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Old 07-12-18, 01:30 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
Thicker, non-butted spoke, or thinner, butted spoke, holding other factors (load, hub, rim, #holes , etc.) constant?
One issue with thick spokes is getting enough tension on the NDS to stop them from unscrewing because they have no stretch to hold the nipple against the rim. I built some wheels with Sapim Strong spokes. Had to Loctite the NDS because with 130kg on the DS the NDS had around 60-70kg and kept coming undone. Once I did that they were bullet proof though.
Last wheels I built were with Rhynolite XLs, SP PD-8 front & XT rear hub, DT and Alpine III. The Alpines were nicely priced out of Germany.... as were the hubs. I was impressed with the Rhynolites too, very round and straight out of the box, including across the join. I'd like to try the SunRingle MTX39's next.
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Old 07-12-18, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
For fully loaded touring, it seems like 40 spokes used to be the standard. The manufacturers seemed to have moved away from 40 and onto max of 36 judging by the availability of commonly available hubs.

For fuller loaded touring (say 250lbs rider and cargo), is it still recommended to get 40+ spokes or has the tech improvement in wheels negated that?

I have a couple pairs of 32h Ultegra hubs just sitting in storage, can a competent touring wheel be made with that spoke count?
It all depends

Firstly it depends on the rim you use. The best modern touring rims are a combination of a V-shape and double walled box section inner profile meaning they have excellent stiffness and rigidity in both vertical and lateral axes. Stiffness in the vertical axis means that the rim deflects less under strain. This then spreads the slackening effect on more spokes so no single spoke experiences too much slackening at any given time (the slackening tightening cycle is what usually breaks spokes).
My choice of rim is the DT Swiss TK540 for the reason that in my opinion it's more durable and more consistent than Mavic rims I've built with and DT Swisses come out bullet straight when mavics commonly have some wobble to them.

Second issue is spokes. Different spokes have different strengths and weaknesses but without going too deep into spoke theory and since you've read the comments made by cyccocommute, DT Swiss Alpine III is the best touring spoke while spokes which have a uniform non butted thickness are the worst. The Alpine III puts strength where it is needed whilst giving flex and stretch where it is needed.

Spoke count is tricky. Modern components and materials are better than they were in the day of flexy steel rims etc where you actually needed a lot of spokes. Today we have stiff aluminum rims which resist the effect of rim deflection. This means we need less spokes for the same strength wheel. However you can have too many spokes as well. I'm paraphrasing a reply I got from a Velocity rep a few years back. What he said was that too many spoke holes compromise the lateral durability of the rim, meaning that you drill too many holes in the middle and the risk is that the rim will split in the middle since there's too little material to support tire pressure for example. So while a 28" wheel can support 40 spokes, for a 26" wheel that's starting to be bit much.
However honestly 36 spokes is plenty enough even for extreme touring with extreme weights. My wheels have lived through thousands of miles of 350lbs combined system weight where we rode everything from good roads to bad roads to supper bad gravel to actual single track mountain bike routes. Not a single broken spoke and the wheel has gone out of true once for 0.3mm.

But it all comes down to having good components which fit together properly and the build must be good. My Wife has a Trek 520 with stock wheels which also were 36 spoke but with straight gauge spokes and machine build. Even though I balanced the tensions and stress relieved the wheel before any touring she still lost a spoke and having trued them multiple times the rear wheel is at the point of no return since the nipples are such low quality that I've rounded quite a few of them off thus making further repairs and truing impossible. So good components are key.

Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
High spoke count rims and hubs have never been widely available. 40h and 48h rims are still produced by Velocity, and Shimano and a few boutique makers produce tandem hubs. A 36h rear wheel (32 or even 28 will suffice on front) is usually adequate for loaded touring provided the load is not too great, riding is restricted to pavement, or a bit of both. In my experience 36h is good for up to ~250 lbs total, 32h up to 225. If you expect to exceed 250 regularly you should consider tandem grade rear wheel (if you exceed 300 lbs you need custom wheels and frameset ).
Where do you pull these numbers? 350lbs can easily be supported by 36 spokes if the wheel is well made and in severely bad road conditions. And a Surly LHT (which is not a custom frame) can also easily manage such weights. When touring heavy what one needs is a sturdy frame and sturdy wheels, neither of which need to be custom. This of course according to my experience.


Expensive DT Alpine spokes are overkill and overrated for touring use. Wheelsmith DB14 (made in the USA) are more than adequate for the purpose, and cost and weigh less than the equivalent DT Competition. I've never broken a WS DB14.
Wait what where's your logic in all this? 36 spoke wheel has a low max weight limit but stronger touring spokes are overkill? I don't get it.
The DB14's are generic double butted spoke like the DT Comp and good for most applications but the Alpine III is just simply a stronger spoke. It has more material in places where spokes commonly break whilst still having the smaller diameter mid butting.

Your biggest mechanical issue will be the narrow rear spacing of the 1983 bike, which will contribute significantly to dish and low NDS spoke tension. The beefiest spokes in the world won't help a bit if you can't tension them adequately due to the geometric limitations of the hub (and frame).
Hasn't that always been the issue with cassette type wheelsets? And even if that is the issue there are a few ways to remedy that to some extent. Asymmetric rims is one possibility and lacking those shifting dish 1mm towards the NDS already gives the NDS spokes significantly more tension without affecting handling at all. And using more spokes and stiffer rims reduces the stress a single spoke faces. I think he'll be golden if he gets a good build for his rear wheel.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:17 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Hasn't that always been the issue with cassette type wheelsets?
Not really. In freewheel days, 7 speed cassette hubs less had dish than freewheel hubs.

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Old 07-12-18, 11:36 AM
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Well commonly available is what you will have in a shop , if you do trash your wheel on a tour ..

Where I am , a fancy wheel , if your rim is damaged , Will be a long wait, for special ordered rims,

and time found to actually do the building amongst all the other summer time demands..

so if you start out using a commonly available wheel , the replacement wont be a let down..

and you can be back on the road on the same day..


in short , OP don't overthink it ,

ride what you have, if it gets damaged , sort that out on the road,
so bring funds for broken parts replacement.. should that happen..



..

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Old 07-12-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Well commonly available is what you will have in a shop , if you do trash your wheel on a tour ..

Where I am , a fancy wheel , if your rim is damaged , Will be a long wait, for special ordered rims,

and time found to actually do the building amongst all the other summer time demands..

so if you start out using a commonly available wheel , the replacement wont be a let down..

and you can be back on the road on the same day..


in short , OP don't overthink it ,

ride what you have, if it gets damaged , sort that out on the road,
so bring funds for broken parts replacement.. should that happen..



..
I really don't know how that is supposed to work. If you have a major wheel problem, you're going to need the rim replaced. What model of rim in what number of spoke holes is going to be so common that you can find it in stock at a bike shop? Almost no 36 hole rims, and really none in general. At that point, you might as well just purchase a whole wheel and put the remaining good parts of your old wheel in your bag.

So what kind of wheel, traditional or new, would change that circumstance?
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Old 07-12-18, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
...
But it all comes down to having good components which fit together properly and the build must be good. My Wife has a Trek 520 with stock wheels which also were 36 spoke but with straight gauge spokes and machine build. Even though I balanced the tensions and stress relieved the wheel before any touring she still lost a spoke and having trued them multiple times the rear wheel is at the point of no return since the nipples are such low quality that I've rounded quite a few of them off thus making further repairs and truing impossible. So good components are key.
....
You might consider buying a bag of nipples. Loosening all existing spokes a few turns. Then replacing one nipple at a time with new ones. And then a final truing and re-tensioning. Might need a drop of thin oil on each nipple before you loosen them if there is any corrosion in the threads.

I am not convinced that straight gauge spokes are that bad. While I usually use DB-14 spokes when I build up a wheel, I have some wheels with straight gauge spokes that work fine. My Rohloff wheel on my expedition bike is straight gauge because I could not find anyone that had the length I needed in a DB-14 so I bought what I could find that would work.
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Old 07-12-18, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Where do you pull these numbers? 350lbs can easily be supported by 36 spokes if the wheel is well made and in severely bad road conditions. And a Surly LHT (which is not a custom frame) can also easily manage such weights. When touring heavy what one needs is a sturdy frame and sturdy wheels, neither of which need to be custom. This of course according to my experience.
All bikes have a weight limit, although this is not often specified since few cyclists approach or exceed the limit. Even for the stout touring-specific Surly LHT, the weight limit is 300 lbs, which applies to the frameset, wheels and whole bike: "very generally speaking, we feel comfortable with combined rider and cargo weight of up to about 300lbs/136kg".

Trek is more conservative with limit for the long-lived 520 model: "this bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 275 pounds (125 kg)".

Given the above information, I have no reservation directing cyclists who exceed the recommended weight limit of an off-the-shelf bike to a heavier duty rated custom frameset or bike.
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Old 07-12-18, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I am not convinced that straight gauge spokes are that bad...
Me neither. I always used butted spokes, mostly Wheelsmith (WS), for all wheelbuilds. On the last set I used SG WS, and ~3000 miles later they still look like they were just built, holding true well. For this wheelset I dripped green Locktite threadlocker onto/into spokes/nipples after wheel assembly completed. This was the first time I used green Loctite (or any Loctite for that matter) on a wheel build. Years ago I used boiled linseed oil for a build. It's slippery and a mess to use when fresh, but after a few days it polymerizes into a semi-hard material.

Obviously SG spokes are heavier and add to rotating weight, but this is less critical for touring wheels typically utilizing heavier, more robust rims.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
All bikes have a weight limit, although this is not often specified since few cyclists approach or exceed the limit. Even for the stout touring-specific Surly LHT, the weight limit is 300 lbs, which applies to the frameset, wheels and whole bike: "very generally speaking, we feel comfortable with combined rider and cargo weight of up to about 300lbs/136kg".

Trek is more conservative with limit for the long-lived 520 model: "this bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 275 pounds (125 kg)".

Given the above information, I have no reservation directing cyclists who exceed the recommended weight limit of an off-the-shelf bike to a heavier duty rated custom frameset or bike.
I had not seen those numbers before. Interesting.

My Thorn Nomad is rated for 62 kg of gear (includes water bottles, handlebar bag, stuff on both front and rear racks), they do not count the rider weight or bike weight in that rating. When I had over two weeks of food on my Nomad, I probably had over 45 kg on it and it handled great. This is the most robust bike I have ever seen, but it is a very heavy bike unladen. The front and rear rack bolts are M6, not M5 like on almost all other bikes. When I was far fron civilization, I had total confidence in the bike because it is so robust. Each size of the model has its own weight rating, ranges from 57 to 67 kg.

My Thorn Sherpa is rated for 35 kg of gear, same assumptions as above and that also excludes the rider and bike weight. I might have had 25 to 30 kg on it on a couple of occasions, also handled great.

My Lynskey Backroad, the manufacturer states: "Our fully loaded, self supported touring bike does not have a weight limit in the frameset, it is the strongest touring frame available." But I would put more weight on my Sherpa than on my Backroad. It feels quite solid, but I consider it to be my light touring bike.


Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Me neither. I always used butted spokes, mostly Wheelsmith (WS), for all wheelbuilds. On the last set I used SG WS, and ~3000 miles later they still look like they were just built, holding true well. For this wheelset I dripped green Locktite threadlocker onto/into spokes/nipples after wheel assembly completed. This was the first time I used green Loctite (or any Loctite for that matter) on a wheel build. Years ago I used boiled linseed oil for a build. It's slippery and a mess to use when fresh, but after a few days it polymerizes into a semi-hard material.

Obviously SG spokes are heavier and add to rotating weight, but this is less critical for touring wheels typically utilizing heavier, more robust rims.
I have never wanted any form of thread locker on a spoke nipple. I usually use grease. I have never had a spoke nipple loosen on its own.

In the photo is my Rohloff wheel on my Nomad, Wheelsmith straight gauge spokes because I could not find DB-14 spokes in the right length. The front wheel threw a cobble up into the rear wheel, that jammed between a frame stay and a spoke, put a big dent in the spoke and the spoke got quite loose. Not sure how that happened, but I assumed that the spoke nipple threads were stripped out. But I was surprised that I could tighten it up with a spoke wrench just fine, did not need to replace the spoke or nipple. You can see the big dent in the spoke closest to the camera. I took the photo two years ago, still riding on that spoke, put 60 miles on that bike today. That says a lot about how good those spokes are.

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Old 07-12-18, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
All bikes have a weight limit, although this is not often specified since few cyclists approach or exceed the limit. Even for the stout touring-specific Surly LHT, the weight limit is 300 lbs, which applies to the frameset, wheels and whole bike: "very generally speaking, we feel comfortable with combined rider and cargo weight of up to about 300lbs/136kg".

Trek is more conservative with limit for the long-lived 520 model: "this bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 275 pounds (125 kg)".

Given the above information, I have no reservation directing cyclists who exceed the recommended weight limit of an off-the-shelf bike to a heavier duty rated custom frameset or bike.
You may be overestimating the manufacturers as authority sources. There are plenty of things they get wrong with either bad information (like the Avid hydraulic disc caliper centralizing manual) or bad design (Trek 920).
It needs to be kept in mind also that Trek actually gives the same weight limit for both the Emonda SLR as well as the Trek 520. Being a US based company I'd wager this more of a liability issue rather than actual tested weight limit. Same goes to some extent with Surly even though their weight limit is higher.

But we were talking about wheels actually. You can't derive wheel maximum weights out of bike maximum weights. To measure the actual weight limit for a wheel you either need to test it somehow or go with experience and my experience as a hobbyist wheelbuilder and a heavy weight tourist tells me that 36 spokes is plenty for a bike and rider combo weighing 350lbs IF the wheel is made of good quality components and well built / stress relieved. Like I said earlier, my current rear wheel has seen some some stuff and it has only ever required a truing of 0.3mm after the build.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:55 AM
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I've made quite a few seriously-strong 40H wheelsets using Velocity Atlas rims, White Industries XMR hubs, and Sapim Strong spokes. I've been building wheels since the mid-70's, using the techniques that I've learned from others over the years, but for the last few years, I've adopted the Bill Mould method of wheelbuilding. I've had to switch to a very structured step-by-step process due to OCD and memory-loss issues (motorcycle accident). All this aside, a properly-built wheel using quality components will last a long time, will have fewer mishaps, and be easier to fix when repairs are needed. I guess I just wanted to say that I'm happy to use Bill's method to build a wheel because the end result is strong and as perfect as one can get without using a P&K Lie setup.
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Old 07-13-18, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
For fully loaded touring, it seems like 40 spokes used to be the standard. The manufacturers seemed to have moved away from 40 and onto max of 36 judging by the availability of commonly available hubs.

For fuller loaded touring (say 250lbs rider and cargo), is it still recommended to get 40+ spokes or has the tech improvement in wheels negated that?

I have a couple pairs of 32h Ultegra hubs just sitting in storage, can a competent touring wheel be made with that spoke count?
A couple of years ago when I was converting/upgrading an old MTB for touring I went to SJSCycles (UK), the makers of Thorn touring bikes. I assumed that I wanted the 40h wheels, but the advice I received was for 36h. These were handmade. (26)

I travel with a load of about 25kg and never had an issue with the wheels, about 10,000 km fully loaded.

My previous tourer/hybrid used 32h rear wheel (700). Carried similar weights for about 12,000 km without a problem, before the frame died.

As others have said, spoke count is only one factor. Unless you plan on being in the middle of nowhere for long periods of time then there should not be too much of an issue with well built 32 h wheels. Even moreso if you know how to maintain & adjust them.
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Old 07-13-18, 10:19 AM
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This all sounds reassuring. I do plan on having a set handbuilt with quality components by a competent wheelsmith although may try my hand at them after getting a few other builds under my belt.

Now...what about spoke washers? I saw them on Sapim's website which they really only recommended for Rear DS spokes only. I mean it makes sense given that these are the highest tensioned spokes right?
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Old 07-13-18, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
...
Now...what about spoke washers? I saw them on Sapim's website which they really only recommended for Rear DS spokes only. I mean it makes sense given that these are the highest tensioned spokes right?
I think you are talking about nipple washers, or at least I call them nipple washers to distinguish them from spoke head washers.

I put nipple wahsers on the drive side on a rear wheel I built about a year ago. The reason I used them was that they added a very slight amount of distance that was essentially making the drive side of the rim a slightly larger ERD. Or at least that is what my logic was, so I decided to try it. And that meant that I could use the same length of spoke on both drive and non-drive side. I used Wheelsmith spokes, they come in a bag of 50, I did not have to buy a second bag of spokes by using nipple washers. Thus, the washers saved me a few bucks. That was the only reason I used them. If I was in a shop with a big inventory of spoke lengths, I would not have bothered to use them.

The Sapim nipple washers are designed for Sapim nipples. My last two sets of wheels were Wheelsmith spokes and Sapim nipples. I do not know if Sapim nipple washers would fit well on other nipples.

A mechanic told me that he only uses nipple washers on Carbon rims.

I have not had many conversations with people about nipple washers, if some people have relevant experience I also would like to hear it.
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Old 07-13-18, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
This all sounds reassuring. I do plan on having a set handbuilt with quality components by a competent wheelsmith although may try my hand at them after getting a few other builds under my belt. Now...what about spoke washers? I saw them on Sapim's website which they really only recommended for Rear DS spokes only. I mean it makes sense given that these are the highest tensioned spokes right?
According to the spec sheet for 1983 Specialized Expedition, the bike was originally equipped with a 13-30t 6s freewheel (126mm OLD), a "Specialized sealed dishless w/ QR" hub, and Super Champion 700c 40h rear rim. If the bike still has this original equipment, you should consider keeping as is - any wheel built with modern parts, presumably with a 130mm hub jammed into 126mm spaced dropouts, is unlikely to be better, and possibly worse, particularly WRT dish and NDS spoke tension. Crank was a Sugino AT 28/44/48t, which yields a 25 gear-inch low gear.

"Reason for the wheel change is multilayered which would take us way off on tagential subjects I think." Since we are already off on multiple tangents, perhaps you can explain why you think you need a new wheel in the first place, because the original rear wheel seems adequate for loaded touring (perhaps not at 275 lbs).
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Old 07-13-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I've made quite a few seriously-strong 40H wheelsets using Velocity Atlas rims, White Industries XMR hubs, and Sapim Strong spokes. I've been building wheels since the mid-70's, using the techniques that I've learned from others over the years, but for the last few years, I've adopted the Bill Mould method of wheelbuilding. I've had to switch to a very structured step-by-step process due to OCD and memory-loss issues (motorcycle accident). All this aside, a properly-built wheel using quality components will last a long time, will have fewer mishaps, and be easier to fix when repairs are needed. I guess I just wanted to say that I'm happy to use Bill's method to build a wheel because the end result is strong and as perfect as one can get without using a P&K Lie setup.
Thanks for feedback on Velocity Atlas, good to know. I think the NoBS rims (economy version of Atlas, $60 vs 90) look pretty good too for the price. Are the Atlas' eyelets really worth the extra $30 / 50% cost?
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Old 07-13-18, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Are the Atlas' eyelets really worth the extra $30 / 50% cost?
Yes. Wholeheartedly, yes. Eyelets make a stronger, more-resilient rim. I use washers for non-eyelet rims, with the caveat that none of those have failed either.
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Old 07-13-18, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I had not ...
I came close to buying a Nomad a couple times several years back, but the heavy frame weight put me off. And the >$100 S&H. And the $1500 Rohloff drivetrain. I like the cable routing and the socketed rear dropouts, and the biplane fork. I'm sure it would seem perfect right up to the point where I lifted the bare frame into a workstand.

I really like Ti too (put a lot of miles on a Lynskey-made Litespeed) but I don't believe Mr Lynskey's weight limit claim. You are right with earlier mention of Lynskey's poor customer service. I contacted them several months ago re. availability of a size ML Backroad (the ones they were clearing out on eBay), the CS rep said "we don't have any", then they auctioned a ML Backroad frame only two days later, which I missed.

Fix that spoke - Nomad deserves pretty spokes.
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Old 07-13-18, 12:59 PM
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I still have the stock wheels though I built the 48/40 pair for my Specialized expedition i toured many times on ..
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Old 07-13-18, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I think you are talking about nipple washers, or at least I call them nipple washers to distinguish them from spoke head washers.
Yes, nipple washers, thank you for the clarification.


Originally Posted by seeker33
Since we are already off on multiple tangents, perhaps you can explain why you think you need a new wheel in the first place, because the original rear wheel seems adequate for loaded touring (perhaps not at 275 lbs).
I need a new wheel because I want more gears. I want more gears because I NEED a short crankset.

I've always felt that conventional crank lengths were too long for my short legs. 170mm cranks induces cramping in my quads fairly quickly. 165 is doable, although these are hard to find AND I still get cramping (just not as fast). I took to cutting up cheap cranks, drilling and tapping the pedal, trying out a few different lengths until I got to something that I felt comfortable with. I've tried 160mm, gone down to 150mm but settled on 155mm.

This short length requires that I keep the legs spinning as I don't have as much leverage. It's amazing how much 1" of crank length does to your FELT power.

To keep the cadence right requires lots of shifting, up and down the gears. Sections where I would have just cranked through before in one or two gears now requires multiple shifts, sometimes across a whole 11-28 10-cog. I can see changing the gearing to something like a 46/42/26 half-step or 46/38/26 setup with a 36t cog in the back for those really tough hills, I don't know, I'm just finally starting to get comfortable with spinning like this but on my 10-mi commute I shift in and out between a 42t and 30t chainring pretty often. I just don't think 6 cogs in the back is going to cut it, especially with the gearing choices available in 6-speed.

I'm gravitating towards an 8-cog so I can use friction shifters but have weighed just moving up to a 10 speed indexed/friction capable bar ends as well. Either course necessitates the switch to a new wheel.

My Expo is no longer all original so I have less qualms on keeping this period correct. I have a set of torn up Sugino AT cranks heading my way to see if I can drill and tap those satisfactorily. I would like to keep those even if chopped up.
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Old 07-13-18, 02:17 PM
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Sorry for being off topic here.

Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
I came close to buying a Nomad a couple times several years back, but the heavy frame weight put me off. And the >$100 S&H. And the $1500 Rohloff drivetrain. I like the cable routing and the socketed rear dropouts, and the biplane fork. I'm sure it would seem perfect right up to the point where I lifted the bare frame into a workstand.
...
You are right about the weight of it, tips the scale at a bit over 40 pounds. But with a massive load on it, it handles great. I got my Rohloff from a German internet vendor for a bit under $1000 delivered. There also was the customs duty of over $100 USD when the frame arrived. But I got the S&S option, that made my frame a more expensive one.
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Old 07-14-18, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
I need a new wheel because I want more gears. I want more gears because I NEED a short crankset...
You need short crank arms and lower gears. Sugino XD600 triple is available in lengths from 152mm to 175mm. Comes with 26t granny ring but you can swap to a 24t, the smallest ring that will fit the ZD600's 74mm BCD. Specs state this is a 7,8s compatible crank but it works with 9s too. Uses the once ubiquitous JIS square taper bottom bracket, still made by Shimano an others.

To get low gears you need MTB gearing, and based on crank limitations above, you need 9s MTB cassette. The lowest geared 9s cassettes by Shimano are 12-36t, others go up to 11-40t.

You'll need a rear derailleur that can handle the largest cog (36,40t) as well as take up chain slack resulting from the combined crankset (24-50t) and cassette (11-40). Derailleur capacity may limit your gearing choices.

I recommend MicroShift bar end shifters to handle atypical drivetrains, which come in friction only and index+friction shifting versions.

9s MTB hubs have 135mm OLD, and thus require 135mm spacing. 1983 Specialized Expedition has 126mm rear dropout spacing. It's possible to fit a 135 hub into these dropouts by spreading them, but you will do so at the real risk of ruining the frame. 9mm may not seem like much, but it puts several of the brazed frame tube joints under stress for which they were not made - in particular the brake bridge. I've seen a couple pictures of brake bridges that broke after someone tried to "cold-set" a frame, i.e. permanently deform rear triangles to widen dropout spacing. You have to spread them ~90mm to get a deformation of 9mm, and it's the 90mm spread and corresponding high tensile force on the brazed joints that causes failure. I suggest you forego "cold-setting" and just deal with forcing the fat hub into the tight dropouts with every wheel removal/remounting. Watch your fingertips don't get pinched. You will also have to realign the derailleur hanger. Spreading dropouts in this fashion causes the hanger to splay out such that when derailleur is fitted, it is no longer moving parallel to the drivetrain, which causes poor, erratic gear shifting.

A much better solution to your stated problems would be to find a cheap, used Surly LHT 26" frameset in the right size, some go as little as $200 on eBay. Smaller-wheeled bikes fit smaller people better.
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Old 07-14-18, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
A much better solution to your stated problems would be to find a cheap, used Surly LHT 26" frameset in the right size, some go as little as $200 on eBay. Smaller-wheeled bikes fit smaller people better.
I've looked at the LHT and honestly am not too impressed. If you look at the geometry and specs of the LHT, its basically an early 90's hardtail MTB. May as well start with those which are much more ubiquitous (and cheaper). But, the top tube geometry of those is much too long for me when combined with drop bars (and yes, my wrists much prefer drop bars over everything else including flat bars, butterfly bars, Jones H-bar, and other high sweep bars). I've done drop bar conversions on early 90s MTB before. The frame does nothing to fix the crank length and subsequent gearing problem.

I don't disagree that a smaller frame is easier to achieve with a smaller tire, but I have no issues with my frame(s), 700c tires and my shortened cranks either. The biggest problem that I see from a complete bike selection is that the OEMs don't scale the cranks appropriately for the frame and that's when you start having the top overlap issue. Fixing the toe overlap issue with a smaller wheel does nothing for making a more comfortable and efficient pedal stroke.
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Old 07-15-18, 01:36 PM
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More like a mid 80's atb which was the precursor to the "all in" mtb of the 90's. At first manufacturers were mixing off road/road concepts to try and fill the gap that boomed into the mtb genre, so you see plenty of heavy frame, horizontal top tube, caliper brakes and 2x cranks. The LHT looks a lot like those but the material used now is way better. Many of the older bikes were Hi Ten at best and it was really the early 90's when high performance rigid mtb's in Chromo came around but a lot of them started to have more sloping TT's.
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Old 07-18-18, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post




I need a new wheel because I want more gears. I want more gears because I NEED a short crankset.

I've always felt that conventional crank lengths were too long for my short legs. 170mm cranks induces cramping in my quads fairly quickly. 165 is doable, although these are hard to find AND I still get cramping (just not as fast). I took to cutting up cheap cranks, drilling and tapping the pedal, trying out a few different lengths until I got to something that I felt comfortable with. I've tried 160mm, gone down to 150mm but settled on 155mm.

This short length requires that I keep the legs spinning as I don't have as much leverage. It's amazing how much 1" of crank length does to your FELT power.

To keep the cadence right requires lots of shifting, up and down the gears. Sections where I would have just cranked through before in one or two gears now requires multiple shifts, sometimes across a whole 11-28 10-cog. I can see changing the gearing to something like a 46/42/26 half-step or 46/38/26 setup with a 36t cog in the back for those really tough hills, I don't know, I'm just finally starting to get comfortable with spinning like this but on my 10-mi commute I shift in and out between a 42t and 30t chainring pretty often. I just don't think 6 cogs in the back is going to cut it, especially with the gearing choices available in 6-speed.

I'm gravitating towards an 8-cog so I can use friction shifters but have weighed just moving up to a 10 speed indexed/friction capable bar ends as well. Either course necessitates the switch to a new wheel.

My Expo is no longer all original so I have less qualms on keeping this period correct. I have a set of torn up Sugino AT cranks heading my way to see if I can drill and tap those satisfactorily. I would like to keep those even if chopped up.
I'm confused. If you want lower gears why build a different wheelset? Why not just change the gearing. An 11-34 cassette would significantly lower your gearing for a lot less money.

Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
[left]

I've looked at the LHT and honestly am not too impressed. If you look at the geometry and specs of the LHT, its basically an early 90's hardtail MTB. May as well start with those which are much more ubiquitous (and cheaper). But, the top tube geometry of those is much too long for me when combined with drop bars (and yes, my wrists much prefer drop bars over everything else including flat bars, butterfly bars, Jones H-bar, and other high sweep bars). I've done drop bar conversions on early 90s MTB before. The frame does nothing to fix the crank length and subsequent gearing problem.
You've got this backwards. 80s mountain bikes had a similar geometry to the LHT but only slightly similar. They had a much shallower head angle and were based more on the Schwinn Excelsior that Marin riders used for their first mountain bikes. But by the 1990s, mountain bikes were shortening up and getting the steeper angles frame angles that they needed for centering the rider for better climbing and descending. They also started stretching the top tube as part of the same efforts to better center the rider.

The LHT, however, has a classic touring bike geometry and is similar to Cannondale's touring bikes which predate the Surly by a couple of decades

The touring bike came first, however and Surly is truly a classic touring bike geometry.

Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
More like a mid 80's atb which was the precursor to the "all in" mtb of the 90's. At first manufacturers were mixing off road/road concepts to try and fill the gap that boomed into the mtb genre, so you see plenty of heavy frame, horizontal top tube, caliper brakes and 2x cranks. The LHT looks a lot like those but the material used now is way better. Many of the older bikes were Hi Ten at best and it was really the early 90's when high performance rigid mtb's in Chromo came around but a lot of them started to have more sloping TT's.
Sloping top tubes are only a part of the changes that mountain bike frames went through but sloping top tubes didn't really start to show up until the mid to late 90s when the front ends of mountain bikes started to rise due to suspension systems.
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