Minimal-spoke madness....

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

Postby foxyrider » 11 Dec 2014, 2:32pm

[XAP]Bob wrote: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...


Now we are getting silly! What has the poor radial done to you?
Convention? what's that then?
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andrew_s
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby andrew_s » 11 Dec 2014, 2:47pm

Hubs have to be designed with radial lacing in mind, and a number of people have been stranded with a broken hub flange having not checked whether radial lacing is OK or not.
Another example of style overriding practicality.

I blame the mobile phone myself. It's far too easy to just phone and say "come and get me". If it was a case of having to walk several miles to the next phone box, hiding the bike in a hedge and thumbing a lift with a passing motorist, fighting Sunday bus/train timetables etc, people may take reliability more seriously.

BigFoz
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby BigFoz » 11 Dec 2014, 3:00pm

Just to pick up on a point from Brucey and clarify - I gradually went "up the quality (and price...) chain from LBS to Condor. Every rear wheel I had, and some fronts broke spokes (One from an shop that will remain unnamed, actually went while the newly rebuilt wheel was in the back seat of my car on the way to a TT (loud sproing sound followed by a groan when I tried to put the wheel in at the race). Condor were my last resort. Front was bulletproof, the rear lost a spoke riding over cobbles on the way into Canary Wharf for work. It was at that point, having spent big money I nearly gave up completely. Up to that point (about 6 months in), I was very happy with the wheels. In fact, the front wheel I sold recently to a local lad for cyclo crossing on, 14 years old (wheel, not the lad...).

At one point in my odyssey, I had 4 spare front wheels, and no usable back wheels. Almost all the shop built wheels proved no more effective than the one I built myself with no experience as an experiment from a broken wheel while having very little clue.

I've also not had to do "routine truing" of any of my Campag built wheels, nor have I had to maintain bearings etc, just use and forget. I can't emphasise enough how impressed I've been - especially as the weather up here ain't that grand at times, the roads are in very poor condition and I'm well over the max weight advice for the wheels! I did have 1 broken pawl spring in the freehub, which took an hour or so to repair.

Ljaydee
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Ljaydee » 11 Dec 2014, 3:23pm

ANTONISH wrote:
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 :(

Tonyf33
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Tonyf33 » 11 Dec 2014, 3:48pm

what, no facts yet Brucey, just more waffle 8) you should spend more of your grumpy time tracking down all the documented spoke/wheel breakages than posting here so you can present it as hard facts to support your statement.
I'd be really, really interested to see this hypothetical number/% you have in your head as to how many lower count wheelsets break in relation to higher spoke count wheels.
C'mon, if you don't have hard facts then your thread is a nonsense rant by a grumpy old man...

p.s. In case you forgot and as a gentle reminder, anecdotal evidence still doesn't count, the same as it didn't back on the composites thread...just sayin' :lol:

colin54
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby colin54 » 11 Dec 2014, 5:11pm

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=92638

' 36 plain gauge Sapim spokes all round so very solid build ' !

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2014, 5:20pm

BigFoz wrote: In fact, the front wheel I sold recently to a local lad for cyclo crossing on, 14 years old (wheel, not the lad...).

At one point in my odyssey, I had 4 spare front wheels, and no usable back wheels. Almost all the shop built wheels proved no more effective than the one I built myself with no experience as an experiment from a broken wheel while having very little clue....


that kind of bears out the idea that front wheels don't have to be as strong as rear wheels. Blimey though.... you certainly had a basinful of it. As I said before not all handbuilt wheels are actually built that well; I also came to the conclusion that I could build better wheels than my LBS early on.

If you are going to buy factory wheels the rears on campag and fulcrum models at least have the benefit of triplet spoking, which is a genuinely clever idea. IIRC they use 'soft' threadlock on the nipples too, which (along with the balanced tensions) helps to prevent the nipples from unscrewing. Didn't stop me from breaking multiple spokes in my Fulcrums though.... I wonder if perhaps they stress-relieve the Campag ones but not the Fulcrum ones?

I think it is quite telling that all cyclists have seen broken spokes and nearly all club cyclists have personal experience of broken spokes in minimal spoked wheels (their own or some other poor sod's) making for a premature end to someone's ride/race.

I also think that some manufacturers/vendors offer a spoke breakage warranty on handbuilt wheels (often 'for the lifetime of the rim'), but do any minimal spoked wheels offer this? In fairness if it means shipping the wheels the warranty isn't cost-effective to implement, and nothing will make up for being stranded with a wonky wheel. But if such a warranty is offered it at least shows willing.

Fulcrum offer a two-year warranty against manufacturing defects;

http://www.fulcrumwheels.com/system/documents/files/Warranty_Garanzia_Fulcrum.pdf?1312279811

but actually claiming on it when spokes break results in a 'patchy' response from both dealers and importers, who may try and weasel out of it in some way or other. Reports are similar with many manufacturer's wheels.

If I had to estimate what the failure rate is in such wheels I'd suggest that multiple spoke failures before the rims wear out is pretty much the norm for many minimal spoke wheelsets. Plenty of such wheelsets get ditched well before either rim wears out because the owners are sick of walking home with broken spokes. Anyone who doubts that there is a significant problem (with most factory wheels, not just minimally spoked ones) should take a trawl through the 94700 hits you get if you google 'spoke breakage warranty'.

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

Postby [XAP]Bob » 11 Dec 2014, 5:50pm

I've nothing againsy radial, except that it's not workable at the rear, doe to the torsion requirements. And any hub/disc based brake has the same requirement.

Other that those restrictions (which are perfectly possible to avoid), I have nothing against radial. Of course you need to have a radial rated hub flange...
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mig
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby mig » 11 Dec 2014, 10:21pm

re. radial wheels. i just don't like the look of them. they look odd to me for some reason. then again i don't like the look of curved seat stays & upward rising stems.

brucey - i'll re-read your post on the previous page when i'm less tired. always interested in your posts on wheels and like to learn from them.

pliptrot
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby pliptrot » 14 Dec 2014, 9:09am

whether or not you agree with the OP this has certainly made for an interesting and informative thread. Somehting of a detraction was the inability of at least one poster to take an opinion other than his as anything other than a polemic and becoming abusive (I think that term is appropriate) as a result. When you start with an objective, inteersting disucssion and then someone gets personal, it's disappointing, if only because it may encourage people with something to say (write) not to.

reohn2
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 14 Dec 2014, 9:48am

pliptrot wrote:whether or not you agree with the OP this has certainly made for an interesting and informative thread. Somehting of a detraction was the inability of at least one poster to take an opinion other than his as anything other than a polemic and becoming abusive (I think that term is appropriate) as a result. When you start with an objective, inteersting disucssion and then someone gets personal, it's disappointing, if only because it may encourage people with something to say (write) not to.


I agree totally,and have been interested to read about some of the positive experiences some people have had with minimum spokes,particularly Big Foz's,and more so his negative one's with handbuilt 36's which I'm sure is an anomaly in the overall scheme of things.
I'm still not convinced of any advantages minimum spokes offer though,their negatives are far too risky for me to trust them,more so grouped minimum spoking,their gaps which allow more access for sticks etc,to get picked up with dire consequences is too big a negative for me to consider them.

Re radial spoking,other than the possible aesthetic for some for the ordinary cyclist I can't see any advantage and IMO the direct pull on hub flanges can only ever be a disadvantage.
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Sum
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Sum » 14 Dec 2014, 12:26pm

My commute bike came with the Alfine WHS500 Wheelset which with only 24 spokes I wasn't keen on as they were needed for commuting both on and off road with panniers all year round, and I’m probably at the heavy end of the rider spectrum here, but the wheels have remained true over the last two years and I've been pleased with them. Similarly my main MTB, which has Mavic Crossmax wheels from c.2005, also has 24 straight-pull spokes but with flat blades. Admittedly the rear wheel has required some attention on the early days but has given years of trouble free use after I took it to a decent wheel builder. Again these wheels have been ridden hard off-road.

I did wonder if the fact that both wheelsets are laced with straight-pull spokes allows them to get away with having fewer spokes? However these wheelsets introduce another problem in that sourcing parts for the straight-pull & flat-bladed spoke Mavic wheels was difficult even back in the day, and I hear that spare parts for the WHS500 has been discontinued. If I needed to replace the wheels I’d go back to a 32 J-spoked wheel simply because of the spare parts issue. So to answer the original question: I wouldn't call either wheelsets ‘mad’ for their spoke count but I might for the spare parts issue hence I’d give Brucey a 7½.

On the side issue of radial: I've built a half-radial rim-braked rear wheel which uses a radial pattern on the non-drive side. This was after repeated spoke breakage on the non-driveside and I read Sheldon’s article on half-radial spoking. The wheel has worked fine and hasn't needed any attention but if I had to rebuild the wheel from scratch I’d probably go back to 3-cross both sides with different gauge spokes.

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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 14 Dec 2014, 12:57pm

I've used WHS500 wheels and have had broken spokes. IIRC they might have a Shimano part number but they are SAPIM spokes, straight pull, 13/14g in black (rear). You can see the SAPIM logo on them. If you lose a rear spoke (either side), the wheel goes about an inch out of true and the rim instantly takes a new set, which only gets worse if you ride on it (assuming that you can actually do so at all).

The closest spokes I could obtain easily were PG 13G ones with a J-bend. As a temporary measure I have straightened the J bend, checked for cracks, and fitted one of those instead, using a slim bodied 13G nipple. After a few breakages I pretty much gave up on those wheels because I just couldn't rely upon them. The 'temporary' spokes work well if they are stainless, but tend to crack when straightened if they are not.

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

Postby DaveP » 14 Dec 2014, 6:08pm

I think it's been an interesting thread as well.
As radial spoking has come up, could anyone remind me what (historical) claims were made for radial wheels when they was introduced?
I must have been looking the other way :oops:
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 14 Dec 2014, 10:52pm

radial wheels are as old as the hills; vs. tangent spoking, they are thought lighter and stiffer.

Re the idea that 24 spokes is OK in the WHS500 shimano wheelset; 24 x 2.3mm spokes would be nominally as strong as 32 x 2.0mm spokes. But the loads in the rim are higher, and if you lose a spoke it is a lot like losing more than one in some other wheels. And for what gain, exactly?

cheers
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