Is the 48 spoke wheel going extinct?

I do see used 48 spoke Trials units available locally, older all chrome units, but with the square taper hub. I see that UDC has some stronger square taper cranks available. Anyone know how well these would hold up durability wise compared to more recent ISIS units?

The ISIS interface is a whole lot stronger than square taper. If the wheel is subject to jumps and drops, the 48 spokes are less important than the hub interface.

If you’re just buying the 48 spoke wheel because it’s a good deal and don’t plan on jumping, then have at it. The strength of the entire system is important to you, then get and ISIS hub wheel.

I’ve seen several square taper hubs twisted or snapped from jumping- sometimes not even that high. Granted, they were not high end hubs, but the reason bikes moved away from square taper hubs on bikes that caught air is because the square taper interface was a lot weaker than ISIS.

Then they moved away from ISIS because the bigger axle required smaller bearings in the same space as the bottom bracket dimensions didn’t change.

Then everything changed. Unicycles kept ISIS because the crank interface was strong and reasonably sized bearings are not an issue.

I suspected that, but wasn’t sure. Thanks for clarifying.

Hey, I just came across a bigger version of that old Schwinn with the triple spokes; thought you might like it in this thread.

It looks sparkly in the morning dew of 1981. The wheel was customized by one of the Brichford brothers, with lots of drilling and lacing. It was ridden by Mark Shaefer, who was the fastest rider in the Redford Township Unicycle Club at the time. He was experimenting with the idea of a heavier wheel, to see if it would track straighter. I think his conclusion was “A little, but it’s heavy!” So not worth it for sprint racing.

Yes, those were the types of pedal we used then, though the cottered cranks were on their way out at that time.

At 200 pounds I never had any problems with a 20 inch wheel with 28 spokes or a 24 inch wheel with 32 spokes. However people have buckled 36 inch wheels. The old high wheelers used 72 spokes 4mm thick. How many spokes you need depends on how heavy you are and how big your wheel is. Most wheels can be built with 13 gauge spokes without any modifications. With 12 gauge spokes you will need to do some drilling. Far from becoming extinct 48 spoke wheels are becoming more common on regular bicycles. Huffy is selling single speeds with 12 gauge spokes. I had a dog stick his leg in my spokes. Didn’t hurt him but I ended up with a broken toe. So I would build a 48 spoke wheel with triple butted spokes. You can get these from DT Sapim and Pillar. Right now I’m riding the worlds only 45 spoke wheel.