Author Topic: Wheels without spokes?  (Read 5447 times)

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Offline Motomarcus

Wheels without spokes?
« on: April 04, 2016, 03:12:43 pm »
First, a disclaimer: I have next to zero mechanical ability. I am working on learning/improving in this area, but til then....

Last year, last day of Ragbrai, I woke up and realized a spoke came off my rear tire. Didn't have much choice so went the entire day that way and it was fine. As I've come to learn, 1 spoke is maybe not a big deal but 2 or more can cause problems. I had it fixed before I went out again and all was well.

As I'm looking to do a TA next summer (2017), I recognize my weakness and am trying to be proactive on that: To that end, are there wheels (rims?) out there that do not have spokes? I feel like I see these on TV and a search on Amazon suggests maybe this is true as well. But I'm hesitant b/c I'm certainly out of my element.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.


Offline erniegrillo

Re: Wheels without spokes?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 03:55:38 pm »
you can find on the internet people who are trying to perfect a wheel without spokes but I have not seen one
cost effective or in use for the general public.  Get a good strong touring wheel and you will be OK. Go to
Adventure Cyclings Cycle Source and buy the fiber temporary spoke kit. It can easily be installed on the road and will
get your wheel back in true with little effort.   I used one on the rear wheel of my tandem when I broke a spoke
doing a loaded tour in Oregon. It got me thru the tour and I ran with it until I got home and could get to a shop to
have it repaired. I carry one on every tour.


  • Guest
Re: Wheels without spokes?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 04:19:26 pm »

Or you could get sturdy wheels properly built and not have to worry much. During my "modern" touring phase (since '09) I haven't broken a spoke despite touring fully loaded on some bumpy, unpaved roads.

Offline DaveB

Re: Wheels without spokes?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 07:47:52 pm »
Something has to connect the rim of the wheel to the hub and, thus far for bicycles, individual spokes are the lightest, strongest, most durable, most stable and least expensive method.  If weight were absolutely no object and side winds could be ignored, you could make a solid steel or aluminum wheel like automobiles use.  A solid carbon disc wheel is available but limited to time trials and triathlons and rear wheel use only due to cost and side wind sensitivity.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 10:02:02 am by DaveB »

Offline canalligators

Re: Wheels without spokes?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 12:44:08 pm »
I second the sturdy wheels idea.  A conservatively built spoked wheel is not inherently problematic, in fact it's the opposite.  So you should not fear spokes.  Build wheels with strong rims, lots of spokes (36 for single bikes), a good brand of spokes, and you will be trouble free.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Wheels without spokes?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 05:05:29 pm »
Not exactly spokeless, but Aerospoke makes a wheel with only 5 spokes.  Each spoke is about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.  I think they are pretty much indestructible.  Never seen one on a touring bike, or many other bikes actually.  Although oddly enough I have a recumbent tandem in my basement with a 26" Aerospoke on the back and a 20" Aerospoke on the front.