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Strong Wheels

Old 05-09-19, 11:58 AM
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Strong Wheels

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.
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Old 05-09-19, 12:11 PM
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You are right, at 244 pounds, wheels are the last thing related to performance you should be concerned about.

I would feel safe on nothing less than 32 spokes rear, 28 spoke front minimum on a quality (read 550+ gram, double wall) rim If I were to go with other than Velocity.

R460 rims are good light rims, but You are going to be asking for an awful lot out of them IMO. Is there an actual weight rating on them? I don't know. What I do know is the ones I have come across all had worn out brake tracks & were all ridden by <150 pound riders. But that is my limited experience with a small handful of rims.

Velocity churns out good durable & strong rims. Check out the 24 to 32 spoke Dyads &/or A23's. If you have the coin, they are marketing Quill's now, too. Same profile, but slightly different extrusion for lighter weight & added stiffness. They say they are suitable for CX so maybe they're on to something?

Last edited by base2; 05-09-19 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 05-09-19, 12:31 PM
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To add on to my previous post:

It's not so much: "Can this wheel hold me?" So much as it is: "Can this wheel hold me while I hit a pothole or abuttment in the pavement while going 35 mph down a hill holding a stiff on the brakes to keep my speed sane?"

That is the question you should be asking.
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Old 05-09-19, 12:33 PM
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I agree with your concerns - with 16 front and 24 rear you could have a significant problem that would be worse than having to walk home.

I'm well below your weight, but I like 32 rear and 28 front if for no other reason that they may stay true and round better than wheels with fewer spokes.

I'd say 32 rear, 28 front with a stout rim for you if the surfaces you ride are generally smooth. If you are in pothole country then 36 rear/32 front will give more piece of mind.
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Old 05-09-19, 01:35 PM
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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.
<sigh> I'm going to have to say this again. If your concern is with the spokes, why are you looking at the rim and hub? Spokes are what break so address that problem, not something unrelated. Frankly, the front wheel is probably never going to have a problem. They are inherently stronger. The rear wheel is weaker because the spokes are stressed more and asymmetrically. Beefing up the spokes on both wheels would go a long way towards making a stronger wheel then beefing up the rim. Adding a wheel with more spokes would also increase the strength of the wheel. Adding beefy spokes (like DT Swiss Alpine III) and more of them would make for a truly strong wheel.

At a minimum, use an the Alpines with the existing hubs and rims would make for a wheel that is a much better wheel.
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Old 05-09-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
<sigh> I'm going to have to say this again. If your concern is with the spokes, why are you looking at the rim and hub? Spokes are what break so address that problem, not something unrelated. Frankly, the front wheel is probably never going to have a problem. They are inherently stronger. The rear wheel is weaker because the spokes are stressed more and asymmetrically. Beefing up the spokes on both wheels would go a long way towards making a stronger wheel then beefing up the rim. Adding a wheel with more spokes would also increase the strength of the wheel. Adding beefy spokes (like DT Swiss Alpine III) and more of them would make for a truly strong wheel.

At a minimum, use an the Alpines with the existing hubs and rims would make for a wheel that is a much better wheel.
You are not wrong, but people always ask about spokes because it helps to consider the whole wheel as a complete package. The assumption is the wheel is to be constructed with symmetry & consistancy.

I just doesn't make sense to ask about using 16 spokes on a 24 hole hub mated to a 32 hole rim. You could do it. It would pencil out if you were savvy. But why? Talking in terms of spoke number standardizes the conversation with known knowns & gives all parties in the conversation a standard reference point to operate from.

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Old 05-09-19, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
<sigh> I'm going to have to say this again. If your concern is with the spokes, why are you looking at the rim and hub? Spokes are what break so address that problem, not something unrelated. Frankly, the front wheel is probably never going to have a problem. They are inherently stronger. The rear wheel is weaker because the spokes are stressed more and asymmetrically. Beefing up the spokes on both wheels would go a long way towards making a stronger wheel then beefing up the rim. Adding a wheel with more spokes would also increase the strength of the wheel. Adding beefy spokes (like DT Swiss Alpine III) and more of them would make for a truly strong wheel.

At a minimum, use an the Alpines with the existing hubs and rims would make for a wheel that is a much better wheel.

The problem is, if one doesn't go with an appropriately strong rim, the spokes can pull through or the rim develops cracks at the nipples. I'd be happy if I could get back only a portion of the money I spent on wheel builds using cheaper, lighter rims based on advice like yours (not from you specifically).

IMO, a quality wheel build includes a sufficiently strong rim, appropriate spoke choice in an appropriate number, a quality hub, and attention to detail during the building process. Cut corners in any one area and accept an inferior build. Your Alpine III suggestion is good (although there are those who would cry "overkill"), but lacing them to an inferior rim would be a waste of time and effort. I agree the wheel would be "much better," right up until the point of rim failure. I think the expression is "throwing good money after bad."

I'm not disagreeing entirely, a lot of people do think rim when they should be thinking spokes, but suggesting Alpine III's on stock rims is probably a bad idea. I'm not entirely sure the Alpines would seat at the hub flange either, but I'm not an Alpine/hub expert. I just know I wouldn't want to spend my time and money on lacing 16 or 24 Alpines into a wheel only to watch the rim crack apart in the next 300 miles. So then I'm out the rim, the spokes, the time, and the money.

More to the OP's post...
Your rim and hub choices are sound. I'd go no less than 28 front 32 rear and no less than double butted spokes. 32/36 if you're planning on carrying anything or don't really lose the weight. I recommend you find a local, reputable wheel builder so you can deal directly with any potential follow-up issues.

Finally, I would challenge you to consider the downsides of the possibility of using more spokes than you might actually need. There really aren't any. Well sure, there's the weight. But how much did you say you weigh? I'm right there with you. Are you the caliber of rider who can detect a few extra grams during acceleration? Me neither.


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Old 05-09-19, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
You are not wrong, but people always ask about spokes because it helps to consider the whole wheel as a complete package. The assumption is the wheel is to be constructed with symmetry & consistancy.
In my experience people seldom ask about spokes. They think about the rim and the hub and spokes are almost always an afterthought. Rims really should be the after thought.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I just doesn't make sense to ask about using 16 spokes on a 24 hole hub mated to a 32 hole rim. You could do it. It would pencil out if you were savvy. But why? Talking in terms of spoke number standardizes the conversation with known knowns & gives all parties in the conversation a standard reference point to operate from.
Huh? I don't follow. No one has suggested that. It seems rather pointless to even consider it.

Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
The problem is, if one doesn't go with an appropriately strong rim, the spokes can pull through or the rim develops cracks at the nipples. I'd be happy if I could get back only a portion of the money I spent on wheel builds using cheaper, lighter rims based on advice like yours (not from you specifically).
There are few rims made today that aren't "sufficiently strong" to take the tension of just about any spoke. I also have never found lighter rims to be "cheaper". The mistake that many people make is to think that a heavier rim is somehow thicker and "stronger" than a lighter time. They both use about the same thickness of material in the walls of the rim. Heavier rims tend to just be wider. Adding width does nothing to prevent spoke pull through if that is going to be a problem.

Even if a heavier rim were had the same outside dimension but had thicker walls, the walls aren't significantly thicker. Consider the Velocity Dyad and the Velocity A23. They have very similar profiles and there is a 125g difference between them. That translates to 40 cubic centimeters of aluminum in terms of volume. There is a 4mm difference in width and height. Doing the math, that works out to (about) 80 cubic centimeters in volume. All the weight difference is taken up in the difference in dimensions. The difference might even make the Dyad a little thinner than the A23.

Aluminum is also very soft. An increase in wall thickness is going to give limited returns in terms of strength.

Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
IMO, a quality wheel build includes a sufficiently strong rim, appropriate spoke choice in an appropriate number, a quality hub, and attention to detail during the building process. Cut corners in any one area and accept an inferior build. Your Alpine III suggestion is good (although there are those who would cry "overkill"), but lacing them to an inferior rim would be a waste of time and effort. I agree the wheel would be "much better," right up until the point of rim failure. I think the expression is "throwing good money after bad."
I don't disagree on your points about a quality build but I think far too much emphasis is placed on the rim. There are very few "inferior" rims out there. You'd almost have to search for one. Even the ones that many people think are "inferior"...like the Alex rims...are adequate rims for most any application...even for loaded touring bikes.

Additionally, rim failure due to cracking is more related to the build quality than to the rim.

Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
I'm not disagreeing entirely, a lot of people do think rim when they should be thinking spokes, but suggesting Alpine III's on stock rims is probably a bad idea. I'm not entirely sure the Alpines would seat at the hub flange either, but I'm not an Alpine/hub expert. I just know I wouldn't want to spend my time and money on lacing 16 or 24 Alpines into a wheel only to watch the rim crack apart in the next 300 miles. So then I'm out the rim, the spokes, the time, and the money.
Again, I don't think you can dismiss "stock" rims out of hand. If the rim has a double wall, it is probably good enough for just about any spoke.

The Alpines will seat in just about any rim I've run across. The holes in the hub are drilled so that a 2.3mm threaded section will pass through them...they are usually drilled to 2.5mm. The 2.3mm head of the Alpine III will pass through because the 2.3mm spoke thread section passes through. Silver Alpine III's are a bit thinner than black versions due to the coating but they are harder to find in the US. Pillar makes a triple butted spoke that is 2.2mm which is just slightly weaker than the 2.3mm Alpine III.

Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
More to the OP's post...
Your rim and hub choices are sound. I'd go no less than 28 front 32 rear and no less than double butted spokes. 32/36 if you're planning on carrying anything or don't really lose the weight. I recommend you find a local, reputable wheel builder so you can deal directly with any potential follow-up issues.

Finally, I would challenge you to consider the downsides of the possibility of using more spokes than you might actually need. There really aren't any. Well sure, there's the weight. But how much did you say you weigh? I'm right there with you. Are you the caliber of rider who can detect a few extra grams during acceleration? Me neither.


-Kedosto
I agree with what you say here. The T11 is a fantastic hub and I would suggest getting the matching rear in the spoke counts you suggest. Even better if you can find one in a cool color.
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Old 05-09-19, 04:56 PM
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I'm concerned with the wheel as a whole. Sure, I could just upgrade the spokes with stronger ones, but I still wouldn't feel confident with just 16 spokes. Since I have to upgrade the hub and the rim to increase the number of spokes, I might as well as about a complete wheel build. Hence the thread.

I'll take a strong look at Velocity's options. I'm thinking the Deep V rims would be a good start (with 36/36 spokes). I don't care about wheel weight at all -- when I get to the point where wheel weight makes a significant difference, I won't need the beefier wheels anyway.
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Old 05-09-19, 05:27 PM
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May have found an even better option - Velomine has Velocity Deep V 36/36 wheelsets for $219 with 105 hubs. What I like most is they are built with DT Swiss Champion 2.0 spokes.
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Old 05-09-19, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by insignia100 View Post
May have found an even better option - Velomine has Velocity Deep V 36/36 wheelsets for $219 with 105 hubs. What I like most is they are built with DT Swiss Champion 2.0 spokes.
That’s a deal that’s tough to beat. Velocity will build you the same set but with DT Swiss Comps which I recommend over straight gauge.


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Old 05-09-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In my experience people seldom ask about spokes. They think about the rim and the hub and spokes are almost always an afterthought. Rims really should be the after thought.
I disagree. People either want "strong" or they want "light" or they want "carbon" or they want "aero" or some other existential quality based on whatever random thing they were told they are supposed to want by some well crafted marketing jargon...As a car salesman you have no idea how many people came in wanting a "sporty" car and when asked what they mean, they had no answer.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Huh? I don't follow. No one has suggested that. It seems rather pointless to....
Exactly! Your post was lamenting the focus people place on the number of spokes. And it would seem that in your world according to you that the number of spokes, the quality of rim, the merits of the hub are irrelevant. The only relavent metric in terms of a wheels suitability for service is the strength of an individual spoke, evenness of spoke tension and the roundness of the final product. I.e: the worksmanship of the builder.

My response was that people talk in terms of spoke count as a starting reference point and a proxy for the expected duty. I then cited a an example of how referring to a wheel build by other metrics such as the hub or rim quickly becomes loony when spoke count is not the defined reference point.

No one says: "Man, do I need a stronger hub..." or "Sure wish I had a rim with more holes..." You know why? Because that's a stupid place to start a wheel discussion if a consistant, round & symmetrical wheel is the assumed normal end result.


Don't like it? Don't lament convention of spoke count being a proxy for wheel strength or suitability for a particular service.

Quit while you're ahead.

To the OP: I knew a guy who had Deep V's on his freestyle-bash-the-skatepark-bike. He hammered 'em good. They held up well. For the money, that'd be a tough deal to beat.
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Old 05-10-19, 05:09 AM
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The built quality also matters. Equal tension and so.

Forget about upgrading spokes on your current wheels, 16/24 is just crazy. Don't throw good money after bad money.

32 spoke wheels should be fine and has many economic hub and rim options. Use double butted 14/15 brand name spokes and brass nipples.

There are probably good reasons to have 4 fewer spokes in front, but what is the point? To save 20g? The frontwheel also takes all brake forces.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by insignia100 View Post
I'm concerned with the wheel as a whole. Sure, I could just upgrade the spokes with stronger ones, but I still wouldn't feel confident with just 16 spokes. Since I have to upgrade the hub and the rim to increase the number of spokes, I might as well as about a complete wheel build. Hence the thread.
While I agree that a 16 spoke wheel is silly for just about any weight so is a 24 on the rear. But, that said, going to a stronger spoke is a bit like going to a higher spoke count. This article explains why. Just to be clear, I was building with triple butted spokes for about 20 years (14 years before Ric Hjertberg wrote that article). I don't necessarily agree with his statement that it's like adding 10 spokes to the wheel. I feel like it more like adding 4 but that's a minor quibble.

But rebuilding with triple butted spokes would be an option.


Originally Posted by insignia100 View Post
I'll take a strong look at Velocity's options. I'm thinking the Deep V rims would be a good start (with 36/36 spokes). I don't care about wheel weight at all -- when I get to the point where wheel weight makes a significant difference, I won't need the beefier wheels anyway.
On the other hand, if you are going to be building...or having wheels built...you might as well address both elephants in the room. And, you might just find that a good build will give you wheels that are strong and light. I went from 20/24 Veluta wheels (2010) to a 32 spoke front and rear Pillar PSR TB 2018 spoke/Velocity A23/White Industries T11 hub and lost 2 lb of wheel weight in the process. That is nothing to sneeze at. I'm also very confident that I gained wheel strength and durability. It's not an either/or choice.

You can have light, strong, durable wheels. It's not cheap but it is possible. Save weight where you can...at the rim...and add just a tiny amount of weight where it is needed...at the spoke head bend. That minimal addition of weight at the spoke head provides far better return for your money than trying to add weight where it does nothing.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I disagree. People either want "strong" or they want "light" or they want "carbon" or they want "aero" or some other existential quality based on whatever random thing they were told they are supposed to want by some well crafted marketing jargon...As a car salesman you have no idea how many people came in wanting a "sporty" car and when asked what they mean, they had no answer.
You are completely missing my point. I wasn't addressing spoke count number. I was addressing what people say they want in a strong wheel and they always start with the part that has little to nothing to do with wheel strength. When they want a strong wheel, they think they need a heavy wheel. Mostly it's because people...including a number of knowledgable people posting here...don't understand wheel dynamics.

A steel rim is, arguably, the strongest rim available for a bicycle wheel. It resists bending without spokes attached to it. But if you made a 16 spoke wheel with 1.4mm spokes out of that rim, it would be a weak wheel. Spokes would break with regularity, even on the front. The 1.4mm spoke would simply be too light to take the load. If you made a more reasonable rear wheel with 32 spokes of the same gauge, it would still be a weak wheel.

On the other hand, if you made a 16 spoke wheel with a light aluminum rim but used Alpine III spokes on it, the wheel is going to be stronger and more durable than that steel rimmed monstrosity. Spoke "count" is less important than the spoke strength.


Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Exactly! Your post was lamenting the focus people place on the number of spokes. And it would seem that in your world according to you that the number of spokes, the quality of rim, the merits of the hub are irrelevant. The only relavent metric in terms of a wheels suitability for service is the strength of an individual spoke, evenness of spoke tension and the roundness of the final product. I.e: the worksmanship of the builder.
No, my post was lamenting the focus that people place on the strength of the rim, not on the number of spokes. More spokes are a good idea. Using stronger spokes is an even better idea. Again, the rim itself means little to nothing in terms of wheel strength.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
No one says: "Man, do I need a stronger hub..." or "Sure wish I had a rim with more holes..." You know why? Because that's a stupid place to start a wheel discussion if a consistant, round & symmetrical wheel is the assumed normal end result.
But people constantly say "Man, I need a stronger rim". Sometimes they even say that they wish they had a wheel with more spokes. More spokes is one why to have a stronger wheel. Stronger spokes is a better way to having a stronger wheel. A heavier rim is just heavier. It's not stronger.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Don't like it? Don't lament convention of spoke count being a proxy for wheel strength or suitability for a particular service.
I didn't. You misread and misunderstood my point.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Quit while you're ahead.
Nope. I'm ahead.
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Old 05-10-19, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
The built quality also matters. Equal tension and so.

Forget about upgrading spokes on your current wheels, 16/24 is just crazy. Don't throw good money after bad money.

32 spoke wheels should be fine and has many economic hub and rim options. Use double butted 14/15 brand name spokes and brass nipples.

There are probably good reasons to have 4 fewer spokes in front, but what is the point? To save 20g? The frontwheel also takes all brake forces.
Build quality is much less of an issue than everyone makes it out to be. Few wheels are so poorly built as to not to be serviceable. Wheel build quality is one of the "all things being equal" that really doesn't need to be said.

On the other hand, if build quality is going to be an issue, it is going to raise its ugly head on "economic" wheels.
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Old 05-10-19, 09:54 AM
  #17  
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I bow down to @cyccommute obvious superiority and knowledge in all things wheel related. My decades of machining aerospace materials as a profession clearly has not prepared me for the amazing wisdom that has been bestowed upon me. I am not worthy.

For the record if you don't want to be seen as lamenting something, don't start a post with
<sigh> I'm going to have to say this again. If your concern is with the spokes, why are you looking at the rim and hub? Spokes are what break so address that problem, not something unrelated.
It makes it seem as if you are tired of passing on the same old tired tid-bit of knowledge any n00b ought to know and are concerned about peoples preoccupation with spokes, not rim or hub strenght as you later changed your story to.

Kedosto made a good point about spoke pull through, one I didn't think germane to my post for brevity reasons. The rim strength is absolutely is important. I have seen this, among "good" wheels & good product. Pull through, cracking & fatigue clearly, neigh unambiguously indicate the item in question was under rated or under engineered for the duty asked. The repair of which was a significant part of my profession for quite some time. (You have seen my work & my repairs in the news & my work carries millions of humans around the world daily) Low spoke count, concentrates the load in a smaller area. Increasing risk, stress & shortening service life & reduces safety margin. It's an imuttable law of physics. Yet this is ignored in favor of ego because, (obviously) you know better than Kedosto as well. Spoke type, & it's various constructions & qualities is a further nuance but not the primary determining factor for the load concentration at a particular juncture, like a spoke head for example. Take a physics class and learn about moments. Take a math class & learn about logarithms. Starting with a lesser load in a given area is a great place to start when considering fatigue life. Only then can you work on optimization of the design by various load sharing schemes like various amounts of spoke stretch or the reduction of unnecessary material in unstressed areas.

I am also keenly aware volume of material has little to do with strength. If you were savvy, you would see my intentional addition of the Velocity Quill and the qualification of what Velocity feels it's service capabilities is adequate for would demonstrate my awareness of that fact.

My recommendation of a 550 gram plus rim had to do with economics and the unsuitability of ultralight "race wheels" for this use case. The OP has been steered in a good, proper, and safe direction for fault tolerant wheels. The point of this thread. So what's your gripe? That someone agrees with you in a different way?

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Old 05-10-19, 10:58 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Build quality is much less of an issue than everyone makes it out to be. Few wheels are so poorly built as to not to be serviceable. Wheel build quality is one of the "all things being equal" that really doesn't need to be said.

On the other hand, if build quality is going to be an issue, it is going to raise its ugly head on "economic" wheels.
I guess the build quality can be fixed by loosening all spokes and re-truing and tensioning. Inferior components and spoke count are harder to fix....
But that re-truing would defeat the buying of a complete wheel.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:26 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
For the record if you don't want to be seen as lamenting something, don't start a post with It makes it seem as if you are tired of passing on the same old tired tid-bit of knowledge any n00b ought to know and are concerned about peoples preoccupation with spokes, not rim or hub strenght as you later changed your story to.
You've completely missed my point...multiple times. I was not lamenting spoke count. I was lamenting the "a strong rim results in a strong wheel" fallacy that is held not just by newbies but by nearly everyone in bicycling. I did not "change" my story. You misinterpreted what I was saying.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Kedosto made a good point about spoke pull through, one I didn't think germane to my post for brevity reasons. The rim strength is absolutely is important. I have seen this, among "good" wheels & good product. Pull through, cracking & fatigue clearly, neigh unambiguously indicate the item in question was under rated or under engineered for the duty asked. The repair of which was a significant part of my profession for quite some time. (You have seen my work & my repairs in the news & my work carries millions of humans around the world daily) Low spoke count, concentrates the load in a smaller area. Increasing risk, stress & shortening service life & reduces safety margin. It's an imuttable law of physics. Yet this is ignored in favor of ego because, (obviously) you know better than Kedosto as well. Spoke type, & it's various constructions & qualities is a further nuance but not the primary determining factor for the load concentration at a particular juncture, like a spoke head for example. Take a physics class and learn about moments. Take a math class & learn about logarithms. Starting with a lesser load in a given area is a great place to start when considering fatigue life. Only then can you work on optimization of the design by various load sharing schemes like various amounts of spoke stretch or the reduction of unnecessary material in unstressed areas.
Pulling a spoke through a rim happens but is a far rarer event than spoke breakage. Lighter rims don't necessarily translate to spoke pull through.

As for the rest, you are being unnecessarily insulting because you failed to understand what I was saying.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I am also keenly aware volume of material has little to do with strength. If you were savvy, you would see my intentional addition of the Velocity Quill and the qualification of what Velocity feels it's service capabilities is adequate for would demonstrate my awareness of that fact.
I am "savvy" but see nothing in the Quill that would result in a reduction of spoke breakage. What most people don't understand about wheel dynamics is that the rim floats on the spokes. Making the rim stiffer doesn't do much to reduce the tensioning/detensioning cycle of the spokes as the contact patch is loaded and unloaded. The spoke still go through the same flexing that causes the spoke to fatigue. A steel rimmed wheel is even stiffer than an aluminum rimmed wheel but if you use light spokes on a steel wheel, the spokes would be prone to breakage because of the tensioning/detensioning cycle.

Trying to fix spoke breakage by using a "stronger" rim is somewhat akin to putting air in a plane's tires to keep the wings from falling off.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
My recommendation of a 550 gram plus rim had to do with economics and the unsuitability of ultralight "race wheels" for this use case. The OP has been steered in a good, proper, and safe direction for fault tolerant wheels. The point of this thread. So what's your gripe? That someone agrees with you in a different way?
My "gripe" is that you are addressing the wrong problem. You've got something of a point that the Quill...at 460g...is adequate. Going to a wheel that is 100g heavier doesn't make for a "stronger" wheel. It just makes for a heavier one. Put the weight where it will do some good...at the spoke elbow. On the plus side, the strength of the wheel is better and the added weight is minimal.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:34 AM
  #20  
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But your words were:

<sigh> I'm going to have to say this again. If your concern is with the spokes, why are you looking at the rim and hub? Spokes are what break so address that problem, not something unrelated.
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Old 05-10-19, 12:08 PM
  #21  
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Seeing as how I've already purchased a wheel set that includes a decent quality hub, strong spokes, and a strong rim, I'd be perfectly fine if a mod wanted to close this thread before it degrades any further.
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Old 05-10-19, 02:06 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
But your words were:
If you are going to quote, quote in context. I also said

Adding a wheel with more spokes would also increase the strength of the wheel. Adding beefy spokes (like DT Swiss Alpine III) and more of them would make for a truly strong wheel.

At a minimum, use an the Alpines with the existing hubs and rims would make for a wheel that is a much better wheel.
You put the em.PHA.sis on the wrong syl.LA.ble
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Old 05-10-19, 03:30 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
I agree with your concerns - with 16 front and 24 rear you could have a significant problem that would be worse than having to walk home.

I'm well below your weight, but I like 32 rear and 28 front if for no other reason that they may stay true and round better than wheels with fewer spokes.

I'd say 32 rear, 28 front with a stout rim for you if the surfaces you ride are generally smooth. If you are in pothole country then 36 rear/32 front will give more piece of mind.
It's not the spoke count so much as the guality of the wheel I have a set of he'd Ardennes sl and am a big riders at 230 pounds 20/24 spoke count and 10.000 miles still true as day one. Not cheap but peace of mind is well worth it
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Old 05-10-19, 05:29 PM
  #24  
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The strength I'm mainly concerned with when choosing a rim is in the spoke bed. Wall thickness and extra weight just for the sake of building a supposed stronger rim means nothing. Lacing triple butted spokes into a rim with a thin spoke bed won't make for a stronger wheel. It just shifts the point of failure from the spoke to the spoke bed where the nipples pull through or cracks develop.

I admire cyccommute's faith in cheap OEM stock wheels or equally weak Alex rims. Interestingly enough, hanging in my garage I have an old Alex rim from a Specialized Secteur with cracks around 12 of the 32 spoke holes. I guess I didn't have to search very far to find a cheap rim.

I get the point. Intelligent spoke choice is important. It's just that while so many seem to want to speak about wheel issues from theory, supposition, and the writings of experts, literally DOZENS of rims have passed through my garage over the last 25 years with cracks or pull-throughs. Now, I'm not suggesting anyone go out and buy a big, wide, heavy rim just because they think it's gonna solve their wheel problems. But I'm also not gonna stand back and claim that the solution is to simply lace triple butted spokes into everything either. If the rim can't handle the spoke strength, something's gonna give. If double butted spokes pull through or crack the spoke beds, how's triple butted gonna be any better? It's not the spoke, it's the rim.

The majority of the rims that I've had problems with were the el-cheapos included in the purchase price. And before anyone blames the builder, they've been tuned, tweaked, and even relaced if or when necessary. The simple fact is, Clydes like me need stronger wheels which includes rims, spokes, and a quality build. The problem can't be fixed with spokes alone. I haven't come to this conclusion based on theory or a book I read. This is based on my own, real life experience. I have the evidence to back it up in the recycled aluminum and the last Alex rim I ever want to be associated with hanging in my garage.


-Kedosto
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Old 05-10-19, 10:45 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
The strength I'm mainly concerned with when choosing a rim is in the spoke bed. Wall thickness and extra weight just for the sake of building a supposed stronger rim means nothing. Lacing triple butted spokes into a rim with a thin spoke bed won't make for a stronger wheel. It just shifts the point of failure from the spoke to the spoke bed where the nipples pull through or cracks develop.

I admire cyccommute's faith in cheap OEM stock wheels or equally weak Alex rims. Interestingly enough, hanging in my garage I have an old Alex rim from a Specialized Secteur with cracks around 12 of the 32 spoke holes. I guess I didn't have to search very far to find a cheap rim.

I get the point. Intelligent spoke choice is important. It's just that while so many seem to want to speak about wheel issues from theory, supposition, and the writings of experts, literally DOZENS of rims have passed through my garage over the last 25 years with cracks or pull-throughs. Now, I'm not suggesting anyone go out and buy a big, wide, heavy rim just because they think it's gonna solve their wheel problems. But I'm also not gonna stand back and claim that the solution is to simply lace triple butted spokes into everything either. If the rim can't handle the spoke strength, something's gonna give. If double butted spokes pull through or crack the spoke beds, how's triple butted gonna be any better? It's not the spoke, it's the rim.

The majority of the rims that I've had problems with were the el-cheapos included in the purchase price. And before anyone blames the builder, they've been tuned, tweaked, and even relaced if or when necessary. The simple fact is, Clydes like me need stronger wheels which includes rims, spokes, and a quality build. The problem can't be fixed with spokes alone. I haven't come to this conclusion based on theory or a book I read. This is based on my own, real life experience. I have the evidence to back it up in the recycled aluminum and the last Alex rim I ever want to be associated with hanging in my garage.


-Kedosto
You guys keep mischaracterizing what I have said. There are few rims made today that are weak in any way. You would really have to look deep into the cheap bin...I’m talking HelMart single wall rims... to find a truly poorly designed rim. A double wall rim from just about anyone is going to be strong enough make a good wheel. That’s my point. I use, and have used, the lightest rims available for the better part of 20 years on bikes ranging from mountain bikes to touring bikes.

But, to your point, use good rims. That doesn’t mean you need to use the heaviest rims you can find. Those aren’t necessarily the strongest anyway. Using the weight of the rim as a gauge of “strength” is ignoring the rim design. Weight is usually added by adding width. That doesn’t add to strength.

While you may have experiences “dozens of rim breakages”, I don’t often see broken or cracked rims on the hundreds of wheels I see per year at my local co-op. I see dozens of broken broken spokes for every cracked rim. These are amoung the poorest wheels and poorest rims ever made and they cover the last 40 years or more.

The reason that I suggest triple butted spokes is because they work. They solve the problem of broken spokes for people who put a lot of stress on their wheels. I went from broken spokes being a common problem to being a very uncommon problem simply by changing to the triple butted spokes.

And I’m not just talking from only from “theory, supposition or the writings of experts” eventhough there is nothing wrong wto ith any one of those, most especially the “writings of experts” since they aren’t “expert” without knowing something about theory and practical application. I build a lot of wheels. All 7 or my bikes in my garage have wheels I’ve built. A 3 of my wife’s bikes have wheels that I’ve built. I have extra wheelsets hanging in my garage. I’ve built dozens of wheels since I started building wheels in the 1980s. I’ve learned a lot of very practical knowledge to go along with the “theory and supposition” of wheel building. I didn’t come to this conclusion that rims are mostly unimportant to wheel strength easily or lightly.

I’m also not saying to buy cheap rims. What I am saying is that the rim doesn’t have to be heavy for the wheel to be strong. You can use good lightweight rims (the lighter ones aren’t cheap in my experience) and good triple butted spokes to make a good strong wheel.
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