Minimal-spoke madness....

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
BigFoz
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby BigFoz » 8 Dec 2014, 9:08pm

Interesting thread. Some years ago in desperation at constantly breaking spokes in 32 & 36 spoke rear wheels, I bought a set of Campag Vento factory wheels, 24 front & 27 rear in groups of 3 (g3 spoking). In spite of still weighing >100kgs, I've had 1 broken spoke in 8 years - due to a large pothole. (The max loading is quoted as 82kg btw...)

Ah, you might say, rubbish wheel Builders! Yet I used the best available in the SE at the time (older bloke at Condors for example) and specced for my weight, with heavy duty spokes etc. Going to the better builders meant the factory wheels were actually cheaper, and have also proven more robust over the long run. Only my Retro bike now runs anything other than Campag Ventos or Khamsins

Commuter bike, an alloy Ribble with guards, rack, lights, battery, me, pannier, must weigh close on 120kg, yet no issues. I ran my first set of Ventos right through the wear gauges on the rims over 5 or so years with no spoke breakages, never trued, using 23 & 25 mm tyres. I'll not go back to hand built unless I get a front (only) with Dynohub.

reohn2
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 8 Dec 2014, 9:51pm

iandriver wrote:It's a reference to the wheels given that this thread is about wheels rather than mudguards.

Point taken

The pros you see obviously aren't team sky
https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/399943135565840384

It's usually is team Sky,though I've only seen Wiggo in spring and summer IIRC
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iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby iandriver » 8 Dec 2014, 10:24pm

reohn2 wrote:
iandriver wrote:It's a reference to the wheels given that this thread is about wheels rather than mudguards.

Point taken

The pros you see obviously aren't team sky
https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/399943135565840384

It's usually is team Sky,though I've only seen Wiggo in spring and summer IIRC


if I was wiggo, think I'd be wintering in the southern hemisphere :-). I guess if you can do a 25 mile tt in under an hour with no hands on the bars, you can take your pick.....
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

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freiston
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby freiston » 9 Dec 2014, 3:10am

I concur with the original post. As far as 'grumpy old man' goes, if there are some modern things that you welcome and embrace - then you can't just be a grumpy old man. It's the experience that comes with age that affords opinions that those (without the insight afforded by such experience) see as moaning (that's my defence) ;).

I've had no experience of racing wheels and have no desire to buy a racing bike but when perusing the plethora of sales emails that I receive from several of the well-known bike retailers, you'd think that the only bikes available are race machines and the occassional exotic off-road affair. Most racing bike owners that I know do not race. But then I suspect that most Range Rover owners do not 'off-road' much beyond parking on the pavement, or that most sports car owners never get the [legal] opportunity to drive their car in the manner it was designed to perform. It doesn't make those vehicles unsuitable for commuting (for example) but maybe not 'optimised'. Maybe some people buy the bikes with the same rationale that they would like to buy cars (but can't afford to). Unlike sports cars (compared with, for argument's sake, a saloon car), the same rider will not get massively different performance out of a racing bike than out of a touring bike - the single most important component - the rider - remains the same.

To that end, my personal opinion is that a considerable number people spend excessive money on machines that are not optimised to their riding styles/conditions for an inconsiderable 'performance gain' (and that this is not only encouraged by the industry and marketeers but 'bought into' by many consumers) and therefore could be termed as irrational behaviour if not madness ;)

I do find it amusing that some folk spend a considerable sum on carbon fibre components etc. to reduce the weight of their machine by a few grammes or make the machine a little more aerodynamic and then take a 'spare tyre' everywhere they go (especially if they are no faster than me - and I'm slow and not in a hurry).
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby iandriver » 9 Dec 2014, 7:45am

Now that's completely fair and reasonable comment freiston, nice and free from derisory expression. It's easy to agree with that.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

reohn2
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 9 Dec 2014, 8:59am

iandriver wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
iandriver wrote:It's a reference to the wheels given that this thread is about wheels rather than mudguards.

Point taken

The pros you see obviously aren't team sky
https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/399943135565840384

It's usually is team Sky,though I've only seen Wiggo in spring and summer IIRC


if I was wiggo, think I'd be wintering in the southern hemisphere :-).

That was my point :wink:
I guess if you can do a 25 mile tt in under an hour with no hands on the bars, you can take your pick.....

Wiggout doubt :)
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ANTONISH
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby ANTONISH » 9 Dec 2014, 9:26am

I bought a pair of Shimano 105 wheels a few years ago. 20/16 spokes. The spokes had the nipples (oversize) at the hub and a lump of metal to anchor the spoke at the rim.
Shortly after purchase I broke a spoke in the rear wheel - which was out of true but rideable.
Getting a spare took a few days. Meantime I managed to use a standard spoke with a washer at the rim to replace the broken one.
After replacing the temporary spoke I had no further trouble until I went down a deep pothole and damaged the front rim.
By that time the rear rim was starting to wear so I bought new rims and rebuilt the wheel set ( this wasn't too difficult despite the consensus being that it was verging on impossible to rebuild such a factory wheel). Again I broke a spoke which I replaced and have had no more trouble over a couple of years but I always have spares just in case.

IMO the wheels are ok but the design uses two spoke lengths. There is more rotating mass at the rim due to the "lump" at the end of the spoke.
The worst thing is that it is necessary to remove the rim tape to replace a spoke.
I did encounter someone on an audax who had broken a spoke in the rear wheel. I think the spoke count was less than 20 - in fact I couldn't help him to true the wheel sufficiently to ride it due to the massive spoke gap - TBH I didn't even try it obviously wasn't going to work.
I wasn't carrying my kevlar string emergency spoke so couldn't help with that either. Incidentally I would advise anyone riding wheels with a low spoke count to obtain one of these they are very effective.

fast but dim
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby fast but dim » 9 Dec 2014, 9:39am

reohn2 wrote:
iandriver wrote:

The pros you see obviously aren't team sky
https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/399943135565840384

It's usually is team Sky,though I've only seen Wiggo in spring and summer IIRC


I saw Wiggo out on last friday, No mudguards. No acknowledgement either :wink: It was pretty grim, and I nodded before I realised who it was. He totally blanked me, maybe because he wasn't being followed by a BBC film crew :twisted:

Interesting thread this: I've returned to cycling following a ten year hiatus. Both my bikes (hewitt and thorn) have handbuilt wheels (32 and 36 spokes respectively) but I have a light pair of shimano Rs 10 factory built wheels for faster rides. Maybe I've wasted my money! (£50 with tyres/tubes off ebay so it's hardly the end of the world).

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 9 Dec 2014, 9:42am

fast but dim wrote:I saw Wiggo out on last friday, No mudguards. No acknowledgement either :wink: It was pretty grim, and I nodded before I realised who it was. He totally blanked me, maybe because he wasn't being followed by a BBC film crew :twisted: ......


He might still be smarting for not being picked for the Tour :wink:
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fast but dim
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby fast but dim » 9 Dec 2014, 12:32pm

reohn2 wrote:
fast but dim wrote:I saw Wiggo out on last friday, No mudguards. No acknowledgement either :wink: It was pretty grim, and I nodded before I realised who it was. He totally blanked me, maybe because he wasn't being followed by a BBC film crew :twisted: ......


He might still be smarting for not being picked for the Tour :wink:


An alternative hypothesis is he is an ignorant Southerner living in a friendly North West. Still love the thorn reohn2!

Too many cycling trends are driven by consumerism / fashion /fads /racing. For the life of me I cannot believe 90% of people ride race inspired lightweight mudguardless compact chainset skinny tyred bikes.

Ljaydee
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Joined: 22 Sep 2014, 9:49am

Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Ljaydee » 9 Dec 2014, 2:12pm

I saw Wiggo out riding in the rain! no mudguards, minimum spoked wheels, and he didn't acknowledge either!

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Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 10 Dec 2014, 5:17pm

Big Foz's comments are interesting. I'd have been disappointed if I'd bought wheels in Condor and had that many spoke failures; let's just say that not all handbuilt wheels are created equal...

Re the experience using campag wheels. In my first post I did say that I thought the campag triplet spoking is quite clever.
As BF points out a 27 spoke rear wheel done this way has the same maximum spoke stresses as a conventional 36 spoke wheel, even if the average stresses are somewhat higher. Wheels built this way are by far from being the worst offenders.

Looking at the front wheel, if we assume that (for unladen riding) most people would be OK with a 32 spoke wheel built with 15g or 16g spokes, then this could arguably translate to similar spoke stresses in a 26 spoke or 20 spoke wheel respectively if it is built using 14g spokes instead.

So maybe it isn't so bad after all...? ....Well, not quite;

-first, the likelihood of breaking spokes is (if all else is equal) always increased whenever you have fewer, thicker spokes; there are several reasons for this including that the spokes will sustain higher local stresses generated by bending loads, and that stress relief in such wheels is nearly always more difficult to do well.

-second, the effects of breaking a spoke are still much worse; breaking one of 20 is at least half as bad again as breaking one in 32 or 36. Breaking one NDS triplet spoke at the rear is exactly as bad as breaking two adjacent spokes in a standard 36 spoke wheel.

My own personal tally is (over the last 25 or 30 years) zero broken spokes in wheels that I have known to be properly built and stress relieved, and about a dozen or two broken spokes in various factory wheels, each one turning a day's ride bad. When you bear in mind that I would never use any wheels where the spokes are obviously a bad fit in the hub etc (thus immediately eliminating the worst 3/4 of all factory wheels from the start) you can see that my record with factory wheels is not a good one.

The use of factory wheels vs handbuilts can be gauged by comparing the cost and benefits of each type. If you use factory wheels of similar spec to a set of handbuilt ones, you are usually very simply trading cost vs an increased likelihood of spoke failure (or other troubles). If you run a set of minimal spoked factory wheels then vs a good set of handbuilt wheels- (which is not all handbuilt wheels, sadly) there is likely to be an increased chance of spoke failure and additionally the consequences of such failure are also liable to be much worse. This can in some cases be balanced against some kind of (real or perceived) 'performance benefit'.

cheers
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pete75
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby pete75 » 10 Dec 2014, 10:04pm

Brucey wrote:
But... the real trouble starts when the truing process begins; with these wheels you can't just stick a new spoke in and have the wheel come back true again by tensioning that spoke alone, oh no... you usually need to tweak the others if you want the wheel to come back just right, because rim will usually take a bit of a 'set' when one spoke breaks. The guy in the LBS had therefore attempted to move the nipples on the neighbouring spokes, and had encountered problems of the ' spoke is gonna yield in torsion before the nipple moves' variety. If one or two spokes are bad like this, no problem, just replace them. But he gone round every spoke in the wheel in turn and they were pretty much all like it. He ended up with 15 seized (and now twisted) spokes and three broken ones. So a new-ish looking wheel with one broken spoke was, (as well as a long walk home) in actual fact, a scrapper.

cheers


Matey in your LBS seems a real mechanical butcher. Don't think you can blame Mavic for that,,,,,,
Last edited by pete75 on 10 Dec 2014, 10:19pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 10 Dec 2014, 10:10pm

pete75 wrote:... Matey in your LBS seems a real mechanical butcher. Don't think you can blame Mavic for that,,,,,,


perhaps.

But what would you have done differently?

cheers
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pete75
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby pete75 » 10 Dec 2014, 10:23pm

Brucey wrote:
pete75 wrote:... Matey in your LBS seems a real mechanical butcher. Don't think you can blame Mavic for that,,,,,,


perhaps.

But what would you have done differently?

cheers


I don't set myself up as a professional cycle mechanic that is the difference.... If I'd been doing the job for a mate and butchered it that is one thing, to do the same for a chargeable customer is something totally different. Once you start charging people to repair things you should either repair it or say you can't, not attempt to repair and end up with it in a worse state than when you started. If I did that working on a mate's wheel for free I'd feel obliged to buy him a new one.