2.0 spokes (DT Alpine III). The other reason they resist failure at the bend is that the spokes "fill" the spoke hole at the hub. This keeps them from moving around if a spoke loosens. I've been using them on a mountain bike under very harsh conditions from around 5 years now and haven't broken a spoke yet.
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    I used a kevlar spoke splint for the last 175 miles of a 600k brevet last year. Worked perfectly. Weighs practically nothing. Wished I had a couple of extras, figuring that spokes sometimes fail in groups of three.

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