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building up wheels(11 posts)

building up wheelscollegiateryder
Dec 8, 2003 9:55 PM
hey all,

im thinking about taking what sounds like good advice and having a wheelset built up for me. im thinking about going with the following setup,

mavic open pro rims
dura ace hubs
dt swiss champion spokes w/ brass/nickel nipples

im looking to use this in all my races.
how does this sound? if my calculations are correct it should cost about $350 + labor and should weigh in at a bit under 1600grams. ksyrium SSC SLs weigh in at 1500 and are about $450 more.
after thinking about it a bit it really does make more sense to build them up seeing as how i can afford to repair a $75 rim in the event of a crash and the more pricey and flashy wheelsets, although aesthetically incredible seem totally overpriced considering that im not gonna be pacelining at 30+ mph any time soon. a 40mm rim seems like overkill.

i know i might be going overboard worrying about components, but im doing all the training so i want to have equipment that functions well.

thanks in advance
Better check your math...Uncle Tim
Dec 8, 2003 11:50 PM
I just built up a set of wheels with this combo: Dura Ace Hubs and Mavic Open Pro rims. I meticulously weighed each component before building the wheelset.

Of the two rims, neither of them weighed less than 435g (they are advertised at 425g).

Rims(2): 871g
Hubs(2): 555g (377g rear and 178g front)
Spokes(64):approx 419g (14-15 dbl-butted)
Nipples(64): 64g (aluminum)

I am very pleased with the wheelset and it was a very good value, but there's no way you're gonna get them anywhere close to 1600g per set.
no, YOU check YOUR mathWoof the dog
Dec 9, 2003 5:09 AM
buahahahaa, I will step on your face with my clown shoes...

I will blow up funny balloon animals and throw them at you,


just kidding...

you are forgetting the fact that Ksyriums are weighed without skewers, I am pretty friggin sure. The hub weights you have indicated include skewers which adds 125-ish grams per pair of hubs. Check (see weight list).

You can be right at 1600 grams with the following and still having a good price and just as good durability (well unless you weigh a lot).

Dura Ace hubs, 28 holes front/rear. Buy hubs from, seems the cheapest option. 160 bucks, possibly, for a pair.

Calculate for spoke length for 2 cross, not 3 cross. There is no real difference between the patterns, and nobody was able to prove that to me otherwise. 2 cross will be shorter, therefore saving weight and will look nicer. Use DT revolution spokes, they are nice. Maybe something heavier on drive side rear.

to get closer to 1600 grams you can use al nipples (except for drive rear side where you should use brass), but if you gonna race and train, use brass everywhere, which may add like I donno, say 30 grams, which aint' gonna hold you back. You can calculate all of this using the component weight list found through the link on

Buy velocity aeroheads, 28 hole front/rear, though tiny bit less stout than open pro rims and not machined breaking surface, they are lighter (~410 grams). They cost i think less, and many people like them. Beware of where you buy 'em, I remember some places were selling some kind of unusual stock that differed either in joint quality or weight.

Have them built up by someone you know and trust. I know they are going to recommend 3 cross, but do not give in, 2 cross is just as good, should be lighter (if you want to be rediculous about weight), and most of all IT LOOKS PRETTIER with my clown shoes!

My wheelset came out to be just above 1560 grams, but now its ligher due to rim wear ;0). They were weighed on a lab scale, so if this is wrong, then many of your tax dollars that have gone to NIH have been a waste.

Even in the beginning my wheelset was ligher than all the Ksyrium wheels I saw on the road (a few years back), because you don't really believe that the wheels will weigh what they tell you they weigh, do you?

The older Ksyriums varied in weight quite strikingly. I may be wrong, but I heard that some weighed almost 1700 grams, though advertised as 100 grams less.

Let this be a lesson to you, Uncle Tim. Clowns know their sh!t. We are 100 percent real and 100 percent lethal.

Hugs and kisses XOXOXO

Woof the dog.
Math is hard for clowns...Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2003 6:44 AM
There's no way you're gonna build a DA/OP wheelset at 1600 grams, at least not how you propose. Mr. Doggie.

The wheelset I built, 3x on both, weighed in at something like 1911g. 32 spokes.

Again, the Dura Ace Hubs alone weigh 855g. Shimano is very accurate in giving their advertised weight. You can't shave any weight off there.

Yep, you COULD save weight by going to a Velocity rim. I have no idea how much they weigh. Even if they come in at 410 g per rim, as you say, you'd save a whopping 51g over a pair of Mavic Open Pros (I'm very skeptical of that possibility).

Dura Ace hubs (855g)with two rims weighing 820g already weigh close to 1700g!!! But I've never seen a bicycle wheel without spokes, so it's very hard for me to believe you have such a wheel weighing under 1600g!

And, yes, you can save weight by going with a 28 spoke build. But that brings into question issues like long term durability, rider weight etc. Still, eliminating 8 spokes per set will save you something like 52g.

Building 2X vs. 3X is going to shave off mere grams, since the only change is spoke length. And you aren't going to save much by using superlight nipples.

The way I figure it, you've shaved off 125g at the very most. 1909 - 125 = 1784g. And that's a very optimistic scenario.

As I said, there's no way you're gonna get that wheelset anywhere near 1600g. Under 1600g? I don't think so.
Mine weigh 1,616..........Len J
Dec 9, 2003 6:53 AM
with skewers.

Weighed on a lab scale, 32 DT 15/16 spoke, 3x front & drive side rear, 2x non-drive side rear, alloy nipples. D/A with oper pros.

I don't know where you have screwed up, but you have.


I still can't see it...Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2003 7:16 AM
All of the Open Pro rims that I've weighed have come in well over the 425g advertised weight. I'm still coming up with a very optimistic weight of 1405g for the hubs and rims. Your 64 spokes and nipples have to weigh in the neighborhood of 211g.

I've never built a wheel with 15-16 dbl butted spokes and I've never weighed them, but in order to stay around 1616g, they can only weigh about 4.6g each.

I've weighed lots of 14-15 spokes and single butted 14 g spokes. 14-15 gauge spokes weigh in at around 6.6g each.

That means that I'm getting very heavy samples or 15-16 dbl-butted spokes are 2g lighter than 14-15 gauge.
Oops, I did make one error in this last message...Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2003 7:03 AM
Dura Ace hub weight is 585g NOT 885g as I said. I should have checked that before writing it.

Dura Ace hubs with a two rims weighing 410 each is going to give a total weight of 1395g. To keep total wheelset weight down to 1600g, the 56 spokes and nipples must weigh in at 205g.

I just checked my notes. My weight for 32 14-15 dbl butted spokes was 423g - almost a pound! And that doesn't count nipples.
Oops, I did make one error in this last message...collegiateryder
Dec 9, 2003 7:19 AM
well, regardless of the weight, so long as they are in that region they have to perform better than my shimano 540's because even if the da/open pros arent 1600g or so, the shimanos are 1900+ grams so virtually anything is lighter. and the rim on the shimanos is 27mm, which some say gives so little aero advantage that it is negligible.

im thinking that the dura ace/open pro setup is going to be a big step up from the 540's.

thanks for the replies.
Definitely a good wheelset...Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2003 12:08 PM
...lighter than most, very durable, affordable. But they are not superlight wheels, by any stretch of the imagination.

If you are a racer, and you want to stand on the podium, I'd suggest you go with the lighter (and more expensive)wheels. But if you are a weekend warrior looking for good, solid performance then you are making a good choice.

And you can always do like the others suggested: use lighter gauge spokes and maybe go 28 hole to drop some weight.

If you aren't going as fast as you like, these wheels will not be to blame! :)
Definitely a good wheelset...Woof the dog
Dec 9, 2003 4:16 PM
as i said, all the weights are at

Did you cut the spokes before you weighed them?
Did you subtract QR weights?

So, you are saying that my lab scale was wrong?

I include the skewers in the wheelset weight...Uncle Tim
Dec 9, 2003 5:22 PM
Rear skewer weighed in at 63g. Front skewer weighed 60g.

My weight estimate of the wheelset with liberal weight savings was in the neighborhood of 1784g. If you subtract the skewer weight, then you can get into the mid-1600g territory.

That calculation would be down around 1661g.

And all the spokes (for 3X build front and rear) were cut finished weights. I've always found spokes to be a touch heavier than advertised, too.

I've measured batches of 16 14/15 dbl butted spokes from as low as 104g to as high as 107g. That's about .4 of a gram per spoke. Multiply that over 64 spokes and you add 25 grams.

With some superlight spokes, you could be in the 1600g range, minus the skewer weight.