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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for advice on a new set of wheels. Here is a little background:

Current:
Bike: 64cm 2008 Specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra Build.
Rear Wheel: Dura Ace 7800 Mavic Open Pro 36 Hole Rear Wheel Black bought off Ebay for $133 on 7/2/09, I have broken two spokes on this wheel.

Front Wheel: Stock Ultegra 16 spoke rims on Ultegra Hub, when standing up and putting weigh on the bars I hear creaking from the front wheel that doesnt seem to go away.


I am 6'6" and 235lbs currently but I have been up to 260lbs in the last year. I like to mash and dont spin enough. I am trying to mash less. When I stand up I put a lot of torque on the rear wheel.


I live in San Francisco and have been averaging about 80 miles a week since I have gotten back into road riding.

I have talked to many bike shops in SF and this is what I have come up with:

Choice 1:
Hubs: Black White Industries T11
Wheels: 32H HED Belgiums
Spokes: DT Swiss 14/15 with brass nipples.

Choice 2:
Hubs: Black Chris King R45
Wheels: 32H Mavic Open Pro
Spokes: DT Swiss 14/15 with brass nipples.

Choice 3:
Hubs: Black White Industries T11
Wheels: 32H DT RR585 or RR465
Spokes: DT Swiss 14/15 with brass nipples.

What do the experts on here think of my choices? Is there another brand hub or rim I should be considering? I am looking for something durable, and would like to spend sub 1k.
 

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Anphaque II
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Thanks! It is my top choice.
What are the chances of you dropping to 200lb or maybe 190lbs?

Unless, of course, you're very fit with bodybuilding muscles at 235lb.


If you're at the weight you want to be I would suggest a 36H for the rear wheel set up.

The reason why I suggest that is because I've been hovering between 224lbs and 245lbs for the last 3 years (Down from a starting weight loss of 265lbs) and I ride on 32H front and 36H rear. I'm 6'-1" and want to drop to at least 200lbs, maybe 190lbs. When I get down to 190lbs I'll find a reason to build a 28H front and 32 rear wheelset.

If money was no object I'd get a set of Mad Fiber tubular wheelset: 1085g and no weight limit :D !
 

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You are a big person, a masher and you stand up when climbing. Basically you got all the ingredients that if not effectivelly adressed could potentially cause wheel rubbing, low tension ratio and other compromises which result in a less durable wheel when a rider fits your description and riding style.

Hubs: I believe the T11 geometry may be rather ineffective addressing the above as it has been compromised for the sake of 11 speeds. A pre-2013 R45 offers wider flanges and will be a better choice if you can find one. Alchemy is also coming out with a new hub that is supposed to address the flange width/bracing angle issue. Ergott or Fairwheel should know the latest on that.

Rims: The HED C2 and the Pacenti SL23 are great choices on the wider rims, very suitable for 25 or 28mm tires which I think you need to be using. The 585 is a narrower but heavier rim; it will do the job but I think you will be better off with either of the previous two because they will allow for greater effective tire width. The 465 or the Open Pro are not right choices for you being on the lighter side.

Spokes/nipples: Double butted 14/15 spokes and brass nipples are the way to go.

Another way to look at the hubs is not to consider the 10/11 speed but only the 10 speed. A very inexpensive choice is the Ultegra 6700; at 500gr is not considered "cool" anymore but, function wise, is a top performing hub and I don't believe the extra 150 or so grams will make much of a difference on your speed. A wheelset with these hubs and either of the wide rims will put you in the $500-$600 range.
 

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Anphaque II
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You are a big person, a masher and you stand up when climbing. Basically you got all the ingredients that if not effectivelly adressed could potentially cause wheel rubbing, low tension ratio and other compromises which result in a less durable wheel when a rider fits your description and riding style.

Hubs: I believe the T11 geometry may be rather ineffective addressing the above as it has been compromised for the sake of 11 speeds. A pre-2013 R45 offers wider flanges and will be a better choice if you can find one. Alchemy is also coming out with a new hub that is supposed to address the flange width/bracing angle issue. Ergott or Fairwheel should know the latest on that.

Rims: The HED C2 and the Pacenti SL23 are great choices on the wider rims, very suitable for 25 or 28mm tires which I think you need to be using. The 585 is a narrower but heavier rim; it will do the job but I think you will be better off with either of the previous two because they will allow for greater effective tire width. The 465 or the Open Pro are not right choices for you being on the lighter side.

Spokes/nipples: Double butted 14/15 spokes and brass nipples are the way to go.

Another way to look at the hubs is not to consider the 10/11 speed but only the 10 speed. A very inexpensive choice is the Ultegra 6700; at 500gr is not considered "cool" anymore but, function wise, is a top performing hub and I don't believe the extra 150 or so grams will make much of a difference on your speed. A wheelset with these hubs and either of the wide rims will put you in the $500-$600 range.
You bring up a good point about hub flanges and 11speed.


Just to clarify: When you say "wider flanges", do you mean taller flanges or wider/thicker flanges?

Would a taller flange like on a track hub be a good remedy for those that want 11 speed?


For commuting, touring, and non-group rides; I'm looking to build something like a 36H front and a 40H rear set up just for bomb-proofness. That way if I decide to hop a curb, hit a pothole, do a loaded tour etc; I'll have a strong wheelset that can handle it and that's also at or under 1800g.
 

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You bring up a good point about hub flanges and 11speed.


Just to clarify: When you say "wider flanges", do you mean taller flanges or wider/thicker flanges?

Would a taller flange like on a track hub be a good remedy for those that want 11 speed?


For commuting, touring, and non-group rides; I'm looking to build something like a 36H front and a 40H rear set up just for bomb-proofness. That way if I decide to hop a curb, hit a pothole, do a loaded tour etc; I'll have a strong wheelset that can handle it and that's also at or under 1800g.
"Wider flanges" refers to the DS and NDS flange offset from the hub centerline.

A taller flange (larger diameter) will increase the spoke bracing angle if the flange offset is wide enough. Increasing the bracing angle helps the lateral stiffness and strength of the wheel but only up to the point when the lower NDS tension causes the spokes to go slack. Like everything else about "wheel building" it's a balancing act and a quest for the least amount of compromises unique to each rider because of the variables present.

You did not say your weight but unless you are very heavy and plan to do considerably loaded touring, I don't believe you need 40 spokes. The 36/40 set you are referring to will be considerably heavier than 1800gr if the rim is correctly selected to complement the strength of the spokes. I would suggest balancing the rim stiffness and the spoke stiffness for optimum synergy between the two. Using wider tires on a wide rim should help you more with potholes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What are the chances of you dropping to 200lb or maybe 190lbs?

Unless, of course, you're very fit with bodybuilding muscles at 235lb.


If you're at the weight you want to be I would suggest a 36H for the rear wheel set up.

The reason why I suggest that is because I've been hovering between 224lbs and 245lbs for the last 3 years (Down from a starting weight loss of 265lbs) and I ride on 32H front and 36H rear. I'm 6'-1" and want to drop to at least 200lbs, maybe 190lbs. When I get down to 190lbs I'll find a reason to build a 28H front and 32 rear wheelset.

If money was no object I'd get a set of Mad Fiber tubular wheelset: 1085g and no weight limit :D !

I can see going down to 225 or 215, but I dont know how I could get to 200 or 190. It sounds almost unfathomable
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are a big person, a masher and you stand up when climbing. Basically you got all the ingredients that if not effectivelly adressed could potentially cause wheel rubbing, low tension ratio and other compromises which result in a less durable wheel when a rider fits your description and riding style.

Hubs: I believe the T11 geometry may be rather ineffective addressing the above as it has been compromised for the sake of 11 speeds. A pre-2013 R45 offers wider flanges and will be a better choice if you can find one. Alchemy is also coming out with a new hub that is supposed to address the flange width/bracing angle issue. Ergott or Fairwheel should know the latest on that.

Rims: The HED C2 and the Pacenti SL23 are great choices on the wider rims, very suitable for 25 or 28mm tires which I think you need to be using. The 585 is a narrower but heavier rim; it will do the job but I think you will be better off with either of the previous two because they will allow for greater effective tire width. The 465 or the Open Pro are not right choices for you being on the lighter side.

Spokes/nipples: Double butted 14/15 spokes and brass nipples are the way to go.

Another way to look at the hubs is not to consider the 10/11 speed but only the 10 speed. A very inexpensive choice is the Ultegra 6700; at 500gr is not considered "cool" anymore but, function wise, is a top performing hub and I don't believe the extra 150 or so grams will make much of a difference on your speed. A wheelset with these hubs and either of the wide rims will put you in the $500-$600 range.
thanks for the excellent response! I think the HED Belgium C2 is the rim the LBS recommended. I will have to ask about the availablility of getting a pre-2013 R45 or Ultegra 6700.

Do you think a 36H rear is necessary?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This isn't the lightest weight suggestion, but I would go with your Choice 1, but with Velocity Synergy rims instead of HED Belgium rims. Those will be a really nice and strong set of wheels. You can also go with Ultegra hubs to further reduce the cost.
thanks, I am not really focused on cost, but more on what will be the best for a big rider like myself. I would like to get something that lasts and I dont have to worry about breaking spokes anymore. Something that will give me some confidence climbing and braking heavily going downhill...
 

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Do you think a 36H rear is necessary?
I dont think so if you use the HED rim and I am speaking out of personal experience as I am about your size. I think the reason you have been breaking spokes with the Open Pro is because the rim is too light for your weight specially when you were 260lbs. Anyway, neither the HED nor the Pacenti (at the moment) is offered with 36h.
One of my sets is on HED C2 rims with pre-2013 CK R45 hubs, 32h 3x both sides rear and 28h 2x front with triple butted spokes (2.18/1.8/2.0) and brass nipples. Several thousand miles already and counting; no problems but I was anal in stress relief and equal tension when I was building them. I also tensioned them a bit higher at 125-130kgf (at least on my Park meter). Also other than rocking the bike I tend to be soft on the wheels and lift my weight if I cant miss a pothole. Bottom line is I trust this set to do brevets with.
 

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Anphaque II
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I can see going down to 225 or 215, but I dont know how I could get to 200 or 190. It sounds almost unfathomable
My BIL is 6'-6".

When we were in our 20's to mid 30's he maintained 190lbs to 205lbs. His sport was basketball while mine was/is MTB'ing.

I weighed about 220lbs of solid muscle with a med. layer of fat during the same time period. But since I stopped lifting weights after I got married ('96) I've lost said muscle mass and the fat layer has increased :cryin: . So I can see me dropping back down to pre-weightlifting days of 190lbs.

It wasn't until I started riding on the road 3 years ago that I discovered weighing less greatly benefits ones cycling performance/efficiency. So that's one of my many motivations for dropping weight.
 

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Anphaque II
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"Wider flanges" refers to the DS and NDS flange offset from the hub centerline.

A taller flange (larger diameter) will increase the spoke bracing angle if the flange offset is wide enough. Increasing the bracing angle helps the lateral stiffness and strength of the wheel but only up to the point when the lower NDS tension causes the spokes to go slack. Like everything else about "wheel building" it's a balancing act and a quest for the least amount of compromises unique to each rider because of the variables present.

You did not say your weight but unless you are very heavy and plan to do considerably loaded touring, I don't believe you need 40 spokes. The 36/40 set you are referring to will be considerably heavier than 1800gr if the rim is correctly selected to complement the strength of the spokes. I would suggest balancing the rim stiffness and the spoke stiffness for optimum synergy between the two. Using wider tires on a wide rim should help you more with potholes.
Here's one of my possible options for a wheelset:

1) Velocity 'Major Tom' rims. 440g X 2
2) Sapim CX Ray spokes..... 4.25g X 76
3) DT Swiss brass nipples....1.18g X 76
4) White Ind. MI5 Rear hub. 265g
5) White Ind. MI5 Fr hub.... 115g

Total weight=1672.68g
 

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Anphaque II
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Is 36H or 40H really necessary? From what I have read and the bike shops I have talked to a properly build 32H should be fine for me...
If you only plan to ride with no packs or panniers and just what you can get into your rear pockets, then 32H in the rear is fine.


But if the bike is a duel purpose bike, more than just club rides or solo rides, then 36H in the rear might be more appropriate.

That bike you linked in your OP looks like a single purpose bike, like club rides.


One of the frames my might want to build is a steel 'sport-touring' frame. A kind-of race geometry frame with eyelets to attach a rear rack. I want to ride centuries and double centuries so I want a semi race/semi touring frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you only plan to ride with no packs or panniers and just what you can get into your rear pockets, then 32H in the rear is fine.


But if the bike is a duel purpose bike, more than just club rides or solo rides, then 36H in the rear might be more appropriate.

That bike you linked in your OP looks like a single purpose bike, like club rides.


One of the frames my might want to build is a steel 'sport-touring' frame. A kind-of race geometry frame with eyelets to attach a rear rack. I want to ride centuries and double centuries so I want a semi race/semi touring frame.
I do commute on it occasionally, but with only a backpack on my back.

I have this in a massive 23" aluminum frame for most of my commuting, getting around town, and light mountain biking. At some point I think I am going to get a rear rack for it. I kind of wish it was a steel framer....
 

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Anphaque II
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I do commute on it occasionally, but with only a backpack on my back.

I have this in a massive 23" aluminum frame for most of my commuting, getting around town, and light mountain biking. At some point I think I am going to get a rear rack for it. I kind of wish it was a steel framer....

I took my wife's C'dale F500 and made it into a rigid-fork 69'er that I use as a commuter. The rear wheel is a 36H 26'er rim and the front is a 32H 29'er rim. The fork is a Salsa Fargo 29'er, disc, rigid fork.
 
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