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  1. #1
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    I keep busting wheelsets. rant.

    I've been riding bikes since way back in the 1980's and let me say that I am so tired of buying wheelsets. I weigh in at 210 lbs and use my carbon fiber bicycle for club riding, some sprinting, climbing, and fun rides.
    I've gone through Neuvation M28's (the rear wheel tacoed on me while riding 16mph on flats), Mavic CXP22's (the rim cracked a hole near the eyelet), and the latest is the Mavic Ksyrium Equipe (developed hairline cracks in 5 eyelets). I may add that at least Neuvation replaced the wheels for free.

    My next purchase looks to be the Pure commuter wheelset with 32 holes triple cross spokes front and rear. I'm so sick of replacing wheels and loosing out on riding time. The Pure commuter is found at Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. Rant over.
    Pure Commuter + Shimano hubs
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  2. #2
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    You might want to consider picking up a cheap wheel truing stand, tensiometer, and spoke wrench. The key to spoke, rim, and nipple longevity is having correct spoke tension. Even if you aren't going to build your own wheels, you can go over your wheels to get them in optimal condition and if you break a spoke, you can replace it with ease.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooben View Post
    I've been riding bikes since way back in the 1980's and let me say that I am so tired of buying wheelsets. I weigh in at 210 lbs and use my carbon fiber bicycle for club riding, some sprinting, climbing, and fun rides.
    I've gone through Neuvation M28's (the rear wheel tacoed on me while riding 16mph on flats), Mavic CXP22's (the rim cracked a hole near the eyelet), and the latest is the Mavic Ksyrium Equipe (developed hairline cracks in 5 eyelets). I may add that at least Neuvation replaced the wheels for free.

    My next purchase looks to be the Pure commuter wheelset with 32 holes triple cross spokes front and rear. I'm so sick of replacing wheels and loosing out on riding time. The Pure commuter is found at Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. Rant over.
    If you had this number of wheel problems over 10,000 miles that would be pretty bad. If you had them over 100,000 miles it would be more than reasonable (though not great). You can build a very nice, reasonably light, high performance, and durable wheel with a number of different rims and 32 spokes.

  4. #4
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    So you weigh 210 lbs. and you're complaining as if it's the equipment's fault? I'm not gonna tell you to lose weight; for all I know you could be a lean 210.

    I AM gonna tell you that you're asking high performance wheels to support unreasonable loads.

    I'm gonna hazard a guess that the majority of your problems are with rear wheels. The first thing you need to do is run away from the minimal spoke designs and stick with MAYBE 32H, quite possibly 36H wheels.

    Next, you need to use rims with offset spoke beds like the Velocity Synergy OC or A23 OC. By reducing the difference in tension between the drive side and non-drive side spokes you substantially reduce lopsided torque loads on the rim and increase wheel life. I've built them for friends and myself and can see the difference in wheel life.

    An alternative to using the OC rims is to have a custom frame built with wider, 135mm rear hub spacing, which produces the same result while using more common, non-OC rims. My commuter frame is built this way.

    Next, you CAN'T ride 23mm tires. As far as I'm concerned, even 25mm tires are too small. The tire's volume, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CORRECT TIRE PRESSURE, will increase wheel life considerably. Increasing the tire pressure on a 23mm tire to protect the wheel against your 210 lb. mass only transfers more force from bumps and potholes into the wheels. You want the tire's volume to absorb the impact and it can't do that while inflated to silly pressures to support your weight.

    Honestly, I'd tell you to ride a minimum 26mm tire and a 28 would be better. And these larger tires would hardly be a handicap in your competitive rides. You're already hauling around 210 lbs. which is probably 40-50 lbs. more than most other cyclists. An extra pound or less of larger tires isn't going to make or break your rides.

    But, you're gonna say those tire sized won't fit your bike, right? That merely means you're riding the wrong bike for your size. So if you want to continue to ride road racing style frames, you're going to have to work within the tire width limitations that go with such frames and the resultant poor wheel life or seek out another type of road bike.

    My next suggestion would be to get a custom road bike built around normal reach sidepull brakes to accommodate the wider tires I recommended above. One such frame is the Hampsten Strada Bianca. Here's an excellent article that explains the Strada Bianca can still ride fast.

    If you're on a budget, my next suggestion would be the Gunnar Sport.

    Sorry for the tough love, but I feel it's the truth and the best solution.

  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Couldn't have said it better Peter, excellent advice!
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  6. #6
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    As a clyde myself (slightly heavier) I can say that I generally do not have problems with wheels, however I regularly put them in a truing stand to make sure they are evenly tensioned and ride nothing but 28c GP 4seasons inflated to 85-95 rear and 80-90 front. My everyday wheels are 32h front and rear although I do ride dura ace c24 and c50 which are 16/20h and have held up well over two years of riding.

    I grind up plenty of hills at low rpm and sprint at 1300 watts so I do not baby them, but I do ride light when going over bumps. My everyday wheels are velocity a23's 32h laced to powertap hubs, I think the 23mm rims make the 28c tires corner better and the lower pressure cushions both the ride and the rims.

    Unfortunately, wheels do take more of a beating from clydes, but I believe a bit of preventative care and good equipment choices goes a long way to preventing catastrophic failure.

  7. #7
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Best piece of advice I've read around here in a long time. No punches pulled nor should they have been. Everyone over 180lbs should read this.
    .
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

  8. #8
    Big is relative
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    I'm currently 235 (fat) and I regularly ride on three different wheelsets, Cosmic Carbones, Campy Zonda, and 3X32 open pros on Chorus hubs. No issues. The Zondas are six years old and have never needed truing, just a bearing adjustment on the rear hub. Carbones are battle wheels, maybe one of the best production wheels ever. They are heavy by today's standards. 3X32, can't go wrong. I run 25mm tires on the rear and a 23mm on the front due to fork clearance. Most of my weight is on the rear wheel. Light wheels need not apply.
    Retired sailor

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys, so I'll sell my carbon bike and buy the Hampsten and ride on size 28 tires. Better yet, I think I'll go ride my cruiser bike around the park. Guess I don't have to be a part of this forum anymore.

    Hey everyone, take care.... you wont see me around here anymore.
    Last edited by Hooben; 07-09-2013 at 08:07 PM.

  10. #10
    Flash! ah–ahhh!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooben View Post
    Thanks guys, so I'll sell my carbon bike and buy the Hampsten and ride on size 28 tires. Better yet, I think I'll go ride my cruiser bike around the park. Guess I don't have to be a part of this forum anymore.

    Hey everyone, take care.... you wont see me around here anymore.

    Monkhouse: I want to die like my Dad did, peacefully, in his sleep... not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    SystemShock: About Faux News/the Right-Wing Bubble™ – the first thing a cult does is claim that everyone else is lying to you.

    Kitty:
    ROMNEY LANDSLIDE! Man its going to be fun in PO after Election Day


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    I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

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  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooben View Post
    Thanks guys, so I'll sell my carbon bike and buy the Hampsten and ride on size 28 tires. Better yet, I think I'll go ride my cruiser bike around the park. Guess I don't have to be a part of this forum anymore.

    Hey everyone, take care.... you wont see me around here anymore.
    Wow, are you really that butthurt from getting the best advice i've ever seen on this forum? You should be thanking Peter for his post.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  12. #12
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    Have you talked to a pro wheel builder? They can help recommend the right rim, spokes, etc. based on your body, how you ride, etc. I know a few guys that race at your size and swear by the Hed Clydesdale builds. One of the guys had the nickname of the "Bike Destroyer" since he's broken just about every part of his bike.

    BTW, have you gotten quotes/advice from wheelbuilder.com, zencyclery.com, ergottwheels.com, etc.?

    Good luck and hope you find a wheelset that works for you!

  13. #13
    Flash! ah–ahhh!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    So you weigh 210 lbs. and you're complaining as if it's the equipment's fault? I'm not gonna tell you to lose weight; for all I know you could be a lean 210.

    I AM gonna tell you that you're asking high performance wheels to support unreasonable loads.

    I'm gonna hazard a guess that the majority of your problems are with rear wheels. The first thing you need to do is run away from the minimal spoke designs and stick with MAYBE 32H, quite possibly 36H wheels.

    Next, you need to use rims with offset spoke beds like the Velocity Synergy OC or A23 OC. By reducing the difference in tension between the drive side and non-drive side spokes you substantially reduce lopsided torque loads on the rim and increase wheel life. I've built them for friends and myself and can see the difference in wheel life.

    An alternative to using the OC rims is to have a custom frame built with wider, 135mm rear hub spacing, which produces the same result while using more common, non-OC rims. My commuter frame is built this way.

    Next, you CAN'T ride 23mm tires. As far as I'm concerned, even 25mm tires are too small. The tire's volume, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CORRECT TIRE PRESSURE, will increase wheel life considerably. Increasing the tire pressure on a 23mm tire to protect the wheel against your 210 lb. mass only transfers more force from bumps and potholes into the wheels. You want the tire's volume to absorb the impact and it can't do that while inflated to silly pressures to support your weight.

    Honestly, I'd tell you to ride a minimum 26mm tire and a 28 would be better. And these larger tires would hardly be a handicap in your competitive rides. You're already hauling around 210 lbs. which is probably 40-50 lbs. more than most other cyclists. An extra pound or less of larger tires isn't going to make or break your rides.

    But, you're gonna say those tire sized won't fit your bike, right? That merely means you're riding the wrong bike for your size. So if you want to continue to ride road racing style frames, you're going to have to work within the tire width limitations that go with such frames and the resultant poor wheel life or seek out another type of road bike.

    My next suggestion would be to get a custom road bike built around normal reach sidepull brakes to accommodate the wider tires I recommended above. One such frame is the Hampsten Strada Bianca. Here's an excellent article that explains the Strada Bianca can still ride fast.

    If you're on a budget, my next suggestion would be the Gunnar Sport.

    Sorry for the tough love, but I feel it's the truth and the best solution.

    Good post.

    Unfortunately, "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Peter P. again."
    Monkhouse: I want to die like my Dad did, peacefully, in his sleep... not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    SystemShock: About Faux News/the Right-Wing Bubble™ – the first thing a cult does is claim that everyone else is lying to you.

    Kitty:
    ROMNEY LANDSLIDE! Man its going to be fun in PO after Election Day


    Platypius:
    I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Seamus: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind.


  14. #14
    changingleaf
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    None of the wheels you listed are particularly higher end. Some of the parts are light and there's usually not as much quality control in that price range.

    You're a perfect candidate for a custom wheelset. Built for you. Ride the wheels you want to ride.

    I agree with others posters that you and the life of your wheels will benefit from a little larger tires.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Best piece of advice I've read around here in a long time. No punches pulled nor should they have been. Everyone over 180lbs should read this.
    Some of that advice is going to come as a shock to Cancellara, Boonen and Greipel. Although they don't have the power or ride as hard as most of us so maybe that's how they'd gotten away with it.

  16. #16
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Some of that advice is going to come as a shock to Cancellara, Boonen and Greipel. Although they don't have the power or ride as hard as most of us so maybe that's how they'd gotten away with it.
    I wonder how long a set of wheels lasts them. I notice they always have following cars (with spare wheels!) - even, many times, in training. I'll bet they wouldn't have to walk home from a training ride. I wonder how many of their own sets of wheels they buy. I wonder if any minuscule gain from low-spoke wheels means more to them than us average joe riders.
    .
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    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I wonder how long a set of wheels lasts them. I notice they always have following cars (with spare wheels!) - even, many times, in training. I'll bet they wouldn't have to walk home from a training ride. I wonder how many of their own sets of wheels they buy. I wonder if any minuscule gain from low-spoke wheels means more to them than us average joe riders.
    I was referring more to the part about road race frames being the wrong bike not spoke counts. I acutally seem to remember reading that Boonen used 36 spokes for one of the cobble races but don't quote me on that.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Some of that advice is going to come as a shock to Cancellara, Boonen and Greipel. Although they don't have the power or ride as hard as most of us so maybe that's how they'd gotten away with it.
    They all weigh in right at 180. Not over 180.

    I'm sure they never damage wheels, break spokes, or crack spoke holes. But if they do, they'd probably complain on the interwebs about it rather than get new free wheels from their mechanics every day.
    Last edited by tlg; 07-10-2013 at 08:33 AM.

  19. #19
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    The guy is 210, not 600...

    I had only minor truing issues with Bontrager Race Lites (and 23s) when I was 245+. The only time I broke a spoke (front) was when I dropped into a 3" pothole in NYC.


    Will what you suggest work? Yes. Is it absolutely necessary as you suggest? Absolutely not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    So you weigh 210 lbs. and you're complaining as if it's the equipment's fault? I'm not gonna tell you to lose weight; for all I know you could be a lean 210.

    I AM gonna tell you that you're asking high performance wheels to support unreasonable loads.

    I'm gonna hazard a guess that the majority of your problems are with rear wheels. The first thing you need to do is run away from the minimal spoke designs and stick with MAYBE 32H, quite possibly 36H wheels.

    Next, you need to use rims with offset spoke beds like the Velocity Synergy OC or A23 OC. By reducing the difference in tension between the drive side and non-drive side spokes you substantially reduce lopsided torque loads on the rim and increase wheel life. I've built them for friends and myself and can see the difference in wheel life.

    An alternative to using the OC rims is to have a custom frame built with wider, 135mm rear hub spacing, which produces the same result while using more common, non-OC rims. My commuter frame is built this way.

    Next, you CAN'T ride 23mm tires. As far as I'm concerned, even 25mm tires are too small. The tire's volume, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CORRECT TIRE PRESSURE, will increase wheel life considerably. Increasing the tire pressure on a 23mm tire to protect the wheel against your 210 lb. mass only transfers more force from bumps and potholes into the wheels. You want the tire's volume to absorb the impact and it can't do that while inflated to silly pressures to support your weight.

    Honestly, I'd tell you to ride a minimum 26mm tire and a 28 would be better. And these larger tires would hardly be a handicap in your competitive rides. You're already hauling around 210 lbs. which is probably 40-50 lbs. more than most other cyclists. An extra pound or less of larger tires isn't going to make or break your rides.

    But, you're gonna say those tire sized won't fit your bike, right? That merely means you're riding the wrong bike for your size. So if you want to continue to ride road racing style frames, you're going to have to work within the tire width limitations that go with such frames and the resultant poor wheel life or seek out another type of road bike.

    My next suggestion would be to get a custom road bike built around normal reach sidepull brakes to accommodate the wider tires I recommended above. One such frame is the Hampsten Strada Bianca. Here's an excellent article that explains the Strada Bianca can still ride fast.

    If you're on a budget, my next suggestion would be the Gunnar Sport.

    Sorry for the tough love, but I feel it's the truth and the best solution.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I wonder how long a set of wheels lasts them. I notice they always have following cars (with spare wheels!) - even, many times, in training. I'll bet they wouldn't have to walk home from a training ride. I wonder how many of their own sets of wheels they buy. I wonder if any minuscule gain from low-spoke wheels means more to them than us average joe riders.
    This is flat out wrong. Pros do many, many miles of training without a follow vehicle.

  21. #21
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsedlak View Post
    The guy is 210, not 600...

    I had only minor truing issues with Bontrager Race Lites (and 23s) when I was 245+. The only time I broke a spoke (front) was when I dropped into a 3" pothole in NYC.


    Will what you suggest work? Yes. Is it absolutely necessary as you suggest? Absolutely not.
    Then why does he keep busting wheelsets? (3 different brands). You wouldn't propose all 3 were faulty would you?

  22. #22
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsedlak View Post
    This is flat out wrong. Pros do many, many miles of training without a follow vehicle.
    And it's flat out right too. I've seen lots of vids of individual pros and pro teams with following car(s). I've seen vid of Lance back in Texas (back in the day) with a following car. Yeah I'm sure they do a lot of kms without a car as well.
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    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Then why does he keep busting wheelsets? (3 different brands). You wouldn't propose all 3 were faulty would you?
    I can't say as there is not enough (read: no) background information given about the problem. My point was only to suggest that 210lbs is not enough weight to suggest it as being the entire problem. Those Mavics aren't even close to being limited to weight-weenies.

    Yeah I'm sure they do a lot of kms without a car as well.
    That was my only point. I think we both agree here... time to move on.

  24. #24
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    I keep busting wheelsets. rant.

    There are other factors, more important than rider weight, that cause wheels to break.

    Consider these two riders:

    Rider A - 150 lbs, masher, rides on big gears all the time, rocks the bike side to side when climbing, never unweights his weight from the bike when hitting a pothole or a bump on the road. He rides a 28 spoke hand-built wheel, 450 gr rim, 20mm tires at 120psi.

    Rider B - 210 lbs, spinner, climbs with higher cadence and on the saddle, takes his weight off the saddle when its unavoidable hitting a pothole. He rides the same wheels as rider A but with 25mm tires at 110psi.

    Do you think the rider A wheels will outlive the rider B wheels just because rider A is 60 lbs lighter than rider B?

  25. #25
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    I'm 145 lbs. I kill rear wheels. I don't mash and I hop over obstacles but I rock the bike when I stand on climbs. And I do a lot of climbing (a million feet a year) and a lot of standing. Steep climbs and low gearing put a lot of torque through the wheel.

    My powertap hub is 6 years old and has been built 6 times. The builds last about 6000-7000 miles which is about 9 months. I started doing it myself. I can do as well as the LBS. I got a crank based power meter so I could build my own wheels and so I could spread the load across more than one wheel. I build training rear wheels with 28h aero rims (larger cross section makes a stiffer rim). I have been experimenting with different lacing patterns to see what works best for me.

    Who uses 20mm tires these days? They suck. I run 23s at 90-100 psi.

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