Self-appointed experts and liars will tell you that 32 spokes are enough for touring. Unless you are an elf on a credit card tour, 32 spokes are not enough, especially on the rear wheel.
Shimano has ceased production of non-disc 36 hole Deore XT hubs that were popular for touring. Good luck finding another inexpensive 36 hole hub fit for touring. You could use an (inferior) plain Deore 36 hole hub, if you could find one. You could use an XT hub designed for disc brakes but the flange distance on disc hubs is not optimal for wheel strength and disc hubs are heavier. Bike shops don't stock the 36 hole versions anyway. Disc brakes are for mountain bikes and mountain bikers don't use 36 spoke wheels.
Rare Mavic A719 36 hole 700C touring rim.
Photo taken by my Panasonic LX-3 camera on top of my red tool cabinet.
|Forum pic: Re: Mavic A719 Rims for 700c by David Cambon on Sun 9 Sep 2012 13:53 (US/Pacific)|
I scoured the globe in search of old-stock 36 hole XT non-disc hubs and I came up with nothing. Determined not to let the forces of bike industry mediocrity defeat cycletourists, I went to the King of Bike Bling Chris King for the Most Expensive Cycletouring Hub On Earth. The Chris King hub is seven times the cost of an XT hub but the Chris King hub has 36 holes and it is not compromised by being designed for disc brakes.
Product#: HBCR36B1BS Chris King Classic 36 hole rear hub, steel drive shell, 130mm axle retrofitted with a 135mm (interchangeable) Chris King axle.
Photo taken outdoors in bright sunlight by my Panasonic LX-3 camera in JPEG HDR on a piece of drawer liner from my tool cabinet. The hub is actually black. The blue colour is from the sky. I used ultra-garish HDR (Photomatix) to show detail, otherwise the hub would look like a black blob.
I already own Phil Wood hubs and they are occupied in touring wheels. I have not tried the White Industries 36 hole 135mm hub or the Velo Orange Grand Cru 36 hole 135mm hub.
My touring wheel shopping experience left my bicycling soul crushed by the overbearing weight of the lowest common denominator of bike purchaser that the corporate bike industry caters to with their cynical and less-than-functional products that appeal to people who don't use bikes for transportation. I had to search far and wide to find a 36 hole Mavic A719 touring rim. Obtaining the King of Bling 36 hole hub was a major ordeal. Bike shops don't carry it and it had to specially imported at a cost of almost $500 landed in Canada. I could not find a bike shop with the right size spokes and the spokes had to be specially ordered. Bike shops don't seem to carry spokes now that there are semi-adequate pre-built wheels available. The process of obtaining the 36 spoke wheel parts is taking weeks and weeks and is a colossal waste of time. I am still waiting for the spokes to arrive from the Canadian distributor. Who knows, they may never show up, so I am publishing this forum post before the wheels are built!
I use DT Competition double-butted spokes (2.0mm at the ends and 1.8mm in the middle, also known as 14/15/14 gauge). Calculations indicate the spokes on this (3-cross) wheel should be 288mm long on the drive side and 290mm long on the non-drive side. I could not find anyone who had built a wheel like the one I am building so the spoke length could be wrong and I'll have to start all over again. I use black (anodized) spokes because they don't show dirt. Silver spokes are just as good. I use DT spokes because that is what the bike shops around me carry. Wheelsmith spokes would also be fine. Wheelsmith makes a 2.0mm-1.7mm-2.0mm spoke to compete with the DT Competition spoke. Sapim makes a 2.0mm-1.8mm-2.0mm spoke (called the Race) that has the same dimensions as the DT Competition spoke but the transition zone of the butt on the Sapim is much more abrupt (not tapered like the DT Competition). The Sapim Race and the DT Competition spokes are the same price.
I could have used stronger DT Alpine III spokes because Chris King hubs have 2.5mm holes and Alpine III's are 2.3mm but the Alpine III's are apparently a tight fit and will probably form channels in the hub holes that will require using more Alpine III's on subsequent wheel rebuilds (DT Competitions might be too skinny to take up the space enlarged by the Alpine III's). Alpine III spokes are better for touring. The Alpine III's are triple butted so they are extra-thick in the high-stress area at the elbow (2.3mm at the elbow, 1.8mm in the middle and 2.0mm at the threaded end).
For this wheel I will use standard length (12mm) brass nipples (actually nickel-plated brass). Do not use aluminum (also known as "alloy") nipples on touring wheels.
For the reason I use butted spokes see:
Butted spokes apparently last longer than straight-gauge spokes despite what bike shop racerboy attitude championship winners may say.
Spokes and nipples with 4 spares: Cost unknown so far.
Schwalbe rim tape: I may use Velox cloth rim tape if I can't find the blue Schwalbe plastic rim tape.
Shimano XT skewer: $20
Chris King hub service tool: $170 ( I did not buy it yet - I would like to get the wheel built first!).
My objective is to build a single rear 36 spoke touring wheel for less than the cost of an entire Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike. I will teach the bike industry who is boss!
This 32 spoke wheel did not last as long as the 36 spoke version:
The 700c x 28mm Continental Ultra-Gatorskin tire and Mavic A719 rim I used on this trip. Yes, I know I should not be using 32 spoke wheels for touring, especially with so much weight. I could not get any 36 hole A719 rims or 36 hole hubs in Vancouver when I built this wheel a few days before leaving for Inuvik.
|Image on journal page: Equipment in journal Dempster Highway to the Arctic by David Cambon (Completed Sep 2009)|