Spokes Vs Mag Wheels

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Anyone interested in mag wheels might find this interesting.

I thought long and hard before getting the $400 mag wheel option on my Pedego Interceptor. I did it mostly because the mags increased the weight carrying capacity from 275 to 400 pounds. In addition to the price, I was also concerned about weight increase to an already heavy e-bike. The LBS told me the mags would add 4.5 pounds to the total bike weight.

My wife has the same Pedego Interceptor except hers has spoked wheels. I recently changed tires on both bikes to a more aggressive tread. In so doing, I took the opportunity to weigh each bare rim. I was quite surprised to find both the spoked and mag rear wheels with brake disks and motors weighed exactly 12 pounds each! The front mag wheel with brake disk weighed just 4.5 OUNCES more than the spoked wheel. I think the LBS misread the stats and confused ounces with pounds.

In the case of the Pedego Platinum Interceptor, the mag wheel option added a little over a quarter pound to the total bike weight. Obviously, this may be different on other models however.
 

cldlhd

Active Member
I wish "mag" wheels were an option when I ordered my 700 series. It's still early days as I've only had the bike maybe a month but the only problem I have with it is the spokes making a noise when I hit the throttle and that sudden torque tries to rotate the wheel. I've gone over the wheels with a tension meter and set them to spec which put it at a true and then I gradually got it back true and I still get the sound probably one set of every five times I hit the throttle. I've pulled over and grabbed each spoke by hand and felt to see if it's loose and if I find one that feels a little looser than the others I snug it a little but it still happening I'm afraid that I'll break one. I'm not really sure if the sound is where the spoke is into the rim or where the spokes cross each other flexing
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
My wife's Interceptor with spokes made a "tinking" sound under acceleration when I rode her bike. It's quiet when she rides but she is much lighter. The noise went away after around 500 miles or so.

The $400 mag wheel option wasn't cheap and it certainly won't pay for itself by eliminating spoke repairs. I'm a heavy rider though and the peace of mind the mags give makes it worth the price.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
If I could order a set of carbon mag wheels for my ebike or regular road bike I would, if there was no weight penalty. Besides doing away with all the problems with spokes, I love mag wheels look on a bike.

the Superstrada can be ordered with mag wheels and they look great. Unfortunately, they don't state the weight of the wheels.

 

cldlhd

Active Member
My wife's Interceptor with spokes made a "tinking" sound under acceleration when I rode her bike. It's quiet when she rides but she is much lighter. The noise went away after around 500 miles or so.

The $400 mag wheel option wasn't cheap and it certainly won't pay for itself by eliminating spoke repairs. I'm a heavy rider though and the peace of mind the mags give makes it worth the price.
Sgredi
If I could order a set of carbon mag wheels for my ebike or regular road bike I would, if there was no weight penalty. Besides doing away with all the problems with spokes, I love mag wheels look on a bike.

the Superstrada can be ordered with mag wheels and they look great. Unfortunately, they don't state the weight of the wheels.

I don't think the weight penalty is as great as many think. Obviously it depends on the wheel. With the added weight of an e-bike it's even less percentage wise.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
I don't know about these wheels specifically, but on motorcycles, spoked wheelsets are WAY stronger and resistant to breaking compared to 'mag' or cast alloy wheels. Additionally, generally the latter are considerably lighter as well, but obviously in this case they are the same. Makes one wonder why a sales agent would make a point to claim they are heavier.

The biggest problem with motorbike spoked wheels is making them air tight for a tubeless setup. It is a much bigger challenge than a wheel where the spoke nipples are on the outside of the rim, as in the rim shoulder, or a sealed alloy wheel/rim.

Additionally, in general an alloy wheel will crack or break on impact, whereas a spoked wheel may only bend but still hold air. Either can utilize an innertube for emergency air holding.

Just FYI...

Here's a BMW spoked wheel with external nipples. Technically this setup uses spokes with the nipples in the hub. Interesting, they also employ a grub-screw in the nipple that locks it from turning. These wheels are extremely difficult to true, but tend to stay that way. They cost a couple of grand each, or about $800 additional cost when opting for them on a bike purchase. I know, I had one for a time.



Alloy rim, common. Ideal for tubeless. Lighter weight, but not nearly as strong:

 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Interesting. Thanks for the info.

In the case of the Pedego e-bike, I wonder why the weight carrying capacity increases by 45% with the mags if they are "weaker". Perhaps the manufacturer is ignoring the impact resistance? Does this mean the mag will roll carrying the extra weight without buckling better than the spoke but break more easily if it hits something? I'm not sure I like the trade-off.

I found this article when bike shopping a while back. It pretty much says what has been discussed here except they claim mags are lighter than spokes. This isn't true in the case of the Pedego.

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Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
It would be interesting to see a weight comparison between a carbon spoked wheel and a carbon 'mag' wheel. Having said that, I'm not sure if anyone has even attempted to make a carbon 'mag' wheel for bicycles.
I know you can buy carbon 'mag' wheels for cars, but they're VERY expensive.