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wheel building - weight/spoke considerations...(6 posts)

wheel building - weight/spoke considerations...karlooz
Apr 24, 2002 2:03 PM
...im thinking of building an american classic,zipp303 404 rim (tub) rear wheel with sapim cx-ray spokes. im 190 lbs and i dont abuse my current wheels (rolf vector pros, never needed truing). would 24 spokes on the rear be ok or is it too few?
What's your bigger concern?Spoke Wrench
Apr 25, 2002 5:53 AM
If everytime you ride the wheelset you are constantly going to worry about popping spokes, build up a 28 spoke wheel. If everytime you ride the wheelset you are going to worry about the additional aero drag, go for 24.

My personal opinion is that if you can't win the race with a 28 spoke wheel, you aren't going to win it with 24 spokes either. On the other hand, NASCAR racers build engines that are designed to last for just 500 miles between rebuilds. Sometimes they don't get 500 miles from an engine and they simply don't complete the race. If you are looking for absolute, ultimate performance and are willing to accept an occasional failure to get it, maybe the super light wheel makes sense.
Hmmm, lots of variables here.jw25
Apr 25, 2002 8:58 AM
First off, the rims you mention are pretty stiff and strong, so you can get away with fewer spokes. The CX-Rays are really strong, at least on paper, as they should be for the price - yowch!
So, the big question here is, what are you looking for? The rear wheel is fairly protected, in aero terms, so 4 spokes doesn't make a huge difference. Strengthwise, more are better, but again, it's small differences. My big argument for 28 spokes would be for parts replacement - a 24 hole hub needs a 24 hole rim, unless you're doing some funky 24/36 lacing nightmare. 24 hole rims are harder to find, and will involve a special order most of the time. Not that the Zipps are likely to go, so it's a weak argument.
Basically, Spoke Wrench had it right - are you going to worry about the wheel failing, or are you going to wish you'd used fewer spokes?
Myself, I went 32 front and rear, A.C. hubs, CXP-33s, and Sapim Lasers ($.50 each, much more reasonable). They're light, but lots of spokes means plenty of strength. I also have separate aero wheels, so I went lighter on these.
Cheap, durable & strong....grzy
Apr 25, 2002 9:34 AM
Pick any two.

Frankly 24 conventional spokes on the rear for a 200 lbs. guy is just too damn few - even if you are twinkle toes stuck in a large persons body. Me I'm a heavy person trapped in a skinny person's body ;-) - I would toast that wheel in no time.

What is your ultimate objective: to experiment building ultra light wheels to see where they fail or to ride many trouble free miles on the lightest reasonable equipment. If you objective is the former then go ahead with your expensive experiment. However, if it's the later then why not look at something like a new set of Ksyriums. Mavic has already done a ton of work on low spoke count convetional wheels (i.e. Helium and others) and they've found that things have to be done differently if you want any durability and value for your money.

To borrow an old engineering phrase: Why reinvent the wheel?
re: wheel building - weight/spoke considerations...atpjunkie
Apr 25, 2002 4:33 PM
Rolfs are very stiff wheels in general. (except the Sestierres) I've used Vector Comps for cyclocross and I'm 230. If the zipp rim is wide profile (most Zipps are) the rim provides more support than normal profile rims and is less needy of spokes. This is the whole concept behind this type of wheel (Lo Spoke Count). You'll have to speak to someone with Zipp experience as using the tough Vector Pros as a benchmark could be misleading to other wheel types.
Hopefully someone can shed some light or ask your local wrench.
re: wheel building - weight/spoke considerations...PSatpjunkie
Apr 25, 2002 4:40 PM
ps. the problem with this type of wheel is it puts more rotational mass (weight) at the outside of the wheel which in theory makes the wheel "slower" harder to accelerate or maintain speed while climbing. You should also look into the Velomaxc Orions, light, stiff ,strong, plenty of spokes and not too spendy