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Looking for a 36 or 40 spoke rear wheelset for my Trek Verve2

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Looking for a 36 or 40 spoke rear wheelset for my Trek Verve2

Old 11-16-20, 09:48 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post
It has been my experience that stronger rims result in increased spoke life. Heavy riders, bumpy roads + poor quality spokes are an unforgiving combo. Letting me quickly see what works and what doesn't.
And, in that practice, stronger rims seem to fare better.
Could be just because they allow more spoke tension (makes a difference when it comes to left hand side spokes of dished rear wheels, so they aren't slack - especially when using non-butted/swaged spokes).
Or it could be that a stronger rim deforms a bit less, transferring the force to more than just a few spokes at the bottom?
I'm not sure about the exact cause. But there is a noticeable difference in spoke life.
ďStronger rimsĒ are a misnomer. ďStrongerĒ usually just means wider. The extra width means that they are heavier but the weight increase is what would be expected with the increased volume of metal used in association with the increased width. They donít have thicker walls or more metal in places that would really increase strength. Even if they had thicker walls, aluminum is a soft material that would return only marginal increases in strength.

Nor have I found that wider rims allow for any higher tension than narrower rims. Because the amount of metal at the spoke bed hasnít increased, the spoke tension is about the same. For some rims that are much wider (aka ďstrongerĒ), the amount of tension would probably have to be less since the top of the rim is a flat plate which isnít as strong as something that is more like a tube.

And, again, there is the way in which the spokes at attached to the rim. In cornering, the rim can shift on the spoke nipples. Think of how the rim slides around on the spokes when you build a wheel and it hasnít been tensioned yet. Once tensioned, the rim is only held in place by the tension of the spokes. Decrease the tension and the rim slides on the spokes. That occurs every moment the wheel is turning and even when the wheel is stopping. Tension decreases in one part of the wheel and increases in the others. Thatís because the rim isnít attached to the spokes. It just holds the spokes. A ďstrongerĒ rim doesnít change that dynamic.

In my experienced, I havenít had any issues with using light...and supposedly ďweakĒ...rims. I donít find myself replacing wheels all that often. I donít break spokes even with supposedly ďweakerĒ rims. My first wheel to use the Alpine IIIís lasted me 10 years with Mavic XC717 rims. The only reason that the wheel didnít last longer is because I loaned the bike to a student intern who somehow sucked the derailer into the wheel and tore out spokes. He replaced the wheel without telling me about it until he returned it. If he had told me about it, I could have replaced the spokes and would probably still be riding it.

I use strong spokes because I recognized long ago that spokes do all of the work of strength in bicycle wheels. The rims are just along for the ride.


I only see DT and Sapim. Even those are quite exotic and rare. Never, ever, in over 30 years of fixing bikes, have I come across a spoke for which I knew it was Wheelsmith, or Pillar (will have to google to see if they brand their spokes, and how).
I don't think 2 mm straight gauge shaft (so that threads at the end are practically narrower in the mid-section of the threaded part) is a good idea.
2.3 - 1.8 - 2.0 is a better design. Allowing for the mid section, which is a lot less stressed, to act as a sort of a "suspension" and relieve the ends a bit.
Pillar is a Taiwanese company (I think) and it doesnít have a huge footprint in after market spokes. The only place Iíve been able to find them is through BDop Cycling which is another Taiwanese company. The Pillar spokes from them are relatively inexpensive when compared to DT Alpine III, at least here in the US. They cost $0.89 each instead of $1.50 each. Rose Bikes sells Alpines for $0.60 each but shipping costs for me can drive that price up to close to $1.50 each. I have ordered silver ones from Rose because silver Alpine III are hard to find in the US.

Wheelsmith is an American manufacturer and donít have as large a foot print as DT. Theyíve been around since the mid80s. Ric Hjertberg started the company but he has moved on. Pillar spokes have a ďPĒ on the head. Wheelsmith has a ďWĒ.

Iíve never seen nor used Sapim. Iím aware of them but they just arenít that prevalent in the US.

Another advantage I see is the modern hub flange holes - usually about 2.5 - 2.6 mm wide. So 2.3 mm wide elbow is a lot better fit for those - which surely also contributes to the better durability (in addition to greater width, hence strength).
Thatís something Iíve noticed about them too. I see that as an advantage even if strength isnít considered. The holes of the hub have to be drilled large so that the threads of the spoke can pass through. For regular 2.0mm spokes, the spoke hole has a lot of extra space for the spoke to move around in. Since the spoke is tensioned and detensioned all the time, the spoke can move in that hole which puts extra flex...and thus fatigue...on the head. The 2.3 mm spoke just fits tighter so there is less stress on the head. Fasteners work better if they arenít put in a hole that is 25% larger than the fastener.


[Though I would disagree that straight and double butted spokes are of similar durability. In my experience, the double butted (swaged) ones are significantly more durable.
I didnít phrase what I was trying to say so you misunderstood. Sorry. I agree that double butted spokes are stronger than straight gauge. But if someone has a problem with broken spokes, in all likelihood, they are going to break double butted spokes as well. They may not break them with the same frequency as straight spokes but they will probably still have problems with double butted. They could try the double butted but it would probably be best to skip the mid level solution. Itís cheaper to build a wheel once than twice.
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Old 11-16-20, 11:07 AM
  #27  
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I have built some wheels, but no where close in number; nor have I done the analysis that some have.

Over the decades I have typically been around 185lbs, sometimes into the low 160’s and once as high as 240lbs. For some reason, I have never broken a spoke, or cracked a spoke hole... at least not yet.

Once upon a time, decades ago, the normal spoke count was 36. Back then many 36 hole spokes were plain straight gauge. I may have been oblivious to it, but no one I knew had spoke issues back then.

Maybe it is being overly generalizing, but as rims have gotten lighter and spoke count fewer, the need to build stronger is increased. Even mfg’s still offer stout rims for tandem and heavier riders. It can’t be everything is equal.

My advice is to find a good stout 36 hole eyeletted rim and use double-butted spokes. If it was machine built, check tension when you get it, or just build the wheel yourself.

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Old 11-16-20, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
“Stronger rims” are a misnomer. “Stronger” usually just means wider. The extra width means that they are heavier but the weight increase is what would be expected with the increased volume of metal used in association with the increased width. They don’t have thicker walls or more metal in places that would really increase strength. Even if they had thicker walls, aluminum is a soft material that would return only marginal increases in strength.

Nor have I found that wider rims allow for any higher tension than narrower rims. Because the amount of metal at the spoke bed hasn’t increased, the spoke tension is about the same. For some rims that are much wider (aka “stronger”), the amount of tension would probably have to be less since the top of the rim is a flat plate which isn’t as strong as something that is more like a tube.
Comparing single walled aluminium rim, to a double walled one. The double walled ones allow a lot higher spoke tension before they get out of true when stress relieving the spokes.
Similarly, not all the double walled rims can take the same amount of total spoke tension. Some are just, well, stronger.
One of the locally very popular rims is outragously heavy, with about 2.5 deep aluminium section (box?), and very thick walls, including the place where the spokes go.
These, rather cheap (under 10$) rims can take a lot of beating and wheels built can allow even for the cheap, low quality spokes to survive a lot longer.
That's what I've observed - and, while I'm not 100% sure why exactly this helps, it does seem to help, noticeably.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And, again, there is the way in which the spokes at attached to the rim. In cornering, the rim can shift on the spoke nipples. Think of how the rim slides around on the spokes when you build a wheel and it hasn’t been tensioned yet. Once tensioned, the rim is only held in place by the tension of the spokes. Decrease the tension and the rim slides on the spokes. That occurs every moment the wheel is turning and even when the wheel is stopping. Tension decreases in one part of the wheel and increases in the others. That’s because the rim isn’t attached to the spokes. It just holds the spokes. A “stronger” rim doesn’t change that dynamic.
You mean that, at the ground contact point, a more flexible rim will not flex more?
And thus let the spokes at the bottom loose more tension - compared to a thicker (stronger?) rim?
Haven't done any measurement and comparing (it would take making two wheels with very similar spoke tension, and the same tyres at the same pressure, I suppose, to measure and compare).
Could be wrong, but I would expect the weaker/more flexible rim to bend more and have fewer number of spokes loose more tension, while a more rigid rim might be able to spread that load over more spokes (perhaps/probably not by the same amount, but still have a bit more spread).
Am I missing something there?

I would also say, not sure if you'd agree, that most stress and fatigue (resulting in spoke elbows breaking) comes from a wheel just turning, under the rider's weight. Those loads get taken by bottom spokes loosing tension (and, adjacent spokes, at both sides, gaining just very little extra tension).

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In my experienced, I haven’t had any issues with using light...and supposedly “weak”...rims. I don’t find myself replacing wheels all that often. I don’t break spokes even with supposedly “weaker” rims. My first wheel to use the Alpine III’s lasted me 10 years with Mavic XC717 rims. The only reason that the wheel didn’t last longer is because I loaned the bike to a student intern who somehow sucked the derailer into the wheel and tore out spokes. He replaced the wheel without telling me about it until he returned it. If he had told me about it, I could have replaced the spokes and would probably still be riding it.

I use strong spokes because I recognized long ago that spokes do all of the work of strength in bicycle wheels. The rims are just along for the ride.
Even straight spokes of good quality are very, very durable. Using swaged spokes, especially the ones with more beefy elbows (triple butted, like Alpine III), might take the rim out of the equasion.
When using cheap spokes, for heavy riders, on rough terrain - I have noticed the "stronger" rims making a difference.
Can't put my finger on the exact reason why. Maybe it's just because spokes can be run at a higher tension (so the rear, left hand side ones are less likely to become loose). Maybe the load distribution does come in play and make some contribution as well (as I have explained my line of thinking above). Not sure.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Pillar is a Taiwanese company (I think) and it doesn’t have a huge footprint in after market spokes. The only place I’ve been able to find them is through BDop Cycling which is another Taiwanese company. The Pillar spokes from them are relatively inexpensive when compared to DT Alpine III, at least here in the US. They cost $0.89 each instead of $1.50 each. Rose Bikes sells Alpines for $0.60 each but shipping costs for me can drive that price up to close to $1.50 each. I have ordered silver ones from Rose because silver Alpine III are hard to find in the US.

Wheelsmith is an American manufacturer and don’t have as large a foot print as DT. They’ve been around since the mid80s. Ric Hjertberg started the company but he has moved on. Pillar spokes have a “P” on the head. Wheelsmith has a “W”.

I’ve never seen nor used Sapim. I’m aware of them but they just aren’t that prevalent in the US.
Sapim is rising in popularity (and availability) where I live (not sure about the rest of Europe).
Gave them a try - quite good. I would say they compare to DT Swiss in terms of quality - both spokes, and nipples.
However, just like Wheelsmith, they have missed the mark with their 2.3 elbow wide spokes - not making a thinner mid section. That at least is my opinion. I'd always choose DT Swiss Alpine III, over those other two options. Even at a bit higher price. I'd even choose double butted spokes over those (not over the Alpine IIIs).

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That’s something I’ve noticed about them too. I see that as an advantage even if strength isn’t considered. The holes of the hub have to be drilled large so that the threads of the spoke can pass through. For regular 2.0mm spokes, the spoke hole has a lot of extra space for the spoke to move around in. Since the spoke is tensioned and detensioned all the time, the spoke can move in that hole which puts extra flex...and thus fatigue...on the head. The 2.3 mm spoke just fits tighter so there is less stress on the head. Fasteners work better if they aren’t put in a hole that is 25% larger than the fastener.
Agreed. Those wider holes make lacing a bit faster and easier, but that benefit is not worth the cost, in my opinion. 2.3, perhaps even 2.2 mm wide holes would allow for the threads of 2 mm wide spokes to pass.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I didn’t phrase what I was trying to say so you misunderstood. Sorry. I agree that double butted spokes are stronger than straight gauge. But if someone has a problem with broken spokes, in all likelihood, they are going to break double butted spokes as well. They may not break them with the same frequency as straight spokes but they will probably still have problems with double butted. They could try the double butted but it would probably be best to skip the mid level solution. It’s cheaper to build a wheel once than twice.
I see. Agreed. Tripple butted as an extra "safety margin", just to be on the safe side?
If the price difference isn't huge, or if availability isn't a problem - it's perfectly logical, makes no sense doing otherwsie IMO.

P.S.
In my practice - if even straight spokes of decent quality can be sourced, and people can afford, that's an exception, unfortunately.
Double butted - hardly ever available, and the extra cost (1 euro per spoke for DT Swiss Competition, compared to 0.5 euro per spoke for Sapim Leader, locally) makes them often beyond the budget.
Tripple butted - those are like the unicorns. Only available abroad. And very expensive - with nonsense shipping costs and import taxes that make the price effectivelly doubled. So it's practically impossible to use them, or recommend them locally.
Wrote to both Sapim and DT Swiss about the availability problem, just for laughs. DT Swiss even replied, suggesting I try buying from the Check Republic. Not sure if they knew how ridiculous that sounds from my perspective (oh, so you're thirsty in Sahara, well hop to the Alps, plenty of water there) .
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Old 11-16-20, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post

https://www.modernbike.com/product-2126224766

Thanks for the suggestion, however per modernbike it comes with straight gauge spokes. They didn't automatically suggest one with the triple butted spokes.
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Old 11-16-20, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, however per modernbike it comes with straight gauge spokes. They didn't automatically suggest one with the triple butted spokes.
You wonít find an ďoff the pegĒ wheel with triple butted spokes. You have to get a wheel builder to build with them. You could order one through QBP at your local bike shop.
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Old 11-16-20, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post
Comparing single walled aluminium rim, to a double walled one. The double walled ones allow a lot higher spoke tension before they get out of true when stress relieving the spokes.
Similarly, not all the double walled rims can take the same amount of total spoke tension. Some are just, well, stronger.
One of the locally very popular rims is outragously heavy, with about 2.5 deep aluminium section (box?), and very thick walls, including the place where the spokes go.
These, rather cheap (under 10$) rims can take a lot of beating and wheels built can allow even for the cheap, low quality spokes to survive a lot longer.
That's what I've observed - and, while I'm not 100% sure why exactly this helps, it does seem to help, noticeably.
I would question how thick the walls are. Most all of the rims from manufacturers Iíve seen are about the same thickness. Any variation is very small. Aluminum, by its very nature, doesnít gain much strength with small variations in thickness. Steel, for example, gains a lot of strength with only a slight increase in thickness. Aluminum would need much more material to allow for a significantly higher spoke tension. This is illustrated by the tension limits that are out there (there arenít may of them). They tend to be for the entire line. Velocity for example suggests

We recommend building to spoke tension between 110kgf and 130kgf
They have 15 models over a wide range of widths and weights but all of them use the same tension. I would say that the limitation is the metal rather than the thickness of that metal. A stronger rim should have a higher tension limit.

You mean that, at the ground contact point, a more flexible rim will not flex more?
And thus let the spokes at the bottom loose more tension - compared to a thicker (stronger?) rim?
Haven't done any measurement and comparing (it would take making two wheels with very similar spoke tension, and the same tyres at the same pressure, I suppose, to measure and compare).
Could be wrong, but I would expect the weaker/more flexible rim to bend more and have fewer number of spokes loose more tension, while a more rigid rim might be able to spread that load over more spokes (perhaps/probably not by the same amount, but still have a bit more spread).
Am I missing something there?
Mostly what I am saying is that the rim has little influence on the flexibility of the wheel. The spokes keep the entire wheel from flexing. A well built wheel doesnít flex much no matter what the rim used.

I would also say, not sure if you'd agree, that most stress and fatigue (resulting in spoke elbows breaking) comes from a wheel just turning, under the rider's weight. Those loads get taken by bottom spokes loosing tension (and, adjacent spokes, at both sides, gaining just very little extra tension).

Even straight spokes of good quality are very, very durable. Using swaged spokes, especially the ones with more beefy elbows (triple butted, like Alpine III), might take the rim out of the equasion.
The approach I take is to address the problem, which is broken spokes. Fiddling around with heavy rims just results in heavy wheels. It simply doesnít address the root cause.

When using cheap spokes, for heavy riders, on rough terrain - I have noticed the "stronger" rims making a difference.
Can't put my finger on the exact reason why. Maybe it's just because spokes can be run at a higher tension (so the rear, left hand side ones are less likely to become loose). Maybe the load distribution does come in play and make some contribution as well (as I have explained my line of thinking above). Not sure.
Itís been a very long time since I used a heavy rim or even a cheap rim. I like the way lighter wheels accelerate so I tend to reduce wheel mass as much as possible. I donít see any thing in a rim that makes one stronger than another nor that the strength does much other than add weight.


Sapim is rising in popularity (and availability) where I live (not sure about the rest of Europe).
Gave them a try - quite good. I would say they compare to DT Swiss in terms of quality - both spokes, and nipples.
However, just like Wheelsmith, they have missed the mark with their 2.3 elbow wide spokes - not making a thinner mid section. That at least is my opinion. I'd always choose DT Swiss Alpine III, over those other two options. Even at a bit higher price. I'd even choose double butted spokes over those (not over the Alpine IIIs).
I would agree about the Wheelsmith DH-13. They arenít quite right. The would probably be stronger than a plain 2.0mm spoke, however.


Agreed. Those wider holes make lacing a bit faster and easier, but that benefit is not worth the cost, in my opinion. 2.3, perhaps even 2.2 mm wide holes would allow for the threads of 2 mm wide spokes to pass.
Spoke holes have been at 2.5 to 2.6mm for a long time. Itís a function of the threads being rolled onto the spokes rather than being cut into them. The rolling raises the diameter of the spoke at the threaded end to 2.3mm so the extra large diameter at the spoke flange is need for the threads to pass through.
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Old 11-16-20, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, however per modernbike it comes with straight gauge spokes. They didn't automatically suggest one with the triple butted spokes.
You wonít find an ďoff the pegĒ wheel with triple butted spokes. You have to get a wheel builder to build with them. You could order one through QBP at your local bike shop.
Who can I order from without going through a middleman?

I'm my wheel builder.
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Old 11-16-20, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Who can I order from without going through a middleman?

I'm my wheel builder.
Okay, that makes life a bit easier. You can order Alpine III spokes from Modern Bikes for $3 each. If you have a bike shop that you work with, you could order them through Quality Bike Products. The price will be roughly the same or perhaps a bit less. You just need to make sure you have the proper length.

You can also order them from Rose Bikes in Germany. You can get 20 black ones for $13.50 or silver ones for $10.60. The only problem is that shipping will cost around $13 for the shipment, although that varies depending on cost of the shipment and weight. Thatís $1.30 to $0.85 each which is still less expensive than they can be had in the US. Again make sure you have the right length before you order. It also takes a little more time to get to the US.
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Old 11-17-20, 01:16 AM
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Just in passing... Does your Verve2 have disc brakes?

John
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Old 11-17-20, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I would question how thick the walls are. Most all of the rims from manufacturers Iíve seen are about the same thickness. Any variation is very small. Aluminum, by its very nature, doesnít gain much strength with small variations in thickness. Steel, for example, gains a lot of strength with only a slight increase in thickness. Aluminum would need much more material to allow for a significantly higher spoke tension. This is illustrated by the tension limits that are out there (there arenít may of them). They tend to be for the entire line. Velocity for example suggests
Wall thickness is one variable.
You think that the depth of the "box" - for double walled rims - makes no difference?
That's a bit counter-intuitive for me, but I could be missing something.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Mostly what I am saying is that the rim has little influence on the flexibility of the wheel. The spokes keep the entire wheel from flexing. A well built wheel doesnít flex much no matter what the rim used.
Well, that generally is true. With a few "catches":
When riding out of saddle, aluminium rims are (all else being as close to equal as possible) less likely to rub against road bike rim brake calipers, compared to more rigid carbon fiber rims. Because aluminium rim is more flexible, and flexes more at the ground contact point, instead of having the entire rim tilt to one side.
Also, in terms of less than visible flexing, one that allows for a spoke to become less tight (slacker) - I would say that weaker (less stiff is probably more accurate term) rims could flex a bit more, and not spread the load over more than one, or two spokes.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The approach I take is to address the problem, which is broken spokes. Fiddling around with heavy rims just results in heavy wheels. It simply doesnít address the root cause.
I agree.
However - if a decent quality spoke cost about 7 dollars a piece, would you consider it worth trying what different rim types (cheaply available) can do?
Does a stronger rim help more than having a good quality spoke, preferably swaged? I don't think so. Does it make a difference? With poor quality spokes and heavy riders - obviously, definitely.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Itís been a very long time since I used a heavy rim or even a cheap rim. I like the way lighter wheels accelerate so I tend to reduce wheel mass as much as possible. I donít see any thing in a rim that makes one stronger than another nor that the strength does much other than add weight.
The famous rotating mass.
Sure - it makes no sense having wheels more heavy then needed. Wouldn't go out of my way to pay too much for a bit lighter (don't think rotating mass is that critical, really), but wouldn't add extra kilograms without a good reason either.
With good quality swaged spokes, I see no problem with using lighter rims. It makes perfect sense.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I would agree about the Wheelsmith DH-13. They arenít quite right. The would probably be stronger than a plain 2.0mm spoke, however.
Surely. No doubt about that.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Spoke holes have been at 2.5 to 2.6mm for a long time. Itís a function of the threads being rolled onto the spokes rather than being cut into them. The rolling raises the diameter of the spoke at the threaded end to 2.3mm so the extra large diameter at the spoke flange is need for the threads to pass through.
[/QUOTE]

I understand. But does it have to be 2.6 as is the case with many modern Shimano MTB hubs? I don't think so.
But things being the way they are, tripple butted spokes do make even more sense because of those hole widths.
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Old 11-17-20, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, however per modernbike it comes with straight gauge spokes. They didn't automatically suggest one with the triple butted spokes.
I have built a few wheels and I use double butted spokes. Try Harris Cyclery, they sell good wheels. I don't if they sell single wheels, so you might call them.
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Old 11-17-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post
Wall thickness is one variable.
You think that the depth of the "box" - for double walled rims - makes no difference?
That's a bit counter-intuitive for me, but I could be missing something.
It doesnít make much difference. Most every modern rim is of box design. Changing the size of the box doesnít make that much difference. Narrow rims tend to have boxes that are a tad taller than wide while wide rims tend to have boxes that are a tad wider but flatter. The result is that there really isnít a huge difference. And the interaction between the spoke and rim makes any differences even less important.

Well, that generally is true. With a few "catches":
When riding out of saddle, aluminium rims are (all else being as close to equal as possible) less likely to rub against road bike rim brake calipers, compared to more rigid carbon fiber rims. Because aluminium rim is more flexible, and flexes more at the ground contact point, instead of having the entire rim tilt to one side.
Also, in terms of less than visible flexing, one that allows for a spoke to become less tight (slacker) - I would say that weaker (less stiff is probably more accurate term) rims could flex a bit more, and not spread the load over more than one, or two spokes.
The kind of squirm you are describing would only occur if the spoke tension is low. Light rims donít really run at that much lighter tension than a ďstrongerĒ rim. The supposed added strength of a heavier rim is just a fraction more...if any at all..than a lighter rim. If we go by the Velocity numbers and assume that 110kgf is to be used for their light rims and 130 kgf is to be used for their heavier rims, the difference would only about 18% tension increase between the rims.

But I donít think that is the way to interpret those numbers. Velocity says to use the range of 110 to 130 kgf spoke tension on their rims. There is no qualifier in their literature to say that should vary with the rim.

I agree.
However - if a decent quality spoke cost about 7 dollars a piece, would you consider it worth trying what different rim types (cheaply available) can do?
Does a stronger rim help more than having a good quality spoke, preferably swaged? I don't think so. Does it make a difference? With poor quality spokes and heavy riders - obviously, definitely.
I donít think itís obvious that the rim strength makes much difference. Although I havenít done the experiment, building a steel rim...obviously much stronger than aluminum can ever be...with weak spokes would result in lots and lots of broken spokes. Clydes have lots of problems with broken spokes on OEM wheels. A large percentage of threads on the Clyde forum are about broken spokes and broken spokes are probably 2nd only to derailer issue in this forum. OEM wheels tend to use heavy rims and straight gauge spokes but that doesnít keep the spokes from breaking for most people. As I stated above, OEM wheels can last for decades with a light rider. If the spokes were of low quality, I would expect much more breakage across all weight ranges. In other words, heavy riders tend to get over the strength limit of the spokes, hence my suggestion for heavier spokes rather than trying to fix the problem with heavier rims. The rims arenít breaking and OEM rims are already ďstrongĒ, i.e. heavy.



The famous rotating mass.
Sure - it makes no sense having wheels more heavy then needed. Wouldn't go out of my way to pay too much for a bit lighter (don't think rotating mass is that critical, really), but wouldn't add extra kilograms without a good reason either.
With good quality swaged spokes, I see no problem with using lighter rims. It makes perfect sense.
We will just have to disagree on the effect of rotating mass then. In my experience, lighter wheels lead to easier acceleration and, since bicycling is an exercise in constant acceleration, it has an effect. Iíve ridden bikes with heavy wheels and bikes with light wheels. Iíd choose the bike with the light wheels every time. If you can lose significant weight, all the better. I build wheels for a bike to replace Veluata Corsa which were low spoke wheels using 32 hole Velocity A23 rims, Pillar spokes, and White Industry hubs. I dropped 4 pounds in the process. The bike is a whole lot more fun to ride without that much wheel weight.


[/QUOTE]I understand. But does it have to be 2.6 as is the case with many modern Shimano MTB hubs? I don't think so.
But things being the way they are, tripple butted spokes do make even more sense because of those hole widths.[/QUOTE]

Why would it change? Spokes still have the same rolled threads they have always had. I would suspect that the 2.6mm hole is even more important in the age of machine building since any hang up in the injection of the spokes into the hub would cause problems with the machine doing assembly. A human might be able to wiggle the threads through but a machine doesnít ďwiggleĒ.
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Old 11-17-20, 10:41 AM
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This really is interesting stuff and I had never given much thought about triple butted spokes.

But the OP has a $600 hybrid bike. Nothing wrong with that, it is a fine bike. The factory wheels have Formula hubs, inexpensive Bontrager rims and probably use some generic 14ga straight gauge spokes. No one has a clue how well they were built; it is just one of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of similar wheels.

Somehow I missed the leap of faith to suggest using $3.00 spokes on an initial wheel build.

It would be a great exercise for the OP to rebuild those wheels. Just get some DT 2.0/1.8/2.0 Comps and have at it. I used Jobst Brandt’s book decades ago. There is a certain satisfaction riding on your own wheels.

John
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Old 11-18-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
It doesnít make much difference. Most every modern rim is of box design. Changing the size of the box doesnít make that much difference. Narrow rims tend to have boxes that are a tad taller than wide while wide rims tend to have boxes that are a tad wider but flatter. The result is that there really isnít a huge difference. And the interaction between the spoke and rim makes any differences even less important..
I've seen double walled rims of different profile (depth) - haven't measured wall thickness though - take different amounts of total spoke tension. "Shallower" one couldn't take nearly as much. Do you think it had nothing to do with the profile, only with the material thickness?
I know that bicycle tube of higher diameter can take more load, compared to a tube of same wall thickness, but of a smaller diameter. Expected that to be transferred to rims as well.

Think it makes sense to quote Jobst Brandt on this topic:
"Radial stiffness is a measure of the force required to deflect the rim radially. It
is primarily influenced by the number and thickness of spokes and also by the
depth of the rim. A stiffer rim extends the load-affected zone so that more spokes
are affected
, and it increases wheel stiffness."

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The kind of squirm you are describing would only occur if the spoke tension is low. Light rims donít really run at that much lighter tension than a ďstrongerĒ rim. The supposed added strength of a heavier rim is just a fraction more...if any at all..than a lighter rim. If we go by the Velocity numbers and assume that 110kgf is to be used for their light rims and 130 kgf is to be used for their heavier rims, the difference would only about 18% tension increase between the rims.
Will quote Brandt again, since I think his work is to be seriously considered at least (not that anything should be taken as a gospel):

"As long as no spokes become slack, spoke tension has no effect on
stiffness because elasticity is a function of the steel in the spokes not their
tightness. This means that a loosely-spoked wheel is only weaker than a tightly
spoked one, but not more elastic.

A wheel's lateral stiffness resists sideways deflections of the rim. Flange spacing,
rim strength, and the number and thickness of spokes all affect lateral stiffness."

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
But I donít think that is the way to interpret those numbers. Velocity says to use the range of 110 to 130 kgf spoke tension on their rims. There is no qualifier in their literature to say that should vary with the rim.

I donít think itís obvious that the rim strength makes much difference. Although I havenít done the experiment, building a steel rim...obviously much stronger than aluminum can ever be...with weak spokes would result in lots and lots of broken spokes. Clydes have lots of problems with broken spokes on OEM wheels. A large percentage of threads on the Clyde forum are about broken spokes and broken spokes are probably 2nd only to derailer issue in this forum. OEM wheels tend to use heavy rims and straight gauge spokes but that doesnít keep the spokes from breaking for most people. As I stated above, OEM wheels can last for decades with a light rider. If the spokes were of low quality, I would expect much more breakage across all weight ranges. In other words, heavy riders tend to get over the strength limit of the spokes, hence my suggestion for heavier spokes rather than trying to fix the problem with heavier rims. The rims arenít breaking and OEM rims are already ďstrongĒ, i.e. heavy.
I've had very, very poor results with steel rims.
Double walled aluminium ones, that are built to take higer spoke tensions, do the job a lot better.
I agree that poor quality spokes, especially the straight gauge ones, are inferior.
I also agree that it's a lot more effective to use higher quality swaged spokes, than to go with heavier ("stronger") rims.
My only "objection" is that I have noticed the stronger rims to give better resutls when good quality spokes aren't available. In my experience they do make some difference.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
We will just have to disagree on the effect of rotating mass then. In my experience, lighter wheels lead to easier acceleration and, since bicycling is an exercise in constant acceleration, it has an effect. Iíve ridden bikes with heavy wheels and bikes with light wheels. Iíd choose the bike with the light wheels every time. If you can lose significant weight, all the better. I build wheels for a bike to replace Veluata Corsa which were low spoke wheels using 32 hole Velocity A23 rims, Pillar spokes, and White Industry hubs. I dropped 4 pounds in the process. The bike is a whole lot more fun to ride without that much wheel weight.
Feel is one thing. There's no arguing that. Overinflated tyres can often give a feeling that one is going a lot faster, even when they are in fact slower.
Lighter wheels? Again - no arguing they can feel faster. Also, no arguing they are a little bit faster. How much exactly? Depends on how critical it is. I wouldn't pay an arm and a leg for lighter wheels used for commuting, or even sport-riding. For competition? That's a different matter.
Though I would argue it's more about the feel, than it is about the stopwatch.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Why would it change? Spokes still have the same rolled threads they have always had. I would suspect that the 2.6mm hole is even more important in the age of machine building since any hang up in the injection of the spokes into the hub would cause problems with the machine doing assembly. A human might be able to wiggle the threads through but a machine doesnít ďwiggleĒ.
Makes sense. Inferior product, that is easier and cheaper to build.
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Old 11-19-20, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Just in passing... Does your Verve2 have disc brakes?

John
No, rim brakes.
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Old 11-19-20, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
This really is interesting stuff and I had never given much thought about triple butted spokes.

But the OP has a $600 hybrid bike. Nothing wrong with that, it is a fine bike. The factory wheels have Formula hubs, inexpensive Bontrager rims and probably use some generic 14ga straight gauge spokes. No one has a clue how well they were built; it is just one of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of similar wheels.

Somehow I missed the leap of faith to suggest using $3.00 spokes on an initial wheel build.

It would be a great exercise for the OP to rebuild those wheels. Just get some DT 2.0/1.8/2.0 Comps and have at it. I used Jobst Brandt’s book decades ago. There is a certain satisfaction riding on your own wheels.

John
Actually as I recall I got it for around $400 on sale.

I was mildly annoyed that whatever the listed sale price was didn't include a kickstand, which was $25 extra which I believe put it over the $400 mark.

When looking for a 36 spoke hub, does it matter if it's listed as a "Mountain bike" hub? Do those have a particular configuration that wouldn't work with my cassette or no?
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Old 11-19-20, 12:35 AM
  #42  
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$400 is a really good deal.

Traditionally a mtb hub has an OLD of 135mm and a road hub was 130mm. A quick and dirty explanation is wider mtb tires makes for a wider rear triangle and a wider chainline. But the traditional spacing has been thrown out with thru axles and wider cassettes (more cogs).

You should measure the width of the dropouts. Since the stock tire width is 45mm they might be 135mm. If so, I don’t see a problem. The only issue you might have will be getting non-disc mtb hubs.

But I’m still thinking you should just replace the spokes with DB and see how it goes. You’ll get experience building wheels; and you already know the spoke length. Plus it is a small investment.

Weigh the old wheels, and then just the rims so you’ll have a baseline.

John
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Old 11-19-20, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
But I’m still thinking you should just replace the spokes with DB and see how it goes. You’ll get experience building wheels; and you already know the spoke length. Plus it is a small investment.
Thanks for the info.

If I'm going to go to all the work of threading up an entire wheel, I'd like to end up with what hopefully will be a fundamentally stronger setup. Since I've changed a number of spokes, it seems like it's essentially a matter of doing the same thing 36 times. But it seems like a lot of work to not end up with what I really want.

The only issue you might have will be getting non-disc mtb hubs.
At this point I'm looking for a hub and rim that will work, with a hub that's at least as good as the stock one that's on the Verve or better. I see a number of them referred to as "mountain bike" so was wondering what that's all about.

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Old 11-19-20, 05:09 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
I was mildly annoyed that whatever the listed sale price was didn't include a kickstand, which was $25 extra which I believe put it over the $400 mark.
I hope that the kickstand isn't clamped directly onto the chain stays of your bike. Aluminum tubes crush easily from the literally vice-like forces of a conventional kickstand clamp, and no bike manufacturer will cover such frame damage under warranty.
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Old 11-19-20, 05:18 AM
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One note re a cyccommute comment on a veganbikes post upthread, where veganbikes mentioned that weaker rims can be damaged by stronger, higher-tension spokes and cyccomute disagreed. In the '70s and '80s, tubular/sew-up rims, especially hard-anodized rims (when such rims were briefly fashionable), built with 14-gauge spokes often developed cracks at the eyelets. In fact, DT's catalog referred to their 14-gauge spokes as "tandem" spokes. Rim strength has greatly improved in the past several decades, but ultra-light rims might still be vulnerable to damage from the use of unbutted 14-gauge spokes at the recommended tension.
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Old 11-19-20, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
This really is interesting stuff and I had never given much thought about triple butted spokes.

But the OP has a $600 hybrid bike. Nothing wrong with that, it is a fine bike. The factory wheels have Formula hubs, inexpensive Bontrager rims and probably use some generic 14ga straight gauge spokes. No one has a clue how well they were built; it is just one of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of similar wheels.

Somehow I missed the leap of faith to suggest using $3.00 spokes on an initial wheel build.

It would be a great exercise for the OP to rebuild those wheels. Just get some DT 2.0/1.8/2.0 Comps and have at it. I used Jobst Brandt’s book decades ago. There is a certain satisfaction riding on your own wheels.

John
While $3 a spoke is probably on the high end, how many wheels do you have to buy to recover $48 in additional cost? (Assuming $3 for Alpine and $1.50 for the Competitions). I’ll agree that $3 for the Alpines are a bit high but I did provide alternatives for less. Your local shop might sell them for less the $3 each. In the QBP catalog, the price of Alpines and Competitions is only about 50Ę apart in price.

Prior to using Alpines, I built exclusively with double butted spokes. I broke a lot of them. Once I went to Alpines, that all changed. The old saw “the most expensive tool is the one you buy twice” holds here. Do it right once and it’s cheaper and easier than redoing the work.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Thanks for the info.

If I'm going to go to all the work of threading up an entire wheel, I'd like to end up with what hopefully will be a fundamentally stronger setup. Since I've changed a number of spokes, it seems like it's essentially a matter of doing the same thing 36 times. But it seems like a lot of work to not end up with what I really want.
Like Iíve said elsewhere, the cost of Alpineís in my experience isnít that much more than double butted spokes. The Universal cost is rather high but do some shopping and you might find something cheaper. If you are willing to wait about a month, Rose Bikes price canít be beat. Itís better to build once with the right spokes than experiment and have to do it again, especially now that you are planning a completely new wheel. Iíve not regretted spending the extra cost on my builds.

At this point I'm looking for a hub and rim that will work, with a hub that's at least as good as the stock one that's on the Verve or better. I see a number of them referred to as "mountain bike" so was wondering what that's all about.
You donít need a ďmountain bikeĒ hub. You just need a hub with a 135mm OLD (over locknut dimension) for a rim brake. There are still a lot of them out there, both new and old. For old ones, Iíd look for White Industries. New Whites are a bit expensive ($300) but they will last forever. Old ones will last forever as well.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
One note re a cyccommute comment on a veganbikes post upthread, where veganbikes mentioned that weaker rims can be damaged by stronger, higher-tension spokes and cyccomute disagreed. In the '70s and '80s, tubular/sew-up rims, especially hard-anodized rims (when such rims were briefly fashionable), built with 14-gauge spokes often developed cracks at the eyelets. In fact, DT's catalog referred to their 14-gauge spokes as "tandem" spokes. Rim strength has greatly improved in the past several decades, but ultra-light rims might still be vulnerable to damage from the use of unbutted 14-gauge spokes at the recommended tension.
Note that the spokes Iím talking about are butted spokes. They just happen to have a slightly larger head than double butted spokes. The middle section is the same profile as double butted spokes.
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Old 11-19-20, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I hope that the kickstand isn't clamped directly onto the chain stays of your bike. Aluminum tubes crush easily from the literally vice-like forces of a conventional kickstand clamp, and no bike manufacturer will cover such frame damage under warranty.
There's a cross-piece welded in place specifically for a kickstand - the kickstand just isn't included as standard equipment. The Trek kickstand didn't include a rubber tip, which I got online and glued in place with Shoe Goo. When I got my Giant it came with a kickstand with a rubber tip. The tip makes a difference if you ever want to park it on grass.

Just seemed a bit cheesy on the part of Trek but I like the Trek better than the Giant.
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Old 11-21-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post



There arenít that many spoke manufacturers around...especially aftermarket. I can only think of DT, Sapim, Wheelsmith, and Pillar. All 4 offer double butted spokes. All 4 also offer triple butted spokes, although, technically, Wheelsmithís are only double butted with a 2.3mm head and a 2.0mm straight gauge shaft.


ACI Alpina (Italy) makes good stainless double butted spokes too.
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