Author Topic: Lightweight Wheels  (Read 6582 times)

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Lightweight Wheels
« on: November 09, 2016, 04:20:44 pm »
I know we've probably done this before but, for the 5th or 6th time this year, a customer has brought a bike in for service with the rear wheel rim cracked around the spoke holes.

'It just needs truing'.
'Er, no. It needs mending with a new one!'

So here is a heartfelt plea, to those of you who care, to look a little further than the given wheel weight on the advert, the spoke count and the flash graphics.

If you're six foot five and the wrong side of 100kg then LOTS of spokes is better than not enough, eyelets are generally better than none and there's no real point in having a hissy fit* when you ignore that advice and discover that an 800g [maker redacted] rear wheel is not going to survive a Winter on British roads. The cost just goes up.

This has been Yet Another Blindingly Obvious Public Information message.

*Especially if that hissy fit is directed at me. I didn't sell you the wheels.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 04:54:41 pm »
Yes indeed. A colleague notices the **9000 hubs in my post box and mentioned he had one spare front - after having to replace his buckled factory wheel... Pity they have only 18 straight pull spokes and are, in practice, neither robust nor afforbably repairable.

Also, to get a rear down to 800g, you need a light hub, few spokes and a light and, therefore, thin rim. My rear will weigh around 920g, so sub 800 is a lot of metal to lose.

Mike

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 05:05:30 pm »
Should've woven the phrase 'or whatever' into the OP but you catch my drift . . .
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 11:23:52 pm »
I've recently built a nice pair of traditional, cross-3 Ultegra 32s to replace the factory wheels that came from my road bike, and that kept breaking spokes. I only exceed one of Torslanda's boundaries, but you can guess which.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 05:51:55 am »
If you're six foot five and the wrong side of 100kg then LOTS of spokes is better than not enough, eyelets are generally better than none and there's no real point in having a hissy fit* when you ignore that advice and discover that an 800g [maker redacted] rear wheel is not going to survive a Winter on British roads. The cost just goes up.

That's the magics of Marketing Science! You build a wheel for cheaper by using fewer spokes and a thinner rim, and because it is lighter, you can sell it for more ££ ;D ;D ;D

In order to protect the builder from lawsuits, it is probably stated somewhere in the manual, in tiny letters, that the wheel is not suitable for riders over 80kg, but who reads the manual?

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2016, 09:12:20 am »
 I think the op should be a sticky!

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2016, 10:22:32 am »
As someone who buys a 61cm frame I find it a bit ridiculous that bikes come with the same wheels across the size range.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2016, 11:41:13 am »
I think the op should be a sticky!

OTOH I'm pretty sure you'd be fine on just about any wheels you rode.

And no, my Corima 12 spoke front still hasn't broken or gone out of true, years after I bought it.

Samuel D

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2016, 12:02:56 pm »
Peter White across the pond has an amusing ‘Wheel Rant’ about this here.

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2016, 11:36:17 pm »
Peter White across the pond has an amusing ‘Wheel Rant’ about this here.

Thank you. I've just shared that on my FB bike shop page.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2016, 11:40:07 pm »
I'm a big fan of carrying a few spare spokes on the bike, and between hub and rim is an extremely practical place to mount them...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2016, 11:41:13 pm »
I'm a big fan of carrying a few spare spokes on the bike, and between hub and rim is an extremely practical place to mount them...

Indeed, you can always tighten them up if some of the others fail eh?

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2016, 07:23:19 am »
Peter White across the pond has an amusing ‘Wheel Rant’ about this here.

Thank you. I've just shared that on my FB bike shop page.

Interesting that he calls Open Pros "rims for racing bikes" - I use them on my old winter bike, albeit 36-spoke of course.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2016, 08:31:50 am »
The biggest marginal* gain I can make is to lose a stone or two. Knowing this has an avantage; I can happily ignore highly expensive bike components that might save a few extra grams and spend the money on tea and cake.......


*I might be stretching the meaning of the word marginal

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2016, 08:54:33 am »
Lightweight wheels are great. Racing bikes are great, regardless of whether you race or not. Peter White's views contain some bigotry. Its not his place to tell people what sort of bikes people are entitled to ride. He can advise heavy people to choose equipment that can support their weight, after that it is up to them.


Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2016, 09:40:04 am »
He does say he'll build whatever wheels you want, just that he won't give a lifetime warranty if you make choices contrary to his advice.

Anyway, it's a deliberately opinionated piece.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2016, 09:41:00 am »
Lightweight wheels are great. Racing bikes are great, regardless of whether you race or not. Peter White's views contain some bigotry. Its not his place to tell people what sort of bikes people are entitled to ride. He can advise heavy people to choose equipment that can support their weight, after that it is up to them.

Peter White's views are not 'bigoted'.  He will build any wheel that his customers want him to. However if he thinks the parts are being used outside of their intended range, he will advise against it and he won't offer his usual 'guaranteed for ever' warranty.

 I don't know what else you would expect him to do, unless you think he should just bite his lip when a 250lb gorilla wants to ride on the lightest possible wheels, which will surely break in a short while; this wouldn't be just stupid, it'd be dangerous.

BTW although it is the most obvious thing, isn't just a question of weight, either; it is a question of power and pedalling style too.  I used to race at ~70kg and I used to break stuff. [Having said that I didn't break as much stuff as one of my chums who was the same weight, same power output, less smooth pedalling style.] These days I'm heavier but also less powerful, (sadly..)... however whilst the silver lining is that I break fewer wheels than I used to; now, I seem to break frames instead... ;D

cheers

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2016, 10:16:05 am »
"If you're not racing, what the heck are you doing with a racing bike?" .......is bigotry. Most racing bikes are not used for racing, but nevertheless enjoyed enormously.

He's right to tell people about wheels and to not guarantee them, but after that it is up to the customers to decide how to spend their money.

Hes got a bit of the audax mentality with regards to equipment.




Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2016, 10:39:55 am »
Peter White across the pond has an amusing ‘Wheel Rant’ about this here.

Thank you. I've just shared that on my FB bike shop page.

Interesting that he calls Open Pros "rims for racing bikes" - I use them on my old winter bike, albeit 36-spoke of course.

... and if you go down to the local crit circuit to see how many Open Pros you can spot, it won't be many.  The attitude of "I'm a slow cyclist so I need to buy equipment that makes me even slower" is a curious one.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2016, 10:46:08 am »
"If you're not racing, what the heck are you doing with a racing bike?" .......is bigotry. Most racing bikes are not used for racing, but nevertheless enjoyed enormously....
 

If you walk into a bike shop and mutter about 'wanting to go for a ride on the weekend', or read any one of a number of cycling  magazines, online sources etc you are very likely to be pointed towards something that looks like a racing bike (warts and all) these days. Herd mentality alert!

  I happen to think that Peter White is absolutely correct in simply asking people to question their motivations when they 'choose' to buy such a machine; goodness knows, hardly anyone else will!

I like riding a lightweight machine as much as the next chap/chapess, but I wouldn't have one as my only bike unless I was racing. The sad fact is that most leisure riders/commuters  would be better off with something else other than a 'road bike' and they wouldn't necessarily be any slower etc either...

Quote
He's right to tell people about wheels and to not guarantee them, but after that it is up to the customers to decide how to spend their money.


and that is exactly what happens, so I don't see the problem...?

Quote
Hes got a bit of the audax mentality with regards to equipment.
I'm not sure I know what such a thing is....  also, er, could that statement possibly be....

some form of....

bigotry...?

 :'( ;D

cheers

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2016, 10:51:25 am »
... and if you go down to the local crit circuit to see how many Open Pros you can spot, it won't be many. 

There were many of them when I was racing crits in the late 1980's/ early 90's. Things may have changed since then  :)

The attitude of "I'm a slow cyclist so I need to buy equipment that makes me even slower" is a curious one.

I do not think that if your weight is over 100 kg, a 100g heavier wheel will make you any slower. That's just a 0.1% weight increase. On the other hand, being stuck 100km from home with a broken wheel will make you much, much slower!

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2016, 11:57:13 am »
This predominantly male desire to have better and faster, sharper, bigger has been around for ever.  Why does any commuter need more than a hybrid smart car? Yet some will want a Porsche and some will be the sole occupant of a range rover that can seat a small army!

I agree with the warning regarding longevity of the wheels but riding a bike designed to be fast (even with my low power) is a feeling of joy which I do not get from my steel fixed gear commuter.  I totally accept that my speed is not significantly different but the feelings are very different.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2016, 11:57:22 am »
Quote
I do not think that if your weight is over 100 kg, a 100g heavier wheel will make you any slower. That's just a 0.1% weight increase. On the other hand, being stuck 100km from home with a broken wheel will make you much, much slower!

Maybe not, but as a 95kg rider going from 1800g wheels to 1700g does make difference to feel.  Sure I can go out on the Saturday fast club run with my Surly LHT with mudguards and ill keep up fine and even enjoy being out, but a light carbon bike with light wheels feels SO much more fun and gives a very different enjoyment.

Ive snapped only a handful in the last 10 years, despite also riding DH mtb on rims lighter than what most seem to think are needed for road riding.  Most recent spoke snap was a bladed spoke on a light fulcrum wheel but it was still true enough to ride with the brake engaged and it only snapped as id damaged it getting it tangles with another bike in the garage many months before.  The rims only have a few k left in them anyway.

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2016, 12:20:42 pm »
This predominantly male desire to have better and faster, sharper, bigger has been around for ever.  Why does any commuter need more than a hybrid smart car? Yet some will want a Porsche and some will be the sole occupant of a range rover that can seat a small army!

I agree with the warning regarding longevity of the wheels but riding a bike designed to be fast (even with my low power) is a feeling of joy which I do not get from my steel fixed gear commuter.  I totally accept that my speed is not significantly different but the feelings are very different.

+1.

I love the way racing bikes and even mtb looks, stripped down and going fast standing still.  The fact that I can do justice to neither doesn't come down to it.  And lighter more responsive bikes are more fun even on the commute even though they are not as practical (I am thinking mudguards more than anything else).

On my sample of one, changing the wheels on a kaffenback to something nicer (albeit still 32 spoked) made a world of difference to how the bike felt. If I had to quantify it turned me from thinking this is rubbish, to this is OK.

Re: Lightweight Wheels
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2016, 12:39:26 pm »
Interesting that he calls Open Pros "rims for racing bikes" - I use them on my old winter bike, albeit 36-spoke of course.

Ditto.  In fact I built one last weekend because my sciatica is finally improving but I've put on about 10kg, so now at the 100kg mark :(

Also, I've found 28mm tyre to be fine on Open Pro.