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Need help selecting spoke count, spoke guage, and lacing.(9 posts)

Need help selecting spoke count, spoke guage, and lacing.Scy
May 3, 2002 10:31 PM
I have $300 to spend on handbuilt wheels. I weigh 160 lbs and want a light wheelset that won't break over smooth roads with the occassional pothole. I ride about 150 miles/week. Although I plan to use these only on absolutely smooth roads, I will likely use them on every ride because every ride I do is a competitive group ride with about 100 - 300 racer types (I guess I got issues with competitiveness).

I'm considering purchasing from Please critique the following setup:

1. Velocity Aerohead rims with American Classic rear hub and Sun Ringle "Son of Bubba" front hub..

2. 24 14/16/14 spokes up front radial lacing.

3. 28 spokes with 14/15/14 with 2X lacing drive side, and 14/16/14 radial lacing non-drive side. Also, the non-drive spokes will come out from the inner side of the hub to minimize dishing. One opinion is that the radial non-drive design is better because the non-drive spokes will each have equal tension under accelleration and thus will not suffer as much fatigue.

4. I'm going with brass nipples. Are the aluminum ones worth the hassle.

5. Are there any other wheelbuilders you can recommend?

Thanks all!
Some thoughtsKerry
May 4, 2002 6:14 PM
1. Aeroheads are a good rim choice. What does the Ringle hub have to offer over DA or Record (note that the advertised weight on the Ringle is w/o skewers, DA/Campy weight is with skewers. As an example, the King hubs that everyone loves so much are essentially the same weight as Record if you factor out the skewers.

2. At 160 lb. you could go with 15/16 spokes on the front if you "ride light".

3. Radial spoking offers nothing except it makes the spokes easier to clean with a rag. The NDS spokes will have roughly equal tension in a well-built wheel whether they are radial or not, since the load is distributed across the wheel. Spoke fatigue comes from a wheel that is built with too little tension, not from windup during acceleration. The NDS spokes coming from the inside of the flange is a very minor issue. Some people get all worked up about this stuff, but in practice the actual build is a lot more important than "insider tricks" like this, or which way the pulling spokes face on the drive side. Nice theoretical discussions on why this stuff is great, but it doesn't amount to much in practice.

4. Since the Aeroheads don't have eyelets, it's a good idea to go with brass nipples. Or you could go with a heavier, eyleted rim and use alloy nipples, which are much more likely to corrode and crack over the long term. Some people love alloy nipples, others don't.

5 You can get these wheels (with Record or DA) from Colorado Cyclist or Excel for about $300. I've not seen much info. on oddsandendos wheel building quality, but people have good luck with both CC and Excel. Your choice.
radial spokingScy
May 5, 2002 8:06 AM
1. The Ringle hub is designed for radial lacing and is should be very strong as it is also a mountain bike hub. It's also fairly cheap.

3Front: Radial spoking up front offers the advantage of less weight. Although some people think they ride "harsher," others have noticed no difference. Is there any other potential disadvantage to radial spoking?

3Rear: With respect to the rear NDS spokes, I do understand that failure comes from too little tension. All the NDS spokes will have lower tension than the DS spokes at rest or coast. However, the theory is that under hard acceleration half the NDS spokes (trailing spokes?) will have more tension, but the other half (leading spokes) will lose tension; it is the NDS spokes that lose tension that causes failure. With radial NDS lacing, all the NDS will have equal tension in all situations.

I also understand that most of this stuff may just be unproven theoretical hopefulness. However, I have not heard of any significant downsides. What do you think?
Hub WeightsB2
May 5, 2002 9:17 AM
Don't know about the accuracy of the source, but in the Excel catalog you'll find:
1)Record hubs with skewers 497g
2)DA hubs with skewers 554g
3)CK hubs with Salsa Ti skewers 445g
4)Hugi hubs with Salsa Ti skewers 409g

I believe other sources will yield "similar" results. Bottom line - CK vs. Record = ~50g difference and DA vs. Hugi = ~150g difference.

I hope I did the math right :-)
Be carefulKerry
May 5, 2002 3:57 PM
Here's another way to look at this:

CK w/Salsa Ti skewers = 445 gm, $420
Hugi w/Salsi Ti = 409 gm, $430
DA = 550 gm, $170
Record = 480 gm (w/o lock ring), $195
DA w/Salsi Ti = 520 gm, $230
Record w/Salsi Ti = 450 gm (w/o lock ring), $265

And based on many reports, either DA or Record are much more reliable units than CK or Hugi.
No Argument Here (nm)B2
May 5, 2002 4:08 PM
Hub Weightsgoldsbar
May 5, 2002 6:37 PM
I'm dealing with same questions that you are regarding rim/hub choices (I also weigh around the same). One thing I remember from my mtb racing days a few years back is that light hubs blew up a lot. I recall quite a few unhappy owners of Nuke Proof and White Industry rear hubs. My mid-range Shimano hubs were heavy but lasted for ever. The 105's on my road bike are 7 years old and still ticking. Like you, however, I'm looking for a good way to loose some wheel weight.
Go for it. It will help.TFerguson
May 6, 2002 9:42 AM
I believe a very high percentage of biking at a serious level is mental. You have a fitness level and a skill set that you are improving but you want another edge. If starting a sprint by looking down at that radial laced Bubba and knowing that there is a similarly trick laced AC in back gives you a mental jump and allows a little more pain tolerance, it's worth it.
Wheel-wise I think that you can do better...sprockets2
May 6, 2002 1:27 PM
The Aerohead is a good rim, but it has been selling in closeouts all winter and spring and you should be able to get a wheel with them for a good price. I have to agree with some other posters about sticking with Record, DA, or Chorus. These are the names you'll see in the Giro and le Tour, not friggin "son a bubba" !

Radial lacing offers no tangible advantages to the average performance rider, and is not a great idea unless you have a super-duty hub, quality build, and really need a laterally strong wheel. Most people do not need benefit from radial. The riders who say the radials were not rougher riding either had big tires or did not have the spokes tight enough. The weight savings is over-rated. Use Al nips up front to save weight if you must.

I have several reports of NDS radial wheels failing because the spokes are always getting torqued around as they are not designed to deal with torque loads at all, they are fatiguing and failing. Also have heard of the bearings failing prematurely due to the hub/wheel interface not passing torque along effectively. You save little by not using 3x, which, even at your weight is IMHO the say to go-after all you are going to be REALLY CRANKING on this, according to your description.

If you are concerned with dish and torque transfer as you apparently are, consider off-center rims on the rear. I don't know why more people don't make hubs with the holes off-center a bit. As you go lighter and skimpier on the spokes, the wheel really benefits from the added balance, resilience, and durability. I think Ritchey makes some rear rims with off-center holes, and Campy's fast wheels are all off-center, I think. You will transfer torque a lot more effectively. One of the main reasons that NDS don't share more of the torque load is probably that the darned spokes are so loose in comparison to the DS.