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Is 24 holes enough for gravel?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Is 24 holes enough for gravel?

Old 10-09-19, 07:27 AM
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rosefarts
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Is 24 holes enough for gravel?

I ride pretty hard and frequently blur the line between gravel and mountain bike.

I don't catch much air and I weigh 140. My hunch is that they'll work.

My road wheels with even fewer spokes have never been a problem. My 32 hole gravel wheels with thousands of miles of abuse appear to be new when on the truing stand.

I can get a great deal on some 24h CX wheels that I don't want to miss out on.
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Old 10-09-19, 07:51 AM
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What is the build? Some hubs have better flange spacing than others....some rims tolerate much less spoke tension than others.
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Old 10-09-19, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
What is the build? Some hubs have better flange spacing than others....some rims tolerate much less spoke tension than others.
TBD but I'd like to use the straight pull Novatec 411/412 hubs that seem to be the lightest disc hubs around.

Stan's Iron Cross rims.

Probably 2.0/1.8/2.0 spokes unless someone thinks I can get away with 1.5

Last edited by rosefarts; 10-09-19 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 10-09-19, 08:47 AM
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I don't think anyone can answer the question honestly. It's a "try it and see what happens" proposition. It's like asking how many holes you can drill in your frame to lose weight. My answer would be 42.

But consider the spokes to be the suspension of your bike (assuming its a rigid frame). If a 4x4 owner posted on an off road forum asked if they could run bare minimum pavement oriented suspension on a vehicle they run pretty hard off road what would the answer be?

If you can accept that lower spoke count means a greater risk of spoke failure, and the greater loss of ability for the remaining spokes to maintain integrity of the wheel, then go for it. But it seems to be pushing the envelope of a component part that takes a lot of abuse in the area of gravel/mountain biking.

You are wanting low spoke count and are asking about even thinner individual spokes.. why? What's the up side - Price? If the wheel fails it won't be such a bargain. Again, if you can afford to experiment try it out. Most people find no benefit to pushing low spoke count, even if it works, and want to avoid the risk of unnecessary ride ending failures so they choose more robust builds.

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Old 10-09-19, 09:30 AM
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Thinner spokes tend to have more stretch or compliance or whatever you want to call it. In theory this gives you a smoother ride and your spokes are supposed to last longer than with straight guage.

I think the ride quality idea is true. I'm not so sure about the durability argument because I'm so light, I really don't break spokes.

Thinner spokes are always more expensive than their thicker counterparts. This has neve upset me.

I'm pretty sure the 24h deal I was asking about is already sold out. I have an email into the website to double check inventory.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:32 AM
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I'd be more worried about tire blow offs with the Iron Cross rims than anything else.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:34 AM
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A lot of it is weight dependent and at 140 I really don't think you'll have any issues with 24h.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I'd be more worried about tire blow offs with the Iron Cross rims than anything else.
Like I said. Probably sold out.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Like I said. Probably sold out.
Sorry, missed that line in this thread, not that your response makes sense tbh. But, I have a buddy that is selling his Iron Cross wheelset. Has DT Swiss 350 hubs set up QR if that's what you need.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Sorry, missed that line in this thread, not that your response makes sense tbh. But, I have a buddy that is selling his Iron Cross wheelset. Has DT Swiss 350 hubs set up QR if that's what you need.
Sorry, trying to navigate the children's museum.

Why would a 20mm id rims have problems with 38-43 tubeless tires?
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Old 10-09-19, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Why would a 20mm id rims have problems with 38-43 tubeless tires?
They wouldn't, that's about the ideal rim width for that range of tires.

My gravel race bike is on a 24/24 wheelset, it's OEM from Diamondback straight gauge 2.0 spokes at moderate tension, the rims are pretty stiff but there's a lot of evidence in the rear of fatigue happening that's going to cause problems soon enough. I'm planning to replace over the winter after three seasons and maybe 5,000 miles of gravel and singletrack. Next set will be 32/32, as hard as I ride that bike I think a more robust build is what I want. I'm ~175 pounds so I'd reckon at 140 with DB spokes you'd be fine on a lighter build indefinitely.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Sorry, trying to navigate the children's museum.

Why would a 20mm id rims have problems with 38-43 tubeless tires?
It isn't the tire, it the pressure.

The Iron Cross is a very light weight rim, that doesn't tolerate much spoke tension...and the max PSI rating for a 32mm tire is a mere 45PSI....and that limit is before people start experiencing blowoffs. That rim is intended for cross and low pressures, and if you bottom-out and ruin the rim it is a cheapo disposable rim to replace. No seriously, your tires cost more than those rims (They're like $25USD MSRP).

https://www.notubes.com/iron-cross-rims
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Old 10-09-19, 12:19 PM
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All wheel parts contribute to the strength of the finished product. Some rims might be fine for you with 24h, others would end up being too flimsy. So, there is no simple answer to this question.
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Old 10-09-19, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Sorry, trying to navigate the children's museum.

Why would a 20mm id rims have problems with 38-43 tubeless tires?
They likely won't at 30-35psi but rims known to blow the second the PSI hits 40 makes me nervous. Maybe I'm just a worry wart.
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Old 10-09-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
They likely won't at 30-35psi but rims known to blow the second the PSI hits 40 makes me nervous. Maybe I'm just a worry wart.
I didn't realize that was a problem with them. I run my tires at 45 to 60 depending. That's on DT Swiss R460 and never had a problem.

I wonder why they're so low?

My only Stan's rims are Alpha 360 for the road and I have run them at 100psi tubeless without problems.
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Old 10-09-19, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I didn't realize that was a problem with them. I run my tires at 45 to 60 depending. That's on DT Swiss R460 and never had a problem.

I wonder why they're so low?

My only Stan's rims are Alpha 360 for the road and I have run them at 100psi tubeless without problems.
No one knows. But you can google it, it's a problem above 40psi. I literally started a thread here about them just a couple weeks ago.
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Old 10-09-19, 01:42 PM
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A very lightly built rim run tubeless will have the bead flange start to spread apart such that the bead can unseat and blow off. This happens with tubed tires as well but at much higher psi relative. I put 100 psi with a tubed tire in a dead Stan's Crest and the outside flange width went from 24.7mm to 25.9mm with an obvious visual deformation of the rim profile.
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Old 10-09-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
A very lightly built rim run tubeless will have the bead flange start to spread apart such that the bead can unseat and blow off. This happens with tubed tires as well but at much higher psi relative. I put 100 psi with a tubed tire in a dead Stan's Crest and the outside flange width went from 24.7mm to 25.9mm with an obvious visual deformation of the rim profile.
WOW, that is super cool to know! And makes total sense.
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Old 10-09-19, 02:06 PM
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Wheels deform in multiple ways when subjected to tire pressure.

The other big one is the reduction in rim diameter, which subtle reduces the length that all spokes have been pulled to. In the case of wheels that use the same spoke gauge on both sides, this results in all spokes losing a roughly equal amount of tension. Since tensions are imbalanced on dished wheels, this can change the ratio of tension between drive-side and non-drive-side, which changes the dish.
(This can become relevant when using rim brakes with lots of mechanical advantage, where the brake pads need to be set extremely close to the rim. PSI changes can cause brake rub by moving the rim left or right.)
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Old 10-09-19, 02:32 PM
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I learned a lot from this.

I won't be getting those rims.

24H is probably ok but those particular rims are not appropriate for me.
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Old 10-09-19, 07:25 PM
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I am 180lbsand have ridden off many 6" curbs with 25c tires on 20/24 wheels and I have never broken a spoke. and I bunny hop speed bumps all day long. again never broken a spoke.

Just saying I am more brutal on wheels in town than I ever am on gravel.

Makes me wonder though what happens to a wheels and spokes when speed is factored in. Big difference between riding off a 6" drop at 20 mph vs 10 mph?
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Old 10-10-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
A very lightly built rim run tubeless will have the bead flange start to spread apart such that the bead can unseat and blow off. This happens with tubed tires as well but at much higher psi relative. I put 100 psi with a tubed tire in a dead Stan's Crest and the outside flange width went from 24.7mm to 25.9mm with an obvious visual deformation of the rim profile.
You have me curious. Do you have any documentation of the "bead flange spreading apart?" I don't doubt that it is possible - just curious where you got that from. Certainly I've seen that happen, but usually around 130-150 psi. Most of the wheel sites I have seen show the tire creeping up and over the rim flange causing a blow-off - so that would be my first guess (what do I know?). If you have more specific info, I'd be interested...
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Old 10-10-19, 11:51 AM
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Hoop stress is greater for wider tires so I could see it happening for big tires at pressures that don't raise an eyebrow. I'm interested in reading more, too.
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Old 10-10-19, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I ride pretty hard and frequently blur the line between gravel and mountain bike.

I don't catch much air and I weigh 140. My hunch is that they'll work.

My road wheels with even fewer spokes have never been a problem. My 32 hole gravel wheels with thousands of miles of abuse appear to be new when on the truing stand.
In my case, low spoke count wears faster and eventually they will break (off pavement riding). And when a 24 spoke wheel loses a spoke, it puts a nice big warp in the wheel requiring some good frame clearance to keep the wheel spinning and get home. If your frame clearance is tight – you’ll be walking. With 32-36 spokes its sometimes hard to tell there is a spoke missing.

Its not so much a matter of the wheel being true - its the lifespan of the spokes for a wheel that is ridden hard. But changing spokes isn't hard - long as you can ride home with a warped wheel...
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