Strongest set of touring wheels.

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531colin
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby 531colin » 16 Sep 2018, 9:01pm

brynpoeth wrote:Where may I read about stress-relieving spokes? (Link?)
Thanks

https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=110419
many other threads too

Bonefishblues
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby Bonefishblues » 16 Sep 2018, 9:07pm

Sheldon has a decent section, updated post his death

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horizon
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby horizon » 16 Sep 2018, 11:00pm

hondated wrote:I suppose what also prompted me to ask the question is that I read recently that its a bit of a myth when people say that 26" wheels are stronger given mountain bikes are now using 29ers.


I use 26" now for my cycle camping on the assumption that a smaller wheel will be stronger. But that assumes a lot of things including the number of spokes - I use 36. I use a wider tyre (1.75 cm) as well. So it all comes together as fit for purpose. That leaves my 700c bike ready to go lighter and faster with narrower tyres and much lighter loads. So I'm specialising my bikes but, as everyone says, that needn't mean a 700c wheel has to be weaker or less robust if properly specified, built and ridden, particuarly if you're not load lugging.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby The utility cyclist » 17 Sep 2018, 2:00am

Currently using an 622-18mm Alex rim that came std on a Specialized Globe Expert (now converted to drops as a tourer/winter racer/long ride bike), 32hole on Deore hub, they were used throughout the range and the standard size tyre was 42mm, whilst I don't normally use that wide I've refitted it for the rear only simply to use them up, still have a 28mm front. This can be used fully loaded over rough ground.

I actually use a 32mm tyre (31.5mm measured) on my rear Open 4 ceramic which is only 13mm internal, so when you say your rim/wheel will only take 32mm max, I would likely say you could go a bit wider and it be perfectly fine. I rarely venture off road but there's a bumpy trail near the village that means I don't have to cross the dual carriageway which is a nightmare to navigate to get to the old gt North Road at peak hours, so if it's really busy it's virtually impossible to cross so I'll go the extra 1.5miles via a narrow country road or if it's not been raining take the track (as there's a ploughed up 8% drop right at the end here the farmer comes in with his tractor).
I tend to have my tyres fairly high in pressure because as I said I don't venture off road much so it's a bit bumpy but nevertheless I don't have problems with traction. The tyre is a specialized Borough CX which is primarily a slick tyre.
There are some very good 32-35mm tyres that can be used off and on road without losing a huge amount of speed when back on tarmac.

Recently I just purchased a pair of 32 spoke H+son TB14 wheelset, these are 18mm internal, should be more than strong enough and wide enough for going off road IMHO.

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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby PH » 17 Sep 2018, 7:48am

hondated wrote:
PH wrote:It's not just the weight it's also how you ride. With a little care, taking it easy on the roughest bits, coming out of the saddle and distributing your weight for the hits... ought to keep any reasonably well built wheelset running fine.
I'm around 100kg and often carry 15 kg of kit or shopping in two panniers. Current wheels of choice are 36h Exal LX17 rims on Deore hubs, Spa will build them to last. I've had everything from Open Pros to Sputniks without issue, what do you have on the Roberts now and why don't you think they're strong enough?

Thanks PH I think the reason I have asked the question is to ensure I have the strongest wheels possible if I should take a route over some rough ground. I suppose I have got the cycling version of " Range Rover " syndrome in that I am looking to fit wheels that realistically I will never need. I think what you write makes sense with regard to riding out of the saddle etc. In fact the last time I rode over some rough ground,actually carefully, I did end up with a couple of broken spokes. At the time I had DT Swiss TK 7.1 rims fitted but when I took the wheel into the shop to get a couple of spokes replaced they told me that the rim needed replacing but replaced it with a Mavic 319 rim as they could match the original.

Just to add - I've never broken a spoke on a wheel built by one of the wheelbuilders that get frequent mentions on these boards; Paul Hewitt, Spa Cycles, SJS. I've only ever broken two, one damaged by hitting a rock in long grass and the other in a wheel built in a LBS that had already needed adjusting several times. I'm unconvinced that for most of us carthorse rims like Sputniks are needed, most of the extra weight is in the braking surface which makes them long lasting and good value, but stronger? How often do we hear of rims failing? When I do it's usually spokes pulling through, only happened to me with something not double eyeletted and a large flange hub (Rohloff). Otherwise rims tend to wear out, lightweight ones quite quickly, but that isn't a failure unless the maintenance routine doesn't include checking.
If you want the best wheels - choose the best wheelbuilder.

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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby Brucey » 17 Sep 2018, 8:27am

rims fail all the time, for reasons other than that they wear out on the braking surfaces. It is one of the many reasons why disc brake wheels are less likely to avoid rim problems than folk might suppose.

However not all rims are created equal by any means, not all builds respect the tension limits set by the rim manufacturer, and not all riders are equally careful/lucky when they are using the bike, either.

I have one rim that weighs about 430g that has survived about 70000 miles (of varied use) in a rear wheel. But that is not to say that I'd suggest that rim for that use/mileage; I think I was careful/lucky with it. I've trashed several similar front rims in the same mileage....

....I'm unconvinced that for most of us..... rims like Sputniks are needed, most of the extra weight is in the braking surface which makes them long lasting and good value, but stronger?......


FWIW the ideas that a Sputnik is heavy because it has heavy braking surfaces and that weight there does not strengthen the rim are not entirely true. When sputniks are worn out there is only about 50g of aluminium missing from the braking surfaces, and since rims are regularly damaged by getting their lips crunched in potholes, any extra thickness in the rim lips does indeed make the rims stronger than they would be otherwise.

A degree of care and good luck is required when using lightweight rims, for sure, but when you are carrying a load, you just need brute strength in the rim; you can't except to bunny hop a bike with four panniers over a pothole..... To misquote a sportsman who was accused of being 'lucky'; "the heavier my rims are, the luckier I get"..... :wink:

BTW I plan to start a thread showing examples of how rims break. I have dozens of broken rims I can include photos of.

cheers
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby PH » 17 Sep 2018, 11:17am

Brucey wrote:rims fail all the time, for reasons other than that they wear out on the braking surfaces. cheers

As is quite common on these forums, your experience of breakages differs from that of my own. Maybe it's your larger sample size, but failing all the time certainly isn't my experience. Or as far as I'm aware does it happen all the time to the 30 - 40 people I frequently ride with.
Be interesting to see your modes of failure, maybe combined with a question as to how many times it's happened to people here.

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horizon
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby horizon » 17 Sep 2018, 11:29am

I did lose a rear rim a couple of years ago. Unfortunately (or fortunately! :D) it was quickly replaced by a local bike hire guy so I never inspected it properly but AFAIR the rim had simply peeled off. I was then careful about the front wheel and soon after realised that that too was ready for replacement (it was bulging slightly so the brakes wouldn't line up).
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mercalia
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby mercalia » 17 Sep 2018, 1:45pm

531colin wrote:
Brucey wrote:...........To make the 700C size 'work' in MTBs has required a whole swathe of new rear hub designs, rear end offsets, offset rims, and for punters to put up with wheels that are somewhat heavier and bend too easily.....


Well, yes, but me and countless others have been taking our touring bikes off-road without any real difficulties for years......including the old Dunlop steel 27 by inch and a quarter rims, and there aren't any modern rims as awful as those.
There is a big difference between riding sedately along the average bridlepath and throwing yourself down the black run at a trail centre. Somebody already mentioned riding in a way to protect the bike.


yeah but you dont weigh much if the pictures of you are true and accurate?

scottg
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby scottg » 17 Sep 2018, 1:59pm

Bonefishblues wrote:Sheldon has a decent section, updated post his death


I use St. Sheldons method show here, I have a nice TA Zephyr crank arm with a cracked pedal eye,
works a treat. Machine made wheels can be thought of as wheel kits, worth re-tensioning and relieving
the spokes.


https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#seating
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Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

MikeDee
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby MikeDee » 17 Sep 2018, 3:06pm

Brucey wrote:
531colin wrote:

To make the 700C size 'work' in MTBs has required a whole swathe of new rear hub designs, rear end offsets, offset rims, and for punters to put up with wheels that are somewhat heavier and bend too easily.

cheers


You might be referring to Boost, which widened the flange width on hubs a whole 6 mm. I don't think that did much, especially when 29er wheels have like 24 or 28 spokes. Do you think that more spokes in a wheel are a better approach? Gone are the 32 and 36 spoked wheels that came on 26" bikes. That said, I've yet to bend a 29" wheel. I don't jump my bike or ride over rocky terrain that often. That big cushy low pressure tire that mountain bikes have protects the rim, and mountain bikes get ridden many less miles than road bikes.

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hondated
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby hondated » 17 Sep 2018, 5:28pm

Glad I asked this question as its generated some great advice and comments.
Sitting here reading them it reminded me of when my son was young and the BMX bike he had. I seem to remember repairing punctures he had everyday but with regard to damage to his wheel never anything even though he did those tricks youngsters did on their bikes in those days.

So given that his wheels were made of plastic am I wrong in thinking that plastic wheels could of been the way forward ! :wink: :?

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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby goatwarden » 18 Sep 2018, 10:15am

Most of the responses assume that the initial build of a wheel entirely dictates it's longevity.
Whilst broadly I agree with this, it does ignore the possibilities of bad luck and carelessness.
The majority of broken spokes I have experienced have broken mid length and show clear fatigue pattern on the fracture surface.
Reports I see of broken spokes are at the elbow or at the thread route. These probably are indicative of poor stress relief during initial build. However I cannot see mid length fracture as in any way related to the builder's talent; far more likely the spokes I have broken were scratched (through my riding on any surface as it pleases me - just as the OP seeks to, or from too intimate contact with pedals of my too many bikes when I am careless in storing them) and the scratch gave an initiation site for fatigue to progress.
My most recent experiences of such failure were a spa rear wheel originally built by Colin (I cast no aspersions at Colin's wheel building; I attribute failure entirely to my use of the wheel) which broke one spoke, which I replaced, then several more in chain reaction such that I rebuilt with new spokes. The other was my tandem disc front, originally built by Harry Rowlands, which similarly broke mid length with fatigue type fracture surface; again a first class wheel built by a first class builder, but failed due to my bad luck and carelessness.
It feels ironic that, to date, I have not suffered similar failure on any wheels I have built myself. I certainly don't compare my experience to those listed above and simply assume that my parental pride in my own invested effort causes me to take better care of those wheels.

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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby Brucey » 18 Sep 2018, 8:26pm

MikeDee wrote:
Brucey wrote:
531colin wrote:

To make the 700C size 'work' in MTBs has required a whole swathe of new rear hub designs, rear end offsets, offset rims, and for punters to put up with wheels that are somewhat heavier and bend too easily.

cheers


You might be referring to Boost, which widened the flange width on hubs a whole 6 mm. I don't think that did much, especially when 29er wheels have like 24 or 28 spokes. Do you think that more spokes in a wheel are a better approach?....


well there are lots of 'standards' to choose from in MTB rear hubs....

Image

A 6mm increase in flange spacing has a very large effect on the lateral strength and lateral stiffness of wheels, which is badly needed in the case of 622 rimmed wheels; they fold up really rather easily (by MTB standards) if the flanges are spaced 'normally', or must be built rather too heavily for folk to actually want to ride them.

A ~10% change in the wheel diameter changes a load of other things by 10, 20 or even ~30% even if you attempt to scale the design somewhat; engineering with what are (effectively) cantilever loads is difficult; the numbers are an unforgiving mistress....

FWIW more spokes is always better but it may not greatly increase the lateral load required to pretzel a wheel. In fact it may even lower it, by pushing the rim loading closer to yield.

cheers
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Re: Strongest set of touring wheels.

Postby pwa » 18 Sep 2018, 8:37pm

PH wrote:
Brucey wrote:rims fail all the time, for reasons other than that they wear out on the braking surfaces. cheers

As is quite common on these forums, your experience of breakages differs from that of my own. Maybe it's your larger sample size, but failing all the time certainly isn't my experience. Or as far as I'm aware does it happen all the time to the 30 - 40 people I frequently ride with.
Be interesting to see your modes of failure, maybe combined with a question as to how many times it's happened to people here.


I've ridden one rim to the point where the brake surface, being too thin, disintegrated a mile from home. And numerous rims have been retired because I thought the brake surface was looking too worn. But in addition to that I have crisped (is that the right word?) a rear rim in a sideways skid that ended with contact with a kerb. And I have dented a pair of Open Pro rims on a pothole-like road irregularity. I got them straightened well enough to continue being used.