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Guage of spokes for new wheels - need rec's(11 posts)

Guage of spokes for new wheels - need rec'sFender
Jul 9, 2003 10:38 AM
I'll be getting a new wheelset for everyday riding and racing. Hubs will be Ultegra and rims Open Pro's. Front spoke count will be 28 holes while the rear will be 32. I was thinking of using 14/15/14, but would prefer something lighter. Any recommendations. Budget is of $250 with shipping from CC. Using lighter nipples (brass??) I weigh ~155

thanks!
re: Guage of spokes for new wheels - need rec'sKG 361
Jul 9, 2003 10:48 AM
You may want to try straight guage 15 on the front and butted on the rear. Front would be lighter and the rear would be fairly bomb-proof.
re: 15Gcyclopathic
Jul 9, 2003 11:21 AM
WheelSmith 14/15 DB are sronger and 8g lighter then 15G.

For really light set I'd go with XL14 (14/17 DB) radial heads in on front, half radial heads out rear and kept DB for drive side.
I think that this only saves 25 grams on the front wheelContinental
Jul 9, 2003 11:59 AM
And the weight savings is not all at the periphery, so idt doesn't even have as much effect on the rotational inertia as reducing rim or tire weight by 25 grams. I'd go with the 14/15 butted spokes.
You can go lighter.jw25
Jul 9, 2003 10:54 AM
Personally, I weigh 150, and my "nice" wheels are American Classic hubs laced to CXP-33's with 14/17 Sapims and alloy nips. Not superlight, but strong and light.
For you, for everyday use, maybe rethink the front. I'd go 32 spokes - it's pretty small in terms of extra weight, but those extra spokes add strength. Plus, at 32, I'd be more than comfortable going with ultra-butted spokes, like the Revolution, XL14, or Laser. Stick with 14g ends, though, as they fit the hub holes better, and do less damage to the flange. Again, minor weight difference for increased reliability. Alloy nips are just fine, but don't radial-lace the Ultegras. 2x will work as well as 3x, and looks a little different. 1x would work as well, but I'd stick with 2x or 3x for strength.
Out back, see if you can get different gauges on each flange. I prefer to try to balance spoke tension between the flanges, and using the same gauge, same pattern doesn't allow that. You can either decrease the left side gauge, or drop a cross or two, but either one helps. I'd say 14/15 drive side, 14/17 non-drive, 3x both sides. Alloy nips just fine - actually, I've had more trouble truing brass nips than alloy, and provided the spokes are properly sized, and fill most of the nipple's threads, the strength isn't an issue.
CC builds good wheels, but it might be worth taking the pair to a reputable builder locally, and having the tension and true checked, as well as stress-relieving, just in case. Most wheel problems can be traced to bad builds or improper tensioning, rather than faulty componenents.
Good all-arounders there - definitely raceable, but also up to the long haul. Replace the bearings and regrease them once a year, and those hubs should outlast the rims.
re: Guage of spokes for new wheels - need rec'swilsonc
Jul 9, 2003 11:26 AM
since butted spokes are stronger and lighter this is what i'd do:

front: 15/16/15 or 14/17/14 (revolutions) depending on budget

rear: 14/15/14 drive side 3X, 14/17/14 revolutions radial non-drive side. This lacing pattern and spoke guage better matches the tension on both sides so it is a better/stronger/more durable wheel build than say a 3X non-drive side. its also lighter to boot.

wilson
how much you weigh?ColnagoFE
Jul 9, 2003 1:01 PM
I have a set of CXP33s built with 14/15s for everyday use and a set of Open Pros built with revs for hillclimbs. I weigh about 187 now and the rev wheels are not all that stiff. When out of the saddle cranking or on fast descents I much prefer the stiffer wheels.
14 guage seat better in the hubsgtx
Jul 9, 2003 1:32 PM
so I'd use 14/15s or the 14/17 revs.
What about oval spokes?Fender
Jul 9, 2003 3:29 PM
I hear oval spokes are the most aerodynamic? Being a 15 gauge spoke, how strong is it? Using 3x lacing

Would it a weaker wheel compared to a 14/17/14?

As for the rear wheel, I'll be using 14/17/14 non drive side and 14/15/14 drive side.

Thanks to all who have posted!!! =)
What about oval spokes?xcandrew
Jul 9, 2003 4:59 PM
Oval spokes (Sapim cx-ray, DT aerolite, Wheelsmith) are plenty strong in tension... the huge amount of cold working that the spokes undergo when forged flatter make them stronger than regular 15 gauge spokes. However, building a good wheel with them would be difficult because the torsional stiffness of the spoke proportional to the 4th power of the thinnest cross-sectional dimension. At 0.9 mm, these are WAY flexy torsionally (almost 4x)compared to the 1.6 centers of the light DT 1.8-1.6-1.8 spokes that are good but already harder to build than thicker spokes. What this means is that you aren't going to get a lot of spoke tension on the wheel, and thus it won't be nearly as strong, making them good for special applications only (time trials) unless you are willing to put up with dealing with weak equipment (a lot of people are though). Also, with not as much spoke tension in the build with these spokes, they are more likely to become slack and lose tension... twisting out of plane, creating more drag than standard spokes if you don't keep an eye on them. A spoke adhesive kludge like Wheelsmith Spokeprep would probably be a good idea with this kind of spoke. Manufacturers of "boutique" wheels have equipment to load the rims and unload the spokes when building with similar spokes to get them up to a good tension without twisting apart the spokes, but it would be difficult for a normal wheelbuilder.
re: Guage of spokes for new wheels - need rec'sxcandrew
Jul 9, 2003 4:40 PM
I would recommend swaged 15 gauge spokes, such as DT 1.8-16-1.8 or wheelsmith 1.8-1.55-1.8. Swaged spokes build stronger wheels than straight gauge because they absorb stresses in the thin section away from ends, thus lowering fatigue failures at the ends. (Quality spokes don't break in the center in use.) Thinner spokes are not as strong as thicker ones, but they do make stronger wheels that can take more load because the spokes are more elastic and are less likely to go slack under a big hit that can cause collapse. The problem with Revolution style spokes is that it is hard to get them up to a high enough tension without twisting apart the center section when building the wheel because the ratio of the thick to thin section is too great. (Torsional stiffness is proportional to the 4th power of the diameter.) Unless you (or the builder) devise a way to compress the rim when building with these, you can't get them to as high a tension as regular 15-16-15 spokes and thus reduce the load carrying capacity of the wheel. This is especially true with fewer spokes (less than 36), because each spoke should take higher tension to put the same compressive stress on the rim. In any case the DB15 Wheelsmith spoke weigh the same as the 14-17 Revolutions (within 3 grams or so for 32 spokes) and the 15-16-15 DT's are within 15 g or so. As for the 1.8 ends seating in hubs, that shouldn't be a problem with a good build. There is enough stress on the hub that the flange should deform plastically at the interface with the spoke, conforming to the spoke and giving it good support (though there was a problem with DT's a couple years ago that had elbows too long.) Aluminum nipples save a little weight, work o.k. with the eyeleted rims, and probably won't fail in use, but they suck anyway. They are 1/3 the weight of brass, but that's only 20g per wheel and will be a pain down the line if you ever need to mess with them, and they are more likely to crack. The thinner spokes are a little harder to build though because of spoke twist and 28 hole front might make it even hard to get it up to a good tension, but it should still be plenty strong for a front wheel.

Jobst Brandt (The Bicycle Wheel) has 200,000 miles on a set of DT 1.8-1.6-1.8 spokes that have outlast scores of rims. They should never break if properly built (stress-relieved, etc.) and are not defective, nicked by a chain or that kind of thing.