Touring Bike Wheels

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by desokol, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. desokol

    desokol New Member

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    After blowing out 2 spokes on an unloaded bike, I've learned that my wheels are the weak link on my Windsor Tourist. My plan is to start doing some loaded (camping) touring next summer, but not before replacing the wheels.
    I'm new to this and am finding a dizzying array of advice out there. I.E. eyeleted wheels or not, 36 spokes or more, etc.
    Can anyone offer me some advice on good, dependable and reasonably priced wheel/hub/tire combinations to look for?
     
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  2. lugger

    lugger New Member

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    Here is what I found by talking to people in some top level touring bike shops when I was looking for wheels. I was lucky to find a lot of consensus among professionals.

    Shimano 105, for 130mm rear spacing, or either Shimano Deore or Deore LX, for 135mm rear spacing, should be quite fine for touring hubs and not too expensive.

    36 spokes laced 3-cross are necessary for the rear wheel and best for the front, especially if you use front panniers. More than 36 spokes and more than 3x brings diminishing returns. Then, also, it is hard to find hubs and rims. There is no more significant strength when you add more spokes or crosses. Swiss DT brand and their Champion model 14 gauge straight, not double butted, spokes were always recommended to me.

    For rims, Mavic brand was highly respected by everyone I asked, but not their cheapest models. The Open Pro model is considered good if you use narrow tires, less than 25 mm, but you can probably get a stronger rim for wider tires, maybe Mavic XC717. They both have ferrules (eyelets?) around the spokes.

    I bought a rear wheel prebuilt by Quality Wheelhouse with a 105 hub, 36 Swiss DT 14 gauge spokes laced 3x to a Mavic Open Pro rim. I had it professionally trued and tensioned. A LBS can probably order Quality Wheelhouse products.

    It is hard to find any premade front wheel with 36 spokes, though. That might have to be custom made.

    I think Continental Gatorskin or Specialized Armadillo tires are good, but I have not used them.

    I hope this helps, not complicates, your search. It can be as simple, dependable and economical as good Shimano hubs and 36 DT Swiss 14 gauge spokes laced 3x to good Mavic touring rims. That is what I chose after hearing those same suggestions consistently from some good touring bike shops.
     
  3. byfred

    byfred New Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with Continental Top Touring 2000 Tires, either 700-32 or 700-37. They cost upwards to $50. each, here in Canada, but they are well worth it, I think.

    byfred
     
  4. philso

    philso New Member

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    ditto on the recommendations by lugger and fred, but before laying out the bucks on new rims, etc. perhaps consider first having a pro entirely loosen them up and re-true them. pre-made wheels are spoked and trued by a machine. the spokes are placed and brought to a pre determined tension one at a time which, in simple terms, first warps the rims and then unwarps them. starting over and bringing all the spokes to tension little by little can correct this problem
     
  5. desokol

    desokol New Member

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    Thanks Lugger. You've given me some great information and I appreciate it!
     
  6. desokol

    desokol New Member

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    Thanks Fred. Yours is the 3rd recomendation I've received for the Continentals.
    I'm going to check them out.
     
  7. desokol

    desokol New Member

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    Thanks Fred. Yours is the 3rd recomendation I've received for the Continentals.
    I'm going to check them out.
     
  8. desokol

    desokol New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I've learned so much in such a short time from fellow enthusiasts, and I really appreciate it!
     
  9. rayTerrace

    rayTerrace New Member

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    Last time I bought new tyres I replaced my top touring with continental travel contact - even more puncture resistant & comfortable.

    http://www.conti-tyres.co.uk/conticycle/ti travel contact.shtml
     
  10. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    What rear spacing (O.L.D. = Over Locknut Dimension) is the Windsor Tourist? 130, 132.5, or 135 mm?
    If 130, I would use Shimano 105 hubs, 36 each 14/15 DB spokes from Sapim Race or DT Competition. Rims = Velocity Dyad (no eyelets and no weld at rim joint) or Mavic A719 (eyelets, sockets, and welded rim joint, but heavier).
    If O.L.D. is 132.5 or 135 mm, I would use Shimano XT hubs and the same choice for rims and spokes.
    Builder needs to bring up the tension in "layers", balance tension, Spoke Align, Stress Relieve, Center, and true.
    Tires depend on terrain and your expectations for milage and if you ride where there are "Goathead" thorns.
    Avocet FasGrip K Carbon12 are smooth (bald) and go as wide as 32 mm. They are very nice for paved or other hard surfaces. Previous models are still available from Harris Cyclery at ~$20 when you buy 4 or more.
    I did a ~2,000 mile tour with the $19.95 Avocets from Harris Cyclery without any flats. These tires are very nice and once you understand that tread does you no good on pavement.... even wet pavement... you will appreciate their smooth rolling and low rolling resistance.
    http://www.avocet.com/tirepages/carbon12.html
    will give you more details. They also make very good quality "cross" tires that are suitable for mixed trail use.

    Schwalbe makes touring tires that are bald or not.
    http://www.schwalbetires.com/on_tour.php
    Marathon, Marathon Slick, Marathon XR, etc. are all worth a look. If you have had multiple flats from goatheads the "tourguard" and other features of some of the Schwalbe tires make them a pleasure to ride. They have higher rolling resitance due to the additional squirm.

    I also like Continental Top Touring 2000 tires. They wear well, but have higher rolling resistance than Avocet FasGrip tires.

    How much do you weigh?
    What does your touring load weigh?
     
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