Author Topic: Question Regarding Wheel Strength  (Read 4936 times)

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Offline hohum

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« on: December 14, 2008, 11:54:24 pm »
I've come across a nice Trek 930 and am preparing for some short trips around the area where I live.  I have purchased a trailer that hooks to an elongated skewer on my back wheel.  The trailer holds 70 pounds.  I weigh 260.  The bike has 32 spoke wheels.  If the majority of my weight is on my trailer, are my wheels strong enough to handle the load?

ho hum

ho hum
ho hum

Offline wanderingwheel

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 12:37:50 am »
Probably.

It already has 26" wheels, so you are ahead of the game compared to the larger 700c wheels.  32-spoke wheels can be built up very strong.  Is the wheel true and firm?  Test the spokes by squeezing neighboring pairs together.  Do the spokes have fairly even tension?  Do they feel relatively tight?  If so, you should be good to go.  If not, bring the wheel to a local wheelbuilder and have them check it out and true/rebuild it as needed.  The rebuilt wheel by a good wheelbuilder will be better then new and ready to handle anything you can dish out.

Sean


Offline litespeed

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 12:49:42 pm »
As long as your wheels are sound you should be all right. But unless you have wide rims you will be limited in tire size and ability to ride on unpaved surfaces.

My Litespeed Blue Ridge came with 32 spoke (I think) wheels with Mavic Open rims. This limited me to 28mm tires. I had custom 36 spoke wheels made with wide Rhynolite Sunrims. I can now use 37mm tires. I do a lot better on unpaved trails plus they make for a more comfortable ride. Also big tires last longer.

In all my touring - about 30,000 miles -I have broken exactly one spoke.


Offline DaveB

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 05:46:25 pm »
Quote
My Litespeed Blue Ridge came with 32 spoke (I think) wheels with Mavic Open rims. This limited me to 28mm tires. I had custom 36 spoke wheels made with wide Rhynolite Sunrims. I can now use 37mm tires.

You probably wasted your money on the new wheels. Open Pros will accept much wider tires than 28mm.  Cyclocross riders routinely use 35 and 37 mm tires on these rims.


Offline driftlessregion

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 10:44:00 pm »
You don't say what size tires are on your wheels, but use big ones: at least 32 or 35's. Take some rides without the trailer. 260 is alot for 32 spoke wheels but if you're careful about potholes etc you should be ok. You'll find out soon enough. The trailer should have a negligible effect on the wheels since you're just pulling it with little downward force on the rims.


Offline litespeed

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 11:39:18 pm »
"You probably wasted your money on the new wheels. Open Pros will accept much wider tires than 28mm.  Cyclocross riders routinely use 35 and 37 mm tires on these rims".

I did once put a 37mm Continental Top Touring tire on my rear Mavic Open (emergency) but it bulged out so much it looked ready to roll off. It's hard to believe cyclocrossers do this.



Offline whittierider

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 03:11:04 am »
Quote
The bike has 32-spoke wheels.  If the majority of my weight is on my trailer, are my wheels strong enough to handle the load?

There are a lot of factors to wheel strength besides the number of spokes.  In fact, Santana has some 16-spoke 700c's for tandems, and they have proven quite reliable.  The quality of the build is perhaps most important, followed by other things that don't immediately meet the eye.  700c tandem wheels are usually 32- or 36-spoke.  Ours are 48-spoke, but that does not seem to be very common.  All other factors being equal, 26" will be stronger than 700c because the spokes have a greater bracing angle.

I don't know about Bontrager's MTB wheels, but their road wheels have been quite poor.  I and our son had six, and not one of the six lasted more than a few thousand miles before the rims cracked.  We had other problems with them too, but that was the biggest one.  We only used them because they came on our Treks.  We haven't had problems with other brands, or with ones I built myself, so I know it's not us.  Our dealer quit selling Bontrager wheels by themselves because too many other customers were having the same problem.


Offline hohum

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 06:03:51 pm »
This is a Trek 930 I found new in its box last year.  It is a 1995 model.  It has Matrix Singletrack Pros with STX hubs.  I've ridden it as a commuter and some trail riding and both wheels have remained true so far.  

I'm considering changing my chainrings to BioPace too.  I read they are better for the knees.

ho hum
ho hum

Offline whittierider

Question Regarding Wheel Strength
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 07:26:19 pm »
Especially if it's an MTB from '95, I doubt it has the wheel problems we experienced on our newer road bikes.  But I will say that in spite of the very short lives of our six Bontragers, they never went out of true, even when the rims were cracked.  They did feel wobbly when cracked though.

On the BioPace, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to evaluate them before going on tour with them.  They were a fad years ago, but their supposed value did not really materialize, so the industry went back to round.  What's good for the knees is to turn your cadence up, have your feet connected to the pedals, and pedal all the way around the circle, with special emphasis on pulling back through the bottom of the turn, something I expect would be harder to do with BioPace.