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I'm looking at couple of new wheelsets. Sun Ringle Charger Pro and American Classic All Mountain 26 tubeless.

Both say they are "all-mountain" rims. The Chargers have 24 spoke count per wheel, the American Classic's have 32 spokes per wheel.

Is this going to greatly affect strength and durability? I have seen great reviews about the Chargers just curious how much of a difference the decrease in spoke count is.

Thanks!!!
 

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Unless the wheels are going to take a serious thrashing, and/or will be used by a heavier rider, the 24 spoke wheel should hold up fine assuming it is well built and maintained. A 32 spoke wheel will probably be a bit more robust and certainly heavier, it's up to you to decide if that extra weight is worth it.
 

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the 32-spoke wheel will not necessarily be heavier... especially with american classic hubs. it also depends on the spokes used. for example, 48 c29ssmax spokes & nipples weigh more than 64 DT Revolutions & nipples.
even if using the same-spec spokes, a 24-spoke wheel needs a stronger (heavier) rim due to the longer unsupported length between spokes.
the heavier duty the wheels need to be, the less sense low spoke counts make (not that there's any sense in a 24-spoke mountain bike wheel, even for lightweight XC riders), even though they may work.
 

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In general lower spoke count wheels compensate with higher spoke tension for strength. Higher spoke tension requires a stronger rim (read heavier) and also stronger hub flanges. I saw first hand with the Rolf/Bontrager wheels that using traditional spokes in this application caused spoke failures fairly early in the life of the wheels. When a rim with fewer spokes and really high spoke tension breaks a spoke, it's not a pretty sight. The wheel goes way out of true and repair is more difficult as well as other spokes tend to start failing. Most of these wheels had to go back to Trek for complete rebuilds (rim, spokes, hub bearings) at a significant, though cheaper than new wheel cost. Now many wheel manufacturers have switched over to strait pull spokes (steel or alloy) which does reduce broken spokes from fatigue. But sticks on the trail don't seem to show any preference and a broken spoke still results in the same issues.

So the point of this story...yes more spokes makes a significant difference in increased durability of a wheel. I'm sure the Chargers are great new, we'll see how they are when they're three years old.
 

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Spoke count, along with build and material quality, are the biggest contributors to a wheel's strength, stability and longevity. More spokes means the tension and riding stresses on the wheel are spread over more points and more material. Also, the failure of one spoke will be, as others have pointed out, less catastrophic. The wheel is likely to remain truer longer. Fewer spokes looks cool, but functionally doesn't make sense.
 

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If both wheels are well built with quality components, I don't think there is really going to be much of a difference between the two. There is a point of diminishing returns somewhere. But, considering that 32 spokes seems to be today's standard, I would just stick with that simply due to better parts availability and increased ability to withstand a broken spoke or two.
 
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