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32 or 36 spoke count for a 135lb 18 year old.

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32 or 36 spoke count for a 135lb 18 year old.

Old 01-18-11, 04:56 PM
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DisplayERROR
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32 or 36 spoke count for a 135lb 18 year old.

Hi everyone, so i've been planning to finish up a 2007 Eddy Merckx corsa extra and I wanted to run everything as close to period as possible (Dura ace 7400 group). I have pretty much finished everything except wheels.
I've been browsing ebay and there is a set of NOS 36 spoke 8 speed hubs and also 32 spoke in the same specs. I plan to lace them with 14/15/14 dt swiss spokes to a mavic open pro. With a front potentially being radially laced and the back three cross. I've been searching through other forums and all the inquiries on the differences of 32 and 36 seem to be skewed to riders who are heavy. It seems that most people weighing 200+ and doing some sort of cyclecross/ touring will be better off with a 36 spoke.
So straight to the point, i'm 18 years old, most likely going to max, in terms of weight, no heavier than 200 since I currently weigh 135 and who knows how much i'll grow in height and mass. I don't plan on carrying much other than a backpack and doing some racing but nothing extreme. What would you guys recommend?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-18-11, 05:13 PM
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32 spokes is all you need.

When you say "close to period", which period do you mean with a 2007 Merckx? Is is a 1987 frame?

....Nevermind, I understand this is a classic designed frame and you're going for the late 80's look.

Last edited by teterider; 01-19-11 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 01-18-11, 05:13 PM
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All else being equal between the two wheels, I'd go 32 spoke.

I base this opinion on nothing more than my experience of 32 spoke wheels (CXP33 rim, Dura-Ace hub) being quite adequate, and the perfect combination of weight & durability for my 220-230ish pound body.
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Old 01-18-11, 05:33 PM
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Love teh Merckx! Pic of yoru bike?
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Old 01-18-11, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DisplayERROR View Post
...I currently weigh 135...
Oh, quit bragging.
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Old 01-18-11, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Oh, quit bragging.
Still too fat for this sport.
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Old 01-18-11, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
Still too fat for this sport.
yar, I'm 5'8" 125 and have been told I'm too fat for this sport, that's also what I say to myself as I grind away at another hour on the trainer
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Old 01-18-11, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DisplayERROR View Post
I've been browsing ebay and there is a set of NOS 36 spoke 8 speed hubs and also 32 spoke in the same specs. I plan to lace them with 14/15/14 dt swiss spokes to a mavic open pro. With a front potentially being radially laced and the back three cross.
With 32 spokes and/or 135 pounds you don't need the stiffness you might get from a heads-in radial or cross-1 front wheel, and if you're intent on saving weight you'll eliminate more metal and weight using 14/17 spokes than shorter 14/15 spokes.

So straight to the point, i'm 18 years old, most likely going to max, in terms of weight, no heavier than 200 since I currently weigh 135 and who knows how much i'll grow in height and mass.
You can gain 25 pounds getting older and slower plus another 50 when you break bones and have complications which preclude doing much for fun apart from eating and drinking.
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Old 01-18-11, 06:15 PM
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Well I'm 170lbs and my bike has 20 spokes so, by extrapolation, you should have 16 spokes.
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Old 01-18-11, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DisplayERROR View Post
So straight to the point, i'm 18 years old, most likely going to max, in terms of weight, no heavier than 200 since I currently weigh 135 and who knows how much i'll grow in height and mass. I don't plan on carrying much other than a backpack and doing some racing but nothing extreme. What would you guys recommend?
36 spokes is total overkill and 32 is more than you need. I weigh just a tick over 140, but I run 20 spokes in the front and 24 in the rear on my steel commuting rig which I mount panniers on. My wheels stay very true.

You might not grow nearly as much as you think (I can still wear stuff I wore when I was 18, and that was back in 1985), so I think setting up your bike for a 200lb rider is nuts. If you do manage to attain that weight before you get around to getting new wheels, you probably are cycling so little that the issue is moot.

Set your bike up for how you plan to ride now and the near future. If your long term needs change, deal with it then.
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Old 01-18-11, 06:36 PM
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I was around 220lbs and had Shimano RS80 crappy 20-spoke rear and 16-spoke front wheels. Only had to true them once.

And that's in 6000 miles.

You can get away with A LOT less than that.
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Old 01-18-11, 07:16 PM
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Serious answer, in contrast to my post above:

I'm ~190-200ish and I ride on 18 front/20 rear. Probably put 3000ish miles on them since I go them and the bike they're on and they're still nice and true.
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Old 01-18-11, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DisplayERROR View Post
Hi everyone, so i've been planning to finish up a 2007 Eddy Merckx corsa extra and I wanted to run everything as close to period as possible (Dura ace 7400 group). I have pretty much finished everything except wheels.
I've been browsing ebay and there is a set of NOS 36 spoke 8 speed hubs and also 32 spoke in the same specs. I plan to lace them with 14/15/14 dt swiss spokes to a mavic open pro. With a front potentially being radially laced and the back three cross. I've been searching through other forums and all the inquiries on the differences of 32 and 36 seem to be skewed to riders who are heavy. It seems that most people weighing 200+ and doing some sort of cyclecross/ touring will be better off with a 36 spoke.
So straight to the point, i'm 18 years old, most likely going to max, in terms of weight, no heavier than 200 since I currently weigh 135 and who knows how much i'll grow in height and mass. I don't plan on carrying much other than a backpack and doing some racing but nothing extreme. What would you guys recommend?
Thanks in advance!
Make sure your front hub supports radial lacing. Not all do.
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Old 01-18-11, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
36 spokes is total overkill and 32 is more than you need. I weigh just a tick over 140, but I run 20 spokes in the front and 24 in the rear on my steel commuting rig which I mount panniers on. My wheels stay very true.

You might not grow nearly as much as you think (I can still wear stuff I wore when I was 18, and that was back in 1985), so I think setting up your bike for a 200lb rider is nuts. If you do manage to attain that weight before you get around to getting new wheels, you probably are cycling so little that the issue is moot.

Set your bike up for how you plan to ride now and the near future. If your long term needs change, deal with it then.
+1 I weighed 120 at age 14 and only gained 5 lb up until 20, then only 15 more... until 30, but that's another story.

Back then. I only rode 36 spoke wheels cause they were free.
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Old 01-18-11, 08:51 PM
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If you're going for a "period" look, 32 spokes sounds about right. Those wheels will last you darned near forever, too.

When I was your age - 41 years ago! - I was 6'2", 155 lbs. Now I'm fighting to get within 40 lbs. of that. Much of the added weight is muscle mass...but not all.
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Old 01-18-11, 09:00 PM
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i think unless you really just like that look of 32 spokes i would go 20 front and 24 rear. i weigh 120lb and thats always been plenty to have a bomb proof wheel. more goes into a bomb proof wheel than just the spokes though.
i also might add that ive not gain any weight since i was 18 and im in my mid 20s so i would just get a set that fits you now not 20 yrs from now. by then you will likely have new wheels on a different bike. just my 2 cents
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Old 01-18-11, 09:03 PM
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if i were you i would buy these hubs from keith: (he is a very good and honest guy)
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...light=khatfull

it is a 28h ultegra front and a 32 rear. lace the front 2x and the rear 3x. i am 175lbs and wouldnt hesitate to ride them at all. i also think they would look very period correct with some open pros.


this is important to note.
Originally Posted by achoo View Post
Make sure your front hub supports radial lacing. Not all do.
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Old 01-18-11, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
if i were you i would buy these hubs from keith: (he is a very good and honest guy)
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...light=khatfull

it is a 28h ultegra front and a 32 rear. lace the front 2x and the rear 3x. i am 175lbs and wouldnt hesitate to ride them at all. i also think they would look very period correct with some open pros.


this is important to note.
+1 to those hubs and the lacing pattern. It would fit the classic look, hold up great, and avoid the radial issue (although I really wouldn't hesitate to radially lace most hubs unless I was worried about the warranty).
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Old 01-19-11, 03:01 AM
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Were low spoke count wheels available twenty five years ago? I'm thinking of the OP wanting a period look.
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Old 01-19-11, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by M_FactorX19 View Post
i think unless you really just like that look of 32 spokes i would go 20 front and 24 rear. i weigh 120lb and thats always been plenty to have a bomb proof wheel. more goes into a bomb proof wheel than just the spokes though.
i also might add that ive not gain any weight since i was 18 and im in my mid 20s so i would just get a set that fits you now not 20 yrs from now. by then you will likely have new wheels on a different bike. just my 2 cents
When you bend a rim (or break a spoke, which does not happen when you build your own wheels correctly) with 32 spokes you often get away with opening your brake quick release to avoid the annoying periodic ticking, and as a Campagnolo rider you don't even need to move your hands off the brake hoods to do that.

With fewer spokes (the absolute number depends on rim stiffness) you're more likely to need a stop which involves a spoke wrench.

With even fewer spokes you're less likely to make the wheel rideable.

I bent a pair of moderate weight modern clinchers (380-420 grams for the Mavic Reflex clinchers which were discontinued in favor of the heavier Open Pro) at 145 pounds.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 01-19-11 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by FogVilleLad View Post
Were low spoke count wheels available twenty five years ago? I'm thinking of the OP wanting a period look.
28 and 32 were both around.
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Old 01-19-11, 07:46 AM
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Yep. 28 spokes on the front wheel and 32 in the back was a popular combination on high end road bikes back then.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:18 AM
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Modern stainless steel spokes have pretty much eliminated any need for 36 spoke wheels. At 180lbs, I use 32 spoke wheels almost exclusively for training. At 130lbs, you can ride whatever you want.
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Old 01-19-11, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
If you're going for a "period" look, 32 spokes sounds about right. Those wheels will last you darned near forever, too.

When I was your age - 41 years ago! - I was 6'2", 155 lbs. Now I'm fighting to get within 40 lbs. of that. Much of the added weight is muscle mass...but not all.
That's what I tell my wife.
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Old 01-19-11, 11:37 AM
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Dude, at that weight you should be running like 24/20. I weigh 200 and currently ride on Bontrager Race wheels (24/20). I ride the crappiest roads and have hit some serious potholes at high speed. The wheels are still perfectly true. Unless the bike is going off-road, there's no need for even 32 spokes. BUT, if you're going for a vintage/classic look, 32-hole rims would fit the part looks-wise.

You're 18, man. That means you should pretty much be done growing. (When did they stop teaching kids about puberty in school?) The only thing that will be growing from here on out is your gray hair count.
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