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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 08-13-12, 01:01 PM   #1
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Noob Post: Wheel upgrade situation.

Salutations my fellow Clydesdales and Athenas,

So after extensive research on this forum. I have a few questions. My current wheel set is the Alex Rims DA22

I weigh 210 lbs. And so far these wheels have held up but I'm constantly in fear that they will break and I will eat pavement. I've read online reviews (not that they're 100% credible) that they're crap for heavy riders but my LBS (took me a while to figure this acronym out) has told me they're fine...

I'm looking to upgrade, spending in some where around $300-400. From what i've gathered, the Mavic Open Pro with either 105/ultregra/Dura-ace are good start.

I'm almost certain i'm going to go with the Mavic Open Pro setup with either 105/ultregra/Dura-ace setups. Probably with a 32 spoke.

So my question is this: Should i get the 36 spokes? Apparently, the more spokes the stronger and lighter? I kind of like the look of less spokes. If i can get a wheelset with less spokes i will. Do i have any other choices? I just want a second/third/fourth opinion.

OR...Am I okay to not spend anything?

PS - I've had to replace my tube a few times already and I don't ride that it because i'm too fat or is there not enough air? or both?

Please and Thank You
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Old 08-13-12, 01:09 PM   #2
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If your wheels are holding up, I would just keep them.
Check tension and trueness every week if you're very
concerned. What size is your tire and what pressure
are you running?
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Old 08-13-12, 02:52 PM   #3
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210lbs. is not heavy enough that you would destroy all but the cheapest stock wheels. I'm 195lbs and ride a wheel build very similar to these and after 2000 miles they are as true as the day I got them. There's no harm in buying super strong wheels but most people want a lighter wheelset when they spend $300+ in the aftermarket. I'd be inclined to buy the new 23mm wide wheels that are all of the rage now if I was in the market. Not because I think there's a big difference in how they ride but just because resale value will be better if you upgrade in the future.

If you want to stick to BWW I would recommend these wheels (Equip build) which should work fine for your weight.

Last edited by Dunbar; 08-13-12 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 08-13-12, 04:32 PM   #4
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Wheel life which includes suitability for Clydes is not exactly a simple forumla. What works for some will not work for others. Generally speaking more spokes = stronger wheel. Generally speaking riding style and rider habits impact more on how long a wheelset lasts. If you ride like a sack of potatoes then you should get a high spokecount rear hadbuilt wheel. If you ride light in the saddle, do not hop curbs or bunny hop then you may enjoy great and long service from an oem machince built wheel. If your wheels are troublefree now it is worth waiting until you have problems before you upgrade. Wheels like every thing else is a consumable and they do wear out.
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Old 08-13-12, 05:35 PM   #5
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IMO wheelset should be first thing you change out w/ most stock bikes. I'd lean to something like EA70 or Ultegra tubeless for about $400. I don't think you NEED 36hole OPs, just extra weight/stiffness that isn't needed if you went with boxy open pros. Too stiff equals a harsher ride for some.
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Old 08-13-12, 06:50 PM   #6
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I weigh more and ride cheaper wheels and have no concerns about eating pavement.

IF you have concerns about your wheels, have the spokes tensioned CORRECTLY by someone that will spend the time to do it right.
Your wheels aren't going to give you problems unless you intentionally abuse them.
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Old 08-13-12, 09:16 PM   #7
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Seriously doubt you need 36 spoke wheels. 32 spokes with good rims should last you nearly forever. I usually weigh somewhere between 205 and 210 and have been running wheels with 18/20 F/R for a couple of years (probably a couple thousand miles on each set) and haven't done more than touch-up the true perhaps once per set. I'm pretty experienced and ride fairly light in the saddle though, and although I do bunny-hop in an emergency, I try to avoid it.
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Old 08-13-12, 09:30 PM   #8
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Here's a good option for you in your budget

Oh, and you should pump up your tires before every ride - fill 'em to the max pressure listed on the sidewall (maybe a little less in front). Figure out why you're replacing tubes... you shouldn't have that many issues.

Last edited by TrojanHorse; 08-13-12 at 09:32 PM. Reason: added stuff
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Old 08-13-12, 10:05 PM   #9
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I had a bike shop owner inform me that mavics 20 spokes rear 18 front is not a bad thing really cause they are spaced apart correctly & are straight pull rather than J-bend & are of the flat/steel variety...I hope he is right because I purchased some new Mavic Ksyrium Elites as an upgrade for my new bike off of ebay. They also had good reviews from people over at (I think that's the site's name)
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