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26" wheelset, 32 or 36 spokes?

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    26" wheelset, 32 or 36 spokes?

    I'm planning a new wheelset build for my Montague Paratrooper and thought I'd try to get some answers from the knowledgeable folks here. For the rear wheel, I'm wanting to build up an Alfine 8, it comes in 32 or 36 from what I can gather, as do most of the rims I'm looking at.

    1. Does 32 or 36 spokes matter all that much for an electric bike? I'd just assume go 32 unless 36 is going to make it significantly stronger.
    2. The one thing I haven't narrowed down is a front hub. I'd like it to be compatible for QR as I take the front wheel off every time I fold it up. I don't need the best, but I want something that's strong and a good value. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help!

    #2
    For a rear wheel, especially electric assist, I'd go with 36. A common believe is that, with 36 spokes, the wheel will better tolerate a single spoke failure. As in, if you carry a spoke wrench, you'll be able to pull the rim into a stable position and get home with a 36 spoke wheel.

    Before I rebuilt my 36 spoke factory wheel with quality spokes, I was suffering spoke failures fairly consistently (crappy & brittle spokes), but the wheel never failed (as in, potato-chip). In some cases I didn't even know a spoke had failed until cleaning the bike.
    BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

    Comment


    • theronchaplin
      theronchaplin commented
      Editing a comment
      That makes sense. Thanks for your advice!

    #3
    Originally posted by theronchaplin View Post
    I'm planning a new wheelset build for my Montague Paratrooper and thought I'd try to get some answers from the knowledgeable folks here. For the rear wheel, I'm wanting to build up an Alfine 8, it comes in 32 or 36 from what I can gather, as do most of the rims I'm looking at.

    1. Does 32 or 36 spokes matter all that much for an electric bike? I'd just assume go 32 unless 36 is going to make it significantly stronger.
    2. The one thing I haven't narrowed down is a front hub. I'd like it to be compatible for QR as I take the front wheel off every time I fold it up. I don't need the best, but I want something that's strong and a good value. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your help!
    I pulled this from a Sheldon Brown article.
    How Many Spokes?

    Up until the early 1980s, virtually all adult bikes had 72 spokes.
    32 front/40 rear was the standard for British bikes, 36 front and rear for other countries. The exception was super-fancy special-purpose racing wheels, which might have 32 spokes front and rear.

    The Great Spoke Scam: In the early '80s a clever marketeer hit upon the idea of using only 32 spokes in wheels for production bikes. Because of the association of 32-spoke wheels with exotic, high-performance bikes, the manufacturers were able to cut corners and save money while presenting it as an "upgrade!" The resulting wheels were noticeably weaker than comparable 36-spoke wheels, but held up well enough for most customers.

    Since then, this practice has been carried to an extreme, with 28-, 24-, even 16-spoke wheels being offered, and presented as it they were somehow an "upgrade."

    Actually, such wheels normally are not an upgrade in practice. When the spokes are farther apart on the rim, it is necessary to use a heavier rim to compensate, so there isn't usually even a weight benefit from these newer wheels!

    This type of wheel requires unusually high spoke tension, since the load is carried by fewer spokes. If a spoke does break, the wheel generally becomes instantly unridable. The hub may break too; see John Allen's article.

    If you want highest performance, it is generally best to have more spokes in the rear wheel than the front. For instance, 28/36 is better than 32/32. People very rarely have trouble with front wheels:
    • Front wheels are symmetrically dished (except with disc brakes).
    • Front wheels carry less weight.
    • Front wheels don't have to deal with torsional loads (unless there's a hub brake).
    If you have the same number of spokes front and rear, either the front wheel is heavier than it needs to be, or the rear wheel is weaker than it should be."


    I have been using 36 spokes in the rear on all of my bikes. If the front has 32 I am ok with that. Going the 36 hole route can be hard because there are not as many part options. I managed to buy 3 Alec DX32 36 hole rims. I like these because they can be used with rim brakes and you never know where you may want to swap a wheel to. I couldn't find any tonight but I only searched for 5 or 10 minutes. I did find a Sun Ringle that I will suggest on a friend's experiences with heavy hub motor builds. http://www.niagaracycle.com/categori...h-presta-black

    I am fond of Sapim Strong spokes. I used this seller just a week or so ago and I think I will switch to him now. http://www.ebay.com/itm/SAPIM-STRONG...BnCr91rr365XyQ

    I have been getting a lot of stuff from Universal Cycles and they have free shipping on orders over $150 http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...80&category=80

    I hope this didn't come off like me telling you what to do...………….calfee

    Comment


    • theronchaplin
      theronchaplin commented
      Editing a comment
      Awesome, thanks for your help! And +1 for Yojimbo, I used him for spokes on the wheels I built up last year for the Townie... I'll definitely be using him again. I agree with Sapim Strong too, I find those to be the best of both worlds.

      No worries, you didn't come off like you're telling me what to do LOL. All good!

    • commuter ebikes
      commuter ebikes commented
      Editing a comment
      I think that 32 spokes became the industry standard because 32 spokes are plenty strong for most applications and the weight savings are appreciable because you are reducing the weight of the reciprocating mass which affords the most benefits.

    #4
    As far as front hubs go, this one seems to be a good value:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007A8LHRK..._it&th=1&psc=1

    It's a QR, disc capable, good reviews and budget friendly. Unless I hear something bad about it, this is probably the one I'll get.

    Comment


      #5
      Why not stick with the Paratrooper hub? On my Paratrooper Pro I could see maybe a wider rim but for a front wheel I have left mine alone.

      Comment


      • theronchaplin
        theronchaplin commented
        Editing a comment
        It'll be second wheelset, I'll keep the originals in case I ever (highly doubtful LOL) go off road.

      #6
      What are you going to do about the rear rack? When you install the Alfine the stock rack won't fit. Montague makes an Alston which is belt drive with an 11spd Alfine and if you could get the appropriate parts from them you would be in business. I sent them an email about it and of course I didn't get an answer. I was going to make some long axle nuts and turn some custom spacers on my lathe to make it fit but I have been using that Rack I have for Slimline batteries so I can carry an extra battery.

      With the two batteries I have a minimum of a 70 mile range.

      Comment


      • calfee20
        calfee20 commented
        Editing a comment
        I haven't been able to run the front fender. I can't seem to keep it tight.

      • theronchaplin
        theronchaplin commented
        Editing a comment
        I had the same issue and contacted Montague. There is a new front fender available that supposedly fixes that issue, it has a thumbscrew for tightening. I just emailed them and sent pictures of the stock one so they could verify I had the "bad" one. I had the new one shipped no charge to me within a couple weeks. I'd love to tell you how awesome it works, but I haven't put it on yet LOL.

      • calfee20
        calfee20 commented
        Editing a comment
        How about a photo of the new thumb screw.

      #7
      Another way to lace a cross 3 wheel. The spoke lengths and the strength are the same. I tried this on and old wheel and the pattern didn't pop enough for me to do one. The most interesting part is near the hub and a rotor would cover most of that up.

      Click image for larger version

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      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


      • calfee20
        calfee20 commented
        Editing a comment
        You know I might agree with you for a motor driven rear wheel but for a front wheel. The components are all the same. I think I am going to try one on a front wheel. Stay tuned!

      • ncmired
        ncmired commented
        Editing a comment
        It'll be an interesting looking front wheel, and since spokes rarely break in front wheels the partial disassembly required to fix spokes on this pattern is a minor deal.

        The one in the photo is not built correctly, one rim hole off (maybe more, if the rim has offset holes).
        Last edited by ncmired; 06-05-2018, 02:27 PM.

      • calfee20
        calfee20 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah the valve stem is off. I have new spokes on the way so maybe two weeks.

      #8
      Originally posted by theronchaplin View Post
      I'm planning a new wheelset build for my Montague Paratrooper and thought I'd try to get some answers from the knowledgeable folks here. For the rear wheel, I'm wanting to build up an Alfine 8, it comes in 32 or 36 from what I can gather, as do most of the rims I'm looking at.

      1. Does 32 or 36 spokes matter all that much for an electric bike? I'd just assume go 32 unless 36 is going to make it significantly stronger.
      2. The one thing I haven't narrowed down is a front hub. I'd like it to be compatible for QR as I take the front wheel off every time I fold it up. I don't need the best, but I want something that's strong and a good value. Any suggestions?

      Thanks for your help!
      32 spokes are good for saving weight. 36 spokes are good for added strength (e.g. a cargo bike application).

      A lot of people's decisions regarding 32h or 36h lie in the availability of hubs that meet their criteria. If you are open to choosing both the hub and rim that you want and having the wheel built, you will get more options.

      I think that 36 spokes are plenty light and 32 spokes are plenty strong.

      I would (and do) choose 36 spokes for a cargo bike that takes a beating.
      Last edited by commuter ebikes; 06-02-2018, 06:08 PM.

      Comment


        #9
        Stop the madness:
        Click image for larger version

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        BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

        Comment


        #10
        For calfee20

        Front fender thumbscrew pics
        Click image for larger version

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        Attached Files

        Comment


        • calfee20
          calfee20 commented
          Editing a comment
          That looks like mine. I hope it works for you.

        • theronchaplin
          theronchaplin commented
          Editing a comment
          That's a bummer. You're the first one I've heard with a problem... I've read 2 or 3 other reports that this part fixed it for them.

        • calfee20
          calfee20 commented
          Editing a comment
          I will look again and pay attention to the thumb screw diameter.
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