The spinner on automobile wheels historically refers to knock-off hub nuts or center caps. They may be the actual, or intended to simulate, the design used on antique vehicles or vintage sports cars. A “spinner wheel” in contemporary usage is a type of hubcap or inner wheel ornament, that spins independently inside of a wheel itself when the vehicle is in motion, and continues to spin once the vehicle has come to a stop.Spinners were popular during the early-2000s within the hip-hop community of the United States. Since the mid-2000s, they are gradually fading out of vogue in popular culture. Custom wheels for lowriders also used naked ladies on wheel covers and these were the first to feature a floating or spinner-type wheel device. A bracket was used to mount to the spindle so while the lady stood still the wheel spun around. Similarly, the Rolls-Royce Phantom has anti-spinners – the “RR” logo in the center of the hub is mounted on a spinner with an offset weight designed to ensure that the logo is always the right way up when the car is parked. Spinners were add on accessory marketed during the 1950s to decorate regular wheel covers for a custom look. Center spinner hubcaps were also available as original equipment from automakers.The modern spinner device is a decorative kinetic attachment to the wheel of an automobile. The spinner covers the center of a car’s wheel and is designed to independently rotate by using one or more roller bearings to isolate the spinner from the wheel, enabling it to turn while the wheel is at rest.
The spinner-type automobile hubcaps were the inspiration for a Detroit-area R&B/soul group, The Domingoes, to rename themselves The Spinners in the late 1950s.
The spinner hubcap was introduced into the commercial vehicle and passenger automobile market in the 1930s. Automotive designer Harley Earl expressed a brash philosophy behind his 1950s automobiles that included “glittering spinner hubcaps.” During the 1950s and 1960s automobile manufacturers offered simulated wire wheel covers for a look of luxury that featured criss-crossing spokes designed to look like the real wire wheels that were used on vehicles in the 1920s and 1930s. These “spinner-wheel covers” were available on standard as well as featured on custom cars, and lowriders quickly adapted them for their own vehicles.Legislative bills were proposed in several US states to ban spinner type wheels and hubcaps that simulate movement even when a vehicle is stopped because they could be disconcerting to other motorists and present a safety hazard.
The spinner or “knock-off” originated with Rudge-Whitworth centerlock wire wheels and hubs, which were first patented in 1908. The spinner was a threaded, winged nut designed to keep the wheel fastened to the hub. They were screwed on and “knocked on tightly” using a hammer, hence the name “knock-offs”. Most setups will feature right-hand threads on the left side of the vehicle, and left-hand threads (rotate clockwise to remove) on the vehicle’s right side so the screw-on spinner would stay tightened as the auto was in forward motion. This style of “knock-off” wheel was common on road cars until the development of the lug nut method attaching the wheel.
The hubometers used on large trucks, buses, and trailers that appear to be stationary while the wheel is turning to accurately measure the actual distance covered. They are actually enclosed and float in a liquid with anti-freeze as to be functional in severe low temperatures without freezing. During the early-1960s, the simulated wire wheel covers returned, but with new look designed to emphasize sportiness with their radiating spokes and center “spinner caps.” These classic center spinner caps feature a rigidly mounted propeller-like center element, usually with two or three projecting “blades.” They were intended to simulate the knock-off hubs that were used on vintage racing vehicles and classic sports cars where a hammer or special wrench was used on the spinner to release or tighten the wheel to the hub. These spinner hubcaps were most often an optional appearance upgrade to the standard equipment hubcaps or full wheel covers that attached to stamped steel wheels. Top trim models sometimes included spinner wheel covers as standard equipment to appeal to youthful customers.Spoked wheels are all but mandatory on off-road bikes — dirt bikes, enduros, scramblers and ADVS — for one simple reason: spoked wheels are more durable than single-piece cast wheels. On the road, while riding around on your street bike, you (hopefully) don’t encounter large rocks or massive ruts — maybe the occasional pothole, but nothing as unrelenting as a backwoods single-track, that’s for sure. Spoked wheels can bend and flex to a certain degree letting you tackle the rougher terrain.
So if single piece alloy wheels were the latest and greatest, and are still the standard for road bikes today, why are manufacturers still using wire-spoked rims? The answer isn’t so cut and dried. Both wheel solutions have their advantages and drawbacks. Which one is better depends on what and where you’re riding.
So if you find yourself wondering which type of wheel to bolt on your bike, first ask where and how you’ll be riding. Of course, you can always choose spoke wheels purely for a vintage-style aesthetic; just know your form-over-function decision will have its drawbacks. Likewise, you can put cast alloys on your ADV or enduro and go off-roading, but you’re asking for a world of hurt.
What if a wheel has 64 spokes?
Answer. there are would be 64 spaces only in between the 64 spokes.
There are only two types of wheels you’ll see rolling around underneath the average modern motorcycle: wire-spoked wheels and alloy wheels. From first commercial motorcycles in the early-1900s up until about the late-’60s, wire-spoke wheels reigned supreme. Then, in the ’70s, single-piece cast aluminum and magnesium alloy wheels skyrocketed in popularity.However, out in the wild, if you do send it too hard up a trail with your spoked wheels, dent a rim on a rock or bend a spoke, replacing the individual parts is simple and inexpensive. When it comes to fixing a flat, the majority of spoked wheels use inner tubes, making trail fixes — swapping tubes — a little more time-consuming. Conversely, if you slam into a curb or your alloy wheel gets swallowed by a pothole on the highway and it takes a dent or cracks, that’s an entire wheel that needs replacing. But, when it comes to flats, alloys are tubeless, meaning more often than not a flat can easily be plugged and you’ll be on your way in a matter of minutes.
When it comes to cost and maintenance, there’s a clear inverse relationship between the two types of wheels and the manufacturer and the consumer. Spoked wheels, due to their complicated architecture, still require human hands to connect the spokes from the rim to the center hub. It’s easy to see why that can be more expensive than an automated machine that effortlessly churns out thousands of cast alloy wheels a day. Alloy wheels are much cheaper and easier to produce on a large scale.
Alloy wheels, because they’re more rigid, handle higher speeds and higher amounts of horsepower and torque with relative ease. The solid, inflexible nature also makes the single piece wheels more predictable in turns, especially at higher cornering speeds where stability and consistency are paramount.
The biggest reason is customers like 5 spoke wheels for aesthetic purposes. People tend to like and purchase five-spoke wheels and rims. In the ’80s and ’90s, a few car manufacturers released tri-spoke, and four spoke wheels; however, they weren’t exactly best sellers. Perhaps the best looking car equipped with tri-spoke wheels was the original 1992 Dodge Viper (SR I); however, when the Viper was refreshed for 1995, it did away with the tri-spoke wheels in favor of five spoke wheels.
If you look around most parking lots, you will notice that most modern rims will have five spokes. If not five spokes, they will often have five sets of paired spokes. After some research and digging around, I have discovered there are a few reasons as to having this design configuration.
Cast wheels generally have five spokes due to their engineering design. A 5 spoke wheel is strong enough to support the weight of the car and yet not disturb the harmonics of the wheel. In 5 spoke wheels, any one spoke has two directly opposing spokes that will reduce the effect of torsional vibration. With 6 or 8 spokes, there is a directly opposing spoke that creates a henge point. This henge point leads torsional vibration around the two opposing spokes. In addition, having an even number of directly opposing spokes causes problems with the residual stress distribution of the wheel as it cools and shrinks. This is highly evident in cast iron handwheels having “S” shaped spokes. With an even number of spokes, you have a directly opposing spoke that creates a henge point, so you can get torsional vibration around the two opposing spokes.
Manufacturing-wise, five spokes allows the casting process to be much simpler and cost-effective when compared to a higher number of spokes. Cast wheels with a greater number of spokes do exist, but these are generally machined from a solid block of aluminum billet in several parts. As the production cost rises, so does the price the consumer pays for them. Having 6 and eight spokes is not uncommon, though.Countless magazine articles, online photos, and posts, car show appearances, all with Truespoke® chrome wire wheels, have cemented our elite reputation. Our time-honored designs will never go out of style. We invite you to browse through our wire wheel collection or simply give us a call or email us. Fast and friendly advice is always available. We look forward to serving you!
With over 100 years of combined experience, no other wire wheel company comes close to offering the depth of knowledge and experience we do. Put our experience to work for you. Don’t delay! Call the wire wheel experts at Truespoke® to get started today!Buy only factory direct! We have no dealers. The same prices for everybody. Our chrome wire wheels are used by America’s top show car owners and restoration shops throughout the industry. Ask about our wire wheel repair and wire wheel restoration services today! Since 1974, Truespoke® has been designing, engineering, and manufacturing the finest wire wheels that money can buy for classic cars, lowriders, hot rods, and many other rear-wheel drive cars. We use modern engineering with respect for tradition. For generations, Truespoke® Wire Wheels have stood out from the competition. We boast a stellar reputation that was earned on the show circuit, in magazines, and online; a reputation that is second to none. Our chrome spoke wheels are often copied but never duplicated.The materials engineer is now faced with the question of how much chromium in the steel spoke is needed for optimum results. This varies from company to company but a rule in materials science is that to be a stainless steel it must have at least 12% chromium. Making of the spokes is another area that the materials engineer would put into practice their knowledge. Drawing the rods through dies until the wire is of the desired diameter makes the spokes. This drawing process creates dislocations (a crystalline defect) in the wire which increases the strength. But the process has to be timed perfectly. Too much drawing and the spoke could break; not enough, and the wire won’t carry the load to meet design specifications for the bike.
As one can see even something as simple and everyday as a bicycle spoke is surrounded by materials processes and design concepts leading to an exciting and unrestricted career in Materials Engineering.Contact the Engineering Administration Communications Office for accessibility issues with this page | Accessibility Resources | Contact Us | Email [email protected] to report a problem Spokes are the connecting rods between the bicycle hub and the rim. Their main purpose is to transfer the loads between the hub and the rim, which are caused by the weight of the rider and the bike. Ever wondered if the bike spokes are laced to the rims in a pattern? The lacing of the spoke is most commonly tangentially attached. This means the spoke on the ground has almost no load because the load is distributed among the other spokes. From competitive racing to simply the bicycle you use to get to class- materials design applications are all around you. Take a look at the simple two-wheeled mechanism called a bicycle. To a materials engineer this is “design heaven”. The wheels, seat, handlebars, and frame are all comprised of different materials that when adjusted just right can make one bicycle more desirable than another. For simplification matters and to prove that even looking at just one part of the bicycle is a complicated process I shall talk about the material design applications behind the bicycle spokes.The materials engineer asks now, “What material to make the spokes?” The obvious answer is steel, but should it be a stainless steel or high-carbon steel. The choice here depends on corrosion resistance or fatigue failure- whichever one the rider deems more important. The stainless steel would resist corrosion due to the amounts of chromium whereas the carbon containing steel must have a protective layer applied over the steel to prevent rust.
The problem with carbon fiber spokes is that they need to be significantly thicker than stainless steel spokes in order to achieve sufficient strength. This is necessary because carbon fiber is less dense than steel. The extra thickness increases drag, which makes the bike less aerodynamic. This slows you down. Carbon fiber spokes are also brittle. They can break more easily if they’re bent or if they are struck. Some riders also find that carbon spokes reduce ride quality because they make the wheels overly stiff.
Most road bikes come with 16, 20, 24, or 28 spoke wheels these days. 32 and 36 spoke wheels are rare on modern road bikes. The reason is that aerodynamics and light weight are prioritized over wheel durability and strength for road riding. Lower spoke count wheels allow road riders to maintain a higher average speed and cover more ground while burning less energy.
The valve type your wheels use can also play a role in wheel strength. The two types of valves commonly used on bicycles are Presta valves and Schrader valves.Winner: 36 spoke wheels are stronger than 32 spoke wheels. The extra spokes help to distribute the weight of the rider and the forces generated from cycling across the wheel.
Wheel reliability is important for bicycle commuters. You don’t want to arrive at work or school late and miss an important meeting or exam because a wheel failed you.
The strongest and most common spoke lacing pattern for 32 and 36 spoke wheels is called the three-cross (3x). With a three-cross pattern, every spoke intersects three other spokes between the rim and hub. This is possible because the angle of the spokes relative to the hub is tangential. In other words, the spokes sit at an angle rather than running straight from the hub to the rim.
How many spokes should a car wheel have?
If you look around most parking lots, you will notice that most modern rims will have five spokes.
Part of the reason that you can get away with lower spoke count wheels on mountain bikes is the suspension system. Good front and rear shocks absorb most of the impact from hard hard hits as well as landing from jumps and drops.
Comfort is another important factor to consider. Bicycle tourists regularly spend 6-8 hours per day in the saddle. The bike needs to offer a smooth ride. 36 spoke wheels tend to ride a bit softer because the spoke tension is lower. The wheels can absorb some bumps and vibrations. 32 spoke wheels can make the ride feel a bit harsher.
There is a compromise when it comes to spoke tension. If the spokes are too loose, they won’t hold the rim steady. This can make the wheel weak and overly flexible. When you corner hard, a wheel can flex, causing you to lose your line. When spokes are too tight, they can pull through the rim at the spoke holes when you hit an obstacle. High-spoke tension can also make the ride feel overly harsh. Bumps can travel through the wheels and into the handlebars and pedals.36 spoke wheels are better than 32 spoke wheels for bicycle touring and bikepacking. For these types of cycling, the wheels need to be as strong, durable, and reliable as possible. Comfort is also an important consideration.
If you want to improve your touring bike’s aerodynamics, you could choose a frame with drop bars and a more aggressive ride position. You could also use bikepacking bags instead of panniers to carry your gear. These changes can cut drag and improve efficiency significantly.
The size of the wheel plays a major role in its strength, stiffness, and durability. Wheels that are smaller in diameter are structurally stronger and more durable than wheels that are larger in diameter.One major benefit of 36 spoke wheels is that losing a spoke isn’t as big of a deal as it is with wheels with 32 or fewer spokes. If a spoke breaks while you’re riding, you can safely ride the bike home or to a bike shop, where you can repair the broken spoke. Nearby spokes can accommodate for a broken spoke. The extra spokes make the wheel strong enough for you to continue riding if one or two spokes break. This greatly improves reliability. This extra durability also allows the wheel to handle more weight. This is important for heavier riders. If you weigh more than around 220lbs or 100kg, you’re probably better off going with 36 spoke wheels, just to be safe. At the very least, you’ll want to run a 36 spoke wheel in the rear. The majority of your weight sits on the rear wheel. The spoke count isn’t the only factor determining the strength of mountain bike wheels. You’ll also want to consider the quality and material of the rim. For example, carbon fiber rims are stronger than aluminum rims. You can get away with fewer spokes if you use carbon rims. That said, aluminum rims tend to be more durable than carbon fiber rims because they are less brittle. They can handle harder impact forces and rim strikes without cracking. If you’re hard on your wheels, you’ll probably be better off with aluminum rims.This lighter weight is really the main selling point of lower spoke count wheels. Many riders choose wheels with fewer spokes in an attempt to reduce the weight of their bike.
That said, 32 spoke wheels offer plenty of strength for commuting. In fact, most commuter bikes, city bikes, and hybrid bikes come with 32 spoke wheels these days. You could even get away with commuting on 28 spoke wheels if you prefer. You can use lower spoke count wheels because you’re not carrying heavy loads while commuting. Most commuters only carry a backpack or messenger bag with a laptop. You can also avoid terrain that stresses your wheels. For example, you can avoid potholes and avoid riding off curbs.
Aluminum rims tend to be more durable than carbon fiber. They can withstand a harder impact force without cracking or bending. This is the case because aluminum is a less brittle material than carbon fiber. Aluminum rims are also a bit less stiff. They can flex more to absorb impacts and improve comfort. If an aluminum rim gets dented or scratched, it is still usable in most cases. Aluminum rims come in single and double wall varieties. For most riders, double-wall aluminum rims are the best option. They are durable, long-lasting, affordable, and relatively lightweight. The main drawback is that aluminum rims are a bit heavier, more flexible, and less aerodynamic than carbon rims, making them slightly slower and less efficient.When deciding between 32 and 36 spoke wheels, you’ll want to consider the type of terrain you ride, your weight, the wheel size you use, and the quality of your wheel components. If you’re a heavier rider, a bicycle tourist, bikepacker, or if you tend to be hard on your wheels, you’ll be better off going with 36 spoke wheels. For all other riders, 32 spoke wheels are the best choice.36 spoke wheels are more durable than 32 spoke wheels. With more spokes, the wheel can handle harder impacts without sustaining damage. A 36 spoke wheel is less likely to go out of true, break spokes, or crack or bend after a hard hit. This is possible because 36 spoke wheels are stronger and because the spokes are run at lower tension.
Is 36 spokes overkill?
Some types of cycling are harder on wheels than others. Sometimes you need a bit of extra wheel strength and durability. For some types of cycling, 36 spoke wheels are overkill.
Road bikers can get away with slightly weaker and less durable wheels than mountain bikes, touring bikes, and commuters. The reason is that road riding generally isn’t as hard on wheels. Road riders typically stick to smooth surfaces. There are no hard shocks and bumps for the wheels to contend with. Road riders also tend not to carry much extra weight. Road bikes are light. A lighter bike puts less stress on the wheels.
What are spoke rims called?
This makes sense because they’re leading the way but spokes flex and can’t actually push on the rim.
Some rim, hub, and wheel models aren’t even available in 36 hole versions. This is particularly common in pre-built wheelsets. Many wheel builders don’t offer a 36 hole version because demand is lower. Most riders don’t need the extra wheel strength.Many bicycle tourists also travel through developing countries where quality parts can be difficult to find. Sometimes low-end or used components are all that are available. You don’t want to end up in a position where you need a new rim while you’re in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. In this case, you might have to travel to the nearest capital city to get what you need.
First, 32 spoke wheels often use thicker and heavier rims and spokes than 36 spoke wheels. This is necessary to compensate for the weakness caused by the lower spoke count. This is common on lower-end bikes and vintage bikes. Second, 36 spoke wheels have more spoke holes in the rims and hubs. When the holes are drilled, some material is removed. This saves a small amount of weight.
Road quality can be poor as well. You need strong wheels to ride on rough roads fully loaded with gear. 36 spoke wheels can handle rough roads. Broken spokes and cracked and bent rims are less common. The wheels stay true longer as well. If a spoke does break, you can usually continue riding the bike to the nearest large town.The hub can make a wheel with a lower spoke count as strong as a wheel with a higher spoke count. For example, Rohloff sells their Speedhub 14 speed internal gear hub in 32 and 36 spoke options. They claim that their hub creates a wheel that is as strong as a 48 spoke tandem wheel. This is possible because the hub flanges have a much larger diameter than a standard hub. The flanges are also symmetrical.Some bicycle tourists use even higher spoke count wheels for extra strength. 40 spoke and 48 spoke wheels are available. These high-spoke count wheels are commonly used on expedition touring bikes and tandem touring bikes. They are substantially stronger than 36 spoke wheels.
Touring bikes look very similar to road bikes but they are quite different. When it comes to touring bikes, weight isn’t as important as strength, durability, reliability, and comfort. Touring bikes are heavy. The bike itself usually weighs 26-33lbs (12-15kg). Touring bikes come with thick steel frames and sturdy wheels. You’ll be carrying at least 30-50 lbs worth of panniers, racks, and gear. A few extra grams worth of spokes isn’t going to make a difference one way or the other. If you wanted to cut weight, you’d be better off leaving some gear at home or losing a few pounds rather than sacrificing durability by choosing lower spoke count wheels.
Wheels with more spokes are stronger because the extra spokes can better distribute the weight of the bike and rider across the wheel. While riding, each spoke carries less weight when there are more spokes. The spokes can also be run at lower tension. Spokes under less stress are less likely to bend or break.The wide, high-volume tires also help absorb some impacts. They deform at the contact patch when you land or hit an obstacle. This reduces stress on the spokes. In most cases, 32 spoke wheels hold up just fine for mountain biking.
Aluminum alloy and polycarbonate (plastic) spokes are also available. These materials have the same problems as carbon fiber. In order to make them strong enough, they have to be made extremely thick. These increases drag. They are also less durable than stainless steel. These spoke materials are generally not recommended.36 spoke parts are a bit more scarce because they are no longer the industry standard. If you need a specific 36 hole rim or hub, you might have to buy it online. Your local bike shop may not stock the parts you need. If you want a complete wheel, you might have to special order it. This is rarely an issue because bike wheels last many thousands of miles.
The tires you use also play a role in your wheel’s resilience. Wide, high-volume tires offer a good amount of shock absorption. Wide tires are soft because they’re run at lower air pressures. When you hit a bump, the tire can deform and absorb much of the impact. This greatly reduces stress on your rim and spokes. You can get away with fewer spokes if you run wide tires.
The rear wheel also has to deal with drive forces from the chain. These forces travel through the spokes to power the rear wheel. The front wheel doesn’t have to deal with drive forces, only braking forces. You get one thing wrong about spokes. A spoked wheel doesn’t work by compressing the spokes under the hub, but by having the hub “hang” from the spokes above and to the side. So when you say that a thicker spoke is stronger because it doesn’t bend as easily, that is wrong, all spokes bend easily. They work in tension. You can make a spoked wheel by using steel cables and it would work just fine. Other than that, good article. The spoke count isn’t the only factor that determines the strength, weight, durability, efficiency, and performance of the wheels. The rim, hub, spoke type, and spoke lacing pattern all play a major role. In this section, I’ll outline a few important factors to consider when choosing bike wheels.The extra durability is also helpful while riding rough terrain. With 36 spoke wheels, you can ride over pothole-filled streets, jump off curbs, and ride off-road without having to worry too much about causing damage to your wheels.The switch from 36 to 32 spoke wheels was simply for profit. 32 spoke wheels are easier and cheaper to make because they require fewer materials and less labor to manufacture.The rim is probably the most important component of a bike wheel when it comes to strength and durability. The rim is the most likely point of failure for a wheel. Rims can bend and crack during impacts. They can warp as they wear. Extra spokes can’t compensate for a weak or low-quality rim.
These days, 32 spoke wheels are the standard. For most mountain bikers, commuters, and gravel riders, 32 spoke wheels are ideal. 24 and 28 spoke wheels are becoming increasingly common on road bikes, gravel bikes, and high-end bikes. These lower spoke count wheels are a good choice for riders who prefer to prioritize light weight and aerodynamics over strength. 36 spoke wheels are pretty much only found on touring bikes and tandems these days. If you need strong, durable, and reliable wheels, 36 spoke is the way to go.
Carbon fiber spokes are another option. The main benefit to carbon fiber spokes is their light weight. They are lighter than both steel and titanium. They are also strong and stiff. This allows you to get away with using fewer spokes, saving more weight. A 32 carbon spoke wheel may be significantly stronger than a 36 steel spoke wheel.
Which is better alloy wheel or spoke wheel?
Spoke wheels are sturdier than alloy wheels and hence are used mainly in adventure and off-road motorbikes. These wheels are extremely flexible, thereby providing enough room to jump with ease from building heights while retaining the grip and hold over the bike as well as the rider, both at the same time.
Single butted spokes are thicker near the hub then taper down near the threads. This design is fairly uncommon. Single butted spokes can work well in heavy-duty wheels. For example, maybe you want to pair an extra thick spoke with rims with normal-sized spoke holes.Two-cross (2x) is another common lacing pattern. It is mostly used on 24 and 28 spoke wheels. With this pattern, every spoke crosses two other spokes. Wheels laced with this pattern are lighter than three-cross because the spokes are shorter. They run a bit more directly between the hub and rim. The 2x lacing pattern is a bit weaker than the 3x lacing pattern.
The drawback is that bladed spokes usually don’t fit through the flanges in standard hubs. They are too wide. To solve this issue, wheelbuilders slot the spoke holes with a file. This can weaken the flanges and will void your warranty in most cases. It is also incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Factory-made slotted hubs exist but they are pretty rare and expensive.
Good quality hubs have thick flanges with flared holes. These provide support for the spoke elbows. If the flanges are too narrow, you may have to use washers to hold the spoke head against the flange. This is less than ideal.
For competitive cyclists, the aerodynamic and weight advantage could mean the difference between winning and losing a race. For recreational riders, the difference won’t even be noticeable. What may be noticeable is wheel strength and durability. 36 spoke wheels tend to stay true longer than 32 spoke wheels. The 4 extra spokes help the wheel stay round so it rolls straight and smooth. You won’t have to true your wheels as often if you run 36 spoke wheels. If you hit a large bump, your wheels are less likely to go out of true. Low spoke count wheels just aren’t as durable. Broken spokes and cracked rims are more common because the spokes must be run at higher tension and because there are fewer spokes to handle the stress.At some point, a marketer had the bright idea of selling production bikes with 32 spoke wheels. It was easy to convince the public that 32 spoke wheels were better because people already associated 32 spoke wheels with high-end racing bikes.
Double-butted spokes are thicker at both ends and thinner in the middle. For example, a common size measures 2mm on either end and 1.8mm in the middle section. These spokes are just as strong as straight gauge spokes at the thick ends. This is important because the end sections are where the majority of the stress is applied.
This is why most internal gear hubs and dynamo hubs are drilled for 32 spokes. They tend to be larger in diameter than standard hubs. They don’t need as many spokes as a result.Whether or not you need 36 spoke wheels depends partly on the type of cycling you do. Some types of cycling are harder on wheels than others. Sometimes you need a bit of extra wheel strength and durability. For some types of cycling, 36 spoke wheels are overkill. Sometimes lighter weight and increased efficiency are more important. In this section, I’ll talk about the best spoke count for mountain biking, bicycle touring, commuting, and road biking.
The benefit of the three-cross pattern is that it reduces stress on the spokes caused by forces from pedaling and braking. In general, the more times the spokes cross, the stronger the wheel will be. This is because overlapping spokes can brace one another and absorb some of the load of adjacent spokes. Spokes that do not overlap are much weaker. The drawback is that the spokes must be longer. This increases weight and drag.
The thinner middle section can also help to improve wheel strength. The thin middle of the spoke can stretch slightly during a hard impact. This allows adjacent spokes to take on some of the stress. This can help to prevent rims from cracking around the spoke holes. It cal also prevent spokes from pulling out of the rims.Bladed spokes have a more extreme aero shape than elliptical spokes. They are flattened in the center. These offer even better aerodynamics than elliptical spokes.
Wheel strength is particularly important for the rear wheel. The reason is that the rear wheel encounters more lateral force due to the weight distribution of the bike. More of the rider’s weight sits toward the rear of the bike, on the rear wheel. The front wheel doesn’t have to support as much weight so it doesn’t have to be as strong.
The main benefit of running 36 spoke wheels for commuting is the extra strength and durability that they offer. You can hop up and down curbs, ride through puddles, carry more weight, and generally ride harder without having to worry as much about causing damage. The extra strength also brings peace of mind.32 spoke wheels use rims and hubs with 32 holes. 36 spoke wheels use rims and hubs with 36 holes. The spokes thread through the holes. 36 spoke wheels have 4 more spokes than 32 spoke wheels. The difference in the number of spokes affects the strength, weight, durability, and aerodynamics of the wheel.If you were to break a couple of spokes while riding 32 spoke wheels, the wheel may not be strong enough to support your weight. The wheel could bend or give out completely and taco. When a spoke breaks on a low spoke count wheel, you shouldn’t ride the bike. Instead, replace the spoke if you have a spare or take the bike to a bike shop to have the spoke replaced.
Why are spoked wheels so expensive?
Cost and Maintenance Spoked wheels, due to their complicated architecture, still require human hands to connect the spokes from the rim to the center hub. It’s easy to see why that can be more expensive than an automated machine that effortlessly churns out thousands of cast alloy wheels a day.
There are some situations where you may consider using 36 spoke wheels on a mountain bike. If you’re a heavier rider weighing more than around 220lbs or 100kg, you might benefit from the added strength of a 36 or even a 40 spoke rear wheel. You could still get away with a 32 spoke front wheel.Low spoke count wheels also can’t support as much weight. Heavy riders and those carrying a heavy load, such as bicycle tourists, are best avoiding wheels with fewer than 32 spokes.The hole count is often abbreviated with the letter H. H stands for hole. For example, a hub or rim that is designed for 32 spoke wheels will be sold as 32H. It will have 32 spoke holes. A hub or rim designed for 36 spoke wheels will be sold as 36H.
32 spoke wheels must run the spokes at higher tension in order to support the load. The higher spoke tension makes the ride feel harsher because the wheels are more rigid. Spokes under high tension are also easier to break.
Thicker spokes offer more wheel strength and rigidity than thinner spokes. They’re less likely to bend or break. Thicker spokes can also make the wheel track better through hard turns. The wheel stays straight and doesn’t flex. Because 36 spoke wheels are stronger, they are less likely to bend, flex, crack, or warp. Spokes are also less likely to break. 36 spoke wheels are more durable and reliable than 32 spoke wheels. The wheels themselves only account for around 10% of a bike’s total drag. Other factors play a much bigger role. For example, the ride position, handlebar type, and tires all play a bigger role in drag. You’re better off improving those other areas before worrying about a few spokes.Early 32 spoke wheels were significantly weaker than 36 spoke wheels. Cycling companies got away with making this downgrade because the wheels held up well enough that most customers didn’t experience any issues. Reliability issues were common among more demanding riders.
The hubs can also affect your bike’s efficiency. Quality hubs use good bearings that roll smoothly and easily. Quality hubs are also sealed better from the elements. Hubs that are well-sealed from bad weather and debris also hold up better. They are less likely to get contaminated or corrode. The bearings also last longer and roll smoother. This makes the wheel more durable and reliable.
These days, the majority of mountain bikes come with 32 spoke wheels. As long as they are well-built from quality components, 32 spoke wheels offer plenty of strength and performance for mountain biking.32 spoke wheels may not be strong enough to carry a particularly heavy load. If you overload a bike with weak wheels, you’re more likely to suffer broken spokes and cracked or bent rims. Wheels can only handle so much weight before they start failing. For lightweight touring or bikepacking, you can get away with weaker 32 spoke wheels. 36 spoke wheels offer a softer and smoother ride than 32 spoke wheels. The reason is that wheels with 36 spokes have lower spoke tension. This is possible because there are more spokes to distribute the load between. The spokes don’t have to be quite as tight to support the weight of the bike and rider. Hub quality is also worth considering. Almost all modern hubs have aluminum flanges that the spokes attach to. Higher-end hubs may have forged flanges. These are slightly stronger. Flange failures are rare but do happen. Rims drilled for Presta valves are stronger than rims drilled for Schrader valves. The reason is that Presta valve holes are 2mm smaller in diameter than Schrader valve holes (Schrader valves measure 8mm in diameter and Presta valves measure 6mm in diameter). Less material is removed from the rim when the holes are drilled. The rims remain stronger as a result. The quality of the wheel components and the build quality of the wheel are also important considerations. A 24 spoke wheel that was built by a skilled wheel builder with high-quality components can be as strong as a factory-built 32 spoke wheel made from lower-end components.The drawback is that thicker spokes are heavier and create more air resistance than thinner spokes. Using thinner spokes with a bit of give can improve the bike’s ride quality. The spokes can flex a bit and absorb some shocks and vibrations. There are compromises to make when selecting your spoke thickness.
I’ve been riding strong MTB 32 spoke wheels for about 3 years on a fast street Ebike. They are similar to the readily available Sun Rhynolite/Shimano XT wheelsets. (NLA Sun Singletrack Disc only version is what I have). They work just fine. Considering that a 36 spoke wheel would probably have to be custom built I suspect it would be cost effective to just buy another set of these, if the time ever comes. If I needed to build a wheel for say an IGH, CVT, or hub motor project I would of course go for 36 spokes on the rear. But adding a 1500W mid drive to a 26″ bike that already had these wheels I’ve had no issues. I wouldn’t hesitate to run them again. I think the strong (heavy) rims offer more strength than the extra 4 spokes. In fact I keep a spare set of these around with dirt tires for my MTB that can be put into service if ever needed. I’ve found that mid range MTB parts are cost effective for street Ebike use. Especially older configurations that are no longer popular.Like 26″ QR wheels.
For these reasons, you can get away with a lower spoke count on a smaller wheel. For example, a 26” wheel may only need 32 spokes to achieve the same strength as a 29” wheel with 36 spokes. A 16” or 20” folding bike wheel may only need 28 spokes to achieve the same strength as a larger 700c wheel with 32 spokes.
What are the best wire wheels?
Both Dayton Wire Wheels and Truespoke® Wire Wheels are elite brands of wire wheels and are considered to be the finest wire wheels that money can buy.
For example, a bike with 32 spoke wheels require 8 fewer spokes than a bike with 36 spoke wheels. 8 fewer spoke holes need to be drilled. 8 fewer spokes need to be installed. Using fewer materials and less labor saves money.Low spoke count wheels are also more aerodynamic. The aerodynamic advantage of using 6-8 fewer spokes might save 5-10 watts of pedaling power. This improves efficiency. Particularly while riding at speeds above around 10 mph. You can ride further and faster while burning less energy.
Aerodynamics aren’t as much of a concern in bicycle touring either. The extra drag caused by a few extra spokes won’t be noticeable on a touring bike. Ttouring bikes aren’t aerodynamic to begin with. Large rectangular panniers stick out to the sides and create a massive amount of drag. Touring bikes tend to seat the rider in an upright riding position that increases drag. Your chest and arms cause wind resistance. Wide touring tires add drag as well. Spokes are the least of your worries.
Why do rims need spokes?
Spokes are the connecting rods between the bicycle hub and the rim. Their main purpose is to transfer the loads between the hub and the rim, which are caused by the weight of the rider and the bike.
Lower spoke count wheels are becoming increasingly common these days. For example, most modern road bikes come with 18-20 spokes on the front wheel and 20-28 spokes on the rear wheel. Ultralight road bike wheels may use as few as 16 spokes. Modern mountain bikes and gravel bikes often come with 24 or 28 spoke wheels. Generally, higher-end bikes come with lower spoke count wheels. Lower-end and mid-range bikes all have 32 spoke wheels these days.
Are spinner rims illegal?
Top trim models sometimes included spinner wheel covers as standard equipment to appeal to youthful customers. In the late 1960s, U.S. Federal safety standards banned the use of protruding bar spinners on automobiles.
If you want to run 36 spoke wheels, you may have to get your wheels custom-made. Sometimes a 36 hole version of the hub or rim you want to run simply isn’t available or is out of stock. In this case, you’ll have to settle for another model or brand. This makes buying wheels a bit more difficult.The most common material, by far, is stainless steel. For most riders, stainless steel spokes are the best choice. They are strong and will not rust. Stainless steel spokes make for durable, reliable, and long-lasting wheels.
What might be a disadvantage of a spoke wheel?
Disadvantages of spoke wheels Less fuel-efficient : The higher weight of spoke wheels also makes them less fuel-efficient and the air crisscrossing the spokes increases aerodynamic drag, thus impacting performance.
Hub symmetry is also important. Most rear hubs are asymmetrical. The spokes are different lengths on the drive side and nondrive side of the hub. They also run at different angles. It is necessary to position the spokes further toward the center of the wheel on the drive side to make room for the cassette cogs.These days, lower spoke count wheels are becoming common. Many road bikes and gravel bikes come with 28 or 24 spoke wheels. Some racing bikes use 16 spoke wheels. For the average rider, 32 spoke wheels work just fine.Hub width is important as well. Wider hubs spread the spoke flanges further apart. The flanges are the parts of the hub where the spokes attach. The wider flanges change the angle that the spokes run in relation to the hub. This increases wheel strength by allowing the spokes to cross more times when the hub is laced.Spokes are made from a number of different materials. In this section, I’ll outline stainless steel, carbon steel, carbon fiber, aluminum alloy, and polycarbonate spokes. Until the early 80s pretty much all bikes came with 36 spoke wheels front and rear. Over the years, spoke counts decreased to the current standard of 32 spokes per wheel. These days, 28, 24, and even 16 spoke wheels are becoming common on lightweight road bikes. The ideal spoke count depends on a number of factors including the type of riding you do, how much weight you carry, and the quality of the components you use. This guide lists the pros and cons of using 32 vs 36 spoke wheels for mountain biking, bicycle touring, road biking, and commuting. We’ll cover wheel strength, weight, aerodynamics, cost, durability, reliability, and more. We’ll also talk a bit about wheel components including hubs, rims, different types of spokes, lacing patterns, and more. Hopefully, this guide helps you choose the best wheels for the type of cycling you do. The drawbacks of running low spoke count wheels outweigh the benefits for many riders. The main drawback is that wheels with fewer spokes are weaker, assuming the quality of the components are the same. A wheel with 20 spokes can’t handle as hard of an impact force as a wheel with 32 spokes without failing.You may also consider using a higher spoke count wheel on the rear if you ride a hardtail mountain bike. These bikes don’t have a rear suspension system. They only have fork suspension. The rear wheel must hold up under harder impact forces. 36 spoke wheels can add a bit of extra strength.
If you’re planning an expedition tour through a remote region or if you like to tour fully loaded with 100 lbs worth of gear, you’re better off with 36 spoke wheels. The extra strength greatly improves durability and reliability and brings peace of mind.
A hub that is larger in diameter can help create a stronger wheel. If you use a large hub, you can get away with a lower spoke count. The reason is that larger hubs mean you use shorter spokes. There is less distance from the hub to the rim. Shorter spokes make the wheel stronger because the shorter spokes can’t bend as easily.There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the spokes are shorter on smaller wheels so they can’t flex as easily. As a result, you’re less likely to break spokes on a smaller wheel. Second, the rim itself is stronger because it is smaller with the same thickness. It can’t flex as much as a larger rim.
32 spoke wheels are a bit less durable and reliable. Particularly while riding rough sections of road with a heavy load. If you hit a pothole hard, you can break spokes or crack or bend a rim. A wheel can catastrophically fail when ridden with broken spokes. Lower spoke count wheels also require a bit more frequent truing.
The main benefit of commuting with 32 spoke wheels is that parts are easy to find. If you damage a wheel or a wheel wears out, you can go to pretty much any bike shop in your city and buy a new rim, hub, or complete wheel. 36 spoke parts are a bit less common. To get the part you want, you might have to order online or try a couple of bike shops.Wheel strength is crucial for bicycle touring. The wheels need to be strong enough to support a heavy touring bike plus all of your touring gear. While bicycle touring, you’ll carry heavy racks and panniers full of camping gear, clothing, tools, spare parts, and several days’ worth of food and water. This can add anywhere from 30-100+ lbs of weight to your bike. You need strong wheels to support all of that extra weight. 36 spoke wheels provide plenty of strength to carry a heavily loaded touring bike. The study showed that the spoke count itself only plays a small role in the aerodynamics of the wheel. According to the study “adding 12 additional spokes leaves us a possible increase in wattage of only 1-5 watts”. That’s pretty insignificant. The aerodynamic difference between 32 and 36 spoke wheels would probably be even less significant. For example, if you plan to ride downhill, you want to make sure the wheels are designed to handle the demands of downhill riding. Hard landing from jumps and drops puts quite a bit of stress on the wheels. They need to be strong to put up with that extra stress. Wheels that are designed for trail riding may not be able to handle the same abuse as downhill wheels. As long as the wheels are designed for the type of mountain biking that you plan to do, they will perform fine, regardless of the spoke count.When you run narrow road tires, more force is transmitted into the spokes when you hit a bump. This is because narrow tires are firmer. They need to be run at higher air pressure to avoid rim strikes and pinch flats. You need a stronger wheel that can hold up to the additional stress if you run narrow tires.
The weight difference between 32 and 36 spoke wheels is a bit less than 60 grams per wheel. This weight difference is also assuming all of the components are the same. Different rims, hubs, and spokes have different weights.
In practice, switching from 36 spoke to 32 spokes was not an upgrade. It was a downgrade. Because the spokes sit further apart on 32 spoke wheels, thicker and heavier rims were necessary to compensate for the loss of strength. This offset any potential weight advantage. The aerodynamic advantage of 32 spoke wheels is so minor that it’s barely even measurable.For gravel riding, your wheels need to be a bit stronger and more durable than road wheels. This is necessary because gravel bikes have to endure the stress of off-road conditions. Gravel roads can be covered in deep ruts and potholes. At the same time, the wheels need to be light enough for you to accelerate quickly and maintain a reasonably high speed.
When choosing mountain bike wheels, you will want to make sure that they are designed to handle the type of mountain biking you plan to do. Some types of mountain biking are more demanding on wheels than others. Trail, cross country, enduro, and downhill mountain bikes use slightly different wheels. The rim type, lacing method, materials, and build quality can vary.
Lower spoke tension allows the wheels to be somewhat compliant. They can flex a bit to help absorb bumps and vibrations. Spokes run at lower tension are also less likely to break because there is less stress on each spoke.Spokes come in a range of thicknesses. The diameter of a spoke is usually measured the same as wire gauges. It can also be measured in millimeters. The most common spoke thickness is 14 gauge (2mm). Most stainless steel spokes range from 1.6-2.3 mm in diameter.City riding also tends to be hard on wheels. Durability is important. Sometimes you have to ride over potholes and up and down curbs to get to your destination. You might knock your wheels against bike racks or other bikes while locking and unlocking your bike. Your hubs and rims may be exposed to
motor oil, dirt, grime, road salt, and various automotive chemicals from the road. These contaminants can cause corrosion and abrasion and general wear and tear if they’re not cleaned off.One interesting finding was that oval spokes can provide a bigger energy savings in wattage. According to the study “changing from 32 round to 32 oval spokes would provide a differential in wattage to spin, by as much as 10 watts”. For those who obsess over efficiency and aerodynamics. It may be worthwhile to use oval spokes rather than round.As an added benefit, elliptical spokes make it easier for wheel builders to avoid twist in the spokes because they can easily see when a spoke is twisted due to the elliptical shape. This makes the wheel stronger.Good question! I think 36 spoke wheels would be a good idea on an ebike. The higher speeds put a bit more stress on wheels. The motor and battery also add quite a bit of weight. The extra spokes make the wheels significantly stronger. If you ride your ebike off-road, I would definitely go with 36 spoke wheels.
These days, 32 spoke wheels are the standard. Most new mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, commuter bikes, and city bikes come with 32 spoke wheels. If your wheel gets damaged and you need a new rim, hub, or whole wheel, it will be easy to find a replacement. 32 hole components are commonly available. You can also buy a complete wheel already built.
These days, the difference in performance between 32 spoke and 36 spoke wheels is minimal due to improvements in materials and wheel component designs. That said, there are still cases where one spoke count is better than the other. In this section, I’ll outline the benefits and drawbacks of 32 vs 36 spoke bike wheels.For commuting, both 32 and 36 spoke wheels work fine as long as they’re of good quality. Each spoke count has its own benefits and drawbacks for bicycle commuters.