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Will stonger spokes help keep my wheel true.

Old 03-30-08, 05:22 PM
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Will stonger spokes help keep my wheel true.

I have stock wheels on my Cannondale SR 500 which are Mach1 CFX wheels. I have to admit, I abuse the bike a bit taking it on limestone MUPS and I use it for light credit card touring. Plus, after a long winter my weight can approach the Clydesdale range but I have a number of pounds knocked off by the time I go on tour.

I seem to have a real problem keeping my wheel in true. I have to have the rear wheel trued about once a year, sometimes more.
  1. Is this unusual to have it trued so often?
  2. Would stonger spokes help to keep my wheel in true?
  3. What would I expect to pay to have all the spokes replaced? This is basiclly having a new wheel built?
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Old 03-30-08, 05:48 PM
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1) Get a handbuilt wheelset from a good wheelbuilder
2) Don't bother re-building your current wheels unless you're really in love with the hub and rims. The labour is going to be the same whether you're rebuilding on quality new stuff or worn old stuff.
3) I'm sure the clydesdale forum have good recommendations of rim/hub/spoke combos that work well with your weight range
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Old 03-30-08, 05:54 PM
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But will it help?
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Old 03-30-08, 05:58 PM
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Bigger spokes will not help near as much as a strong rim.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
But will it help?
Probably not. Lots of people are riding on wheels with 17 gauge spokes. That's pretty skinny. You could probably build a good wheel with even skinnier spokes but they tend to wind up too much during the tensioning process so they'd be hard to work with.

A stable rim is a good start. Deep section rims have made low spoke count wheels possible. Build quality is another big factor. I personally think that spoke strength might be the least significant factor.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
Bigger spokes will not help near as much as a strong rim.
+1

Like a 36 hole velocity deep v on some really beefy hubs.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Probably not. Lots of people are riding on wheels with 17 gauge spokes. That's pretty skinny. You could probably build a good wheel with even skinnier spokes but they tend to wind up too much during the tensioning process so they'd be hard to work with.

A stable rim is a good start. Deep section rims have made low spoke count wheels possible. Build quality is another big factor. I personally think that spoke strength might be the least significant factor.
I beg to differ. The OP is riding machine built un-quality wheels- a handbuilt wheelset will be a much more reliable upgrade.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Is this unusual to have it trued so often?
Once a year is not often at all. Many users of truly lightweight wheels find that they have to true them once a month. And the older the wheel, the more often it tends to need truing. If you find it inconvenient to take the wheels to the shop, simply learn how to do it yourself. It's quite easy.

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Would stonger spokes help to keep my wheel in true?
No, not really. More spokes -- along with a heavier rim -- are the key, but you would have to go to something bombproof to extend truing intervals beyond a year, and even that's not a guarantee.

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
What would I expect to pay to have all the spokes replaced? This is basiclly having a new wheel built?
Most shops charge approximately $35 plus a dollar per spoke.

Bottom line though, mate: you don't have a problem with your wheels.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:03 PM
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Thanks everyone. Instead of new rims, I might invest in a bike for the job. Keep this bike on the raod, unloaded and see how the rims respond.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:05 PM
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In general, stronger spokes will not help. Proper spoke tension will. It is not uncommon for machine built wheels to go out of true even on a yearly basis. The problem is once the wheel has been used, it's hard to pre-stress and properly tension the spokes since the rim and spokes have been stressed/warped/etc., so the guy truing your wheels might not even be able to help you out much.

Similar to Operator's options, I'd say your choices are:
1) Accept that you will need an annual truing and factor that into your maintenance budget
2) Buy a $5 spoke wrench and learn how to true them yourself
3) Buy a more solid wheel, preferably hand built with plenty of spokes.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
I beg to differ. The OP is riding machine built garbage wheels - a handbuilt wheelset will be a much more reliable upgrade.
Huh?

The question I was answering was "Will stronger spokes help?"

My answer was "Probably not."
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Old 03-30-08, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Once a year is not often at all. Many users of truly lightweight wheels find that they have to true them once a month. And the older the wheel, the more ofen it tends to need truing. If you find it inconvenient to take the wheels to the shop, simply learn how to do it yourself. It's quite easy.

Thanks I was able to get the wheel sort of true by doing it myself on the bike. Can this be done on the bike or do I really need a truing stand?
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Old 03-30-08, 06:13 PM
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Yes, it can be done just fine on the bike, although you probably won't be able to get that last Nth of a millimeter. If that matters to you, buy a stand. If not, be happy. In your shoes, I'd choose the latter -- especially considering that in my racing days I doubt if I ever had a wheel go a year without truing.

<edit> BTW, nice job with the Guevara business. Apparently, high school kids aren't required to study any history these days.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Huh?

The question I was answering was "Will stronger spokes help?"

My answer was "Probably not."
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