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I want a robust rear wheel for touring

Old 07-18-23, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
It’s not that simple. According to this mechanical engineering PhD dissertation, it’s far more complex than just running the tension up as high as you can get it. This quote… “Contrary to both popular belief and expert consensus, increasing spoke tension reduces the lateral stiffness of the wheel, which I demonstrate through theoretical calculations, finite-element simulations, and experiments.”…sums up his findings fairly well. I will warn you that this is a Marianas Trench deep dive on the topic. I haven’t waded my way through it yet but what I have read is illuminating.
Just scanned through the dissertation; the part where he expands on the lateral stiffness claim is around pp. 57-58, FWIW. Looks to me like it's an "assume a spherical cow" kind of claim, since the spoke tensions to see that effect are so large it's hard to turn the spoke wrench and the wheel starts to distort. So while that claim may be true, it's probably not relevant to a real world wheel build.
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Old 07-19-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
and that's exactly why tensioning to the recommended limits is a good idea, because it's the detensioning that breaks spokes, not the increased tension of the stress cycle.
Please, oh please, oh please show me a “recommended limit” that means a damn! Nearly everyone gives the same “110 kgf to 130 kgf” range. That’s for all the models in their line. Velocity makes 15 different models with 15 different profiles and 15 different weights in 45 different sizes ranging from 349mm to 630mm. Yet the best they can come up with is a single range of spoke tension? And that’s not even taking into consideration the cross section of the spoke. Is that recommendation different if you are using butted spokes vs straight spokes? Would you use the same tension on a 1.8mm vs 2.3mm spoke?

And what exactly is meant by that recommendation? Is it to keep the spokes from breaking or to keep the rim from cracking? It’s meaningless.

A spoke tensioned to 120kgf will not go over 130kgf but it can drop quite significantly by even 50% or more.
Not sure what you are trying to say here. But notice that 120kgf is in the “recommended” range.

​​​​​​​That's actually one of the potential benefits of rope spokes, because rope doesn't suffer from the same tension cycle limitations.
Rope spokes don’t suffer the same kind of cracking fatigue that wire spokes do. But they can abrade which is an analogous fatigue mode. The constant tension/detension cycle is going to stress the fibers of the rope. Get some grit between the hub and the rope and the fibers will abrade faster.

I’m not saying that rope spokes are better or worse or just the same. I have not experience with them so I can’t say how durable they are. We…the cyclist community…can’t really say how durable they are since they are a relatively recent development.
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Old 07-19-23, 11:42 AM
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The local bike collective has a brand new 40 spoke Velocity Dyad rim just sitting there. Every time I stop by I look at it with lust but also knowing that I don't need another wheel. The Dyad is my bullet proof go-to rim for loaded touring, a 40 spoke one is what you would build for a fully loaded tandem touring bike.

I can only imagine building it four-cross with fat spokes for the ultimate overkill wheel. Does Chris King makes a 40-hole rear hub?
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Old 07-19-23, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bjorneas
I want a robust rear wheel for touring ... but am not sure how to go about ordering one.
Give R&E Cycles (Rodriguez) a call. They're a custom shop in Seattle, Washington. They can point you in the right direction, answer all of your questions, make specific suggestions, and put together a bomb-proof wheel set.

Had a set made by them a couple years back. Velocity CliffHanger 26", DT Swiss Champion J-Bend 2.34mm spokes, White Industries MI5 hubs, 3-cross lacing. Not inexpensive. But they're tough and silent.

https://rodbikes.com/index.html
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Old 07-19-23, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bjorneas
I have been on three tours with my 32-spoke rear wheel (on a Windsor Tourist) but can't stop worrying about it when riding fully loaded. I'm concerned about breaking a spoke. I think I would like to upgrade to a more robust touring-specific rear wheel (I guess with 36 spokes) but am not sure how to go about ordering one. The bike is 700 x 38 with disc brakes. Any recommendations about how to find and order a suitable wheel?
I ordered some custom wheels from https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/

I'm very satisfied with their service.

On their website they have a wheel builder app where you spec the hub, spokes, rims, etc. and it shows you the cost and the weight as you select the components. It's very well done. You can spec a super strong wheel if you want (e.g. Velocity Cliffhanger with 40 spokes) or something a little lighter.

The only downside is they don't offer triple butted spokes. They have un-butted, single butted, double butted, extra thick, bladed, but no triple butted.

One tip: be sure and look at the availability of the parts you select otherwise you might have to wait for the parts to come in.
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Old 07-19-23, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
The local bike collective has a brand new 40 spoke Velocity Dyad rim just sitting there. Every time I stop by I look at it with lust but also knowing that I don't need another wheel. The Dyad is my bullet proof go-to rim for loaded touring, a 40 spoke one is what you would build for a fully loaded tandem touring bike.

I can only imagine building it four-cross with fat spokes for the ultimate overkill wheel. Does Chris King makes a 40-hole rear hub?
You might have better luck looking for a tandem hub and then converting that to the dropout spacing of your frame. The only 40 spoke wheel I have ever seen that was not on a tandem was on a Co-Motion Americano which used Tandem wheels.

More on tandem wheels at a previous post I made in this thread.
I want a robust rear wheel for touring
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Old 07-19-23, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
The local bike collective has a brand new 40 spoke Velocity Dyad rim just sitting there. Every time I stop by I look at it with lust but also knowing that I don't need another wheel. The Dyad is my bullet proof go-to rim for loaded touring, a 40 spoke one is what you would build for a fully loaded tandem touring bike.

I can only imagine building it four-cross with fat spokes for the ultimate overkill wheel. Does Chris King makes a 40-hole rear hub?
White Industries and Velocity do:

https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/hubs...y/40-hole.html
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Old 07-20-23, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
so it seems that wheels that have multiple spoke breakages is because they have been neglected for ages and the spokes are undertensioned for ages, wearing away at the cross points for years until they start going pop
This had been rattling in the back of my mind since I read it. I just wanted to say, that it is counter to my experience. I have never seen this happen. Spoke failure I have seen was always at one end or the other, never at the crosses. I have generally worn out a rim and replaced it using the same spokes on high mileage wheels. That was always in the days of rim brakes. I have not been using disc brakes long enough to wear out wheel components, especually since I upgraded wheels before they got too old on my one disc equipped bike.

I am not doubting your account of spokes worn thin at the crosses, but it does make me wonder what is different about the setup or usage. My highest mileage wheels had a second rim worn on the rear wheel out before it was retired (the front is worn too but hasn't failed yet). I was in a shop buying a new wheel to finish a tour and figured I'd lace on a new rim at home. After failing to properly communicate that to the mechanic he started snipping out spokes so I gave up on putting a new rim on with those spokes, but they didn't show any obvious signs of wear. I am looking at the front wheel on that bike and the spokes look like new. The wheel was original from 1990 and has some really high mileage years on it. The spokes look perfect to me. The rim looks like it is ready for replacement again soon.
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Old 07-20-23, 06:19 AM
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I would have to charge about the same for my time to save spokes, take off the nipples and clean the threads up in a shop setting as to just sell you a handful of new ones. When you don't know what the wheel has been through, you generally recommend the client new spokes as they are technically a wear item. But I save and reuse spokes for myself personally.

edit: have to

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Old 07-20-23, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
As does Phil Wood, although they seem to be sold out currently. If the cost of White Industries and Phil Wood are too rich, Modern Bike has a couple of options.
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Old 07-20-23, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
This had been rattling in the back of my mind since I read it. I just wanted to say, that it is counter to my experience. I have never seen this happen. Spoke failure I have seen was always at one end or the other, never at the crosses. I have generally worn out a rim and replaced it using the same spokes on high mileage wheels. That was always in the days of rim brakes. I have not been using disc brakes long enough to wear out wheel components, especually since I upgraded wheels before they got too old on my one disc equipped bike.

I am not doubting your account of spokes worn thin at the crosses, but it does make me wonder what is different about the setup or usage. My highest mileage wheels had a second rim worn on the rear wheel out before it was retired (the front is worn too but hasn't failed yet). I was in a shop buying a new wheel to finish a tour and figured I'd lace on a new rim at home. After failing to properly communicate that to the mechanic he started snipping out spokes so I gave up on putting a new rim on with those spokes, but they didn't show any obvious signs of wear. I am looking at the front wheel on that bike and the spokes look like new. The wheel was original from 1990 and has some really high mileage years on it. The spokes look perfect to me. The rim looks like it is ready for replacement again soon.
my bad, combination of poorly thought out writing and not really enough personal experience. I really was thinking of how wheels that are all loosey goosey spoke wise tend to break spokes near the hub, which I probably wrongly thought was happening from too much flex and "rubbing" near that point. I guess its really more the stress on the spokes by them flexing too much, and that point is a stress area, so thats where they break.
Again though, I'm pretty clueless of all of this, as opposed to the folks here who have built lots of wheels themselves. I really have had such little personal experience with breaking spokes after all these years of riding, I'm still very much in the dark of even understanding the mechanics of how spokes flex and whatnot.
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Old 07-21-23, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
my bad, combination of poorly thought out writing and not really enough personal experience. I really was thinking of how wheels that are all loosey goosey spoke wise tend to break spokes near the hub, which I probably wrongly thought was happening from too much flex and "rubbing" near that point. I guess its really more the stress on the spokes by them flexing too much, and that point is a stress area, so thats where they break.
Again though, I'm pretty clueless of all of this, as opposed to the folks here who have built lots of wheels themselves.....
If you squeeze two spokes a few inches away from where they cross, the two spokes will slide against each other and on a new wheel they slide quite freely against each other. That said you are fighting the tension of the spokes, so you are trying to determine if they catch before they slide. But eventually with a lot of miles, they will start to wear grooves at that point because as the wheel rotates, there is a very slight amount of rubbing. If I have any curiosity of now much use a wheel has had, I squeeze two adjacent spokes to move them out of those grooves, by feel I can asses if those groves are very deep or not. But they never are deep enough to cause the spoke to be that weak in the middle of the spoke.

A number of years ago (maybe a decade?), Sapim made a batch of spokes from a bad batch of metal, some of those spokes failed in the middle, but that was quite unusual.

In the 1980s, I was looking at two bikes, a couple was touring on them. They were teachers, did not work during the summers so they spent their summers bike touring. Half of the components on the bikes had been replaced, always with much higher end replacements than what was originally on the bikes. One or two of the wheels had also been replaced. The original wheels had the most grooved spokes I have ever seen, those wheels had a lot of miles. But those might have been the older galvanized spokes that were common back then.
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Old 07-30-23, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bjorneas
I weigh 185 lbs. I carry about 30(maybe more? Never weighed) lbs on my rear panniers and don’t have front panniers. Never broke a spoke, but paranoid. I had the wheel tensioned by my LBS before my most recent tour last month.

Easy solution. Order up a new rear wheel. Inexpensive. You really don’t need the fanciest spokes, hub and cassette. It’s not the end of the world if they’re straight gauge instead of many butts. Your original rear wheel may last a long time but either way wheels are always good to have more of and even the superduperest can get damaged. You can have different tires on your second set.
You can order up on your own or ask the shop to order a 36 spoke rear wheel of the appropriate width and diameter. I’ve got wheels from QualityBikeProducts that are very good. The Velocity brand also looks good.
Your rear rim doesn’t have to match your front so if you get a new rear wheel all that matters is that it is made w good spokes, 36 is plenty. Don’t get fixated on the lightest rim for the width. The cheapest robust rim is good enough. It doesn’t have to be disc specific either. If your smallest tire was going to be 38 mm you might consider a cheap RhynoLite rim. What you’re looking for is utility use. Like farm tools. Tough, heavy and not expensive. While wheels do last they are also consumables. Rear wheels don’t last as long as front wheels so having a heavy rear wheel and lighter front wheel matches the use they get.
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