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I'm just about to buy a new bike. It comes with Shimano R501 wheels, which are rather lightly spoked (20 front, 24 rear).

I weigh about 230lbs (I'm 6'6") - do you think it'll be worth getting a better pair of wheels with more spokes? Or will I be well within the tolerance levels for the wheels?


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A little marginal, in my opinion, but you might as well use them until they give you trouble (if they do). A lot depends on your riding style. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 30 '14 at 17:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Fewer spokes doesn't necessarily mean a weaker wheel, there are many many variables to consider. Ideally you have a salesman you can trust, or these wheels are online ( link? ) and there are reviews to read. It also depends what you're using these wheels for, of course, a casual road ride isn't likely to do any harm.

At any rate, if you're stuck with the wheels on the bike, you should just use them until they give you trouble as DRH mentioned.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of different spoke styles

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I agree with running them til they give you trouble, but I'd have a shop check them out first to make sure they were built properly. – Batman Jan 31 '14 at 5:02

Check the specification. Some wheels have weight limitations, but your model doesn't look like to have one. One example is one of the Hed wheels (Jets) which in standard build (18/24 spokes) limited to 190 lbs but can be upgraded (with more spokes, 20/28) for 225 lbs riders.

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