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Aero spokes on 32h wheels - overkill or worthwhile?

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Aero spokes on 32h wheels - overkill or worthwhile?

Old 10-11-13, 09:04 PM
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Aero spokes on 32h wheels - overkill or worthwhile?

I found a killer deal on DT Swiss Aero spokes, so I was thinking of using them to build up a set of 32h Sun M14a rims. It would only cost about $4 more that using 14g/15g double butted spokes.

Would this be a good idea? I don't think I've ever seen a 32h aero spoke wheel, so I thought there might be some good reason for that. It does seem that bladed spokes are stronger but heavier, making them better suited for low spoke count wheels.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 10-11-13, 09:07 PM
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it wouldn't be overkill it would be UNDERkill. From a structural integrity standpoint, no reason to not use bladed spokes for a 32 spoke wheel. from a weight standpoint, they are probably heavier than a standard double butted spoke so you won't be building a lighter wheel but who cares, 32 spoke wheels were meant to be strong not light!
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Old 10-11-13, 09:12 PM
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If by Aero, you mean those 15g butted spokes with an oval profile but don't need slotted hubs, then by all means go ahead and use them.

There isn't any real benefit, but they are relatively light, and you're getting them cheap. One thing to know about these spokes is that they twist like taffy when they get tight. But on the plus side, twist is evident, so you don't end up with hidden twist that pings and changes alignment when you stress relieve.
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Old 10-11-13, 09:29 PM
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got cross wind ... where you ride? I wouldn't want bladed spokes on anything denser than 24h...or less.
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Old 10-11-13, 10:36 PM
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Are aerodynamics a concern to you? If you service your own wheels, know that it's slightly more difficult to true wheels with bladed spokes as you have to hold the midsection in place to prevent the blade from moving as the nipple turns.
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Old 10-11-13, 10:54 PM
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If it will make you FEEL fast, then why not? $4 is chump change; if you like the look then go for it.

This is a hobby, after all....

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Old 10-12-13, 12:53 AM
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They work, but be aware that you could end up with a noise issue you may not like.

Depends upon the rim, mostly.

Constant whirring sound with my set a long while back caused me to abandon - helped in part by a loss of the front wheel that someone walked off with.

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Old 10-12-13, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Are aerodynamics a concern to you? If you service your own wheels, know that it's slightly more difficult to true wheels with bladed spokes as you have to hold the midsection in place to prevent the blade from moving as the nipple turns.
Uhh... Round spokes need to be held too, to prevent twisting when they are tightened. They are just more difficult to hold.

Aerodynamics are a concern to anyone who rides a bike on the road above 10mph. They are by far the limiting factor in top speed. Now, are aero spokes going to make any difference on a 32h wheel with a box section rim? No... But of course everyone is concerned with aerodynamics. You only need to ride into one headwind to know that.
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Old 10-12-13, 08:15 AM
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This was mentioned above but are these spokes wide enough to require slotting the hub flange holes? If so you probably don't want to bother with them. If not, it's more cosmetics than function but there is no serious down side.
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Old 10-12-13, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Are aerodynamics a concern to you? If you service your own wheels, know that it's slightly more difficult to true wheels with bladed spokes as you have to hold the midsection in place to prevent the blade from moving as the nipple turns.
It's an easy matter to go I/4 turn past the point and return to the desired position to eliminate the twist as the spokes are tightened.
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Old 10-12-13, 08:50 AM
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You going to have aero section spokes too? Might look a little silly with box section rims, but whatever floats your boat, man. I thought about going with lightweight spokes (either bladed or 14-16G) to save some weight on a 36H wheelset I'm building vs the 14-15G double butted I've used in the past, but then I reallized that the 100 g or so I was going to save would be nothing on a wheelset looking to weight in the 2kg range (a bit more with tape and skewers and stuff), so I decided that less than 5% savings wasn't worth the extra $30-40 (more if I wanted the lightweight CX-rays) and the extra difficulty building/truing. What you choose is up to you. If you do decide to go with regular double butted, there's this seller on e-bay that goes by the name childhood dreams that frequently has some good quality double butted stainless steel spokes for about $45 shipped for 75 of them at whatever length you choose. Best deal I've found.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Are aerodynamics a concern to you? If you service your own wheels, know that it's slightly more difficult to true wheels with bladed spokes as you have to hold the midsection in place to prevent the blade from moving as the nipple turns.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:31 AM
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True , the flat blade does give you a handle to control wind up as the nip is turned ..

of course you have to notch in the hub shell hole to get the blade through.
and that will weaken the hub flange a bit, so add that to your bargain calculations..

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Old 10-12-13, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels Of Steel
Are aerodynamics a concern to you? If you service your own wheels, know that it's slightly more difficult to true wheels with bladed spokes as you have to hold the midsection in place to prevent the blade from moving as the nipple turns.
What you say is true; however, the same is true of all spokes. The difference is, with a round spoke you can't see the twist. Thus, if you don't stress relieve the spokes before riding, you'll hear a lot of "pinging" as the wheel goes out of true. With bladed/aero spokes, you can use a tool to hold the spoke while turning the nipple. If you keep the spokes aligned, very little, if any, stress relieving is necessary.
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Old 10-12-13, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bikepro
What you say is true; however, the same is true of all spokes. The difference is, with a round spoke you can't see the twist. Thus, if you don't stress relieve the spokes before riding, you'll hear a lot of "pinging" as the wheel goes out of true. With bladed/aero spokes, you can use a tool to hold the spoke while turning the nipple. If you keep the spokes aligned, very little, if any, stress relieving is necessary.
+1

See post number 3 (above) .

If 15g DB spokes are adequate to your needs, there's no reason not to use aero (not bladed) spokes. They fit normal hubs, so no slotting is needed, don't materially affect crosswind load, and make spoke twist more obvious so it's a bit easier to build with them.

Other than possibly being too light (my commuter bike wheels are built with 15g DB spokes, and the wheels will wear out at the brake track before a spoke breaks) the only thing that can fairly be said against 15g aero spokes is that they cost more.
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Old 10-12-13, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
got cross wind ... where you ride? I wouldn't want bladed spokes on anything denser than 24h...or less.
A 32 spoke wheel built with DT Aerolites has the surface area on the spokes from the side as a 36 spoke wheel built with 14 gauge round spokes with neither significant enough to make cross-winds an issue.
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Old 10-12-13, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
+1

See post number 3 (above) .

If 15g DB spokes are adequate to your needs, there's no reason not to use aero (not bladed) spokes. They fit normal hubs, so no slotting is needed, don't materially affect crosswind load, and make spoke twist more obvious so it's a bit easier to build with them.

Other than possibly being too light (my commuter bike wheels are built with 15g DB spokes, and the wheels will wear out at the brake track before a spoke breaks) the only thing that can fairly be said against 15g aero spokes is that they cost more.
Aerolites start life as round 2.0/1.5mm spokes which is 17g in the center section.
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Old 10-12-13, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tcpasley
I found a killer deal on DT Swiss Aero spokes, so I was thinking of using them to build up a set of 32h Sun M14a rims. It would only cost about $4 more that using 14g/15g double butted spokes.

Would this be a good idea? I don't think I've ever seen a 32h aero spoke wheel, so I thought there might be some good reason for that. It does seem that bladed spokes are stronger but heavier, making them better suited for low spoke count wheels.

Any advice is appreciated.
So can you tell us where this killer deal on the DT Swiss Aerolites is?
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Old 10-12-13, 04:08 PM
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$$$

Originally Posted by Hendo252
$4 is chump change
not where I come from...
$3+ per spoke X 32 spokes=expensive!
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Old 10-12-13, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
Aerolites start life as round 2.0/1.5mm spokes which is 17g in the center section.
Thanks, that reinforces my argument that there's no reason nor to use them other than cost. I use Wheelsmith Aero spokes that start life as 15g.

In either case, if a 1.5mm center section meets your needs, go for it.
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Old 10-12-13, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Soil_Sampler
not where I come from...
$3+ per spoke X 32 spokes=expensive!
Agreed.. I'd like to try 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes, or aero/bladed spokes but I can get a wheel's worth of 2.0/1.8/2.0 spokes plus nipples for $30 at Yellow Jersey. $4 per spoke??? Suddenly I'm spending $256 on spokes alone (for a 32 spoke wheelset), vs $60. Not worth it for me, and for how many wheels I build.
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Old 10-12-13, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake
$4 per spoke???
Unless I misread the OP, he meant a $4.00 difference for the whole box or wheel's worth, not $4/spoke.

If I'm reading him right then it's only about 10-15% extra.
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Old 10-12-13, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Unless I misread the OP, he meant a $4.00 difference for the whole box or wheel's worth, not $4/spoke.

If I'm reading him right then it's only about 10-15% extra.
Oops. I was going off Soil Sampler's quote, thinking the OP was talking about $4 spokes. $4 extra per wheel would definitely be worthwhile.
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Old 10-13-13, 12:47 AM
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aero$$$

I can get 14/15 spokes for $0.50 ea. If the op can get aero spokes for $0.55 each, more power to him!
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Old 10-13-13, 06:44 AM
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November Bicycles did wind tunnel testing of a bunch of wheels a while back:

https://www.novemberbicycles.com/blog...o-cameras.html

Note that they compared two wheels that were identical except for one having standard spokes and one having Sapim CX-Ray aero spokes. (CX-Rays are much the same as DT Aero spokes...)

I haven't found the results yet, but I remember that the aero spokes saved all of one watt.
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