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32 or 36 spokes(5 posts)

32 or 36 spokeszmarke
Oct 7, 2002 3:58 PM
I am building a weekend club-ride bike where most rides are between 30-75 miles. The terrain in NYC and surrounding areas can knock wheels out of true very easily even if you are careful. I am going to build up a surly pacer with tiagra or 105 but have a questions about a wheelset.

Should I use 36 spokes?
I have heard that 36 spokes makes a stronger wheel but it can also be a stiffer wheel, is this accurate?

Should I use 32 spokes?
I have heard that they are lighter but I have also heard that the weight savings you gain with less spokes is offset by the stronger hub flange needed which means more weight on the hub so it cancels out.

I am after strength in a wheelset (so they do not go out of true easily) but do not want to compromise ride quality with an overly stiff wheel. The weight does not really matter.

Any suggestions?
(please know that this bike will cost between $850 and $1050 so high end wheelsets are out of the question)
re: 32 or 36 spokesbobobo
Oct 7, 2002 6:03 PM
Stiffness will be determined more by the tension placed on the individual spokes than the number of spokes. Typically a 36 spoke wheel will rrequire spokes with less tension than a 32 so the 36 could in fact be less stiff than the 32. As long as you go with a decent rim, like Mavic Open Pro's and a decent solid hub , say 105, Ultegra, Veloce or Centaur it really should not matter going 32 versus 36 as far as hub flange strength is concerned. Any of those hubs named above will have flanges more than strong enough to lace a 32 or 36 wheel either 2X or 3X. If weight does not matter as you said, go 36, 3X with brass nipples using Open Pro rims and any of the hubs named above and that wheelset will be super durable and nice riding to boot.
cxp 33bigrider
Oct 8, 2002 3:26 AM
I agree with bobobo. The only thing I would add to the comments would be going with a cxp 33 rim instead of open pros. They are around the same weight but are more bullet-proof. They are semi aero rims. I weigh in at 230 when I am thin and I use these to ride all types of roads. They hold up well.
re: 32 or 36 spokesbigrider
Oct 8, 2002 3:27 AM
re: 32 or 36 spokesJofa
Oct 8, 2002 2:20 PM
I've just responded to a similar query above:

http://forums.consumerreview.com/crforum?viewall@@.efb86fd

(I'm not sure about the etiquette of quoting yourself, but there you go)

What I would add in this case is that wheel stiffness is not a concern. The vertical flexion of a wheel in use is minute (1/100th that of the tyre) and effectively undetectable to the rider. That applies to any wheel: consequently, differences between one and another are irrelevant.

Jofa