I have an Avanti Giro F2 (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/avanti-giro-f-2-2016/) currently. Im quite a heavy rider at 140kg and wanted to look at strong wheel replacements for the stocks.

I've seen some wheels with more than 36 spokes, but they are all for tandem bikes and was wondering if it was something I could use for a regular bike instead.

Is this possible? If not, what alternatives or specifics can i look at to build as strong a wheel as possible on road rims?

  • Your link is confusing :) avantibikes.com/nz/bikes/road/sport-road/giro-f-2/… works
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:25
  • @Criggie the link isnt dead. The details are further down the page. There are a few changes that wiggle did to the standard bike from avanti.
    – Takarii
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:25
  • Are you actually breaking spokes? or is this preventative replacement? Its not a cheap thing to replace wheels, so I'd suggest riding it till they start to break down and then replace the wheels. You might get a decade out of them.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:32
  • One other unrelated point - tandem front wheels may have silly OLD numbers that are as wide as their rear wheel hubs. You need to avoid those tandem-specific front wheels. For some crazy reason, tandemeers have the ability to put a rear wheel in the front forks, cassette and all. Not quite sure why, but its a gotcha.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:34
  • @Criggie stock spokes snapped about 6 months into riding the bike. I did replace the wheel with a 36 hole mavic open elite with double butted spokes however that was buckled in an accident recently. As such, im looking at options outside of just replacing it with more of the same
    – Takarii
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:35

1 Answer 1


Totally okay - you're focusing on the word tandem, when really both you and tandem riders want a "high spoke count" wheel.

36 spokes or 40 spokes or even 48 spoke hubs and rims exist but not so common in 44 spoke.

The values that are important in sizing a wheel to suit your bike are

  • Over-Locknut Distance or OLD. This is the space between the inside of your rear dropouts, and should be equal to the width of the hub from outside the bearing locknuts on each side.

  • Cassette/freehub/freewheel mount - the system for mounting your gears should be the same, else you will need a new cassette to suit. Yours is a Shimano cassette

  • Number of gears - this relates to the width of the cassette - yours is 9 speed.

  • Through axle or Quick Release - what does your frame take? Appears to be Quick Release in photo.

  • Rim diameter - yours is 700c which means 622mm.

  • BRAKES - your bike has rim brakes, so you MUST have a rim that has a brake track and is rated for rim brakes. Some rims are disk brake only these days.

You should be able to reuse your tyre and tube, unless you elect to get a wider rim and run a wider tyre like a 32 or 35mm. This will totally depend on frame clearance at the seat and chainstays.

Also wheels intended for Tandems may have fittings for a drum or band brake on the rear hub. This may be useful or not in your situation.

ANSWER: Yes you can use a higher-spoke count wheel in your normal bike, exactly the same as you might use in a tandem or a touring bike, provided all the other details match.

  • 1
    I see, so the fact that its labeled "tandem" is irrelevant if the specs are within the frames limits?
    – Takarii
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 9:36
  • 1
    "Tandem" is not irrelevant. Your current bike probably has 135-mm OLD on the rear hub. Tandems typically have wider rear hubs. It's not easy finding 40 or 48-spoke hubs and rims, but they are out there. Peter White Cycles specializes in that kind of thing.
    – Adam Rice
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 13:21
  • @AdamRice ok my point was tandem wheels are not just for tandems. They're all high-spoke count wheels compared to 32, 28, 24, or (shudder) 12 spoke. You do raise a good point, will edit that in now.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 8:56
  • I have two bikes with custom built 48h wheelsets right now and I love them. Velocity sells a la carte rims for a reasonable price, and I've sourced hubs from a few different brands; Wheelmaster (135 OLD "tandem" freehub), Surly (120 OLD fixed/track hub), All City (100mm OLD front hub), and one other front wheel that I am forgetting. I buy the parts that I want online and let the wheelbuilder at my LBS handle the rest.
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 19:53

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