Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    222
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Road bike with 32 spoke wheels.. feasible?

    A friend an I are doing a West Coast tour this summer. Eugene to SF. While I have a genuine touring bike, my touring partner opted to purchase a road bike for the job. It's a Sora-equipped Trek 1200 from the late 90s, early 2000s. It has eyelets for racks and all that. My bigger concern are the wheels. 32 spoked no-namers.

    Here's the dilemma. He's coming to the end of his gear budget, so we're trying to figure out what's necessary. He's a fairly light guy at 5'9, 150-160lbs. His gear, while not ultra-lightweight, is still on the light side of things. (hammocks, small sleeping bag, etc.)

    Do you think he can forgo new 36-spoke wheels and get away with the existing 32? Or is that a really bad idea? I was thinking that he can probably get away with just a rear 36-spoke wheel, as most of the weight is on the back. But, if we can go with the 32s, life would be a lot easier.

    At this point, a BOB trailer isn't an option.

    What say you bikeforums/touring?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    Posts
    24,375
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have the wheel overhauled and ride it.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,812
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If he weighs in at 155 lbs and you keep rear weight to 25 lbs, I would think 180 lbs should be a piece of cake, assuming as 10 Wheels said, that the wheel has been gone over and in good shape. And yea, a rear wheel alone with 36 spokes is often sufficient.

  4. #4
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    ChokeYa, Illinois
    My Bikes
    Specialized Sirrus Triple, Schwinn Passage, Raleigh Tech 420, Viner Road Record, Soma Sport, Schwinn Tempo, Bianchi Nuevo Alloro, Takara Prestige SS, Diamondback Outlook
    Posts
    554
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My 80's Schwinn Passage was equipped with a 36f/40r set when I got her. That set was overkill for LIGHT touring. I have a second set of 32's that I ran most of the time. ( My weight back then was 165,i'm @ 200 now... ) I run those 32's unloaded all the time now.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,056
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There's nothing magical about the number 36. A poorly built 36 spoke wheel can be weak, and a good 32 spoke wheel can be strong. I see heavy guys riding 20f/24r spoked wheels and their rider+bike weight far exceeds your friend's body+bike+gear weight, and that's for 24 spokes. A properly tuned 32 should be just fine.

  6. #6
    nashcommguy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    nashville, tn
    My Bikes
    Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300
    Posts
    2,501
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Have the wheel overhauled and ride it.
    +1 A 32h wheel w/a pro truing will be fine for light touring. Check the psi every morning before embarking. Have fun.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4,156
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    number of spokes really doesn't tell enough about the condition of THAT particular set of wheels. 32 spokes on 10yr old wheels could be fine, 36spokes on ten year old wheels could be iffy. Have someone check the wheel. If in doubt move weight forward.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,256
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As almost everyone else has said, 32s are fine. I'm about the same weight, carry about 40 lbs, and used 32spoke wheels on my cross bike for some pretty serious tours. They did fine untill I rode off a high curb fully loaded, and my front wheel started popping spokes--not the wheels fault. It might be good to use 25mm or 28s tires if his bike has the clearance. Another good investment for the TREK is a 11-34 rear cassette with a long cage Mtn rear derailleur (Shimano Deore); especially for that hill south of Elk, CA. IMO, I'd opt for lower gearing and go with the existing wheels. It is a lot cheaper (about $60-$75) and will be appreciated on the hills.

    Bianchi Volpe set up for touring with 32 spoke wheels.

    This is a TREK 1000 with stock 32 spoke wheels and 25mm tires that I have used for light touring. It would handle anything on the coast route.
    Last edited by Doug64; 06-04-11 at 11:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)
    Posts
    3,389
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A good 32-spoke wheel should be fine, especially at his weight. Get it evaluated by a competent pro. It should probably be trued and tensioned.

    If he's worried, it might be worth it to have a new, 36-spoke wheel built by someone good.

    Is he going to be using a front rack? You can take a lot of weight off the back by putting it in front. Maybe that would be the best use of his funds?

    He's got some options, and I think all of them are very do-able.

    Have a great trip! That is one of my favorite routes! You'll meet lots of other tourers.

  10. #10
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,012
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Question is, how old is the current wheel and how road worn?

    As to hand built, ready made touring wheels for road spaced bikes, a Tiagra road hub laced to a Mavic A319 rear wheel sets a person back 109 USD at Gregg's Greenlake Cycle in Seattle last time I was in there and they usually keep them in stock.A wheelset was like 200 bucks american.

    if your friend can limp along as far as Seattle, go by and pick up a new rear wheel, stout as they come, for a little over a hundred bucks USD. I'd call a day or two ahead to secure one for you, as they are pretty busy shop.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    74
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i wouldnt worry about spoke count. make sure the wheels are in good condition and carry a few extra spokes just in case one breaks.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    35,866
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bring spare spokes , yes, + Bring enough money (credit/debit card)
    to replace the wheel in the middle of the trip, if there are unforeseen problems.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-05-11 at 11:29 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •