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Strong Wheels

Old 05-12-19, 09:59 PM
  #26  
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Low spoke count wheels.

I'm 6ft 5in, 265lbs. At the higher weights we Clydesdales ride at, rim strength, overall spoke strength, and hub strength do matter. I 've pulled spokes through a disc brake specific rim, ie very lightly constructed with no rim brake area. I've broken so many spokes over the years. I've never had even a cheap hub ever give me trouble. I've had good luck with all Sun CR18 rims from 36 hole 27 x 1 1/4 in, 36 hole 700c, to a 36 hole 20 in, on a recumbent front, and never had a spoke pull through or fail in any other way. I have worn out a rear CR 18 from brake use on a recumbent. I'm a great believer in the 36 hole Velocity Chukker rim for 700c. That rim is virtually indestructible. I like to use 13/14 gauge spokes and have had no failures with them at 36 holes. I've also used straight 14 gauge spokes with little trouble. The spokes always break at the bend on the hub if I get a broken one. I have owned a low spoke count set of 26 in MTB wheels and noticed the rims were deep dish aluminum with lots of material and the spokes were 12 gauge or bigger. That wheelset was robust and never gave me any issues. It was also faster than my older box construction 36 hole rims. Bicycles are tested very thoroughly for strength and failure points. All bicycles have an upper weight limit as do the wheels, seatpost, handlebars ect. Tom Ritchey has a very good video out where he discusses how strong he had to make carbon forks before they would pass the European bicycle strength tests. Materials do matter and I would like to see some honest data being collected about our experiences with various bicycling products that we all use. Making a good reliable set of wheels is crucial to the safety and pleasure of our cycling experience.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:12 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
I'm 6ft 5in, 265lbs. At the higher weights we Clydesdales ride at, rim strength, overall spoke strength, and hub strength do matter. I 've pulled spokes through a disc brake specific rim, ie very lightly constructed with no rim brake area. I've broken so many spokes over the years.
I agree that wheels need to be strong. I disagree with people placing so much emphasis on rim strength.


I've never had even a cheap hub ever give me trouble.


Nor have I. I’ve never broken a hub at the flange. Most people haven’t. It’s really not much of an issue. I look at bearing quality more than I look at strength when it comes to hubs.

I've had good luck with all Sun CR18 rims from 36 hole 27 x 1 1/4 in, 36 hole 700c, to a 36 hole 20 in, on a recumbent front, and never had a spoke pull through or fail in any other way.
A CR18 isn’t what most people would consider to be a “strong”...in other words, heavy...rim. It’s a flat profile rim that weighs in at 470g which is on a par with a Velocity A23 or Velocity Quill or even a Dyad. It’s similar to many rims offered by Mavic and others as well. Most people would call it a “lightweight” rim. Some would suggest that it is too light for the duty of being used by Clydes.

A point about spoke pull through and rim cracking. It can happen due to two different mechanisms. If the spokes are too tight...i.e. pull too hard on the rim...a rim can crack and the spoke can pull through. However, if the spoke is too loose, the same can happen. Loose spokes cause more flex at the rim and stresses the rim which eventually cracks.

I'm a great believer in the 36 hole Velocity Chukker rim for 700c. That rim is virtually indestructible.
The Chukker, or even Deep-V, are fine rims. But they aren’t necessarily stronger than lighter rims. The Chukker and the A23 have a similar profile but the Chukker is just deeper. All the material that makes the Chukker heavier goes into adding to the rim depth. The walls aren’t thicker nor is the spoke bed thicker. They are just as likely to suffer from spoke pull-through as the lighter A23.

I like to use 13/14 gauge spokes and have had no failures with them at 36 holes. I've also used straight 14 gauge spokes with little trouble. The spokes always break at the bend on the hub if I get a broken one.
I’ve used both and had problems with 14gauge at the same spoke count. The “13/14 gauge spokes” are the 2.3/2.0mm spokes that I’ve been talking about.

I have owned a low spoke count set of 26 in MTB wheels and noticed the rims were deep dish aluminum with lots of material and the spokes were 12 gauge or bigger. That wheelset was robust and never gave me any issues.
I highly doubt that they were 12 gauge. Those are very rarely used by anyone. That’s a 2.6mm spoke. 2.3mm straight gauge spokes are rare as well.

Bicycles are tested very thoroughly for strength and failure points.
I don’t agree. Some parts of bicycles have been tested thoroughly for strength. Others have too many factors to measure meaningfully. Wheels fall into the latter category. There are just too many variables to measure and use for any predictive use.
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Old 05-13-19, 10:45 AM
  #28  
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bicycle wheel strength

6 ft 5in at 265 lbs. A little more information in this already overloaded discussion. I had a rear wheel with a very lightweight Velocity Blunt 29'er rime that allowed the spokes to pull through. This rim is built very lightly with no rim brake lands. I build my own wheels and as anyone knows that build wheels spoke tension is on the preventative maintenance list after a wheel is built. They tend to work loose and usually just one will get very loose and cause spokes to break on either side of it. So we check spoke tension regularly, especially right after the build. This rim always had loose spokes, not just one but generally. I would tighten them and they would all loosen up again. Never had a wheel do that before. The front wheel with the same rim was not having issues. After really looking it over one day I noticed the entire wheel was failing at all the spoke holes and they were gradually being pulled to the hub. There was cracking starting to happen and deformation around the holes. I believe the Blunt 29er is just built too light for our weights. I never actually broke a spoke and they were all straight 14 gauge. The deep dish MTB wheels I spoke of in my previous reply were Veulta brand and did have a very thick spoke. The spoke was 2.6mm or bigger. That is why the wheel handled my weight for years with no complaint. 24 14guage spokes would never have handled my weight with so few spokes. Check your low spoke count wheels and see if they are using very big spokes. Sometimes the spokes are flattened for wind resistance reduction so check around the nipple end for diameter. If they are 14 gauge then that is too few spokes for our weight catagory. If they are 12 or 13 guage or bigger then they can handle our weights with an appropriate rim.. Deep dish rims are very good at rolling faster than box shaped rims. I believe it is because of the engineered deep semi I beam shape that makes the rim much stronger in a load applied direction. The end result is they flex less under load, than a box shaped rim and thus roll better.
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Old 05-13-19, 10:47 AM
  #29  
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Clarification. The Velocity Blunt 29er was a 36 hole build.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:29 AM
  #30  
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More wheel thoughts and ramblings.

Clarification. Deep dish rims are a form of box beam. The strength comes from the end plates and the webs. In this case the spoke lands act as one end plate. The rims floor acts as the other end plate. The curved sides of the dish act as the webs. As the webs get taller the rim gets stronger if all other aspects are engineered to the new strength levels. These deep dish rims resist load deformation in a vertical direction much better than a smaller webbed box beam rim. Using my much less than scientific bell speedometer I noticed a 2mph gain in average speed on my rides with new deep dish wheels. I was quite surprised and thrilled with this performance upgrade. I've since noticed this performance gain on other bicycles that had small box rims replaced by much deeper dish rims. For our weight category I suggest looking at the heavier built deep dish rims for performance and safe longevity.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:24 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by insignia100 View Post
I'm now paranoid of the wheels that came on my new-to-me bike: 16 spoke front, 24 spoke rear. I'm more concerned about the front, if only because I may get stranded if a front spoke pops. I could probably make it home if a rear spoke broke while out on a ride. (For reference, I'm 244ish lbs at the moment, though slowly but surely dropping weight.)

I'd like to upgrade the front wheel at least to a 20-24 spoke rim. I've been browsing Wheelbuilder.com and am considering a front wheel using the DT Swiss R 460 rim and a White Industries T11 front hub.

Is there anything else I should consider? I may eventually upgrade the rear wheel, but for the present I'm more concerned with being able to get home if a spoke pops, not necessarily performance.
Its a theme way to light a bike made for tje theoretical 1 pound racer in theitb20's


As this is premium stuff,

you can sell them and get an equally premium wheel set with 32 spoke front and 36 spoke rear..
(or 28/32)

the 2 relevant companies make those parts too..

Dealer offer a trade in for your brand new wheels in trade for something more pragmatic?

My 24 spoke wheels are 349 16" (rear a 36 hole hub, skipping holes.. )

230 # , 71 years old..








...

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Old 05-13-19, 02:15 PM
  #32  
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First, your posts would be easier to read if you would break them up. Use a paragraph or two. As it stands now, your posts are just one giant run-on sentence.

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
A little more information in this already overloaded discussion.
I don't know why you are saying that this is an "overloaded" discussion. If people don't want to read it, they don't have to. If people want to be informed, read away.


Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
I had a rear wheel with a very lightweight Velocity Blunt 29'er rime that allowed the spokes to pull through. This rim is built very lightly with no rim brake lands.
I'm not following what you mean by "with no rim brake lands".

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
I build my own wheels and as anyone knows that build wheels spoke tension is on the preventative maintenance list after a wheel is built. They tend to work loose and usually just one will get very loose and cause spokes to break on either side of it. So we check spoke tension regularly, especially right after the build.
This is exactly what I was talking about above. Loose spokes are just as detrimental to rims as spokes that are too tight. You rim didn't break because it was "too light". It broke because you didn't build properly. Spokes that loosen often says to me that you weren't using a thread preparation. Spokes can also break at the head because the tension/detension cycle allows the head of the spoke to move about too much. I've experienced loose spokes and I could hear a "tink" each time the spoke lifted off the ground. It was much more noticeable a low speed, of course.

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
This rim always had loose spokes, not just one but generally. I would tighten them and they would all loosen up again. Never had a wheel do that before. The front wheel with the same rim was not having issues. After really looking it over one day I noticed the entire wheel was failing at all the spoke holes and they were gradually being pulled to the hub. There was cracking starting to happen and deformation around the holes. I believe the Blunt 29er is just built too light for our weights. I never actually broke a spoke and they were all straight 14 gauge.
And, again, that is why your rim pulled through. It wasn't because of high spoke tension but because of low spoke tension. I've had some rims that have cracked down the middle on the secondary wall between spoke holes. The inability to properly tighten the spoke manifests the same way and will eventually lead to cracking at the spoke hole.


Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
The deep dish MTB wheels I spoke of in my previous reply were Veulta brand and did have a very thick spoke. The spoke was 2.6mm or bigger. That is why the wheel handled my weight for years with no complaint. 24 14guage spokes would never have handled my weight with so few spokes.
Again, I question the 2.6mm cross section of the spoke. Those are very rarely used in any wheel. The thickest spoke on a "production" wheel I've ever seen were on a Libertas tandem and those were 13 (2.3mm) straight gauge spokes.

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Deep dish rims are very good at rolling faster than box shaped rims. I believe it is because of the engineered deep semi I beam shape that makes the rim much stronger in a load applied direction. The end result is they flex less under load, than a box shaped rim and thus roll better.
Deep cross section rims roll (slightly) faster because of the aerodynamic shape. They aren't going to roll faster...at least perceptively faster...because they are stiffer in the vertical direction.
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Old 05-13-19, 03:19 PM
  #33  
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HED Belgium Plus is what I would look at
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Old 05-13-19, 07:10 PM
  #34  
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Vuelta Team SL37 Hand Built Alloy Straight Pull Clincher Road Wheelset. The Vuelta website lists the spoke diameter at 4mm. These type of wheels with larger spoke diameters are on a lot of bicycle wheels and allow heavier riders the benefits of safe aerodynamic deep dish wheelsets.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:32 AM
  #35  
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My weight has fluctuated from 310 to 195 and everywhere in between and I have rode cheap Shimano wheels to top of the line Mavic wheels. I have broke three spokes on the rear on a set of Shimano R500's when I was over 300lbs. That's it, I own a set of Mavic Elite S that have over 20000km and a set of Mavic Ultimate Carbone Tubulars that have over 40k on them. Ride smart, avoid potholes and curbs and don't be bunny hoping **** and almost any wheel set will hold up. Get what gives you piece of mind but don't fret to hard especially at your weight.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:20 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Vuelta Team SL37 Hand Built Alloy Straight Pull Clincher Road Wheelset. The Vuelta website lists the spoke diameter at 4mm. These type of wheels with larger spoke diameters are on a lot of bicycle wheels and allow heavier riders the benefits of safe aerodynamic deep dish wheelsets.
I would take that measurement with a very large grain of salt. Either it is a misprint or it is describing something else. Looking at some pictures of the wheel, my money would be on the "4mm" as describing the cross-section of the bladed part of the spoke. The round part of the spoke appears to be around the normal range of 13 to 15 gauge. The hub would have to be huge to accommodate a 1/8" rod and it doesn't appear to be. I suspect that it is a 2.0mm head and tail. That would make it no stronger than any other straight pull spoke spoke.
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Old 05-14-19, 09:58 AM
  #37  
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Spoke size

Cyccummute I don't know whether to believe your description or to just believe Vuelta's website when they say a spoke is 4mm. I guess I'll have to go with Vuelta since I did own a pair of these type of wheels and the spokes were bigger than 2.6mm. And no they did not neck down to any 2mm sizes. I worried about a broken spoke and measured mine. I think the spokes for Vuelta are proprietary to their design so spokes might be only available from them. They never caused problems. You might take a good caliper and go find a set of these wheels and start measuring the spoke size for yourself.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:15 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Cyccummute I don't know whether to believe your description or to just believe Vuelta's website when they say a spoke is 4mm. I guess I'll have to go with Vuelta since I did own a pair of these type of wheels and the spokes were bigger than 2.6mm. And no they did not neck down to any 2mm sizes. I worried about a broken spoke and measured mine. I think the spokes for Vuelta are proprietary to their design so spokes might be only available from them. They never caused problems. You might take a good caliper and go find a set of these wheels and start measuring the spoke size for yourself.
This shows a close up of the hub and spokes. Given the other items in the picture such as the hub and flange, I can say that the spoke head isn't 4mm. I can't say with certainty whether the spokes are 2.6mm or 2.0mm at the head but they are not 4mm thick. I can believe that the flattened portion is 4mm wide but not the head. And, as 2.6mm is a very uncommon diameter for spokes of any kind, I have a hard time believing that they use 2.6mm heads. 2mm, yes. Even 2.3 mm but not a heavy as you are stating.

And, as I'm very unlikely to buy a $350 wheelset that I would have zero use for, I doubt that I'm likely to be able to measure one. If you have one and post a picture of the measurement, I'll agree but until I see the measurement, I'm still skeptical.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:55 AM
  #39  
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Lets talk Worksman wheels

A very popular bicycle in the New York City area is the Worksman. These are heavy duty bicycles meant for hard commercial service. Worksman is happy to sell you one of these bicycles. I own a Worksman Cycletruck. Worksman wheels come with 10 (3.05mm) gauge spokes. They also are equipped with rims that amount to small motorcyle rims. Wheels are available in 26 inch and 20 inch sizes. These bicycles are used in a lot of industrial locations and I had them at my work. The 10 gauge spokes are straight gauge and are not necked down. These wheels have very high loading ratings. It doesn't take much of an internet search to find both 10 gauge spokes and 12 (2.6mm) gauge spoked wheelsets in 26 inch size. A lot of what is termed Heavy Duty bicycles are sold with these extra strong wheelsets. There are a number of them in my city that are used by people for their daily lives. Usually these bicycles are coaster brake equipped and meant for heavy duty hauling service. I'm finding that electric motor aided bicycles often have 12 gauge spokes for durability though these are on the edges of what a bicycle is. As for doubts that Vuelta measured their spokes at their flattened widest instead of diameter I can't answer that. If anyone doubts the 10 gauge spokes used on bicycles please refer to the Worksman website. Bicycle rims are not all the same, thicker spokes have higher load ratings. More spokes per wheel carry more weight. Pretty simple.
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Old 05-14-19, 04:08 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
A very popular bicycle in the New York City area is the Worksman. These are heavy duty bicycles meant for hard commercial service. Worksman is happy to sell you one of these bicycles. I own a Worksman Cycletruck. Worksman wheels come with 10 (3.05mm) gauge spokes. They also are equipped with rims that amount to small motorcyle rims. Wheels are available in 26 inch and 20 inch sizes. These bicycles are used in a lot of industrial locations and I had them at my work. The 10 gauge spokes are straight gauge and are not necked down. These wheels have very high loading ratings.
Yes, I'm aware of Worksman but they aren't exactly a common bicycle. As a volunteer at my local co-op for over a decade and as someone who sees 1,500 bikes per year (about 15,000 total bikes), I have yet to see a single Worksman. I have yet to see much in the way of industrial utility bikes in general. Although they seem to growing popularity, we don't see a lot of electric bikes either.

I have a drawer full of spokes at the shop...probably close to 1000...that we salvage from wheels that can't be reused for various reasons (usually related to worn rims). Not a single one of them is a 10 gauge or 3.0mm spoke. Not a one of them is a 12 gauge (2.6mm) or even a 13 gauge (2.3mm). There aren't even any in there that are triple butted with a 2.3mm head. There are a smattering of 2.0/1.8/2.0 double butted spokes and even a few 1.8mm and 1.8/1.5/1.8mm spokes. The vast majority of spokes are 2.0mm straight gauge spokes, probably around 99% or even higher. The number of 3.0mm spokes out in the world is vanishingly low.

As for their load capability, it's not due to the rims. For those bikes that use 3.0mm spokes, it's the spokes that do all of the heavy lifting (or, rather, "hanging").

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
It doesn't take much of an internet search to find both 10 gauge spokes and 12 (2.6mm) gauge spoked wheelsets in 26 inch size. A lot of what is termed Heavy Duty bicycles are sold with these extra strong wheelsets. There are a number of them in my city that are used by people for their daily lives. Usually these bicycles are coaster brake equipped and meant for heavy duty hauling service.
Yes, you can find them available. But you just don't find them in common use. They would be so rare that bicycle shops simply don't carry either 3.0mm, 2.6mm, 2.3mm or even the triple butted 2.3/1.8/2.0 Alpines. The article I linked to in post 14 even laments the fact that people aren't using spokes with a 2.3mm head often enough. QBP lists 2.34mm DT Champions but good luck on finding a shop that would have them in stock.

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
I'm finding that electric motor aided bicycles often have 12 gauge spokes for durability though these are on the edges of what a bicycle is. As for doubts that Vuelta measured their spokes at their flattened widest instead of diameter I can't answer that. If anyone doubts the 10 gauge spokes used on bicycles please refer to the Worksman website.
Yes, again, 12 gauge is becoming a bit more common but it is still a rare spoke to see on anything other than electric bikes. 10 gauge spokes are also available but extremely rare.

Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Bicycle rims are not all the same, thicker spokes have higher load ratings. More spokes per wheel carry more weight. Pretty simple.
I (almost) agree. Rims are not all the same but they hardly matter. And I've stated...over and over and over again...that thicker spokes can carry more load. I'm endlessly flamed for suggesting it. And I agree that more spokes can carry more weight. But stronger spokes can also carry more weight without having to go to some obvious extremes. A 36 hole wheel made with DT Alpine III is fully capable of doing the work of a 40 spoke or (possibly) even a 48 spoke wheel without having to deal with the rarity of finding either of those hubs and rims. I've toured on 36 spoke wheels extensively using DT Alpine III spokes. Where a straight gauge spoke would break frequently, the DT Alpine III hasn't.

To be clear, I'm a proponent of stronger spokes. The triple butted spokes are a better compromise than trying to use a 2.6mm spoke. The flange holes on nearly every hub made is drilled to 2.5mm. That's so that the threads will pass through the hub. A 2.6mm spoke would require a different hub or drilling out an existing hub. Drilling an existing hub is fraught with its own problems.
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Old 05-15-19, 11:02 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by insignia100 View Post
I'm now paranoid of the wheels that came on my new-to-me bike: 16 spoke front, 24 spoke rear. I'm more concerned about the front, if only because I may get stranded if a front spoke pops. I could probably make it home if a rear spoke broke while out on a ride. (For reference, I'm 244ish lbs at the moment, though slowly but surely dropping weight.)


I'd like to upgrade the front wheel at least to a 20-24 spoke rim. I've been browsing Wheelbuilder.com and am considering a front wheel using the DT Swiss R 460 rim and a White Industries T11 front hub.


Is there anything else I should consider? I may eventually upgrade the rear wheel, but for the present I'm more concerned with being able to get home if a spoke pops, not necessarily performance.

Having formally weighted as little as you and having been through many wheel sets, I offer my humble opinion(s).


Your concerned regarding your 16/24 wheels may be justified and replacing them with something more durable is probably justifiable. If you're riding for health, fitness and weight loss, then, you aren't racing and reduced spoke counts serve no purpose.


My take on things is: For health, fitness, weight loss and training purposes, the most important trait of my wheels is their long term durability and long intervals between service.


The DT R460 you mention will build up into a fine wheelset. As would a DT R511 or Velocity Deep V or HED Belgium C2.


More important to wheel longevity and durability is the combination of spoke count, spoke diameter and most importantly tension balancing of the spokes.


Since these aren't race wheels, there's no decernable advantage or reason to reduce the count from the 32 that all the above are available in. There also would be any reason why you couldn't get perfect service from a 28 front in combination with a 32 rear. So, at least from my perspective, I would look at a 32/32 or 28/32 set.


For spoke selection, the choices are pretty simple. The most basic being between straight gauge and double butted. Many of us who build our own clyde worthy wheels, and several shops that sell a lot of clyde wheels (such as Leonard Zinn) will concur that double butted spokes provide for a superior wheel and cost hardly anything. So, I would go, and have gone repeatedly, with DT Comp spokes, with brass nipples.


The most important and most often overlooked aspect of clyde wheel durability is spoke tension balancing. It is, by far, the most important aspect. And, requires either an initial builder with both the patience to do so and the equipment to laterally load the rim and hubs, or, that you have a suitably skilled wheelsmith to do the tension balancing after a very short breakin. I can not tell you how many bicycle technicians have claimed to me to be able to properly maintain wheels, but, fail in this regard. Being willing to visit numerous shops to find your wheelsmith or invest in the tools yourself and start practicing (if you're mechanically inclined).


Hubs: There are plenty of options, but, to be honest, simple 32 hole Shimano Ultegras or 105s provide everything I need for good training wheels, and, they're quiet. If I were to shop up scale from there, I would look for sealed bearings and perhaps a star drive type ratchet, but, most certainly still a steel freehub body.


That's my take on simple clyde training wheels.
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