Minimal-spoke madness....

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

Postby Brucey » 10 Dec 2014, 10:38pm

AFAICT all the nipples were seized to all the spokes. I gather this is not an uncommon problem with these wheels, if they are not cleaned and then sprayed with lube in the nipple area after pretty much every winter ride. Even then, the rim hollow section can fill up with nasty salty water and this rots away merrily from the inside where you can't even see it happening.

So if I had to 'blame' anyone, I'd look to 'blame' Mavic for designing/manufacturing something that rots so easily, and then the owner of the wheels, for not doing any preventative maintenance.

In the absence of any magical technique that turns a seized sow's ear into a free-running silk purse, (hence the question 'what would you have done differently?') the last person I'd 'blame' would be the poor sod charged with trying to sort it out afterwards, once the damage has been done.

Note that the only way you can find out that a spoke is so seized that it will twist is to, er, twist it, and the only way you can find out if they are all like that is to twist them all. Once you get past three or four spokes, you will need to be able to move them all in order to able to true the wheel. I don't think that I would necessarily have done exactly what he did, but I don't think he broke anything that wasn't already knackered, tbh.

cheers
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Tonyf33
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Tonyf33 » 11 Dec 2014, 6:00am

Brucey wrote:nul points = 'no Brucey, you have just turned into a grumpy old man'.


ZERO, however just isn't accurate, it would appear you've being a grumpy old man for a long long time, in exactly the same mould as the Carbon composite thread viewtopic.php?f=5&t=87365 where several other grumpy old salts extolled their 'numerous' anecdotal examples (around a few hundred corroborated worldwide) over millions of production line frames/forks/seatposts/bars etc etc.

And it's repeated here with ZERO facts or actual collation of informtion, just heresay & anecdotal evidence...AGAIN :roll:
Brucey you're becoming obsessed with what others do..WHY?? What is the fascination with what others do that grates you so much that you feel the need to either start nonsense threads like this deriding something with no basis in fact or write unfounded posts as per the above thread?
What actual hard evidence do you have that shows a greater number of failures in lower spoked wheels over those with 28+? No, none, just your 'experience', mechanical knowledge maybe?

Yet you haven't even accounted for the type of use of the low spoked wheel against use of a higher spoked wheel for starters. You and others can't see past your collective conscious bias against anything 'new fangled' or modern or something you have little to zero experience of yourselves yet on the back of a few broken spokes and the odd tale of a bike shop somewhere not being able to fix one wheel, low spoke wheels are satans spawn..sorry WiggoWheels :lol: if it wasn't truly embarressing it would be laughable..really.

Again this 'story' of minimal spoke madness is just that, madness. IF you don't like what other ride, what's it your business, how is it affecting you?

FACT ALERT.. Maximal spoke madness, wheels I once rode on with 36 & 32 spoke built 3 cross, handbuilt by some of the countries top wheelbuilders went out of true & had a broken spoke at some point in their life, why would you waste money on them, it's absolute madness!! 8) :lol: :lol:

Oh and further factual support to the above, all the low spoke 'racing' wheels I've ridden have never had a broken spoke including Mavic SSC bladed, CF tubs with Aerolites..minimal spoke madness is the future ladies..lolz 8)

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2014, 7:29am

I see. So I was dreaming when my spokes broke and I couldn't carry on riding, and so was everyone else.

I must also have been dreaming when I did my fastest race times without the benefit of this 'new technology', too.

Very good. As you were then....

cheers
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Dec 2014, 7:57am

I've not seen any particular advantages to low spoke counts for transport wheels.

With traditional spoke counts there is room to true the wheel, get to the tyre valve and enough strength to use a reasonably light rim. You get good torsional power transfer and lateral and planar* strength.
As you lose spokes you need, by very definition, a stronger (and therefore heavier) rim. You lose torsional strength, lateral strength, planar strength (some of which may well be recovered by the heavier rim)

If a single spoke out of 9 (on one side) snaps, then that wheel will not be true, when one of 18 (on one side) snaps then the wheel will likely be fine, the additional spokes providing sufficient support to get you where you are going.

That's probably fine for a weight weenie racing bike, where you have another 5 bikes up on the top of the team car following you - but for transport, it's a retrograde step in reliability.


If a rim is designed such that it holds nice corrosive water then we get to the point that the spokes and nipples are fused and we can't tweak the wheel at all. This isn't the fault of the mechanic who finds that all the spokes are welded to their nipples, it is the fault of the design/maintenance (and only maintenance if such maintenance was recommended with the rim/wheel).


*Can't work out what else to call the ability to resist deformation of the circle

The one exception to this is the aerospoke wheel which was on the back of a catrike at the last draycote meeting. That was a full CF trispoke wheel, which aerospoke were willing to certify for use on a trike (where loads are massively lateral at times). One issue is that you can't really choose your drive train, you use the cassette or you choose a different wheel. This has no adjustment, either the wheel is true or it's completely broken - it looked cool though.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

pete75
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby pete75 » 11 Dec 2014, 8:20am

Brucey wrote:I must also have been dreaming when I did my fastest race times without the benefit of this 'new technology', too.



cheers


I did my fastest times without the benefit of this modern technology - 40 years ago. With a modern TT bike though I'd probably have been 3 or 4 minutes quicker in a 25... If you want to see teh advantages of modern kit just look at the women's records on the RTTC website. Notice how all BB's records stood for between 20 and 30 years until the mid nineties. What happened then - new technology for TT bikes.
Modern technology or not though - her 12 hour record still stands after nearly 50 years.

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2014, 8:43am

I might be wrong but I suspect that the difference in TT times in the 1990s was 70-90% due to tri bars and 10-30% due to 'other stuff', wheels included.

I could (and did for a fair while) use anything and everything to go faster in TT's, including disc wheels, bladed spoke wheels with aero rims and not many spokes, the lot. However, whilst it must have had some effect, there was very little correlation between using this kit and actually going consistently faster in my case. In fact I rode my best '10' on a set of very un-aero 36 spoke wheels, when I had a disc rear and a bladed/aero front lying idle at home.

cheers
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531colin
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby 531colin » 11 Dec 2014, 8:45am

And a scientific approach to training, and more women going into the sport.

pete75
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby pete75 » 11 Dec 2014, 10:21am

Brucey wrote:I might be wrong but I suspect that the difference in TT times in the 1990s was 70-90% due to tri bars and 10-30% due to 'other stuff', wheels included.


cheers


Yes - new technology for TT bikes. New technology seems something many here are opposed to.

beardy
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby beardy » 11 Dec 2014, 10:31am

Yes, so much so that there is even a special sub-Forum created for those who are willing to accept it. :mrgreen:

viewforum.php?f=24

Now that is technology that works for TT. :D

ANTONISH
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby ANTONISH » 11 Dec 2014, 11:13am

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

image.jpg


He was at work training - possibly keeping an eye on a computer readout - probably going faster than the average cyclist, hence having to concentrate on where he was going.
He spends most of the year, living, eating, training and racing with cyclists until he's probably sick of the sight of cyclists - and you want him to wave at one?

This is getting away from the thread - I concur with Brucey about the ingress of water into the rims. That must add to the rotating mass :(

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2014, 11:14am

pete75 wrote: .... New technology seems something many here are opposed to.


opposed to? No not at all; if it performs better, even in one tiny aspect, new technology has a place, somewhere.

It is just that when 'new technology' is applied broad-brush to inappropriate applications, or is simply assumed by many to be 'significantly better' without any real evidence to support that, there is probably something dreadfully wrong going on.

I actually think that most users of minimal spoked wheelsets are, overall, significantly worse off than they could be otherwise. The benefits are comparatively small at best (almost non-existent outside of a racing context) and the potential downsides are significant.

It is certainly worth thinking about and discussing, else plenty of people will just assume that there is 'only one way to do it'. Such folk fall easy prey to the marketeers... if you recall my original post, it was in good part prompted by the assumption/assertion on a well-known cycling website that a 20F/24R wheelset must be 'suitable only for light touring' because it 'had too many spokes in and was too draggy' for anything else.

cheers
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Dec 2014, 11:29am

We like new technology, otherwise we'd still be on wooden compression spoked wheels with steel tyres and no treadles even.

But when your improvement is only applicable in a handful of edge cases then don't try to sell it as better in all cases.

Durability has much to be said for it, despite what the fashion marketeers would have you believe. 36 spokes provides a level of durability which is hard to match. It does so at a very small weight penalty (if any) over a unispoke wheel, which seems to be the logical conclusion of the current obsession.

The same is true for CF - the ability to tune strength/rigidity, and probably do so at slightly lower weight, is somewhat valuable to racers, but for the average transport cyclist the failure modes of CF are not friendly, and the benefits which are (kind of) clear for the racer are not applicable.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

mig
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby mig » 11 Dec 2014, 12:51pm

the only low spoke count, machine built wheels i've ever used were a friend's. i seemed to make the rims rub the blocks in use when climbing (which i hate) so i gave them back. plus the front wheel was radially spoked (which i hate :lol: ) so not for me thanks.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Dec 2014, 1:01pm

Radial at the front is OK, on a brompton - where space is at a premium, and there is no torque required between hub and rim...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2014, 2:21pm

mig wrote:the only low spoke count, machine built wheels i've ever used were a friend's. i seemed to make the rims rub the blocks in use when climbing (which i hate) so i gave them back. plus the front wheel was radially spoked (which i hate :lol: ) so not for me thanks.


That is a good point; unless the rim is made a lot stiffer laterally, (which is difficult when it is a narrow rim, and can't be too heavy) then all these minimal spoke wheels will tend to flex more laterally. Obviously this slows you down if the brakes rub. How much it slows you down otherwise I'm not sure, but it'll be some rather than none.

I'm somewhat ambilvalent on the subject of radial spoking. On the face of it, how much stiffer can the (only slightly shorter) spokes be? Not much, you would think. Yet very many riders will say they don't like radial wheels, claiming that 'they feel harsh' etc. So what is going on? Are riders feeling something real, or is the mere visual cue enough to have them assert what may be mere preconceptions?

So -at risk of diverting the thread, and/or otherwise spurring controversy- can I mention one of my little ideas?

When a wheel bears a vertical load the rim flattens slightly at the bottom, and those 'bottom' spokes connected to that part of the rim slacken slightly. If the rim has low bending stiffness, the remainder of the spokes all increase in tension very slightly, almost uniformly.

However, most modern rims don't have very low bending stiffness; to make the rim flatter at the bottom, three bends in the rim are required; one that is one way at the bottom , and another two each side of the first, in the other direction. My idea is that the latter bends may locally increase the spoke tension in these 'adjacent' regions, more than in the rest of the wheel.

I have not done any tests to back this up as yet; it is just hypothesis (albeit I hope reasonably well-informed hypothesis) at this stage. However if this notion is in any way correct, it is very likely that the rim will genuinely deform slightly differently in a radial wheel vs a wheel built with crossed spokes. The reason is that in a typical 'crossed' wheel, the 'bottom' spokes are braced against the 'adjacent' spokes, so when the bottom spokes slacken, the adjacent spokes can extend slightly with little change in tension.

So it is quite possible that there is 'something real' happening. I guess what I'm struggling with is the likely size of these deflections; people have measured them in typical wheels (e.g. I think Jobst Brandt did it), and IIRC they are tiny.

But then again.... so is the detectable play in (say) a headset or wheel bearing, and no-one who feels a few microns of bearing play is dismissed as having imagined it....

So apologies for adding more to think about; just one of my little ideas....

cheers
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