36 or 48 spokes ?

I bought my Nimbus II 20" as my learner as I wanted a strong uni which would last and take some abuse. 48 spokes wide double-walled rim etc.

As I look at which uni to buy next, I notice that Nimbus munis only have 36 spokes whilst Quax have 48, yet the larger Nimbus II’s 24" and 26" both have 48 spokes. I would have though that the Nimbus munis would have gone for 48 spokes for strength.

How much difference is there between having 36 and 48 spokes? :thinking:

36 is more than you need. 48 is silly.

Then why do Nimbus put 48 into their freestyle Nimbus II range?

My QU-AX has 48 spokes and that’s one of the reasons I bought it. When you weigh close to 200 lbs, more spokes is good :slight_smile:

Because they’re silly.

@daft I still find 48a spokes silly. I weigh 230 pounds and ride a 32long spoke single wall wheel

what he said ^^^^

More spokes DO NOT make a wheel stronger.

The rim is where the strength is to be found, the spokes just keep the hub centered in the rim.

I’m in the process of converting all my wheels to 32 spokes so I can use mtb rims. I weigh 200# and don’t ride softly, build all my own wheels, and have yet to damage a wheel; I broke a spoke once, just once :roll_eyes:

More spokes = more weight

If you buy a new uni from Nimbus, get one built with the Dominator 2 rim or a KH rim, you can’t go wrong with either, they build up strong.

QU-AX wheels may have more spokes but the spokes are thinner than all the 36 spoke unicycles.

I think 48 spokes makes sense on a skinny hub 36" wheel used offroad, but other than that it is sort of overkill.

There is a tradition of using 48 spokes on freestyle unicycles because some tricks put some tremendous side pressures on the wheels. I don’t think it is necessary with today’s rims though.

I have a 20" unicycle with a 48h rim and hub but running 24 spokes. It has been my loaner with some 200lb+ guys trying to learn on it and it has never had to be trued.

If you ever have to work on a 48 spoke wheel it is a PITA as you can’t turn a spoke key all the way around without hitting the neighbouring spokes.

That’s almost completely backwards; most of the strength in a wheel comes from the spoke tension, and the rim is there to hold the spokes (ok, and the tire).

It’s the spokes that support your weight (mostly the lower ones, though it’s confusing to some folks - losing tension, and pulling less, is mechanically the same as compressing and pushing back). It’s also the spokes that resist flexing from side to side, for similar reasons.

For any given amount of metal, putting it into more, skinnier spokes, builds a stronger wheel than fewer thicker spokes. 48 may be overkill for small diameter wheels or cross country riding, but for big wheels, and for trials, maybe not.

Any decent wheel engineer understands that the spokes are the strength of the wheel, not just the rim.

I was taught to build wheels in my first job in 1976 in a cycle shop. I then studied engineering and various other disciplines over the years. A quick Google search will bring up articles on the subject, including the latest wheel design theories. I enjoy reading them.

If people like less spokes, good for them. I’ll stick with what I understand. :smiley:

Spoke tension is most of the strength of the wheel. Throwing more spokes at the problem doesn’t help much, because you don’t increase the amount of tension that the rim can handle; the aggregate tension in a 48-spoke wheel isn’t necessarily any higher than the aggregate tension in a 36-spoke wheel. The maxmimal aggregate tension is mostly a function of the strength of the rim. The rim also has a role in lateral strength, where the spokes have limited ability to contribute.

Caveat: If you build the wheel crappily, which most places do, 48 spokes might be stronger than 36 spokes.

Also, more spokes = less chance of tennis ball jammage in hockey games. :wink:

Yup strength is in the spokes.
The hub basiclly hangs on the wheel.
My cheapy learner CyclePro only has 28.Its ridgid tho.

The most flex I’ve felt is on my 29" BMX,its a first year SE Big Ripper w/ single wall rims.
I got the second year as well and it has double wall rims,huge difference.
So as Mr.Impossible said,the bigger the wheel,the more spokes your gonna need.

Earlier today did a 190 drop off a loading dock and landed hard and bottomed out my wheel and nothing happened. i run the perfect tension on my spokes and the wheel gets taken care of every week so no worries :slight_smile:

Not to go off on a tangent, but why do high dollar racing bikes run solid wheels or mags, and I’ve never seen them used on uni’s? If money was not an issue, are they still too heavy or would they crack under the strain they would encounter? Must be some reason other than cost.

The benefit of such wheels (improved aerodynamics) is virtually useless on unicycles.

Imagine the wind drift…

That statement alone says enough for me. :astonished:
A 36 is problem enough riding in the wind already

Ok, enough of that…let’s get back to the spoke discussion.

Why must there be some reason other than cost? They’re used on bikes for the aero advantage, which makes them “worth” the money. No such advantage on a uni, hence the market would be vanishingly small for a wheel which costs a lot more and offers no obvious advantage. The fact they’re heavier like for like doesn’t really help either.