Hi 30 Helensagree,
Some cast wheel advantages:
Can run tubeless which means easier flat repair for simple punctures with plugs.
Lower maintenance than spokes.
Generally easier to clean and maintain than spokes.
Some spoked wheel advantages:
Can absorb impacts better than cast wheels.
Tubes will hold air even when rims are dented from impact and get you home. (Although you can remove the valve stem and put a tube in a tubless cast wheel to get you home as well if you have a spare tube along).
With a spoked wheel, a dented rim can be replaced with a new re-spoked rim without having to buy a new entire wheel.
Having ridden in Latin America and pounded down some pretty rough roads and over thousands of topes (speedbumps) I prefer spoked wheels with tubes. There is a reason why dirt bikes all have spoked wheels. They can take a beating and are easy to repair in a pinch.
If you are a careful rider and stay mostly on paved roads either wheel type in good condition will likely get you to Tierra del Fuego. But if you hit a deep pothole at speed and taco your wheel or trash your rim, it would be far less expensive and easier to find a rim to respoke on a spoked wheel than to find a spare cast wheel for a big bike south of the border. By big I mean anything over a 250cc.
My thoughts on the subject.
I see this is your first post, so welcome to Horizonsunlimited.
Last edited by John Downs; 14 Aug 2012 at 06:21.