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36h vs. 32h wheelsets

Old 12-05-07, 04:20 PM
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xxsoultonesxx
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36h vs. 32h wheelsets

Right now I'm putting together my LHT project, and I'm curious how many people run a 32h wheelset on a touring bike? I'm under the impression that a 36h is a "worry-free standard" in the eyes of the average bike tourist. What I'm wondering is how well a 32h setup will work for me. I'm about 165 lbs, so I'm not a huge guy, but I do intend to run a full load on the bike for alot of the riding I plan to do. Wheelsets I've been considering are, Velocity Dyad w/deore XT hubs, or Mavic open pro with the same hubs. I probably won't have more than a 50lb load on there, so total weight would be ~220lbs, which is close to the weight ratings for riders of the 32h wheels. Input?
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Old 12-05-07, 04:33 PM
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I generally weigh around 210 - 220. I ride a 29er mtb and I haven't been able to beat up my Hope Pro/Delgado 36h wheels.

I did **** a couple 32h sets before that though...
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Old 12-05-07, 04:42 PM
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I weigh 163 lbs and also built up a LHT. I elected to go with 36 hole wheels, and I'm glad I did. If I went with 32-hole, I think I would worry when the bike was really loaded up. I mean, come on, the difference is only 4-spokes. Might as well go for the 36-hole. The LHT is already heavy anyway... just my opinion.
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Old 12-05-07, 04:52 PM
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First thing, are we talking 26" or 700c? LHT comes in both.

Either way, I can't see any problem with 36, and I can't see any advantage to 32. 4 spokes is irrelevant in weight and does build a stronger wheel. That said the 35 is the safe standard for 700c and the 32 is the safe standard for 26, it's just that if you can get 36 onto a 26 without the weirdness costs that attend builds with the 40s and 48s, then why wouldn't one.

A person's weight is pretty much irrelevant to the wheel strength issue the dynamic factors are far greater. It depends how hard you are on wheels.

Cost is another mater, these days one does find rocking deals on 32s, can't help you there.
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Old 12-05-07, 04:58 PM
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The bike will have 700c wheels. Right now I'm thinking the 36h Velocity Dyads with Deore XT hubs. But you are right about the screamin' deals on the 32h wheelsets. But the spacing on the LHT rules out most of the cheaper options anyway. I'm gonna have to get them built up.
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Old 12-05-07, 05:01 PM
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IMO you should go with the 36h for reasons as stated above. If you go for a 32h wheel you may end up regretting it and have to buy a 36h set anyway. I just bought a set of 36h because my 32s just weren't holding up even around town, but i think alexis rims are just cheap anyway. Take a look on ebay for a seller named rockymountaincyclery, he has some good deals on 36h mavic 719s.
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Old 12-05-07, 05:17 PM
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36 in back
32 in front

problem solved!

There is some article on sheldon brown about it. If you run the same spoke wheels, you're either overbuilding the front, or underbuilding the back.
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Old 12-05-07, 06:41 PM
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Just one more data point for you:

Dyad + Proper Build = 32 spoke front and rear for me. I weigh 166-175 pounds, my loaded bike is usually around 110-120 pounds and I don't limit myself to nice paved roads. As long as the rim isn't prone to cracking and the wheels are properly built...no problem.

The reason I prefer 32h for touring? I'm more likely to come across a replacement hub in some little town with that many spoke holes in it. That said, the Sherpa came with very nicely built 36h wheels and I use them. If I build or have wheels built for it(by PJW)...32h Dyads.

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Old 12-05-07, 06:47 PM
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I have 32H LX hubs mated to some Mavic CXP 33 rims on my LHT at the moment. I'm 160lbs and carry a fairly light load [two panniers, handlebar bag & some heavier stuff strapped on top of the front rack]. I haven't had any problems so far, but I didn't build these up as touring wheels. I do worry about them on rough roads and if I was embarking on a long heavily loaded tour [4 panniers, etc...] I'd build up some 36H wheels - if for nothing else the peace of mind.

Ron has a good point about the availability of 32H hubs and rims though.
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Old 12-05-07, 09:17 PM
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Me ... 48 rear, 40 front ... then again I'm 255lbs.
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Old 12-05-07, 10:57 PM
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Let's talk 26" wheels here for a moment. Do you really think 36 or even 32 is necessary? I mean I watch what these guys do while abusing their mountain bikes with 28 spoke count wheels by jumping piles of logs and dropping from a couple of feet and so on and they aren't breaking spokes, are they?. Do more modern 26" MTB wheels really need that high of a spoke count? pardon me for wondering aloud but just curious as to your thoughts on this.

Last edited by robow; 12-05-07 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 12-05-07, 11:50 PM
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Sorry for the sidetrack, but I need a quick opinion. Somebody offered to sell me a NEW Alex DA22 700c rear wheel with 36 holes, laced with standard 14g stainless spokes, and having a sealed bearing Shimano compatible 9spd hub. Not sure if the hub is actually Shimano or just Shimano-compatible. Price is $35. Is this a good deal? I don't really need it, but I thought it might be a decent backup for the similarly spec'd Alex ACE 19 that comes on the Jamis I'm getting. I could also switch it out on the bike trainer instead of having to change the tire.

Basically, aside from the additional cost of a $30 SRAM cassette, tube, and tire, is the $35 price worth jumping on, or is the mediocrity of the Alex wheel not worth the deal?

Back to our regularly scheduled thread.

thanks
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Old 12-06-07, 11:21 AM
  #13  
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I don't understand your question. In what sense can the 36 be too much? What will you lose if you go 36 instead of 32?
I can't see anything.
It's a touring bike -you can't overbuild it. Go with 40h, if you can lay your hands on a rim and hub with 40h.

However, remember that spoke count is NOT the only criteria for a strong, reliable wheel. Build is much more important. Spoke characteristics are very important as well. Consult a good wheelbuilder.
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Old 12-06-07, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FidelCastrovich View Post
I don't understand your question. In what sense can the 36 be too much? What will you lose if you go 36 instead of 32?
I can't see anything.
It's a touring bike -you can't overbuild it. Go with 40h, if you can lay your hands on a rim and hub with 40h.

However, remember that spoke count is NOT the only criteria for a strong, reliable wheel. Build is much more important. Spoke characteristics are very important as well. Consult a good wheelbuilder.
I have 32's on my touring bike simply because I already had them. If I were building a new set though, it would be 36 or higher.
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Old 12-06-07, 04:17 PM
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"Let's talk 26" wheels here for a moment. Do you really think 36 or even 32 is necessary? I mean I watch what these guys do while abusing their mountain bikes with 28 spoke count wheels by jumping piles of logs and dropping from a couple of feet and so on and they aren't breaking spokes, are they?. Do more modern 26" MTB wheels really need that high of a spoke count? pardon me for wondering aloud but just curious as to your thoughts on this."

I think really excellently built wheels have been successful right down to 20 spokes. But everything has to be right. Flat rim technology is designed to work with 36 spokes, or 32 on MTBs. Deep rims can use less but simplest most rugged technology is based on steel spokes under tension rather than the arch strength of alloy rims.

MTBs or trials bikes doing stunts depend on tire pressure and cushioning, and very athletic rider legs. Tourign bikes can see thousands of miles of fatigue inducing stresses. I remember being told that a lot of spars on sailboats fell over in the marina. The tipping side to side from wind and ripples in the slip at dock, though minimal loads, over millions of reps could undo the rig as surely as stresses from weekly racing.
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Old 12-06-07, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
"Let's talk 26" wheels here for a moment. Do you really think 36 or even 32 is necessary?

I have 36-spoke, 26" wheels on my Surly LHT. On a unloaded century ride from beyond San Francisco to Santa Cruz I hit a bridge joint at high speed at the bottom of a hill. I was forced into it by a motorcycle illegally passing creating a four-abreast situation (right to left: me, car, motorcycle, car-coming-the-other-way). This broke the plies on the Conti Travel Contact rear and very, very slightly set the rear rim out of round producing a barely noticeable bumping for the rest of the trip. Replaced the tire and trimmed up the wheel...No problems for several thousand miles since.

But, it is possible to knock a 36-spoke, 26" wheel shod with 26 x 1.5 tire out of true. (I weigh about 170 lb.)
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Old 12-07-07, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by theranman View Post
Sorry for the sidetrack, but I need a quick opinion. Somebody offered to sell me a NEW Alex DA22 700c rear wheel with 36 holes, laced with standard 14g stainless spokes, and having a sealed bearing Shimano compatible 9spd hub. Not sure if the hub is actually Shimano or just Shimano-compatible. Price is $35. Is this a good deal? I don't really need it, but I thought it might be a decent backup for the similarly spec'd Alex ACE 19 that comes on the Jamis I'm getting. I could also switch it out on the bike trainer instead of having to change the tire.

Basically, aside from the additional cost of a $30 SRAM cassette, tube, and tire, is the $35 price worth jumping on, or is the mediocrity of the Alex wheel not worth the deal?

Back to our regularly scheduled thread.

thanks

For $35 I'd buy the wheel-- it cost twice that in bike shop if you needed it.
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Old 07-30-21, 05:15 PM
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DT Swiss 36h sleeved vs. DT Swiss 32h welded?

I want to put an electric motor on a fully-loaded touring bicycle to run on gravel and off-road. I weigh 217 pounds so I am looking for the strongest wheel I can build. I am trying to decide between a DT Swiss 36h sleeved rim and a DT Swiss 32h welded rim. Which matters more, four additional spokes or a welded joint? I want to build the rear wheel on a Rohloff hub which limits my choices to 32h and 36h. So 32h welded or 36h sleeved?
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Old 07-30-21, 05:43 PM
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I suggest the 32s front and back because you need to pack most of the freight up front to counterbalance your weight. Typically most touring bikes allow the rider to be a little more upright, by design, and this moves more of the riders weight to the back tire. I suggest that you add the heavy stuff to the front panniers to help balance the weight, thus 32s all round.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:13 PM
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Wow, a thread from 2007. I do not think I have seen one that old resurrected before.

To be on topic, I used 32 spoke on my front wheel, 36 on the rear on my light touring bike. My expedition bike with Rohloff, 36 front and rear. And my medium duty touring bike, 36 front and rear.
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Old 07-31-21, 08:17 PM
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Wow, a thread from 2007. I do not think I have seen one that old resurrected before.

To be on topic, I used 32 spoke on my front wheel, 36 on the rear on my light touring bike. My expedition bike with Rohloff, 36 front and rear. And my medium duty touring bike, 36 front and rear.
I also have Rohloff 36 spoked wheels. I don't hear people talk about what rims they use which is important if you have a heavy loaded bike. I rebuilt my Rohloff wheels with old stock new Velocity Psycho rims and when I built wheels for my son's bicycle I used Ryde Andra 30 rims.
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Old 08-01-21, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I also have Rohloff 36 spoked wheels. I don't hear people talk about what rims they use which is important if you have a heavy loaded bike. I rebuilt my Rohloff wheels with old stock new Velocity Psycho rims and when I built wheels for my son's bicycle I used Ryde Andra 30 rims.
My Rohloff bike, I have the Andra 30 rims, both CSS. When they came, one of them had a tag hanging from a string on it that said Rohloff so I knew which one had the correct drilling, otherwise I could not tell which was which. The CSS rims have been out of production for a few years now. Great rim, my braking surface shows absolutely no wear at all after 8 years, I bought those rims to last a lifetime and so far they look like they will last longer than I will.
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Old 08-01-21, 12:15 PM
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DT Swiss TK 540 36 holes and Butted spokes......Then worry about something else.
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Old 08-01-21, 02:20 PM
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My Rohloff bike, I have the Andra 30 rims, both CSS. When they came, one of them had a tag hanging from a string on it that said Rohloff so I knew which one had the correct drilling, otherwise I could not tell which was which. The CSS rims have been out of production for a few years now. Great rim, my braking surface shows absolutely no wear at all after 8 years, I bought those rims to last a lifetime and so far they look like they will last longer than I will.
When I went to build stronger wheels after the botched job done by the bicycle shop on my new custom bicycle, I looked for the Andra 30 or 40 at the time but didn't know how to order them. When I did my sons bike I had an account with bike 24. The wall thickness on those Andra rims is quite thick. If I ever need new rims again on my bike I will use the Andra 40s if available.
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Old 08-01-21, 02:38 PM
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My 1980 cross country touring bike was 48/40H

My 2016 Cross country rig was 28/20H

About 240 lbs on both.

Get carbon rims. Tight sapim spokes
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