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First of all I have just ordered a new custom wheelset - Velocity Aerohead rims, Dura-Ace hubs, butted spokes (not sure of guage) and brass nipples. These new wheels were a totally unexpected but necessary purchase. Two weeks ago I was just riding along when, pop, i hear the unmistakeble sound of a broken spoke. Sure enough, the culprit was on my rear wheel, so I head home (fortunately I was just 5 miles away). I brought my wheels in to a my LBS which is an incredible boutique shop that specializes in very high-end rides. A day later I get a call from the shop that not only had I broken a spoke but elsewhere on the wheel there was a crack on the rim. I went in to check it out and I see that one of the spokes has pulled through the rim - or actually caused the inside of the rim to pull away from the sides. This is a Mavic Reflex rim that is probably seven years old. I bought my bike used 4 years ago and the person who sold me the bike said that it had been sitting in his basement for a few years.
This LBS offers to sell me a pair of Mavic Cosoms at a decent price as replacements. I ask if they do builds, as I have a perfectly good set of DA hubs. He says no, they don't feel it is worth their time. So I say, let me do some research and I'll get back to you. So I spend several of the next 12 hours on this site and elsewhere online (much to teh chagrin of my wife) and come to the conclusion that I am better off building OP, CX33 or Aerohead wheels, than buying the Cosmos. I call around to several bike shops in my area and finally speak to someone who seems very knowledgable and says they will build me the above wheels at a reasonable price.
So the whole point of this rambling post is, he asks if I want my rear wheel tied and soldered, as I am a big rider (6'2", 250 lbs) he suggests it would make a stonger wheel. I said no, but I still have time to change my mind. What's the benefit of this and is it something I should consider?
 

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Personally, I'm finding that it's almost necessary for me. I'm not your size, but do something to really stress wheels, (I have yet to figure out what that is). I've had a lot of broken spokes lately, but the tied and soldered wheels are holding for me, (knock on wood).

There are different schools of thought with this. Some say yes, some no. It does inhibit the spokes from flexing freely as they are intended. Instead, is spreads the load over two spokes, but I'm sure it changes how the wheel works with regards to flexing, physics, etc. It is supposed to take some of the load off of the hub and it will stiffen the ride a bit.

If you don't generally have wheel problems, I wouldn't worry about it. If you tend to tear wheels apart, then it might be something to consider. Just my thoughts.
 

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The myth of tying and soldering

There is a lot of myth and folklore in bicycle technology, and wheel building has more than its share. The idea that tying and soldering the spokes somehow makes the wheel stronger, stiffer, or more durable has largely been relagated to that category. There has been practical demonstration that tied and soldered wheels are better, and all the theories about tying and soldering have fallen apart under examination.
 

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Uprwstsdr said:
I ask if they do builds, as I have a perfectly good set of DA hubs. He says no, they don't feel it is worth their time
Do I understand correctly that this "boutique" shop doesn't build wheels? I've never heard of such a thing. I'd firebomb the place immediately to make room for a real shop. They have insurance, so let them start over in the scrapbooking biz.
 

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Mark - I've read a lot of this as well. However, in my situation, they seem to be the only thing that will hold up for me in the past months. I'm guessing others have found this not to be the case. However, with regards to the many posts and readings, I can't imagine it doesn't make any difference at all, as that makes no sense.

Anyway, not trying to start anything, just report my experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
True, they do not build wheels. But they do carry sweet frames - Look, Colnago, Cervelo, Orbea, Serotta, Felt.
 

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one_speed said:
I can't imagine it doesn't make any difference at all, as that makes no sense.
It doesn't make any sense to me that it could make any difference. I've looked at all the ways that tying and soldering *might* make a difference... and there is only one... it keeps a broken spoke from flopping around.

I just walked over to my bike and flexed the spokes where they cross... every pair is stuck together and gives a "ping" when I force them apart. I never hear that noise when I'm riding, so they must be stuck together all the time... just as if they were tied together!

Even if they weren't stuck together it wouldn't matter... *all* of the spokes are sharing the load anyway... tying does nothing for you. If your tied wheels are working well for you, then you must have gotten a good build... that is what makes the difference... *that* is very impotant!
 

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When you load a wheel, yes the whole wheel plays a part. But, most of the load is on a very few spokes. When tied, each spoke shares it's load. It also shortens the flex area. Good or bad, this seems to work.

Remember, when you are really putting huge pressure on your cranks when sprinting or climbing a really steep hill, you are putting much more pressure on your spokes than you are when you squeeze them with your hand. Plus, you have the pressure of the hub trying to turn forward, and the rim taking in the resistance of the ground, combined with rider and bike weight on the whole assembly. That in tandem with the job of the spokes in general, it makes logical sense to me that it would have an impact. To what degree, I'm not sure.

My build is decent, but I had broken spokes on the same wheel built by the same builder before it was rebuilt, tied and soldered. Many variables, but all I know is it seems to work for me. Of five wheels, factory and hand built, this is the only one holding thus far.
 

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one_speed said:
My build is decent, but I had broken spokes on the same wheel built by the same builder before it was rebuilt, tied and soldered.
So he built you another bad wheel and salvaged it by tie and solder? I guess if it was no charge that's nice but it's still a crutch for a poorly built wheel, and if the components were properly selected and the build is good it's worthless.
 

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one_speed said:
When you load a wheel, yes the whole wheel plays a part. But, most of the load is on a very few spokes. When tied, each spoke shares it's load. It also shortens the flex area.
Torqueing loads are evenly distributed among the crossed spokes on each side of the wheel. The trailing spokes tighten slightly and leading spokes loosen slightly. Radial loading has little effect except to *loosen* spokes that are at the ground... non of the spokes will tighten appreciably.

Like I showed, there is no "flex area" to be concerned about... my untied spokes stick together on their own. There is no "load sharing" compared to untied spokes... not even a little bit.
 

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Different reasons

6was9 said:
For Paris-Roubaix, pro teams usually use low profile, high spoke count tubular wheels and yes the spokes are tied and soldered. However, the main reason for doing so is that if a spoke breaks during the race the wheel can survive without the broken spoke getting caught up and causing damage or an accident. Mechanicals and punctures often shape the race, and in the finale there is no good time to get a wheel change so tied and soldered is more for insurance than structure.
 

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Seems you know everything. First, the builder is a good friend of mine who has built countless wheels and I have the upmost confidence in him. The particular wheel is question is built with high quality hubs, spokes, nipples and rim. Also, the proper spoke prep was used. I have no question it was well built, with or without the ties.

Before you ramble on with more nonsense, please check out this thread. It gives a little background...

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=56889
 

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Spunout said:
Hmm. Neither do you/or your builder?
Not sure I follow. Neither do we what?

Before you make assumptions, please read the above noted thread as it gives detail on where I'm coming from with this.
 

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one_speed said:
Not sure I follow. Neither do we what?

Before you make assumptions, please read the above noted thread as it gives detail on where I'm coming from with this.
Read the other thread; however the other thread adds nothing to the 'tie and solder' issue. As others have already pointed out, all that a tie and solder job does is keep broken spokes from floppin' around. Tie and solder does not help load distribution in the spokes. If you want to claim that it does, then you'll have to show empirically how that is.

Maybe you need to use wheels w/ more spokes. Maybe there is something about the way you ride/pedal. Or maybe you've had an unusually long streak of bad luck with wheels.
 

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Or I can just claim it works for me and everyone can accept that. I'm not here for a pissing contest or to validate my every move.
 

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one_speed said:
Or I can just claim it works for me and everyone can accept that. I'm not here for a pissing contest or to validate my every move.
Well, claim all you want, but there is no scientific or engineering basis for your claim. Some people still claim the world is flat, too. If you can't accept that there is something else going on with your wheels, then that's your problem. But just because you've bought into an old wheel building myth which has been proven to be a fallacy, don't expect everyone else to stick their heads in the sand, too. You've steadfastly refused to believe anyone that tells you the truth re: tie and soldering, so I really don't know what the point of you coming here is.
 
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