Technical FAQ: Wheel recommendations for heavy rider

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Aug. 11, 2009
  • Updated Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:35 AM EDT

Dear Lennard,

I am 6-feet, 5-inches tall and weigh about 250 pounds. Do you have any recommendations on what type of road wheels to get?

My questions must include:

  • How many spokes?
  • What size spokes?
  • What type of rims?
  • Any places to look up information concerning this subject?
  • What type of hubs to get?


Dear John,

I’d do DT TK 7.1 rims, 36-hole, with 14/15-gauge butted spokes and brass nipples with any of a number of hubs. Chris King, Campy Record, Dura-Ace, and many others are all nice.

You could also do 36-spoke Mavic CXP30 rims. It isn’t as strong, but it is lighter. In prebuilt wheels, the most reliable road wheel we’ve found for a rider your size is the Mavic Ksyrium Elite.

You might find information on some of the Clydesdale forums online, but rarely is there a mention of road wheels on them. My own site – – of course, always has information on equipment for big and tall riders.

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQ TAGS: / / / / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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