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Old 09-30-07, 04:54 PM   #1
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LHT stock spoke count problem

Hi,
I have looked at the spec of the LHT, and it seems that the wheels of 26'' and 700 both come with 36 spokes. Why is that? I think the 700 should come with higher spoke count.
What do you think?
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Old 09-30-07, 05:03 PM   #2
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40 would be better!
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Old 09-30-07, 05:57 PM   #3
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40 would be better!
But 36 will probably do. I've never owned a 40 spoke wheel and toured lots. Only broken a few spokes while on tour
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Old 10-01-07, 09:45 AM   #4
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Hi,
I have looked at the spec of the LHT, and it seems that the wheels of 26'' and 700 both come with 36 spokes. Why is that? I think the 700 should come with higher spoke count.
What do you think?
Higher than the 36 it comes with or higher than the 26" one whatever the exact number?
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Old 10-01-07, 10:28 AM   #5
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I run 700c 32H wheels on my LHT with no troubles. I carry a light load on tour, but when I use my LHT as my errand bike I load up with obscene amounts of cargo and bounce all over town.

Not saying you should shoot for 32H wheels, but the fact is there is no specific # of spokes that are necessary. It really depends on how heavy you are, how much gear you'll carry and how bad the roads are where you'll tour.

What is more important IMO is how well the stock wheels are built up. I'd take them to a good LBS and get them properly tensioned or do it yourself if you can.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:00 PM   #6
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But 36 will probably do. I've never owned a 40 spoke wheel and toured lots. Only broken a few spokes while on tour
But what I don't understand is:
26'' rim is smaller, hens with 36 spokes is much tougher then 700 36h. You will need 700 40h in order to have somewhat of an equal tough wheel.
Now, my girlfriend will need 26'' frame and I will need 700 frame. I'm much heavier then her, thus much prone to breaking a spoke! Also, it is very reasonable that I will carry more weight on my panniers.
You have built frames for different sizes of wheels, why not built different wheel to different sizes?
Now if we don't take into account the weight issue, I still want equalize strong wheels on the 26'' and the 700 frame. Is this not a logic request?
Thanks

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Old 10-01-07, 02:02 PM   #7
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Higher than the 36 it comes with or higher than the 26" one whatever the exact number?
Can you explain again your point, because I didn't understand you.
Thanks
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Old 10-01-07, 02:06 PM   #8
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I run 700c 32H wheels on my LHT with no troubles. I carry a light load on tour, but when I use my LHT as my errand bike I load up with obscene amounts of cargo and bounce all over town.

Not saying you should shoot for 32H wheels, but the fact is there is no specific # of spokes that are necessary. It really depends on how heavy you are, how much gear you'll carry and how bad the roads are where you'll tour.

What is more important IMO is how well the stock wheels are built up. I'd take them to a good LBS and get them properly tensioned or do it yourself if you can.
I do understand that 32H can be tough wheel if properly tuned, but please refer to the answer I have wrote to cyccommute.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:36 PM   #9
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Can you explain again your point, because I didn't understand you.
Thanks
I was wondering if you wanted the 26" to have 32 spokes since the 700c has 36, or if you wanted the 700c to have 40 because the 26" has 36. The reason both bikes have 36h hubs, I am sure, is 'cause they only have to buy one hub for all the completes they make regardless of frame size. If they were going to scale spoke count to frame size, I'm sure they'd put 32s on the <54cm frames because that's a standard item which would cost about the same as the 36h ones. They wouldn't spring for more expensive oddball 40h hubs for the 700cs unless they wanted to drive the price of 56+ cm frames past a point that would make any sense (if you're going to pay for that might as well just build your own bike). Although if they used 32s for the 26" to satisfy a sense of symmetry, I suppose the <54cm frame completes could cost less since they would come w/ 8 fewer spokes.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:41 PM   #10
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But what I don't understand is:
26'' rim is smaller, hens with 36 spokes is much tougher then 700 36h. You will need 700 40h in order to have somewhat of an equal tough wheel.
Now, my girlfriend will need 26'' frame and I will need 700 frame. I'm much heavier then her, thus much prone to breaking a spoke! Also, it is very reasonable that I will carry more weight on my panniers.
You have built frames for different sizes of wheels, why not built different wheel to different sizes?
Now if we don't take into account the weight issue, I still want equalize strong wheels on the 26'' and the 700 frame. Is this not a logic request?
Thanks
You can put whatever wheels you want on your touring bike. If you are buying a complete bike the manufacturer makes component decisions based on price, quality and suitability for purpose. If a 36H 700c wheel meets all their requirements they spec it as they did on the LHT. If when specing the 26" wheeled bikes a 36h wheels was best in terms of all the factors that what they would use to make the decision.

Your idea that they would try and make the 26" wheels exactly as strong as the 700c wheels doesn't make any sense. What you have to ask yourself is are the 700c 36h wheels strong enough for you? If they are great - stop worrying about it. If they aren't upgrade them.

Your looking for logic where there is none to be found. For all we know Surly found a killer deal on 36h 26" rims and decided to use them.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:43 PM   #11
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Yes the 36 spoke 26" wheel will be stronger, but that doesn't mean the 36 spoke 700c wheel isn't sufficiently strong. The fact that 36 spoke rims and hubs are common and standard parts and 40 are kind of an oddball special item is probably reason enough for most folks.

This isn't to say you can't or shouldn't use 40 spokes especially on the rear wheel. That is just usually outside the realm of what is normal on a "off the shelf" bike.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:45 PM   #12
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I was wondering if you wanted the 26" to have 32 spokes since the 700c has 36, or if you wanted the 700c to have 40 because the 26" has 36. The reason both bikes have 36h hubs, I am sure, is 'cause they only have to buy one hub for all the completes they make regardless of frame size. If they were going to scale spoke count to frame size, I'm sure they'd put 32s on the <54cm frames because that's a standard item which would cost about the same as the 36h ones. They wouldn't spring for more expensive oddball 40h hubs for the 700cs unless they wanted to drive the price of 56+ cm frames past a point that would make any sense (if you're going to pay for that might as well just build your own bike). Although if they used 32s for the 26" to satisfy a sense of symmetry, I suppose the <54cm frame completes could cost less since they would come w/ 8 fewer spokes.
The LHT is supposed to be heavy weight lifter. I'm heavy, so why don't lift me?
Maybe they should go out with t1 and t2 like Canondial. the T2 will have stronger wheel etc.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:58 PM   #13
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Now, my girlfriend will need 26'' frame and I will need 700 frame. I'm much heavier then her, thus much prone to breaking a spoke! Also, it is very reasonable that I will carry more weight on my panniers.
I think you've just outlined the perfect argument for having your girlfriend carry everything on her bike, while you ride empty. "You see honey, I would carry everything, but my wheels aren't as strong as yours."

If you manage to get her to say yes, you'll need to write a book on how you did it.
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Old 10-01-07, 05:25 PM   #14
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I think you've just outlined the perfect argument for having your girlfriend carry everything on her bike, while you ride empty. "You see honey, I would carry everything, but my wheels aren't as strong as yours."

If you manage to get her to say yes, you'll need to write a book on how you did it.
Hehe,
My girl is a warrior. We went from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by bike. It was her first trip. Until this trip she did 20km trip on flat. This was 80km trip that took us 16hrs, but and its a great BUT, we had climbs like walls (about 700m twice), that we walked, and she didn't say a thing, she just wanted to complete the route. There was part of the climbs that I carried the two bikes, because I'm more fit, and didn't want here to burn out. It really was a very hard trip, but we made it and there is no words to to describe our last haul in the streets of Jerusalem heading her mothers home.
There are people that tells me that they have done 600km etc, but I know I did it with my girlfriend which made my chest 1 inch bigger
And to the point, I will carry more in a trip, because I'm stronger. Its a fact.
One of the hardest thing is to slow down, cycle near her, and not go racing with each bike you see in the road. This is HARD
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Old 10-01-07, 05:34 PM   #15
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Larger people don't need more spokes, they need wider tires with more air. That will help keep the spokes from going "twang".

I see a lot of light weights breaking spokes on 36 hole wheels unloaded, not because the wheel is not strong but because they are running 23mm tires at 120psi. There is not a lot of give on a tire like that, and it will all go into the spoke. If they ran 28mm or 32mm tires at 75-80psi their broken spoke problems would be solved.

If you were to go to a 42mm tire at 60psi, I don't think you will have to worry about your spokes much*.


*Your results may vary
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Old 10-02-07, 12:22 PM   #16
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But what I don't understand is:
26'' rim is smaller, hens with 36 spokes is much tougher then 700 36h. You will need 700 40h in order to have somewhat of an equal tough wheel.
Now, my girlfriend will need 26'' frame and I will need 700 frame. I'm much heavier then her, thus much prone to breaking a spoke! Also, it is very reasonable that I will carry more weight on my panniers.
You have built frames for different sizes of wheels, why not built different wheel to different sizes?
Now if we don't take into account the weight issue, I still want equalize strong wheels on the 26'' and the 700 frame. Is this not a logic request?
Thanks
Yes a 40 would be better. Unfortunately you don't find many 40 spoke rims or hubs out there and seldom are they going to be spec'd on any bike. It's a marketing thing. People who design and build bikes don't want to put down that the bike has more spokes. It's just not good for marketing to the bicycle crowd. Even though we touring cyclists are more interested in ruggedness than weight, the people who design the bikes really don't understand what we need. Hence you end up with some touring bikes with 32 spoke wheels.

In reality, touring bikes should have 26" wheels. They are tougher and only slightly slower. Or they should have 40 spoke 700C rears. But in the real world, 36 spokes will get the job done without too many issues. And rims are a little easier to find.
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Old 10-02-07, 12:36 PM   #17
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I do understand that 32H can be tough wheel if properly tuned, but please refer to the answer I have wrote to cyccommute.
You could always build 40 spokers. Harris sells 40 hole Mavic A719 touring rims (pretty good rims). Finding the hubs might be problematic. White Industries makes a disc 40 hole in a 135mm size and Phil Woods does of course but they aren't cheap! $300+ per hub.
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Old 10-02-07, 01:06 PM   #18
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You could always build 40 spokers. Harris sells 40 hole Mavic A719 touring rims (pretty good rims). Finding the hubs might be problematic. White Industries makes a disc 40 hole in a 135mm size and Phil Woods does of course but they aren't cheap! $300+ per hub.
So Surly could spec those Phil Wood 40-spoke hubs but they'd have to pretty much double the price of the bike?
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Old 10-02-07, 01:57 PM   #19
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Yes a 40 would be better. Unfortunately you don't find many 40 spoke rims or hubs out there and seldom are they going to be spec'd on any bike. It's a marketing thing. People who design and build bikes don't want to put down that the bike has more spokes. It's just not good for marketing to the bicycle crowd. Even though we touring cyclists are more interested in ruggedness than weight, the people who design the bikes really don't understand what we need. Hence you end up with some touring bikes with 32 spoke wheels.

In reality, touring bikes should have 26" wheels. They are tougher and only slightly slower. Or they should have 40 spoke 700C rears. But in the real world, 36 spokes will get the job done without too many issues. And rims are a little easier to find.
But as I understand, Surly has lifted the glove for really good budget touring bike, and its definitely a good touring bike. So I guess the do understand in geometry but when it comes to parts, hehe, its a budget thing. I don't think it is so, because they put wider handle bar and longer stem in bigger frames.
I just want to throw a rock into the marketing department of Surly to wake them up.
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Old 10-02-07, 02:02 PM   #20
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So I guess the do understand in geometry but when it comes to parts, hehe, its a budget thing. I don't think it is so, because they put wider handle bar and longer stem in bigger frames.
And longer cranks too. Those parts all cost the same regardless of size. I suppose their fatal flaw was allowing the 700c option at all.
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Old 10-02-07, 03:46 PM   #21
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And longer cranks too. Those parts all cost the same regardless of size. I suppose their fatal flaw was allowing the 700c option at all.
Probably. 40 spoke wheels never were that prevalent in touring bikes so the selection of hubs has always been rather small. They were fairly common with tandems but now tandems are 145mm width...which would make a great touring wheel!

I agonized over this my self when I was buying Phil's for my touring bike. I decided to go with the 36s because of availability. I did use DT Alpine III for the spokes which are stronger then normal DT spokes.
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Old 10-02-07, 09:07 PM   #22
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It's worth keeping in mind that modern stainless steel spokes and more precise machining of parts means that the 36-spoke 700C wheel of today is stronger than the fabled 40-spoke wheels of yesteryear. Get a competent mechanic to get it tensioned and trued up, and there should be a minimum of problems. That doesn't mean that 40 spokes wouldn't be better, but 40H hubs and rims have unfortunately become specialty items.
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Old 10-02-07, 10:48 PM   #23
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"So Surly could spec those Phil Wood 40-spoke hubs but they'd have to pretty much double the price of the bike?"

Well Surly is in the hub business also, and while making 40 spoke hubs would probably bankrupt... someone, who knows what they could do if the sales were strong enough. But overall you are correct. The cool factor in the 40-48 hub comes from the fact that few people actually have them. 36 is probably enough, no mater how much weight, as long as you aren't creating a lot of jaring loads, which is certainly a possibility is some situations.

"It's worth keeping in mind that modern stainless steel spokes and more precise machining of parts means that the 36-spoke 700C wheel of today is stronger than the fabled 40-spoke wheels of yesteryear."

plus one there, from what I have been reading and riding.

"They were fairly common with tandems but now tandems are 145mm width...which would make a great touring wheel!"

That may be a weaker hub, since all it seems to have is a longer axle. I did think it would be fun though to build a solo with the 165, just to have the only one!

"But as I understand, Surly has lifted the glove for really good budget touring bike, and its definitely a good touring bike. So I guess the do understand in geometry but when it comes to parts, hehe, its a budget thing."

We had sorta that argument a while back when they initially anounced the complete bike. I said it would draw down the mystique of the frame and the quality impresion of the whole deal. And whether that happens or not it's certainly an argument. The reality is that you can relatively cheaply build an absolutely no holds bared top of the line touring frame tig welded. Surly isn't the only one doing it, another example would be Bike Friday, on a someowhat more custom basis. Basically there isn't any downside. Welded is good; Simple tubing is top of the line in this particular segment; and powdercoat is practical and durable, though you can certainly throw as much dough at the colour/graphics of a tourer as you want. But in my mind the LHT was never the kind of frame (fit and features assumed to fit the individual well) that needed to feel overdressed in Phil hubs or Paul brakes. Except they came along and lowballed the whole thing with their K-mart version, and as you point out, some component choices that don't make sense. Sure it is a contradiction that the 26" incher is sorta a co-motion tandem grade unit and the bigger models are more towards the lighter end of the spectrum. They never had to wear that egg when they were just selling the frames.
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Old 10-02-07, 11:03 PM   #24
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Maybe the problem is with the higher price of 40h and 48h hubs and rims, as stated before.
Can someone write here the hubs and rims available in 40hand 48h with estimate price. It don't have to be a top of the line list, just scratch your head for information, so we can grasp the difference in price.
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Old 10-03-07, 07:40 AM   #25
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So Surly could spec those Phil Wood 40-spoke hubs but they'd have to pretty much double the price of the bike?
Pretty close. The hubs are very sweet but they do cost about what the LHT frame costs.



I have a matching one for the rear
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