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Which is stronger: more spokes or less dish??

Old 04-01-13, 08:37 AM
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Which is stronger: more spokes or less dish??

My dilemma rages on............

Which would be a stronger wheel for loaded touring:

A rear wheel with 36 spokes and standard dish offset,
or,
A 32 spoke wheel with an OCR style rim and a Ritchey Zero System hub with the non-drive flange moved inward?

If dimensions are needed, I can measure. But, for a reasonable hypothesis, they should not be IMHO.

This is, of curse, employing the same criteria in terms of spoke gauge, crossing pattern and appropriate spoke tension.
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Old 04-01-13, 08:43 AM
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Which tastes better white wine or red wine?

Both reducing dish and increasing the spoke count (same gauge) can increase wheel strength. Quantifying it is more difficult since both are sliding scales. Also spoke count may not always solve problems, counter-intuitively often a lighter wheel built with fewer and/or butted spokes can be stronger than a higher spoke count.

That said, if given the choice, I'd focus more on addressing the differential in tension that asymmetry (dish) causes rather than increase spoke count beyond 32 or 36.
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Old 04-01-13, 09:00 AM
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I think what's important is which will better handle the problems that could occur on a tour. A 36 spoke wheel is less prone to spoke breakage, will tend to deflect less if a spoke does break, and is generally easier to bring back into good condition if a rim becomes physically bent.
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Old 04-01-13, 09:09 AM
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I would prefer a 36 count. I have had a single spoke fail while riding and the rim moved enough that I could not ride even with the brakes in the open position.
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Old 04-01-13, 09:12 AM
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stronger, ?[OK not on your A vs B list] IGH, where the flanges on the hub are larger and further apart , symmetrically.


tapping into tandem parts.. and design, for derailleur hubs..
wider rear frame , add,Left axle Spacer.. hub moves , to RT, spoke tension, approaching that of the left side..
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Old 04-01-13, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
stronger, ?[OK not on your A vs B list] IGH, where the flanges on the hub are larger and further apart , symmetrically.


tapping into tandem parts.. and design, for derailleur hubs..
wider rear frame , add,Left axle Spacer.. hub moves , to RT, spoke tension, approaching that of the left side..
My dilemma centers around my affinity for the late 80's Cannondale frames, which are 126mm spacing.
Keeping that in mind, a greater level of creativity is required.
I am currently using a Shimano 6500 rear freehub with the 9 speed freehub body replaced with a 7 speed uniglide body in order to
achieve the 126mm OLN spacing, and a Bontrager OCB rear rim.(using 8 of 9 sprocket cassette.) That wheel is almost dishless.
However, my quest for the most options goes on.
I wish that I could locate the Ritchey Zero System hub in 36°, but I'm not sure it was ever produced.
I have seen specs of Jamis Aurora bikes using that hub back in the 90's, but have never come across one.
Anyway, that would solve all my problems, as that hub has a nice big NDS spacer that can be reduced to get the OLDN dimension.
But, I digress.
I still have a set of wheels to build using PW touring hubs and Velocity Cliffhanger rims, all 36° with a 7 speed IRD Defiant freewheel.
But, my inquiring mind still wants to know............
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Old 04-01-13, 09:24 AM
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I'd be curious what the difference in flange to center measurements are for the "Zero" hub**********

Assuming a 4mm rim offset, an 8mm hub difference would result in a symmetric wheel. IF the difference was < 8mm, you're going too far.

I use a 2.0-1.8 DB spoke on the NDS with a straight 2.0mm on the DS for a "conventional" build.
Using an OCR, I'd probably go 2.0-1.8mm DB spoke on the DS and a 2.0-1.7MM DB on the NDS. Since I'm using lighter spokes, I'd stick with 36.
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Old 04-01-13, 09:27 AM
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As I said earlier, it's a question of degree. You'll see a material difference between high count 32+, and low count, 24 or fewer spokes, but the differences get smaller between 32 and 36. In theory you might expect 11% more strength from the 4 added spokes, but it doesn't always work out that way if you're measuring durability instead of lateral rigidity.

IMO, for most touring applications either 32 or 36 spokes will be fine, as will be conventionally dished wheels, if the materials and build quality are correct. I've built fairly light 14/16g 36 spoke tandem wheels that have gone from NY to California without issues.
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Old 04-01-13, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
I'd be curious what the difference in flange to center measurements are for the "Zero" hub**********

Assuming a 4mm rim offset, an 8mm hub difference would result in a symmetric wheel. IF the difference was < 8mm, you're going too far.

I use a 2.0-1.8 DB spoke on the NDS with a straight 2.0mm on the DS for a "conventional" build.
Using an OCR, I'd probably go 2.0-1.8mm DB spoke on the DS and a 2.0-1.7MM DB on the NDS. Since I'm using lighter spokes, I'd stick with 36.
The Ritchey 32° hub NDS flange measures 6mm closer to the center than a 9 speed Shimano 105 hub.
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Old 04-01-13, 09:44 AM
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Since the 105 (per Spocalc) has a 12mm difference, that would mean the Ritchey is already symmetrical.
I kind of doubt that.
That's why I asked the DIFFERENCE between the 2 flanges.
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Old 04-01-13, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Since the 105 (per Spocalc) has a 12mm difference, that would mean the Ritchey is already symmetrical.
I kind of doubt that.
That's why I asked the DIFFERENCE between the 2 flanges.
Umm, if the DS flange did not move, and the hub center didn't move, only the NDS flange moved in 6mm, would not that render a DIFFERENCE of 6mm as compared to the 105?

the center to flange difference is approximately 7mm: 20mmDS/27mmNDS if spacing kept at 130mm.
These are measured to the best of my capabilities using a truing stand and dial calipers.
If 4mm of NDS spacer is removed the measurements would be 18mm/29mm respectively.
If using a standard rim, the dish would be approximately the same as using the 105 hub @130mm OLN.
If using an OCB rim with 4mm of offset to the non-drive side, the dish would be 3mm?

Last edited by Ronno6; 04-01-13 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 04-01-13, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
My dilemma rages on............Which would be a stronger wheel for loaded touring:
A rear wheel with 36 spokes and standard dish offset,
or,
A 32 spoke wheel with an OCR style rim and a Ritchey Zero System hub with the non-drive flange moved inward?

If dimensions are needed, I can measure. But, for a reasonable hypothesis, they should not be IMHO.
This is, of curse, employing the same criteria in terms of spoke gauge, crossing pattern and appropriate spoke tension.
Ronno; If you are willing to consider a conservative view, here is; A good loaded touring wheel starts with a selection of a stout rim, such as a Dyvad or a Sun Ryno, which have large braking surface and lots of meat in the rim. Spoke wise, I would start at 40 spokes and actually consider 48 spokes if the load is high, the rider weight is high or the expected road conditions are rough. Generally I build those 4-cross to provide a bit more strength and ability to absorb the unexpected. I let the budget dictate if straight or butted spokes as long as the ends are 2mm (14g).

Although some posters will be aghast that I might suggest more than 32 spokes (and some will quote examples of success with a 16 spoke wheel even for 375 pound riders with 60 founds of baqgage(sic)) and I have no issue with them so posting as long as they don't expect me to use such a wheel for said requirement. Nor would I build or warrantee a low spoke count wheel for loaded touring.

Generally I disliked walking home pushing a bike with a broken wheel from the start and I haven't had to do so for some 30+ years now (such nonsense stopped about the same time I stopped chasing grams on a tourer or on a tandem). Hope that helps, but feel free to ignore my input if you are not so inclined.
/K
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Old 04-01-13, 10:27 AM
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My touring rig: also 126 wide , but.. friction (bar-end) shifters, 6 or 7 speed freewheel,
freewheel hubs: Phil and Bullseye, both eliminated the weak axle of typical cup& cone hubs.

then I laced up a 48 spoke rear wheel ..
[Sold the Phil/Mavic Mod 4 , to build another around a rim with taller brake track.]

But I suspect the intended trips are not the same..

OCR is just in narrow rim type and 32 hole, right?


Touring, cassette hub? shimano's K 7 speed cassette is still the right ratio range,

Adding more 'speeds' ? not the benefit claimed.. but marketing & upgradeitis.. works.

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Old 04-01-13, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
My touring rig: also 126 wide , but.. friction (bar-end) shifters, 6 or 7 speed freewheel,
freewheel hubs: Phil and Bullseye, both eliminated the weak axle of typical cup& cone hubs.

then I laced up a 48 spoke rear wheel ..
[Sold the Phil/Mavic Mod 4 , to build another around a rim with taller brake track.]

But I suspect the intended trips are not the same..

OCR is just in narrow rim type and 32 hole, right?
OCR stands for Offset Center Rim, I think, which indicates a shift in the spoke centerline towards the non-drive side, reducing dish.
I am currently using a Bontrager Fairlane OSB (offset spoke bed) for which that offset I believe is 4mm. These, from what I have read, are highly-regarded rims. Pity they are no longer available.
Riechey has had some off road rims with similar offset, and Harris rates those for tandem usage.

I have a custom built 67cm Rodney Moseman which uses 40 spoke Sun rims on PW tandem 140mm rear hub, and it should stand up to about anything.
I just prefer the Cannondales.
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Old 04-01-13, 10:50 AM
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I understand the bike that is more comfy on tour is the preference.
build around still available repair parts.. may just have to stick to 80's components...
hence the tout of the K cassette.. 13,15,17,20,24,29,34.

6 speed, 14t, vs 13,&15,.. (28 instead of the 29) 50/40/24..
Simple drivetrain, took me around N Europe, Ireland & Scotland, just fine..

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Old 04-01-13, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
Umm, if the DS flange did not move, and the hub center didn't move, only the NDS flange moved in 6mm, would not that render a DIFFERENCE of 6mm as compared to the 105?

the center to flange difference is approximately 7mm: 20mmDS/27mmNDS if spacing kept at 130mm.
These are measured to the best of my capabilities using a truing stand and dial calipers.
If 4mm of NDS spacer is removed the measurements would be 18mm/29mm respectively.
If using a standard rim, the dish would be approximately the same as using the 105 hub @130mm OLN.
If using an OCB rim with 4mm of offset to the non-drive side, the dish would be 3mm?
You would dish the wheel 1.5mm to center the rim. Almost symmetrical. NDS tension should be 88% of DS.
I'd almost be tempted to use DB 2.0-18 DS & DB 2.0 1.7mm NDS. The "thinner" spoke has 89% or the cross sectional area as the "thicker" one. That "should" result in near identical elongation when tensioned. Of course, it seems most supplies don't carry both.......

The 700c OC Bontrager rims listed on Spocalc show offsets of 1.5mm & 2.5 mm. It doesn't specifically list a "Fairlane" though.

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Old 04-01-13, 11:27 AM
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Reality check for wheel math.

Spoke length changes roughly 1mm for every 10mm of change or difference in effective (after allowing for offset rim) dish.

In any given wheel spoke tension is inversely proportional to R/L CTF distance (again after allowing for offset of spoke holes, either zigzag or all to either side).

While computers are good and handy for precise calculations, know these two bits of info will enable you to predict how things will end up and ensure that you'll be in the desired ball park.
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Old 04-01-13, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun

The 700c OC Bontrager rims listed on Spocalc show offsets of 1.5mm & 2.5 mm. It doesn't specifically list a "Fairlane" though.
Wheelbuilder James Moore lists the Fairlane OCB as being 2.5mm offset.
I had been inappropriately using the dimension for the Velocity Synergy OSB which is 4mm. I also have one of those
and may use, although it is 36°. I have read that that is not the best rim for loaded touring.
So, my dish calculations are off by .75mm.
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Old 04-01-13, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
My dilemma rages on............

Which would be a stronger wheel for loaded touring:

A rear wheel with 36 spokes and standard dish offset,
or,
A 32 spoke wheel with an OCR style rim and a Ritchey Zero System hub with the non-drive flange moved inward?
How much load are you carrying? Do you expect to hit big potholes at + 20 mph?

My cheap/strong solution is to stick with 36H hub @ 3x with deep V rims (Velocity Deep V or Velocity Chukker). Use 2.0 mm SS DT spokes with hex brass nipples and raise the maximum spoke tension to 300 lbs. Make sure there is a good fit between the spoke and spoke hole (@ the hub). Use a washer if necessary. The spokes must be properly seated in the hub prior to tensioning. Apply sufficient grease to spoke, nipple, and rim to assure adequate lubrication. Inspect the rims for burr at the spoke hole.
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Old 04-01-13, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by furballi
How much load are you carrying? Do you expect to hit big potholes at + 20 mph?

My cheap/strong solution is to stick with 36H hub @ 3x with deep V rims (Velocity Deep V or Velocity Chukker). Use 2.0 mm SS DT spokes with hex brass nipples and raise the maximum spoke tension to 300 lbs. Make sure there is a good fit between the spoke and spoke hole (@ the hub). Use a washer if necessary. The spokes must be properly seated in the hub prior to tensioning. Apply sufficient grease to spoke, nipple, and rim to assure adequate lubrication. Inspect the rims for burr at the spoke hole.
Does anybody EVER expect to hit big potholes @ +20mph while fully loaded?
My first tour saw me tote about 55# of gear. I should be able to pare that by 5-10# for my next trip.

As I said, I plan a set of PW FW style hubs with Velocity Cliffhangers-the setup recommended to me by the wheelbuilding guru at Rivendell.
As for spokes, I have read much about DT's varying the head-to-bend length over the last few years.
I've been using Sapim spokes a great deal, as I've read that their bends are smoother and the head/bend distance has not varied.
But, that is the subject for a different thread, as is the war that rages on spoke diameter (straight gauge vs. DB.)

I am still intrigued by building the best freehub wheel for the 126mm spacing of the old 'Dales.
I still wish I could find that elusive 36° Ritchey Zero hub,tho.
I know that stronger wheels can be built (I was assured that 40° Chukker rims would build motorcycle-strength wheels) but there IS
such a thing as overkill.........
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Old 04-01-13, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
Wheelbuilder James Moore lists the Fairlane OCB as being 2.5mm offset.
I had been inappropriately using the dimension for the Velocity Synergy OSB which is 4mm. I also have one of those
and may use, although it is 36°. I have read that that is not the best rim for loaded touring.
So, my dish calculations are off by .75mm.
I recently used the 26" Synergy OC on my "grocery getter".
I used the Shimano RM-30 hub, respaced to 132mm. (what I could comfortably "stuff" into my 86 Rockhopper).
I used straight 2.0mm spokes DS and 2.0-1.8mm DB on the NDS.
Spocalc NDS tension was calculated @ 84.8% of DS. I took about 6 readings on each side with the TM-1, mentally averaged them and came up with 83.3%. Certainly close enough for multiple approximations.
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Old 04-02-13, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
My dilemma rages on............

Which would be a stronger wheel for loaded touring:

A rear wheel with 36 spokes and standard dish offset,
or,
A 32 spoke wheel with an OCR style rim and a Ritchey Zero System hub with the non-drive flange moved inward?
Define stronger.

Moving the NDS flange inwards, as using an OCR rim, will increase NDS spoke tension.
Increased NDS spoke tension will help protect against fatigue failure of those spokes, but won't help (much) with actual strength as in resisting collapse - taco-ing.

For taco protection, more material(=spoke cross section area, either by using more, or using thicker spokes) is your friend.
"Trouble" is, you may not be able to get enough NDS tension in to protect against fatigue. Strength, not endurance.
What seems to be a rarely considered phenomena is if you use the same spoke gauge on both DS and NDS, you end up with a wheel that's stiffer from one direction laterally than the other, at the potential cost of fatigue failure somewhere down the road.
I guess that extra protection from 50% of sideways slams are better than no extra protection against sideways slams, but it doesn't seem like the most obvious advantage.
If the OCR rim is stiff enough, a 32H build on that Ritchey hub using 2.3 mm spokes sounds like it might be a good choice. Plenty of cross section area for taco protection, and symmetry enough not to be an obvious fatigue risk.
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Old 04-02-13, 06:28 AM
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Ronno6, Of your two options, I'd select to reduce dish using a 36 hole rim. OTOH, I don't know by what margin a reduced dish wheel and/or more spokes, DB or straight gauge, are stronger than a standard rear wheel.

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Old 04-02-13, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
My dilemma centers around my affinity for the late 80's Cannondale frames, which are 126mm spacing. Keeping that in mind, a greater level of creativity is required.
I am currently using a Shimano 6500 rear freehub with the 9 speed freehub body replaced with a 7 speed uniglide body in order to achieve the 126mm OLN spacing, and a Bontrager OCB rear rim.(using 8 of 9 sprocket cassette.) That wheel is almost dishless.
However, my quest for the most options goes on. I wish that I could locate the Ritchey Zero System hub in 36°, but I'm not sure it was ever produced. I have seen specs of Jamis Aurora bikes using that hub back in the 90's, but have never come across one. Anyway, that would solve all my problems, as that hub has a nice big NDS spacer that can be reduced to get the OLDN dimension. But, I digress. I still have a set of wheels to build using PW touring hubs and Velocity Cliffhanger rims, all 36° with a 7 speed IRD Defiant freewheel. But, my inquiring mind still wants to know............
Ronno; Glad you posted the additional details on the actually delimna you are facing rather than the somewhat generic original question. I'll throw my hat in with the folks voting for reduced dish being more important than an increased number of spokes, all else given (by a wide margin) and assuming very competence wheel building (the real requirement!).

You might be able to take a narrow spaced 9 or 10 speed cogset (and chain and crank) and use only about 6 cogs on a short 6/7 freehub (some work needed to do that - extending the advice on the Sheldon page)(and with loss of the smaller cogs). Goal being to be able to remove a good bit of DS space and some NDS space from a 135mm hub to get it down to 126mm and basically pushing both hub flanges outward. Could be combined with the offset rim approach to achieve near optimum condition.

On the side, if the problem persists, might consider looking into a high flange hub or a custom hub... Phil Wood might still be willing to do something one-off for you if you were to lay out the problem in detail. That or reworking the frame to get you some more room to work in (and I rarely am one to recommend bending or re-torching a classic frame)?

So FWIW;
/K
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Old 04-02-13, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac
Define stronger.

Moving the NDS flange inwards, as using an OCR rim, will increase NDS spoke tension.
Increased NDS spoke tension will help protect against fatigue failure of those spokes, but won't help (much) with actual strength as in resisting collapse - taco-ing.

For taco protection, more material(=spoke cross section area, either by using more, or using thicker spokes) is your friend.
"Trouble" is, you may not be able to get enough NDS tension in to protect against fatigue. Strength, not endurance.
What seems to be a rarely considered phenomena is if you use the same spoke gauge on both DS and NDS, you end up with a wheel that's stiffer from one direction laterally than the other, at the potential cost of fatigue failure somewhere down the road.
I guess that extra protection from 50% of sideways slams are better than no extra protection against sideways slams, but it doesn't seem like the most obvious advantage.
If the OCR rim is stiff enough, a 32H build on that Ritchey hub using 2.3 mm spokes sounds like it might be a good choice. Plenty of cross section area for taco protection, and symmetry enough not to be an obvious fatigue risk.
Well, maybe the better chice of terms would be " a wheel that holds up better under loaded touring conditions without spoke or wheel failure."
Interesting that this is the first recommendation for 13ga spokes that I have seen. And straight gauge to boot! Most of the wheelbuilders seem to profess that DB spokes make for a "better" wheel.

Originally Posted by bradtx
Ronno6, Of your two options, I'd select to reduce dish using a 36 hole rim. OTOH, I don't know by what margin a reduced dish wheel and/or more spokes, DB or straight gauge, are stronger than a standard rear wheel.

Brad
Thanks, Brad. I agree that that would be optimum, but it was not one of the original options. I have not located a 36° Zero System hub. Got one??

Originally Posted by ksisler
Ronno; Glad you posted the additional details on the actually delimna you are facing rather than the somewhat generic original question. I'll throw my hat in with the folks voting for reduced dish being more important than an increased number of spokes, all else given (by a wide margin) and assuming very competence wheel building (the real requirement!).

You might be able to take a narrow spaced 9 or 10 speed cogset (and chain and crank) and use only about 6 cogs on a short 6/7 freehub (some work needed to do that - extending the advice on the Sheldon page)(and with loss of the smaller cogs). Goal being to be able to remove a good bit of DS space and some NDS space from a 135mm hub to get it down to 126mm and basically pushing both hub flanges outward. Could be combined with the offset rim approach to achieve near optimum condition.

On the side, if the problem persists, might consider looking into a high flange hub or a custom hub... Phil Wood might still be willing to do something one-off for you if you were to lay out the problem in detail. That or reworking the frame to get you some more room to work in (and I rarely am one to recommend bending or re-torching a classic frame)?

So FWIW;
/K
One does not re-torch a heat-treated welded aluminum Cannondale frame (to the best of my knowledge.) That would require a complete solution re-heat-treat after modification. That was originally done in a fixture to keep critical dimensions and relationships in spec. Not likely to be reproduced.
As for going to a 6 speed FH body-Hmm, I hadn't considered that. I have one of those, but field replacability could be an issue there. then there's that pesky wide indexing tooth on the cassettes...
I'm already using an 8-of-9 cassette setup on the rear now. I really don't need that 9th cog, but, what the heck!
I could indeed go a 9-of10, but I've actually hsuffered 10 speed chain failures on my racing bikes, so I really don't want to trust them under touring conditions.
As for there being a "problem," there really isn't one, other than my own desire to be a bit different.
Too bad Ritchey didn't have a 7-speed Zero System hub.

OCR rims are becoming fewer and farther between these days, at least those suitable for touring.
Too bad there isn't a Dyad OCR.

Last edited by Ronno6; 04-02-13 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Additional information
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