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Learn Me About Wheel Comfort!

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Learn Me About Wheel Comfort!

Old 07-31-09, 10:08 PM
  #1  
SystemShock
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Learn Me About Wheel Comfort!

The situation:

I'm very likely going to have some handbuilt wheels made for me in the coming weeks. I want them to be durable (I'm a Clyde), yes, but I really really want them to be comfortable. So, getting just the right rims and build config are paramount, I'm thinking.

Now some will say that *wheels* CAN'T be comfortable, comfort is all in the tires. While tires have definitely made a big difference in comfort for me (I've evolved over the years from 19mm tires at max pressure to 25c or 28c @100 psi- MUCH better), they have not been the entire ballgame for me. Case in point:

I rode box-section Araya rims in late-80s and 90s, and they were quite comfy.

Later on (late '90s, IIRC) I tried to make the switch to some Rolf Vector deep section aero wheels (though by todays' standards, they'd be considered semi-aero).

Those new deep-section wheels were HORRIBLY harsh-riding, and yes, the tires, tire pressure, and bike were all exactly the same as before. The difference was immediate and extremely noticeable.

Nor was it a psychological or 'placebo' effect, as, at the time, I had no knowledge of deep section rims being stiffer. I was just "WTH? Why is this happening?". And this was on 28mm tires too!

So, given that rim choices DO seem to affect my comfort level, I'm wondering... should my handbuilt wheelset be based off of true box-section rims, such as the Velocity Razor or Synergy? Or, can I expect some decent comfort from today's popular semi-aero rims, such as Mavic Open Pro, DT Swiss R1.1, Ambrosio Excellence, etc? What are ppl's comfort experiences with these rims/wheels?

Also– How much have your spoke and spoke pattern choices affected comfort, if at all? Does the anodizing on your rims make any difference? etc.

For those of you who feel that wheels don't make any difference comfort-wise, I appreciate your point-of-view, but don't particularly need to hear it. My butt tells me different.

Thanks for any help/responses. You guys are literally saving my ass.
.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
Now some will say that *wheels* CAN'T be comfortable, comfort is all in the tires.
Only those who know what they are talking about. Tire compliance is a couple orders of magnitude larger than any rim.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Only those who know what they are talking about. Tire compliance is a couple orders of magnitude larger than any rim.
I'm well aware of this, and yet, I can't deny what my experience tells me, sorry.

Btw, way to disregard the request in my post:

For those of you who feel that wheels don't make any difference comfort-wise, I appreciate your point-of-view, but don't particularly need to hear it.

Last edited by SystemShock; 07-31-09 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
Btw, way to disregard the request in my post:
My reply was the for the benefit of those lurkers who still have an open mind.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
My reply was the for the benefit of those lurkers who still have an open mind.
No, it was a selfish need to impose your POV regardless.

Start your own thread. Thanks.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:52 PM
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Well that wasn't very nice
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Old 07-31-09, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
only those who know what they are talking about. Tire compliance is a couple orders of magnitude larger than any rim.
+1
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Old 07-31-09, 11:56 PM
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System Shock - any 32 or 36 spoke box rim with double butted spokes (I'm a fan of Sapim Lasers) should give you what you're looking for. I agree that wheels change ride quality to an extent.

I think the ERD of the rim probably matters more than if it's a true box or a new school rim like Open Pros or Aeroheads. But don't quote me on it. It'd make sense that longer spokes means more forgiving ride.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
No, it was a selfish need to impose your POV regardless.
No, it was my attempt to counter a misconception about a wheel's contribution to comfort. If one makes claims that wheel X is comfortable while wheel Y is harsh, that is helping to perpetuate a myth. If enough people buy into the myth, manufacturers will be able to sucker in unsuspecting buyers with claims of wheel compliance that are irrelevant.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a wheel: durability, lateral stiffness, weight, ease of repair, aerodynamic drag, etc. Compliance is not one of them.

Wheel compliance has been tested. For a typical 3-cross wheel, spoke strain per Newton has been measured at 0.69 microstrains. Assuming a 300 mm spoke, that's a rim deflection of 0.0002 mm per Newton.

Sorry about the science.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
No, it was my attempt to counter a misconception about a wheel's contribution to comfort.
And the selfishness and attempt to hijack the thread continues.

You are ignored.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:16 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
System Shock - any 32 or 36 spoke box rim with double butted spokes (I'm a fan of Sapim Lasers) should give you what you're looking for. I agree that wheels change ride quality to an extent.

I think the ERD of the rim probably matters more than if it's a true box or a new school rim like Open Pros or Aeroheads. But don't quote me on it. It'd make sense that longer spokes means more forgiving ride.
Thanks for the helpful response, Andre.

Any box-section rims in particular you'd recommend?
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Old 08-01-09, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
And the selfishness and attempt to hijack the thread continues.
Sorry, newbie. This is a public forum, not your private support group. Spout gibberish, and you're going to get called on it.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Sorry, newbie. This is a public forum, not your private support group. Spout gibberish, and you're going to get called on it.
Yawn.

Any helpful responses appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:32 AM
  #14  
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36 spoke Open pros, 3-cross both with DT Revolution spokes and some nice durable hubs
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Old 08-01-09, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
Thanks for the helpful response, Andre.
I wouldn't call well meaning but uninformed responses exactly "helpful", but that's just me.

For example, let's examine the effect of going from a 2X to a 4X lacing pattern. Measured radial deflection increases by 1.3%. Increasing a very small deflection by 1.3% doesn't do anything for total compliance.

The same holds true for going from a thicker to a thinner spoke. The difference in deflection is greater than the 2X to 4X case (at most about 50%), but the actual compliance change of the bicycle as a system is still negligible. A 50% increase in a negligible number is still negligible.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I wouldn't call well meaning but uninformed responses exactly "helpful", but that's just me.
Yeah, yeah, we get it terry, you don't agree with the premise of the thread. Don't care. Thanks.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
36 spoke Open pros, 3-cross both with DT Revolution spokes and some nice durable hubs
Thank you. That is helpful.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:41 AM
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Helpful response: Open Pro's and and DT 1.1 can't really be considered even semi-aero. Granted they're not as low a profile as what you rode in the 80's but they're as box a profile as you're going to get today. You're a clyde but haven't given us an exact weight, so you could weigh anywhere from 201 to 450 lbs. Subsequently, can't really give a good recommendation. But, basicaly, higher cross count x3 or x4 for addtional spoke lenght and lower tensions. Maybe double butted instead of straight gauge.



What else do you want to hear from the forum? It sounds like you already know what you want. Any "comfort" comparison of the listed rims would be far overshadowed by the variance in tires that folks have used on them.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:44 AM
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Okay okay, enough arguing.

Please keep in mind that this is an open forum and as long as people are following the guidelines then they are welcome to post in ALL threads.

Thanks to all of those who take the time to try to educate others, that's what this forum is all about. Helping each other and learning.

So please, if one does not want to learn from what is offered, ignore it, don't berate them for trying to be helpful. There are others who see this thread who probably will benefit from it.

Thank you

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Old 08-01-09, 12:53 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
Helpful response: Open Pro's and and DT 1.1 can't really be considered even semi-aero. Granted they're not as low a profile as what you rode in the 80's but they're as box a profile as you're going to get today. You're a clyde but haven't given us an exact weight, so you could weigh anywhere from 201 to 450 lbs. Subsequently, can't really give a good recommendation. But, basicaly, higher cross count x3 or x4 for addtional spoke lenght and lower tensions. Maybe double butted instead of straight gauge.
My weight is 240. Open Pros and DT 1.1s aren't semi-aero by today's standards (and I think I said something like that regarding the Rolfs in the OP), but 'back in the day', they would be considered such.

Are they really as low-profile as I can get nowadays? DTs are something like 21mm deep, but Velocity Razors are 16mm. There's got to be a few other examples.

Double-butted spokes and 3- or 4-cross? Check. Thanks.


What else do you want to hear from the forum? It sounds like you already know what you want. Any "comfort" comparison of the listed rims would be far overshadowed by the variance in tires that folks have used on them.
As I've said, tires and pressure matter, but so do the wheels, IME.

So, if some ppl have ridden both, say, DT 1.1s vs something very low-profile, that'd be good to hear about. Or, at least I'd like to hear what the ride comfort experiences of ppl have been with things like OPs and DT 1.1s. I hope they're better than my experiences with the Rolfs.

Finally, some attempted explanation as to why the Rolfs rode so very harshly would be interesting.

Thanks for your response, BF.
.

Last edited by SystemShock; 08-01-09 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:55 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
And the selfishness and attempt to hijack the thread continues.

You are ignored.
SystemShock, he's not hijacking the thread on you. He's just relating a different experience than yours. By the way, I am a CLyde, and I use deep section rims, Velocity Deep V's because box section rims are sinply too flexy.....for my taste. I run a 26mm tire, and my bike is a Criterium Geometry Allez. I like the snappy response and flywheel effect on a long ride I get as well as the slight aero effect of the deep section rims....not to mention that with 36 spokes in a 3 cross weave rear and 2 cross weave front, I get a bulletproof wheel.

By the way, I also ride very long distances, too.

Now, on my Fixed Gear bike, I run a 32 spoke set of Alex X2100 with 28mm tires. This is a shalower section semi deep V rim. As a fixed wheel, though, there isn't any dishing, so I get the same strength with a lower spoke count. Both of my main rides have wheels that are specced out for rough roads and plain old durability, though.

In the end, build your wheel how you want though, and understand that your point of view is certainly not the only one. We all have our own views, based on OUR experiences. You posted a question, and then get angry when someones answer doesn't fit what you want it to be, or at least that's how it looks to me.

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Old 08-01-09, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
I'm well aware of this, and yet, I can't deny what my experience tells me, sorry.
You're not the first to make this observation, and I can only believe that you are sincere.

But I'll quote the infamous Jobst Brandt (who suffers from a malady I like to call "excessive honesty") when he was debunking another claimant of a wheel's "harsh" ride:

If your story weren't so common, I would assume it to be a put-on, but it isn't. I find it amazing how humans love to believe unbelievable things, the more unbelievable the stronger the belief. It isn't new.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
SystemShock, he's not hijacking the thread on you. He's just relating a different experience than yours.
Yes... over and over again. I think I get 'his experience' by now, and I think his 'spouting gibberish' flame was uncalled for, but, okay Tom, I understand that I'm the new guy here, and I will play nice.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:12 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
You're not the first to make this observation, and I can only believe that you are sincere.

But I'll quote the infamous Jobst Brandt (who suffers from a malady I like to call "excessive honesty") when he was debunking another claimant of a wheel's "harsh" ride
Terry, I understand that you don't believe me, which is okay, because I don't think we're going to convince each other. I just know what I feel on a ride.

And, frankly, you don't have to believe me... I'm just here for advice from those who do.

I hope you can accept that, and good riding to you.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:19 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
Yes... over and over again. I think I get 'his experience' by now, and I think his 'spouting gibberish' flame was uncalled for, but, okay Tom, I understand that I'm the new guy here, and I will play nice.
.
.
Cool, by the way, do check out the Clydesdale and Athena subforum, if you haven't already, I honestly can't remember if I've seen you in there, yet. If I've missed you, sorry about that, but if not, you'll find a whole bunch of us Clyde and Athena's in there.
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