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I would like to build a set of completely bomb proof heavy wheels. These would be used to some training but a lot of commuting through the wonderful city of Chicago streets.

A couple of things I am wondering what would work....

A good hubset of all weather conditions
At least 36h count (can you get 40h hub in a road spacing??)
What's the thickest spoke gauge you can build up
A heavy very strong reliable rim

The twisted benefit of this is riding my Ksyrium's come go fast days will seem like flying!!
 

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You are probably best off with rims like Mavic cxp33 or Rigida DP18 and Ultegra or Centaur hubs, DT Swiss has DT Champion 2.34 straight guage spokes. This will not be entirely bomb proof, but then again nothing really is. This wil, however, be a very solid, affordable and renewable set, Put 28mm tires on them, they will absorb a lot of shock otherwise transferred to the wheel.
 

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the heavy-duty road stuff is made for tandems....

The only big problem is that the rear hub is likely to be at least 2 cm too wide. You can probably get some wrench to respace a tandem rear hub--with a new axle and different arrangement of spacers and nuts--if that is really what you want to do. However, I would think that a 36° rear hub of normal road-parts origin would be fine.

The tandem hubs and rims are heavily built and would make great heavy duty wheels. Shimano makes a relatively inexpensive hubset that are quite good. The rims of note are the Mavic touring rims and Velocity Dyad. You could build a nice wheel with that stuff and 13/14 db spokes. You should put on a big tire set. Big.

If you have an older steel bike you could have the rear triangle "cold set/spaced" to allow use of a mountain width hub, and this allows you to use some of the bomb-proof freeride/downhill rear hubs from the mtb world.

You might be able to get Phil Wood to build a tandem-tough hub at the appropropiate width.

Sounds like fun. Don't ride over cars just because you can.



140pt6 said:
I would like to build a set of completely bomb proof heavy wheels. These would be used to some training but a lot of commuting through the wonderful city of Chicago streets.

A couple of things I am wondering what would work....

A good hubset of all weather conditions
At least 36h count (can you get 40h hub in a road spacing??)
What's the thickest spoke gauge you can build up
A heavy very strong reliable rim

The twisted benefit of this is riding my Ksyrium's come go fast days will seem like flying!!
 

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Big is relative
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Salsa Delgado cyclocross rims. You can get them in 32 or 36. Build it up with 14g spokes with brass nipples. Use a good hub for your grouppo (shimano or campy) since this will be an all weather wheel. I commute daily on this setup and ride crappy roads with broken pavement due to city buses, a MUT that is like a washboard due to tree roots, and lots of glass. Get some good tires like armadillo or gatorskins. You may be limited by your fork on how large you can go, but you can probably get a 28mm in the back. The back tire absorbs all the big hits and debris.
 

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Velocity DeepV rims

If you go with a 36 Velocity DeepV rim and 14/15 spokes, 3X, brass nipples, it really won't weigh that much but will really be hell-for-stout. Unless you are in the super heavyweight class or ride with zero finnesse, these will serve you well.
 

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I second the Salsa Delgado. That sh!t's heavy all right. Er...heavy duty. I'm riding them on my fixie commuter, and they stand up to loaded (and sometimes drunk) fixed bunny hops, so you'll be OK. My sister-in-law commutes in Chicago (fixed) on Velocity Deep-Vs. She's pretty small, but they're probably a pretty tough choice too.

That said, I'm building up what I feel are heavy wheels right now, and I'm using 32 14/15 spokes and normal double eyeletted rims. They're going to see a season of collegiate and then ACA/USCF crit racing, and I think that about equals Chicago streets. Unless you're super heavy, super heavy wheels aren't all that necessary. Don't forget that hub choice makes a pretty big difference too. Bolt on solid axles with track-nuts feel a lot more "solid" than anything attached with a quick release.

Oh...a little finesse goes a long way, too.
 

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140pt6 said:
I would like to build a set of completely bomb proof heavy wheels. These would be used to some training but a lot of commuting through the wonderful city of Chicago streets.

A couple of things I am wondering what would work....

A good hubset of all weather conditions
At least 36h count (can you get 40h hub in a road spacing??)
What's the thickest spoke gauge you can build up
A heavy very strong reliable rim

The twisted benefit of this is riding my Ksyrium's come go fast days will seem like flying!!
Don't forget to wrap and solder the spokes then!!!
 

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My sympathy to you...

140pt6 said:
the wonderful city of Chicago streets.
Been there and did that for many many... too many years.

One of my favorite Chicago things are those fcuking contractors who dig a tranverse trench into the street to hook up those fugly new condos to the water and sewer services and do an absolute horse sh!t job "patching" the street when they're done. People running the city government must on the take because why else wouldn't the city fine these guys up the wazoo for doing so otherwise? Only in Chicago have I seen this problem on such a vast scale.

My other Chicago favorite is when they cut/grind the top of the old asphalt off the road for re-paving and leave it for days and weeks. The best part is where they leave that 2" to 4" hard edge/ledge at the cross streets so you have to try to bunny hop over it on the fly as you cross over. Miss that hop and you'll most likely dent your rim and thus trash your wheel.

But whaddyawann? It's the city that works.

I love Chicago and I hate Chicago. Now I love SoCal and hate SoCal. ;)

Anyway, maybe Dudley the wheel guy at Lickton's in Oak Park can help you figure out a good setup.

Good luck... you need it.
 

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140pt6 said:
I would like to build a set of completely bomb proof heavy wheels. These would be used to some training but a lot of commuting through the wonderful city of Chicago streets.

A couple of things I am wondering what would work....

A good hubset of all weather conditions
At least 36h count (can you get 40h hub in a road spacing??)
What's the thickest spoke gauge you can build up
A heavy very strong reliable rim

The twisted benefit of this is riding my Ksyrium's come go fast days will seem like flying!!
For a tough wheel, use 36 in the rear, an asymetric rim, 14 gauge BUTTED spokes, and brass nips. The front only needs 32 spokes, but make it deep section (aero) and again, use butted spokes.

I've got a Bontrage Fairlane Asym on the rear of my bike for commuting, built up with db14 spokes. Its pretty stout, but the rim alone is about 550 grms, iirc. For the front, I've got a Velocity Deep V front (with ae14 spokes) that I use for commuting and solo rides where I want something aero. Its a bit flexy laterally, but thats with 24 ae15 spokes in a paired spoke pattern. They come in 36 hole drilling, and you could use those 14g dbs to make a VERY stiff wheel. IMO there's no need; a vertically stiff rim with lighter spokes is actually more durable, as the rim more easily spreads the load to all spokes.
Both these wheels stand up great to curb hopping, potholes, etc. I use a 28c tire on the rear, and a 25c on the front, both run over 100psi. I think that tire size and pressure makes a HUGE difference, at least as big as the wheels you use..
As for the hubset, I'd just go with anything that's easy to service. Chris King road hubs are as well sealed as the MTB hubs, and suposedly easy to service, so that's a go if you have the cash. Otherwise just use 105's and buy a spare set of cones, bearings, and a freehub.

You might want to look at some of the rims avaialable for 29" wheeled MTBs, especially the assymetric ones.

My own Chicago riding expereince was that you need to tension your spokes TIGHT. I actually road a beater (Nishiki touring bike) with steel rims for a fair while, and once I cranked the spoke tension way up, they stayed true quite nicely!
 

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What sort of clearance do you have?

Somebody mentioned using a 28 rear tire and a 25 front tire. I won't criticize your search for a heavy duty wheel, but it seems to me that you can protect your wheels and smooth out your ride at the same time if you can increase your tire diameter and lower your pressure a bit--you can lower pressure while keeping the risk of pinch flats constant if you move to a larger tire (obviously, the particulars matter). You don't say what you are riding now, but moving from a 23 to a 28, and dropping the pressure accordingly, can make a real difference--probably enough so that you don't have to futz around with tandem wheels if you don't want to. Even a 23 to a 25 is noticeable (keeping in mind that the nominal tire measurement is not necessarily the actual one, and that different brands "measure"--or label--differently).
 
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