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Lacing/building up my first set of wheels and have some questions

Old 09-13-13, 06:20 PM
  #1  
guy2600
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Lacing/building up my first set of wheels and have some questions

What I have for tools:

Truing stand for dish, side and radial (hop) runout (if that makes sense)
Park tension meter
Spoke wrenches

The build:

Front: HED Belgium 24H C2 rim, DT Swiss 350 straight pull hub, sapim cx-ray 285mm straight pull spokes, wheelbuilder 14mm alloy nipples.

Rear: HED Belgium 32H C2 rim, powertap pro+ 32h hub, sapim cx-ray j pull spokes (length recommended by wheelbuilder.com. I remember they're all the same length for a 3x lacing pattern, not sure of the length though), 14mm alloy nipples.

Questions:

How do I determine what the spoke tension should be? I'm going to use sheldon brown's website for reference. Any additional build tips I should be aware of or good resources on the net to read before hand?
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Old 09-14-13, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by guy2600 View Post
What I have for tools:

Truing stand for dish, side and radial (hop) runout (if that makes sense)
Park tension meter
Spoke wrenches

The build:

Front: HED Belgium 24H C2 rim, DT Swiss 350 straight pull hub, sapim cx-ray 285mm straight pull spokes, wheelbuilder 14mm alloy nipples.

Rear: HED Belgium 32H C2 rim, powertap pro+ 32h hub, sapim cx-ray j pull spokes (length recommended by wheelbuilder.com. I remember they're all the same length for a 3x lacing pattern, not sure of the length though), 14mm alloy nipples.

Questions:

How do I determine what the spoke tension should be? I'm going to use sheldon brown's website for reference. Any additional build tips I should be aware of or good resources on the net to read before hand?
I have, in the last 30 years, built several thousand wheels, so I may, at this point, know a thing or two......

The Park will have a hard time with the Sapims. Maybe contact Park and see what they say. I don't build with that spoke....no real advantage over a nice, easy to gauge and build round butted spoke.

Ditch the alloy nips. Nothing but trouble...way more fussy, especially on a non-eyeleted rim. They also require the spoke length to be dead-on, so the spoke passes completely through the nipple. DT Prolocks in brass are a no-brainer. Also, there's no good reason, other than wowie-neato factor to spoke a wheel radially. It's harder on the hub, and if you cannot be dissuaded from using alloy nips, tend to cause the spokes to unscrew themselves, unless you use a mild thread locker of some sort.
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Old 09-14-13, 12:44 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
I have, in the last 30 years, built several thousand wheels, so I may, at this point, know a thing or two......

The Park will have a hard time with the Sapims. Maybe contact Park and see what they say. I don't build with that spoke....no real advantage over a nice, easy to gauge and build round butted spoke.

Ditch the alloy nips. Nothing but trouble...way more fussy, especially on a non-eyeleted rim. They also require the spoke length to be dead-on, so the spoke passes completely through the nipple. DT Prolocks in brass are a no-brainer. Also, there's no good reason, other than wowie-neato factor to spoke a wheel radially. It's harder on the hub, and if you cannot be dissuaded from using alloy nips, tend to cause the spokes to unscrew themselves, unless you use a mild thread locker of some sort.
Alloy nipples? Why? I have heard nothing really positive about alloy nipples at all other than they save a microscopic amount of weight at the expense of all the other above mentioned drawbacks.

The OP's first choice of wheels to build seems awfully aggressive. Kind of like deciding to work on a car for the first time and choosing to rewire an old English sports car with Lucas wiring.
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Old 09-14-13, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by guy2600 View Post
What I have for tools:

Truing stand for dish, side and radial (hop) runout (if that makes sense)
Park tension meter
Spoke wrenches

The build:

Front: HED Belgium 24H C2 rim, DT Swiss 350 straight pull hub, sapim cx-ray 285mm straight pull spokes, wheelbuilder 14mm alloy nipples.

Rear: HED Belgium 32H C2 rim, powertap pro+ 32h hub, sapim cx-ray j pull spokes (length recommended by wheelbuilder.com. I remember they're all the same length for a 3x lacing pattern, not sure of the length though), 14mm alloy nipples.

Questions:

How do I determine what the spoke tension should be? I'm going to use sheldon brown's website for reference. Any additional build tips I should be aware of or good resources on the net to read before hand?
http://www.hedcycling.com/

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Old 09-14-13, 09:48 AM
  #5  
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Not the easiest build for a first attempt.
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Old 09-14-13, 10:20 AM
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+3 Ditch the alloy nipples. Don't say we didn't warn you...

Everything else is ok IMO, as long as you take your time and do a good job. Nothing wrong with radial if the hub is designed for it, and it's the easiest type of wheel to build. Plan on figuring out how to hold the spokes from turning though, since you're using a straight pull front hub.
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Old 09-14-13, 11:54 AM
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I'm aware of the corrosion issues etc of alloy vs brass. If I need to change them every year or two I'm fine with that. Just a preference. I have a tool to hold the spokes while tightening them specifically made for cx-rays so good there.

So what it your preferred method of stress relieving the spokes? How do you determine what to run for spoke tension on your builds?
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Old 09-14-13, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by guy2600 View Post
I'm aware of the corrosion issues etc of alloy vs brass. If I need to change them every year or two I'm fine with that. Just a preference. I have a tool to hold the spokes while tightening them specifically made for cx-rays so good there.

So what it your preferred method of stress relieving the spokes? How do you determine what to run for spoke tension on your builds?
Two important things when building with alloy nipples:

Lubricate the threads and, with no eyelets, do the nipple seating surface too. You will hate every second of this build otherwise. I have had good luck using actual anti-seize compound which should provide more lasting protection than just plain grease.

Make sure you use a good spoke wrench and fully engage the nipple every time. It is easy to get lazy and only partially engage the tool if you aren't paying attention. At higher spoke tensions you will crack nipples this way.

Use the rim manufacturer's recommendation for spoke tension as the rim is the weakest link. For stress relieving I've always just used my hands. For the j-bend spokes, bend them around the hub flange so that they lay as flat as possible. As you increase tension stop and grab pairs of spokes and give them a good, hard squeeze. This greatly increase the spoke tension and has worked well for me to insure that my spokes don't loosen up after using the wheel for a bit.

Good luck! You are sure to learn a lot with this build.

Last edited by joejack951; 09-14-13 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 09-14-13, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by guy2600 View Post
I'm aware of the corrosion issues etc of alloy vs brass. If I need to change them every year or two I'm fine with that. Just a preference. I have a tool to hold the spokes while tightening them specifically made for cx-rays so good there.

So what it your preferred method of stress relieving the spokes? How do you determine what to run for spoke tension on your builds?
Spoke tension often depends on the rim. Ask the manufacturer or person you bought them from.
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Old 09-14-13, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by guy2600 View Post
I'm aware of the corrosion issues etc of alloy vs brass. If I need to change them every year or two I'm fine with that. Just a preference. I have a tool to hold the spokes while tightening them specifically made for cx-rays so good there.

So what it your preferred method of stress relieving the spokes? How do you determine what to run for spoke tension on your builds?
Why do you even WANT to bother with the alloy nipples? What kind of benefits do you think you will realize? They are not popular for good reasons. The big reason why people don't like them is that they are WEAK compared to brass.
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Old 09-14-13, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Why do you even WANT to bother with the alloy nipples? What kind of benefits do you think you will realize? They are not popular for good reasons. The big reason why people don't like them is that they are WEAK compared to brass.
Why do you think that the OP wants to learn anything from the combined experience of all the posters on this thread? That's pretty clearly not what he or she wants to do here.
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Old 09-14-13, 01:32 PM
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I would build some "boring" wheels first. Once you're successful with that, try the exotic ones.
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Old 09-14-13, 02:16 PM
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Does anyone have an answer to his question about the spoke tension?
http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
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Old 09-14-13, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
Does anyone have an answer to his question about the spoke tension?
http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
Did you miss the two answers given above?

Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Spoke tension often depends on the rim. Ask the manufacturer or person you bought them from.
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Old 09-14-13, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Why do you even WANT to bother with the alloy nipples? What kind of benefits do you think you will realize? They are not popular for good reasons. The big reason why people don't like them is that they are WEAK compared to brass.
Not popular? Show me a high end road wheel built with anything but aluminum nipples.

Weaker than brass doesn't mean too weak either. Bikes use plenty of "weak aluminum" all over the place.
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Old 09-14-13, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I would build some "boring" wheels first. Once you're successful with that, try the exotic ones.
These don't strike me as exotic other than the cost of the components. 32 hole 3 cross rear wheel with a 475gm rim sounds pretty simple. The front wheel is lower spoke count but the rim sounds plenty stiff for that. Finally the bladed spokes if anything will make it easier to detect and prevent spoke wind-up. They have to be easier to work with than DT Revolutions at least.
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Old 09-14-13, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Not popular? Show me a high end road wheel built with anything but aluminum nipples.

Weaker than brass doesn't mean too weak either. Bikes use plenty of "weak aluminum" all over the place.
What advantages do aluminum nipples provide the cyclist (excluding racers trying to eek out the tiniest of timing advantages)?

Every time I read about them, people say "don't use them, not worth the bother".
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Old 09-14-13, 10:27 PM
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I prefer DTSwiss aluminum alloy nipples and use them on all of my wheels with no issues. I don't believe they are weaker than brass. I've reused aluminum nipples on wheel rebuilds after rims and hubs have worn out. I'll agree brass is stronger when airplanes are built out of brass.
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Old 09-14-13, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
I'll agree brass is stronger when airplanes are built out of brass.
What do airplanes have to do with "stronger"
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Old 09-14-13, 11:00 PM
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I'm a bit of a weenie, but seriously... 24 brass nipples weigh 23 grams. How much do you save going to aluminum? 10 grams per wheel? There are better places to save weight.
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Old 09-14-13, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I'm a bit of a weenie, but seriously... 24 brass nipples weigh 23 grams. How much do you save going to aluminum? 10 grams per wheel? There are better places to save weight.
I'm still waiting to hear WHY aluminum nipples are desired over brass? Is it really purely the monstrous weight savings?
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Old 09-15-13, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I'm still waiting to hear WHY aluminum nipples are desired over brass? Is it really purely the monstrous weight savings?
I think that's it. I'd briefly considered going to using them and Sapim Race spokes rather than the cheaper, slightly heavier Lasers I've used for the other 3 wheels I've built for a 36h wheelset I'm going to be rebuilding because together they'd save ~ 1/3 of a pound, but then I decided that either way it's still going to be a 2 kilogram wheelset with 72 spokes, so why not save the $40-50 the more expensive parts would cost me and put those toward a truly lightweight wheelset in my future.

Oh, and sometimes it's easier to find aluminum in more colors.
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Old 09-15-13, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I'm a bit of a weenie, but seriously... 24 brass nipples weigh 23 grams. How much do you save going to aluminum? 10 grams per wheel? There are better places to save weight.
Aluminum is roughly 1/3 of the weight of brass. If you've saved all the weight you can afford elsewhere why wouldn't you use aluminum nipples to save 30-50 grams off your wheelset?
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Old 09-15-13, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Aluminum is roughly 1/3 of the weight of brass. If you've saved all the weight you can afford elsewhere why wouldn't you use aluminum nipples to save 30-50 grams off your wheelset?
1 1/2 ounces of weight savings? Big whooop. I would much rather have the convenience of brass nipples. No worrying about cracking nippples, no worrying about rounding them off down the road, no worrying about corroding/corrosion, etc etc. I imagine if you are a real racer, the weight savings might matter but even then, it would be much less than 1 1/2 ounces since a racer wheel will probably have a 20-16 spoke wheelset compared to a 32-32 spoke wheelset that works out to the 1 1/2 ounces.
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Old 09-16-13, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I would much rather have the convenience of brass nipples. No worrying about cracking nippples, no worrying about rounding them off down the road, no worrying about corroding/corrosion, etc etc.
Those all affect brass nipples too, just to a lesser extent than aluminum depending on your riding conditions and spoke prep.

Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I imagine if you are a real racer, the weight savings might matter but even then, it would be much less than 1 1/2 ounces since a racer wheel will probably have a 20-16 spoke wheelset compared to a 32-32 spoke wheelset that works out to the 1 1/2 ounces.
Well go talk to all of the wheel manufacturers who use aluminum nipples and share your insights. For better or worse, there are a bunch of wheelsets out there with aluminum nipples, some like mine using 32 spokes front and rear.
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