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Spoke count and best ride

Old 02-04-09, 08:02 PM
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GMM
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Spoke count and best ride

Yea we know... bunches of posts regarding the subject but the way figure... Tech and methodology seems to change quite quickly so here we go...

Planning on building a new set of wheels: Dura Ace 7850 freehub and 7800 front hub with Mavic's CXP-33 rims.

But, are not too sure which spoke count will produce the best ride with this particular Mavic rim so any opinions/advice are appreciated.

And the options are:. (using 14/15g Swiss spokes, 14mm brass nipples)
A. 32h 3x front with 32h 3x rear
B. 28h 2x front with 32h 3x rear
C. 28h 3x front with 28h 3x rear

Are using Shimano's 'budget' R-500 (20h radial, 24h 2x rear) wheelset at the moment which are surprisingly, quite good... when running 120+ tpi rubber...

1. So any ideas which combo will produce the most significant improvement over the R-500's?
AND:
2. Anyone running the D/A 7850 hub?

Thanks in Advance

Last edited by GMM; 02-04-09 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GMM View Post
Yea we know... bunches of posts regarding the subject but the way figure... Tech and methodology seems to change quite quickly so here we go...

Planning on building a new set of wheels: Dura Ace 7850 freehub and 7800 front hub with Mavic's CXP-33 rims.

But, are not too sure which spoke count will produce the best ride with this particular Mavic rim so any opinions/advice are appreciated.

And the options are:. (using 14/15g Swiss spokes, 14mm brass nipples)
A. 32h 3x front with 32h 3x rear
B. 28h 3x front with 32h 3x rear
C. 28h 3x front with 28h 3x rear
D. 28h 2x front with 28h 3x rear

Am about 165lbs running 700cx25 120tpi Vitoria rubber on an aluminum frame/carbon fork.
Are using Shimano's 'budget' R-500 (20h radial, 24h 2x rear) wheelset at the moment which are surprisingly, quite good... when running 120+ tpi rubber...

1. So any ideas which combo will produce the most significant improvement over the R-500's and in which areas? (ride comfort, durability, speed etc.)
AND:
2. Anyone running the D/A 7850 hub?

Thanks in Advance
Splitting hairs.

None of those options will turn you into 400w+/hour pro rider. Meaning, go for durability, 32 hole 3x. What exactly do you want out of this wheelset?

Aero? Lightness? Cost? Durability? Stiffness?

You can't have all of them. My default when there's nothing to be specifically had out of a wheelset is durability - hence ^.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:18 PM
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I'm inclined to say 32 spoke 3X front and rear. At your weight you could run 28 spoke 2X or 3X in front for weight savings and a very slight aero advantage. But if you want to save weight, why not run Open Pro rims, 32 spoke rear, 28 spoke front and aluminum alloy nipples?

Al

Last edited by Al1943; 02-06-09 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:51 PM
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By "best ride" do you mean durability, fastest or most comfortable?

For durability, go 32H 3X at both ends.

For speed (aero) go 28H for both but don't expect any significant difference from 32H.

For comfort, fit larger, lower pressure tires.
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Old 02-04-09, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
By "best ride" do you mean durability, fastest or most comfortable?

For durability, go 32H 3X at both ends.

For speed (aero) go 28H for both but don't expect any significant difference from 32H.

For comfort, fit larger, lower pressure tires.
Yep...
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Old 02-04-09, 09:00 PM
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32 spoke front and rear unless you like truing wheels and replacing spokes...
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Old 02-04-09, 10:20 PM
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None of these things will affect the ride of the bike. You may be under the impression that number of spokes or spoke pattern or flange size affects ride. You would be mistaken. You can't feel these things. Reducing the number of spokes reduces weight, but very, very slightly. It would make a difference if you are champion, but it won't make you a champion.

Technology hasn't changed these facts.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:11 PM
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^What everyone else said.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:56 AM
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The more spokes, the better.
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Old 02-05-09, 10:42 AM
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If 32 is enough for the rear, it is too much for the front. So many front wheels are overbuilt, for no other reason than than that mosy rims are drilled 32H. 36-40 used to be standard. Why waste spokes? I'd go for 28 front, 32 rear. Radial on the front is good- nice and stiff, looks smart, easy to build. And I do 2x on the drive side, 3X on the other. Seems to make a very strong rear wheel, with a more even spoke tension.
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Old 02-05-09, 10:56 AM
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If you haven't tried them yet, use spoke washers under the heads of the spokes at the hub. Your LBS can probably order them from DT Swiss or you can usually find some by searching Ebay. When the spokes finally fit firmly in the hub, you will feel a difference.

I too would recomend radial fronts (head in on the spokes) for the best lateral stiffness and possibly a half radial in the rear with head out radial spokes on the non drive side to produce a little less dish

Last edited by maddmaxx; 02-05-09 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Basil Moss View Post
I do 2x on the drive side, 3X on the other.
Why would you want less crosses on the drive side? The rotating torque is on the drive side, and as I understand it, that's where you want the strength/stiffness to avoid wind up.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by smurf hunter View Post
Why would you want less crosses on the drive side? The rotating torque is on the drive side, and as I understand it, that's where you want the strength/stiffness to avoid wind up.
I know very few people who can twist a hub enough to create a different torque on each side!
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Old 02-05-09, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
I know very few people who can twist a hub enough to create a different torque on each side!
Agreed, but if the drive sides of wheels were laced radially I suppose you would
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Old 02-05-09, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by smurf hunter View Post
Agreed, but if the drive sides of wheels were laced radially I suppose you would
It is possible to see a radial drive side and a 3 cross non drive side. Most would find this strange, but it is sometimes recomended 1. to provide more clearance to the derailleur in a bad clearance situation. 2. to provide a better tension match between the drive side and the non drive side.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
If you haven't tried them yet, use spoke washers under the heads of the spokes at the hub. Your LBS can probably order them from DT Swiss or you can usually find some by searching Ebay. When the spokes finally fit firmly in the hub, you will feel a difference.
These hubs have well designed flanges, which if anything are a little thicker than usual. The spoke holes are countersunk just about as well as they could be. Spoke washers will give you extra hassle while building, and lead to a LESS firm fit at the hub. They are useful for flanges that are thin to take up the play between spoke and spoke hole.

I'd go with 32 spoke 3 cross on both wheels, myself.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Snordalisk View Post
These hubs have well designed flanges, which if anything are a little thicker than usual. The spoke holes are countersunk just about as well as they could be. Spoke washers will give you extra hassle while building, and lead to a LESS firm fit at the hub. They are useful for flanges that are thin to take up the play between spoke and spoke hole.

I'd go with 32 spoke 3 cross on both wheels, myself.
They are used to fit a 14 ga 2.0 spoke into a 2.3 hole. (almost always used on a 15 ga. 1.8 spoke) They will pull into a conical shape when the spoke is tensioned and will help fit the slightly oversized hole. For some reason, manufacturers have not changed the spokehole size in hubs since the days when larger spokes were used.

This reason for using spoke washers is the one specified by Gerd Schraner in the "Art of Wheelbuilding". It is also correct that the washer is used for differences between spoke elbow length and flange thickness. The latter has been explained by Peter White in conjunction with some changes in the elbow lengths by DT Swiss in the manufacture of their spokes. Both are valid reasons for using a spoke washer.

Last edited by maddmaxx; 02-05-09 at 11:48 AM. Reason: clarification of reasons for using washers.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:40 AM
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I would go 32h 3 cross on both. You could get away with 28 hole front but you are talking about a 20 gram difference there.

If you cannot afford 2 wheelsets get 32h. It is strong, standard and easy to fix.

If you can afford 2 get a 32 hole and award winning weight weenie wheels.

As for best ride they will all be the same. Tires will make a big difference and low weight + aero will require less energy.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:55 PM
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If you're doing a lot of touring, with loaded panniers, I might suggest a 36 X3 rear and 32 X3 front. But other then this, I agree that 32 X3 laced is what you'd want.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by smurf hunter View Post
Why would you want less crosses on the drive side? The rotating torque is on the drive side, and as I understand it, that's where you want the strength/stiffness to avoid wind up.
The idea with that is to have more of the torque taken up by the non-driveside spokes to even out the spoke-tension differences. However, the actual amount of torque generated and the actual amount of tension-increase is microscopic and results in no balancing of the tensions.

For the OP, if you're interested in ride-quality, then look at the tyres. Tyres and pressure is responsible for pretty much ALL of the feel.
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Old 02-06-09, 08:57 AM
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I disagree with many of the above posts. While it's true that the front wheel doesn't need to be as strong as the rear, it's silly to worry about wasted spokes.

There is no way in heaven you can feel a "stiff" wheel versus another wheel. The tire flexes far more than a wheel does. Radial spoking offers no advantage, other than aesthetic.

And having different cross patterns on different sides offers no advantage, either.

You can argue that lower weight and lower wind resistance are the advantages of fewer spokes and radial (or less crossing). That might be a tiny, measurable difference, for world champion riders. You can't convince me it makes a difference for the rest of us.
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Old 02-06-09, 10:31 AM
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I can't imagine you'd notice much of a difference. I think the main differences happen when you get down to ultra-low spoke counts. I'd go 32 because I'm conservative and would rather have a beefier set of wheels I don't have to worry about.
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Old 02-06-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
While it's true that the front wheel doesn't need to be as strong as the rear, it's silly to worry about wasted spokes.
But that line of reasoning can be applied to just about everything, no need to try for perfectly adjusted hub bearings, no need to think about true & round - we might as well break out the old boneshakers again and be done with it.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
There is no way in heaven you can feel a "stiff" wheel versus another wheel.
Maybe not while in the saddle JRA, but out of the saddle honking I'd say there can be a difference.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Radial spoking offers no advantage,
If you look at Rinards measurements of lateral wheel deflection you'd see that radial heads-in deflects less than a comparable wheel built in 3X, with as much as as 0.4 mm. Going from 3X to radial certainly made brake rub during climbs a far rarer occurrence on my bike.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
And having different cross patterns on different sides offers no advantage, either.
Agree.
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