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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.

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Old 08-24-11, 09:04 PM   #1
Juan Foote
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Another one of those Clyde "will the wheel hold" question

I have a set of Bontrager SSR on my bike now. They are heavy as can be, but I have been very impressed with how straight they have stayed as well, even riding on some dirt/gravel from time to time. I don't like the hubs at all, and wouldn't mind lightening up some, however I have noticed that just about every wheelset I have looked at has a lower spoke count (like Mavic Aksium), often has straight laced bladed spokes, etc.
Now, I would like to have a lighter wheel, but I also want something sturdy enough to stay true under me. I have noted that with many of the wheels they list "no weight limit" but I wanted to get some input from some guys MY size. I am not some mid 140 lb muscle stick, I am running around 220 right now, and probably will never be under 2 no matter what I do. I generally go up to around 240 in the winter.
With that said, what kind of wheels are some of you "hearty" fellows using, and how are they holding up for you?

I guess since I am asking a wheel question anyway....there is very little detail to be found about the SSR wheel aside from people complaining about the weight (like me). In all the descriptions I have found, the hub is listed as being a sealed cartridge bearing.
Is it possible to just throw a higher quality bearing into the existing hub to improve the rolling performance, or would I have to purchase the correct hubs and have the wheels rebuilt around them?
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Old 08-24-11, 09:37 PM   #2
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I'm using Neuvation M28X Aeros...20 in front, 22 in rear. Works great. I'm 239ish, and I carry a 25lb backpack on my 44mile commute.

Personally it comes down to how much ur willing to maintain your wheel. If you can DIY or have good access to a knowledgeable tech, then it shouldn't be a problem keeping ur wheels well maintained...But then again some wheels are just built better, I started at 317, never broke a spoke, even on some Bonty Selects for the longest time, when people kept telling me I'm lucky and I should use something with higher spoke count...Nevermind that I'm extremely careful and always slow and shift my weight to avoid putting too much pressure on my rear wheel when traversing obstacles.

As you know by now, you can always just get some nice heavy duty high spoke count wheels and call it a day.
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Old 08-25-11, 04:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kenoshi View Post
I'm using Neuvation M28X Aeros...20 in front, 22 in rear. Works great. I'm 239ish, and I carry a 25lb backpack on my 44mile commute.
That's good to know. Even though I haven't had a wheel problem in 25 years (I had some Wolber Aspin tubulars that gave me fits in the mid-'80s), I've been expecting the worst with the OEM Shimanos that came on my new Synapse. So far they've been fine (250 miles so far), but when Neuvation had the M28 AeroX on one of their deal-of-the-day sales for a stupid low price, I got a set for backup. I haven't used them yet, but will as soon as I can pick up a second cassette. Mine, like the OEM Shimanos, are 16f/20r.
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Old 08-25-11, 06:30 AM   #4
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punkncat, I'm just compelled to reply with "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.". That said, you can buy a second wheelset and use the present set as a spare. You can either buy a second cassette that's geared differently from the one you currently have for flexability or move the cassette between the two rear wheels. A wheelset with lighter rims is an upgrade for acceleration and braking, but has little effect on top speed. A wheelset with heavy rims comes into it's own during sustained road riding (flywheel effect). Hub weight has little effect.

Generally a deep aero rim is a strong, rigid rim and spoke count can be reduced without losing strength. A wheel friendly rider that 'rides light' can get by with reduced spoke count. Downside is that if a spoke does break there's more of a negative effect on the wheel as a whole. I doubt that general advice on the "What wheel should I buy?" threads will stray far from suggesting 32 or 36 spoke wheelsets as it's just prudent advice.

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Old 08-25-11, 08:30 AM   #5
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I have Mavic Aksiums on my commuter. Although it only has about 600 miles so far, they are true and have not been adjusted at all. My commute is urban and I go through campus and down a lot of sidewalks. I jump curbs every as part of my route. I go offroad on dirt trails around stairs and even ride on some sidewalks that are brick and pretty bumpy. I would say the Aksiums have held up very well so far.

The bike you have and tire pressure will also make a lot of difference in the life of a wheel. A softer frame will reduce the maximum forces on your wheel as will a bit lower tire pressure. FWIW I run my tires on the commuter at 120psi and it's a relatively stiff ti frame. I weight 210ish and carry a 15lb bag.

I also have a new set (just put them on last night) of Vuelta zerolite comps. About the cheapest handbuilt wheel you can buy. The spoke count is similar to the Aksuims, but they sure don't feel as solid. I'll get some miles on them and see how they hold up.
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