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advice to make wheel build stronger, more durable

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advice to make wheel build stronger, more durable

Old 03-07-21, 05:38 PM
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mbpletcher
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advice to make wheel build stronger, more durable

looking to build a set of wheels for my gravel bike. I keep cracking rims at spoke holes especially drive side rear. I have checked spoke tension and it is within spec for wheel and even across all spokes. these wheels were built by my lbs and, I thought, a good wheel builder. I ride about 5k miles a year and about half of that on my gravel bike.


this is my plan- 35mm deep carbon asymmetric rim(disc brake), 24mm inside diameter(hookless) to run 700x35c tubeless(maybe 38c), dt aero comp spokes(32H), I will reuse my dt swiss 240s hubs. I have tension meter, dish gauge, wheel stand and lots of patience to get spoke tension even and as close to spec as possible.


I have been taking apart and rebuilding some rims in my shop with good results. I think I have the understanding and patience needed for a good build.


I would love any feedback so thanks in advance for constructive comments
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Old 03-07-21, 05:40 PM
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did i forget to mention i'm north of 200lbs?
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Old 03-07-21, 11:56 PM
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One thing I like to do is build the wheel so that the trailing spokes on the drive side are laced on the inside of the hub flange. Believed to reinforce the trailing spokes (take most of the torque) as they flex to the outside. The hub wall supposedly supports the spoke.

I have had people say it may not make that much of a difference but after have several failed hand built wheels by high end bike shops, I gave it a try and built my own wheels using every tool or tip I could and had great success. I have pointed it out to a few of the builders at the shops and they had no clue what I was talking about. Maybe that is why their wheels failed on me. So whatever, but I build all my wheels this way. About 15 wheels now for my own personal bikes. Left the service from bike shops and local wheel builders and never looked back.

You can see that my trailing spokes are laced on the inside of the hub flange. Works for me!

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Old 03-08-21, 04:37 PM
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What make/material rims are you cracking and what kind of riding are you doing on the bike? Also you say north of 200lb, how far north?

The build seems sound, however, if you have a destructive history I'd be making some changes. First, I'd go for the triple butted Alpine 3 spokes. They'll be more forgiving with the extra flex capability. I'd also consider being very picky about the rim you use. No doubt you've done some research, but Light Bicycle used to do a heavy rider spec carbon rim when I built my track wheels. Only a little more weight, but more material around the spoke area. Not sure If they still do the same, but I'd be looking for a rim that is beefier in that section compared to others, especially with your history. If you continue to crack at the spoke holes then you'd need to give some serious consideration to going to an eyeletted rim or reducing your spoke tension a little and dealing with the little bit of extra flex.

On top of that, also pay consideration to where you're riding and how you're riding. Maybe your style needs some changes to be more sympathetic to your equipment

** I also build my own wheels and while it's not a necessity, the Park Tools spoke tension app is a very hand little tool when it comes to the fine tuning towards the end of the build and in truing a wheel

Last edited by brawlo; 03-08-21 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 03-09-21, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
What make/material rims are you cracking and what kind of riding are you doing on the bike? Also you say north of 200lb, how far north?

The build seems sound, however, if you have a destructive history I'd be making some changes. First, I'd go for the triple butted Alpine 3 spokes. They'll be more forgiving with the extra flex capability. I'd also consider being very picky about the rim you use. No doubt you've done some research, but Light Bicycle used to do a heavy rider spec carbon rim when I built my track wheels. Only a little more weight, but more material around the spoke area. Not sure If they still do the same, but I'd be looking for a rim that is beefier in that section compared to others, especially with your history. If you continue to crack at the spoke holes then you'd need to give some serious consideration to going to an eyeletted rim or reducing your spoke tension a little and dealing with the little bit of extra flex.

On top of that, also pay consideration to where you're riding and how you're riding. Maybe your style needs some changes to be more sympathetic to your equipment

** I also build my own wheels and while it's not a necessity, the Park Tools spoke tension app is a very hand little tool when it comes to the fine tuning towards the end of the build and in truing a wheel

thanks no snark intended, but I don't think I have a "destructive history" I do ride with a lot of torque but I am cautious about impacts and approach bumps and root pops off the saddle with a bended leg. I think the velocity blunt 35 rim was the wrong choice of hoops, for this is the second set to crack. I have a road bike with dt swiss 411 rims which i ride more and probably with more watts and it is holding up wonderfully, also a city bike with a $100 set of weinmann wheels, and my fixie all without issues. the rim i selected has a stated weight of 205kg so I'm looking forward to inspecting it when it arrives, at that point I'll decide on spokes. the other issue which i discovered upon research, after trusting bike shop for choice of rims, is that the blunt 35's are way to wide for the tires i run, which i can't see causing spoke hole cracking. it has a 30.2 inside diameter so it is meant for tires 50c+ and I run 35-38c. the rim i ordered has an ID of 25mm.
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Old 03-09-21, 08:20 AM
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Have you considered a 36 spoke wheel?
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Old 03-09-21, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mbpletcher View Post
thanks no snark intended, but I don't think I have a "destructive history" I do ride with a lot of torque but I am cautious about impacts and approach bumps and root pops off the saddle with a bended leg. I think the velocity blunt 35 rim was the wrong choice of hoops, for this is the second set to crack. I have a road bike with dt swiss 411 rims which i ride more and probably with more watts and it is holding up wonderfully, also a city bike with a $100 set of weinmann wheels, and my fixie all without issues. the rim i selected has a stated weight of 205kg so I'm looking forward to inspecting it when it arrives, at that point I'll decide on spokes. the other issue which i discovered upon research, after trusting bike shop for choice of rims, is that the blunt 35's are way to wide for the tires i run, which i can't see causing spoke hole cracking. it has a 30.2 inside diameter so it is meant for tires 50c+ and I run 35-38c. the rim i ordered has an ID of 25mm.
I have used Velocity's 700c deep V and 700c Chukkar rims at 260lbs with no problems at spoke holes. However one 700c wheelset I built had Velocity Blunt rims. The rear rim spoke holes started cracking and spokes began pulling through. The Blunt is built very light and even at the 36 hole drilling I was using it failed. I asked cyclists about this failure and most pointed to uneven spoke tension, poor riding habits, blah blah blah. At our weights the Velocity Blunt is not one of my picks for rims I would ride. You are on the right track. Build a stronger wheelset.
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Old 03-09-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mbpletcher View Post
thanks no snark intended, but I don't think I have a "destructive history" I do ride with a lot of torque but I am cautious about impacts and approach bumps and root pops off the saddle with a bended leg. I think the velocity blunt 35 rim was the wrong choice of hoops, for this is the second set to crack. I have a road bike with dt swiss 411 rims which i ride more and probably with more watts and it is holding up wonderfully, also a city bike with a $100 set of weinmann wheels, and my fixie all without issues. the rim i selected has a stated weight of 205kg so I'm looking forward to inspecting it when it arrives, at that point I'll decide on spokes. the other issue which i discovered upon research, after trusting bike shop for choice of rims, is that the blunt 35's are way to wide for the tires i run, which i can't see causing spoke hole cracking. it has a 30.2 inside diameter so it is meant for tires 50c+ and I run 35-38c. the rim i ordered has an ID of 25mm.
All good. Kind of funny that it's a Velocity rim you cracked. The only rim I've ever broken was a Velocity A23. At the time it happened (due to hitting a pothole not pointed out in a bunch ride - the impact was hard enough that my bars rotated too so any rim would have likely died!) I read a snippet of information somewhere about the alloys Velocity were using. I can't remember the details, but there was an alloy change in the newer rims at the time and it did mean that I avoided them for the replacements. I had a set of Mavic OPs laced up as they were the same ERD but I developed a serious dislike for them (and the mech that built them) and now they live on as wheels for my permanently mounted trainer bike. Respoking those wheels was my first foray into building my own wheels as I knew they were only going to live in a trainer so there was low risk if I muffed it. Still, they get exposed to a lot of torque with standing start reps and haven't missed a beat, just no impact or side forces. I have Kinlin rims now and they've been great for many years. I'm a torque man myself having spent many years in the track sprint arena. My 'nice' set of club race wheels are Velocity Aerohead rimmed and they've now been with me for 12 years. I don't use them a lot, but I don't baby them at all when I do. My really nice race wheels are Light Bicycle 88mm tubs built up by a guy that used to be the Oz track mech and also did a stint working for Zipp. Those wheels haven't even needed a truing, but I rarely use them these days as they're tyred up for indoor boards riding and I haven't done that for a few years now.

I really can't believe that the builder specced those rims for your build!!?? I'd be steering anyone I came across from using that person!
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Old 03-12-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mbpletcher View Post
looking to build a set of wheels for my gravel bike. I keep cracking rims at spoke holes especially drive side rear. I have checked spoke tension and it is within spec for wheel and even across all spokes. these wheels were built by my lbs and, I thought, a good wheel builder. I ride about 5k miles a year and about half of that on my gravel bike.


this is my plan- 35mm deep carbon asymmetric rim(disc brake), 24mm inside diameter(hookless) to run 700x35c tubeless(maybe 38c), dt aero comp spokes(32H), I will reuse my dt swiss 240s hubs. I have tension meter, dish gauge, wheel stand and lots of patience to get spoke tension even and as close to spec as possible.


I have been taking apart and rebuilding some rims in my shop with good results. I think I have the understanding and patience needed for a good build.


I would love any feedback so thanks in advance for constructive comments
Not a wheel builder but had mine built after I had repeated problems with my real wheel going out of true. Note, I am a roadie only, stay out of the pot holes and weigh 240. My builder specializes in mtn bike wheels but is very good with road wheels. Carbon? No way. I am way to heavy. He went with a Hed rim and 32 spokes and my original Shimano hub. That was 5 years ago and over 10k miles. My rear rim today is still true and has never been touched since.

Just my opinion. If you are under 185, I would "consider" carbon but anything over 185, no way. To much weight in my opinion and then you have off road conditions that literally abuse the rims. Again, just my opinion but carbon is not going to make you any faster unless you average over 24mph. They look cool and everything but the downside is cost. My wheel build with the rim and labor was 250 and has been bullet proof. So at my weight, things get more complicated especially wheel sets. Not sure if it would help, but the site is No gas wheels. Just google no gas wheels. Maybe you could call him and get some advice. He does very good work. I don't personally know him either I just went to the shop he gets work out of and they took it from there.

Good luck.

john
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Old 03-14-21, 07:53 PM
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- Youre not heavy enough to be destroying any rims unless wheel is not tensioned properly, likely too much tension on drive side which can easily cause cracks in carbon rim

- even a cheap wheelset that is properly tensioned should not lose its true let alone break at your weight.

- the way you fit onto the bike could affect how smoothly you ride over rough obstacles. A poor frame fit is much more likely to cause bent wheels

-more spokes =/= stronger wheel
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Old 03-14-21, 07:54 PM
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I recommend sticking to a more basic wheelset,.or at the very least avoid carbon. Get a spoke key and ensure that you regularly maintain ideal spoke tension in the rear wheel. This is what you really need,
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Old 03-16-21, 06:54 AM
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spoke tension was always even and at high end of spec., but below too tight, without ever having to adjust. a properly built wheel should not need regular maintenance of spoke tension. I have a spoke key, and some spoke wrenches, tension meter, wheel stand, dish gauge, and have been enjoying taking apart a cheap set of wheels and rebuilding them better.

after speaking with velocity about the blunt 35 rims they have stated that the weight of me, my bike, and gear is not compatible with the blunts, though this is not stated anywhere. they offered my 50% off of another rim of my choice, but they don't have anything that I'm interested in.

I will be building wheels on 35mm deep asymmetric carbon rims with 32 double butted spokes and I am confident they will be strong and durable and work great for me and my bike.

opinions are like elbows, everyone usually has a couple
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Old 03-17-21, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mbpletcher View Post
spoke tension was always even and at high end of spec., but below too tight, without ever having to adjust. a properly built wheel should not need regular maintenance of spoke tension. I have a spoke key, and some spoke wrenches, tension meter, wheel stand, dish gauge, and have been enjoying taking apart a cheap set of wheels and rebuilding them better.

after speaking with velocity about the blunt 35 rims they have stated that the weight of me, my bike, and gear is not compatible with the blunts, though this is not stated anywhere. they offered my 50% off of another rim of my choice, but they don't have anything that I'm interested in.

I will be building wheels on 35mm deep asymmetric carbon rims with 32 double butted spokes and I am confident they will be strong and durable and work great for me and my bike.

opinions are like elbows, everyone usually has a couple

Maybe I am reading this wrong, but you were looking for opinions and got them. If you were already convinced you were on the right track, why ask for opinions?
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