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Wheel issues / Rider Weight?

Hi All

So my Trek Emonda SL 5 had its stock wheels upgraded to some Fulcrum Racing DB 4 , these are 24 spoke front/back and have a rider weight limit of 109kg

I weight around 94 kg (aiming to get to under 90 but that is another story) so not at the weight limit but still quite hefty. My bike has a total system weight limit of 275lb (124kg) so again I am under (me + bike + water bottle = 104.5kg)

Problem is that my rear wheel is pretty badly out of true and its already been straightened up previously, Seems that every 2-3 months I have to get the rear wheel re-done. This costs me £25 a time. I am running as wide a tyres as I can fit (Conti 4 Seasons 28mm), Looks like a spoke as broke off at the nipple too as it just spins freely.

I know I could have a go at doing it myself but I simply do not have the time/skill/equipment (pick any) to do the job properly. I don't have a wheel true stand and wheel building/truing is a something I just cannot do well. I am fine with most mechanical jobs but wheels are my nemesis!

Anyway I am wondering if the relatively low spoke count could be to blame? The wheels are 1680g total which for a 35mm deep alu clincher DB wheelset is seemingly quite light so maybe they are just a bit weak for the load being carried?

24 spokes is not super low but a disc equipped year round bike with 94 kg of rider maybe a bit too much?

Question is would I be better off getting something a bit more beefy such as a gravel specific wheelset or something with 32 spokes?


  • I'd definitely be looking at wheels with a higher spoke count, at least 28 each wheel if not 32.

    Get in touch with a wheelbuilder such as Cycle Clinic or DCR Wheels who will be able to advise you on a suitable build.
  • Yes, probably, although it might just be a case of low spoke tension.

    Weight limit is kind of a liability thing and it's pretty much the same for all bikes and all wheels, but that doesn't mean that all bikes and all wheels are born equal.
    left the forum March 2023
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    Ok tempted by SuperStar Components they can build up some 32 spoke DB wheels on Mavic Open Pro rims for around £350 all in. My understanding is that Open Pro rims are basically the 'go to' for reliable wheels
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    edited September 2020
    Or I take a gamble on the Merlin GDA-1 currently just £140 on Shimano RS470 hubs and 32mm deep rims with 32 spokes in stadard 2 cross pattern. I doubt I will really notice the 400g weight penalty over the Fulcrum's and Shimano Hubs are easy to service. Very tempted!

    Not tubeless but never planning on going tubeless on road bike anyway
  • I wouldn't touch anything built by Superstar Components with a barge pole, but I think the matter has been done to death a few years ago...

    More to the point, talk to a builder like Cycleclinic, or Moonglu or one of the many others, you might get a similar price for something built properly
    left the forum March 2023
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    I will give them a gander
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,488
    There are stronger rims out there than the Open Pros.

    As suggested, email a wheelbuilder or two.

    Spokesman, DCR, Cycle Clinic all recommended.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,741
    Go with mrb123/joe,s suggestion. Personally I'd go with handbuilts from Malcolm at cyclinic or one of the others. Wouldn't go near superstar. Have some cycleclinic Borgs myself for daily commute and there faultless.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Maybe to put your mind at rest a wee bit here on two fronts:

    1. I'm a 100kg+ rider and made short work of the stock wheels on a Giant Defy, replaced them with a set of Mavic Ksyriums and they were ready for the bin by 7000km (rims worn and spokes breaking).
    2. I then got Big Al Wheelcraft to build be Archetypes on Hope Pro4 with 36 spokes front and back (overkill possibly) which have not been out of straight in 20,000km+. If I was buying the same wheels now, I'd go 32/32 (or maybe 28/32).

    In summary, its not unusual for big guys to wreck stock wheels nut there are definitely good options on handbuilds out there which will last well.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    Give Rohan Dubash (Doctor D) a call.

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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