Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Isn't a wheel just a wheel?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Isn't a wheel just a wheel?

Old 02-14-14, 10:27 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
LuckySailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 660

Bikes: Trek 520 total custom build, Cannondale Mountain Tandem, Oryx Mountain Bike

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Isn't a wheel just a wheel?

Good day. Very new at this and I'll be blunt just to get things stirring! Isn't a wheel just a wheel? I'm building a new touring bike with the intention of doing light, and/or support touring-nothing expedition type or unsupported. I am having a SON28 hub installed. So what is the difference between a $100 dollar wheel and a $300 wheel? What about spokes? I was intending on doing 36H. My budget is whatever I decide it is. (I'm not wealthy, I will just spend what I feel is necessary to have a very nice bike)
1. What are the differences?
2. What are your suggestions?
3. Why?
LuckySailor is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 10:31 AM
  #2  
incazzare.
 
lostarchitect's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Catskills/Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 6,970

Bikes: See sig

Liked 55 Times in 38 Posts
The main difference, assuming you will be using quality components even in the lower cost build, will be weight. The more expensive wheel will be lighter. Regarding spokes, butted spokes will be both stronger and lighter than straight gauge, for only a small price increase. I would definetly use DB spokes, as I do for all of my own wheelbuilds.

As far as suggestions go, well, if you're touring on the thing you will notice the weight after a while. Might be good to go on the lighter side. For a commuter it wouldn't matter as much.
__________________
1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 1974 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1986 Schwinn High Sierra, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2011 Dick Chafe, 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter
lostarchitect is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 10:33 AM
  #3  
Hogosha Sekai
 
RaleighSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: STS
Posts: 6,669

Bikes: Leader 725, Centurion Turbo, Scwhinn Peloton, Schwinn Premis, GT Tequesta, Bridgestone CB-2,72' Centurion Lemans, 72 Raleigh Competition

Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts
There's a lot of variables to wheels, weight is one, stiffness another, people tend to use higher spoke count wheels for heavier duty uses. A lot of people tend to build a very strong wheel around the Son28 hub from what I've seen, a rim that can support a semi wide or wide tire for commuting or touring and usually a high spoke count, like perhaps 36h... so it sounds like you're already well on the right track to me.

I'm sure an experienced touring cyclist will be along shortly to fill you in on spoke/rim preferences, and good luck to you!
RaleighSport is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 10:57 AM
  #4  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
So what is the difference between a $100 dollar wheel and a $300 wheel?
a $250. hub.

A sum of its parts .. the Schmidt dyno hub is reliable and almost airtight .. YGWYPF

Shimano is quite functional with a lower price.

the chance of damaging a front wheel is much lower than the rear ..

On a popular touring route , rear wheels get replaced .. the inventory of wheels (cassette)
tends not to be premium , for this purpose .. so overspending may have you mailing that expensive
XTR hub home.. , since a custom rebuild can take a week , in the busy season ..

And abandoning a damaged $100 wheel in a small town bike shop will be relatively painless..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 11:00 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,682

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Likes: 0
Liked 58 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by lostarchitect
The main difference, assuming you will be using quality components even in the lower cost build, will be weight. The more expensive wheel will be lighter. Regarding spokes, butted spokes will be both stronger and lighter than straight gauge, for only a small price increase. I would definetly use DB spokes, as I do for all of my own wheelbuilds.

As far as suggestions go, well, if you're touring on the thing you will notice the weight after a while. Might be good to go on the lighter side. For a commuter it wouldn't matter as much.
I don't think you can properly say that butted spokes are stronger than straight gauge. I think the proper statement is that butted spokes are more durable. Simply stated the force pulling on a butted spoke that will sever it is less than the force that will sever a straight gauge spoke. Similarly for the somewhat lower force that will not break it but still permanently deform it. Greater for the straight gauge spoke. Assuming of course the straight gauge spoke is a large diameter over its entire length than the butted spoke is in its reduced diameter region. The increased durability comes from the greater elongation that the butted spoke undergoes under the same tension as the straight gauge spoke. That elongation helps protect the butted spoke from going slack repeatedly and fatiguing over time.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 11:05 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 8,321

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Liked 1,095 Times in 725 Posts
I suggest that you avoid the use of aluminum alloy nipples. Use good quality brass ones instead; they are stronger and less prone to corrosion which can lead to seizing or failure; the weight penalty is minimal. Carry spare spokes (you will likely have 3 different lengths) and nipples on your tour. A Fiberfix repair kit may be useful especially for temporary repair of a broken drive side rear spoke until cassette removal can be done. Alternatively the Stein mini lockring tool https://www.jastein.com/Html/Tools_for_Wheels.htm can be used for the job
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 11:32 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,660
Liked 171 Times in 138 Posts
On a touring bike weight is not a big issue, strength and reliability is. Go with double butted spokes and a good rim. The Mavic 319 comes to mind.
davidad is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 11:51 AM
  #8  
incazzare.
 
lostarchitect's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Catskills/Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 6,970

Bikes: See sig

Liked 55 Times in 38 Posts
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
I don't think you can properly say that butted spokes are stronger than straight gauge. I think the proper statement is that butted spokes are more durable.
Hey, I'm no scientist, call it what you want!
__________________
1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 1974 Raleigh Gran Sport, 1986 Schwinn High Sierra, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2011 Dick Chafe, 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter
lostarchitect is offline  
Old 02-14-14, 01:09 PM
  #9  
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 13,956

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds. 2019 Giant Explore E+3

Liked 1,317 Times in 908 Posts
Your wheel selection will also be dictated by YOUR weight and load.
IF you are a heavier/stronger rider, you need a stronger wheel than if you aren't.
If you are lighter etc., a 32 spoke wheel may be far more than you need.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
shuppatsu
Bicycle Mechanics
13
06-20-14 11:08 AM
hyhuu
Road Cycling
21
08-09-13 07:11 AM
edtrek
Touring
10
05-05-12 12:23 PM
dasding
Bicycle Mechanics
33
10-13-10 04:02 PM
Nigal
Bicycle Mechanics
47
04-13-10 10:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.