Minimal-spoke madness....

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
reohn2
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 14 Dec 2014, 11:37pm

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

cheers


Is that only thought or actual?
I've never understood the need for them myself,my logical mind says,yes the spokes are longer in conventional 3cross spoking,but does that contribute that much to make a wheel less stiff as to actually matter? :?
And can they be that much lighter to make any real difference outside of racing or really fast riding ie;18mph+ averages? :?
It's a similar arguement with minimum spoking.
Presumably the advantage is purely aerodynamics,as anything gained with less spokes is lost with heavier gauge spokes and or rims would even things out weight wise.
I can understand the need for a more reliable spoke hence straight pulls,which it seems,according to posters on this thread and I've no reason to doubt them,if the correct formula is reached ie; straight pull,heavier gauge spokes,and heavier rims.the wheels will be reliable.
But I'm still left asking two questions;
a)where's the gain for most riders whose averages aren't over
say 18mph+
b)ride ruination,and possible dangerous wheel lock up,should a spoke let go.
My conclusion is that they aren't worth the risk,perhaps I may have reached a different conclusion if I'd had Big Foz's experience.
Though TBH in a situation where I was breaking spokes in 36 spoke wheel my logical conclusion would've been to up the spoke count not reduce it.
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RickH
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby RickH » 15 Dec 2014, 12:26am

I don't think it is just weight (although my previously mentioned 16F/20R wheels are around 500g lighter than my "normal" 32F/32R wheels) but aerodynamics if you are wanting to ride at higher speeds. Fewer, flat/aero spokes & deeper rims may give you an advantage - more speed for the same effort or the same speed for less effort - especially as the upper end of the spokes are approaching double the forward speed of the bike as they pass the top of their rotation.

It all depends if you consider it to be important in the circumstances in which you are riding at any given time.

Rick.

reohn2
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 15 Dec 2014, 9:16am

RickH wrote:

It all depends if you consider it to be important in the circumstances in which you are riding at any given time.

Rick.


Confining that to energy expended is it that much less,(I realise it's hard to measure accurately),compared to the downsides,perceived or actual?
TBH if I were say time trialling,I'd be looking for every trick in the book to minimise effort and increase speed,but does it matter that much for ordinary riding?
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Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 15 Dec 2014, 9:31am

the thing is that such wheels might have a small aero benefit, but then again they might not. What is pretty apparent is that many people who insist on using them (esp outside of a racing context) could do many other things and go faster if they wanted to.

In the meantime they are riding around on wheels that may stop them dead in their tracks should they break a spoke.

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

Postby DaveP » 15 Dec 2014, 6:49pm

Just stumbled across this, and found it quite thought provoking: :D

By 1886, the Coventry Machinists Co. was the oldest bicycle factory in the UK and the top model was introduced in 1882: the Special Club. Hundreds of other producers developed new models, the list of bicycle patents in those years is endless. Light and rigid was the tangent spoked bicyle, like Singer and Rudge made. And of course the wonderful New Rapid and Surrey Machinists.


from
http://king-of-clubs-rational.coventry- ... ycles.net/

What goes around...
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!

ANTONISH
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby ANTONISH » 16 Dec 2014, 10:23am

It occurred to me that virtually everyone on our club run has factory built wheels with a range of spoke counts - all less than 32/32.
A large number of the riders have only come to cycling in recent years and they are basically buying (being sold?) an "off the shelf bike" together with aforesaid factory wheels.
As is to be expected we have the usual run of punctures, and mechanical problems - loose cassette, broken chain, misaligned gears etc.
I have never known anyone to have a broken spoke (I'm crossing fingers here because I'm often the one called on to sort things out :( ), although as I've said previously I've managed to break a couple while riding on my own.

Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 16 Dec 2014, 10:32am

ANTONISH wrote:...I have never known anyone to have a broken spoke (I'm crossing fingers here because I'm often the one called on to sort things out :( ), although as I've said previously I've managed to break a couple while riding on my own.


lucky you!

Lets hope that just saying that hasn't put the kiss of death on it... :wink:

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mig
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby mig » 16 Dec 2014, 10:42am

ANTONISH wrote:It occurred to me that virtually everyone on our club run has factory built wheels with a range of spoke counts - all less than 32/32.
A large number of the riders have only come to cycling in recent years and they are basically buying (being sold?) an "off the shelf bike" together with aforesaid factory wheels.
As is to be expected we have the usual run of punctures, and mechanical problems - loose cassette, broken chain, misaligned gears etc.
I have never known anyone to have a broken spoke (I'm crossing fingers here because I'm often the one called on to sort things out :( ), although as I've said previously I've managed to break a couple while riding on my own.


is that possibly the issue here? that manufacturers keenly follow current trends thereby knowing people new to cycling (whether 'leisure' or 'sport') will want look-a-like to the pros kit? my LBS sold out of the merida team bikes early in the summer and couldn't shift similar spec bikes as they were the wrong colour. they also know the high percentage of these bikes that end up in sheds within 6-12 months and don't then build in longevity to the parts to reduce costs.

pliptrot
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby pliptrot » 16 Dec 2014, 4:03pm

I am looking to buy new wheels for next year and have been looking at factory wheels as there is increasingly no other choice. The prices are, well, ey-watering. How on earth do Campag justify 800quid for a pair of wheels with aluminium rims? What am I missing?

fastpedaller
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby fastpedaller » 16 Dec 2014, 4:44pm

pliptrot wrote:I am looking to buy new wheels for next year and have been looking at factory wheels as there is increasingly no other choice. The prices are, well, ey-watering. How on earth do Campag justify 800quid for a pair of wheels with aluminium rims? What am I missing?

You could get a pair of handbuilt wheels with Shimano freehub and alloy Mavic, rims stainless butted spokes for less than £250 which will last years - why pay more?

Dave W
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Dave W » 16 Dec 2014, 6:08pm

I've only ever had factory wheels on all my bikes. I've broken one spoke in forty years of cycling - that was last year when I kicked the Tandem in temper when the chain came off the inner ring again.

robc02
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby robc02 » 16 Dec 2014, 7:00pm

Listening to anectodes on here and elsewhere it seems that whether or not you get spoke breakages is probably down to build quality as much as anything. Hopefully, the mid-range and up market factory offerings (some at eye-watering prices, as noted above) are subject to good quality control. It has certainly been the case in the past, and may still be, that the quality of handbuilt wheels from some outlets has been quite variable, perhaps leading to the impression that 32 or 36 spoked wheels may be fundamentally less reliable than 20 or fewer spoked factory wheels when in fact its a build quality issue.

For me, the issues are twofold. First the consequences of a broken spoke in a wheel with few spokes are much worse than in a 32 or 36 spoked wheel, possibly resulting in a wheel that wont clear the chainstays. Second is the availability and cost of spare parts. Some manufacturers do offer spares, at least on their newish models, but prices can be high - as I discovered several years ago after crashing in a road race and writing off the rim of a virtually new wheel. I doubt whether I would be able to get a spare rim for those wheels any more as they are getting on for 10 years old now.

On my commuting and other non-competition bikes I use 32 or 36 spoked rims, mainly of the £20sih variety. This has proved a good decision as I have recently had to replace 3 rims due to pothole damage, one with a bit of life left in it the other two nearly new. While I didn't like forking out for new rims, I'd have liked it a lot less if they'd been proprietary factory rims, available from one manufacturer (if at all) and at their price!

reohn2
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby reohn2 » 16 Dec 2014, 7:55pm

Dave W wrote:I've only ever had factory wheels on all my bikes. I've broken one spoke in forty years of cycling - that was last year when I kicked the Tandem in temper when the chain came off the inner ring again.


Good job you didn't minimum spoke wheels or grouped spoked wheels or your foot would have gone straight through the gap and you could possibly have fell over twisting your ankle or knee,or worse.
Saved by the spoke :)
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Brucey
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby Brucey » 16 Dec 2014, 8:00pm

robc02 wrote: For me, the issues are twofold.


...that isn't an unreasonable way of looking at it. However it still contains an implicit assumption that (say) 20 spokes are a lot more aerodynamic, or lighter, or something, than (say) 32 skinnier spokes when built onto a similar rim.

Doubtless this is true to some extent, but maybe it is like the difference between radial and tangent spoking, i.e. larger in the mind than in reality?

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

iandriver
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Re: Minimal-spoke madness....

Postby iandriver » 16 Dec 2014, 11:28pm

I think you need to distinguish between factory and machine built wheels. Some of their very expensive wheels are essentially handbuilt built in the factory. Lots of vids on YouTube like this from Easton http://youtu.be/ZxTWSTo2_4Q

Not my cup of tea, but interesting much the same. The build part is about 3/4 way in
Edit one for cheaper fulcrums

How Fulcrum Wheels Are Made: http://youtu.be/tIGm7pKx3rs

Not too much talk of stress relieving in there......
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.....