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· Unsafe at Any Speed
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I restrung my 1988 Cannondale wet-weather bike's front wheel. The rim is a 32 hole Araya 700mm clincher I fitted in 1991. This rim weighs just 380g and has a welded joint. It was a cheap rim and came with no pretences for lightness. I have abused it for 40,000 miles plus and it is still fine (maybe it weighed a bit more when it was new.. wet weather braking! )

I found another (front) wheel - one I built in 1987 (sole survivor when the rest of the bike was stolen). A large flange Zeus hub, 36 spokes (1.8mm straight gauge) and an el cheapo Rigida rim. Total mass : 840 grams, 100g lighter than today's entry level front wheels. And - I'll bet it's as strong and rigid as anything.

Since those days, bikes in general have lost sensational amounts of mass. The 'basic' wheels have not - on the contrary.... And who uses 1.8mm spokes as 'basic' equipment today, if one could find them?
 

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The new fandangle wheels that use 12-24 spokes need a stronger (read more weight) rim so it is rare to find a rim other than carbon that weighs much less than 400 grams.
 

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slowdave said:
The new fandangle wheels that use 12-24 spokes need a stronger (read more weight) rim so it is rare to find a rim other than carbon that weighs much less than 400 grams.
Yep, and the low-spokes win in the marketplace because they are "more aero" and because the newer riders have never lifted a 36 hole Rigida and would turn up their nose if they had the chance.
 

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Pieter said:
Last week I restrung my 1988 Cannondale wet-weather bike's front wheel. The rim is a 32 hole Araya 700mm clincher I fitted in 1991. This rim weighs just 380g and has a welded joint.
I had those rims also, and I still ride the tubular version of these on my track bike. Since there's no brakes, I expect they should last for close to forever. These were great rims compared to a lot of the stuff out today.
 

· Unsafe at Any Speed
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the comments.

I recently wanted to build something similar again. Suitable rims were scarce here : I got Alexrims R400, 32 holes.

These rims are available (elsewhere) with spoke counts of 20-32. Something tells me they are too light for 20 spoke and/or unnecessarily heavy for 32.

So I tried for light spokes. Scarce and expensive, like DT Revolution. I suppose a simple 1.8/1.5mm swaged spoke would have been optimal, if I could only get. But of course no.. such spokes only used to be available when 'nornal' wheels had many spokes to share the load.
 
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