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Yet another wheel thread....

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Yet another wheel thread....

Old 08-03-11, 08:28 AM
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Yet another wheel thread....

So I have an older Trek 5500 that I've ridden on and off for years. It might have 3000 miles on it...maybe... It came to me with Rolf Vector Pro wheels (original wheels from back when Trek was OEM'ing them) and I've had no issues with them to date.

I live in a fairly rural area of NY and often ride chip-sealed roads as well as asphalt. I'm currently at 240 pounds and have ridden this bike many miles at that weight before.

I took it to the LBS to get a tune up in anticipation of getting back to riding regularly (and losing that 40 pounds...again...) and they expressed concern with my wheels...well...concern that someone my size was riding on a 14 spoke wheel. They said that the spokes were very difficult to adjust almost as if the nipples were seized. I don't know if that's due to their lack of experience with these wheels or something I should be concerned with. I've called Rolf to get their take on this point. They (LBS) suggested that they could build me a set of "training" wheels (Mavic, 36 spoke with midline components) for $250 or so.

I've always had some concern with these wheels due to my size, but have read as many good reports of heavier people than me riding with them for years as I have read bad reports of the wheels going taco due to a single broken spoke. I do like the way they roll and the look is cool, but I'm curious if anyone here is riding on these and if so what do you weigh and do you inspect the hubs/spokes regularly to check for any issues.

Each time I'm either 40 miles from home on the bike or get going 40+ MPH I wonder if I'll end up in a ditch or walking home....I'm not a paranoid person, but you gotta wonder sometimes!

Thanks in advance...
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Old 08-03-11, 09:42 AM
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A buddy of mine weighed in at 260. He had to set his brake caliper off center because when he sat on his bike (yellow Cannondale R2000 or 3000) his wheel would shift to the side. It would end being centered with his weight on the bike. Sort of scary He said they rode well and were fast but...........

This was back in 2000- 2003 (?)
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Old 08-03-11, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff
So I have an older Trek 5500 that I've ridden on and off for years. It might have 3000 miles on it...maybe... It came to me with Rolf Vector Pro wheels (original wheels from back when Trek was OEM'ing them) and I've had no issues with them to date.

I live in a fairly rural area of NY and often ride chip-sealed roads as well as asphalt. I'm currently at 240 pounds and have ridden this bike many miles at that weight before.

I took it to the LBS to get a tune up in anticipation of getting back to riding regularly (and losing that 40 pounds...again...) and they expressed concern with my wheels...well...concern that someone my size was riding on a 14 spoke wheel. They said that the spokes were very difficult to adjust almost as if the nipples were seized. I don't know if that's due to their lack of experience with these wheels or something I should be concerned with. I've called Rolf to get their take on this point. They (LBS) suggested that they could build me a set of "training" wheels (Mavic, 36 spoke with midline components) for $250 or so.

I've always had some concern with these wheels due to my size, but have read as many good reports of heavier people than me riding with them for years as I have read bad reports of the wheels going taco due to a single broken spoke. I do like the way they roll and the look is cool, but I'm curious if anyone here is riding on these and if so what do you weigh and do you inspect the hubs/spokes regularly to check for any issues.

Each time I'm either 40 miles from home on the bike or get going 40+ MPH I wonder if I'll end up in a ditch or walking home....I'm not a paranoid person, but you gotta wonder sometimes!

Thanks in advance...
How a wheel stands up to use is based on a whole bunch of different factors. How you ride them is the most important. By 'ride' I don't mean on what surface but how you ride on the bike. Sit on the saddle like a sack of spuds and your wheels take a lot of punishment. Use your arms and legs to take the hits, i.e. post over holes and the road, and the wheels take a lot less punishment. Even strong wheels can be beat to bits by a sack of spuds.

Do the wheels currently show any problems? Cracked rims? Broken spokes? Excessive need for truing? If so, consider replacing them. If not, ride them until something develops...with the proviso that you should pay attention to them as you ride and inspect them regularly (a few times a year) both inside and out, i.e. remove the tires and rim strip to look for cracks between the eyelets.

A 36 spoke wheel is probably overkill but they would last you forever...even in spud sack mode.
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Old 08-03-11, 12:19 PM
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its lasted this long so yeah they are probably okay but at the same time it would be wise to consider replacements and when replacing I would go with higher spoke count wheels.
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Old 08-03-11, 04:55 PM
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I ride using my legs as shocks to keep weight off the seat as much as possible. I've ridden motocross/dualsport motorcycles since forever so that's a natural position.

Wheels look like new. No issues. I inspect them frequently due to some reports of cracked hubs, but that was apparently a small lot that were long ago taken out of service.

I'll just continue to monitor them and ride.

thanks

Originally Posted by cyccommute
How a wheel stands up to use is based on a whole bunch of different factors. How you ride them is the most important. By 'ride' I don't mean on what surface but how you ride on the bike. Sit on the saddle like a sack of spuds and your wheels take a lot of punishment. Use your arms and legs to take the hits, i.e. post over holes and the road, and the wheels take a lot less punishment. Even strong wheels can be beat to bits by a sack of spuds.

Do the wheels currently show any problems? Cracked rims? Broken spokes? Excessive need for truing? If so, consider replacing them. If not, ride them until something develops...with the proviso that you should pay attention to them as you ride and inspect them regularly (a few times a year) both inside and out, i.e. remove the tires and rim strip to look for cracks between the eyelets.

A 36 spoke wheel is probably overkill but they would last you forever...even in spud sack mode.
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Old 08-03-11, 05:59 PM
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I'm a 250# Clyde and have a set of 36 spoke-3X wheels with Ultegra hubs and Mavic CXP-33 rims. They were built for me by Colorado Cyclist and in five years I have yet to lay a spoke wrench on them. Sure they're heavy but when I'm bombing a downhill at 35+mph I'm not worrying about them. I do a lot of riding on rough gravel roads and they have no problem holding up to them, either. If you ever decide to change wheels I would definitely suggest something with at least 32 spokes, just one less thing to worry about.
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Old 08-04-11, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff
I ride using my legs as shocks to keep weight off the seat as much as possible. I've ridden motocross/dualsport motorcycles since forever so that's a natural position.

Wheels look like new. No issues. I inspect them frequently due to some reports of cracked hubs, but that was apparently a small lot that were long ago taken out of service.

I'll just continue to monitor them and ride.

thanks
You seem to be doing everything right so just keep watching them. Wheels don't often collapse while 'just riding along'. They give warnings like creaking and not staying true. Just paying attention is the key.

Don't take the advice on unweighting the saddle the wrong way (I don't think you did but others have.) Most people ride like the sack of spuds and don't know any better.
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Old 08-04-11, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
You seem to be doing everything right so just keep watching them. Wheels don't often collapse while 'just riding along'. They give warnings like creaking and not staying true. Just paying attention is the key.

Don't take the advice on unweighting the saddle the wrong way (I don't think you did but others have.) Most people ride like the sack of spuds and don't know any better.
No worries on the advice...I understand there are all levels of cyclists on here.

There are 2 hills nearby where I can reach 48-50 MPH (bragging rights when I send the ride data to a few buddies) and the thought of a wheel collapse at those moments is...sobering!


Thanks again
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