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spoke suggestions(6 posts)

spoke suggestionsoff roadie
Jun 29, 2003 8:38 PM
Bit of background- I got into road biking about a year ago with a used road bike. It needed a new rear rim when I got it, so I selected one that the shop had wjhich matched the ERD of the existing rim, and did a quick swap. I was very happy- the rims had an offset spoke bed, was on sale for a very good price, and swpped over very nicely.

1000 miles later, I've come to realise the Bontrager Fairlayne is NOT a normal road rim. Its 560 grmas. Yes, it handles outright abuse like a dream- my commute rides are fearless and furious, more like urban cyclocross (including some 1/4 mile of dirt road).

But I really want something lighter for long hilly weekend rides. Obviously I'll be ditching the Specilized Turbo's, but I'm also building a new set of cheap-but-light wheels.

Hubs will be 32 hole 105 front and rear. Rear rim is a Velocity Aerohead OSB, front is a Ritche Aero Pro. I have these parts now.

I wiegh 195 lbs. Any spoke suggestions?

I'm thinking Wheelsmith Xl15 front, wheelsmith XL 14 (left) / DB 14 (right) rear. Alloy nipples all around except drive side rear.

With those spokes, will they be strong enough, assuming a top notch build and none of my usually commuting hijinks?

Estimated (rather conservatively, but with manufactueres weights) weight for this setup is is ~700 g front, ~930 grams rear, which seems quite nice for wheels that run under $200 for parts (checked on Cambria)!
re: spoke suggestionsHillRepeater
Jun 30, 2003 2:33 PM
No way I'd recommend the XL17's at your weight. I would be hesitant to recommend them to someone that weighed 140 - especially as everyday wheels. I'd go DB14's all the way around. The weight difference is marginal and you'll get a much stiffer wheel out of the build. If you're super concerned with weight, search out some lighter rims and tires - those will have more impact on the 'speed' of the wheelset without impacting the stiffness of the wheel as much as usiing super thin spokes.
re: spoke suggestionsoff roadie
Jul 1, 2003 2:01 PM
Thanks. I guess that's why XL15's are the thinnes spoke on the market, eh?

My thinking on spokes was that DB14's all around is overkill. Sure, its needed on the drive side to hold my weight, but I built a front wheel with 24 Wheelsmith AE (a squished DB 15) and they are apprently stiff enough in that aplication. Granted, that wheel has a Velocity Deep V rim, but its done over 1000 miles, some of it outright abusive, and has never needed truing.

Maybe I "ride light" for my weight- I prefer to spin pretty high when climbing and have a talnt for "floating" that comes from riding "hard fork" MTB's.

As an alternate to the WS DB 14, The DT Aerolite potentially looks good. Claimed weight is similar to Wheelsmith DB15, but its actually got a cross section eqivalent to 1.6 mm round, and 2.0mm ends. I think that may be a plan- XL15's are a admitedly bit wimpy (I'm not sure a thinner spoke exists) and the 2.0mm ends make me feel safer. I could pair them with DT competitions (2.0/1.8/2.0) in the right rear for some extra radial / torque stiffness. The rear should be as good or better than WS DB14's on both sides, and the front doesn't worry me none. Now I just need to find somebody who sells them in lots of 16-20 rather than the 64-100 the local bikeshop always wants me to order...

Sapim CX-ray's have the same the same dimensions as DT Aerolites and are reputed to build nicely stiff wheels- apparently some succesful DH mtb racers use them! I wonder why nobody sells a 2.0/1.6/2.0 round spoke, given the hype about CX-ray weight vs stiffness?

The rims I have tip the scales at just over 400 grams. Are there meaningfully lighter rims available at a moderate price? That would work well for somebody my weight?
I'll admit that the weight saving is for alloy nips is minor, on the order of buying lightweight tubes or even less. But there seems no reason not to, if you use them propperly.

I know tires and tubes are the easiest way to save weight / rotating mass, and have picked some decent ones, although I'm personally fond of 25c tires with at least a modicrum of flat protection. No Paperlights for me.
Alloy nipples maybe not the bestKerry Irons
Jun 30, 2003 4:39 PM
At 195 lbs rider weight, it seems like you would want reliability vs. marginal weight savings. Alloy nipples and superbutted spokes are marginal weight savings items, at the cost of reliability. YMMV.
not so huge a risk as the rims, roadie
Jul 1, 2003 2:25 PM
Thanks, it is something I'd given thought to.

I've bought wheels that had alloy nipples in places I'd rather they didn't (rear right of an otherwise beefy MTB wheel) and the only issue I had was corrosion from winter riding, which showed up when I went to increase the tension on all the spokes after learning to build my own wheels.

I generally do avoid AL nips when nipple relaibility is even a potential concern, but they don't seem the "weakest link" in any lighter weight wheelset I'd be using. AFAIK, 700c rims that are not designed for touring / cyclocoss can't really take more stress than alloy nipples can apply anyhow.

I think with decent prep work and use, they can work as well as brass. I can't find any good reference that says otherwise. There probably is a reliability trade off, but it seems to be at the outer end of the emvelope where you have larger riders doing loaded tours, or when used with disc brakes. I don't expect any trouble given my intended use / riding habbits / maintenance.
re: I'd go with WS DBcyclopathic
Jul 2, 2003 4:30 PM
you get stiffer wheel and only loosing ~45g on front and 20 on left. WS DB are actually 1.7mm in middle. I would also build half radial heads out rear and heads in radial front lighter and stiffer.


PS check Jenson has good price on WS spokes