Advice on wheels for heavy rider



alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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swampy1970 said:
 
I've had a few sets of wheels from Paul Hewitt - even the 28H Mavic GEL280s that he built for me were bombproof on crappy northern English roads and saw more than a couple of miles on flat tubs and remained dead true. The best think about dealing with the lad is he actually has a clue. I think the only other guy in England that could put a wheel together like Paul was Monty Young of Condor Cycles. Paul was the goto guy for wheels, even though it was a fair drive to his shop. He'd build stuff just to try it out so it wouldn't surprise me with the mystery radial wheel builder was him.
 
If it was him, it certainly says that he's willing to try things out and not just swallow what the status quo has vomited.
 

Eichers

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Sep 17, 2010
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Originally Posted by dhk2 .
Good link. Believe Josh knows his stuff, and can explain things well. Guess that shouldn't be a surprise, but it's refreshing after everything posted here.
Hi dhk2, good to see that you feel more comfortable with the information in the link that maydog provided. Thanks maydog for the links, appreciated :)

As I have posted many times, I am not an expert re wheel building, but from what you have read and what you now know, what would you recommend for a heavy rider (> 110kgs/240lbs) , or a medium rider (90 to 110kgs), or a light rider (< 90kgs/200lbs), or extra light (< 70kgs/155lbs) ... thanks
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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klabs, your question is alot like "what bike do you recommend?" There are lots of wheels out there that will work for any given situation, and certainly no easy way to determine what might be optimum. In theory, things like application, rider weight, road conditions, desired durability and ease of maintenance would be priorities for making a rational decision, but in fact it's hard to get any real data for decision-making. Price and weight of the wheel are of course available, so that's what gets used mostly in comparisons.

We could endlessly debate whether wheels built with twin-threaded or straight-pull spokes were more durable than conventional j-bend spokes, radial-spoke vs 2x or 3x, how many and what gauge of spokes are best for a given rider weight, who "needs" aero wheels vs "climbing wheels", etc. But it's apparent from people I see and ride with that lots of design combinations work fine and last a long time. Kindof like frames and forks, in the end you go with what you decide to spend your money on and go ride it.
 

Eichers

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Sep 17, 2010
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Hi dhk2, yes you are right :)

There are many choices, especially if you are a light weight rider, ie. weigh 60 to 70kgs, but there are some things that will tend to be consistent from what I have read ...

Climbers Wheels seem to require light rims ... say <400gm rear rim and a little lighter front rim, such as Enve, Kinlin, Velocity A23, Stans 340A, etc

TT wheels seem to require rims that are a combination of climber and pursuit rims ... Aero is usually more important than light weight and some weight is good for inertia/momentum.

Crit wheels rims are more like climber rims because of the number of corners that exist in a crit circuit where fast acceleration is required when exiting the corners.

A good compromise rim depth, re weight, aero (side & front), and strength, seems to be 30 to 40mm (+/- a little).

Hubs should have excellent bearings, excellent freehub/hub mechanism, excellent durability, and easy serviceability ... such as DA, DT240, etc

The spoke lacing patterns should suit the intended terrain, expected durability, rider weight, rider strength, hub, rim, dishing.
  • For heavy riders, >=110kgs, the rear lacing, using J spokes, should be 32H 4xDS, 2xNDS, and front lacing 24H/28H 2x (This could change when they move from 130mm stays to 135mm stays).
  • It would appear that a 16:8 Triplet rear lacing, using a wide flanged hub and J spokes with 120 to 130 kg/f spoke tension, of 24H 3xDS, 1xNDS is as strong as as a 32H 3xDS, 1xNDS, but not as good if you break a spoke.
  • The wheel must always be laterally and vertically stiff, but still have sufficient elasticity (compliance) to absorb bumps, etc.

The more the wheels and tyres can absorb the bumps, without incurring a weight penalty, the more you will enjoy riding the bike :)
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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klabs, you seem to want to create a strawman arguement for expensive and exotic wheels. Nothing wrong with high-end hardware of course, but in my opinion the exotic specifications and costly bits you've listed just don't matter very much in the real world to the 99% of us. I'm curentlly on DT RR1450 wheels, but haven't noticed any advantage in climbing over my old Circuits which weighed 200 grams more. Saving the weight of 1/3 of a water bottle just doesn't matter much. Same applies to rim profiles; the aero savings is very slight until you get into the specialized TT wheels. Sure, elite TT'ers can save a few seconds with them, and that could make all the difference in the finish rankings, but just buying the wheels isn't going to get me into the competition.

I don't think spoke patterns matter much, if at all. For a heavy rider, I'd want at least 32 spokes back and front, 36 would be better. A 100 kg plus rider doesn't benefit from saving a few grams by reducing spoke count on the wheels. Lacing patterns don't matter much, as evidenced by all the combinations out there. In sum, I'd say wheels don't absorb the bumps, tires do, and the weight penalty hardly matters.
 

Eichers

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Sep 17, 2010
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Hi dhk2, ok, no argument on my part, merely a learning process, and I guess only for me. I guess we can leave it at that then ... thanks :)
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Velocity do what looks like a nice 24mm wide road rim, that I think is designed for touring or tandems but isn't all that heavy - under 500g. Mate that to a pair of 36 spoke hubs (or even higher if the weight requires it) and you'd likely get something that'd take the beating that a 300lb guy and a few potholes could hand out. It probably won't look the fastest wheelset while the bike is leaning up against the cafe wall but when you're riding, even at 15mph, that's a good 12.5mph faster than walking home in your cycling shoes and at anything above single digit speeds you'd never be able to tell if there's 40 (or 48) spokes in the back wheel or 32.
 

zzwill

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May 7, 2012
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Hi all, I'm a former sportsman, so not just a fatty, weighing in at 17 stone plus ( 110kgs 240lbs ) with the standard dt-Swiss wheels on my new Specialized Roubaix. I'm not doing anything rough with them, but they keep bending. I think, as seen in previous posts, a combination of my weight, steep hills, and low cadence are too much for them.

I had Campagnolo Zonda's on my last bike and never had a problem, even though they have a low, yet sturdy spoke count. A lot of the forums suggest Mavic Ksyriums, in this price bracket but I haven't seen much mention of them on this thread.

Anyone got any good suggestions, for a reasonably priced set of wheels available in France, preferably from Wiggle?
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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The only 700c rear wheel of which I've never broken spokes is a (second hand) Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL. It has been on my nice bike since ~2006. I'm a leanish 87 kg (192 lbs) and 193 cm (6' 3"). All previous rear wheels were 32 spoke conventional shallow-rim ones - they'd be OK for 6 months and then break spokes at the elbow, or occasionally the thread, at an increasing rate. I remain much impressed by the dependable solidity of this 20 spoke Mavic wheel. Having straight-pull spokes seems to be a big advantage, and perhaps the rigid deep rim and fairing help too.
 

thalbergmad

New Member
Jul 1, 2012
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It has been interesting reading through this thread as I am an ex powerlifter that rarely weighs less than 270lbs. Either I am extremely lucky or perhaps wheel builders tend to understate the suggested maximum rider weight, but I can count the number of spokes that have failed on my bikes on one hand.

I have a 2001 Trek 5.2 with Rolf Vector wheels that must have lasted a good 2,000 miles before I heard the first ping, a 2008 Specialized Tarmac Pro with Roval Fusee Star whells ( I am 30 pounds over the recommended weight) which lasted about 1,000 miles before it needed a spoke and a 2011 Trek 6.9 with Bontrager *** wheels that are still perfect, albeit less than 200 miles have been completed.

Now that I am finished with the gym and gradually upping my rides to 100 miles a week, the weight is flying off me, but from what I have read here, I will be happier when I am under 240 pounds.

Thal