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Wheelbuild questions(8 posts)

Wheelbuild questionsCalgaryDave
Mar 18, 2002 9:49 PM

I'm purchasing a new Cervelo Prodigy and will be having a set of handbuilts made for it. I'm a fairly strong rider, more MTB than road though, weigh 185 and ride on smooth mountainous roads. Most rides are 100-200 kilometers in distance and I hope to throw in a few road races this season on the same set of wheels.

My picks are:
Campy Centaur 32h (f&r)
Mavic Open Pro 32h (f&r)
DT Swiss spokes - 2.0/1.5 Revolution front 3x
- 2.0/1.5 Revolution rear non-drive 3x
- 2.0/1.8 Competition rear drive 3x
aluminum nipples (f&r)

As I'm a relative newbie at this road wheel thing I'm looking for opinions as to the durability/lightness of this wheelset. Does anyone my size have a set similar? How are they? Any changes you would recommend?

The shop guy is trying to tell me that 2.0 spokes don't fit well in those hubs and wants me to go 1.8 straight gauge. Is this B.S.?

Thanks in advance,
re: Wheelbuild questionscurlybike
Mar 18, 2002 10:10 PM
I prefer brass nipples for durability. Al. nipples tend ti seize to the spokes in time. This makes truing very difficult. Tell the lazy bum you want 2.0 spokes. 1.8's are too loose in the spoke holes in the hub and will fail way too soon. Reference to this can be found in The Art of Wheelbuilding by Gerd Schraner, the head man at DT. He knows his shtuff about wheels.
re: Wheelbuild questionssprockets2
Mar 19, 2002 8:12 AM
I would not mess with the super-butted spokes, stick with 14/15. I have heard from a couple of builders that the s-butts tend to be a problem for staying in tune and getting in tune. If you are hellbent on saving ten grams, only do it on the front! You are saving virtually no weight, so fuggetaboudit.

Ditto Al nips, go brass, you will be happy you did in three years.

Heresy, but hey, times change: I just put Velocity Fusion rims on my bike and I like 'em. Stronger than the O Pro, and only a bit heavier. Remember the OP design is somewhat dated-and combined with Legendary French Craftsmanship ;) -they really aren't that strong of a rim to start with, especially if you are big and aggressive.

My initial reaction to what your "wheelbuilder" says is this: get a new wheelbuilder.
brass nipps, and wheelsmith spokes ;-)Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 19, 2002 9:19 AM
even if you use wheelsmith db 2.0/1.7 all round with brass nipps your wheel will only be slightly heavier than what you plan (about 420 grams 3x for 64 spokes and nipps) but will be a better bet for longeveity and integrity of build.

i was a naysayer as well and thought i rode light, could build better, and everone else was just dated in their views with regards to spokes and nipples. admittedly everyone pushed the dt's but i chose wheelsmith. the only difference i noticed was in my head as my clock didnt change and i kept with all the same gears and cadence as before on my regular course without having to true the wheels constantly and no spoke failue. if anything the wheels feel like they have more "snap" or alacrity.

if the weight bugs you choose a 30g lighter tire. and replace 5 times a year instead of 4 as it wears quicker.

oh, if nashbar have a runout on their 32 hole daytona hubs for about $50 and $30 for the rear and front. 9 speed tho.

your combo looks fine and balanced.

agree with others ditch the idiot builder.
re:Another vote for brass nipplesdzrider
Mar 19, 2002 9:37 AM
I recently tried to true an 8 yr old wheel with alloy nipples and most of them crumbled or rounded in the spoke wrench. This has not been a problem with brass. I like Wheelsmith spokes as much as DT and, at 175 lbs, find little increase in durability from straight guage spokes. Almost every spoke I've broken has snapped at the bend, so get as much as you can at that point.
"Always" go butted spokesKerry
Mar 19, 2002 5:07 PM
Spokes don't break in the straight section, they break at the head. The strength of a spoke is determined by the thickness of the butt (head and thread). Butted spokes are more resilient and allow the forces to be distributed better over the wheel, and obviously they are lighter. The only downsides to butted spokes are cost and a bit more tendency for spoke windup. You can easily go 15/16 in the front and on the left side in the back, but probably should go 14/15 on the drive side. Your tradeoffs for weight and durability, though the added weight of 16 14/15 spokes will be pretty minimal. 14s certainly will fit in the hubs. 15 gauge spokes will only result in head breakage due to "sloppy fit" if the wheel is not properly tensioned, allowing the spoke heads to move with each wheel revolution.
Thanks for your advice. (nm)CalgaryDave
Mar 21, 2002 9:41 PM
14/15's for durabilityjw25
Mar 22, 2002 2:03 PM
First off, the wheelbuilder is full of it. The 2.0 spokes should fit snugly, but they'll fit. Chances are the shop has a bunch of 1.8 straights they want to get rid of.
As far as the wheelset goes, what you've proposed is a fine set of wheels. I've had better luck with alloy nips than brass, so that's totally up to you. It's only 20 grams difference, though, and I've yet to see a broken brass nipple. I've personally snapped a few older alloy ones, though they were old - and purple anodized (it's a curse).
I'm running about 140 lbs. right now, and have raced off-road on 15/16's front and rear, with 14/15's on the rear drive side. Those wheels lasted 5 years, and were rebuilt this winter due to rim issues, not spoke problems. However, I went with 14/17 revos, because the 15 gauge section tends to dig into the hub flange quite a bit.
For the rims, the Open Pro's are fine, but at your weight, you might want to sacrifice a few grams for stiffness. I built up a set of CXP-33's recently, with Sapim 14/17 ultra-butteds, and they're very responsive. The Velocity Fusion's been mentioned, as well, and I'm sure there are others. I'd stay away from the box-type rims, like MA-3's, if you plan to race.
As many others have noted, the quality of the build is more important than the components used. Not to say the parts don't matter, but having optimum and balanced tension will greatly increase the longevity. Really, half the fun of custom wheels is, they're custom. Have fun.