Steel Bike Wheel Build - 24/28 or classic 32/32?
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  1. #1
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    Steel Bike Wheel Build - 24/28 or classic 32/32?

    Hi all,

    I'm working on building up a steel bike (a Soma ES or Smoothie) and was looking for your collective opinions on a wheel build to match:

    24/28 would be the correct spoke count for my weight (155 lbs), but part of me thinks a classic 32/32 would match the overall look better. I'd be pairing these with a low profile rim like the Kinlin XR19W or IRD Cadence.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. #2
    A wheelist
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    Go with what you like the look of because when you're riding faster than 0.01mph, no-one else can tell the difference. I went with 20/28 on my wheelbuild for my steel frame.
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  3. #3
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    Mike, you went with 20/28? I'm shocked that you dropped the four spokes on the front! Out of curiosity, what rims did you go with for your steel frame build?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. #4
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    If you're going for classic looks get 32/32 and don't forget the pedal clips and downtube shifters.

    If you want what makes sense get 24/28 or whatever would be best (spoke needs are not the same front/back so 32/32 is never best, though not really a problem either).

    Really dude, asking strangers about your choice of looks vs common sense isn't going to be productive. Only you can decide which matters more to you.

  5. #5
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    I went with 32h silver Archetype rims, front and back, for my steel Rando but not because of any "look" more or less spokes would match. Most probably you will be the only one who would notice.
    Let the distance you travel, the places you travel to and the hubs you use to help you with the choice on the number of spokes.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If you're going for classic looks get 32/32 and don't forget the pedal clips and downtube shifters.

    If you want what makes sense get 24/28 or whatever would be best (spoke needs are not the same front/back so 32/32 is never best, though not really a problem either).
    True enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Really dude, asking strangers about your choice of looks vs common sense isn't going to be productive. Only you can decide which matters more to you.
    Thanks Jay - I suppose I'm just taking an informal aesthetic poll.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zucchiniboy View Post

    I suppose I'm just taking an informal aesthetic poll.
    okay, honestly I don't think it matters. Visually I suppose there's a difference between "a ton" of spokes and "not many" when the bike is leaned against a wall not moving and you really look close but really wheels get their look from rim depth and color not so much matching, or not, front/back spoke count.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zucchiniboy View Post
    Mike, you went with 20/28? I'm shocked that you dropped the four spokes on the front!
    I know!! It took a lot of sleepless nights to decide on that one. Will my 20 spoke wheel collapse? Will Sapim go bankrupt?

    Actually I wanted some pewter colored hubs from Brandon for that build and 20/28 were all he had at the time IIRC.

    Out of curiosity, what rims did you go with for your steel frame build?
    I didn't want to spend too much on this average wheelset so I went with Kinlin xc279 with Sapim Race spokes and BHS hubs that Brandon lasered for me. It's kind of a retro color wheelset with silver rims & spokes.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I know!! It took a lot of sleepless nights to decide on that one. Will my 20 spoke wheel collapse? Will Sapim go bankrupt?
    I think you will be fine, I wouldn't worry about any of those scenarios.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland44 View Post
    I think you will be fine, I wouldn't worry about any of those scenarios.
    Thanks. You're the closest I've got to a support group.
    .

  11. #11
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    If you are wanting to build a bike and maintain a beautiful classic look I think that the 32/32 with the low profile rim would look very nice. I went with 32/32 on my modern classic styled bike. Mostly because Shimano hubs come that way. I used Revo's up front and will continue with them. It has worked out well.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcgriz View Post
    Let the distance you travel, the places you travel to and the hubs you use to help you with the choice on the number of spokes.
    Thanks, good advice. I think I'm probably going to go 24/28 for this build, but I actually don't have the budget now for the wheels (just bought the frame), so I've got a little time.

    Thanks all!

  13. #13
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    A really classic build would be 36/36... I chose 28/28 because archetype silver rims are not offered in less than 28h. They are very solid on smooth to moderately rough pavement.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfaas View Post
    A really classic build would be 36/36... I chose 28/28 because archetype silver rims are not offered in less than 28h. They are very solid on smooth to moderately rough pavement.
    Nice - yeah, 36/36 would be totally overkill for my size. I have black archetypes on my other bike in 24/28, and I agree - they are solid, great rims!

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