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Old 05-20-09, 09:52 AM   #1
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32 vs 36 spokes for track use

Is there an advantage/disadvantage to using one over the other for velodrome use only?
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Old 05-20-09, 03:02 PM   #2
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the advantage to using 32 is that your wheel will be 4 spokes lighter and just as strong.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:15 PM   #3
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If 32 is just as strong as 36, then 28 should be just as strong as 32! And if 28 is just as strong as 32, then...

36 spokes are traditional for tight indoor tracks with significant centrifugal forces involved. 32 is a bit more regular for outdoor 333 tracks. Pursuiters would use 28 or even 24, back when pursuiters used spokes.

I've used them all and found no significant difference between 36 and 32 under any condition. 28 can feel a little funky if you're over 170 pounds or so. Anything less feels funky no matter what, IMO, although I do not have any experience with the weird low-spoke-count-asymmetrically-laced-deep-V whatever wheels.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:38 AM   #4
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the advantage to using 32 is that your wheel will be 4 spokes lighter and just as strong.
That's silly. 32 spokes might be enough for most people, but 36 spokes is definitely stronger. You can't get something for nothing.
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Old 05-21-09, 07:10 PM   #5
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the advantage to using 32 is that your wheel will be 4 spokes lighter and just as strong.
That IS silly. It might be strong ENOUGH for the application but those extra 4 spokes with their extra rim support aren't just going along for a free ride.
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Old 05-26-09, 01:31 PM   #6
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And yet, somehow, people have been using wheels with 32 and fewer spokes for years and years, and finding them strong enough.

I should have said "strong enough" rather than "just as strong." Y'all are right. My point remains. You could build a 40 spoke wheel. Hell, a friend of mine has a rim sitting around drilled for 72 holes. Would it be stronger? Maybe. Does that mean you should use it?
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Old 05-26-09, 01:55 PM   #7
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If 32 is just as strong as 36, then 28 should be just as strong as 32! And if 28 is just as strong as 32, then...
Cool! I'm going to build my next set of wheels with 6 spokes.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:27 PM   #8
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It seems that 32 spokes has the best performance to weight ratio.
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Old 05-26-09, 03:58 PM   #9
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And yet, somehow, people have been using wheels with 32 and fewer spokes for years and years, and finding them strong enough. I should have said "strong enough" rather than "just as strong." Y'all are right. My point remains. You could build a 40 spoke wheel. Hell, a friend of mine has a rim sitting around drilled for 72 holes. Would it be stronger? Maybe. Does that mean you should use it?
not all tracks are as tame as kissena and not all riders as light as you.
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Old 05-26-09, 08:05 PM   #10
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true. do you keep files on people?
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Old 05-27-09, 12:25 PM   #11
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I actually have no clue how much you weigh but it's usually a pretty safe bet that there are track racers that weigh more than some arbitrary person.
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Old 05-29-09, 10:37 AM   #12
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I always remember queerpunk as being the tiny guy 'cause I'm smallish as well.
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Old 07-06-09, 07:20 AM   #13
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Isn't power to weight critical in track, or is it just power?
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Old 07-06-09, 07:50 AM   #14
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Isn't power to weight critical in track, or is it just power?
With no hills to climb and fairly constant speeds (no continual accelerations) then weight isn't as important and therefore the power to weight ratio isn't as critical as on the road.
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Old 07-06-09, 10:19 AM   #15
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the reason that 32 is stronger than 36 is because the are aligned opposite each other so that when one is in tension the other is in compression. that is the most ideal set up and is the strongest, 36 is not exactly 180 degrees opposite so hence not as strong.
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Old 07-06-09, 06:30 PM   #16
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^Don't listen to this guy.

If lacing patterns are the same, more spokes is more strength.
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Old 07-06-09, 07:07 PM   #17
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With no hills to climb and fairly constant speeds (no continual accelerations) then weight isn't as important and therefore the power to weight ratio isn't as critical as on the road.
This is said a lot, but I'm constantly finding myself trying to chase down other riders with sudden bursts of acceleration. When I stepped up from an old 20-lbs steel track bike to an aluminum 14-lbs one, these chases got a whole lot easier. It would be foolish to attribute this solely to weight of the bike (or even the bike itself), when the stiffness also increased by an untold factor, but I really don't doubt for a second that has been a huge help in my showings this season.
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Old 07-06-09, 08:25 PM   #18
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the reason that 32 is stronger than 36 is because the are aligned opposite each other so that when one is in tension the other is in compression. that is the most ideal set up and is the strongest, 36 is not exactly 180 degrees opposite so hence not as strong.
spokes on bike wheels don't compress
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Old 07-06-09, 11:58 PM   #19
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when i say compress im meaning that the spoke goes from in tension to not being in tension. in some extreme cases the spoke will bow, not really compressing but close enough for laymen terms.

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Old 07-07-09, 07:53 AM   #20
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spokes on bike wheels don't compress
They do on Mavic R-SYS wheels, until they explode.
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