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Wheel building questions!

Old 02-25-12, 04:32 PM
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Kaio
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Wheel building questions!

I just picked up a lightly used dt 240 rear hub (28 spoke) and want to build it up. I've installed, overhauled, and swapped nearly every component to be found on a road or mtb, but this will be my first wheel build.

I've largely "retired" from racing but still put in a lot of miles and do the occasional time trial. I'm not the fastest on the road, but am still very fit and can keep with the fast group rides in my area. I'm 6ft and 160.

On to the questions:

a) I'm leaning towards the dt swiss rr 585 rim for its durability, especially given the 28 spoke count. 2x lacing pattern. Any thoughts? Alternates to consider?

b) I'm looking to use bladed spokes. Sapim cx-ray seem to be widely available and frequently recommended. There are a number of DT swiss bladed spoke models available, but little description of what differentiates them (other than the very expensive bladed and double-butted aero-lites). Again, any recommendations?

c) I'll be building with brass nipples, but again am a bit overwhelmed by the options. DT swiss has a number of variations, but again doesn't have much information available on what differentiates them.

d) Any recommendations about where to get the components from? LBS doesn't have any of the parts in stock.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and recommendations, either on the parts or the build!
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Old 02-25-12, 04:49 PM
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mechBgon
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Regarding bladed spokes, unless the hub you bought is slotted, your choices will be limited to what fits through the spoke holes on a stock 240S. CX-Rays and Aerolites should fit through them. BikeHubStore and Excel Sports are a couple places I'd buy from. Both CX-Rays and Aerolites are very light-gauge spokes, as you probably deduced, and that's why their thin center sections can be flattened into a blade and still fit through a spoke hole... not a lot of metal there compared to a traditional bladed spoke rolled from a straight 2.0mm spoke.

Regarding DT's brass nipples, they offer the ProLock models with built-in threadlocker at a premium price, as well as non-ProLock hex-headed ones, and conventional slotted-head ones. If you want the threadlocker feature and black nipples are OK, go ProLock. If you don't want the threadlocker feature, I'd suggest going with the conventional style and you can choose from chromed or black.

In terms of rims, the KinLin rims are gaining a following and come in various depths. BikeHubStore carries KinLins. Another widely available option are the various depths of Velocity road rims, which also come in a plethora of colors.


Oh, and you will find a bladed-spoke holding tool useful to control spoke windup. Park Tool has one, the BSH-4.

Last edited by mechBgon; 02-25-12 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 02-25-12, 05:18 PM
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At 160#s you have lots of latitude in spoke and rim selection. As MechBgon said, true bladed spokes require slotted hubs, so you'll probably be happier with what they call Aero or Oval spokes whose blades are only 2.3mm wide to fit standard drilled holes. (2.3mm is the diameter of the thread of a 2mm spoke)

The typical oval spoke is usually comparable to a 1.8/1.5/1.8mm (or 1.8/1.6.1.8) DB spoke, which is fine for your needs. I only use butted spokes anyway, though if you tend to be a bit rough on your wheels you might want to go to 2/1.8/2 for the right side rear, and the oval on the other three flanges, but that's your judgement call.

Do not buy threadlocker nipples, since aero spokes tend to twist like crazy when tightening, and you don't want to encourage that. In any case I think threadlocking for spokes is plain dumb, and grease my spoke threads to minimize twist, and prevent corrosion later.

One thing you need to consider when mixing brands of spokes and nipples is the length of thread. I measure spokes so they'll reach the top of the nipple when tight. Therefore I always look for nipple/spoke combinations that have enough thread that the spoke can go beyond the top by 2-3mm before running out of thread. If you're spokes and nipples cannot do this, plan on a slightly shorter spoke to leave yourself some margin for error.

Lastly, if you're a hard sprinter, or strong hill climber, consider going to 3x on the rear to improve torsional stability, otherwise 2x or 3x doesn't really matter.

BTW- some people despise aero spokes because they're so twisty. I actually like them beacuse they don't twist that much worse than a light DB spoke, but have the advantage of making twist visible.
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Old 02-25-12, 05:30 PM
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Also, I just got around to uploading this at last:


Highly controversial subject, as with many facets of wheelbuilding Some say "Bah! there should be no need for any sort of threadlock or lubrication, because reasons!" But if I don't fill those threads with something, Mother Nature will. And her favorite is road grit.
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Old 02-26-12, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for this excellent advice. I'll definitely go for the aero/oval spokes, rather than true bladed. A follow-up question regarding spoke length:

Using the DT Swiss spoke calculator, I get a recommended spoke length for d & nd sides (this is a rear build only). There is no mention, however, of nipple length, and these are available in three lengths (12, 14, 16mm). As I mentioned, I'll be ordering the parts, so it won't be possible to determine spoke / nipple overlap ex ante. Given that the spoke calculator rounds to the nearest mm, but I can only get the spokes in 2mm increments, how do I determine correct nipple length?
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Old 02-26-12, 12:12 PM
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For the DT Swiss rim, standard 12mm nipples are a good choice. The longer nipples would accomodate rims that have the nipple seats recessed further into the rim. The idea behind the various nipple lengths is simply to get the spoke-wrench flats where you can reach them, it doesn't affect the spoke length you should choose.

Last edited by mechBgon; 02-26-12 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaio View Post
Thanks for this excellent advice. I'll definitely go for the aero/oval spokes, rather than true bladed.
I'll put a plug in for DT Aerolites, I used these in building a set of wheels for myself recently. Surprisingly easy to work with. Very light, kind of pricey. I used brass nipples instead of the supplied aluminum ones that come with the spokes.
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Old 02-26-12, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
For the DT Swiss rim, standard 12mm nipples are a good choice. The longer nipples would accomodate rims that have the nipple seats recessed further into the rim. The idea behind the various nipple lengths is simply to get the spoke-wrench flats where you can reach them, it doesn't affect the spoke length you should choose.
+1

Since the spoke should reach into and engage the head of the nipple, the length of the (non-structural) shank shouldn't make a difference. There may, however be a minor difference, because the length of thread within nipples varies, and with some - regardless of length - there may be little or no ability to thread beyond the top, reducing your margin ofr error and making a correct spoke length more critical.

Since the spokes I use have 10mm of thread, I use 12mm nipples with 8mm of thread. This will cause the spoke thread to show if it's 2mm to short, or give 2mm room at the top if too long. Total tolerance when I measure spokes is therefore just shy of ±2mm from the top of the nipple. In practice I shoot for 1mm shy of that -0mm, +2mm.

Other than rims with thicker bottoms, the only "benefit" of longer nipples is a longer skirt to hide threads when the spokes are too short. This makes them popular for high production where, for example they might use the same spokes on both sides of rear wheels.
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Old 02-26-12, 12:55 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCXFK...En_PcY4VLuZMgh

Explains why nipple and thread behavior need to be tested as part of ERD and spoke length calculation. If you don't have the threads and nipples you will use on-hand - just ask the provider you will order from to test for you and tell you where their spokes end up in their nipples.

Not rocket science, just precaution.

=8-)
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Old 02-26-12, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Highly controversial subject, as with many facets of wheelbuilding Some say "Bah! there should be no need for any sort of threadlock or lubrication, because reasons!" But if I don't fill those threads with something, Mother Nature will. And her favorite is road grit.
I've always used anti-seize and haven't had any problems with my alloy nipples turning freely and being reusable when it's time for a rim replacement.

Last year I swapped a Reflex Clincher installed when Mavic still made those (maybe 1997 or 1998 meaning the wheel had been exposed to rain and a little snow/road salt from Boulder, CO where I lived through 2006) for a new Open Pro without issue.
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Old 02-26-12, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCXFK...En_PcY4VLuZMgh

Explains why nipple and thread behavior need to be tested as part of ERD and spoke length calculation. ..... just ask the provider you will order from to test for you and tell you where their spokes end up in their nipples.
Not rocket science, just precaution.

=8-)
+1 one of my long term pet peeves about spokes and nipples is that thread length specs. are so hard to find. The thread lengths of both the spoke and nipple are critical info because that determines the maximum final spoke height. Over the years I've seen mixed brand combinations so poor that the thread would bottom out before the spoke was halfway into the nipples head.

I used to ask for this information, as in "what is the thread length of your 12mm nipple?" and get answers like 12mm (wrong), or be treated like I was from another planet, or my favorite answer "standard. why does it matter?"

This is one of the reasons I suggest staying with spokes and nipples you're familiar with, and likewise always using the same spoke length calculator. The subtleties of the small unpublished variations gives builders, who stay with proven and familiar stuff, a home field advantage.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:18 PM
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Bladed and oval spokes are so much more expensive. Ouch. Here's a homemade tool that can help keep the blades from twisting. I created it to work on some straight pull spokes that started slipping but I use them on all my blade builds (not so many; too expensive). Those blades seem to twist more than regular spokes.
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Old 02-26-12, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaio View Post
... A follow-up question regarding spoke length:

Using the DT Swiss spoke calculator, I get a recommended spoke length for d & nd sides (this is a rear build only). There is no mention, however, of nipple length, and these are available in three lengths (12, 14, 16mm). As I mentioned, I'll be ordering the parts, so it won't be possible to determine spoke / nipple overlap ex ante. Given that the spoke calculator rounds to the nearest mm, but I can only get the spokes in 2mm increments, how do I determine correct nipple length?
i've seen and used spoke calc programs that support multiple nipple length input. the longer the nipple length the shorter the recommended spoke length, according to the program. FWIW.

edit: but as has been mentioned, nipples of a given length do not, in my experience, necessarily exhibit similar thread lengths, so well, good luck?

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 02-26-12 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 09-05-22, 09:17 PM
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spoke length question

I am building up a wheel with a nuvinci hub and a 650B rim (ERD= 566), this is basically a symmetrical wheel as there is no need for dish, at issue is that each flange diameter is 125 mm, the manual recommends building the wheel cross TWO, is this because, as the flange is so large, if you build a cross 3, will the spoke head at the rim will be at an adverse angle?

Basically, what is the relationship between hub flange diameter and recommended cross pattern, are they related?
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Old 09-05-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pachyderm56 View Post
I am building up a wheel with a nuvinci hub and a 650B rim (ERD= 566), this is basically a symmetrical wheel as there is no need for dish, at issue is that each flange diameter is 125 mm, the manual recommends building the wheel cross TWO, is this because, as the flange is so large, if you build a cross 3, will the spoke head at the rim will be at an adverse angle?

Basically, what is the relationship between hub flange diameter and recommended cross pattern, are they related?
You pretty much have it.
To further implant the idea, imagine a 20" diameter hub in a 22" ID rim.
Now imagine trying to do cross 3.
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Old 09-05-22, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pachyderm56 View Post
I am building up a wheel with a nuvinci hub and a 650B rim (ERD= 566), this is basically a symmetrical wheel as there is no need for dish, at issue is that each flange diameter is 125 mm, the manual recommends building the wheel cross TWO, is this because, as the flange is so large, if you build a cross 3, will the spoke head at the rim will be at an adverse angle?

Basically, what is the relationship between hub flange diameter and recommended cross pattern, are they related?
You dredge up a 10 year old thread for what reason? It has nothing to do with what you want to do. Start your own
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Old 09-06-22, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
You dredge up a 10 year old thread for what reason? It has nothing to do with what you want to do. Start your own
Sorry, I don't use the site often and could not find where to start a new thread, perhaps you could explain how to "ask a question, start a new thread"
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