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Wheel build sanity check

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Wheel build sanity check

Old 11-21-14, 11:42 AM
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biciklanto
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Wheel build sanity check

Hi all,

I'm wanting to put together a new wheelset for my Domane and just wanted a quick check to see if anyone had any other recommendations for me. I was thinking of the following:
  • HED Ardennes+ / Belgium+28 hole rims front and rear
  • Sapim CX-Ray Spokes (Black, because it's faster)
  • Powertap G3 front/rear hubs
  • Brass nipples

I had originally thought about Stages or Power2Max for power, but given that I want to upgrade my wheels at the same time, this seems like a good two-birds solution. The Domane has some pretty substantial clearance for a road bike, so 25mm or even 28mm tires should do really nicely on the Belgium Plus rim shape — especially because I have some Belgian racing planning for the spring, the notion of more width and more rubber appeals to me. Throw some 28C Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II clinchers on there and it seems like I'd be golden.

Is there anything else I should be thinking about, or does that seem like a reasonable list to get wide clinchers and power?

Last edited by biciklanto; 11-21-14 at 11:44 AM. Reason: More details!
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Old 11-21-14, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by biciklanto View Post
Hi all,

I'm wanting to put together a new wheelset for my Domane and just wanted a quick check to see if anyone had any other recommendations for me. I was thinking of the following:
  • HED Ardennes+ / Belgium+28 hole rims front and rear
  • Sapim CX-Ray Spokes (Black, because it's faster)
  • Powertap G3 front/rear hubs
  • Brass nipples
I usually build wheels with less spokes on the front wheel than the rear one, but its no big deal either way.
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Old 11-21-14, 11:57 AM
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biciklanto
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
I usually build wheels with less spokes on the front wheel than the rear one, but its no big deal either way.
As far as I'm aware, the Belgium+ rim is only available in 28 and 32 hole drillings. I'd certainly not be averse to 32 holes in the rear, but at 75 kilograms I have no idea if that would benefit me or not.
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Old 11-21-14, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by biciklanto View Post
As far as I'm aware, the Belgium+ rim is only available in 28 and 32 hole drillings. I'd certainly not be averse to 32 holes in the rear, but at 75 kilograms I have no idea if that would benefit me or not.
that's true. Hed does that to make their built wheels unique to ones that you can build.

It's no big deal, and you definitely don't need a 32spoke rear wheel at your weight.
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Old 11-21-14, 12:50 PM
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Why the powertap front hub?
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Old 11-21-14, 12:51 PM
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Looks good to me.

I've used the PT front hubs on a couple of wheelsets -- they work fine and match the rear.
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Old 11-21-14, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by biciklanto View Post
Hi all,

I'm wanting to put together a new wheelset for my Domane and just wanted a quick check to see if anyone had any other recommendations for me. I was thinking of the following:
  • HED Ardennes+ / Belgium+28 hole rims front and rear
  • Sapim CX-Ray Spokes (Black, because it's faster)
  • Powertap G3 front/rear hubs
  • Brass nipples
Given your relatively light weight, I don't see the advantage of so many spokes. I have 3 wheelsets, 2 custom and 1 stock, all with fewer spokes. The custom wheelsets (both with alloy rims) are both 20/24 Sapim CX-Ray, and my stock wheelset is Hed Ardennes+ FR, which is 18/24 Sapim CX-Ray. I've never had an issue with lower spoke counts, and I like the lighter weight. Then again, I weigh 65Kg. The Hed Ardennes+ really allow the tires to spread out. I cannot fit those wheels with 25 mm Conti GP 4000s in my Cannondale Supersix Evo, as the rear tire rubs on the chainstays. Even so, with 23 mm tires, I get a very nice ride, and the tire measures around 25mm wide when inflated due to the wider rim.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bradleykd View Post
Why the powertap front hub?
The from PT hub is a normal front hub. No powermeter.

That way they match.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrosser View Post
I don't see the advantage of so many spokes.
OP is probably talking about riding on cobbles, more than likely Ronde van Vlaanderen and other sportives in BE. I have a set of heavy beater clincher rims with a higher spoke count that I use for those. I mount a set of Vittoria Open Pave CG 25mm on them. Only time I ride that wheel/tire combination. I just don't want to beat up my low spoke count full carbon rims on that kind of stuff. Everyone else runs tougher, heavier rims too.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kv501 View Post
The from PT hub is a normal front hub. No powermeter.

That way they match.
I know, I figured PT fronts were just for the wheel-sets that Cycleops sells. I'd probably go with something light and fresh looking up front. I didn't think matching is too critical with a PT rear.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:32 PM
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I had a spoke break on a 36 spoke rear wheel road bike. The wheel got just a little out of true - no problems getting home.

That's why I'd always recommend at least 32 spokes, except for racing perhaps.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:40 PM
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they'll be fine as long as the holes in the rims match the number of spokes and number of holes in the hub. and the spokes are the right length. and the nipples threads match the threads on the spokes. you tighten everything properly, and true and dish them properly.

oh the non-threaded ends of the spokes match the type of attachment the hub provides.

there may be something i've left out...
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Old 11-21-14, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
I had a spoke break on a 36 spoke rear wheel road bike. The wheel got just a little out of true - no problems getting home.

That's why I'd always recommend at least 32 spokes, except for racing perhaps.
I broke a spoke on a 24 spoke rear wheel. Pulled out the spoke wrench and trued it enough to make it to the car. [pro tip: don't toss your bike around so it lands on the side of the wheel and you won't break a DS spoke.]
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Old 11-21-14, 02:53 PM
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Any reasons to choose the Ardennes over the H Plus Son Archetype?
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Old 11-21-14, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrosser View Post
Given your relatively light weight, I don't see the advantage of so many spokes. I have 3 wheelsets, 2 custom and 1 stock, all with fewer spokes. The custom wheelsets (both with alloy rims) are both 20/24 Sapim CX-Ray, and my stock wheelset is Hed Ardennes+ FR, which is 18/24 Sapim CX-Ray. I've never had an issue with lower spoke counts, and I like the lighter weight. Then again, I weigh 65Kg. The Hed Ardennes+ really allow the tires to spread out. I cannot fit those wheels with 25 mm Conti GP 4000s in my Cannondale Supersix Evo, as the rear tire rubs on the chainstays. Even so, with 23 mm tires, I get a very nice ride, and the tire measures around 25mm wide when inflated due to the wider rim.
Hed only sells 28 & 32 spoke versions of the hoops. They make lower spoke count hoops, but they are only available on complete wheelsets.
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Old 11-21-14, 05:09 PM
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The Pacenti SL23 is a nice alternative to the Belgium+ ... comparable quality, weight, profile, and strength, lower cost, and available in more drillings. I just built up a set with some NOS Shimano 105 (5500) hubs and couldn't be happier with the result.

The CX-Rays are nice if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, but 4x the cost for a really small performance difference keeps me coming back to Lasers for my builds.
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Old 11-21-14, 05:27 PM
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These would tempt me if I was in the market now. They are Kinlin rims. I use Kinlin XC-279 rims and run a White Industries T11 front hub with my Powertap G3 rear.

NEW! BHS C31w Clincher
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Old 11-21-14, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
The Pacenti SL23 is a nice alternative to the Belgium+ ... comparable quality, weight, profile, and strength, lower cost, and available in more drillings. I just built up a set with some NOS Shimano 105 (5500) hubs and couldn't be happier with the result.

The CX-Rays are nice if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, but 4x the cost for a really small performance difference keeps me coming back to Lasers for my builds.
So true about the spokes, but if building on a budget I go with Wheelsmith DB spokes. CX-Ray spokes are easy to build with, but once built give a minuscule benefit to most recreational cyclists.
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Old 11-21-14, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
I broke a spoke on a 24 spoke rear wheel. Pulled out the spoke wrench and trued it enough to make it to the car.
Same here. Making it to the car entailed a harrowing mountain descent and 10 more miles of regular riding after that. I took it a little easier on the descent than I normally would, but it wasn't a big deal.
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Old 11-21-14, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jgrosser View Post
Given your relatively light weight, I don't see the advantage of so many spokes. I have 3 wheelsets, 2 custom and 1 stock, all with fewer spokes. The custom wheelsets (both with alloy rims) are both 20/24 Sapim CX-Ray, and my stock wheelset is Hed Ardennes+ FR, which is 18/24 Sapim CX-Ray. I've never had an issue with lower spoke counts, and I like the lighter weight. Then again, I weigh 65Kg. The Hed Ardennes+ really allow the tires to spread out. I cannot fit those wheels with 25 mm Conti GP 4000s in my Cannondale Supersix Evo, as the rear tire rubs on the chainstays. Even so, with 23 mm tires, I get a very nice ride, and the tire measures around 25mm wide when inflated due to the wider rim.
Seriously? We are talking 5g per CX-Ray spoke. I would rather have the peace of mind.
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Old 11-21-14, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
Seriously? We are talking 5g per CX-Ray spoke. I would rather have the peace of mind.
hey! that's 60 grams all told. and have you priced those cx-ray spokes?

it may not be detectable all by it's lonesome, but they say it's the thought that counts.
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Old 11-21-14, 09:43 PM
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I don't see the point of going to the trouble of building your wheels, and then choosing cheap alloy rims. Your spokes alone are going to cost almost as much as rims. How bad are the original wheels if this build is an upgrade?

If powertap is in the budget, I'd be looking at 50-60 mm carbon rims.
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Old 11-21-14, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
I don't see the point of going to the trouble of building your wheels, and then choosing cheap alloy rims. Your spokes alone are going to cost almost as much as rims. How bad are the original wheels if this build is an upgrade?

If powertap is in the budget, I'd be looking at 50-60 mm carbon rims.
Hed Belgiums are high quality hoops, and far better than any carbon hoops you can buy for anywhere close to the same price.
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Old 11-22-14, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
I broke a spoke on a 24 spoke rear wheel. Pulled out the spoke wrench and trued it enough to make it to the car. [pro tip: don't toss your bike around so it lands on the side of the wheel and you won't break a DS spoke.]
On a cold rainy night, riding home. I hit a pothole - didn't even realize a spoke was broken until I got home. Why make myself need truing in such situations if I don't have to? Less spokes = more durable wheels. Why go for less?

Few grams less, or more reliability. Can't have both. I choose the latter choice.
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Old 11-22-14, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
I don't see the point of going to the trouble of building your wheels, and then choosing cheap alloy rims. Your spokes alone are going to cost almost as much as rims. How bad are the original wheels if this build is an upgrade?

If powertap is in the budget, I'd be looking at 50-60 mm carbon rims.
Let's look at comparable wheelsets built with alloy and carbon rims:

Hed Jet 6 FR: 724g F, 936g R
HED Ardennes+ FR: 650g F, 842g R

Granted, the aerodynamics of the newer 23 mm alloy rims is not as good as deep profile carbon, but it's better than the traditional 19 mm box section that the carbon wheelsets like to compare against. If OP is doing competitive time trialing in the flats, then carbon might be a better choice. For everything else, the alloys are a perfectly good choice.

As for the assertion that because someone decides to invest in a power meter they should burn large amounts of money for marginal gains in other areas -- it's no wonder this world is in such a deep financial quagmire. There are still a few people in this world who take a limited budget for something like cycling and prioritize how they're going to spend it. It's quite possible that OP can afford a power meter because of not spending 8x more on carbon rims.
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