Middle aged 245 lb destroyer of wheels needs advice.

Discussion in 'Clydesdales 200lb / 90kg + riders' started by IdahoClyde, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. IdahoClyde

    IdahoClyde New Member

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    I am a long time cyclist and raced MTB's back before suspension and then I got married, had kids and woke up one day fat and lazy in my mid-40's. At 47, I dusted off my old bikes and started riding again but began having problems with my old road wheels that most would consider overbuilt and heavy. They are 32 hole 9 speed ultegra hubs laced to a mavic open4CD rim and my brother in law wire tied the spokes on the non drive side to make them stiffer. Only problem is that they are getting loose about every other ride and I need a set of wheels that dont require constant upkeep. Any clydes out there with similar issues? Do I need a 36 hole setup? My brother in law suggested a 48 hole tandem wheel but I thought that was a bit much. I weigh 245 lbs today but know that I wont ever weigh less than about 215.
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    A good wheel builder can build bombproof 32 or 36 spoke wheels. When I returned to cycling after 10 years off the bike I'd gone from145 to almost 230 and my trusty training wheels (campagnolo chorus hubs on campagnolo lambda v rims) stayed dead true - because they were built by one of the best... Tying spokes won't increase stiffness or wheel strength but it will keep broken spokes from flapping about. I haven't found a wheel builder in the US that can rival Paul Hewitt in north west England where I used to live. That lad knows how to build. Awesome.
     
  3. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Ambrosio Excellence are a popular choice for riders who want to build a bullet proof wheel. The rims are very cheap and survive races like Paris Roubaix.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. IdahoClyde

    IdahoClyde New Member

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    I agree that a lot of wheels fail because of poor builds but finding a local prodigy is doubtful and having someone in europe build a set would be trash my bike budget. My local shop added some spoke prep to the nipples and I will see if that cures the problem. My rear wheel is an ultegra 9 speed hub laced 3cross to a mavic open4cd rim and you would think it be bombproof. Thanks


     
  5. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I think a tandem wheel would be overkill. I weigh a bit less than you, but I regularly commute with a large pack so the load should be similar.

    I have had trouble with 32 and 36 spoked wheelsets. The failures have been due to cyclic fatigue not a overload failure; adding more spokes wouldn't rectify the problem. I have had pretty good luck with a 36 spoke set a built myself, but I still bust a spoke on the rear non-drive side at the nipple now and then. I figure that is because I was unable to get the non-driveside tension high enough. The failures are rare enough and I can usually repair the wheel without removing it from the bike so I live with it.

    Some "Boutique" wheels may not be a problematic as rumored. I have had really good luck with a set of velomax / easton circuit wheels. I also have a set of Mavic Aksiums that require a little maintenance, but have not had any spoke breakage.
     
  6. Colnago62

    Colnago62 New Member

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    I had good luck with 36 hole Mavic CXP33 rims laced up with a cross three pattern. Had those wheels for a long time and never had a problem with them.
     
  7. goodbyecycle

    goodbyecycle New Member

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    This is just my 2 cents but I have always been in excess of 200lbs, 250 at the moment... and I have had zero problems with dura ace 7800 tubeless rims. I am planning to upgrade to the new c24's soon. Most of the wheels in this class have a weight limit, DA's do not.
     
  8. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The main "advantage" gained from using spokeprep isn't that it may help keep the nipple from unwinding when the rim is slightly deformed, it's that it keeps the spoke threads and nipple free from moisture and dirt which will ultimately cause the two to seize.

    For cyclists that are up in the 250lb range there's not really much of a performance gain when selecting a lightweight rim that might be 400grams Vs a heavier rim designed for touring that'd weigh in around the ~500gram mark. The extra width of such a rim would likely help with comfort due to the ability to run a slightly lower pressure whilst also avoiding "snakebite" punctures. Something like the Velocity Dyad - 700C and 24mm width, designed for touring and weighing in at a mere 480grams would be a great heavy duty rim. Drillings start from 32 hole going upto a tandem friendly 48. Now there's a wheel that'd take some serious beats. Lose a spoke in that wheel and you'd probably only notice when the spoke hits the chainstays or seatstays...

    At the end of the day, if you're out on the road, the sleet/snow/rain is coming at you horizontally and your wheel starts deconstructing itself, fashion kinda goes by the wayside... Even in summer when you're 40 miles from home it's a pain in the behind to have a mechanical issue, especially one so basic.
     
  9. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    What about tubes? I have been lead to believe that “a tube is a tube”. But recently I've convinced myself that the cheap tubes I've taken to buying at a national chain... may actually be the reason I've needed to buy so many cheap tubes. I am over 200 pounds... but not by all that much.

    Yesterday the tube in the rear tire blew just two miles into my ride. New tire, new tube (less than 100 miles). That was it. I replaced the blown tube with my saddle bag spare. I purchased a new spare tube (different brand) at a LBS while still out riding, just to be safe. Today I spoke with a couple guys at a different LBS. They suggested a complete inspection of the wheel/rim and a thorn proof tube.

    I figured nothing ventured nothing gained... and the cost of the thorn proof tube wasn't much greater than even the cheapie tubes. This tube is TOUGH. Out of the box it felt more like a hose, than a tube. It is way too big to fit in my saddle bag, so I will continue to carry a lighter tube as a spare. But NOT one of the cheapies I've been using.

    So... is this a false hope? I did completely inspect the rim and it looked and felt perfect. Has anyone else taken to using these thorn proof tubes. The guys at the (new) LBS say this is a common solution.
     
  10. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I used to ride regularly with thorn proof tubes. I think I have only had one flat when riding them - but now they hang on the wall or are taken as "last chance" spares when out on a solo century. They feel slower than a normal tube - now I use normal or lightweight tubes, good tires and avoid most of the debris on the road I can. I don't get too many flats in a season.

    Tubes really shouldn't care how much load is placed on them - the pressure inside does not change much with the rider on the bike.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I use the lighter weight Specialized butyl innertubes and Continental GP4000S tires. If the rides I trained for were shorter I'd probably use latex innertubes. The past few years I've only had one or two punctures per year while using Conti's. I tried using the Vittoria CX open tubular (clincher) and a Michelin Pro Race and they were cut/puncture magnets. Prior to that I had the Conti Attack/Force combo and they were great too - and that was back when I was over 200lbs. They're specific front/back tires.

    I've never used "thorn proof" tubes and I ride alot in the country where there's lots of thorny bushes around.

    Tires are probably the most important part of the bike. They're the bit that connects you and your bike to the road and because of this I tend not to go cheap on such items. Go cheap on the seat post or bar tape... not the bits that help keep your lycra covered butt off the pavement.
     
  12. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    5-10 times the price but a few thousand miles under different tires for the same set and still without a flat. Now riding on the 4-seasons but the Vittoria latex tubes I'm using supported a set of CX's last year that were covered in cuts and ridden till the tread was smooth. When I swapped them over though the impression left on the latex tubes from the interior landmarks on the rim was very pronounced and almost gave me pause to re-use. Hard to explain unless you've seen. The old butyls would flat under CX's (no surprise there), GP's, Pave CG's, you name it. Tried the Conti lightweights which blew up at the valve on my DA C50 twice in the same week so stopped using those outright. A bad batch? Maybe I'm just on a lucky streak with the latex. I will push these things on others for ride quality as well as flat resistance until they let me down.
     
  13. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I had actually never even heard of latex tubes. Thanks for the new info/knowledge. I just installed the [rear] thorn proof and have only given it a single test ride so far. I don't know how much the extra weight will affect me yet. I don't race so if the change isn't a big deal I should be OK. I didn't notice any major difference with the short test ride. But it is nice to know of a light weight alternative tube too.
     
  14. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    The big detriment of the thornproof tubes is increased rolling resistance. This is especially true for clydesdales where weight is a not a big issue, but continuously flexing a large chunk of rubber is.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/flats.html
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    It's an issue for anyone that feels the rolling resistance losses are significant compared to that rider's power output. The rolling resistance force you work against is mg(Crr)cos(θ), where me is the bike/rider mass, g is the acceleration of gravity, Crr is the rolling resistance, and theta is the angle of the road to the horizontal. If you weigh twice as much for a given tire/tube combo, the rolling resistance will be twice as much. Butyl tubes can have on the order of 20% or more rolling resistance than latex tubes. Thornproof tubes will have an even larger increase in rolling resistance, possibly much larger. Power to overcome rolling resistance varies directly with your speed. If you double your speed, you'll need twice as much power to overcome rolling resistance as you would have at half that speed.
     
  16. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Nice link. I've read at the Site before [may Mr Brown RIP]. Reading about some of the causes [of flats] makes me wonder if my tires have always been properly seated. If that was the case with this last flat... my on-the-road repair could have resolved the problem... before I even bought the thorn proof tube. I inspected the tire, wheel/rim completely however, before during and after this last installation so it could be a mistake for me to credit a fat tube... if the flat plague now stops.

    I don't think I would ever be accused of riding in the gutter. I do ride a good amount of urban streets. But when in traffic I know full well it is just too risky for me to hug the curb as teenage tex-ers seem to think a miss even by inches is plenty good enough. I take my lane and ride hard and fast when in traffic. I also ride the residential areas instead when possible. there parked cars keep me in the road. But I do tend to ride mostly the same roads and maybe there is a hazardous area I haven't identified yet.

    The recommendation from my (new) LBS to fully inspect the rim as well as the info at the link (http://sheldonbrown.com/flats.html) you provided... has certainly made me aware of my own responsibility in these recurring flats... instead of just blaming the hardware. Thank you... I've learned a couple things.
     
  17. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I wasn't able to ride today so I still have no idea how much of that resistance I will be able to feel. I don't race, so most speed riding is in spurts, and longer rides are mostly on bike paths which limit speed to 20 MPH around here. So I guess I'd have to admit the my best speeds are powered by gravity anyway. But now I am anxious to see how the thick tube will influence the performance.

    For me... performance will be measured not by a stopwatch or my bicycle computer.. but by my own perception of effort or worse case... knee or hip discomfort..
     
  18. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting observation on the change in puncture resistance with the latex tubes. A few of the events I ride are 12+ hours in length and I don't fancy riding around on 80psi tires when climbing at 8,500ft after that amount of time. For shorter events latex really is the way to go.

    If there's a latex tube that loses pressure at a similar rate to a butyl tube I'd be interested in giving it a go.
     
  19. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    That would be the downside. I've gotten them up to required pressure for a morning ride, only to later require a few pumps to "top off" before an evening ride.
     
  20. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I was able to get enough of a ride in today to decide whatever the increase is in rolling resistance.... I can live with it. I will exchange the other [front] tires tube for a thorn proof one as well. It isn't so much as I mind having a flat... as I mind having so many. When the tires (or at least the rear tire) needs replaced, I might try Gatorskins, new rim strips, and regular tubes. But for now... I am entering the season having learned a couple things about flats... and hopeful I won't have as many as before. Thanks for all the input.
     
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