Wheels and rider weight

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by goo_mason, 23 May 2008.

  1. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    My rear wheel has been breaking spokes at the rate of 1 or 2 a week for the last three weeks (and this is a bike that's a month old), so it's going to be rebuilt by Halfords' "expert wheel builder" at their HO. Not sure how 'expert' he is and what kind of a job he'll make, but it means I'll be rear wheel-less for over a week. It got me thinking about buying a better set of wheels anyway (since the Alex ones that came with the SCR2 are not exactly light or top quality), but I'm not sure what will hold my 15st 10lb (220lbs in old money, or 99.79kg in Euros) without waving a white flag or falling to bits too quickly.

    Anyone of a similar weight care to comment on what wheels they'd recommend ?

    I'd been thinking of Mavic Aksium 2008 (apparently much lighter than they were in 2007), Shimano RS20 2008 and Fulcrum Racing 5 as they've all been highly-rated / recommended here and across the web, but there's no info about how well they hold up under we bigger-boned types.
  2. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I think you've answered your own question.

    Cheap wheels will damage under any form of stress. Especially the Alex Wheels, on a cheaper more affordable way, you could just upgrade the wheels with Better spokes.

    Better Wheels will obviously be more reliable, and built with better hubs, spokes, rims etc.

    Can I ask if its a straight snap in the middle or is it just a dislocation on the hub or rim?
  3. OP

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    All snapped at the spoke 'elbow' at the hub, and all when I was putting the power on when going up a road that's a slight climb.
  4. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    I had a similar problem last year with some hand built wheels. Reasonably frequent spoke breakages were becoming a 2 weekly occurence. The shop repairing them informed me that once you get a few breaking, it is likely to continue and that a complete rebuild is necessary.

    It was on my training bike, so I replaced them with Shimano 560's. They have lasted well and I have had no problems with them. The old wheel is now my turbo wheel. I am not quite as heavy at 12 st 4lb.
  5. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    I would recommend a handmade wheel. Tiagra hubs and say mavic open sport rims or openpro if you're feeling plush.

    You will have to be very tough on wheel to damage these and they will probably feel a heck of a lot lighter/smoother than what you've currently got
  6. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Limoges or York
    Agree with redbike. My best bike has open pro built by Harry Rowland. Lovely wheels. I'm only 85kg tho'.
  7. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    I would recommend Harry Rowland, built my MTB wheels which are happy with my heavy carcass bouncing about on them.

    Give him a ring. tell him what you want, and away you go.
  8. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    I have to agree: a wheel should be able to take a hell of a lot of stress and stay together.

    Weight or not.

    I did get told not to go below 32 spokes; though the recent spoking of wheels less than 32, is I feel, marketing hype !

    And if you use them : to only use them sparingly.
  9. ak88

    ak88 New Member

    I'm 95 kgs and use my bike for commuting across East London. I had standard Formula hubs on Alex rims and had the spokes breaking often after about a year and starting to get noticeably out of true. Did the same research you did and settled on hand builts. The factory ones listed just seemed to delicate in looks to support my weight plus my commuting pannier of a good few kilos.

    I called Harry Rowland up - very nice chap and he pointed me in the direction of around 180 quid for a pair (can't remember the hubs but their were Mavic Open Pro rims). It was out of my budget so after looking around I settled on ribble (I understood there were issues with them from a few years back but since my start in cycling and using them for mail order I have never had issues with them). A couple here said the hand builts by ribble were good and had no issues. I bought a pair of Mavic Open Pro CDs (said to be tougher with the coating but not as nice looking) on a pair of Tiagra hubs. I specified 36 spokes though cause of the weight which I had to call through about as the site only accepted 32 spoke orders. Have had them since the start of the year and have no issues - about 1mm or so out of true but perfectly fine and lately wheels been taken a battering as I started using the Eastway near Hackney which is the building works area of the Olympic Park. The price was around 110 quid for the pair (they had the usual 10% discount at the time) and I have a pair of red Mavic wheel bags thrown in which is fantastic for storing my old wheels to use as spares (and possibly my first attempts at wheelbuilding/truing).

    I know a friend whos a lardy b'stard and he bought a new pair of Aksiums - but not too sure how much he weighs - reckon around 85-90 kgs. So far he has no problems.
  10. I'm 106kg Goo and commute 54km +/- on Campag Khamsin wheels (=cheap - ish)
    Really true so far and they take some stick in London...used with GatorSkins etc
    ...I have some Ksyrium on my other bike which probably don't appreciate the shadow of my butt thereupon :biggrin:.
    Roval wheels are designed for the less balletic commuter I understand, although a custom built set must be better.
  11. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Never heard of these wheels Ap' (roval) strange you never hear of makes etc even though youve been cycling for a good while...there is stuff out there and it still surprises me on occ.

    Ive just ordered some cheapo Shim. R500 then next month i'll pay for my Tiagra on Aerosport to be replaced by an old (new but just stored) V section (campy omega v's - remember them :biggrin:)

    I wonder if I'll be doing the correct thing doing this.

    When spoke after spoke after spoke snaps you become quite interested in wheels ! ! ! [pleasure and pain smiley]
  12. OP

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    I see that Edinburgh Bike CoOp sells M:Wheels 105 Open Pro wheels (Shimano 105 hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims and 32 x DT Competition stainless steel double butted spokes), which seems to be along the lines of many of the 'hand-built' recommendation specs. They may be getting a visit from me tomorrow.... ;)
  13. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Also check out The Bicycle Works in Argyle Place while you are this end of town.
  14. Ranger

    Ranger New Member

    Fife borders
    Picked up my SCR last week and changed the wheels on the advice of my LBS. It was finally explained to me the problem with the standard wheels is the spokes are poor quality and do not cross on one side (radial pattern?) which means they need loads of tension on them and with poor quality spokes, snap. This is something they have seen on the SCR in the last 6 months with the taller or larger riders, but that may have been a polite way of telling me I'm too fat for a road bike:biggrin:

    They have quoted £30 for a rebuild replacing the spokes and putting a cross over pattern of the spokes. They don't reckon it is worth getting the front one done as well.
  15. OP

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    If I can be bothered walking along there, I just might... :biggrin:
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