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Wheelset for Heavy Folks?(15 posts)

Wheelset for Heavy Folks?tkojiro
Aug 26, 2003 6:45 AM
Hep Me! I'm riding 36-Spokes, insanely overbuilt wheels at 225-lbs! I'm looking for lighter, fast, durable wheels for fun training/recreation/racing purposes- Money is no object, well actually it is, but I'll fork out the bucks for quality wheels that will last, hand down, 2-3yrs of heavy riding Spring through Fall.

I heard Mavic Krysriums where appropriate for my needs? Thoughts, Recommendations????
Proceed cautiously, if at all.cory
Aug 26, 2003 8:03 AM
Don't know about the Ksyriums (I've heard nothing but good), but as a longtime cyclist about your size, I've had trouble whenever I've tried to save much weight on wheels. My mountain bike does OK with 32 spokes and big cushy tires, but I've been unhappy whenever I've gone below 32 spokes on the roadies, even with an excellent wheelbuilder and quality parts. For everyday riding, I've gone back up to 36.
Don't let this change your mind if other Clydesdales say the Ksyriums work for them, because I've never tried them. As a general thing, though, 32 is as low as I can go.
I agree.burdiman
Aug 26, 2003 8:33 AM
I come in a bit heavier than you. My lightest rear wheel runs on an American Classic hub (225g), sapim cx-ray spokes, and an open pro rim (36 hole). Comes in under 900g and never goes out of true.

I run a 28 spoke front without problems.

32 spokes are ok but they tend to start breaking sooner (after 2500 miles or so) and you aren't saving much weight.
re: Wheelset for Heavy Folks?tube_ee
Aug 26, 2003 9:07 AM
I would suggest that 36 spoke wheels are a minimum for a heavier rider. I have a pair of 32s and a pair of 36s. Whith my 220-lb self, the 32s need frequent attention to trueness and tension. The 36s are solid for light road use. For off-road, commuting, and touring use, I'm going to 48s.

Also, keep in mind that with more spokes, you can get away with a lighter rim. "Modern" low-spoke-count wheels rely on a thick, heavy rim and very high spoke tension to work. They have no strength margin, so one broken spoke will usually render them un-usable. And concentrating weight and strength in the rim is completely bass-ackwards from an engineering standpoint. The spokes are the most important part of a wheel. The rims job is to provide an interface between the tire and the spokes, transferring loads to the spokes and allowing them to be tensioned.

These wheelsets may make sense as race wheels for top racers, but for general use, as well as for racers who have to buy their own equipment, there's still no substitute for a good, handbuilt wheel IMHO.

Peace and Grease,
re: Wheelset for Heavy Folks?tkojiro
Aug 26, 2003 9:27 AM
Thanks, excellent thoughts- I'm currently running 36 spokes on Chris King hubs and maybe can opt for a lighter rim? I just did a major frame upgrade and now I notice how particuliarily heavy my wheels are...

If I opt for the Krysriums- I'll definitely post how they hold out...granted, still cautiously moving forwards...

er, also trying to get down to 210-lbs, but can't imagine getting any lighter then that w/out just cutting off a major appendage- ha!
Ksyrium reviewsburdiman
Aug 26, 2003 10:19 AM
If you check the reviews for Ksyriums on this site you will see problems with rim cracking. I suspect this is a result of the high tension needed with the reduced number of spokes. At your weight it will exacerbate the tendency.

Heck the Ksyrium Elite comes in at 965g. With your Chris King hubs you can get near that with Sapim spokes and a Open Pro Rim.


Good luck and keep up posted. I am always keeping an ear to the ground about wheels for us clydes.
I agree (nm)Chen2
Aug 26, 2003 11:07 AM
What are your experiences with Chris King Hubs ..Steve Young
Aug 26, 2003 11:45 AM
I'd be interested to know how many people have been using these and how you find them on road bikes. I have them on my mountain bike and have probably put 100+ hours on them.

However I have a slight issue in as much as they bind slightly, however carefully I adjust the bearing tension - it has not been possible to get them adjusted so that they don't wobble without experiencing some binding (i.e. loss of chain tension when back pedalling and yes I have experiemented to compensate for the effects of tightening the QR on bearing tension)

I called Chris King a few months ago about this and they said that this should go away after about 60 hours of running in but I don't appear to have got there after 100 hours.

They are beautiful hubs, fabulously made but the binding problem is detering me from getting a set for my road bike (that and the fact I have a set of perfectly good 535's)

The hubs on my mountain bike are ISO discs.

I'd be interested in other peoples experiences with them on road bikes. I do about 10 hours a week on my bike so it wouldn't take too long to run a set in if that really is what is required. However I have enough trouble hanging with the pack as it is without extra friction so I'm reluctant to go with hubs which have a long term binding problem. On a mountain bike the benefits of the rapid engagement of the ring drive make it worthwhile for me to persevere but I don't this holds on the roadbike??.

What are your experiences with Chris King Hubs ..tkojiro
Aug 26, 2003 6:12 PM
Interesting, I have had problems with the hub loosening up on my mountain bikes, but yet to experience same with the road bike. I have experienced success with the binding loosening up with back peddling- I haven't gated the hours, but 60ish sounds accurate enough...

The biggest issue I have with King hubs in general is the aluminum cassette holder 'thingy'(the specific name of this component slips da mind at the moment)that come stock with the hubs- I've traditionally swapped these out with steel 'thingys' which you can order from Chris King and need a special tool that CK manufactures for hub disassembly and, and swapping out these 'thingys' (which a buddy of mine fortunately had- quite expensive). Basically, I've found the aluminium thingy's get scratched/damaged over time and it becomes extremely difficult to swap out cassettes for regular repair and what not.

It sucks to be fat!
Good pointNessism
Aug 28, 2003 12:46 PM
Aluminum cassette bodies for Shimano hubs can get torn up pretty good. I think that's why Shimano only uses steel or Ti that application.

In my opinion, too many people are hung up on the weight of various components these days. A lightweight hub using a Al freehub body is not a very wise place to try to save weight.

Just like everything it depends....DY
Aug 26, 2003 11:35 AM
Everyone is different. Some are easier and some harder on parts than others.

I rode some Campy Protons and never had a problem. I started at 220 lbs. and ended at 180 lbs. 1 year later. I found them stiff and strong and never went out of true. Just one time when I was playing with my pedal and put my heel into the rear spokes while riding. It went out of true about 1/8" but I still was able to finish my ride and get them trued later.

I can't say that I am particularly hard or easy on wheels. I ride on normal roads with their share of potholes, etc.
210lbs - Ksyrium SL no problems (nm)rogue_CT1
Aug 26, 2003 11:53 AM
I'd stick with the CK rear, get new buildoff roadie
Aug 26, 2003 1:57 PM
That's a great hub, why hang it up?

A well built, "lighter" 36 hole rear wheel is a good thing for anybody over 210. For the front, you can probably go as low as 28, assuming the rim is reasonably stiff (Velocity Fusion, Mavic cxp 33). A lighter rim (Velocity aerohead, Mavic Open Pro) might be better with 32 spokes.

Like others said, light spokes and a lighter rim will keep the weight down while maintaining excellent durability. I don't know if CXrays on the drive side rear is a great idea if you want stiffness for sprinting, but they would be fine elsewere (left rear, front).

An offset rim for the rear would probably be nice both for durability and stiffness when sprinting. The Aerohead asym is only 400g (really nice), has decent vertical stiffness, and comes in 36 hole drilling.

Unless you are doing "time trial" racing, you don;t benefit much from "aero" wheels. Besides being durable, wheels with lots of spokes and a lighter rim (compared to low spoke count wheels) will have nice response to accleration, which potentially decreases the work you do when riding in a pack. That sounds good for the sort of riding you propose.
re: Wheelset for Heavy Folks?xxl
Aug 27, 2003 7:02 PM
If you go Ksyrium, get the Elites, which are a bit heavier, but strong as all get out, more so than Mavic's other rims (at least according to the Mavic tech website), and, being "boutique" wheels, they should have a consistent build (are you, or the guy at your shop, really that good at building wheels?) If you're fortunate enough to know/are a good wheel builder, you can save a bundle for virtually no loss in performance by building up some OPs over [insert hub choice here], but they won't have nearly the cachet, the savoir-faire, nor the price tag of the Ksyriums.

IMHO, build quality is more important than componentry for wheelsets. As an example, I've collapsed 36- spoked wheels, but have ridden most of the miles in my life on comparable quality 32-spoked wheelsets, with few complications. I think a good handbuilt wheelset is fine; trouble is, you have to know a good builder.
Aug 28, 2003 3:51 AM
Sweet- thanks for the response. I think once I adress the funding issues, I'm going to go for the 'K-Elites' and get my current wheels rebuilt a bit lighter. The plan is to use th K-Elites for my longer weekend rides and more and the other wheels for weekday spins!

Thanks for the info it was great help!