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Which spokes for my wheel build?

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Which spokes for my wheel build?

Old 05-14-21, 01:05 PM
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Chandne
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Which spokes for my wheel build?

Any thoughts of the best spokes for my application- CX Rays, Race, some combo with heavier on the drive side? I'm a fast descender so wold like a slightly stiff wheel but also a comfy one for long rides. Two long-time builders say that while they use CX Rays often for clients, CX Rays build a slightly harsher wheel. I'm not sure either way but I have no reason to not believe them. I just want to know if there is a better option than using all CX Rays or DT Aerolites. I'm not after aero gains but I am after relative comfort and a good durable wheelset for fast twisty descents and long climbs.

Weight- 175 lbs
Bike- BMC SLR01
Rims- Easton R90 SL Rim Brake
Hubs- CK R45 (24x28)
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Old 05-14-21, 02:04 PM
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It could be all psychological, but bladed spokes always feel "stiffer" to me. For comfort as well as durability though, I usually like to build with the super thin butted spokes (like Laser or Revolution) up front and NDS rear, and regular butted (like Race or Competition) on the DS rear to even out spoke tension.
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Old 05-14-21, 02:08 PM
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I've done a fair bit of reading, but am still a relatively novice wheelbuilder, so curious what others will chime in with.

From what I remember, you're not likely to get much difference in terms of "comfort" out of your spoke choice. Cross pattern may make a small difference to lateral stiffness, but any difference in vertical compliance is going to be insignificant compared with the tire and frame effects. I'm about your weight with similar use. My wheelset is Farsports shallow carbon rims, 24 front rear CX-ray laced to DT180s. Only complaint I have is occasional disc brake rub when powering out of corners, but that is hub flex, not lateral wheel flex. The wheels feel plenty stiff (and light!) for tons of climbing and descending miles. Hard to go wrong with CX-ray, IMHO.
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Old 05-14-21, 02:10 PM
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I like that idea. That is basically what one builder was telling me. I just wasn't sure what combo to use for my weight.
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Old 05-14-21, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I usually like to build with the super thin butted spokes (like Laser or Revolution) up front and NDS rear, and regular butted (like Race or Competition) on the DS rear to even out spoke tension.
That doesn't even out the tension. The reason that some builders use thinner spokes on the NDS is because they'll hypothetically hold up better at the low NDS tensions due to being more elastic (meaning that they'll be stretched farther, and thus have more margin from de-tensioning).
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Old 05-14-21, 03:14 PM
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I've worked with both CX Ray and Laser spokes. I prefer CX Ray spokes because I can control the amount of twist-up better while building a wheel. I had a very hard time keeping Laser spokes untwisted even with using a spoke plier (they are very thin in the middle - 1.5mm). I just find bladed spokes easier to control in this respect.

That said, I'm riding a new pair of 35mm profile carbon wheels with Laser spokes (20/24). They just require a bit more experience to build in my opinion.

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Old 05-14-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
That doesn't even out the tension. The reason that some builders use thinner spokes on the NDS is because they'll hypothetically hold up better at the low NDS tensions due to being more elastic (meaning that they'll be stretched farther, and thus have more margin from de-tensioning).
You're right. I did a poor job of explaining it. It helps avoid any slack by a large imbalance of tension. I haven't played with any hubs wider than 135mm, but I'll bet that helps as well.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:23 PM
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CX-Rays all the way. Best spokes in the business.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:48 PM
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I am going to keep this simple. I build wheels once in awhile and work on them. Just use a very good double butted spoke like DTSwiss. No need for bladed spokes or something fancy. Keep it simple and strong, yet nice. Use what is known and works well. To me your basic double butted spoke with proper tension and build will be strong and reliable. Now if you are building wheels for racing and how fast you can go then that is another situation............it comes with a different mindset.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:56 PM
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deacon mark: if double butted, which double butted spoke would you recommend for a 24x28 build and my 175 lbs?
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Old 05-14-21, 07:52 PM
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I use Sapim Race (double butted) along with their polyax brass nipples for my bike and am quite impressed

Don't know if there are any suspension benefits (absorbing road vibrations) - but they do feel great.
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Old 05-14-21, 08:12 PM
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Thanks! Seems like the Race and D-Light are pretty popular double butted spokes.
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Old 05-15-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
deacon mark: if double butted, which double butted spoke would you recommend for a 24x28 build and my 175 lbs?
Really I like DT Swiss Competition and Wheelsmith Spokes but I cannot seem to find Wheelsmiths anywhere did they go out of business?
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Old 05-15-21, 08:42 PM
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Yeah, I think Wheelsmith spokes are no longer being made.
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Old 05-15-21, 08:56 PM
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I now use CX-Rays on all my wheel builds - for myself. Costs more, but the build is so much easier and the wheels do seem a bit faster. I use them on my single, 20 X 24 and our tandem 36 X 36. These wheels stay at least as true as any IME and the spokes don't break. What's not to like? Oh - and besides they are flash.
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