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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 02-10-07, 03:18 PM   #1
kevinmcdade
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Spoke Recommendation???

I am gathering the components to build a new wheelset. So far I have IRD Cadence Aero rims 28/32, and White Industry H1 hubs. I am looking to build a super stiff wheelset that will be used for training, fast group rides, and racing (until I decide which race wheelset I want). With all of the available spokes available I do not know which ones to choose for this particular build. I need this wheelset to be stiff, and reliable. I weigh 200 pounds so I am thinking the lacing pattern will need to be 3x front and back. I have a local wheelbuilder who will be doing this build.
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Old 02-10-07, 04:30 PM   #2
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Why not just use DT 14/15/14 Competition spokes? Unless I can come up with a good answer to that question, that's what I always use.
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Old 02-10-07, 04:58 PM   #3
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Sapim X Ray's would fit exactly what you're looking for.

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Old 02-10-07, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Sapim X Ray's would fit exactly what you're looking for.

.
I already have one wheelset built up with CX-Ray spokes and I absolutely love them. Will the CX-Ray spokes be stronger and stiffer than the DT Swiss spoke that was recommended in the first response?
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Old 02-10-07, 06:32 PM   #5
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CX-Ray spokes will be perfect. They are the stiffest, strongest, and nearly the lightest spokes out there.

But, there is nothing wrong with regular old DT comps either.... they will still build a nice wheel.
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Old 02-11-07, 04:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briscoelab
CX-Ray spokes will be perfect. They are the stiffest, strongest, and nearly the lightest spokes out there.

But, there is nothing wrong with regular old DT comps either.... they will still build a nice wheel.
Stiffest ??
Uh.... Enlighten me. What is it I don't understand whit thin spokes
made of the exact same material as a thick spoke? They tend to
get stiffer as thinner they get?

Hmmm. I always thought it was more like this. A thin spoke tend to stretch more and since it's thinner parts' in the mid section, it won't put as much load in to the threads and the elbows, witch makes it stronger. Also. A flat and oval spoke (forged) can be stretched more than a round spoke due to the forging process. This does not make the spoke stiffer, but can make the wheel stronger 'course you can tension it up a bit more, meaning the spokes (most likely on NDS) won't go slack under heavy load. A CX-Ray spoke, witch is really a forged laser, is actually a bit less stiff then the lazer (round 1.5mm)

But, OK. They are strong and reliable and from a mid to deep section rim they should be stiff enough from 28 spoke count and up.
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Old 02-11-07, 05:35 AM   #7
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What does your wheelbuilder reccomend?

A 14/15/14 double butted spoke is the great alrounder and the Sapim x-ray spokes are great if your prepared to spend the money on them. DT Swiss, Sapim and Wheelsmith all make good spokes and if your wheelbuilder likes one paticular brand and orders from them then thats as good as anything. Many here like DT Swiss spokes however I have read articles from wheelbuilders saying that since DT Swiss changed their spokes to suit the big machine based wheelbuilders that there spokes weren't as good anymore for hand building.

32 spoke, 3 cross rear makes a realy good wheel and 28 spoke 2 cross is good for the front but ask your wheelbuilder.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 02-11-07, 06:41 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback guys! Here is my thinking: If I can get a wheel that will be just as stiff by using the DT 14/15/14 spokes over the CX-Rays then I don't see the need to spend the extra bucks on the CX-Rays. I do like the way the CX-Rays look but in this particular build stiffness and reliability take precedence over looks.

I'll stop by and talk to the wheelbuilder this week to see what he says about spokes. I have the hubs and am using them in another wheelset so he won't order the spokes for the build until I am ready to retire the wheelset that the hubs are currently being used on (should be in a couple of weeks).
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Old 02-11-07, 08:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
I have read articles from wheelbuilders saying that since DT Swiss changed their spokes to suit the big machine based wheelbuilders that there spokes weren't as good anymore for hand building.
Wheelbuilders (plural) or just Peter White?
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Old 02-11-07, 09:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lectron
Stiffest ??
Uh.... Enlighten me. What is it I don't understand whit thin spokes
made of the exact same material as a thick spoke? They tend to
get stiffer as thinner they get?

Hmmm. I always thought it was more like this. A thin spoke tend to stretch more and since it's thinner parts' in the mid section, it won't put as much load in to the threads and the elbows, witch makes it stronger. Also. A flat and oval spoke (forged) can be stretched more than a round spoke due to the forging process. This does not make the spoke stiffer, but can make the wheel stronger 'course you can tension it up a bit more, meaning the spokes (most likely on NDS) won't go slack under heavy load. A CX-Ray spoke, witch is really a forged laser, is actually a bit less stiff then the lazer (round 1.5mm)

But, OK. They are strong and reliable and from a mid to deep section rim they should be stiff enough from 28 spoke count and up.

CX-rays will build a stiffer wheel, when used with a deeper rim, because of the possibility to increase the spoke tension. I should have clarified, the spoke itself isn't necessairly stiffer, but is much stronger when pressed into the bladed form.
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Old 02-11-07, 12:43 PM   #11
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Giving a spoke more tension does not make a wheel stiffer.
It can make it stronger, carry more weight - not stiffer.

The forging process gives the spokes an increased elastic limit.
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Old 02-11-07, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Wheelbuilders (plural) or just Peter White?
I've certainly read Peter White's article but I have seen the same critisism from other sources. Just not in the same depth.

My point in this comment is that if his builder has a business relationship with Wheelsmith or Sapim and prefers their spokes then their spokes are as good as any and there is no paticular reason to insist on DT Swiss spokes over the others.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 02-11-07, 04:37 PM   #13
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CX-Ray spokes are killer thin and because of that they flex in the middle section quite a bit. The flexing action allows keeps the nipples tight, to a point, but they don't build a stiff wheel per say. Bottom line is that CX-Ray spokes are not the ones you want if looking for a stiff wheel.

I'd say that 14/15, with something lighter on the non drive rear, are the way to go. Hard to argue with the sucess.
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Old 02-11-07, 04:51 PM   #14
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I have a custom set of wheels using DT Swiss Aerolite spokes (their version of the CX-Ray), laced 28 front 2X and 32 rear 3X drive, 2X non-drive which are very strong and reliable. Given that I weigh 220 lbs, you can have good results with this type of spoke on a well built wheel.
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Old 02-11-07, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessism
I'd say that 14/15, with something lighter on the non drive rear, are the way to go. Hard to argue with the sucess.
What would you recommend on the non drive side...15/16 perhaps? What is the benefit of using lighter spokes on the non drive side?

I appreciate the input!!!
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Old 02-11-07, 04:55 PM   #16
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Benefit of thinner spokes NDS: The wheel can handle more load without the NDS spoke loosing control of the rim (Loosing all tension).

Here's an illustration of the tension on one of my builds. You can clearly see that there's a much lower tension NDS. You can also see that the std. deviation in tension between the spokes DS is below 2%


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Old 02-11-07, 07:15 PM   #17
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Kevin,

I would use DT super comps in the front and competitions on the drive side and revolutions for the non drive. Cx-rays are strong but they are not as stiff as a competition before cx-rays are forged into a blade they are a 2.0/1.6/2.0 butted spoke.

super comps- 2.0/1.6/1.8
competitions- 2.0/1.8/2.0
revolutions-2.0/1.5/2.0
cx-rays- 2.0/2.2/0.9/2.0
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Old 02-11-07, 08:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
I've certainly read Peter White's article but I have seen the same critisism from other sources. Just not in the same depth.

My point in this comment is that if his builder has a business relationship with Wheelsmith or Sapim and prefers their spokes then their spokes are as good as any and there is no paticular reason to insist on DT Swiss spokes over the others.
Thanks. I wasn't really trying to argue, I just wondered if you had some sources other than Peter White. I don't have a lot of experience with spoke makers other than DT so I'm interested in other's opinions without putting too much reliability on any one person's opinion.

Incidentally, my preference for DT spokes is at least partly because I prefer the boxes they come in vs. the plastic bags Wheelsmith, for example, uses. It makes them easier to store and easier to find the particular spokes that I need.
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Old 02-11-07, 09:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligero
Kevin,

I would use DT super comps in the front and competitions on the drive side and revolutions for the non drive. Cx-rays are strong but they are not as stiff as a competition before cx-rays are forged into a blade they are a 2.0/1.6/2.0 butted spoke.

super comps- 2.0/1.6/1.8
competitions- 2.0/1.8/2.0
revolutions-2.0/1.5/2.0
cx-rays- 2.0/2.2/0.9/2.0
Thanks for chiming in on this, Troy! I have never had this shop build up a wheelset for me but it is my team/club sponsor LBS and I would like to have them build a set for me. From what I see and hear they are a DT Swiss shop. I will ask them to do the spoke combination that you prescribed above. You are the person who built me the only wheelset that I have not destroyed so I trust your judgement
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Old 02-12-07, 12:08 AM   #20
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Build it 14/15 front and drive side, 14/17 non-drive.

To add to the DT vs Wheelsmith war, I personally like Wheelsmith. Spoke specification aside, Wheelsmith's come in more convenient 50 packs (compared to 100 packs), don't come with nipples so if you choose to get Aluminum nipples, you don't pay for the brass ones you don't use, and Wheelsmith spokes are cleaner. They dont have machine oil residue like DT spokes have.
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Old 02-12-07, 01:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
32 spoke, 3 cross rear makes a realy good wheel and 28 spoke 2 cross is good for the front but ask your wheelbuilder.
+1 especially with a deeper section rim like this, 2x will be plenty tangential for a 28 spoke wheel. 3x would actually be going beyond.
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Old 02-12-07, 06:09 AM   #22
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I always thought the problem with dtswiss was their certification process and the fact that LBS's didn't want to go through them..
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Old 02-12-07, 07:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered
To add to the DT vs Wheelsmith war, I personally like Wheelsmith. Spoke specification aside, Wheelsmith's come in more convenient 50 packs (compared to 100 packs), don't come with nipples so if you choose to get Aluminum nipples, you don't pay for the brass ones you don't use, and Wheelsmith spokes are cleaner.
Sapim spokes you can order per piece, I have actually order 1 cx-ray before. So if it is a wheel that I very rarely build I order exactly what I need.
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Old 02-12-07, 08:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligero
Sapim spokes you can order per piece, I have actually order 1 cx-ray before. So if it is a wheel that I very rarely build I order exactly what I need.
Which distributor sells Sapim spokes per spoke?

Sorry I didn't mention this, but I work in a shop and when I need spokes that we don't stock, I have to buy the whole package. The owners dont want to stock my odd ball, high end spokes.

But if a customer wanted some special spokes, we would definitely sell it to them by the spoke.
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Old 02-12-07, 12:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered
Which distributor sells Sapim spokes per spoke?

Sorry I didn't mention this, but I work in a shop and when I need spokes that we don't stock, I have to buy the whole package. The owners dont want to stock my odd ball, high end spokes.

But if a customer wanted some special spokes, we would definitely sell it to them by the spoke.
That's a good point. Back when I was building a fair number of wheels, I always bought the DT boxes of 100. That's why I liked the boxes because I could store them in a manner that let me find the type and length that I needed quickly.

Now that I only build 10 or so wheels a year I started buying my spokes from Wheelbuilder.com and I buy as many or as few as I need.

If I was doing the priceing, by the way, I'd have a two tiered system: One price if you only wanted to buy one or two spokes and a significantly lower price if you wanted to buy a whole wheelful. There are so many different styles, colors and lengths of spokes today that it can take a lot of time to find the one that you need. I'd lock those suckers up too. I've had my fill of guys who dump a few spokes that are ALMOST the same length into a box.
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