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  1. #1
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    Calling all wheelbuilders, light and strong wheelset for clyde

    So i think the saying is light, strong, durable pick 2 or something like that. I'm trying to get a light and strong clyde wheelset, I'm less concerned about long term durability. These will be a clyde version of race wheels, I won't train on them but I'll put them on for long group rides/events or hilly rides. I'm 245lbs I expect to get down to around 225-230 I currently have a great new set of Deep v's with tiagra hubs, brass nipples DT Comp spokes. they weigh in at 2240 grams

    I bought some IRO "cold fusion" rims. there is debate as to whether they are unbadged velocity fusions or unbadged kinlin xr240 I'm leaning towards them being kinlins but haven't gotten to weigh them yet. my research tells me the kinlins are 25 grams lighter than the fusions both rims have the same 24 x 19mm profile. I'm building them with Circus Monkey hubs which are quite light at 78 and 224 grams F&R. These are 32 spoke wheels & Hubs. How would you build these up? Am I good to go with Alloy nipples? I got great prices on these parts so I'm totally willing to spend a bit more on spokes if it's appropriate. Can I consider some type of bladed spoke like a DT Aerolite or would that not be appropriate? for example, can you build a 3 cross wheel with bladed spokes? should I just consider an ultralight double butted spoke like a DT Revolution?

    some reading i've done says Alloy nipples can corrode with the spoke and render them unadjustable. that seems like it can be prevented by proper prepartion of spoke threads so i'm not too worried about that. Is there any other reason why heavy riders shouldn't use alloy nipples? Lastly, I read that heavy riders shouldn't use ultralight spokes because spoke twist becomes an issue when you attempt to bring the spokes to the tension required for a heavier rider. what say you?

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    It's more about the build than the components, and the Tiagra setup you have looks OK, but stay with brass niples, as Alloy can break too easily.

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    okay, I might not have made it clear. I'm content with the Tiagra build. This is a totally new wheelset, specifically trying to go lighter especially around the rim. I've felt the significant difference switching from a 400 gram tire to a 250 gram tire so I know saving weight around the perimeter of the wheel is beneficial. Alloy nipples will save me about 25 grams, the rims I'm using are about 75 grams less so right there alone I'm at 100 grams. You are saying stick with the brass nipples though?

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    So i think the saying is light, strong, durable pick 2
    "Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two." Keith Bontrager

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    I come from a touring orientation, more spokes . 36 , and DT alpine if you want butted spokes ..
    13/15/14. Brass nipples .. build with Anti-seize on the spoke threads
    my loaded touring rig got 48 straight ga 14,
    I have a racy bike , low milage .. even 20 years later [ 36 15 Ga straight ]

    At 245 aero has a level of why bother ?

    + bladed spoke need hubs holes cut for clearance, to get the blade thru.

    That weakens the Hub flange stick with round /DB spokes ..

    But if you want light wheels build 2 sets , 1 for a backup.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-07-11 at 01:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    "Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two." Keith Bontrager
    lol, thank you. I think there is a saying like that in every industry. Well in this case, If i can pick strong and light, I can also pick cheap because I've done an excellent job sourcing these parts.

    I'm really interested in understanding my spoke options, hope someone with experience chimes in!

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    If you want a decent light weight wheel set, just go for a factory build, I was a similar weight to you, and used a set of Fulcrum 7's they withstood me, and a fully loaded bike for a year, only a car vs bike stoped the rear, never needed to true, and light weight.

    If you go with the Tiagra set up, their durability will depend on who builds them, forget the brass nipples, unless you want to be replacing the nipples regulary.

    For spoke options, use double butted, not straight gauge, have used several different brands, DT, Sapim & ACI, all build the same, I just use what is available / cheapest
    Last edited by jimc101; 04-07-11 at 09:50 AM.

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    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    You can use alloy nipples in the front but I wouldn't use on the rear build. They simply can't handle the tension. Compared to a 2.0/1.8/2.0 spoke I don't think a bladed spoke is going to help all that much so I probably wouldn't pay the premium for them.
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    Having built more wheels than I can count both with brass and alloy nipples, I can assure you that the only legitimate beef with alloy nipples is that the spoke wrench flats can round out more easily than with brass. It's really only an issue at high tension, or if the spoke key doesn't fit tight enough, and I solve that by using a box type spoke wrench when the wheels are tight. BTW- Brass nipples also round off occasionally.

    Corrosion might be a problem, but I lube spoke threads and have never encountered it, even on wheels subjected to harsh environments. And nipple strength isn't an issue unless you build with spokes that are too short. Other than a head extruding through the spoke hole, or fracturing (saw this once in my life) it's the head, and not the shank of the nipple that does it's job, and alloy nipples are more than adequate to the task.

    One other minor beef about alloy nipples which applies only to dark colored ones. Sometimes while working, you'll scratch through the anodizing, doesn't really matter, but if you build commercially it might cause complaints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Having built more wheels than I can count both with brass and alloy nipples, I can assure you that the only legitimate beef with alloy nipples is that the spoke wrench flats can round out more easily than with brass. It's really only an issue at high tension, or if the spoke key doesn't fit tight enough, and I solve that by using a box type spoke wrench when the wheels are tight. BTW- Brass nipples also round off occasionally.

    Corrosion might be a problem, but I lube spoke threads and have never encountered it, even on wheels subjected to harsh environments. And nipple strength isn't an issue unless you build with spokes that are too short. Other than a head extruding through the spoke hole, or fracturing (saw this once in my life) it's the head, and not the shank of the nipple that does it's job, and alloy nipples are more than adequate to the task.

    One other minor beef about alloy nipples which applies only to dark colored ones. Sometimes while working, you'll scratch through the anodizing, doesn't really matter, but if you build commercially it might cause complaints.
    Thank you so much for actually reading my post and provided sensible advice. I used alloy nipples and a crap spoke wrench and had the problem you mentioned. I'll be sure to round up on my spoke lengths based on what the spoke calculator says I need.

    To most everyone else, thank you for your attempts but Please understand the following:
    1. I already have the 32 spoke rims and the 32 spoke hubs.
    2. I already have a bombproof wheelset for this bike that will be the primary wheels on the bike
    3. I already have a commuter bike with 36 spoke touring style wheels, this is for my "race bike"
    4. Spoke cost isn't a big concern, if aero spokes/light spokes can provide benefit, I'll use them. I realize at 6'3" 230-245lbs, my body isn't exactly aerodynamic!


    I'm appreciateive of the help, I'm just trying to keep it germane to the subject!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    if you want a decent light weight wheel set, just go for a factory build, i was a similar weight to you, and used a set of fulcrum 7's they withstood me, and a fully loaded bike for a year, only a car vs bike stoped the rear, never needed to true, and light weight.

    If you go with the tiagra set up, their durability will depend on who builds them, forget the brass nipples, unless you want to be replacing the nipples regulary.

    For spoke options, use double butted, not straight gauge, have used several different brands, dt, sapim & aci, all build the same, i just use what is available / cheapest
    dude, please don't respond again until you read the first post! I already have the tiagra setup! I'm fine with it! I already have the hubs and rims, i just want advice on how to best lace them up!

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    There is an alternative to brass and aluminum;
    How about titanium?
    http://www.titanwheeltech.com/specs/

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    OK, now for spoke advice.

    Front wheel almost anything, front wheels are like women. They almost always outlive their mates. I'd suggest 14g butted spokes. The gauge of the thin section will vary by brand, but the worst that'll happen is a wheel marginally heavier than it needs to be.

    Rear wheel. I'm a firm believer in using different gauge spokes left and right to compensate for dish and maintain adequate elongation of the left flange spokes. Ideally the ratio of cross-sectional area to tension is kept as close as possible. Given your weight, I'd use 13/14g single butted spokes for the right side, and 14/16g butted spokes on the left. This is as strong as you can get with existing product.

    You asked for an opinion, so there it is, but I'm absolutely sure others will disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    OK, now for spoke advice.

    Front wheel almost anything, front wheels are like women. They almost always outlive their mates. I'd suggest 14g butted spokes. The gauge of the thin section will vary by brand, but the worst that'll happen is a wheel marginally heavier than it needs to be.

    Rear wheel. I'm a firm believer in using different gauge spokes left and right to compensate for dish and maintain adequate elongation of the left flange spokes. Ideally the ratio of cross-sectional area to tension is kept as close as possible. Given your weight, I'd use 13/14g single butted spokes for the right side, and 14/16g butted spokes on the left. This is as strong as you can get with existing product.

    You asked for an opinion, so there it is, but I'm absolutely sure others will disagree.
    I appreciate your detailed response! by chance, what do you charge to build a wheel or do you only do it for yourself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    I appreciate your detailed response! by chance, what do you charge to build a wheel or do you only do it for yourself?
    I only build for a small circle of team riders and friends plus the occasional referral. These days I'm a bit busy as the season is picking up, plus I owe a very good friend (and possibly future ex-friend) 3 wheels that he's been waiting a long time for. If you're in the east and serious, Pm me.

    Otherwise call Yellow Jersey in Madison Wisc. for fast delivery of excellent work, ask for Andy, and tell him I sent you. On the west coast PM mrrabbit, though I don't know if he builds on stuff you provide (most of really hate to - other than hubs - for a number of good reasons having nothing to do with money)
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    dude, please don't respond again until you read the first post! I already have the tiagra setup! I'm fine with it! I already have the hubs and rims, i just want advice on how to best lace them up!
    I had read the first post, and was giving options, you have been updating the descripton of the issue / what you have in every post, just giving options, on what was correct at the time.

    What your orginal questions should have been is - I have the following parts to make a pair of wheels, what are the best spokes, nipples, lacing pattern for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by canopus View Post
    You can use alloy nipples in the front but I wouldn't use on the rear build. They simply can't handle the tension.
    To equalise the tension a bit, I'd advise considering an OCR. At 245lbs, you could use the extra strength it'd provide.

    See how you go with the ally nipples, and if you start rounding them off too easy just switch to brass on the drive side.

    Or yeah, never mind brass and ally:
    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    6Al4V! Sweet!
    Last edited by Kimmo; 04-07-11 at 10:53 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Given your weight, I'd use 13/14g single butted spokes for the right side, and 14/16g butted spokes on the left. This is as strong as you can get with existing product.

    You asked for an opinion, so there it is, but I'm absolutely sure others will disagree.
    Nope, that's how I built mine... well 14ga drive, 14/15ga double butted non-drive.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    There is an alternative to brass and aluminum;
    How about titanium?
    http://www.titanwheeltech.com/specs/
    They are heavier than aluminum

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    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    If you're looking at every slight gain to make this a truly light 32 spoke wheelset then what about looking at a lighter rim? If you can find a rim that gets down closer to 400 gms and then still use alloy nipples you'll gain that little bit more.

    The strength and durability will come from the use of 32 spokes. The light weight from the use of butted and double butted spokes combined with alloy nipples and a light rim.

    The key area where a light rim and tire is felt the most is during starts or sudden accelerations. At steady cruise speeds you won't really feel any difference one way or the other. In fact at a steady cruise you'd likely be wiser to go with a more aero section rim and take the weight penalty that typically comes with that option unless copious money is spent. Same with the aero spokes vs ovalized butting. You'll see any benefit from such spokes only at higher speeds ridden for long periods.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  21. #21
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    forget the brass nipples, unless you want to be replacing the nipples regulary.
    Are brass nipples weak?

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    They are heavier than aluminum
    And definitely stronger than aluminum, and lighter than brass.

  23. #23
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    In regards to spoke shape the reason I don't recommend the aero spoke simply this. You won't see any benefit from them over a butted spoke spoke in real world conditions. The effect that have is so miniscule and usually only in a straight line headwind that there isn't really a reason for them.
    the shape of the rim and tire make a bigger difference overall and at 245 lets face it, your a brick in the wind. Ground speed makes another difference. If you aren't going fast, there is no benefit to an aero spoke. No couple all that together with the initial cost and acquiring a replacement if needed later on and there isn't any real benefit to them. Now (and this isn't to be cruel or mean in any way, this is just a statement) if you want them for bling factor or just to be cool, then just admit that, get them, and stop asking for opinions on spokes on an internet board.

    (Below is for information purposes only, not to recommend that you look at complete wheel (I have read the thread))

    http://biketechreview.com/reviews/wh...ew-and-ratings
    http://biketechreview.com/reviews/wh...bicycle-wheels

    Pulled from the dusty archives of
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...n-round-spokes

    Quote Originally Posted by NZLcyclist View Post
    From www.velomax.com

    Q. Why doesn't Velomax use bladed spokes?

    We carefully considered using bladed spokes, but decided against it. In wind tunnel tests, bladed (and ovalized - hereafter "profiled") spokes have proven to be very effective. The caveat here is that they show their greatest advantages vis-a-vis round spokes when the airflow is from straight ahead. As soon as you introduce even a small component of side wind (yaw angle as low as 2 degrees), the larger surface area of profiled spokes acts either as a lifting surface, or develops airflow separation (with related generation of vortices), or both. The bottom line - creation of lift cannot be accomplished without corresponding increases in drag.

    Simply stated, a profiled spoke in a static or head-on air stream can be very effective. However, a profiled spoke in a side wind is a propeller.

    A round spoke always presents the same small profile to the air stream, whether the angle of attack is head on or from the side. When you consider the wind direction, speed of the bicycle, and rotational speed of the wheel, it becomes apparent that there is an alphabet soup of aerodynamic considerations happening throughout the course of the ride. For this reason, we believe that swaged (butted) spokes present the best real-world aerodynamic profile.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I only build for a small circle of team riders and friends plus the occasional referral. These days I'm a bit busy as the season is picking up, plus I owe a very good friend (and possibly future ex-friend) 3 wheels that he's been waiting a long time for. If you're in the east and serious, Pm me.

    Otherwise call Yellow Jersey in Madison Wisc. for fast delivery of excellent work, ask for Andy, and tell him I sent you. On the west coast PM mrrabbit, though I don't know if he builds on stuff you provide (most of really hate to - other than hubs - for a number of good reasons having nothing to do with money)
    no problem, I'm in NYC so New Roc isn't far from me but I don't want you to lose a friend over building wheels for a stranger! Regarding your recommendation of single butted spokes, do you have a brand you recommend? DT Swiss only makes double butted spokes right? Any reason why you prefer single butted to double butted? Any advice on cross pattern?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    And definitely stronger than aluminum, and lighter than brass.
    Iknow, I was busting your chops. they are only about 2 grams than aluminum per 32 nipples. at a $1 a nipple, that is a bit pricey, while i am willing to spend some more money, I don't know if that is worth it. Alloy nipples come free with spokes so if they all start busting, I could decide to rebuild with brass or titanium after the fact.

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