big guy in need of stiffer wheels...suggestions?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Phil Spengler, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Hi,

    I have a great set of custom built aerolights from Speed Dreams Dave Thomas. (18F, 24R, 14/15 gauge
    bladed spokes). Great wheels, and first ones I have ever owned that stayed true so long (5000+
    miles...I weigh 220 lbs)

    I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of
    flex side to side. I think I see the braking surface hitting the brake pads in front...and hear a
    sort of "hiss" with each pedal stroke out of the saddle, especially when climbing.

    Is anyone my size going to have this sort of problem? Can this be remedied by going up to more
    spokes in front? Or would I have this problem irrespective of whatever wheel I ride. Should I
    just open my brakes more? Could this also be due to the crappy carbon fork on my lemond (2002
    alpe d'huez)?

    Thanks, P
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Phil Spengler
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Hi,
    >
    >I have a great set of custom built aerolights from Speed Dreams Dave Thomas. (18F, 24R, 14/15 gauge
    >bladed spokes). Great wheels, and first ones I have ever owned that stayed true so long (5000+
    >miles...I weigh 220 lbs)
    >
    >I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of
    >flex side to side. I think I see the braking surface hitting the brake pads in front...and hear a
    >sort of "hiss" with each pedal stroke out of the saddle, especially when climbing.
    >
    >Is anyone my size going to have this sort of problem? Can this be remedied by going up to more
    >spokes in front? Or would I have this problem irrespective of whatever wheel I ride. Should I
    >just open my brakes more? Could this also be due to the crappy carbon fork on my lemond (2002
    >alpe d'huez)?

    Some carbon forks, especially 1" with carbon steerer, can be pretty flexy. I don't care for it.
    Really couldn't say whether that is your problem - it may be both both fork and soft wheel. Most
    soft carbon forks i have seen did not flex laterally that much, mostly they flexed at the
    intersection of the steer tube and crown. I got to thinking about the affect of that behavior on my
    lower headset bearing.

    Before you do anything else definitely investigate whether the wheel still has proper tension.
    Bladed spokes can be a problem sometimes in that regard. If the tension is OK and you determine that
    it's flexing too much, a wheel hand-built, 32+ spokes, deep V rim (eg, CXP-33 or similar) laced 3X
    and really tight would be one way to make a very stiff wheel. It's possible you need more spokes
    &/or a stiffer rim.

    I have a pair of 2001 Nucleon wheels and the bladed spokes talk a lot when I am heaving myself over
    a short hill in a big gear. 180 pound rider. They seem pretty flexy but have remained true and tight
    with the exception of one spoke loosening up in the front wheel a while back. The nylock nuts they
    use for nipples obviously do not work perfectly
     
  3. David Ornee

    David Ornee Guest

    "Phil Spengler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a great set of custom built aerolights from Speed Dreams Dave Thomas. (18F, 24R, 14/15
    > gauge bladed spokes). Great wheels, and first ones I have ever owned that stayed true so long
    > (5000+ miles...I weigh 220 lbs)
    >
    > I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of
    > flex side to side. I think I see the braking surface hitting the brake pads in front...and hear a
    > sort of "hiss" with each pedal stroke out of the saddle, especially when climbing.
    >
    > Is anyone my size going to have this sort of problem? Can this be remedied by going up to more
    > spokes in front? Or would I have this problem irrespective of whatever wheel I ride. Should I just
    > open my brakes more? Could this also be due to the crappy carbon fork on my lemond (2002 alpe
    > d'huez)?
    >
    > Thanks, P

    Flexing comes from many places. Your fork is just one of them. Wheels are the easiest things to try.
    Check out the article by Damon Rinard now posted at Sheldon Brown's site at URL:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm For details on more results of the wheels Damon
    tested use the URL: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/data.htm

    As long as you spokes aren't approaching going slack, it won't increase lateral stiffness to
    increase their tension. However, don't back off tension to gain lateral stiffness because there are
    other dynamics in the wheel that will suffer.

    From item an item later in Damon's article: "Relative contribution of the following to stiffness:
    number of spokes spoke gauge rim weight hub flange spacing rim height"

    Another interesting wheel article by Grignon posted on Sheldon's site is at URL:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/grignon.htm

    Imagine yourself on some Mavic CXP33s or Velocity Aerohead / Aerohead OC (Off Center for the rear).
    I don't know if Damon is still testing wheels for lateral stiffness, but you might volunteer yours
    if you want to get an understanding of the wheel portion of your particular set up.

    David Ornee, Western Springs, IL
     
  4. pteabag-<< I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be
    a lot of flex side to side. << Is anyone my size going to have this sort of problem? Can this be
    remedied by going up to more spokes in front? >>

    More spokes, heavier rim....

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  5. Paul-<< I have a pair of 2001 Nucleon wheels and the bladed spokes talk a lot << They seem pretty
    flexy but have remained true and tight with the exception of one spoke loosening up in the front
    wheel a while back.

    Check each hole that the front spokes go into-look for teeny cracks, have seen two wheels like
    this-Nucleons-

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  6. Glenn Katon

    Glenn Katon Guest

    I'm 200+ and every wheel I've ridden with fewer than 32 spokes I've found flexy. I can't stand
    that feeling. I train on CXP-33 with 14 gauge spokes and absolutely swear by them. For racing I
    still use 32 spokes but go with 15 gauge and use lighter rims - tubular Mavic Reflex or GEL 330.
    I just ordered a pair of Ksyriums which I've heard are very stiff and strong, but I haven't
    gotten them yet.
     
  7. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Phil
    Spengler) writes:

    >I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of
    >flex side to side. I think I see the braking surface hitting the brake pads in front...and hear a
    >sort of "hiss" with each pedal stroke out of the saddle, especially when climbing.

    Have you released the front brake just prior to a climb (but not the descent) to see if you still
    hear the sound?

    Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  8. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I don't know if Damon is still testing wheels for lateral stiffness, but you might volunteer yours
    >if you want to get an understanding of the wheel portion of your particular set up.
    >
    >David Ornee, Western Springs, IL

    I think Damon has moved his wheel testing to "Greener Pastures" where he can make a living doing
    such things but can no longer share the results.

    Regarding stiff wheels for big guys. I am a moderately big guy, 230lbs, 6ft 1 inch. I ride a variety
    of steel framed bikes with mostly standard 32 spoke box section rims. I like to stand and trash and
    do all those things and do not have trouble with the wheels flexing. I do run my brakes a bit more
    open than some people.

    The one thing Damon pointed out to me when we were discussing fork stiffness was that at the time of
    his tests, steel forks were the stiffest forks. I am sure this has changed somewhat but personally I
    think steel forks are great for big riders.

    jon isaacs
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, Qui si parla Campagnolo
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Paul-<< I have a pair of 2001 Nucleon wheels and the bladed spokes talk a lot << They seem pretty
    >flexy but have remained true and tight with the exception of one spoke loosening up in the front
    >wheel a while back.
    >
    >Check each hole that the front spokes go into-look for teeny cracks, have seen two wheels like
    >this-Nucleons-

    Yeah, nothing, they seem fine. One spoke loosened up many months ago, I tightened that one spoke and
    the wheel came true, since then all OK. I think if it were cracking up this problem would not just
    go away, they would not still be tight and true a thousand miles later.

    --Paul
     
  10. Mike Lana

    Mike Lana Guest

    I am 185 lb. I ride the velocity deep v (20,24)and never have a problem. actually I have put these
    wheels through a lot of abuse and no problems at all. Good Luck Mike

    [email protected] (Phil Spengler) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have a great set of custom built aerolights from Speed Dreams Dave Thomas. (18F, 24R, 14/15
    > gauge bladed spokes). Great wheels, and first ones I have ever owned that stayed true so long
    > (5000+ miles...I weigh 220 lbs)
    >
    > I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of
    > flex side to side. I think I see the braking surface hitting the brake pads in front...and hear a
    > sort of "hiss" with each pedal stroke out of the saddle, especially when climbing.
    >
    > Is anyone my size going to have this sort of problem? Can this be remedied by going up to more
    > spokes in front? Or would I have this problem irrespective of whatever wheel I ride. Should I just
    > open my brakes more? Could this also be due to the crappy carbon fork on my lemond (2002 alpe
    > d'huez)?
    >
    > Thanks, P
     
  11. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    [email protected] (Phil Spengler) wrote:
    >
    > I have a great set of custom built aerolights from Speed Dreams Dave Thomas. (18F, 24R, 14/15
    > gauge bladed spokes). Great wheels, and first ones I have ever owned that stayed true so long
    > (5000+ miles...I weigh 220 lbs)
    >
    > I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of
    > flex side to side. I think I see the braking surface hitting the brake pads in front...

    > Could this also be due to the crappy carbon fork on my lemond (2002 alpe d'huez)?

    36 spoke wheels are light-duty for a guy your size, if a strong rider. When I weighed 220 lbs. and
    rode 300+ fast miles weekly, I used 26" wheels skillfully built with 36 14/15ga spokes apiece on
    450g rims. They held up adequately until I began to put on weight.

    The fact that your wheels haven't self-destructed yet is a testament to their excellent build
    quality and good parts choice. Consider though that no 125-lb rider in the TdF would have ridden a
    wheelset with so few spokes until very recently, just the past few years.

    Other factors equal, more spokes will stiffen a wheel laterally, and so will a wider rim.

    You'll go faster with heavier wheels if your brakes aren't dragging. But you knew that, eh?

    Chalo Colina
     
  12. Marnu

    Marnu Guest

    >pteabag-<< I love these wheels, until I get out of the saddle. I have noticed that there seems to
    >be a lot of flex side to side. << Is anyone my size going to have this sort of problem? Can this be
    >remedied by going up to more spokes in front? >>
    >
    >More spokes, heavier rim....
    >
    >Peter Chisholm

    Amen, brother Chisholm!!!

    Cliff Shaw (6' 8" 220lbs)
     
  13. marnu-<< More spokes, heavier rim....
    >
    >Peter Chisholm

    Amen, brother Chisholm!!!

    Cliff Shaw (6' 8" 220lbs) >><BR><BR>

    Not being a small person myself(.1 of a ton, 52% of a century), I know the value of wheels built
    'properly'. I get a giggle out of some wheelbuilders that build 18 or 20 spoke rears and wonder why
    they feel 'soft' or 'flexy' or don't last w/o constant truing...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
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