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Old 04-30-12, 11:47 AM   #1
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Advice / Warnings for Beefy LHT Wheelset / Dynamo

May I ask for advice? I'm about to replace my wheels on my Surly LHT and I'd like to ask for recommendations / warnings.

I'm a heavy guy and I carry a lot of gear. I've always run 700x32 tires. Any guidance on hubs, spoke count, spoke type, lacing pattern, rims? My current wheels have XT 36-spoke hubs, DT 14 gauge spokes in a 4-cross pattern, and DT Swiss 7.1 rims.

I'm contemplating putting a dynamo in the front wheel.
If you asked me, what's your primary goal in this purchase, I'd say: I never want these wheels to go out of true.
If you asked me, what's your lowest priority concern, I'd say: lightweight is not a concern

thanks in advance!
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Old 04-30-12, 12:11 PM   #2
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My touring rig with the most miles on it used a Phil wood 48spoke freewheel hub,
and a 40 spoke front..

then I found a Rohloff hub equipped bike, and I rebuilt the 32 spoke front wheel
with one of Schmidt's DynoHubs .. the German hub has so low a magnetic resistance
I only feel the resistance when it is in my hands , not on the bike.

Id say 36 spoke 3 cross will be fine .. only disc brake front wheels are asymmetrical
a slight dish to make room for the caliper ..

But Peter White imports the Hubs and lights that run off them,
and will build a wheel for you. a tandem version has a steel axle in its core.

He will sell the hubs to your Local Bike dealer too..
I got Schmidt's Edelux LED headlight, and a B&M Led taillight .
I like having light on my bike that work each time I ride it.

these days folks bring a lot of personal electronics along,
so there are recharge devises that use the Hub's 6V3w
and supply a USB port to charge stuff while you are on the move.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:00 PM   #3
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How have your current wheels held up? As a heavy guy who carries too much, I've been fine with a 36 spoke rear wheel and 32 spoke front. But I will say that my rear wheel has a large gear hub which means very little dish and shorter than average spokes, both of which should make the wheel more sturdy then a standard, dished wheel. If I were starting again, making a dished wheel, I might be tempted to try a 40 spoke wheel, just because peace of mind means more to me than the weight of four spokes.

Likewise I probably would have gone with 36 on the front, but I got a good deal on a 32 spoke Handspun wheel with a Shimano dynamo hub and Salsa Delgado cross rim. Neither the rim, nor the spoke count I would have chosen, but the price was right, and the wheel has given me very little problem, although I do believe it has been in the trueing stand a time or two. But all-in-all, I have been happy with the wheel. I love having a dynamo hub, and the Shimano rolls so easily that I don't even notice it's there. I hear the Schmidt is better, and if had money to burn, I'd want to try it, but given how smooth the Shimano has been, I have never regretted going the more affordable route on that wheel.

My rear wheel started out with a Velocity Dyad rim. Fairly popular for touring and Clydes. Probably due to overtensioning on my part, but I felt it was showing stress at the spoke holes. When I broke a couple of spokes after the last rebuild, I decided to swap out the rim as well as the spokes and went with Mavic A719. I haven't actually loaded that wheel up with touring weight yet, but I commute on it daily, and I have no complaints.

If I were starting from scratch, I'd go Mavic 719's front and back with 36 spokes in front and more in back if possible (with my current choice of hub, it's not possible). I haven't been on my rim long enough to really judge, but it seems very solid.

But as for not having to true the wheel, just get it well built. That's not a guarantee, but as close to one as you can get. Obviously the wheel has to be made for the kind of riding you want to do, but if you're overloading a wheel and/or mistreating it, having it go out of true is the least of your worries. Get the wheel for the riding you do, make sure it's well-built, and trueing should be a rare issue, if at all.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:01 PM   #4
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Harris Cyclery carrys the lights as well, probably bought from Peter White, but they also have a 36-spoke disk-ready Shimano dynohub machine-built wheel ready to go for less than $200. For an extra 12 bucks they'll re-tension and true the wheel by hand.

Hey - try some fatter tires. The extra volume will protect your wheels and you'll be more comfortable too. I doubt you'll notice any reduction in speed. My touring tires are 700x42.
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Old 04-30-12, 02:37 PM   #5
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Your desires are like mine in that I want everything to be bullet proof.

Go tandem strength wheels as they are typically built to carry around 350 pounds at minimum and can carry a lot more. Go lots of spokes (48) and heavy duty rim. Our mid-80s tandem wheels have Phil Wood hubs and 48 spokes and have NEVER needed to be trued. We have done touring with them several times. My single bike has a SON dynohub but is only 32 spokes as I have a Rohloff in the back and wanted a backup to the rear rim in case the rear rim failed for some strange reason. I enjoy the electricity the dynohub gives my gps, phone, camera, batteries, etc.

Peter White does quality work if your local shop is not KNOWN for building quality wheels. Expect to pay $$$$ for Phil Wood. High but very very reliable.

Last edited by TulsaJohn; 04-30-12 at 02:38 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 04-30-12, 03:18 PM   #6
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Shimano's tandem rear hubs for 40 and 48 spokedrilling are moderately priced.
they come wide , but you can do an axle swap with regular MTB parts too.

if you have trouble with the freehub along the tour , the driver is a common part.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:22 PM   #7
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Like fletsbob, I run a Rohloff IGH on the back and a Schmidt dynamo hub on the front. But my choice of wheel won't help you much if you want 700c, I use 26" Rigida Andra 30 MTB rims. They are not light, but they are pretty bulletproof.
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Old 05-01-12, 10:07 PM   #8
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My setup on my Surly Long Haul Trucker on the front is a Mavic A719 rim with DT Swiss Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0 mm 288 mm spokes and a SON 28 dynamo hub. My loaded bike weight before adding food and water is around 40 kg (including bike and trailer). Works fine for me.

The rear is still the standard Alex Adventurer 700C 36h rims. The rear hub is as supplied a Shimano Deore XT FH-M770-S rear hub mated with DT Swiss 14g stainless steel spokes. All still on the bike.

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Old 05-02-12, 01:41 AM   #9
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I use the Shimano disk dynohub on a 26" (DT) rim. I wanted the 32 because I'm a lightweight and its for regular commuting, but I could pnly get the 36. It is a rock solid wheel built by my local mechanic and I would have no issues about using it for the heaviest of applications.
Shimano dynohubs have one drawaback. Field servicing of the bearings is not recommended because the electrical connection is a very thin, delicate wire. My LBS discourage workshop servicing of the hub because it is notoriously easy to break. There is no well illustrated guide to the procedure , only the text from one with pictures no longer available. I posted it on here for archiving so use the search.
How is servicing of the SON? It used to be a factory service with a total wheel rebuild but I gather things have improved.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:49 AM   #10
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Front wheel could be any replacement of equal type but I'd first consider bumping up the tire size to 35mm then think of a replacement for the rear. How old are the old wheels. Are they worn, out of true or spokes broken?

"never want these wheels to go out of true" would help to say how much weight is being put on the wheels and if your previous wheels were taken to their limits in regular use. In other words did your old wheels not hold up over time, from a particular load or impact? Was it built well or did it go out of round from lack of maintenance?

If a particular impact took the rim out of round it may be a combination of rim strength but also inadequate tire size for the load. In other words you could have lots of spokes an little chance of the rim going out of round but if there's 350lbs sitting on that 32mm tire it may not be enough cushion to keep the rim flange from getting dinged.

Give PeterWhite a call. A 36spoke Mavic 719 on the front dyno should be as strong as what you had with a 40hole 719 on a 40 hole Velocity hub on the rear. But this is where knowing the weight matters, if you've got upwards of 350lbs total weight you probably need a beefier rim and bigger tires especially on the rear. A 27mm wide RynoLite may seem excessive but if your rear wheel load is at the upper end of the range you might as well go to the upper end of the range on rim and tire size for that frame.

I wouldn't bother with 4cross, it's the rim, spokes and build that matter.

Last edited by LeeG; 05-03-12 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 05-05-12, 12:23 PM   #11
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Names I've read during my research: Velocity Dyad, Sun Rhyno Lite rims and Deore LX hubs (may have to order from Europe). I'm too lazy to find the link right now but I do believe there were some Handspun 36 hole wheels with Velocity Dyad rims and Deore LX hubs at places like Niagaracycle (you can also look up places like eBikestop, Cambriabike, Nashbar,, smartbikeparts, harriscyclery, aebike, Chainreactioncycles, bike24, bikexperts, starbike...).
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