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Old 05-01-07, 06:32 AM   #1
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Half-radial rebuilding NEW Factory wheel

I traded my LIGHTLY used Performance Tital rear wheel (basically the same as Supergo Korso & Neuvation M28 aero) for a new replacement after breaking the second spoke in a sprint (I weigh 150 lbs; wheels saw something like 300 miles).

Problem is now that I've lost confidence...

I read somewhere that those thick (12ga?) bladed spokes are of poor quality (spokes broke at nipple).

I also read in previous threads that a problem might be uneven factory spoke tension.

What can I do to strengthen this new wheel, besides checking/adjusting spoke tension?

Sheldon Brown suggests radial lacing the non-drive side of a rear wheel if spoke breakage occurs here (as it did on the original wheel).

So I'm thinking of removing all non-drive side spokes (on this NEW wheel) and replacing them with some higher quality 14ga (thinner than stock) spokes (and radially lacing them). Any suggestions on what kind of spoke? Given the low spoke count (20), would 14ga spokes be unwise? I could replace the spokes with 10 Sapim CX-Ray spokes for about $30 or so...

Thank you for any & all suggestions & feedback
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Old 05-01-07, 06:39 AM   #2
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That seems like going to an awful lot of trouble for a factory-wheel that's designed to come as a unit. Would it be possible for you to get a more standard wheel design (like the Ultegra/Open Pro with 14/15/14 butted spokes that Performance sells)?

If that's not possible, I'd say just make sure tension is even between the spokes and ride the thing.

If you want to mess around with it (which could be fun, admittedly):
First, my understanding is that these sorts of wheels have low-spoke-count but high-tension. This may be a reason why thinner spokes might be problematic. That said, 14g straight-gauge spokes should be fine - with 14/15/14 you'd probably be fine for this application as well, although you'd have more problems with wind-up at high spoke tension (thoguh on the non-drive-side you're probably okay).

Half-radial lacing is fun, I've done it for the rear wheel of my commuting bike, but I don't think it's much stronger. It allows a very slight increase in non-drive-side spoke tension, mainly because you have all the spokes coming off the inside of the flange.

Another problem in this case is that with low-spoke-count, higher-than-usual-tension wheel, the flange may not be up to the task of radial lacing. You can get away with it in normal dished rear wheels because non-drive-side is lower spoke tension (b/c dishing) but in these wheels with higher tension, that might not work, and would crack the hub flange. You'd certainly void the warranty.

Because of the warranty issue, I'd say just ride the wheel as-is. You'd probably void the warranty if you re-lace it with crossed spokes, even.
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