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20/24 spokes for a Clyde?

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20/24 spokes for a Clyde?

Old 06-02-17, 05:03 PM
Dirt Farmer
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20/24 spokes for a Clyde?

I'm about to buy this 2017 Jamis Quest Elite:


As you can see, they come with Ritchey Comp Zeta wheels with a 20/24 spoke wheel set.

As somewhat of a Clyde (215-220 pounds), should I ride until there's a problem, or just get a new wheel set right off the bat, say 32 or 36?

Obviously, riding until they die is the sensible option. I guess what I'm getting at is, can 20/24 wheels of this lower-end Ritchey caliber be fine for a rider my weight? The bike will never see anything but fairly smooth pavement. I come from a vintage, 27 inch wheel, 36 spoke bike. Are modern-day 24 spoke wheels structurally fine for 200 pounders?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-02-17, 05:24 PM
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1. They won't break right away.
2. They probably won't break catastrophically.
3. They'll probably last at least 5 or 6 years if you're easy on them.

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Old 06-02-17, 06:15 PM
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I'm 200+ and ride 24/24 all day, every day. Those Comp Zetas should do just fine.
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Old 06-02-17, 06:52 PM
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There's more to it than counting spokes. Much of a bicycle wheel's strength comes from the rim. A deep section rim doesn't need as many spokes to match the strength of a conventional box section rim. Since you already own the Zeta Comp's, I'd use them till they die.
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Old 06-02-17, 07:01 PM
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Getting them properly tensioned may make them last "the best".
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Old 06-02-17, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
Are modern-day 24 spoke wheels structurally fine for 200 pounders?

Short answer, yes. But that's the wrong question.

The better question would be whether they're a smart choice for heavy riders, and that answer is probably not.

Wheel durability isn't a black and white question, but more about shades of grey and probabilities, based on multiple variables.

First of all, weight is only one factor in wheel life, others include road surfaces and riding style. Even when everything is equal, some riders are hard on wheels and other not, even to the extent that very light riders can be much harder on wheels than heavier riders.

In any case, imagine you're climbing a mountain. Would you choose the lightest ropes rated for your weight? Likewise with wheels, more spokes and stouter rims translate to a wheel that offers more margin for error and likely longer wheel life expectancy.

IMO depending of the kind of deal the dealer can offer you on a new wheel swap, that may represent the best value and smartest option. But, as I said the short answer to your question is yes, and my comments are about getting the best value, not safety.
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Old 06-03-17, 02:35 PM
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I am against the fad of low spoke count wheels. They work fine for 140 pound Chuck, but aren't the greatest thing for a 200 plus pound strong as a ox Ron. . When I build wheels for heavier friends I always go for 36 double butted spokes.
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Old 06-03-17, 02:46 PM
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When a spoke breaks on low spoke count wheel, I expect the wheel to come so much out of true to lock against the brake (if road rim brakes are used), probably even the frame. Seen it on a 24 spoked rear wheel. I even get criticized for not wearing a helmet by people who ride such wheels.
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