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Wheel/tire durability @ 300+

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Wheel/tire durability @ 300+

Old 09-24-08, 06:10 AM
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Wheel/tire durability @ 300+

I am in the process of researching wheels for a project and I would like to know about stories from 300+ pounders. I am particularly interested in long term use, so if you could answer the following questions I would appreciate it. Please add any other appropriate comments.

How much do you or did you weigh when you started riding?

What type of wheels were/are you riding? 700c, 29er, 26MTB, etc.?

Which hub, spokes, rim, spoke count, crossing pattern, etc.?

How long have you ridden those wheels?

Did you experience any issues, multiple re-truing, broken spokes, cracked rim, tacoed wheel, etc.?

What brand/model and width tire?

What is your normal inflation pressure?

Have you had any tire failures, other than simple flats?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-24-08, 10:41 AM
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starting weight:330
wheel size:700s
Hub: Ultegra, rims: deep v. Spokes: 3 cross 36 count
long time, not sure of mileage
no issues whatsoever
tires: bontrager hard case 25mm
pressure:100
no failures no flats
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Old 09-24-08, 07:03 PM
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How much do you or did you weigh when you started riding?
start weight 375, current 300

What type of wheels were/are you riding? 700c, 29er, 26MTB, etc.?
700C

Which hub, spokes, rim, spoke count, crossing pattern, etc.?
Have both a road and hybrid and both have 36 spk, 3x: Road: Velocity Deep V Hybrid: LX, Mavic A119

How long have you ridden those wheels?
Road: 10 months Hybrid: 2 yrs

Did you experience any issues, multiple re-truing, broken spokes, cracked rim, tacoed wheel, etc.?
On these wheels, none of the above. Original wheels on the hybrid: re-trues, broken spokes.

What brand/model and width tire?
Road: Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase 700-25, * -have only 300 miles on these tire, no issues.
Hybrid: Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase 700-28 * have 2500 miles on these tires, 1 flat. easily have another 1000-1500 miles on them. Best tires I have ever ridden on.

What is your normal inflation pressure?
Road: 115, Hybrid 105-110

Have you had any tire failures, other than simple flats?
Not on these tires. Had some side wall cuts on Michelin Krylions and Maxxis Hors Categories
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Old 09-24-08, 07:24 PM
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420 lbs....on a tandem! 700 wheels with 700 x 25 tires. No problem with the tires but tandem wheels take a beating. 3 rims thrashed. Currently on a Deep V. Others were box types sworn to durabilty by the shop guys, BULL (Mavic Touring rim T-20/ SunRhyno/forgot the 3rd brand)...48 spoke wheels.

Toughest tires yet ar the Specialized Armadillos.700x 25's but man, they are slow and heavy. I rarely feel the drag of tires but on these, I do for sure!

Lots of good reviews on Gatorskins, but I HATE them. First flat within 20 miles. 3 more within 2 weeks form the smalles grain of glass. Put them on my single, same problem. Biggest waste of $35 yet as far as my cycling career. That's $70 for the set!

10 years with the tandem. Rims would not hold a true was the usual discrepancy.
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Old 09-24-08, 10:24 PM
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335 lbs/335 lbs (Eat to ride/Ride to eat)
Ultegra Hubs 36 Spoke 3 cross
Velocity Deep V
Specialized Armadillo 700 x 25 125 psi

8 years on the front wheel. 3 months now on the new rear (cracked rim).
3 broken spokes on this new rear wheel (No broken spokes on the old wheel). Next broken spoke they will rebuild the whole wheel again.

No flats in three years (3,000 +/- miles/year)
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Old 09-25-08, 09:25 AM
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How much do you or did you weigh when you started riding?
Start: 430+ Current: 350

What type of wheels were/are you riding?
20 x 1.50 (tadpole trike)

Which hub, spokes, rim, spoke count, crossing pattern, etc.?
Front hubs: Tadpole aluminum
Rear Hub: ProMax DB600R
Rims: Aluminum
Spokes: 36 count, 14-ga. stainless steel

How long have you ridden those wheels?
8 months, slightly over 1000 miles

Did you experience any issues, multiple re-truing, broken spokes, cracked rim, tacoed wheel, etc.?
No issues at all, despite starting out at almost 50% over the maximum weight rating.

What brand/model and width tire?
Originally came with 60-psi Kenda Kwests, they lasted 960 miles.
Currently using 100-psi Kenda Kwests - I don't know if they'll last longer, but they're definitely faster.

What is your normal inflation pressure?
Original tires 60 psi, current tires 95 psi.

Have you had any tire failures, other than simple flats?
No, but I was having a flat on the rear wheel every ride until I switched to a thorn-proof tube.
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Old 09-25-08, 02:50 PM
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How much do you or did you weigh when you started riding?
385lbs.

What type of wheels were/are you riding? 700c, 29er, 26MTB, etc.?
700c

Which hub, spokes, rim, spoke count, crossing pattern, etc.?

I started off on 32 spoke Sun DS2 rims (stock wheels)
Now on 36 spoke DT Swiss TK7.1 rims on a Shimano XT hub

How long have you ridden those wheels?
Did you experience any issues, multiple re-truing, broken spokes, cracked rim, tacoed wheel, etc.?
The stock rear wheel lasted 350 miles before the rim started developing cracks around the spoke eyelets, and the first spoke popped.
Only 100 odd miles on the new wheel so far, so too early to tell really. The wheel guy at my LBS seemed confident it'll hold.

What brand/model and width tire?
700x28 Conti Sport Contacts
700x37 Schwalbe Marathon Slick

What is your normal inflation pressure?
105 and 85 PSI, respectively.

Have you had any tire failures, other than simple flats?
Both sets of tyres have been fine so far.
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Old 09-25-08, 04:29 PM
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Thanks so far for the answers. I have a similar situation to Mr Beanz, only not as much weight. I have a custom tandem coming, I will not be using tandem specific wheels (145/160 mm axles) Instead using MTB hubs on Road rims 700C and our team weighs 345 pounds (205 for me, 140 for my stoker). So I am curious about long term reliability.

As single riders we are actually pretty easy on wheels and do not have issues with flatting or broken spokes or out of true wheels, but combined that is a lot more weight. A reputable builder suggested 28 spoke wheels on deep carbon rims as a good serviceable wheel set, that is more extreme than I was thinking, also more money.

I would have asked this in the tandem forum, but for the most part they frown on anything not tandem specific, usually saying things like, 'we've always done it this way.... must be a reason... it won't work because... good luck with that... etc.'

Although the responses so far have limited mileage, no one has mentioned catastrophic wheel failure using road wheels at this weight. I am encouraged.
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Old 09-25-08, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by WheresWaldo
Instead using MTB hubs on Road rims 700C and our team weighs 345 pounds (205 for me, 140 for my stoker). So I am curious about long term reliability.

I hate to be one of the tandem forum types but the flanges on our tandem hubs are HUGE compared to mtb and roadie hubs! Got thousands of miles on our tandem since 98. Never a catasrophic failure. Usually the "can't keep it true' issues!

We've got 48 hole Deep V's. A tandem hub is $250. Is that the reason you are using mtb hubs?
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Old 09-25-08, 08:23 PM
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Peter White built velocity deep v's on ultegra hubs with 36 spokes 3x. Two set, one on road bike and one on commuter. 3000 miles between the two bikes and still running true without any adjustment. Peter can be tough to work with but he builds a great wheel.
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Old 09-25-08, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
I hate to be one of the tandem forum types but the flanges on our tandem hubs are HUGE compared to mtb and roadie hubs! Got thousands of miles on our tandem since 98. Never a catasrophic failure. Usually the "can't keep it true' issues!

We've got 48 hole Deep V's. A tandem hub is $250. Is that the reason you are using mtb hubs?
Typically it is not flanges that make or break a wheel, pun intended, it is all about bracing angle of the spokes and proper tension. For years and years we got by with narrower spacing on hubs with no ill effects because bracing angles were bigger. On a tandem all of a sudden we went to extremes, and we believed everyone that told us that this wouldn't work anymore, so we kept making hubs wider and wider, problem is, with the exception of very few tandem specific hubs we are still using the same hub shell and just a longer axle, that is what Rolf does, that is what Topolino does, that is what Chris King does. It will increase the drive side bracing angle while decreasing the non-drive side to some extent but it doesn't really build a stronger wheel in most cases. Mr.Beanz, I understand your question and to answer it directly, I want more choices, I do not need a 40 spoke or 48 spoke rear wheel, and I don't want a boutique wheel either, I can do pretty much anything I want with a selection of road/mtb hubs, any rim, any spoke count, any spoke pattern. I think I can build a stronger wheel than most of the tandem specific wheels I have seen. When I was cycling I always was near 200 pounds, I left and returned 17 years later and I was over 300, I rode the same wheels from 17 years earlier putting on the last 1000 of the nearly 50000 miles before I retired a 28 spoke wheel. Now back at 200 I routinely ride a 24 spoke wheel and a 20 spoke rear wheel depending on the bike with approximately 8500 miles between the two. On our tandem, which only sees about 1000 miles per year, I am looking solely at performance, with a safety margin, which is very different than looking for durability and the same safety margin. So I have made decisions, others would call ridiculous (and they have said so to my face, and called me other names too) but that I feel are warranted, based on my criteria, and speaking to well respected wheel builders, not just tandem riders (non wheel builders).

Now that was a long way to say that riders in the 300+ range will give me a better perspective of what can work than tandemers who seem to be afraid on being on the leading edge and always want to be on the 'safe' side. If it works on a single for a 300+ pounder, don't you think it might work on a tandem, maybe just maybe?

Sorry, do not want this to sound like I am attacking you, I am not. I just want some of the people I talk to to think for themselves instead of just parroting what everyone else says. So if you are over 300 pounds and a wheel has held up for you I would like to know about it. Especially if it is not a Mavic Askium, or Ksyrium or other production wheel, although I'd like to hear about them too.

Barabus, thanks for the info. Seems like a deep rim, which aids in lateral stiffness to the wheel along with a more traditional spoke pattern like 3X seem to be the ticket.
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Old 09-25-08, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by WheresWaldo

Now that was a long way to say that riders in the 300+ range will give me a better perspective of what can work than tandemers who seem to be afraid on being on the leading edge and always want to be on the 'safe' side. If it works on a single for a 300+ pounder, don't you think it might work on a tandem, maybe just maybe?

Sorry, do not want this to sound like I am attacking you, I am not. I just want some of the people I talk to to think for themselves instead of just parroting what everyone else says. So if you are over 300 pounds and a wheel has held up for you I would like to know about it. Especially if it is not a Mavic Askium, or Ksyrium or other production wheel, although I'd like to hear about them too.

Barabus, thanks for the info. Seems like a deep rim, which aids in lateral stiffness to the wheel along with a more traditional spoke pattern like 3X seem to be the ticket.


Nope, don't take it as an attack at all. Good 'splaination though!....I see where ou are coming from. I had 28 hole Deep V's that didn' do too well. After reading Sheldon, I figured it was the angle that the spoke entered the nipple. Made sense so I went to a 32 at his suggesting the straighter point of entry, less of an angle.

The Deep V I built 32 (3X) has 15,000 miles on it an still as true as my wife without touching since the retension at the 300 mile initial breakin period. I'm no Peter White but this is the first time I've gone more than 4,000 without problems.:Thumb:

I understand where you're coming form but the only difference I see in a 300 lb riding a roadie and a tandem is that (on our tandem anyway) the stoker sits directly over the rear wheel. On a single, the rear wheel is a bit behind the rider. I couldn't figure out why our tandem wheels were taking such a beating. Then I realized Gina sat directly over the wheel. When it takes a blow, it takes a blow! But you say your stoker isn't as heavy so your results may vary!
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Old 09-25-08, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
I understand where you're coming form but the only difference I see in a 300 lb riding a roadie and a tandem is that (on our tandem anyway) the stoker sits directly over the rear wheel. On a single, the rear wheel is a bit behind the rider. I couldn't figure out why our tandem wheels were taking such a beating. Then I realized Gina sat directly over the wheel. When it takes a blow, it takes a blow! But you say your stoker isn't as heavy so your results may vary!
Ah, that is the difference in having a tandem custom built. When I get the first pictures I will post, but what I can say is that the rear triangle is set up exactly like a single bike, with the exception that it is built specifically to handle the extra weight. So the stoker is not sitting on top of the wheel like your wife does, but rather in front of it like on her single bike.

Whether or not that makes a difference only time will tell.

One other thing I failed to mention. I will be using tubular rims and tires like Vittoria Pave in either a 24 or 27mm width.
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Old 09-25-08, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by WheresWaldo
When I get the first pictures I will post, but what I can say is that the rear triangle is set up exactly like a single bike, with the exception that it is built specifically to handle the extra weight. So the stoker is not sitting on top of the wheel like your wife does, but rather in front of it like on her single bike.

Whether or not that makes a difference only time will tell.
Ah Hahhhh! I bet it does! A blow to our rear wheel is straight down on the poor sucker! Yours will more than likely be partially absorbed by the tubes, I would think!...If I ever get another tandem, I'd know to pay attention to the postition of the stoker!: Too poor for the custom build.
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