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DA/OP Wheel Build Questions(8 posts)

DA/OP Wheel Build Questionsjayb29
May 20, 2003 4:16 AM
I destroyed my Heliums in a crash during a Cat 5 crit a few weeks back, and need to replace both front and rear wheels. I am planning on having a pair of DA/OP wheels built (unless someone can convince me that Ksyriums are a better deal). I was hoping you all could answer a few questions:

1. What spokes should I use (I'm 5'10" and 160lbs and race some): 14g, 15g, 14/15g butted, 14/17g Revolution, etc? I know the butted spokes are lighter, but are there problems with them?

2. Alloy or brass nipples?

3. Any reason to get ceramic, or should I just stay with the standard black OP?

4. How much heavier will these wheels be than something like a Ksyrium SL or similar? How will they compare to my Heliums?

5. Where is the best place to have them built? Colorado Cyclist, Excel, etc? My LBS does less than average builds at a high price.

Thanks for all your insight.

re: DA/OP Wheel Build Questionsdivve
May 20, 2003 6:09 AM
1) Sapim CX Ray spokes, 28H, 3x.

2) the standard Sapim Polyax alloy nipples

3) stick to standard rims - lighter too

4) about the same weight as K's depending on your spoke count. Outer wheel mass will be lighter than K's. No idea regarding the Heliums

5) get someone that specializes in custom wheel builds.

$480 total cost for the above is a reasonable price.
May 22, 2003 10:42 AM
CC and Excel show only DT spokes? Are there any reputable wheelbuilder on the web that have Sapim spokes as a choice? Are Sapim higher in price than DT? I have been thinking about a new wheelset and the idea of getting a custom built set of wheels with these spokes seems a lot cheaper than Ksyriums, Nuetrons, etc.
May 22, 2003 1:28 PM
You can for instance contact Mike Garcia at He has a good reputation and will build anything you want. The Sapim CX Ray spokes are indeed higher priced than most DT spokes. What I like about them is their strength to weight ratio. It's relatively easy to make a light, strong, and stiff wheel with them, without having to resort to special gauge combinations and or "exotic" lacing pattern. In my opinion a traditional 3 cross 28H or 32H build still is one of the best all-round compromises between strength, stiffness, and comfort. Using the CX Rays they'll be light too and suitable for both training and racing.
re: DA/OP Wheel Build QuestionsDaveLobster
May 20, 2003 7:15 AM
To answer some of your questions-

Butted spokes are better than straight gauge. The thinner center section absorbs stress so that the spoke are more resistant to breakage. The fact that they are lighter is gravy. I think you can use 14/17's at your weight, I use them and I weigh almost 180. If that makes you nervous, stick with 14/15's.

Alloy nipples save approx. 20g per wheel. The downside is that they may seize over time, particularly if you ride in bad weather. If you want light wheels, use them. If you want long-lasting wheels which can be easily trued in a year or two, use brass.

I have no experience with ceramic, but the concensus of this board is to save your money (do a search).

Your heliums were claimed to weigh 1600g, but actually weighed approx. 1680g (see Kysrium SL's are claimed to weigh 1530g. I can't find any actual weights, but find that dubious. The old Ksyriums were also claimed to weight 1600g but actually weighed about 1680g (see I find it hard to believe that they stripped 150 grams off with the new model. So let's say that they weigh between 1530 and 1610 grams. (I always use weights are WITHOUT skewers so as to compare apples to apples)

I can give you a couple of estimates of what your wheels would weigh. If you go 32 spoke front and rear, with 14/15 db spokes and alloy nipples, you are looking at 1680g(+-), or about the same as your old wheels. If you go with 14/17 db spokes, 28f/32r, alloy, you can get that down to 1585g(+-). To go much lighter you have to get less spokes, lighter rims, lighter hubs, or some combination of those factors.

If you don't have anyone local you trust, you will probably be fine with Excel or CC(again search the board-it's been discussed). If you are willing to go outside of Shimano/Mavic, I would recommend Mike at Good luck – Dave.
re: DA/OP Wheel Build Questionstheweasonator
May 20, 2003 10:09 AM
I'm almost the exact same ride profile and was actually thinking about the same thing. Do I replace my wheels with DA/MOs or go for the Mavic Ks? DA/MOs seem a little cheaper. I did go to oddsandendos and saw Mike's AC Reflex wheels and they look very impressive and am wondering how durable these are? I'd like to get these as my training and everyday wheels. Anybody know?
re: DA/OP Wheel Build QuestionsMike Prince
May 20, 2003 12:51 PM
I have the Excel Sports Cirrus wheels. DA/OP 32h. 2x revolutions in the front, 3x 14/15 drive side and Revo non-drive. I think they now build them with all brass nipples, but mine have the alloy except on the drive side.

I am considerably heavier (45 lb) than you and ride lots and ride hard. In two years these wheels have needed one touch-up truing. They are plenty strong and cheap -$295 from Excel. Weight is very comparable to the K's.

Don't waste $$ on Ksyriums when you can get these. Obviously I recommend the Cirrus without reservations. Excel's build quality is excellent too.

re: weightsdivve
May 20, 2003 7:27 PM
Approx. build weight without rim tape and skewers:
DA/CX Ray/OP/32H = 1594g
DA/CX Ray/OP/28H = 1556g
(all 3x lacing)

Ksyrium SSC SL = 1598-1600g