I'm a relatively heavy chap - 95kg or so. (15 stone, 210 pounds) I've got a commuter bike which uses a NuVinci N360 hub. The hub itself is quite heavy at 2.5kg and I suspect contributes to what is already a heavily loaded wheel due to my weight. The wheel itself is a 700c 28 with 32 spokes. All in with bike, padlock and commuter luggage rack and bag I get to about 115kg.
I built a wheel myself for the first time about 4 months ago using 14G double butted Halo spokes. The large size of the hub doesn't allow for anything more than 2 cross which is I what I did. I did not use a spoke tension gauge as it seemed expensive at the time and I was hoping not to build wheels too many times. The wheel was pretty true at the build and I thought I did an OK to good job. but who really knows without a tension gauge.
The wheel was fine for about 4 months, doing 12 road miles a day, but has now started popping spokes - about 1 or 2 a week and clearly needs a rebuild. All the spokes have gone at the elbow - right where it attaches to the hub. No sign of nipples pulling through the rim, which isn't eyeletted. There are obviously quite a few parameters in the above which are not optimised for weight (28 tyre; 32 holes; 14G spokes; amateur wheelbuilder etc). I quite like the belt driven continuously variable transmission for commuting (scratch that, I love it) and so unfortunately the hub and the 32h is something I have to live with. But of the below parameters, how would you prioritise them in order to arrive at something that doesn't pop spokes long term? Really I guess I'm asking if my problem is more due to system spec or system build quality.
- Use 12G or 13G spokes. Or maybe triple butted 14G is better?
- Put a bigger tyre on to reduce peak loading
- Buy a spoke gauge when doing the next build
- Get a professional wheelbuilder to do it
- Get an eyeletted rim which allows more tension
- Anything else you might think of?
Ideally I'd also like to get my son on the back which would add another 15-20kg by the time you pay for the seat. Is it realistic for me to do that without going on a severe diet?
Thanks advance for your thoughts.
EDIT: Added a few more details