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Lightweight climbing wheelset(4 posts)

Lightweight climbing wheelsetBrad S
Apr 5, 2003 11:01 PM
I am going to get Excel to build a lightweight climbing wheelset. I live in the Rockies where 30-45' climbs are routine, and I would like to build up a lightweight wheelset (please don't start telling me how aero is better, I have a pair of Shamals and they are great wheels but dogs on loooong climbs). They will mainly be race wheels, but will need to be sturdy enough to be used on dirt roads some of the time (as you can't avoid dirt in CO).

I weight 163 lbs and am pretty easy on wheels. Have only broken spokes a couple of times through all my years of riding, but did have a mt. bike wheel with alloy nipples where the nipples started to break after a few months (though I think the kid at the LBS who built the wheel did a bad job!).

Anyhow, I am pretty much set on a King 28 hole front hub, radially laced to a Ritchey Aero (395 gram) rim with Revolution (14/17 DB) spokes and alloy nipples.

The rear wheel is where I have some questions. I again will use a King hub, laced non-drive side radially with Revolutions, and 14/15 DB spokes (3x) on the drive side to a Ritchey OCR aero rim (415 gram, with an offset that takes out 3mm of the dish and relieves the tension difference between drive and non-drive sides from 50% to a much better 20%, plus the radially laced heads out non-drive spokes will help take a little bit more of the dish out of the wheel.

The questions I have are:

Should I use 28 spokes or 32 spokes on the rear?

Should I use alloy or brass nipples for the rear if I go with 32 spokes?

I want the wheel to be light, but I don't want to be popping alloy nipples if people think I might have problems with them. If I go 28 spokes I think I will definitely use brass nipples however and I guess the drive side would have to be 2x then?

Any advice from people who have built up similar wheels?

Does my choices sound reliable enough while still being as "smart" light as I can get the wheels?
re: Lightweight climbing wheelsetlithiapark
Apr 6, 2003 11:22 AM
I have a set of wheels built with King disc-specific hubs, 14/15 revo's, 32 hole, alloy nipples, that I have run on my agressive 5" travel mountain bike for 200+ hours over the past year and havn't tightened the spokes or had to true the rim after the first 15 hours. I weight 160# and ride some pretty demanding trails. If these wheels hold up with disk brake forces it seems what you are suggesting should be OK. The rims I use are 395gm mavic 317's, I think the Ritchey's are just as strong
re: Lightweight climbing wheelsetJerryZ
Apr 6, 2003 1:52 PM
I'd recommend you give Mike Garcia at a call. I just got a pair of MTB wheels done that were much more tailored for me than anything that Excel has for a much better price. I chatted with him on road wheels also. He does everything from the basic to ultra-exotic.
re: Lightweight climbing wheelsetrussw19
Apr 6, 2003 8:28 PM
Brad, three opinions for you...

If you want a light climber wheel and won't be riding it all the time, but will race on it, get tubulars. They are lighter and the ride can't be beat. Build with Mavic Refelx rims or Sun M-19A-II rims. Put on some Conti Sprinter tires and you will be loving the ride.

Second, if you go with King Hubs, don't radial lace them. Use a 2 cross pattern. It's like 20 grams heavier to go 2 cross. And use a 2 cross non-drive 3 cross drive side on the rear. If the extra weight bothers you, make up for it with 28 spokes.

Third, in sticking with the above theme, go 28 hole, but use alloy nipples. If these are race wheels, they won't be getting used that much, and that means trued less. Truing alloy nippled wheels kills them because you slightly strip the nipple everytime you true them. But you can save over 100 grams on a wheels set with Alloy nips over brass.

good luck, and these are just my opinions....