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Good wheels for loaded touring... Tandem? Help me!!!(7 posts)

Good wheels for loaded touring... Tandem? Help me!!!stinkfoot247
Aug 5, 2003 4:59 PM
I'm thinking that 40 some spokes is going to be better than 36, but I'm having trouble finding some good rims. I would like to build my own wheels. Does anybody have any recomendations for good rims, whatever be the hole count.
re: Good wheels for loaded touring... Tandem? Help me!!!CalmedDownRonPruitt
Aug 5, 2003 5:11 PM
I have never ridden a Tandem, even though I considered buying one for me and Gayle. I would think you could get on the internet and find a shop that specializes in tandems and have them make you a set of good wheels.
re: Good wheels for loaded touring... Tandem? Help me!!!spankdoggie
Aug 5, 2003 5:15 PM
There are three keys to tandem satisfaction - frame, fork and wheels. For performance and durability, tandem wheels must be designed to carry two strong riders. Because the dished wheels found on many tandems tend not to survive nearly as long as dishless and good tandem replacement wheels cost about $500 each, it is prudent to get a tandem that has dishless wheels to begin with, if possible.

Tandem specific rims have 40-48 spoke holes, thicker walls to prevent spoke pull through and stronger joints to withstand doubled rider weight and higher tire pressures. Tandem hubs require stronger and beefier bearings, flanges, axles and bodies. Most crucial is that the ratchet mechanism withstand doubled drive torque - unfortunately, all single bike hubs come up short.

Because 26" wheels are smaller and stronger given the same number of spokes, many builders of all terrain tandems employ 32 or 36 spokes. This is probably not a good idea if you intend to take the beast off road.and don't want chronic wheel problems. A better choice is a 40 or more spoke wheel -- both front and back. Nearly half of a tandem's weight, including most of the captain who is often the heavier rider bears on a front wheel. Unlike a single bike, the front wheel on a tandem can't be lifted over potholes, rather it must endure the full brunt of all the bumps you encounter.

Symmetric or"dishless" wheels center the rim between the hub flanges. With equal spoke lengths, tensions and angles on both sides of the wheel, dishless wheels distribute the load equally instead of forcing half the spokes to carry a majority of the weight. To resist side loads, a tandem's wheels also need extra width between the wheel's centerline and the right hub flange.

Hope this helps,

not the moderator at golfreview
re: Good wheels for loaded touring... Tandem? Help me!!!CalmedDownRonPruitt
Aug 5, 2003 5:29 PM
This is one of the most informative post I have seen on this board in a long time.
I'm sorry, I did not state my question clearlystinkfoot247
Aug 5, 2003 8:54 PM
What I meant to ask was would tandem wheels be the way to go for a touring bicycle. Just a regular one person bike. With 50 extra pounds. The information about tandem bicycles is good though. So with that said can anybody help me decide on a good RIM. Not the whole wheel, because that's something I would like to do myself. I'm just looking for a good strong rim suitable for loaded touring. Sorry for the unclarity.
Touring specific wheels will handle the load.MXL02
Aug 5, 2003 10:26 PM
go to touring bike specific sites...Peter White Cycles in the Northeast is very good.
Velocity Deep-VTWD
Aug 6, 2003 9:18 AM
The velocity Deep V rims are pretty much bombproof. I've run the Deep V in 32 hole on my single road bike for 6 or 7 years (10K - 15K miles) before swapping them over to my cross bike where they are still going strong. I'm not small either (6'2 205, but have hit over 250 in the past yikes!) and ride/race road, mtb, and cx so I'm not gentle on my equipment.

I just built up a set of 48 hole Deep V laced 4 cross to XT tandem hubs for my road tandem. They are the same rim, just different drilling. They are holding up well too.

You can get them in many different drilling patterns including 32, 36, 40, 48.

They are pretty reasonably priced ($55) and look nice to boot.

As far as tandem hubs go, you could get a tandem front hub to work, but I don't think the rear would work since it has 145mm spacing. I'm not familiar with what most touring bikes are running for dropout spacing, but I doubt it's 145mm.

I'd run a set of 36 hole ultegra hubs laced 3 cross all around to Deep V rims, with 14/15 DB or straight 14 guage spokes, and brass nipples. Should be pretty indestructable.

As far as building them yourself, if you are mechanically inclined, and have the patience not to rush it, by all means do it. It isn't that hard, and you don't need that many tools. Check out for a good how to, and ask questions over at the wheelbuilding forum at

Good luck.