clyde looking to commute- wheelset build- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build

    First off let me start by saying that I understand this could be in the other clyde forum but i was hoping to get both veiws on the subject.

    I recently started at a new job thats about 5 miles from my house, and im looking into buying a specialized awol cross/touring bike. I am kind of concerned about my size and being hard on wheelsets in the past.. being that im unedjucated when it comes to the road side of bicycling components. Im ok with the factory componets that are on the bike now but they seem to leave somthing to be desired when it comes to "bomb/clyde-proof reliability... im 6'4" 320 pounds and my ride will be mostly asphalt

    so what would be suggested when specing a wheelset to build for my weekly commute? i figured i want to stay 32h, weight isnt a huge concern, but staying true and inflated is priority, do I want to run tubeless?

  2. #2
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    You don't state a budget, so..
    The most important variable is build quality. Get something hand built by a reputable wheel builder. Beyond that...
    Hub: solid, rather than quick engagement is more important, which is far from the standard mountain biking matra. For four season use, I have been less than thrilled by Shimano's freehhubs, but they only cost $30 or so to replace.
    Spokes: double butted. They are simultaneously less weight, but stronger because of how they spread stress.
    Rims: there are a number of good alloy rims (in assume this is your intended direction given this is for a commuter) on the market. I would seriously consider an asymmetrical model on the rear; it allows for more even spoke tension (and thus stronger build).
    Holes: you might consider upping your rear to 36h.
    Tubeless: I wouldn't consider this a priority on road, since there is not the need to run as low of pressures. Get a moderately wide (semi) slick and don't let the pressure drop too low (and minimize curb hoping).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    Spokes: double butted. They are simultaneously less weight, but stronger because of how they spread stress.
    I don't understand how a thing that gets skinnier in the middle can be stronger than a thing that stays the same thickness all the way from one end to the other.


    Is that bike 700c? If so, I'd go with an all mountain 29er wheelset, and as fat of a tire as you can squeeze in the frame.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I don't understand how a thing that gets skinnier in the middle can be stronger than a thing that stays the same thickness all the way from one end to the other.
    It is because location of stress matters. If all your stress (elongation) is effectively concentrated in a short area, then it will have a shorter lifespan. There are a finite number of stress cycles any material can undergo, and your spokes take a stress cycle every turn of the wheel. The number of stress cycles until failure is inversely proportionate to the amount of stress.

    By removing material, you spread the elongation over a larger portion of the spoke, so it can handle more stress cycles before it fails. Stronger might not be the best word; durable is probably a better word.

    As with any bike-mechanics related subject, always ask Sheldon (read the section on double-butted spokes; he explains it a bit less obtusely than me)!
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  5. #5
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    Oh I've read it... it makes sense, and you explain it well... I'm just saying I can't wrap my mind around it

    It's not you, it's me...


    I've had super good results with 2mm straight gauge spokes. Taking material away to make the wheel more durable is just....i dunno.... like .5mm out of my comfort zone
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  6. #6
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    Cartridge bearings are generally longer lasting than cup and cone....unless the cup and cone have a very good seal and are high end eg Shimano XTR.

    Tubeless could be a god send if you have a few curbs to go up and are not exactly light on the rear wheel....

    I would certainly look for a tubeless rim set up...

    XTR 29er would be tougher than a Dura Ace ....

    Look for on line deals on the manufacturer's wheels...sometimes way better than a wheel builder...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    It is because location of stress matters. If all your stress (elongation) is effectively concentrated in a short area, then it will have a shorter lifespan. There are a finite number of stress cycles any material can undergo, and your spokes take a stress cycle every turn of the wheel. The number of stress cycles until failure is inversely proportionate to the amount of stress.

    By removing material, you spread the elongation over a larger portion of the spoke, so it can handle more stress cycles before it fails. Stronger might not be the best word; durable is probably a better word.

    As with any bike-mechanics related subject, always ask Sheldon (read the section on double-butted spokes; he explains it a bit less obtusely than me)!
    Wheelbuilding
    More strain means more stress????

    CB think of the double butted as thicker at the joints where all the stress risers are.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post

    CB think of the double butted as thicker at the joints where all the stress risers are.
    Aaah, but it's not thicker. You're only SAYING it's thicker because you removed material from the middle... so what once was all one nice, thick piece of metal now appears to be thicker on the ends. You can call it thicker on the ends... I call it skinny in the middle
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Aaah, but it's not thicker. You're only SAYING it's thicker because you removed material from the middle... so what once was all one nice, thick piece of metal now appears to be thicker on the ends. You can call it thicker on the ends... I call it skinny in the middle
    depends on how light you think you can get away with??? Remember all steel comes out of a smelter....in a big block?

  10. #10
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    I've probably had a few dozen broken spokes and EVERY one of them broke at the bend near the hub. More of an observation than an engineering analysis. I also haven't broken a spoke on any of my newer wheelsets.

    Back on the main topic, I'd go with the mountain wheelset that CB recommended.

  11. #11
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    From the web site it looks as if the bike already comes with a 3x 32h wheelset. I say ride the OE wheels and save yourself some money to upgrade other bits on the bike.

  12. #12
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    ^^Probably the best advice right there. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Keep your eye on them and if they go out of true, develop stress cracks, get sloppy in the bearings or whatever, address it then. The front will probably last forever since it sees a lot less weight than the rear.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    I've probably had a few dozen broken spokes and EVERY one of them broke at the bend near the hub. More of an observation than an engineering analysis. I also haven't broken a spoke on any of my newer wheelsets.
    Sounds like you could get away with removing almost the whole spoke.



    Same here actually... they break right where they go through the hub.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  14. #14
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    This is some info directly from Specialized on the weight limits to the different models

    http://service.specialized.com/colla...0000057489.pdf

    I would think if your on smooth asphalt all the way to work and not hopping up/down curbs or hitting potholes you may be OK. Plus consider that you'll end up losing weight if you commute everyday. That could end up putting you below the stated structural weight limit fairly quickly. I don't really care for Spesh that much but I do know they have an outstanding warranty on frames so it may be a good way to go. Plus if you have to utilize that warranty for a busted frame, remember, your 10lbs under their stated limit ;-)

  15. #15
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    I'm busting spokes after 2 years of clyde mountain biking. In time, all spokes break. To start, I'd give the stock wheels a shot too. they're pretty strong and should be fine for road use. And they're specialized house brand hubs, so you should be able to get replacement freehubs if the internals break.

    Bad story telling time. The straight gauge and the butted spoke. (or how I learned to not fear the atomic chicken).

    straight gauge spokes don't stretch as much as the butted spokes. Imagine two wheels, where the spokes are rubber bands with hooks holding them on. If all the rubber bands are stretched to the same tightness, when you start turning the wheel, flexing the rim into an oval shape, and decreasing how much pressure is holding the rubber bands on, the rubber bands that can stretch more (the butted spoke) will stay on. The rubber bands that can't stretch (straight gauge spoke) will start to flop about and maybe come off the hook (breaking the spoke). I don't know how the story ends because I'm a horrible story teller.
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  16. #16
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    In a perfect wheel world, the length, angle and radius of the j-bend in the spoke is perfectly matched by the hub. This provides support to the bent portion of the spoke, and the whole length of the spoke will have the same strength.

    Name:  J-Bend.gif
Views: 140
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    In our world, there does not exist a precise standardization for the j-bend. The same holds true for the hub flanges where the spokes are seated. Slight variations between mfg's makes it hard to perfectly match a spoke to a hub flange, and few wheels, both oem and aftermarket, are matched properly.

    Without proper support, there is a gap in the bend between the spoke and the hub that permits a cyclical stress to occur at that location. This cyclical stress leads to stress fractures and eventual failure.

    A cheat around this problem exists in using butted spokes. The thinner section is not as strong as the thicker bend, so it elongates more than the same section in a straight gauge spoke, reducing the peak load in the j-bend. Since the thinner part of the spoke is much longer than the j-bend, it can take a lot more stress cycles than the bend.

    You will be fine with a 32h hub and butted spokes as long as the rim is not flimsy. I was breaking a handful of 1.8mm straight gauge spokes each year, but with 50 more Lbs and some light trail riding. I rebuilt with 2.0 on the drive side, but really needed a 36h rear wheel with strong rim.

    XTR? Dura-ace? Heavy clydes need non-race lightened parts that will last. SLX or XT crank is a must for mashers or for standing while trail riding. Tapered is ok for road use, but the tapers may become damaged with time, depends upon how well a clyde spins and how strong they get.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Without proper support, there is a gap in the bend between the spoke and the hub that permits a cyclical stress to occur at that location. This cyclical stress leads to stress fractures and eventual failure.

    A cheat around this problem exists in using butted spokes. The thinner section is not as strong as the thicker bend, so it elongates more than the same section in a straight gauge spoke, reducing the peak load in the j-bend. Since the thinner part of the spoke is much longer than the j-bend, it can take a lot more stress cycles than the bend.

    XTR? Dura-ace? Heavy clydes need non-race lightened parts that will last. SLX or XT crank is a must for mashers or for standing while trail riding. Tapered is ok for road use, but the tapers may become damaged with time, depends upon how well a clyde spins and how strong they get.
    Two points the stress fatigue relationship does not include length....the stress through the thin section is constant and causes the fatigue failure...

    The section at the J-bend and at the wheel are subject to many other stresses...as you mention caused by fit up and alignment issues...this causes stress concentrations far greater than the average stress....and therefor causes a reduction is the number of cycles until failure.

    I brought up the XTR because it is the only hub design with an adequate seal for a cup and cone bearing that will last a long cold winter with lots of salt....

    Hence if you want a long lasting strong wheel look to cartridge bearings.

    Second look to mountain bike products rather than road bike products.

  18. #18
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    Aside from the physics lesson (which I love, just way OT for this post), just stick with the stock wheels. Usually stock wheels on a bike like this are heavy and solid. Most people upgrade them to save weight, although that is not your concern.

    I would get the largest slicks that you can fit on the frame. If all pavement, you dont need a tread necessarily, although a very slight tread on a 36mm would be better than a 32mm slick.

    If you do need wheels, find a 36 spoke MTB wheelset and you should be fine. 5 miles on road should not be tough on wheels. Now if you are doing offroad, then maybe so.

  19. #19
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    wheel, tire options, + cruiser wheelset

    Quote Originally Posted by billiam267 View Post
    First off let me start by saying that I understand this could be in the other clyde forum but i was hoping to get both views on the subject.

    I recently started at a new job thats about 5 miles from my house, and im looking into buying a specialized awol cross/touring bike. I am kind of concerned about my size and being hard on wheelsets in the past.. being that im unedjucated when it comes to the road side of bicycling components. Im ok with the factory componets that are on the bike now but they seem to leave somthing to be desired when it comes to "bomb/clyde-proof reliability... im 6'4" 320 pounds and my ride will be mostly asphalt

    so what would be suggested when specing a wheelset to build for my weekly commute? i figured i want to stay 32h, weight isnt a huge concern, but staying true and inflated is priority, do I want to run tubeless?
    I'd go with 36- or 40- spoke (14g) wheelsets...that's what I ride @ 265

    Still, Sun Rhyno Lite wheelsets are commonly available in 32H
    (less so in 36H or 40H, getting tough to find
    unless you want to build your own from SRL rims).

    Another option that I use
    is 26" x 1.25 (rim width)" Sta-Tru heavy duty steel wheels with 12g spokes.

    I'm 6'1" @ 265, and the only reason I now have a 32H set (which I've always avoided), is that it was included on a new bike I got recently.
    After reading your post, I feel more optimistic about them

    Also for tires, I'd go with:

    * Resist Nomad 26 x 2.25" tires (80psi), or

    * Kenda Kwick Roller Sport K1029 tires, in 26' x 2" (85 psi)...
    confirmed the Bitumen version can be had with Iron Cap protection,
    if not the K1029 as well.

    But either way, especially since weight isn't a concern,
    just use tube/puncture sealant and (Tuffy) tire liners...

    ----------------------------------------------



    Btw, I have a set of Sta-Tru heavy duty 26" x 1.5" Steel wheels 36 12g spokes,
    with 26 x 2 Kenda American Airless Inserts,
    absolutely crated under 26 x 2 Serfas Drifter (inverted tread) tires
    (the tires are not coming off)...

    100/135 spacing

    They are *heavy* like a tank, and they buzz on pavement
    more than I prefer, *but* they are bombproof, roll decently, and
    the airless Kendas are purpose-built by Kenda AA for heavy riding...

    I hesitate to write this, because I don't ride them a lot but I like them,
    but let me know if you'd be interested in buying them...I built them myself, using Pedro Downhill Tire Levers...

    Probably built for a cruiser rather than a cross-bike though...
    Here's a few pics:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_145709.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_145812.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_150030.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_150056.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_150143.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_150211.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_150242.jpg  

    clyde looking to commute- wheelset build-20151104_150319.jpg  


  20. #20
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    You might also want to think about getting a front rack instead of the typical rear rack. The rear wheel is already carrying a lot of your weight, so shifting the cargo up front could help save your rear wheel. I'm no featherweight, 200lbs give or take, and I just killed my rear wheel after 3ish years. Granted I've broken a lot of spokes along the way. I have a rear rack and I think between my weight and the weight of my cargo I just put too much stress on it.

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