What you can expect to find on this page
Wheels with the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 are generally far stronger than 36 spoke derailleur wheels. The spokes are arranged symmetrically so each spoke can be tensioned evenly.
The increased wheel stability becomes immediately apparent during the wheel lacing process - after lacing just a few spoke pairs. SPEEDHUBs do not need to be, and should therefore never be, laced in a 3x pattern.
When the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 is built up into a 32/36 spoke wheel, it is considerably more robust than the common 36 spoke wheels. The stability is approx. the same as a 48 spoke tandem Wheel.
The spoke flanges of the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 are built symmetrically. This allows the spokes to be at the same angle on both sides of the finished wheel, this in turn leads to a much stronger wheel due to the evenly distributed spoke tension.
To build up a strong wheel, the spokes must be tensioned to a . The spoke tension on the cassette side of normal derailleur hubs,is considerably higher (over 1200N) due to the dished way the wheel must be laced. This can also lead to problems with the nipple seat of the rim (see MTB comparison below, the pretension in the 9speed cassette here is reduced to just 600N).
Due to the increased diameter of the hub flanges used by the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, spokes laced in a two-cross pattern enter the rim at roughly the same angle as a three-cross lacing pattern on smaller flanged hubs. There is less load on the spokes because of the large spoke hole PCD. The spokes pull further away from the axle center, therefore the hub flange has a better lever to pull the wheel around (torque = force x lever length).
The comparison below shows the maximum spoke loads. The numbers in brackets are the pretensioned min. force of the spokes after lacing, truing and tensioning with an inflated tire (tire pressure 60p.s.i.):
The figures for the 9-speed tandem wheel are better than those of the solo MTB wheel due to the fact that the spokes are not at so steep of an angle and there are 48 of them regardless that there are two riders on the tandem. But even here, the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 wheel with 1206N against 1409N is the better option.
Why 36 spokes?
SPEEDHUB 500/14 wheels are generally (even for tandem applications) far stronger than the derailleur wheels of the same size. We introduced 36 hole versions due to our popularity for global touring cyclists. This decision was not a reaction to strength concerns, but rather to ease the ability for these cyclists to locate replacement rims in remote regions of our planet. The feedback we received orm our sponsoed riders as well as general customer feedback, proved that most shops at that time, tended to stock 36 hole rims only.