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  1. #1
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    BIG dude, repeatedly breaking spokes on two different wheels. Would like some advice.

    Hey guys. I'm definitely a Clydesdale (365 lbs or thereabouts), and so I know I put some wear and stress on my spokes. But I've broken several on multiple wheels, right at the J-bend.

    Originally was happening on the wheels that came on my 2012 Talon 29er 1. In discussions with my LBS, I ended up getting a set of Blunt SL's (Shimano XT hubs), and now I'm doing it on these. The really frustrating thing is that when I take it in to get the spoke replaced and the wheel trued, I'm out for at least a day...more if the shop is super-busy. I don't have a truing stand, and will not likely be able to buy one anytime soon, so while I could replace myself, I'll be taking it in to the shop to be trued anyway. Since I don't want to be 365lbs, this is frustrating. When my spokes are behaving, I ride 12 miles a day at my lunch hour, mostly light trail and pavement. I want to keep it up, but these interruptions are frustrating.

    So my question is this: I know that I'm a way-bigger-than-average dude, so is this what I can expect, or do I just have crappy wheels?

    If crappy wheels, should I just have them rebuilt?

    Thanks for the help. In case you can't tell, I'm a noob when it comes to cycling wrenching, and with 2 little kids, with one on the way, I'm more apt to having the shop wrench on it...my time is super limited. Thanks again!

    Edit: Oh, and I forgot to mention, the only reason I'm asking is that in the threads I found regarding broken spokes, the consensus is that it's a bad build. I have had this happen on multiple wheels (multiple crappy builds? possibly). Also, I'm considerably heavier than the threads I saw. Just wanted to open up a dialogue on the subject.
    Last edited by taliesin1077; 02-11-2014 at 04:05 PM. Reason: added last paragraph

  2. #2
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    I was dealing with the same problem with stock rims and a Weinnman. Eventually, I replaced my rear rim with a Velocity Deep V 36H with 12 gauge spokes. Cost was steep, but I've not had a single problem since, and since I commute daily with very limited backup options, it was well worth it.

  3. #3
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    And by same problem, I mean I was breaking spokes every ride, no matter how gentle I was

  4. #4
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    Blunt SL's are WAY TOO LIGHT of rim for a 365# rider. I'm 225# and wouldn't ride Blunt SL's!

    You should be on some Sun MTX33 with DT Alpine Spokes. And while most clydes can ride on 32 spoke wheels, I would recommend that you go with 36 spokes on a heavy duty hubset. The Shimano M529 would be at the inexpensive end. Something like a DT 540 hubset would be a bomber set, at a price $$$.
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  5. #5
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    36h all the way. And I second the MTx33 rims. At least in the rear which is where I assume you are breaking spokes? If you aren't hitting rough stuff then I'd agree that a Shimano hub should do you fine. You may eventually need to upgrade that though once you start hitting trails and putting more torque down. You can keep that rim though...you should never need to replace it unless you seek a lighter rim in the future. I've been riding MTx33's on Hope hubs and recently a Chris King rear hub at as much as 320 pounds but on very rugged terrain and my setup has been bomber.

  6. #6
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    Also...make sure your wheels are handbuilt. Even a great rim/hub combo that's machine built will likely run into issues. Handbuilt is the only way to go. If you trust your LBS to build wheels for you, you can grab the parts off the internet pretty inexpensively. I'd say for the rear wheels you should be in at about $150ish not including cost to build. You might also check out MikeSee at Lace Mine 29 - Big Bicycle Wheels for some of if not the best built 29er wheels you can get your hands on.

  7. #7
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    What Bike Whisperer said and just to add my experience. At 6'5" and weigh in at 225-250, depending on season it seems, I kept breaking spokes at the j-bend also. I don't remember the specifics but it was frustrating. I went to straight-pull spokes, Mavic wheels,crossmax XL and then SSC and have had maybe a three broken spokes the last 8 years or so. I ride Colorado Front Range trails and couldn't be happier. I don't want to start a j-bend - straight pull debate, just adding my .02 cents worth. Then again, at your weight, look for bomb proof wheels.

  8. #8
    Vincit qui patitur
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    Try here:
    Lace Mine 29 - Big Bicycle Wheels
    Also known as:
    mikesee on here.
    He would be the person I would ask about this.
    Vincit qui patitur
    2012 GT Karakoram 3.0
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  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for your recommendations. Very frustrated that the shop sold me those Blunt SL's AFTER I'd already had problems with the stock Giant wheels. I've filled out the order form at Lace Mine 29, and we'll see what he comes back with in terms of recommendations.

    Really appreciate the input, everyone.

  10. #10
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    We ride two tandems with a total weight of 420pounds and we have never ever broke a spoke (36hole rims), believe me tandems are extremely hard on wheels since half the time you can not avoid the obstacles..

    I will say get hand made wheels by a pro, not just your average bike mechanic and your problems will go away, oh and XT hubs are really weak and plague with problems

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by taliesin1077 View Post
    Very frustrated that the shop sold me those Blunt SL's AFTER I'd already had problems with the stock Giant wheels.
    I would find a new bike shop (I worked in shops for 8 years, this is inexcusable!)
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  12. #12
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    Exactly! That is my plan. I mean, crap happens, but to sell me a wheelset which will guarantee I will have the problem again... Not acceptable.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    oh and XT hubs are really weak and plague with problems
    They are? Explain.

  14. #14
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    Crap free hubs on shimano. I'd pass. Spend a little more.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Crap free hubs on shimano. I'd pass. Spend a little more.
    Depends on the model. The M529, M629, and M665 have pretty bomber freehub bodies.

    M525, M756, and M775 hubs have been less reliable, especially under large riders.
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  16. #16
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    The M529 is a great inexpensive hub but I'm pretty sure it does not come in 36 hole.
    Hope may be the way to go here.

    Sometimes it's work to find a guy in a bike shop that understands a Clyde build.
    Pretty much why I started building my own wheels.
    I like turtles

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    The M529 is a great inexpensive hub but I'm pretty sure it does not come in 36 hole.
    Hope may be the way to go here.

    Sometimes it's work to find a guy in a bike shop that understands a Clyde build.
    Pretty much why I started building my own wheels.
    Good point, the SLX hub comes in 36h though (now M675) which has the very durable "29er" freehub body.
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  18. #18
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    Hey folks. Went with Mike at lacemine29.com and could not be happier so far. Got Salsa Gordo rims, 26h, with Shimano M756's. I know that people don't recommend that hub, but I've never broken a hub. Just spokes. I'm not racing, and I'm not riding super-hard on my bike. I'm just trying to ride long and get a great workout.

    In the past, after a few rides, new wheels would start making noise, and I'd have to take them back to get the spokes tensioned properly. Wouldn't be too long before I'd have to start getting those spokes replaced. So far (3 rides @ 12mi ea) they're completely solid. Not a single spoke ping. Happy with my purchase so far, and you can't beat the service. Thanks all for the recommendations.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by taliesin1077 View Post
    Hey folks. Went with Mike at lacemine29.com and could not be happier so far. Got Salsa Gordo rims, 26h, with Shimano M756's. I know that people don't recommend that hub, but I've never broken a hub. Just spokes. I'm not racing, and I'm not riding super-hard on my bike. I'm just trying to ride long and get a great workout.

    In the past, after a few rides, new wheels would start making noise, and I'd have to take them back to get the spokes tensioned properly. Wouldn't be too long before I'd have to start getting those spokes replaced. So far (3 rides @ 12mi ea) they're completely solid. Not a single spoke ping. Happy with my purchase so far, and you can't beat the service. Thanks all for the recommendations.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk
    Cool, the Gordo is a burly rim...can't figure out why Salsa quit making them but nice score getting a pair.

    I'm "only" 225# but I've never killed an XT M756 hub either.
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  20. #20
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    I asked Mike about that as I researched the components he planned to use and found Gordo stopped making them. I asked if there would be a problem with support if I had issues. He said when he heard they were discontinuing them, he bought out their inventory, so he has tons of them, and LOVES them. He said he's never had a problem with that rim and if I did, he has a bunch of inventory. Good enough answer for me. Seriously love them so far.

    Also, I took the BluntSL's back to the bike shop that sold them to me and we had a good talk. I'm pleased with the course of action they're going to take, and they really want to make things right. (They also really want to see the wheels I told them I bought.)

    I'm just super stoked to be back on the bike again.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Glad you got taken care of. As a 300+ clyde who's had wheel problems in the past its a PITA. Mike knows his **** and deals with a lot of heavy riders. Only thing I would have changed is the shimano hub. You will blow the freehub at some point and bend an axle but it may not be for a while. Keep riding and keep upgrading as you break stuff.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by taliesin1077 View Post
    Got Salsa Gordo rims, 26h,
    I hope that's a typo...lol

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by taliesin1077 View Post
    Also, I took the BluntSL's back to the bike shop that sold them to me and we had a good talk. I'm pleased with the course of action they're going to take, and they really want to make things right. (They also really want to see the wheels I told them I bought.)

    I'm just super stoked to be back on the bike again.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk
    If that shop values you as a customer they should take care of you...and the employee who sold them to you should be flipping burgers at McDonald's. I worked as a mechanic for 8 years and I am blown away that someone would sell a Blunt SL wheelset to anyone over about 200#.
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  24. #24
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    When I heard Salsa was discontinuing wheels, I sent an e mail asking why and letting them know I was a big fan of their wheels.
    The reply was something like we are concentrating on other components to further our adventure by bike campaign.
    I said but wheels are arguably the most important component on a bicycle.
    I think they stopped makin' chainrings too. Geniuses.
    I like turtles

  25. #25
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    Typo, fer sure. Lol

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