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Commuter/strong wheels(4 posts)

Commuter/strong wheelspinsk
Aug 19, 2001 8:35 AM
I am looking for suggestions of strong commuter wheels for a kind of heavy rider over suspect roads. Ma3's maybe.
re: Commuter/strong wheelsJofa
Aug 19, 2001 9:44 AM
The great thing about ordinary wheels with 32 or 36 crossed spokes, is that they are ideal for lightweight racing, as well as heavyweight commuting. MA3's are fine rims, though if you can get hold of the discontinued MA2's, do, because they are better (non anodized - less prone to fatigue failure at the eyelets); otherwise Open Pro's are generally OK, as are most box-section rims from manufacturers other than Mavic. Avoid anything hard-anodised, or coated with ceramic, as these only compromise durability and function.

Specify swaged (butted) spokes for durability, and use whatever hubs are consistent with your other componentry: variations between hubs are generally arbitrary or aesthetic, although higher-end Shimano or Campag are better than expensive 'cottage industry' makes, as the bodies are forged rather than CNC machined.

Given decent components, the wheels must be built well and properly stress-relieved. If you know a good wheelbuilder, then use him or her; if not, ask prospective builders if they follow the procedures detailed in "The Bicycle Wheel". For that matter, if you have the time and a little mechanical enthusiasm, get yourself a copy of the book and a decent bottle of wine, and build them yourself. It's quite satisfying to do, and you know the wheels will be built well as long as you properly follow the instructions.

Jofa
Agree entirelySpoke Wrench
Aug 19, 2001 5:00 PM
I think that the most important factor is the guy who builds the wheel. A wheel built of relatively ordinary components but hand laced by a decent wheelbuilder will serve you very well.
Ex-270-pound commuter says, "Right on!"cory
Aug 20, 2001 8:22 AM
When my knees went away and I switched from running to cycling, I porked up to almost 270 pounds (I'm 6'4", so I wasn't quite round...). I was riding an Allez then, with the notorious Specialized wheels, and I had lots of problems. A good local mechanic relaced them for me, and they've taken me 3,000+ miles and 40+ pounds with only an occasional tweak on the nipples. So to speak.