Commuting - Champion Or Competition
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05-12-08, 06:55 AM
Im going to build my first pair of wheels come university break wondering what spokes I should use for a mainly commuting purpose. 32H Mavic Open Pro's and Ultegra Hubs. DT Swiss seems to be the easiest to source around here, should I go the Champion spokes (a bit heavier - stronger?) or the Competitions (lighter - double butted) there is little difference in cost between them. <$10 doesnt really mean much when I just want a good reliable pair of wheels.
Thanks guys, Im ready to lap up your wisdom as always.
01-14-10, 01:09 PM
I'm with mtclifford. A loaded touring wheel built by a reputable shop should do it. When I weighed 250, I'd routinely load 80 pounds of groceries on my bike and not collapse the wheels, and I ride on 32h rims.
A 36h double wall mid-to-high profile rim should be plenty strong. Now, I looked up the iZip and there's 2 models of it: A 26" and a 700c model. Which one did you get? (A co-worker of mine just bought the 700c model and moved the electronics and assist kit to a lighter bike.)
For a 700c rim I would look at the Mavic A719 or Velocity Dyad. You don't need to go as high-end as the XT hub, but it won't hurt any. I fully agree with the DT spokes, but I'm a fan of the straight gauge Champion series. DT Champion 2.0 spokes go on all my builds. The db Competition spokes make for less road vibration and allow the rim to soak some additional impact because the spokes can flex a little more, but I feel this flex when standing/climbing and think the wheel feels "soggy". A straight gauged build is going to be stiffer and transfer more vibration (so run a wider tire), but it will not feel flexy.
My three candidates were DT Champion 2.0, DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0, and the Alpine III's. I keep reading that double (or triple) butted spokes produce a more durable wheel. That eliminated the straight gauge Champions. The Competitions are nominally the same as the Alpines except at the hub end. As my hubs (Shimano SLX) have holes big enough for the Alpines, I chose them for their even more reduced chance of breaking there.
I have to wonder why DT shipped aluminum nipples with spokes they list for Downhill and Freeride use.
OK then, the consensus here is to use brass.
It appears to me that double butted (DT Swiss Competition) 14 ga spokes with brass nipples would be a good choice. Double butted because they can supposedly last longer and won't transfer as much vibration and brass nipples also because they last longer. This research is getting fun.
Oops, I have to correct myself because the Competition spokes are 14 gauge at then ends and 15 gauge in the middle.
I have handbuilt wheels on both my bikes. One has DT Competition and the other has DT Revolution on three of the four sides, DT Competitions on rear drive-side. I commute year-round on both bikes.
Both wheelsets are strong and light, and give a nice tight-feeling yet comfortable ride. I see no reason why most folks shouldn't use double-butted spokes. They're packaged with brass nipples, too, BTW.
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