strawtarget
I've been shopping for some new wheels for my road bike. I'm hoping some more experienced folks can help sanity-check my plan. 🙂

Usage profile:
* Daily: 8 mile urban commute including a pretty good hill climb.
* 2x a month: ~60 mile, mostly flat, includes ~4 mile gravel segment.
* 1x a month: ~25 mile, mostly too-steep hills.

Requirements:
* Cool looking!
* 12x100 & 12x142 / thru axle.
* Centerlock disc.
* To be fitted with Continental Grand Prix 5000 in 28c. With tubes. (The horror!!)
* Reasonably water/dirt tolerant. (I commute in the rain sometimes.)
* NOT super loud and buzzy. (I'm not worried about "high engagement".)
* Not Carbon. (At the office, I have to hang my bike by the front wheel on a rusty wall-mounted bike rack made out of razor-sharp square metal tubing wrapped with sandpaper and hatred.)

Nice-to-haves:
* Straight-pull spokes. (So cool looking!)
* Bladed/aero spokes. (Super cool!)
* Light weight (partly for climbing, partly for carrying the bike up stairs).

I strongly considered the Easton EA90 SL Disc wheelset. I think their oversized Vault hub looks really cool and unusual. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to handle the loud buzzy sound that the Race Face version (equivalent hub?) makes in some youtube videos I found. Yikes. (I wish they made a "quiet edition" with only 3 pawls and fewer teeth on the drive ring, but I'm probably the only person who feels that way, so...)

I came across this forum while searching for other good wheelsets. I found a thread about the Hunt 4 season disc wheelset, which ultimately introduced me to the idea that I could spec totally custom wheels! (Hello, ridemagnetic & oleritter!)

So, here's the 24-spoke build I'm thinking about.

Rims DT Swiss RR 421 -or- Pacenti Forza Asymmetrical
Asymmetric rim?!? what a crazy idea. I love it!
20mm inner / 24mm outer: seems ideal for 28c tires.
DT Swiss: 21mm profile and 430 grams. (25 grams lighter)
Pacenti: 25mm profile and 455 grams. (4mm cooler-looking)
Hmm... difficult to decide! Any tie-breaker considerations? Would the Pacenti be a stronger rim because of the extra depth? Or is the DT the stronger rim because it says "DT Swiss" on it?

Hubs DT Swiss 350s (straight-pull)
Seems like a boring (and safe) option.
The Bitex BX312 seems like another intersting straight-pull hub option, but I'm guessing its 6-pawl system is louder than the DT's 18t ratchet.
I'd consider a normal J-bend hub if there is another quiet centerlock disc hub I should learn about.

Spokes Sapim CX-Ray (in black)
Looks fast standing still!

Nipples Sapim Polyax Double Square (in orange)
The DT rims come with DT Squorx nipples, but Sapim has pretty colors!

What do you think? Seem reasonable?
Thanks!!
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Koyote
The Bitex hubs are developing a great reputation for performance and cost. I think that model has the "anti-bite" strip on the freehub body, which is a clever solution to freehub notching. With that said, the DT 350 is super-popular for a reason: it's light, performs well, and is easily serviced (not that it should need much service).

Your rim choices look fine. However, asymmetric rims seem a solution in search of a problem, so you don't need to restrict yourself to those choices.

For spokes, I'm a big fan of standard double-butted (14/15g). Those CX-Rays are great, but they'll cost a lot of extra money for a pretty tiny performance benefit. And no one but you will ever notice how cool they look. 

I think those nipples you've listed are aluminum(?) Yeah, you can get 'em in all sorts of colors, and they'll still look cool when they fail, get rounded-off, etc. I recommend brass nips. You'll thank me later.
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bnystrom
I agree that the CX-Rays are probably a waste of money, but that's up to you. For rim-brake wheels, I use Sapim Lazers a lot, but since these are disc brake wheels, I would also agree with sticking with 14/15 gauge, such as the Sapim Race.

I have never had any issues with aluminum nipples breaking and use them on nearly all of the wheels I build. The one important consideration is that the spokes need to completely fill the slot in the end of the nipple. That way, the nipple is completely supported.
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Koyote
Yep, Sapim Race, DT Swill Competition, Wheelsmith 14/15g spokes are pretty much standard. The added benefit is that those round spokes (as opposed to bladed spokes like CX-Rays) will make the wheel easier to true...though that's not an issue if you (or your shop) know what you are doing and don't allow the bladed spokes to wind up.

I think I've got an old wheelset with aluminum nipples, and they're fine after 10+ years. But I prefer brass, as they add an insignificant (to me, anyway) weight penalty and are (at least theoretically) more reliable.
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bnystrom
Personal preferences are fine, that's why we have choices!

I've been building with aluminum nipples since the late '70's and have never had one break. I've rounded off a few, but that's happened with brass, too. For me, they're a no-brainer, just as brass probably is for you.

I get a bit annoyed when I see people posting that aluminum nipples are junk and implying that if you use them, your wheels will explode and you'll die. 😲

Thank you for NOT being one of them! 👍
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oleritter
bnystrom wrote:
Personal preferences are fine, that's why we have choices!

I've been building with aluminum nipples since the late '70's and have never had one break. I've rounded off a few, but that's happened with brass, too. For me, they're a no-brainer, just as brass probably is for you.

I get a bit annoyed when I see people posting that aluminum nipples are junk and implying that if you use them, your wheels will explode and you'll die. 😲

Thank you for NOT being one of them! 👍


And there are even hosts of wheel builders who poop on even the thought of alloy nipples.  They are wrong of course.
I Build Wheels @millcitycycle

https://www.facebook.com/millcitycycle/
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oleritter
The thing about bladed spokes, i.e. harder to true -- 

It's not so much that they are bladed, is that they are thin.  Wind up is also problematic with spokes such as Sapim Laser, or DT Revolution.  But with bladed spokes, one can easily see that the spoke is winding, vs. the round spokes that it may be happening and a person is unaware.  But yes, butted spokes with 15g center sections resist wind up pretty well.

Another cool and fairly new spoke is Pillar Wing.  It has an elliptical shape, and as light as CX Ray.  I feel it imparts a bit more stiffness than a CX Ray, but I don't have any testing or data to back that up.  
I Build Wheels @millcitycycle

https://www.facebook.com/millcitycycle/
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oleritter
Bitex hubs are not very noisy at all.  They have a 6 pawl freehub system, but because of the springs I think just do not have the same kind of sound level as lots of other stuff out there.  And they are perfectly reliable.  Also they have great bearings.  And come in centerlock.
I Build Wheels @millcitycycle

https://www.facebook.com/millcitycycle/
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oleritter
This is a 24/24h build with Boyd rims.  I have a pair of these personally and love em.IMG_20181011_151227882.jpg 
I Build Wheels @millcitycycle

https://www.facebook.com/millcitycycle/
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Koyote
oleritter : Yep, I agree on the spokes.  I once had a wheelset built with DT Revolutions (32h 3x); the front wheel is still going strong after 30k+ miles, but the rear wheel came out-of-true before I got to the end of my driveway -- and it would never stay true, no matter how carefully the spokes were tensioned. Every time that wheel was trued, the spokes wound up, and the tension would be released when I got on the bike. And at the time I was <170 lbs.  The only solution was to replace the Revs with DT Comp spokes. 

CX-Rays (or other bladed spokes) should be easier to deal with, since (as you mentioned) the winding-up can be seen and can be stopped with a pliers or some special tool for holding the spoke in place. I just prefer the bombproof-ness of standard 14/15g spokes, since I'm not a weight weenie.

Here's a wheel question for you: do the forces of disc brakes necessitate more (or stronger) spokes? I've seen different theories on this. I live in an area with many long and steep (>20%) grades, and have wondered about this.
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bnystrom
Koyote wrote:
oleritter : Yep, I agree on the spokes.  I once had a wheelset built with DT Revolutions (32h 3x); the front wheel is still going strong after 30k+ miles, but the rear wheel came out-of-true before I got to the end of my driveway -- and it would never stay true, no matter how carefully the spokes were tensioned. Every time that wheel was trued, the spokes wound up, and the tension would be released when I got on the bike. And at the time I was <170 lbs.  The only solution was to replace the Revs with DT Comp spokes. 

The reaction you describe is actually typical of a wheel with too much spoke tension. Once you reach the limit that the rim can handle, it becomes unresponsive to truing efforts and won't stay true.

On rear wheels, I always use 14/15 gauge spokes on the drive side where the tension is high and typically use 14/17 gauge on the non-drive side (laced radial). In wheels with asymmetric spokes (8/16 for example) I'll sometimes use the same spokes on both sides, since the tension is more even.

Quote:
CX-Rays (or other bladed spokes) should be easier to deal with, since (as you mentioned) the winding-up can be seen and can be stopped with a pliers or some special tool for holding the spoke in place. I just prefer the bombproof-ness of standard 14/15g spokes, since I'm not a weight weenie.

I always pinch spokes as I tension them so I can feel the degree of windup and the "release" point where the nipples start turning on the threads. It's from that point that I gauge how much to tighten/loosen the spoke. Once I've made the appropriate amount of adjustment, I turn the nipple in the opposite direction to remove the windup. I won't get it perfect every time, but the rest will come out when pre-stressing the wheel.

Quote:
Here's a wheel question for you: do the forces of disc brakes necessitate more (or stronger) spokes? I've seen different theories on this. I live in an area with many long and steep (>20%) grades, and have wondered about this.

Spoke strength is not an issue, as you can easily hang your body weight from a single spoke. When building disc brake wheels, I use the same number, size and crossing pattern on the spokes on both sides of the hub.
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oleritter
Koyote wrote:
oleritter : 
Here's a wheel question for you: do the forces of disc brakes necessitate more (or stronger) spokes? I've seen different theories on this. I live in an area with many long and steep (>20%) grades, and have wondered about this.


There have been people building MTB disc wheels with Laser spokes for quite some time (I won't and not recommended by Sapim), but I have never heard of spokes breaking under braking forces.  Disc road wheels are typically 24h, and I guess there are even 20h disc front hubs/wheels now (haven't done this either), and pro roadies are taking these up and down more elevation than I ever will.  I find it mind numbing sometimes the extent people will discuss theories, and often pulling out impressive sounding engineering or physics or other science jargon.  

So I guess I'd have to say: no.  But still build wheels appropriate to the rider and riding.  Or what feels safe and reliable for you.
I Build Wheels @millcitycycle

https://www.facebook.com/millcitycycle/
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Johnnypedals
oleritter wrote:
This is a 24/24h build with Boyd rims.  I have a pair of these personally and love em.IMG_20181011_151227882.jpg 

Hey Oleritter that is a nice looking set of wheels. I'm looking for a wheelset for my Domane and these might be just what i need. What would these cost?
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Koyote
Thanks, @oleritter . Appreciate the input.
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bnystrom
Perfectly sensible advice, well put. 👍
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jfranci3
A bit on the heavy side, but I'm a huge fan of DT Swiss' stock 32mm builds. It ticks most of your boxes for $350 (aero straight pull spokes, DT hub, strong, look cool), though they are 200gr heavy.  Here's the 350 (ratchet hub) version https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/dt-swiss-er-1600-spline-32-disc-road-wheelset-700c-112361.html  and the cheaper traditional freehub https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/dt-swiss-p-1800-spline-32-disc-road-wheelset-700c-125728.html

I've used these for 2 years / 5000+mi, hitting pothole after pot hole with road tires are 100psi under my 200lb body. They've been perfect.
[37111_dt_swiss_er_1600_spline_32_disc_road_wheelset_700c] 
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clarksonxc
I can't comment on those specific wheels, but I just purchased a set of DT Swiss wheels from Merlin and they arrived pretty quickly from the UK, and in perfect condition (no shipping damage).  No VAT or funny post-taxes either.  
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oleritter

Hey Oleritter that is a nice looking set of wheels. I'm looking for a wheelset for my Domane and these might be just what i need. What would these cost?


Hi Johnny, there will be a range based on hub and spoke choice.  Email me directly through the forum messaging and we'll talk.  Or millcitycycle at g mail dot com.
I Build Wheels @millcitycycle

https://www.facebook.com/millcitycycle/
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Johnnypedals
oleritter wrote:


Hi Johnny, there will be a range based on hub and spoke choice.  Email me directly through the forum messaging and we'll talk.  Or millcitycycle at g mail dot com.

I already did and you are building me a set of DT Swiss hubs w/ Carbon Rims! ðŸ‘
Thanks again!
JP
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