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Help building the heaviest...yep, heaviest possible wheels.(24 posts)

Help building the heaviest...yep, heaviest possible wheels.AllUpHill
May 29, 2003 11:11 AM
I need some hefty, traditional looking clinchers for training and all-purpose riding. At 140 pounds, I don't need chunky hoops for durability, I just want as much weight as possible for training purposes. Plus I think this could be a pretty inexpensive/fun endeavor, given we're not talking about the hot-ticket bling bling item on the market. Can we break 2500 grams?

Rims: the best I can find is the Mavic MA3 at 490 grams. Excel and Nashbar are the only places I can find, and at $30, it's not bad. 32 or 36 hold available. Know of any place I can get them cheaper ... there has to be some place trying to get rid of a truck load?

Spokes: I have 224g as the nominal weight of 32 14 gauge spokes. Not sure what length this applies to. I hear rumors it's possible to go as high as 5-cross with the lacing! Is this a joke ... do most builders even know how to do 5-cross? Brass nipples at 1 gram each.

Hubs, the tricky part: I don't want to sacrifice durability for high-weight, but I might just have to. 105 hubs are 207 g and 411 g. Surely Tiagra or Sora have to be heavier, but I can't find any specs on them, or even a place to buy them! Nashbar has a 222g Deore front hub for $7. Any suggestions?

(Some tandem wheels are made with 40 or 48 hole rims and hubs. Where do they get that stuff?)

Tires: also tough. Conti Gatorskins at 290 grams? At $30 each, that's wayyyy more than I should have to pay for weight. Nashbar has some Conti Ultra 3000s, 310g for 25C, $20. That's more like it. Or Vittoria Rubino in 23c is 307g, for $22.
as long as your at it...Steve_0
May 29, 2003 11:22 AM
go for 28's or even 35's if they'll fit in the stays. Bigger tires equal more rotational weight, more friction, better workout. Bonus - you're not restricted to paved roads; go anywhere you want.

how refreshing.
as long as your at it...AllUpHill
May 29, 2003 11:26 AM
Good idea, however my rear brake bridge and fork clearence probably wouldnt' allow over 25 on either bike. As far as the bonus, I ride on very rough unpaved roads with 19 or 23 mm tires all the time, even steep climbs and fast downhills.
I commute with 32c in back and 28c up front.dzrider
May 29, 2003 11:48 AM
The combination has fit lots of different racing bikes. I doubt that MA-3's are the heaviest you can find. I have MA-2 and MA-40 sets from the early 90's on both my utility bikes and there were certainly beefier Sun and Fir rims back when I got them. Great concept!
Amazing ... I thought I was the only one!Humma Hah
May 29, 2003 3:07 PM
Actually, my front wheel is 27", so I'm approximating. I started out trying 32 mm rear, 1 1/4" front, but the front was rubbing. I dropped to a 1 1/8 front which is just about like a 28 mm.

My excuse is bad roads plus bad riding habits, and no need for speed.

Looking at old pics, I see lots of relatively fat tires on old roadbikes. The modified Paramount that was used to set the 108 mph speed record in 1941 has remarkably fat tires on it, maybe 1 1/4" or even more. So much for skinny tires being faster!
so much for skinny tires...Steve_0
May 30, 2003 4:40 AM
there's all sorts of quantitative data out there indicating the minimal gain of skinny tires.

They sure sell though.
as long as your at it...AllUpHill
May 29, 2003 11:40 AM
Good idea, however my rear brake bridge and fork clearence probably wouldnt' allow over 25 on either bike. As far as the bonus, I ride on very rough unpaved roads with 19 or 23 mm tires all the time, even steep climbs and fast downhills.
New TubesJervis
May 29, 2003 11:28 AM
Try and find some good and heavy tubes also. I'm not familiar with what they have for road use, but for mountain tubes they have the gargantuan really thick thorn proof tubes and the gel filled ones also. If you need to you can always put a little slit in your tube, add more slime, then seal it up again to ad some weight, plus you get flat resistance. The heavier the outside edge of the wheel is (tires and tubes) the more it will take for you to get going.

I may have something for youtxcross
May 29, 2003 11:36 AM
I am getting rid of a set of 36hole Mavic T221 laced to Tiagra hubs with about 400 miles on them. I can weigh them when I get home.

The T221 is an older touring rim and it will be plenty durable. Only problem will be the spokes, mine are 14/15.

I also have a heavy set of Serfas Seca tires I can throw in. Should be able to save you a good bit of money...
Ah, sounds promising.AllUpHill
May 29, 2003 11:49 AM
I'm not worried about the 15 gauge middle section shaving too much weight.

Also, I just discovered Sheldonbrown/Harris Cyclery list all kinds of pig-iron gems. The obscure Mavic T520 rim at an incredible 565 grams, and available in 36, 40, or 48 holes no less! Or, the T138, at 510 grams.

They also offer a pair in Sun CR-18 rims (484 g, not too shabby), laced 32/36 to Sora hubs, for a decent price of $160 fully built.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like you can get 40 or 48 hole hubs in 130mm rear spacing, except maybe from Phil Wood, which would be far too expensive (and light) in the first place.
Ah, sounds promising.txcross
May 29, 2003 11:57 AM
The T221 weigh in at about 530 grams and the Tiagra hubs are 425 & 205
Ah, sounds promising.AllUpHill
May 29, 2003 7:14 PM
I might be interested in those. Please mail me with what you'd like for them. I am mshelbur at vt dot edu.

Ah, sounds promising.geeker
May 29, 2003 12:01 PM
I was going to suggest touring rims like the T519 or T520. For tires, the Avocet Cross K's are absolute pigs and weigh a ton, but I don't think there's anything smaller than 700x28, which might actually measure to 700x25.
re: Help building the heaviest...yep, heaviest possible wheels.alansutton
May 29, 2003 11:53 AM
Tire: Vittoria Randonneur- 500 grams/each- 700x25
Rim: Mavic CXP 30 560 grams/each
Spokes: 64x14g = 450g + 64gms nips
Thick tubes: 150gm/each
Hubs: XT disc Frt 244, Rear, 105 411gm.
Rim strips: rubber strips 45gm/each

Total: 3740grams or 8.25lbs
3700 g?!?!? That's impressive. Also consider Mavic CXP22 - 500 gEug
May 29, 2003 12:15 PM
Shucks, my REAR wheel's nearly that ...Humma Hah
May 29, 2003 12:34 PM
I saw your total and was thinking, durn, my front wheel's about 3200 grams, rear around 3600, , and this guy's got a wheel that's more than that! But I do believe you added up both wheels.
Nashbar used to sell a wheelset called AerospokeDave Hickey
May 29, 2003 12:02 PM
I know it's not traditional rims and wire spokes but these things where bricks. They where 5 spoke composite wheels that weighed around 2300grams total. Throw in some heavy tires and tubes and you'll be up right up there.
Be hard to top mine ...Humma Hah
May 29, 2003 12:10 PM
... the cruiser's wheels, while nominally "26-inch", are actually just slightly larger OD than a roadbike with 700c rims and skinny tires. They have double-walled chromed steel Schwinn S2 rims, 36 4-mm spokes each, fat tires, and thorn resistant tubes. The front weighs about 7 pounds and the original rear (with coasterbrake) weighed eight. You want "traditional-looking?" Get the tires in whitewalls! Alas, I doubt you could squeeze 'em into your frame.

If you can squeeze 27" rims into the bike (slightly larger than 700c), you may be able to find those in steel, at a bargain price. Add the fattest tire you can, and see if some fool makes thorn-resistant tubes for it.

Other options: get rid of that girly roadbike and get a cruiser. 44-pounds for mine, as presently equipped. The weightlifters down at the gym don't use graphite and aluminum barbells, either.

Or ride what you got but tow a Burley trailer with a 3-year-old kid in it. That'll make a man out of you!
For training purposes?.......cdale02
May 29, 2003 12:46 PM
My philosophy is if you want to race fast, you have to ride fast. If you want to get stronger, hit the hills, intervals, and tempo training. Just my thoughts.

Here's a quote from Joe Young's website (of Young Wheels)

"A Different Perspective on Wheels:
A good friend said the other day that a race wheel makes a poor training wheel, and vice versa. It got me to thinking. Logic says that's true, but when we trained on heavy wheels, thinking it made us stronger, our coaches said it just made us slow."
May 29, 2003 1:13 PM
A friend once balanced his wheels by wrapping solder wire around some of the spokes. He'd spin the wheel with his hand and it would go forever.

Why not do the same on your wheels? clamp weights on the spokes right out next to the rim, as many as you like, spin balancing the wheel, too.
Tires --Gregory Taylor
May 29, 2003 1:51 PM
How about some Specialized Armadillos (wire rim, of course) stuffed with some Mr. Tuffy tire liners. The real heavy ones. I don't have weights, but that would HAVE to be heavy, and you could ride over anything.

I've also wondered about pulling the valve core out of a tube, partially filling it with water, and then putting it back together. This would be easy, if time consuming, to do. A blow-out would be spectacular...
Tractorize itM_Currie
May 29, 2003 6:23 PM
Farmers load their tractor tires with water mixed with calcium chloride. Very heavy and it doesn't slosh so much. The only problem would be getting it in through a presta valve.

And yes, although those tractor tires run at low pressure, if you've ever seen one blow out it can be pretty dramatic.

How about going to a roofer and getting sheet lead and using it as a rim strip? Or someone above suggested using solder on the spokes, as some people do for balancing. That doesn't add much weight but you could take a whole roll of solder and weave it around the spokes and add a couple of pounds easily.
Presta Valves unscrew too...Gregory Taylor
May 30, 2003 5:36 AM least on the Continentals that I run. The opening is small, but a few minutes work with a hypodermic (or a mouthful of water!) would get the job done.
Pump your tubes up in the pool!the bull
May 29, 2003 6:13 PM
Melt lead in rims!
All that water in there will add more weight for sure!
Also tie a old truck tire to your seatpost and drag it around this will make you alot "something"!
Good luck!