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Spoke # vs rider weight

Old 03-03-11, 12:08 PM
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bruce1365
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Spoke # vs rider weight

I have a good friend willing to sell me a Cannondale R4000si with only 1000 miles on it for $650. I want to start riding again as I'm over weight and my kids have grown allowing me the time to get back into the sport. I have a question. I'm 6'1" 285lbs, the wheels on the bike have 22 spokes front and 24 spokes rear. Is this strong enough to suppot my weight?
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Old 03-03-11, 12:23 PM
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I would be worried, especially about the front one. A lot of us over 200# guys use 32 or 36 hole wheels. Still, you may be o.k. if you are just getting started. Good idea to have a good builder check them first.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:36 PM
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If they turn out to be a little light, a set of off the rack 36 hole rims (should be able to get them for 150 or less) will work to start on, then you can put the lower spoke count wheels back on when your weight drops
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Old 03-03-11, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce1365 View Post
I have a good friend willing to sell me a Cannondale R4000si with only 1000 miles on it for $650. I want to start riding again as I'm over weight and my kids have grown allowing me the time to get back into the sport. I have a question. I'm 6'1" 285lbs, the wheels on the bike have 22 spokes front and 24 spokes rear. Is this strong enough to suppot my weight?
No.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:37 PM
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Find out the make and exact model of the wheelset in question from your friend (and approximate year), then go to the "Clydesdales/Athenas" sub-forum and ask if any of them of similar height & weight have had any experience with that wheelset.

Don't be discouraged - spoke count is only one factor. In addition, there are certain qualities of the rim (like the rim depth & construction), as well as the type of spokes, etc.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
No.
OP - I see you are new to the site. Welcome. Psimet seems to be in a "to the point" mood today, however, just spoke volumes to your question. He is a wheel builder and I would trust what he says. He knows his stuff.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:56 PM
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If they are red, they are probably Heliums, and a heavy guy would not want to be on those. I second the suggestion to get a nice set of 32 or 36 spoke rims, preferably medium deep. Hold on to the other wheels until you get back down to your goal weight.

You're scaring me, because I gained 30lb since my wife got pregnant, and at 7 months old now, my boy MIGHT be getting ready to give me a few hours to myself for exercise.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
OP - I see you are new to the site. Welcome. Psimet seems to be in a "to the point" mood today, however, just spoke volumes to your question. He is a wheel builder and I would trust what he says. He knows his stuff.
Psimet knows his stuff just take and go.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
No.
I would say there isn't enough info to give you an honest answer; it depends on the wheels themselves, and on how you ride. But you should take Psimet's opinion over mine.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:07 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
No.
How about a recommendation. I'm interested in hearing some general rules around rims, #spokes, gauges, and lacing patterns relative to rider weight. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-11, 05:43 PM
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+1 Psimet. That was the exact response in my head when I read the OP.

You would be best served on a set of reasonably deep profile rims with 36 spokes. A friend is about 260 pounds, VERY powerful, and swears by 36 hole Velocity deep v's lace to some good hubs (can't remember which now). He uses them for everything he does on a road bike. You could source something like this quite reasonably.

There is no reason not to go 3x on any wheel with 32 or 36 holes. Spoke durability is increased significantly with 3x (it's all about the way the spoke leaves the hub at a tangent). I'm a fan of double butted spokes pretty well all around. DT Competitions are a good choice, as are Sapim Race. The double butting gives good elasticity, which you want both for spoke life and for ride quality.

As for why, I would expect that the low spoke wheels would be prone to broken spokes and/or cracks at the spoke holes, as well as being more prone to rim damage from impacts (depending on rim type involved). They will also likely have what you'd find to be an unacceptably noodly or squishy ride for you.

Big dudes need stiff rims with a lot of spokes. I also recommend 25 or 28mm wheels - the biggest that will work with your frame.

Good luck.

Last edited by November Dave; 03-03-11 at 05:47 PM. Reason: lacing clarification
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Old 03-03-11, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
How about a recommendation. I'm interested in hearing some general rules around rims, #spokes, gauges, and lacing patterns relative to rider weight. Thanks!
There are so many possible combinations and specifications, I don't think you could come up with a "general rule". That's why people contact Psimet (or any other master wheel builder) with their specific needs before buying a custom set.
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Old 03-03-11, 05:59 PM
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+1 for Psimet. If you contact him, please be specific about your weight, expected riding conditions, and whether you're Shimano/SRAM or Campy.

Even if you don't expect to ride aggressively, climbing will have you stressing the rear wheel. You might want to ask about a 32 holes front and 36 holes rear combo. Rob (Psimet) tends to be conservative, which IMO is exactly what will serve you best.
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Old 03-03-11, 06:45 PM
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I don't have personal experience with these, but I hear good things about them for the price for a rider up to 300 lbs.
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Old 03-03-11, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
+1 Psimet. That was the exact response in my head when I read the OP.

You would be best served on a set of reasonably deep profile rims with 36 spokes. A friend is about 260 pounds, VERY powerful, and swears by 36 hole Velocity deep v's lace to some good hubs (can't remember which now). He uses them for everything he does on a road bike. You could source something like this quite reasonably.

There is no reason not to go 3x on any wheel with 32 or 36 holes. Spoke durability is increased significantly with 3x (it's all about the way the spoke leaves the hub at a tangent). I'm a fan of double butted spokes pretty well all around. DT Competitions are a good choice, as are Sapim Race. The double butting gives good elasticity, which you want both for spoke life and for ride quality.

As for why, I would expect that the low spoke wheels would be prone to broken spokes and/or cracks at the spoke holes, as well as being more prone to rim damage from impacts (depending on rim type involved). They will also likely have what you'd find to be an unacceptably noodly or squishy ride for you.

Big dudes need stiff rims with a lot of spokes. I also recommend 25 or 28mm wheels - the biggest that will work with your frame.

Good luck.
This is pretty much what I was thinking. Velocity Deep Vs. 32h front, 36h rear. Laced 3x all around with Sapim Race on Shimano Ultegra hubs. Most importantly, built by someone competent.
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Old 03-03-11, 07:57 PM
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Ok and I don't want to steal the thread but you all got me worried. I just got a new Madone 6.2 and I have 18 front and 24 back with 23 tires. When I contacted Bontrager I was told the setup would handle a 275 person. I am 225. Should I be worried?
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Old 03-03-11, 08:12 PM
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These:

https://cgi.ebay.com/Mavic-Open-Pro-S...item58839fe595

Originally Posted by bruce1365 View Post
I have a good friend willing to sell me a Cannondale R4000si with only 1000 miles on it for $650. I want to start riding again as I'm over weight and my kids have grown allowing me the time to get back into the sport. I have a question. I'm 6'1" 285lbs, the wheels on the bike have 22 spokes front and 24 spokes rear. Is this strong enough to suppot my weight?
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Old 03-03-11, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Grambo View Post
Disagree. Straight guage spokes and OPs don't impress me for this application.
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Old 03-03-11, 08:37 PM
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Doesn't it have a lot to do with what wheel it is, type of spoke, design, etc? I've got a set of Ksyriums which have 18/20 spokes and I weigh 210. Another manufacturer, Soul is rated up to 210 with 20/24 spokes and one 20/24 set rated up to 265lbs.

I have a buddy with Rolf Vigors 14/16 spokes. He has over 5000 miles on them and weighs 220lbs. He owns a bike shop and will not ride any other wheel but Vigors.

I'm curious on this subject too, because I'm considering Souls.

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Old 03-03-11, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce1365 View Post
I have a good friend willing to sell me a Cannondale R4000si with only 1000 miles on it for $650. I want to start riding again as I'm over weight and my kids have grown allowing me the time to get back into the sport. I have a question. I'm 6'1" 285lbs, the wheels on the bike have 22 spokes front and 24 spokes rear. Is this strong enough to suppot my weight?
Cannondale's max rider weight limit for the bike is 275 lbs. Presumably they included wheels in that calculation. Maximum weight limit is almost certainly higher than ideal weight limit - among other things, you might not even be able to fit a tire on that bike wide enough to support your weight without pinch flats. As someone else suggested, you might get better input if you ask on the Clydesdale/Athena sub-forum.
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Old 03-03-11, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
No.
+1. Look at getting at least 32 or 36 hole wheelset.. Nashbar sells the Vuelta wheels, heavy but priced right for a heavier rider..

https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_506872_-1___
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Old 03-03-11, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
Disagree. Straight guage spokes and OPs don't impress me for this application.
I use 36 spoke OPs with Ultegra hubs and they have been pretty good. I still break one every 10k miles or so but that's expected.
I had a cheap front wheel collapse once so I try to be careful.
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Old 03-03-11, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I use 36 spoke OPs with Ultegra hubs and they have been pretty good. I still break one every 10k miles or so but that's expected.
I had a cheap front wheel collapse once so I try to be careful.
There's no question that straight guage spokes make for a less durable (and heavier!) wheel. For the money, I think OPs are way overrated and wouldn't use them on anything other than a lugged steel build for cosmetic reasons. In this day and age, I don't see any good reason for building a road wheelset with a box section rim. Add to that, the persistent questions about Mavic's recent quality are not reassuring either.
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Old 03-03-11, 10:24 PM
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The new style of Open Pros are prone to cracks at the eyelets. Seems like Mavic has a new mode of operation, integrated obsolescence. I have had 2 newer style OPs crack on me, while I have older models of the Open 4 CD and SUP rims that have seemed to last for 4x-5x as long as there newer counterparts.. When I had new wheels built I went with DT Swiss instead of Mavic because of all the issues with quality.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:04 PM
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I am in the 255/260 range and always rode the 32/36 spoke wheels, and guess what, they were the easiest ones for me to destroy. There is no such thing as a good off the shelf 32/36 spoke bombproof wheel. I have tried them all. Mavic, destroyed, Easton, destroyed, Alex, destroyed, and one other brand, oh Shimano, destroyed. Right now I am riding on Bontrager Race X Lites, 22 maybe in the rear. They are the wide blade spokes, and they bounce back into shape. A year on these wheels and they aren't even the least bit untrue. Now I have only had a few outright sprints on these wheels, but I am fairly certain in a good sprint I could taco the hell out of them, as I can feel them flex. With the 32/36 spoke wheels I was having them trued damn near weekly.

You want bombproof 36's though, I am sorry, there is only one maker that I trust and that is PSIMET. Granted he is local and if he messed up my wheels intentionally, I could just find him any race weekend and seek revenge Only reason I have gotten a pair yet, is a) I am broke, and b) he hasn't sponsored me a pair yet I figure I pimp him enough on Twitter he will give in, or I will just rob his team at a race this year
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