Low spoke count wheels

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Phil Zminda, Mar 9, 2003.

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  1. Phil Zminda

    Phil Zminda Guest

    I've been shopping for a new bike and several of the bikes I've been looking at have aero style
    wheels with 24 spokes. Since my only experience has been with Mavic MA-2's with 36 or 32 spokes, I'm
    concerned about spoke breakage on the high-tech wheels. One bike I'm considering is the Cannondale
    R600, which has Gipeimme Techno 4.24 wheels (per the web-site). I've also looked at the Felt F-65,
    which has similar wheels, but didn't note the brand. I'm 6'2", 200 lbs.. Should I be concerned?

    As alternatives I've also looked at the Cannondale R500, the Bianchi Eros and the Trek 1200, which
    all have 32 spoke wheels. Although I haven't made up my mind on which bike and may ride them again
    (haven't ridden the Felt), should the wheels be a concern. The upgraded 105 components on the R600
    and Felt are what brought them into consideration. I'm a newbie when it comes to current road bike
    technology and appreciate any comments.

    Thanks,

    Phil
     
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  2. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Phil Zminda" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I've been shopping for a new bike and several of the bikes I've been looking at have aero style
    > wheels with 24 spokes. Since my only experience has been with Mavic MA-2's with 36 or 32 spokes,
    > I'm concerned about spoke breakage on the high-tech wheels. One bike I'm considering is the
    > Cannondale R600, which has Gipeimme Techno 4.24 wheels (per the web-site). I've also looked at the
    > Felt F-65, which has similar wheels, but didn't note the brand. I'm 6'2", 200 lbs.. Should I be
    > concerned?
    >
    > As alternatives I've also looked at the Cannondale R500, the Bianchi Eros and the Trek 1200, which
    > all have 32 spoke wheels. Although I haven't made up my mind on which bike and may ride them again
    > (haven't ridden the Felt), should the wheels be a concern. The upgraded 105 components on the R600
    > and Felt are what brought them into consideration. I'm a newbie when it comes to current road bike
    > technology and appreciate any comments.

    Low-spoke-count wheels are always a concern because there's higher risk of spoke breakage and
    breakages are more likely to render the wheel unrideable. If you're a 120 lb pro racer the risks are
    probably low and you'll have a team car behind you with spares. If you're a 200 lb recreational
    rider it's a different story.

    MA2s make good wheels, and frankly the benefits of aero/low spoke count/etc wheels are murky at best
    and quite possibly just imaginary. The weight savings tend to be negligible, the aerodynamic
    benefits are debatable, and the expense is often high.

    I personally do not use such wheels (at 6'4" 210 lbs) because I tend to ride far from home with no
    support, and don't want to deal with (another) broken, unrideable wheel in the middle of nowhere.
    While I am a liberal politically, I am quite conservative when it comes to bike equipment so of
    course my bias should be taken into account.

    --
    "Of course the people don't want war...that is understood. But voice or no voice, the people can
    always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That's easy. All you have to do is tell them they
    are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country
    to danger. It works the same in any country."

    Hermann Goering, 1939
     
  3. Mark Wolfe

    Mark Wolfe Guest

    I have an R600, it was my first Road bike. It's a 2000 model, and came with 28 hole CXP-21's with DT
    revolution spokes. Within about 100 miles I had a spoke come loose, causing the rear wheel to go
    badly out of true. I'm 6'2" 210lbs and was coming from the BMX world where everything I own is 36 or
    more spokes. I took it back to the shop, they went over the wheel, and within a week it was out of
    true again. :( So they offered to credit me for the wheels on the bike and build a set. I took the
    shop credit, bought some DA hubs and got some open pro's at the swap meet. I also picked up a TS-2
    and all the wheel building goodies for next to nothing at the meet too. Thanks to Jobst's book, I've
    had very good luck with the wheels I built for the R600. I'd negotiate some better wheels with the
    bike myself. I'm now thinking of selling my R600 as I just finished a Paramount restore, and love my
    new "Steel is Real" ride. :)

    Phil Zminda wrote:

    > I've been shopping for a new bike and several of the bikes I've been looking at have aero style
    > wheels with 24 spokes. Since my only experience has been with Mavic MA-2's with 36 or 32 spokes,
    > I'm concerned about spoke breakage on the high-tech wheels. One bike I'm considering is the
    > Cannondale R600, which has Gipeimme Techno 4.24 wheels (per the web-site). I've also looked at the
    > Felt F-65, which has similar wheels, but didn't note the brand. I'm 6'2", 200 lbs.. Should I be
    > concerned?
    >
    > As alternatives I've also looked at the Cannondale R500, the Bianchi Eros and the Trek 1200, which
    > all have 32 spoke wheels. Although I haven't made up my mind on which bike and may ride them again
    > (haven't ridden the Felt), should the wheels be a concern. The upgraded 105 components on the R600
    > and Felt are what brought them into consideration. I'm a newbie when it comes to current road bike
    > technology and appreciate any comments.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Phil

    --
    Mark Wolfe http://www.wolfenet.org gpg fingerprint = 42B6 EFEB 5414 AA18 01B7 64AC EF46 F7E6 82F6
    8C71 "Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God."
     
  4. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    "Phil Zminda" wrote:

    > I've been shopping for a new bike and several of the bikes I've been looking at have aero style
    > wheels with 24 spokes. Since my only experience has been with Mavic MA-2's with 36 or 32 spokes,
    > I'm concerned about spoke breakage on the high-tech wheels. One bike I'm considering is the
    > Cannondale R600, which has Gipeimme Techno 4.24 wheels (per the web-site). I've also looked at the
    > Felt F-65, which has similar wheels, but didn't note the brand. I'm 6'2", 200 lbs.. Should I be
    > concerned?
    >

    If you like these bikes otherwise, ask the shop to swap the wheels for something more
    conventional (but not machine built). Whatever wheels you get, make sure they adequately
    tensioned and stress relieved.

    Art Harris
     
  5. phil-<< I've been shopping for a new bike and several of the bikes I've been looking at have aero
    style wheels with 24 spokes.

    << Cannondale R600, which has Gipeimme Techno 4.24 wheels (per the web-site). I've also looked at
    the Felt F-65, which has similar wheels, but didn't note the brand. I'm 6'2", 200 lbs.. Should I be
    concerned?

    yes, not only these low spke count wheels but generally they aren't that well built.

    See if the bike shop will swap for a more normal set of wheels, like CXP-22/33 with adequate spokes,
    built well.

    Also get a fit on any bike-a "standover, ride around the parking lot" does not a fit make.,
    Unless the bike it set up for you-with proper seat height, foreaft, stem length, the fit is a
    crap shoot at best-

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  6. Jkpoulos7

    Jkpoulos7 Guest

    >I've also looked at the Felt F-65, which has similar wheels, but didn't note the brand. I'm 6'2",
    >200 lbs.. Should I be concerned?

    The Bontrager Select wheels on my '02 Lemond have only gone slightly out of true and I am 190-200.
    Good wheels are good wheels.

    >I'm a newbie when it comes to current road bike technology and appreciate any comments.
    >

    Avoid aluminum like the plague. Find a quality steel frame and enjoy the ride.
     
  7. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >The Bontrager Select wheels on my '02 Lemond have only gone slightly out of true and I am 190-200.
    >Good wheels are good wheels.

    And how many miles???

    >>I'm a newbie when it comes to current road bike technology and appreciate any comments.
    >>
    >
    >Avoid aluminum like the plague. Find a quality steel frame and enjoy the ride.

    Actually the fellow is 6 ft 2 and 200 lbs. A decent (ie not stupid light) aluminum frame could be
    ideal for this rider. Stiffer and stronger per pound, strong sprinters can benefit. But don't expect
    JKpoulos to understand the difference between vertical compliance and lateral or out of plane
    compliance. Those older Cannondales and Kleins that Damon tested were plenty stiff out of plane.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/rinard_frametest.html

    jon isaacs

    Jon Isaacs
     
  8. Jkpoulos7

    Jkpoulos7 Guest

    >And how many miles???

    >500 in a month on horrible NJ roads. A minor truing shortly and they'll be
    fine all spring and summer

    >A decent (ie not stupid light) aluminum frame could be ideal for this rider. Stiffer and stronger
    >per pound, strong sprinters can benefit.

    There are few aluminun frames that provide the exhilerating ride of steel.

    >Those older Cannondales and Kleins that Damon tested were plenty stiff out of plane.
    >

    I love my C'dale MTB but would think of buying a road bike from them
     
  9. Dougc

    Dougc Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > >The Bontrager Select wheels on my '02 Lemond have only gone slightly out of true and I am
    > >190-200. Good wheels are good wheels.
    >
    > And how many miles???
    >
    > >>I'm a newbie when it comes to current road bike technology and appreciate any comments.
    > >>
    > >
    > >Avoid aluminum like the plague. Find a quality steel frame and enjoy the ride.
    >
    > Actually the fellow is 6 ft 2 and 200 lbs. A decent (ie not stupid light) aluminum frame could
    > be ideal for this rider. Stiffer and stronger per pound, strong sprinters can benefit. But
    > don't expect JKpoulos to understand the difference between vertical compliance and lateral or
    > out of plane compliance. Those older Cannondales and Kleins that Damon tested were plenty stiff
    > out of plane.
    >
    >
    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/rinard_frametest.html
    >
    > jon isaacs
    >
    >
    > Jon Isaacs

    I have about 8000 miles on a set of Bontrager Selects and have only had to tweak a couple of spokes
    after whacking into a pothole last fall. I only weigh about 150, though. I do carry a FiberFix spoke
    for emergencies, though, because I would hate to walk home.
     
  10. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >>And how many miles???
    >
    >>500 in a month on horrible NJ roads. A minor truing shortly and they'll be
    >fine all spring and summer

    So you are saying these wheels have 500 miles on them?? And this is supposed to be a proof of a
    great wheel??

    >There are few aluminun frames that provide the exhilerating ride of steel.

    Yeah, right. Since this is a technical forum, maye you could expound a bit on exactly what an
    "exhilarating ride" is and why it is that a steel frame can provide this while an aluminum cannot.

    In my experience, an exhilarating ride is an internal experience and by nature is subjective and has
    nothing to do with the frame material.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  11. Jkpoulos7

    Jkpoulos7 Guest

    >So you are saying these wheels have 500 miles on them?? And this is supposed to be a proof of a
    >great wheel??
    >

    DEfinitely. Every other wheel except the arayas on my old panasonic have needed regular truing. A
    wheelset that needs truing rarely is great to me.
     
  12. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >>So you are saying these wheels have 500 miles on them?? And this is
    >supposed
    >>to be a proof of a great wheel??
    >>
    >
    >DEfinitely. Every other wheel except the arayas on my old panasonic have needed regular truing. A
    >wheelset that needs truing rarely is great to me.

    There is no doubt that a wheel set that rarely needs truing is a blessing. But 500 miles is far too
    soon to say that these are great wheels. When you get to 10 or 20 times that, then you might
    consider they are "decent wheels." When you wear out the sidewalls and they are still true and
    straight, those are "great wheels."

    It appears to me like most of your wheels have been rather poorly built.

    jon isaacs
     
  13. Jkpoulos7

    Jkpoulos7 Guest

    >It appears to me like most of your wheels have been rather poorly built.
    >

    Possibly, but any set that needs truing once or twice a season is great compared to some wheels
    that I have.
     
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