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Low Spoke Count Wheels(3 posts)

Low Spoke Count Wheelsjustaguy
Oct 13, 2001 1:59 PM
A lot of major wheel makers are starting to produce wheels with incredibly few spokes - 12 or 16. Is it possible to construct such a wheel that will still be rideable from individual components? Say a ZIPP 280 rim, 16 spoke, with a tune front hub? I only weigh 135 lb, and they would be race only wheels. Whats the minimum spoke count for front and rear using this spec?
re: Low Spoke Count Wheelsdsc
Oct 14, 2001 1:08 AM
I've got a set of Rolf Vector Pro's on my Zurich (14 spokes in the front, 16 in the rear). I bought the bike used- with perfectly trued wheels. Have ridden it for a little over a month now with no problems. Have read reviews from 200+ lb. guys riding this wheelset - with no problems. The strength has a lot to do with the "paired spoke" scheme used to build such a wheel. For a little more information on this wheelset (and the similar Bontrager), check out this link:
http://www.chainreactionbicycles.com/rolf.htm
It shouldn't be a problem...TJeanloz
Oct 16, 2001 11:01 AM
If you want to build the wheel with your own components, it should work just as well. Do make sure all the components are designed for the task though- don't use a 32h hub and only lace half the holes, or likewise with the rim. But if you use a 16h rim with a 16h hub, it shouldn't be a problem.

Because of your light weight, the wheel isn't likely to fold up on you- but it won't be as durable as it would be with more spokes, and you could run into the problem of it being out of true entirely between two spokes.