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  1. #1
    Radio Bemba 00.0 EnLaCalle's Avatar
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    Spoke Count Question

    So, I'm 5'9", and weigh about 160lbs. I recently acquired some nice DA hubs that I've been planning on building into a track-only wheelset. But after reading a bunch of old threads, I'm conflicted because they're only 32h. Now, way back when, I almost built up a track wheelset on 28h hubs, but didn't. I guess I wonder how you old skool guys feel about spoke count and how important it really is. Obvioulsy 36h would be stronger/stiffer, but is it really going to matter for a racer of my size and current ability/strength?

    I'm not any kind of monster sprinter dude. And I guess if I ever became a super-serious intense racer guy, I would probably end up springing for an even higher-end wheelset.

    Basically, I guess I want someone to say, "Quit your fussing and just build up your wheels already."

    (Yes, it would be funny if you replied like that, but I would prefer advice )

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    I weigh about what you do and I'm riding 24 X 28. I don't think I saw anybody this weekend at Kissena with anything in excess of 32 spokes per wheel, even the big sprinter boys. I wouldn't lose any sleep over 32 X 32; choose good rims, build well, and you'll be just fine.

  3. #3
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    You will be fine. I am 220 and was told by an "old salt" that I should not have any wheel with less than 28.

    One reason he gave for wanting more spokes on the track then on the road is that during a race, you could get an axle in your spokes and break a few..the more spokes you have, the better chance of riding off the track as opposed to going down.

  4. #4
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZappCatt
    One reason he gave for wanting more spokes on the track then on the road is that during a race, you could get an axle in your spokes and break a few..the more spokes you have, the better chance of riding off the track as opposed to going down.
    Ouch! Seriously? I'd think any impact forceful enough to actually BREAK "a few" spokes would probably put you on the boards, no matter how many spokes you had in that wheel. I guess you might have more of a chance of riding home afterward with 3 or 4 spokes missing from a 36-spoke wheel, though since going down on the track generally means you're not riding home anyway that might be a moot point.

  5. #5
    Radio Bemba 00.0 EnLaCalle's Avatar
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    I sort of solved my own problem... I'm using the 32h for track and I just got another pair of hubs that I'm building up 36h for the street. Hopefully, some buttery smooth times ahead for me. Tax returns kick ass.

    Thanks for the responses. Mike, how are you? I'll probably see you at Kissena within the next couple weeks.

    J

  6. #6
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popdelusions
    Ouch! Seriously? I'd think any impact forceful enough to actually BREAK "a few" spokes would probably put you on the boards, no matter how many spokes you had in that wheel. I guess you might have more of a chance of riding home afterward with 3 or 4 spokes missing from a 36-spoke wheel, though since going down on the track generally means you're not riding home anyway that might be a moot point.
    Actually this happened at Hellyer last week:
    http://www.fixedgearfever.com/module...ewtopic&t=1528
    "I had someone elses front axle in my rear wheel and this broke three spokes. There is a new valley about 1mm deep in the hub shell where the spokes were pulled until they broke for these three spokes. Is this hub going to be worth putting new spokes into or should I just trash it - it's just a Surly hub."


    I was not there, but I believe he stayed up..the guy whose front found his wheel went down and broke his humerous.


    And as further information, the front wheel that I was having trued when I was told that was a 20 spoke, with a 24 rear(being tied). He said that I should not race on either..

  7. #7
    Oldbie bike racer
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    32 spokes is plenty for you. I'm a 215 pound sprinter and use 28 and 32 on the rear for my road wheels and for the track it's 24 on the front with a ZIPP 440 rim and a disk on the rear.

    Last year at Nat's a guy put his pedal into my front wheel during the slower part of a match sprint. There are some good photos of the rim banging against the front fork with little puffs of smoke/paint as I went down the steepest part of the banking. I stayed upright until I came to a stop while still attached to the pedals with double keirin straps. Steering was not easy. I lost 7 of the 24 spokes.

  8. #8
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenG
    Last year at Nat's a guy put his pedal into my front wheel during the slower part of a match sprint. There are some good photos of the rim banging against the front fork with little puffs of smoke/paint as I went down the steepest part of the banking. I stayed upright until I came to a stop while still attached to the pedals with double keirin straps. Steering was not easy. I lost 7 of the 24 spokes.
    Man, that's some impressive bike handling. I stand corrected, though spoke count seems not to have been an issue (though I suppose the Zipp rim's inherent stiffness might have kept things together in that case, regardless of spoke count).

  9. #9
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I'm 5'9", 180 and I do fine on 32 spokes.

    I've seen bigger, stronger guys racing on lower spoke counts with aero rims (just saw one destroyed last night in a crash unrelated to the wheel...)

    A couple weeks ago one of the local kids tried to break some spokes in his front wheel on my foot, but didn't manage to. We both stayed up, and I think his wheel stayed true-- not sure what his spoke count is. Somewhere between 28 and 36.

    Quit fussing and build your wheels already.

  10. #10
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Note the angle of the rim compared to my bars and fork...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Don't try this at home...

    Incidentally, the guy who did this to me in our match sprint was relegated so I advanced to the semi-final round. His coach took care of the cost of having ZIPP repair the wheel (new rim and rebuild).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    It is who build your wheels.

    S/F<
    CEYA!

  13. #13
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenG
    Don't try this at home...

    Incidentally, the guy who did this to me in our match sprint was relegated so I advanced to the semi-final round. His coach took care of the cost of having ZIPP repair the wheel (new rim and rebuild).
    Yeah, definitely looks like a situation I'd like to avoid emulating anytime soon...yikes again. Thanks for the visual aid there. Glad to hear the guy and his coach were gentlemen about it; that's a pricey mishap (but of course it's also good that nobody went down and repairing the situation only involved a wheelbuild).

  14. #14
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    A situation like that happened to me when i was 16 y/o, Those years carbon was just an experiment and suuuper expensive to have but well story short. Usually when finishing an sprint in any kind of race people tend to the upper part of the curves... well this guy basically ram over me and took 10 spokes out of 36 on my front wheel with his pedal (still trying to figure it out how because he didnt have any scratch not even in his shoe). Scary stuff tho'. But if u have good handling isnt an issue go down just like Warren did, The problem is if somebody is comming by the lower part of the curve...

    Anybody got a flat while sprinting? I got this twice already... same situation than before, at the end of the sprint in a per points race. everybody in the curb at 50 kmh or so and suddenly BAM!!! like 10 guys in the lower part of the track and u trying to hold the bike in the upper bank with the front tubular absolutelly flat. If u go down fast u can take like 10 more people w/ya... thats scary...

    Peace...

    UM

  15. #15
    Senior Member mrwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnLaCalle
    So, I'm 5'9", and weigh about 160lbs.
    32 is absolutely fine.

    I race on 28 with radial front's - and Im 200lbs.

    Rip it up!

  16. #16
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popdelusions
    Ouch! Seriously? I'd think any impact forceful enough to actually BREAK "a few" spokes would probably put you on the boards, no matter how many spokes you had in that wheel. I guess you might have more of a chance of riding home afterward with 3 or 4 spokes missing from a 36-spoke wheel, though since going down on the track generally means you're not riding home anyway that might be a moot point.

    Wait till its a couple of ya who are all looking for a quick way off the track with wobbly wheels..... Its an interesting to graze an axle nut with a spoked wheel. If you relax and dont panic you can keep yourself up right.

  17. #17
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeRacer
    Wait till its a couple of ya who are all looking for a quick way off the track with wobbly wheels..... Its an interesting to graze an axle nut with a spoked wheel. If you relax and dont panic you can keep yourself up right.
    C'mon...you're an old-school BMXer...if you wipe out a front wheel, who needs it anyway, just ride a wheelie down the banking; endo if it's the rear.
    Last edited by popdelusions; 05-09-06 at 06:08 PM.

  18. #18
    L-time Cat4 & proud of it
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    My advice: build up the 32 hole wheels and ride em. When you find a screaming deal on some Zipps, buy those and race em, keeping the 32/32 wheels as backup/training wheels.

    I was training on 32/32 Escapes and racing on 24/24 Zipp 404s that I built myself.

    HTH,

    M

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