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Old 11-29-10, 01:41 PM   #1
degan
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Deore DX hubs?

I was recently given a 32 hole Deore DX hubset in basically new condition. I was all excited about building them up into my touring wheels, but now I am concerned that 32 spoke wheels might not hold up. I am a big guy, 6'1" ~200 lbs, and will be doing touring across the country this summer with front and read panniers and less than ultra light gear. Do you think a 32 spoke wheel will suffice? I am a decent bicycle mechanic and can true a wheel or replace a spoke on the road if necessary, but I don't want to be popping spokes every 100 miles. If it makes any difference, I will be using 26" rims.
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Old 11-29-10, 01:49 PM   #2
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I was recently given a 32 hole Deore DX hubset in basically new condition. I was all excited about building them up into my touring wheels, but now I am concerned that 32 spoke wheels might not hold up. I am a big guy, 6'1" ~200 lbs, and will be doing touring across the country this summer with front and read panniers and less than ultra light gear. Do you think a 32 spoke wheel will suffice? I am a decent bicycle mechanic and can true a wheel or replace a spoke on the road if necessary, but I don't want to be popping spokes every 100 miles. If it makes any difference, I will be using 26" rims.
32 hole hubs can be okay if you give some thought to rim and spoke selection.
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Old 11-29-10, 01:54 PM   #3
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Oh boy, here we go...

You are going to get a lot of opinionated folks posting on this. Some will say anything less than 40 is crazy. Others that 36 is enough or that 32 is fine. Most in this group like 36. I personally know quite a few people that use 32 (they don't know they were "supposed" to have more than that ) and did just fine.

If you have a well made wheel with quality spokes and rim you'll be fine IMO. However, given that an XT 36h hub is about 50 bucks, why bother? You'll have fewer maintenance headaches and in the long haul, 50 bucks is a rounding error [I love puns ]
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Old 11-29-10, 03:57 PM   #4
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Deore DX is just fine for touring.

I weigh 220 and beat the snot out of a rigid 29er mountain bike on 32-spoke wheels. Buy quality spokes and rims and have them built by someone who has a clue. If you keep your gear load under 40 lbs (easily done), I'd think you'd be fine.
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Old 11-29-10, 05:28 PM   #5
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I was going to go with a straight gauge spoke, but still haven't decided on a rim yet. Any suggestions? Should the front be different from the rear? Will a 'taller' rim be stronger because the spokes themselves are shorter?
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Old 11-29-10, 05:34 PM   #6
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I'm a definite believer in high spoke counts, but if the question is what you can get by on at your weight as opposed to what would be reasonable overkill, then you are safe with 26" at 32 so long as the other components are sufficient. At a lot higher weight than you I have ridden those spoke counts on 26s and 36 spokes on 700c. However if I was building from scratch I would go for 36 or 40, because there isn't any particular downside, particularly for 36 since it is normally the same price.
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Old 11-29-10, 06:01 PM   #7
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I've got 32 spoke Deore hubs on my 700c wheels and they've been trouble free for over 5,000 miles carrying my 240lb body. If you don't want to use those DX hubs, send them to me and I'll put them to good use.
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Old 11-29-10, 07:49 PM   #8
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Have you thought of a trailer as an option? 32 spoke wheels would be all you need, for sure, if you used a trailer. I was 250 lbs last summer when I started touring. I bought a Burley Nomad trailer second hand and used it instead of panniers. This reduced the load on the bike. The only problems I had were flipping the trailer on its side when I hit a curb with the right wheel, and a flat in the right tire.
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Old 11-29-10, 10:55 PM   #9
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I tour regularly at a similar weight on 26" wheels with 32 spokes. No problems at all. I'd say a 32-spoke 26" wheel is the equal in strength (all things being equal) to a 36-spoke 700c wheel.

Now if you want REALLY bombproof wheels, we can talk about the 48-spoke, 26" wheels with Rhyno rims on my touring tandem. The things are tanks! :-)

Last edited by briwasson; 11-30-10 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:18 PM   #10
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32spoke would suffice depending on the rim. I've got a 32 spoke velocity dyad front and 36spoke Rhynolite rear. If you're breaking spokes the wheel wasn't built right to begin with.
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Old 11-30-10, 03:59 PM   #11
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Have you thought of a trailer as an option? 32 spoke wheels would be all you need, for sure, if you used a trailer. I was 250 lbs last summer when I started touring. I bought a Burley Nomad trailer second hand and used it instead of panniers. This reduced the load on the bike. The only problems I had were flipping the trailer on its side when I hit a curb with the right wheel, and a flat in the right tire.
Unless you're going 50mph down a hill and the trailer decides to go another direction.
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Old 11-30-10, 04:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by degan View Post
I was recently given a 32 hole Deore DX hubset in basically new condition. I was all excited about building them up into my touring wheels, but now I am concerned that 32 spoke wheels might not hold up. I am a big guy, 6'1" ~200 lbs, and will be doing touring across the country this summer with front and read panniers and less than ultra light gear. Do you think a 32 spoke wheel will suffice? I am a decent bicycle mechanic and can true a wheel or replace a spoke on the road if necessary, but I don't want to be popping spokes every 100 miles. If it makes any difference, I will be using 26" rims.
If you have them built by someone really good (Joe Young, if he is still available, would be an excellent choice), you stand a better chance. He'll know which rims and spokes will be best for this; he'll make better, more informed, more experienced choices, and do a much better job when lacing, tensioning, stress relieving, truing, etc.

The front wheel is less concerning than the rear wheel.

You might consider lining up a good backup plan, and having it ready to ship promptly if needed.

You could give Joe Young and/or some other leading wheelbuilder(s) a call, and see what he or they can do.

Last edited by Niles H.; 12-01-10 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 11-30-10, 05:03 PM   #13
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I was going to go with a straight gauge spoke
I believe double butted is more effective.

http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

Look at Mavic A319s for rims.

Last edited by njkayaker; 11-30-10 at 05:06 PM.
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