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Touring wheelset: 32 or 36 holes?

Old 10-31-19, 03:50 AM
  #26  
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As a wheel builder I'd be recommending something like 36h Velocity Cliffhanger or DT TK540 with 14/15/14 Sapim/DT spokes and DT350 hubs. If you wanted something even stronger and don't mind the weight then Ryde Andra 35 is a great rim.
If you do break a spoke on the drive side rear, which is the most common point of failure, with the DT hubs you don't need to carry tools to remove the cassette.
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Old 10-31-19, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by geoffs View Post
As a wheel builder I'd be recommending something like 36h Velocity Cliffhanger or DT TK540 with 14/15/14 Sapim/DT spokes and DT350 hubs. If you wanted something even stronger and don't mind the weight then Ryde Andra 35 is a great rim.
If you do break a spoke on the drive side rear, which is the most common point of failure, with the DT hubs you don't need to carry tools to remove the cassette.
Thanks for the recommendations. Pricing it out and looking at my budget has me resigned to repairing the wheel (again). I'm hoping that the spokes breaking are just the remnants of an incident with a bungee. The wheel can still be trued, but it is not as round as a fresh rim. Considering that these wheels have the hallmarks of a value machine-built set with the low-end shimano hubs, I'm not set on keeping them long term. If this is the last spoke to break, I'll have plenty of time and riding to do before I need a new set. Heck, I might even consider a dyno hub!
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Old 10-31-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I finished a loaded tour today. Getting started, I heard a hard metallic ping, then noticed the hub wasn't freewheeling like it should. I broke a spoke about 3/4 of an inch past the flange, which would catch the cassette as the wheel spun. I cleaned it all up and changed spoke tensions enough to get home without too much rubbing.

I believe the rear rim is shot, and probably has been since I bought the bike. I've played with it plenty, and it's barely able to stay true with spoke tensions within 20% per side. It's a Sun rims M13II, 32 hole rim laced to a nondescript shimano hub. I'll repair it for now, but that's the 3rd broken spoke this season.

If I'm shopping for a new wheelset, should I prioritize a higher spoke count rim? Max tire width on the frame is 38mm for fenders, and the frame uses rim brakes and QR skewers. I'm open to suggestions.
While more spokes will help, it’s the the end all of wheel strength. As will most people, you are making a very common mistake in concentrating on the rim. Your rim isn’t what is breaking so why talk about it? You could probably get away with 32 spokes if you use the proper spokes. I suspect, based on what you have said above, that your wheels are built with regular 2.0mm straight gauge spokes. If you were to go to a 2.3/1.8/2.0 spoke like the DT Swiss Alpine III, you would see a significant increase in wheel strength and durability.

I’ve been using these spokes for around 20 years and my spoke breakage problems has dropped to zero. I used double butted spokes in my previous builds and popped spokes with regularity. This article is a good primer on why we should be using triple butted spokes. About the only quibble I have with Hjertberg’s article is the claim that you get a 10 spoke advantage by using them. That would make a 32 spoke wheel with triple butted spokes would be the equivalent of the same strength as a 40 spoke wheel with 2.0 mm spokes or even double butted spokes. There is an advantage but I would put it at the next step up or about a 4 spoke advantage. A 32 spoke wheel with triple butted spokes would be at least as strong as a 36 spoke wheel with “normal” spokes.

Are you replacing your own spokes? If you are, you are half way to being able to rebuild your wheel with triple butted spokes. Next time you break one, make a note of how long the spoke is from the elbow to end of the threads in millimeters. You should be able to order triple butted spokes from your local shop if they have an account with either Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) or J&B Importers. The spokes are sold in bulk for about $2 each. You can take the wheel apart and relace it. There are lots of instructions out there for lacing a wheel. The one I’ve used for about 30 years is this one from Hjertberg (follow the link in the post to a PDF file). I teach people how to build wheels using the same article with some slight modifications.
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Old 10-31-19, 12:18 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While more spokes will help, itís the the end all of wheel strength. As will most people, you are making a very common mistake in concentrating on the rim. Your rim isnít what is breaking so why talk about it? You could probably get away with 32 spokes if you use the proper spokes. I suspect, based on what you have said above, that your wheels are built with regular 2.0mm straight gauge spokes. If you were to go to a 2.3/1.8/2.0 spoke like the DT Swiss Alpine III, you would see a significant increase in wheel strength and durability.

Iíve been using these spokes for around 20 years and my spoke breakage problems has dropped to zero. I used double butted spokes in my previous builds and popped spokes with regularity. This article is a good primer on why we should be using triple butted spokes. About the only quibble I have with Hjertbergís article is the claim that you get a 10 spoke advantage by using them. That would make a 32 spoke wheel with triple butted spokes would be the equivalent of the same strength as a 40 spoke wheel with 2.0 mm spokes or even double butted spokes. There is an advantage but I would put it at the next step up or about a 4 spoke advantage. A 32 spoke wheel with triple butted spokes would be at least as strong as a 36 spoke wheel with ďnormalĒ spokes.

Are you replacing your own spokes? If you are, you are half way to being able to rebuild your wheel with triple butted spokes. Next time you break one, make a note of how long the spoke is from the elbow to end of the threads in millimeters. You should be able to order triple butted spokes from your local shop if they have an account with either Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) or J&B Importers. The spokes are sold in bulk for about $2 each. You can take the wheel apart and relace it. There are lots of instructions out there for lacing a wheel. The one Iíve used for about 30 years is this one from Hjertberg (follow the link in the post to a PDF file). I teach people how to build wheels using the same article with some slight modifications.
I understand where you're coming from. ~$64 and some time can turn a wheel into a super wheel, use what you have on hand, etc. You're also right that I'm repairing the wheel with 14g PG spokes. The issue I'm having is that the rim (Sun rim M13II) is already dinged enough that there's a wider than desired runout radially and laterally with the spokes within a wide tolerance of tension value; in short, it's just about toast. Paired with entry level hubs with poor seals, there doesn't seem to be much value to go to the effort of rebuilding the wheel with triple-butted spokes. I'll keep the suggestion in mind as I plan around building or buying a new wheelset.
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Old 10-31-19, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I understand where you're coming from. ~$64 and some time can turn a wheel into a super wheel, use what you have on hand, etc. You're also right that I'm repairing the wheel with 14g PG spokes. The issue I'm having is that the rim (Sun rim M13II) is already dinged enough that there's a wider than desired runout radially and laterally with the spokes within a wide tolerance of tension value; in short, it's just about toast. Paired with entry level hubs with poor seals, there doesn't seem to be much value to go to the effort of rebuilding the wheel with triple-butted spokes. I'll keep the suggestion in mind as I plan around building or buying a new wheelset.
You can find the same rim for around $30. That makes spoke calculation relatively easy.
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Old 11-04-19, 07:58 PM
  #31  
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Repair what you have and keep on truckin'. Save your money and buy really good stuff, and in the long run you will be much more satisfied.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:37 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
You should prioritize a stiffer rim and double butted spokes. Thereís not much difference between 32 and 36 spoke count. Pick a rim thatís at least 20mm deep.
That most recent spoke failure was probably due to a crack initiated by dropping the chain off the largest cog. Spokes donít normally break in the middle unless some foreign object nicked them.
DING DING DING!
I am only just getting around to this repair, and when I pulled the cassette off the freehub, there it was. 6 of the remaining 7 outbound spokes have a fairly obvious gouge from when the chain was thrown from the largest cog into the spokes. I might have done it early on before I became so obsessive with setup (this bike is why I'm detail-oriented with bikes), or it happened before I bought it. I'll be replacing the remaining 7 outbound spokes as well as the spoke that broke. Fun is going to be had!
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Old 02-20-20, 09:17 AM
  #33  
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Sun CR18 has almost the same ERD as the M13, so you could probably use the same spoke lengths and get a wider rim out of the deal...
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Old 02-20-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
DING DING DING!
I am only just getting around to this repair, and when I pulled the cassette off the freehub, there it was. 6 of the remaining 7 outbound spokes have a fairly obvious gouge from when the chain was thrown from the largest cog into the spokes. I might have done it early on before I became so obsessive with setup (this bike is why I'm detail-oriented with bikes), or it happened before I bought it. I'll be replacing the remaining 7 outbound spokes as well as the spoke that broke. Fun is going to be had!
A few people have made fun of my spoke protector. I think the term used was "Dork Disc." Thank you for reminding me why I actually paid money to buy spoke protectors. The first one I put on this bike broke when I was careless with my cable lock, this is the second spoke protector I put on this bike.

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Old 02-20-20, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A few people have made fun of my spoke protector. I think the term used was "Dork Disc." Thank you for reminding me why I actually paid money to buy spoke protectors. The first one I put on this bike broke when I was careless with my cable lock, this is the second spoke protector I put on this bike.
I've had similar problems, and am about to procure for myself this cheap form of insurance. Is your shifting indexed or friction. I use friction and took great care to adjust the stopping point of the derailleur, but found it would occasionally (very rarely, but non-0) jump over regardless. It might be the fact of changing up (down?) multiple gears in one movement, or it may be the tension adjustment for the derailleur causing it to not be in the most ideal place when in the largest rear cog. I'm not 100% sure whether that causes that problem or not, but it's a possibility I'm considering. Has anybody else experienced similar and solved the problem?
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Old 02-20-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
I've had similar problems, and am about to procure for myself this cheap form of insurance. Is your shifting indexed or friction. I use friction and took great care to adjust the stopping point of the derailleur, but found it would occasionally (very rarely, but non-0) jump over regardless. It might be the fact of changing up (down?) multiple gears in one movement, or it may be the tension adjustment for the derailleur causing it to not be in the most ideal place when in the largest rear cog. I'm not 100% sure whether that causes that problem or not, but it's a possibility I'm considering. Has anybody else experienced similar and solved the problem?
Go here and scroll about halfway down: More Varieties of Frame End Repair at Yellow Jersey

Andrew Muzi recommends shifting to the biggest cog (on the stand), and then pressing on the RD to see if slop will allow it to move further and lose the chain.
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Old 02-20-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
I've had similar problems, and am about to procure for myself this cheap form of insurance. Is your shifting indexed or friction. I use friction and took great care to adjust the stopping point of the derailleur, but found it would occasionally (very rarely, but non-0) jump over regardless. It might be the fact of changing up (down?) multiple gears in one movement, or it may be the tension adjustment for the derailleur causing it to not be in the most ideal place when in the largest rear cog. I'm not 100% sure whether that causes that problem or not, but it's a possibility I'm considering. Has anybody else experienced similar and solved the problem?
Mine in the photo above is indexed 8 speed. It is quite possible that the wider chain and wider cassette spacing with an 8 speed system makes it less likely that my chain will go past the big sprocket than a narrower chain. But that said, my road bike is 10 speed, that has never gone past the big sprocket into the spokes either, so maybe that has nothing to do with it.

I try to avoid shifting too many gears quickly to either end of the cassette. If I am shifting lots of gears quickly, I only do that in the middle of the cassette. A few years ago on my Lynskey I upshifted too fast and put the chain between my cassette and dropout where it jammed. And I had four panniers on the bike so it was not quick to loosen up the wheel and free the chain as I had to pull the luggage off of the bike first.

My rando bike drive train in the photo below, also 8 speed system, I built up that bike in 2016 but I built that wheel in 2004, the derailleur on that bike is from the 90s. And yes it was winter when I built up the bike, so that is why the photo shows the bike in snow.



I set the stop on the derailleur quite carefully to make sure that it won't go too far. Do that pretty much the way that ThermionicScott described it. And I do that on each chainring just to make sure that the position of the cage does not have anything to do with it under different chain tensions.

I am trying to remember how the tabs worked on the spoke protector, the bikes in the photos above are both 36 spoke wheels, they have three tabs that clip on to the hub flange and there are 12 spokes between each tab, but I think that the three tab version does not clip onto a 32 spoke wheel, so you need to get the spoke protector for the right number of spokes to get the tab to clip on right.

This reminds me that I still need to put one on my Lynskey. I keep forgetting.
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Old 02-20-20, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Go here and scroll about halfway down: More Varieties of Frame End Repair at Yellow Jersey

Andrew Muzi recommends shifting to the biggest cog (on the stand), and then pressing on the RD to see if slop will allow it to move further and lose the chain.
Interesting, so the slop would indicate a worn derailleur. Or loose threading on the mounting thread. My current derailleur was bought new and isn't particularly old. The hangar is your typical alloy replaceable item, a possible source of movement. I think regardless of what I find when I check (currently away from home) I'll still get the disc. Things wear with time and use, especially on tour, a disc will greatly reduce the risk of the worst happening.
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Old 02-20-20, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
Interesting, so the slop would indicate a worn derailleur. Or loose threading on the mounting thread. My current derailleur was bought new and isn't particularly old. The hangar is your typical alloy replaceable item, a possible source of movement. I think regardless of what I find when I check (currently away from home) I'll still get the disc. Things wear with time and use, especially on tour, a disc will greatly reduce the risk of the worst happening.
check whether you have a bent derailleur hanger.
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Old 02-21-20, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
Interesting, so the slop would indicate a worn derailleur. Or loose threading on the mounting thread. My current derailleur was bought new and isn't particularly old. The hangar is your typical alloy replaceable item, a possible source of movement. I think regardless of what I find when I check (currently away from home) I'll still get the disc. Things wear with time and use, especially on tour, a disc will greatly reduce the risk of the worst happening.
For what it's worth, I've discovered this way that my old 7-speed derailleurs have varying (but small) amounts of slop. But I can still adjust them to shift fine and not throw the chain anywhere. So it wouldn't be the end of the world if you did find some.

But a spoke protector is never a bad idea.
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Old 02-21-20, 11:03 AM
  #41  
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I also have some slop in many of my rear derailleurs, but by not trying to shift too fast the springs in the derailleur usually hold the derailleur in the right place. I generally only shift one gear at a time, but when I say one at a time, the next shift might be only a half second later. Both of the photos I posted have 1990s vintage rear derailleurs, even with some slop they work very nicely. I like the looks of them, thus use them on several bikes.

A hanger should not be the source of play, it should be firmly attached to the frame. And the derailleur mounting bolt should not have any play in the hanger.
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Old 02-21-20, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I also have some slop in many of my rear derailleurs, but by not trying to shift too fast the springs in the derailleur usually hold the derailleur in the right place. I generally only shift one gear at a time, but when I say one at a time, the next shift might be only a half second later. Both of the photos I posted have 1990s vintage rear derailleurs, even with some slop they work very nicely. I like the looks of them, thus use them on several bikes.

A hanger should not be the source of play, it should be firmly attached to the frame. And the derailleur mounting bolt should not have any play in the hanger.
Not necessarily a source of 'slop'. If you tweak your hanger and don't notice, carefully set limits won't prevent you from inadvertently shifting into the spokes.
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Old 03-20-21, 01:34 PM
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Unfortunately DT 350s are not made with 36h option.
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Old 03-20-21, 03:24 PM
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Old 03-27-21, 02:48 AM
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I'm glad my Sutra has 36 spokes. 4 additional spokes doesn't add much weight and more spokes means less stress on the individual spokes. Unfortunately it seems 32 is becoming standard for almost all bikes now.

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Old 03-27-21, 04:04 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by mwv View Post
Unfortunately DT 350s are not made with 36h option.
The 350 hybrid is. It's also beefier than the normal 350
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