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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty sure over the summer I'm going to have a custom wheelset built.

Thing is, I'm a bit heavy (not 'NFL lineman heavy', but heavy) and I'm curious as to what the experienced among us would think would be the rider weight limit on the following build:

Pacenti PL23 rims (i.e. the 'retro' box-section version of the Pacenti SL23, with only a 15mm depth– I dig their classic look. These are 430g rims).

Ultegra 6700 10-spd rear hub (heavy, but quiet), and either a WI T11, BHS, or Velocity front hub

28/32 on the spokes, Wheelsmith 1.8/1.55/1.8mm (or equivalent) on everything but the DS rear, which I think would be 2.0/1.7/2.0mm

Brass nipples (I live near the coast, we gots salt air)

Total weight: ~1650g


Yes, I could just tell you my current weight, but that's a moving target and seems to be heading on its way down.

So this gives me an idea of what to shoot for, and is sort of a reward once I hit a certain weight (or I may be there already, dunno).

Thanks for any and all info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Additional notes:

The roads I'm riding are 'okay, but not great' in terms of their condition. They're not Beirut, but are far from being glass-smooth either. Probably would give them a 4 or 5 out of 10, if I were to rank.

Tire-wise, I've been running rubber 26-28mm wide, at around 90psi. Will probably never go to 23s, even if I drop a lot of weight.
 

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My custom build was Pacenti SL23 rims, with CK hubs and 24 x 28 spoke count. Builder said I was good up to 200. Some motivation to keep me in check but currently at 170.

Hit a huge pothole on Sunday. Wheel locked up, brakes stuck, derailleur was off. Wow! Not a single broken spoke. After a couole of quick fixes from the sag van. Rode 50 miles home and took it in to get a bit of a re-tune.

That said I broke 5 spokes on my Rovals which Spec claimed to be good for up to 240 pounds.

I think Ultegra hubs are as durable as the CK's (my LBS lent me an Ultegra wheel a couole of those times) and the higher spoke count should help so I would guess you would be fine up to 220?

Just an amateur opinion from someone who had enough of wheel issues.
 

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changingleaf
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Those components should work out well for you, but you may want to choose 2.0/1.5(5)/2.0 spokes instead of the 1.8/1.55/1.8.

The weight difference is small, but keeping the same size nipple all around is better in case a repair is necessary. 2.0mm nipples are much more common. Also, a person could mistakenly thread a 2.0 nipple on a 1.8 spoke, which can often hold to pretty high tension on the non-drive side before failing.
 

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A word of caution on the PL23; if they are tensioned more than 100kgf they may show a bit of a bump around the spoke drillings that you may not find aesthetically pleasing.
No first hand experience; it has happened to reputable sources and have seen the pictures. A similar situation was also happening with the Synergy rims and nipples pulling through the rim when tensioned to 120 kgf (I have not heard this happening with the Pacenti PL23s).

My preference in building wheels is to max out the tension to around 125-130kgf on the drive side. This allows a decent tension on the non-drive side and the assurance of a more durable wheel (higher NDS tension = spokes not unscrewing/slackening when going over bumps, etc.). With the Ultegra 6700 (my favorite training day hub, BTW) the NDS tension will be around 61 kgf when the DS tension is 125 kgf; this is pretty good. If you were to keep the DS tension to around 100kgf, the NDS tension would not be adequate and IMO, I would not trust the wheel under the weight of a heavy rider for any extended trip.

If you decide to stay with the PL23s, your choice of the heavier butted spokes on the DS may be a necessity to draw any smidgen of benefit out of the extra elasticity of the NDS spokes with the hope of keeping them tight longer. Otherwise, I would not bother; the 6700 has enough geometry to build to decent tensions and I would not want to deal with the winding of the light butted spokes.

Have also a look at the H Plus Son Archetype in silver; it may be aesthetically adequate for what you are trying to accomplish although not a retro rim.

The DT 540 is another box section trekking type rim; it could be tensioned to around 125 kgf but does not come in silver
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A thank-you to all replies thus far. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Those components should work out well for you, but you may want to choose 2.0/1.5(5)/2.0 spokes instead of the 1.8/1.55/1.8.
Hmm... but I hear that 2.0/1.5/2.0mm spokes (like DT Revs) are too elastic/'twangy' for heavier riders, oftentimes? What's your take on that?

Conversely, apparently Jobst Brandt thinks that 1.8/1.6/1.8mm is wonderful for most uses, so I guess it's a fine line between 'awesome' and not, i.e. a matter of 0.1mm in the spoke center-section? :blush2:

Confusing. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A word of caution on the PL23; if they are tensioned more than 100kgf they may show a bit of a bump around the spoke drillings that you may not find aesthetically pleasing.

No first hand experience; it has happened to reputable sources and have seen the pictures. A similar situation was also happening with the Synergy rims and nipples pulling through the rim when tensioned to 120 kgf (I have not heard this happening with the Pacenti PL23s).

My preference in building wheels is to max out the tension to around 125-130kgf on the drive side. This allows a decent tension on the non-drive side and the assurance of a more durable wheel (higher NDS tension = spokes not unscrewing/slackening when going over bumps, etc.). With the Ultegra 6700 (my favorite training day hub, BTW) the NDS tension will be around 61 kgf when the DS tension is 125 kgf; this is pretty good.

If you were to keep the DS tension to around 100kgf, the NDS tension would not be adequate and IMO, I would not trust the wheel under the weight of a heavy rider for any extended trip.

If you decide to stay with the PL23s, your choice of the heavier butted spokes on the DS may be a necessity to draw any smidgen of benefit out of the extra elasticity of the NDS spokes with the hope of keeping them tight longer. Otherwise, I would not bother; the 6700 has enough geometry to build to decent tensions and I would not want to deal with the winding of the light butted spokes.

Have also a look at the H Plus Son Archetype in silver; it may be aesthetically adequate for what you are trying to accomplish although not a retro rim.

The DT 540 is another box section trekking type rim; it could be tensioned to around 125 kgf but does not come in silver
Many thanks for the detailed reply, griz. :yesnod:

That IS troubling though... while you say the issue with the Pacenti PL23 (for other readers: don't confuse the PL23 with the popular and often-mentioned SL23) is not nearly as bad as what's going on with the Velocity Synergy, still... should there be cause to worry, or is the issue a purely cosmetic one?

Obviously, if the spoke bed is too thin/flimsy and the wheel can't be built with sufficient tension (and the ability to hold that tension long-term), then I'd have to cross the PL23 off my list.

If so, not sure I'd go with the SL23 instead, or your suggestions of the Archetype or DT540, even as good as those rims are.

What I'm going for is a combination of

  • 'old school' aesthetics, i.e. low-profile box-style
  • wide dimensions (23mm+ width)
  • excellent ride quality
The last of these is really key. For example, I have a pair of Rolf Vectors on one of my bikes, and I definitely dislike the harsh ride quality, even though they are only 25mm depth rims.

They ride very harshly compared to any low-profile box section rims I've had, and this is despite some ppl telling me that that's 'impossible!' since the tires deflect far more than any rim ever will. All I know is what I feel, and no, it's not a case of expectations being fulfilled, as I bought the Rolfs before I knew any of this stuff. :)

So, if the PL23 is not good, I'd then be looking for a wide-but-shallow box rim, or failing that maybe I'd move up to a 20mm depth rim (but no more). Archetypes are too deep, DT540s are narrow and kinda heavy (though both rims work very well for a lot of ppl).

Wonder if anyone else is coming out with wide box rims anytime soon? :idea:

But I'd like to go with the PL23s if possible, as they are everything I want, assuming they can be built up right and will last while not having to be re-tensioned constantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

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That IS troubling though... while you say the issue with the Pacenti PL23 (for other readers: don't confuse the PL23 with the popular and often-mentioned SL23) is not nearly as bad as what's going on with the Velocity Synergy, still... should there be cause to worry, or is the issue a purely cosmetic one?
I have not heard of any cracked rims at the eyelets of the PL23s; just the bulging out which, so far, appears to be cosmetic and visually enhanced by the shape and finish of the rim. Long term use will eventually show if the issue is contained.

The cracks on the Synergy rims were happening after use and when builders were tensioning those rims to 120kgf; the Velocity response and remedy was to limit tension at 100kgf which builders did and the problem has gone away.

Personally, I do not consider limiting the DS tension to 100kgf to be a real solution while a reinforcing extrusion thickening around the rim drilling is seemingly needed to limit the bulging. Such thickening would add a bit of weight though which apparently is a no-no.

If you decide to build with the PL23s, consider reversing your view on reducing the number of spokes. I would build the rear wheel with 36 spokes to limit the tension each spoke sees and go from there. If the resulting NDS tension does not produce a reasonably durable wheel you could later retension higher.
 

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If you decide to build with the PL23s, consider reversing your view on reducing the number of spokes. I would build the rear wheel with 36 spokes to limit the tension each spoke sees and go from there. If the resulting NDS tension does not produce a reasonably durable wheel you could later retension higher.
This makes the most amount of sense.
 

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dcgriz has good advice... the PL23 is a light rim with a single eyelet, and can't take high tension. So plan on 100kg on the DS, max... and adjust your spoke count accordingly. If you told us what you weigh, I missed it... but I don't think this is a good rim choice if you are >220lb.

Do you care about color? Maybe try the Sun CR18 which come in polished silver also. Real weights are ~550g I hear... and they are cheap. Or HPS TB-14s which are a bit lighter. Or the DT TK540 which do not have a polished option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dcgriz has good advice... the PL23 is a light rim with a single eyelet, and can't take high tension. So plan on 100kg on the DS, max... and adjust your spoke count accordingly. If you told us what you weigh, I missed it... but I don't think this is a good rim choice if you are >220lb. .
To you and dcgriz (and any other EWBs)... so, go 28/36 on the spoke count? And with the gauge of spokes I mentioned previously?

Oh, and I'm not sub-220 lbs yet, but I'm within striking distance. I guess this wheelset will be my present to myself when I get there, hopefully by end of summer. :)

Many thanks for the advice and guidance.

Btw, I guess I'm correct in assuming that there are no fairly-light low-profile box rims out there that can take high tension? Especially in 23mm or wider?
 

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I'd suggest a couple changes since you don't seem to be overly concerned about having a superlight wheelset.

I'd definitely recommend the H+Son TB14 over TL23, though there is a fairly significant difference in weight. The TB14 is a stellar rim for those wanting old school looks with new school function. I like the Pacenti, I just think that for heavier riders, spoke tension can be an issue.

I'd also take issue with the spokes but not because of .1mm in the center sections, or the more common use of 14g nipples but it's the 1.8mm at the jbend. The 2.0 fits into the spoke holes better and will provide more longevity. Not that you can't go with a 1.8 but if you go that route I'd strongly suggest spoke head washers to help seat things solidly.
 

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I think HPS TB14s are pretty light at ~490g... considering. I'm planning to use PL23s on my classic steel bike, but I already have 36h hubs and weigh 170, so low tension is fine. I think they are perfect for that sort of application. But if you are pushing the strength/weight limits it makes sense to use heavier rims. And use heavier DS spokes.
 

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I think 36 on the rear is great, but I would go no less than 32 on the front not 28.

The best spoke to use is the DT Competition double butted spokes, and then use brass nipples for service durability, then use a 3 cross lacing style for superior strength. Hubs are whatever you want, if you're looking to save money the Shimano 105 for about $65 is a great deal and they come in silver if you want.

As far as brand of rim...there are several brands of nice old school rims you could use from the expensive but very nice Torelli Triumph at about $90 each, to the VO PBP for about $63, to the Mavic Open Pro for $80, to the lowest costing rim the Sun M13 II for $31 on Amazon (this rim may be a closeout since I don't see it on the Sun site). Make sure you order one rim with 36 holes and the other with 32 holes, and make sure their double eyelets for better spoke pull out strength. And make sure you get the right color too. I just mentioned those rims as alternatives, the other rims mentioned are fine too, but for the least expensive rim the Sun would be the best option.
 

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I think 36 on the rear is great, but I would go no less than 32 on the front not 28.
I gotta agree with Froze on this. Main reason being that I'm a big fan of 32 spokes, Shux, I've got my share of 36's too.

But the real reason is that if your going to worry the rear into 36 spokes, what's the point of 28 in the front. 3x 36R/32F is gonna be one solid set of comfortable wheels and those xtra 4 spokes and nipples ain't gonna make no big weight difference.

I'm weighing in at 185lbs and sporting 3x 32s front and rear with no issues but if you're gonna worry 4 spokes, I think that 32R/32F is a better choice than 36R/28F. But that's just me.
 
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