Suitable wheels

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
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arnsider
Posts: 305
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Suitable wheels

Post by arnsider »

My Whyte Coniston E-bike has been very good and reliable during the eighteen months and three thousand odd miles I have ridden it.
The wheels were replaced under warranty at just over two thousand miles because of rim splitting at the spoke penetrations.
I bust a spoke the other day and just realised that the Shimano MT 500 upgrades were only 24 spokes.
Would someone comment please on the suitability of 24 spoke wheels for heavier riders (106Kg)
I wondered if I had both wheels rebuilt with top quality butted spokes, tensioned correctly for road riding, would this be a workable solution leading to long term reliability?
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willcee
Posts: 1224
Joined: 14 Aug 2008, 11:30pm
Location: castleroe,co.derryUlster

Re: Suitable wheels

Post by willcee »

Personally I wouldn't recommended lightweight spoked wheels for any E machine... take the overall bike weight iro 50lbs and the total weight of rider and it would be 285ish lbs ...i suppose one could ask Shimano what the max weight they suggest safe for that model wheel, however in my experience of wheels it would likely be all up weight of 200lbs give or take something similar to what Mavic used to say for AKsiums.. I have spare pair of Rydes hand built for 'E' machines 36 s/s with good 11 sp compatible Novatec sealed bearing disc hubs QR if you had any interest.. they are very strong.. and smart.. pm me.. will
arnsider
Posts: 305
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Suitable wheels

Post by arnsider »

How would I go about asking Shimano if their MT 500 wheel was fit for my purpose, ie competent to carry a rider 106kg on tarmac roads?
Do they design these items for a specific band of body weights?
Can anyone comment on the feasibility of rebuilding the MT 500 using a much better spoke and maybe copper washers at the hub holes as with tandem/tourer wheels?
arnsider
Posts: 305
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Suitable wheels

Post by arnsider »

My experience with E-bikes has been confusing. On the one hand, I’ve been impressed by the build quality and motor fitted to my Whyte Coniston, but the wheels have been an unmitigated disaster.
The original 32 spoke rear wheel failed just inside the warranty period.
It didn’t break spokes, but started splitting at the spoke holes, pointed out by my dealer.
I was happily reassured when told the wheels would be replaced both front and rear.
A while later, a new pair of Shimano MT 500 wheels were fitted with larger brake rotors with the brake cylinder adaptors,
I overlooked the fact that MT 500 wheels are only 24 spoke ones and really not suitable for a guy my weight, even though I use the bike exclusively on the tarmac.
After 1200 miles, a spoke broke and I waited a couple of weeks to have it replaced. Then barely 70 miles later, another spoke has broken.
Without laying blame or stirring ill-feeling, I’ve taken a view here and I think it’s worth other larger people, keen on buying an E-bike, benefitting from my experience.
Don’t look at any E-bike with anything less than 36 spoke rear wheels and these need to be a reputable and reliable make.
These Shimano MT 500 wheels were not fit for purpose.
I am now faced with replacing the rear wheel at my cost.
I’ll take a punt on the front wheel, but I’m not getting much change out of £200 for my replacement.
Oldjohnw
Posts: 6211
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Suitable wheels

Post by Oldjohnw »

I have 36 spoke (hub motor) but have to tighten spokes before and during every trip.
John
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willcee
Posts: 1224
Joined: 14 Aug 2008, 11:30pm
Location: castleroe,co.derryUlster

Re: Suitable wheels

Post by willcee »

People tend to forget or not understand that riders are totally different in how they use a machine on any road, there are experienced cyclists who for whatever reason are constantly fixing punctures, others seem to manage however difficult or easy the terrain to break a spoke or buckle a rim, I know because i have cycled beside some of them, yet me and my cycle buddy Davy been riding together almost now 20 years and we can count one broken spoke, one or two loose spokes , mine, perhaps 7 punctures 2 caused by faults in the tubes and no major mechanicals except a broken chain caused by a poor join on a new 9 sp chain that shouldn't have been joined without a link.. and a loose stay on a rear rack...

The last 3 / 4 years have been E stuff mainly I have built perhaps 30 now including 5/6 for myself all using Bafang kit and custom power packs... lately using Orbeas X35 hub and Bafang controller in a new Whyte gravel frameset with a full carbon mudguard compatible and thru axled fork, my wheels ranged from Ambrosias built with 36 ss spokes on novateck hubs to ryde rims 36 on disc novatecks and now Mavics Askium disc a wider rim but convertible to thru axle and backwards to normal drop outs..

They are strong yet for someone who in local parlance'' could bend a crowbar in the moss'' it wouldn't be a wheel I would recommend and my other powerful machine is on Fulcrums Askium equivalents which for the first few hundred miles loosened the slack side until we addressed it with spoke seal and they haven't put a spoke wrong since.. power tends to twist wheels as do sharp applications of powerful disc brakes.. my point of this diatribe is that I'm as heavy as the OP but even on our poor tarmac on Ulsters declining road surfaces haven't suffered what his issues are... perhaps I'm more careful, more lucky , more observant and more attuned to service and repairs and knowing from raw experience what usually works... wheels are a wearing commodity like tyres and brake pads ...will
arnsider
Posts: 305
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: Suitable wheels

Post by arnsider »

I have two other bikes that have had no problems with spokes or rims.
My twenty-year-old Thorn Nomad is a tank and I've had three sets of wheels.
The original Sun Rhinos, fitted by St Johns, a set from Spa which was okay apart from a tick tick tick that I just turned a deaf ear to and I currently run a pair made for me by Paul Hewitt who I highly recommend.
I used to tour on it and have carried front panniers.
My other bike is a brilliant machine, assembled on the Kinesis T2 frameset by Paul Hewitt. I was a bit reticent that it would stand up to my weight and the lanes around my Lancs/Cumbria home. It has been a corker and the wheels are spot on.
Health problems drove me on to an E-bike, but thankfully, I am much better and can get out on my unassisted bikes.
Just as well since I've been let down by poor wheels.
Whyte needs to get their act together regarding wheel specs.
They hide behind their dealers and have ignored a letter sent directly to them.
Like a lot of cycle dealers, they have had a bonanza with Covid and probably couldn't care less about individual issues.
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