Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Wheelie need help

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TwoWheeledExplorer:
I am wheelie having wheel problems (Okay, enough with the puns!) I ride a Trek 930SHX, 24-speed SRAM 7.0 and I use both panniers and a BoB at various times. I also weigh about 250 lbs. I have started wearing out my second rear wheel of late, and am blowing spokes even on un-loaded rides, like the 30-mile Minnesota Ironman Ride (Fund raiser for AYH, that owned the "Ironman" name long before the triathalon came to be) I don't have a ton of money, but I want to get something that will last. Any Suggestions?

Ride safe,
Hans

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol
www.trailpatrol.org

DaveB:
If your wheel failures are from breaking spokes, not bending or cracking rims, it sounds like the wheels were originally built with inadequate spoke tension.

Spokes break from fatigue, not from excessive load.  An excessively tight spoke will pull through the rim bed way before it will break from tension.  However, a too loose spoke will fail from fatigue since it goes too slack on every rotation and the fatigue loading is increased.  

Have your wheels rebuilt by a competent builder who will get the spoke tension properly high.  Also, as counterintuitive as it seems, butted spokes are more durable than straight gauge as the thinner center section can flex more and reduce the shock loads on the thicker ends.  Remember, spokes always fail at the ends, not in the middle. (Unless you hit something :))  

wanderingwheel:
Dave's got it right.  Rebuilding your wheels is the first thing to do, and it is rather inexpensive.  If you need a new set of wheels (your rim is cracking or you've killed the hubs), get a decent handbuilt set of wheels from your local wheelbuilder.  Don't get suckered in by fancy, expensive prebuilt wheels you see in all the catalogs.  They are overpriced and often weaker than a traditional wheel.

Sean

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