Sunday, 26 June 2016

Wheelset Weight Limit

 Forces for courses

“A wheel that is used for riding on a bit of gravel or doing cyclo-cross can be built a bit stronger and would maybe allow a heavier rider on the road. So if you were going to take a wheel off-road, you would want a lower rider weight than you would on road,” Tom Marchment, the founders of Hunt Bike Wheels, explained.

“But it’s also important to understand that not everybody who falls within the rider weight limit will have the same experience from a wheelset. A wheelset might have a maximum rider weight limit of 100kg, but how that wheel performs for somebody who is 60kg will be different compared to somebody who is 85kg.

“So different riders at different weights will notice a difference in the way the same wheel feels to ride. If you wanted to build wheels that would provide the same characteristics for every rider, then you’d probably have to change the design for every five or 10kg of body weight,” Tom said.

Evolution and revolution

“One of the things that is helpful when designing a wheelset is that, unlike most of the other components on a bike, the way in which forces are applied to a wheelset is quite predictable and well understood. You have two contact points at the dropouts and then one contact point with the road, and you know that all the forces will be loaded between those two points.

 “The limiting factor on a wheel is rider weight, whereas there are all sorts of other environmental factors regulating how strong you might want to make other components. Also, the increasing use of larger-volume tyres coming into effect now definitely reduces the overall fatigue on a wheelset.”

Wheels might have a rider weight limit of 110kg, but if somebody who is 115kg sits on a bike fitted with them, they won’t collapse. However, the added effect of fatigue over the years will be greater with the heavier rider.

“So rider weight limits are also an indication of what you need to adhere to, to get a reasonable life expectancy out of that wheelset. With a heavier rider they won’t fail within 100 miles or even 500 miles, but you might find that after 1,500 miles things aren’t as good as they should be and they will require extra care and maintenance.”

Campagnolo its one with bold example, “All Campagnolo wheels are constructed to meet the highest standards of resistance and durability. If you weigh over 109 kg/240 lbs we advise you not to use this product. Non compliance with this warning can damage the product irreversibly. If you weigh 82 kg/180 lbs or more, you must be especially vigilant and have your bicycle inspected more frequently (than someone weighing less than 82 kg/180 lbs). Check with your mechanic to discuss whether the wheels you selected are suitable for your use, and to determine the frequency of inspections. Using tires with a larger diameter and a frame that respects the standards will help to increase the lifetime of the wheels.”

Other producer like Zipp and Reynolds had a different weight limit, depends on type and wheels construstion. You can check weight limit in every each wheelset on their website. So, better check your weight and weight limit on your dream wheelset before buy. If your weight doesn't comply with you dream wheelset weight limit, you had three options: 1. Loss your weight until comply with the weight limit, or 2. Find another one can comply with your weight. 2. Buy and use it with precautions in mind.

“Should You Worry About Wheelset’s Weight Limit?” Cycling Active, Summer 2016

Ride On!

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