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high-end, bombproof rims for touring (spare no expense)??

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high-end, bombproof rims for touring (spare no expense)??

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Old 07-12-10, 09:47 AM
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wearyourtruth
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high-end, bombproof rims for touring (spare no expense)??

well? it's more of a curiosity than a looking-to-buy. my friend and i were discussing and it seems like when more money starts being spent, rims always end up being lighter and lighter and not stronger and stronger. i know this is because of road racing, but what are some REALLY good touring rims? thanks!
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Old 07-12-10, 09:48 AM
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Sun Rhynolite. We've had them on the tandem since Albuquerque. I just had my rear wheel rebuilt with one a short while ago.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:53 AM
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Mavic A-719 and Velocity Dyad should be on your list. Velo Orange has their own Diagonale rim which is probably pretty nice but it is new and does not have the history of these others.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:20 AM
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I've never liked the Rhyno rims just on the grounds that who couldn't make a strong rim in those sizes, and not a posh choice either (just so far as this thread is concerned). However Nancy should be listened to very seriously particularly if you get off the theory, since she is racking up huge mileage and experience.

So on the theory, here are a few ways to spend money and get better rims, or even not spend much money. These are all arguable strategies what actually works can vary, for instance the 300 pound rider with a 100 pounds of gear, vs the little world tourer. Or the best performance with a reasonable hope of holding together, vs the must not fail no matter what it costs kind of deal.

1) When it comes to spending money, few strategies are more expensive than starting with the hubs. More spokes or odball configurations, like tandem spacing on a toruing bike, or Rohloff. These kinds of approaches can make for stronger wheels and expensive wheels since they can impact everything from the frame to the rim in an effort to improve spoke rigging angles, etc... This approach often makes rim choice easy, since there is no faster way to reduce your choices than going to massive spoke counts, or Rohloff.

2) Vintage rims. Get yourself some NOS MA2s in Bontrager 36 hole spacing, or whatever. This could take substantial coin and a lot of luck.

3) Go the good wheels come from good wheelbuilders route - peruse the Peter White site for normal components arranged by a master.

4) Check out top of the line foreign rims. I don't really know what to tell you here, but I do trip over sites in europe, for instance, that have all kinds of delicious looking high end rims that I never hear of over here. So maybe there is a MA2 etc... being made, but nobody is importing it over here.

5) Buy whatever is the top end rim from Mavic. Creeping up to 90 bucks these days, and at the top of lists at most domestic bike shops. This allows you to get into a whole subculture of arguments about whether they have made a decent rim since: they started anodizing; welding, or milling the sidewalls. Get up to speed quickly by reading the always interesting Jobst Brandt traffic on the internet.

6) Become a wheel building master! Start with a DH wheel truing jig, for semi maximum spend (you can certainly spend more!). Buy all the books and components, and tools. A tensionmeter is a good way to toss out some coin, and a range of spoke wrenches by different makers until your preferences gel. Build quality is number 1, so this will actually help, though there are cheaper ways of going about it. In the real world it may also help to worry out all the components carefully. Two people may have very different results with the same rims, even if they were competently built, just because o differences in the components like spokes, so all the details need to be considered.


7) Ok, running out of expensive ideas... For practical reasons and strength reasons, there is a lot to be said for 26" wheels built to touring specs, using MTB downhill rims, and example being the Alex DH22. Get it in 36 spoke minimum, for the most part. I also like to ask around at the LBS as to what rims the bike couriers are using, since they do decent mileages, normally on 32 holes, so if the same rim comes in higher hole numbers it should be good running 350-400# by me. I also check out Peter White's site to get an idea of what he uses, and so forth. Unfortunately, if you do a decent internet search, you will come up with threads savaging any of the popular rims. Another advantage to stuff like the DH22.

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Old 07-12-10, 10:44 AM
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I don't think expense will correlate with durability unless you're starting with the labor of the person making the wheel. As you describe it people pay more and more for rims WITHIN a particular weight range than for a particular level of durability. I bet durability as defined by braking surface longevity is primarily a function of how thick the braking surface is, hardness of the aluminum and not a paricular level of precision in roundness or strength WITHIN a weight range. This is a round about way of saying that if bomb proof means withstanding long time use braking on crappy roads with lots of weight and resisting crashes I'd simply go for a heavy rim with a tough big tire.
Curious to hear personal feedback or if anyone has done testing on wheelbuilds.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:56 AM
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I have 2500 miles on my commuter with a nice ,strong durable hand built rear wheel. It is a mavic A719, they refer to it as bombproof. 3x laced to a 36 hole 105 hub. I run a 700 x 35 mm tire on it. I'm 235 plus gear and use a rear rack and bag. Two seasons of crappy Boston roads, potholes and dirt paths and rocks, needed only 1 slight truing. Works for me.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
well? it's more of a curiosity than a looking-to-buy. my friend and i were discussing and it seems like when more money starts being spent, rims always end up being lighter and lighter and not stronger and stronger. i know this is because of road racing, but what are some REALLY good touring rims? thanks!
Here's what Peter White recommends:

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/Wheels.asp

Here's what co-motion puts on the Americano:

http://www.co-motion.com/single_bikes/americano.html

Here's what Bruce Gordon specs on his bike:

http://www.bgcycles.com/blt.html
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Old 07-12-10, 12:42 PM
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Which basicaly leads one to Mavic 719, and Velocity, both of which have their "failed spectacularly" threads.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Velocity-Rims

Having just bought several sets of velocity rims I am kinda heavy hearted.
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Old 07-12-10, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
well? it's more of a curiosity than a looking-to-buy. my friend and i were discussing and it seems like when more money starts being spent, rims always end up being lighter and lighter and not stronger and stronger. i know this is because of road racing, but what are some REALLY good touring rims? thanks!
Everyone concentrates on the wrong place when it comes to wheel strength. Hubs are plenty strong. Rims are usually strong enough for most applications. But the spokes do all the heavy lifting. Rims and hubs are just along for the ride. Rims are literally just hanging around. If you want to build a truly strong wheel start with a good spoke! Most people just think of spokes as an after thought but they are the most important part of the structure.

A double butted spoke acts elastically so that they take up stress that might otherwise damage the wheel. Here's what Sheldon says about that

# Double-butted spokes are thicker at the ends than in the middle. The most popular diameters are 2.0/1.8/2.0 mm (also known as 14/15 gauge) and 1.8/1.6/1.8 (15/16 gauge).

Double-butted spokes do more than save weight. The thick ends make them as strong in the highly-stressed areas as straight-gauge spokes of the same thickness, but the thinner middle sections make the spokes effectively more elastic, allowing them to stretch (temporarily) more than thicker spokes.

As a result, when the wheel is subjected to sharp localized stresses, the most heavily-stressed spokes can elongate enough to shift some of the stress to adjoining spokes. This is particularly desirable when the limiting factor is how much stress the rim can withstand without cracking around the spoke holes.
But triple butted spokes go even one better. They have the same elasticity but the head of the spoke fits more tightly in the hub. As the wheel goes around, each spoke is slightly detensioned on the wheel. With a double butted spoke...and single butted spoke for that matter...the small head of the spoke can move in the hub's flange. Not much...only ~0.3mm...but enough to cycles and the head of the spoke is stressed. A triple butted spoke doesn't have any space to move as the wheel detensions and the head is stronger so fatigue is lessened. You get a stronger wheel for only a slight weight penalty. Sheldon Brown has this to say.

# Triple-butted spokes, such as the DT Alpine III, are the best choice when durability and reliability is the primary aim, as with tandems and bicycles for loaded touring. They share the advantages of single-butted and double-butted spokes. The DT Alpine III, for instance, is 2.34 mm (13 gauge) at the head, 1.8 mm (15 gauge) in the middle, and 2.0 mm (14 gauge) at the threaded end.

Single- and triple-butted spokes solve one of the great problems of wheel design: Since spokes use rolled, not cut threads, the outside diameter of the threads is larger than the base diameter of the spoke wire. Since the holes in the hub flanges must be large enough for the threads to fit through, the holes, in turn, are larger than the wire requires. This is undesirable, because a tight match between the spoke diameter at the elbow and the diameter of the flange hole is crucial to resisting fatigue-related breakage.

Since single- and triple-butted spokes are thicker at the head end than at the thread end, they may be used with hubs that have holes just large enough to pass the thick wire at the head end.
Nancy sv's problems of breaking rims down the middle isn't a problem with rim strength...directly. It's a problem with application. I suspect that she is using a narrowish rim with a rather wide tire that is pumped up for rolling resistance. This presses outward on the rim's walls. Impacts with the road or with road objects springs the outer walls further outward. The rim fails the only way it can by splitting down the middle. I've had it happen to me on mountain bikes with very wide tires (2.2"), narrow rims (20mm) and 200+ lbs of meat flying through the air It was at its worst on hardtails when I'd land on them with stiff legs, i.e. not letting my legs take the impact.
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Old 07-12-10, 01:33 PM
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my $.02 is that "really good" "bombproof" rims will be really heavy with thick flanges and braking surfaces or go for discs so the rims don't have to carry extra material. The Dyads may be strong but I don't think the lack of eyelets explains the relatively light 480grams compared to Mavics 719 or 319 at 560g and 600gm or Rigida Ajax at 690gm or RhynoLite at 550(26").

Another thought, why in the world have the exact same rim on the front as the back if the rear gets most of the abuse?

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Old 07-12-10, 01:48 PM
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This is the money comment on that Velocity thread:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post10467600

If you're running really heavy loads, you have to watch inflation pressures, especially in the heat.

Hard to beat Velocity Deep-Vs on Chris King hubs. Running 25c tires at 120 lbs. on those rims on our tandem. Very pleased. Went through 2 Velocity Aerohead rims previously, sidewalls wore out. The Deep-Vs seem better. Very low maintenance. Maybe the deeper section absorbs more heat. It's critical to coordinate rim width with tire size. This chart is conservative, but a good starting point:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width

In general, what works well on an unloaded tandem will be very durable on a touring bike, since a tandem will have an all-up weight of 350-400 lbs., unloaded. You won't be exceeding that on your touring bike, or traveling at tandem speeds very often.

As others have said, choosing the correct rim for the application and the quality of build are all-important.
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Old 07-12-10, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
Which basicaly leads one to Mavic 719, and Velocity, both of which have their "failed spectacularly" threads.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Velocity-Rims

Having just bought several sets of velocity rims I am kinda heavy hearted.
Maybe it's just me, but I trust custom builders with years of experience more than anecdotes (as painful as those experiences might have been).

I have Velocity deep-v's on a bike with 8,000 or 9,000 miles on it; wheels have never been touched since they were new. I don't use the bike for touring but I'm a big guy and they take a beating. But -- that's just another anecdote.

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Old 07-12-10, 02:24 PM
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You run 25's with a tandem? wouldn't think that was doable.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
You run 25's with a tandem? wouldn't think that was doable.
I used to run 23's. Some people I ride with still do. You have to pick tires and rims that can take the required pressure: 140 lbs. on a 23c, 120 lbs. on a 25c. I'm liking Conti 4000s (with Black Chili only) and Schwalbe Durano right now.
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Old 07-13-10, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
why in the world have the exact same rim on the front as the back if the rear gets most of the abuse?
The rear wheel takes most of the 'regular' abuse for sure, but if you're watching the scenery go by and ride straight into a pothole with a sharp edge on the road, the front wheel can take a real beating...
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Old 07-13-10, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
The rear wheel takes most of the 'regular' abuse for sure, but if you're watching the scenery go by and ride straight into a pothole with a sharp edge on the road, the front wheel can take a real beating...
I agree it can, and so will the frame. I've had a couple frames get bent from front end crashes without hurting the rim but more rear wheel damage overall in drops and sliding crashes as it has more weight and less ability to unweight.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:30 AM
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Bombproof, you say? The most bombproof setup starts with a wide tire -- the widest tire that will fit your frame. Next, choose the widest rim that will fit that tire -- at least 1mm narrower than the tire, but don't be afraid of a 2-3mm difference in width. For example, I can fit 28mm tires under the fenders on my commuter bike, and I use a 26.5mm wide rim (WTB SpeedDisc 29er). The wheel has 26,000 miles on it and I've only trued it twice. Good, narrow, 700c touring rims include the Velocity Dyad and Mavic A719. The A719 has a thicker braking surface, so it *should* last slightly longer if you're using rim brakes. More rim advice is at Peter White's website: http://peterwhitecycles.com/tourtand.asp


Use brass nipples.

Use double or triple butted spokes. Wheelsmith DB14, DT Swiss Competition 2.0/1.8, DT Swiss Revolution 2.0/1.5. If you really have no budget, go for Sapim Strong, Sapim Laser, or DT Swiss Alpine spokes.

Use hubs with wide, high flanges. Phil Wood makes some nice hubs. Shimano hubs are a lot less expensive though.

Finally, have your wheels built by an experienced builder of long distance wheels. Machine- or amateur-built wheels aren't as likely to be "bombproof", even if the same components are used.
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Old 07-14-10, 09:38 AM
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I have my doubts about Velocity Dyads. For their weight I think they're very strong to getting knocked out of round but the flange the bead seats on doesn't appear any stronger than a road rim. I'm going from a very limited test of one rear rim on a mtn. bike compared to a variety of other 22-25mm rims in similar use that didn't get the same blip on the flange. Maybe that one whack was especially hard and it's not enough to provide statistical relevance.
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Old 07-14-10, 10:03 AM
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Good wheels are the ones that were well built by someone who knows what they're doing You can have the best rims, spokes, hubs and nipples and the wheels will give you trouble. I learned that the hard way That's why I won't be attempting wheelbuilding any more and have my wheels rebuilt by a pro
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Old 07-14-10, 10:08 AM
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Mavic EX 721. its made in 559 26".. I use 26 - 1.75 tires on those .. Conti travel contact, now Schwalbe Marathon plus.

I have a set of Sun Rhyno rims on my 700c wheeled bike, its not the Rhyno light.
because they are not light .. lots of aluminum in them, a ferrule-less construction
I got them in 40 and 48 spoke. [bullseye tandem hubs, w/o brake threading]
absolutely trouble free.. Prior set was Mavic Mod 4, their tandem rim , a much narrower track for the brake shoes to grab.
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Old 07-14-10, 10:12 AM
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Are 26" wheels inherently that much stronger than 700 just because of the size, considering all other things being equal? Or the difference is negligible?
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Old 07-14-10, 10:28 AM
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tires are more common world wide in 26".. MTBs sold well in some rural areas of many countries.

smaller rim is a bit stronger , wider bracing angle of the spokes helps, part of making the rim to hub distance shorter.

26" wheel , Rohloff hub, is a perfect match..
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Old 07-14-10, 10:33 AM
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Right now at Nashbar, for the price I am thinking about jumping on these for my touring bike. They are not that light, but strong they are and well spoked. Vuelta Corsa HD's for 200 dollars.
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...4_10000_200469

26" wheels could be and should be stronger but that is not the case. Most 26" wheels are machine built so there tend to be a lot of truing needs and maintenance issues unless your talking 600-1000 dollar set of wheels. I tour only on my 700c wheels for the simple fact that I am trying to get there sooner rather than later. I have never had problems with even my Stock wheels, or my stock AlexRims/wheels off of my allez.

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Old 07-14-10, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Are 26" wheels inherently that much stronger than 700 just because of the size, considering all other things being equal? Or the difference is negligible?
Yes. Shorter spoke and a smaller rim diameter makes for a shorter lever arm on the spoke elbow. Where you might need a 40 or 48 spoke wheel (like a tandem) with a 700C, you can use a 36 or even a 32 spoke wheel in 26". I had an old tandem with 36 spoke 12 gauge spokes and managed to break a spoke on a front wheel. That the only bike I've ever broken a spoke on a front wheel. I've also had a 26" wheel tandem with 36 14ga. spokes that never had any problems front or rear.

Mountain bike regularly run 32 spokes on wheels that are jumped, bashed and generally beat to pieces without problems.

Splitting rims is a different issue altogether, however. That's more a function of the outward pressure of the tire wall on the rim itself. It's also something that you don't run across all the time. Other than the one I split, I've not heard anyone else having the same problem until now.
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Old 07-14-10, 12:26 PM
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Nashbar has a coupon that ends today for 25% off. Code is "framily" (note the "r" in there!). Ends Wed 7/14. Brings those Vuelta wheels down to $150!

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