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Low Spoke Count Carbon Track Wheels?

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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Low Spoke Count Carbon Track Wheels?

Old 11-30-13, 08:40 PM
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SkylarG
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Montreal, QC
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Bikes: Marinoni Pista (650c), Gunnar Crosshairs, Yakota Twin Peaks Tandem

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Low Spoke Count Carbon Track Wheels?

Has anyone used low-spoke track wheels or carbon track wheels for city riding? Potholes, rolling over curbs, and all? Durability issues? Experience?

DURABILITY: As far as I can tell, there's no real problem with low spoke count wheels durability wise. I mean, people run 20/24h for cyclocross and even downhill riders are rocking carbon rims. If you break a spoke, it sucks with brakes because the wheel is out of true enough to be unridable, but this isn't true if you're riding fixed with no rear brake.

WEIGHT: I also like the idea of lighter wheels for the sake of faster acceleration and deceleration, this seems particularly useful with fixed when using your legs instead of a handbrake to slow down.

STIFFNESS: Traditionally track wheels are high spoke count to have the stiffness needed to support big watts on alloy rims, but carbon rims are far stiffer than alloy, so might this offset the lower spoke count?

To make things more interesting, I have a set of Reynolds Attack road wheels (20F, 24R), but the rear rim has something that causes a slight bump in braking. No idea what it is, no cracks, dents (as if carbon would), no scuffing, nothing. The rim physically feels and looks perfect. Still, it's kind of annoying to have inconsistent braking on my road bike.

The idea is, what if I just swapped out the rear road hub with a track hub? This wheel set would weigh around 1330-1550g instead of my current setup at 2300g (32h H+Son Formation Face x Miche). It also just requires buying a 24h track hub and new spokes (24h White Industries, Zipp, American Classic, MACK, even a $30 one from On-One are available).

So... Thoughts? Am I overlooking something?
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