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Clydesdale Wheelset Build

Old 02-18-21, 12:49 AM
  #1  
aaronmichael
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Clydesdale Wheelset Build

Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you,


I'm a manager / mechanic / parts purchaser / wheel builder / etc. at my local bicycle shop....some of you know how that goes. I have a long time customer who would like our shop to custom lace a wheelset for his Bianchi Intenso road bicycle. He weight 250lbs and is currently riding on 20 spoke wheels with 25c tires (as wide as the frame will support). The wheels have multiple cracks in the rim around the nipples on the rear wheel and rusted out bladed (Mavic style) spokes on the front wheel.


My original plan was to build him some traditional 3-cross 32 spoke wheels with a greater focus on a particular high quality rim hoop (given his weight) and less focus on the quality of the hub. However, because of the pandemic, a lot of my suppliers are out of stock on matching items (front hub and rear hub). Albeit very expensive, I found a set of White Industries 28H matching front and rear hubs that we star the wheel build is. My concern is that a 28 spoke wheel wouldn't be enough support for his weight. His riding style is relatively mellow to moderate, he rides far and likes to get out for a good workout but isn't doing any sort of racing, mainly flat ground. I've built plenty of wheels in the past but never for someone of his stature. After some research, the general consensus seemed to be it's less about the spoke count or particular rim and more about the quality of the build that will make it last under this customers weight, or any given weight for that matter.


I'm considering DT Swiss, Velocity, HED, or H Plus Sons for the hoops and White Industries or DT Swiss for the hubs. The bike is equipped with rim brakes so it would be a machined track wheel. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much for reading!
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Old 02-18-21, 01:17 AM
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aaronmichael
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Also, I just realized that because of spoke head clearance, I'd have to build these with a 2x lacing pattern. Also, I'll of course have to build it with double or triple butted spokes to increase durability.

Last edited by aaronmichael; 02-18-21 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:42 PM
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I was only ever a humble wrench in several shops, but I do know well how smaller shops can work. High respect, sir.
Also, just for background, I was once what many would consider "hard core"; made several extended tours (multi-week), commuted by bike exclusively till I was about 26, also competed at Cat. 2 for a couple years. I've always built my own wheels and had excellent success with them. Back then it was GP-4's for racing, Weinmann Concaves for touring.
That was 60 pounds and many moon(cakes) ago.
When I finally made the transition from a freewheel to a freehub 7 years ago, I again went with Velocity rims (Deep V Pro Elite tubulars). By that time I was pushing 240 lbs and closer to 250 on winter rides. This was my second set of Velocitys, 28h. They are solid rims. I ride mostly rural roads in very good condition, lots of hils, Upstate NY. I used DT Swiss bladed aero spokes and some Dura-Ace 7700 hubs I found on eBay. Thousands of miles now and zero issues.
I'm no wheel builder guru, but my observation over the years is that even spoke tension is the key to wheel durability and specifically avoiding those cracked spoke hole issues. The next most critical key to durability is riding them correctly. That means having a good sense for how the bike is ridden over rough areas and where your weight is on it (not to mention in turns as well). If you're gonna spend big bucks on stuff like this you'd better learn how to ride it, and it's different from the city rent-a-bike ebikes.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:52 PM
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For rim brakes, you can get Velicity Quill rims with 36 holes.
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Old 02-18-21, 05:17 PM
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Velocity Deep V with 28 spokes will work at that weight. Cut some weight going with 28 but I use 32 and wouldn't feel a difference in weight though many riders I know would say they did. 28 with 30 mm deep rim is good and strong up front.

I have also built 28 for the rear with the same rim no problems. Even a 24 up front. I always worried about the 24 but never had a problem with 30 mm deep rims.

I put about 10,000 miles on those rims then gave them to a smaller rider at 210 pounds and he still uses them today with no problems after several years. Strong wheels after another 5,000 or so that he has put on them.

Might even try a Velocity Fusion up front to save a few grams at 25 mm deep.

Last edited by UCantTouchThis; 02-18-21 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 02-18-21, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
For rim brakes, you can get Velicity Quill rims with 36 holes.

Won't work too well with 28 hole hubs.
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Old 02-18-21, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Won't work too well with 28 hole hubs.
Details, details.
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Old 02-18-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Details, details.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:17 PM
  #9  
Russ Roth
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Originally Posted by aaronmichael View Post
Also, I just realized that because of spoke head clearance, I'd have to build these with a 2x lacing pattern. Also, I'll of course have to build it with double or triple butted spokes to increase durability.
Are you referring to the spoke angle at the rim and therefore the bend at the nipple? I do find 28h is better 2x.
For the rear wheel I would go single butted 2.2/2.0 spokes like the Wheelsmith HD spokes or something similar. For the front a standard butted spoke or straight spoke is fine and should last quite a bit of time. At 32 or 36h standard double butted is fine.

Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
For rim brakes, you can get Velicity Quill rims with 36 holes.
My opinion on the quill is that it doesn't seem strong enough for a heavy rider to me.
Looking at velocity I'd go with the Dyad, it was strong enough to MTB on its strong enough to road ride on and its what I use on my gravel bike. The Deep V will be more then strong enough but heavy. The fusion as someone else mentioned could also work.

Either hub you suggest is fine, if a more expensive 240 I'd sooner go with Chris King, at the lower end of their line the WI is every bit as good and comes in better colors. You won't go wrong either way.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:56 PM
  #10  
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One thing to consider is which hub has the widest flanges. It's not just spoke thickness but the angle which the spoke enters the rim. A slightly wider hub will make the wheel a lot more stiff.
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Old 02-26-21, 12:50 AM
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HED Belgiums have been outstanding IMHO.
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Old 02-28-21, 09:20 PM
  #12  
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I ride at and above your customers weight. I like your Velocity rim idea. Deep V's are very stout and very fast. They have very little flex even at my weight. I use 36 hole Chukkar 700c rims on Velo Orange high flange hubs. 3X and bulletproof. I use a pair of Sun CR-18 36 spoke on a 27" wheelset and they have been bulletproof. I bought a Vuelta SL37 hand built 700c clincher wheelset for my "fast" bike. After purchasing and riding this wheelset a while I noticed the spoke count was 16 in back and 12 up front on a deep V aluminum rim. Vuelta uses 2.3mm to 2mm steel bladed spokes. When OP mentioned rusted spokes that points to steel as opposed to stainless steel spokes. Steel spokes are stronger than stainless steel spokes but very much rustier. I have a 1000miles on the Vuelta SL37 wheelset with one spoke tightening after a 100 miles. I believe the SL37 wheelset is 2X. This gives the range of successful wheels I have ridden with very good reliability over the years. I have had spokes pull through a rim but the rim was an MTB rim for disc brakes and very lightly built.
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Old 03-02-21, 04:17 AM
  #13  
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Can you get Ryde Rims or Ambrosio Rims? I have been riding Miche Wheels (Alturs & SWRs) and Campag Zonda as factory wheels and Record on Ambrosio Exellight 32's and I have been 268lbs and been known to stamp hard on the pedals. Miche have a rider weight limt of 165kgs
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Old 03-07-21, 05:20 PM
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I have asymmetric rims on my road bike. evens out the spoke tension and makes wheels stronger/more durable from what I read
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Old 03-08-21, 04:10 PM
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brawlo
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Originally Posted by Dirk de Chablis View Post
Can you get Ryde Rims or Ambrosio Rims? I have been riding Miche Wheels (Alturs & SWRs) and Campag Zonda as factory wheels and Record on Ambrosio Exellight 32's and I have been 268lbs and been known to stamp hard on the pedals. Miche have a rider weight limt of 165kgs
I'd suggest you take another look at that. Unless something's changed, their more durable wheels are only rated to 120kg and the racier ones, to 109kg.
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Old 03-08-21, 04:40 PM
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Dirk de Chablis
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
I'd suggest you take another look at that. Unless something's changed, their more durable wheels are only rated to 120kg and the racier ones, to 109kg.
Who, Miche, Campag or Ambrosio? I'm going by personal experience on what I have ridden and feel, that and Miche test their wheels to the old UCI standard and not the new one that other wheel manufactures cried about because thier wheels kept failing
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Old 03-08-21, 05:07 PM
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brawlo
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Originally Posted by Dirk de Chablis View Post
Miche have a rider weight limt of 165kgs
Sorry, Miche as per your 165kg claim.

Sure, I too have seen many factory wheels cope under heavier riders, but the fact remains that if you exceed the warranted weight limit you have zero recourse in a failure situation. Better to go for something purpose built to cope and backed up by a builder IMO. FWIW my current wheelset was built by prowheelbuilder and still going strong. My MTB wheels I built myself, and my next set of road wheels I will also build myself
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Old 03-14-21, 08:02 PM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you absolutely can build a damn strong wheel with less than 36 spokes.
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Old 03-14-21, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you absolutely can build a damn strong wheel with less than 36 spokes.
100% not wrong. You just need the bits built strong enough and in the right way, basically in reference to the rim. The problem is that rims generally aren't built with heavyweights in mind. What we need is a lightweight rim with extra material at the spoke holes to survive high spoke tension. Also a problem is that the extra weight at the rim feels heavy. When I was more seriously racing at ~265lb I had a set of Shimano RS81 C50s 16F/21R. They were nice wheels!
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