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  1. #1
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    29er XC Carbon Race Wheels Lightest Yet

    I just completed a high performance light weight XC race wheelset for a customer: ENVE Twenty9 XC tubeless clincher rims, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, Extralite Hyper hubs. Total rotating weight: 1,280g





    Edited to get both front and rear wheel pics showing
    Last edited by 4slomo; 05-16-2011 at 10:43 PM.
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  2. #2
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    for a Sulky? Wheelchair?

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  3. #3
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    Neither you nor I first realized that I inadvertently had the front wheel shown twice, so I edited the OP to show both front and rear wheels as originally intended.

    These are full on XC race wheels, but also strong enough for training and everyday XC riding.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  4. #4
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    1280 for a 29er wheelset is quite impressive! Have you had a chance to ride them yet? Have you felt any flex issues with the radial lacing NDS on the rear wheel?
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  5. #5
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    Impressive build.

    What is the rider weight? Intended for races/training in what part of the country? How do they feel on the trail?

    Its all in the details!
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  6. #6
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    wow. nice.
    the only radial lacing i see is on the DS of the front. radial lacing is also stiffer than cross patterns (shorter spokes).
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  7. #7
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    Yes, the front is radial drive side, and X3 non-drive side. The rear is X3 both sides. The racer is 165 pounds and and will be racing/training/riding in the Phoenix area. ENVE convinced me that 28 spoke wheels front and rear would be more than adequate for him. I don't feel any lateral deflection when deflecting the wheels by hand, they are totally solid feeling. I'll report on his riding impressions once he get a few rides in on them and gets back to me.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  8. #8
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    sweet wheels there! a real indication of what is possible... how did the angle of the spokes work out with the rim molding?...my understanding is that enve dont recommend more than 2 cross due to interference of the rim and spoke at different angles so was going the other way and using radial ok?

  9. #9
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    The spokes are at the edges of the rim spoke holes, being laced X3 and radial (front DS) in this build. I didn't notice any binding of the nipples during tensioning and truing, maybe due to the beveled nipple ends. All of the EDGE/ENVE rims I've examined had the nipple seats set at 90 degrees in the rims. This hub design uses straight pull spokes, this defines the crossing angles for the spokes, and I wasn't interested in deflecting the spokes out of the hub spoke interface for this build. All that said, I have great respect for ENVE engineering and usually conform with their specifications.

    Quote Originally Posted by dRjOn
    sweet wheels there! a real indication of what is possible... how did the angle of the spokes work out with the rim molding?...my understanding is that enve dont recommend more than 2 cross due to interference of the rim and spoke at different angles so was going the other way and using radial ok?
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  10. #10
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    interesting! thanks,,,

  11. #11
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    Nice!

    I'm having an ENVE 29er UST AM wheelset built up- 20mm thru front & 150mm rear. I'll post up once I receive it.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo
    ...Total rotating weight: 1,280g...
    What is the weight including the axles? (they do not rotate) Do you count the freehub body as rotating (while pedaling) or non-rotating (coasting) weight?
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  13. #13
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    Wow that is fkn light! I just picked up some Easton EC90 29ers and that set came in at 1440gms. Although I plan on using them everyday...
    C-DALE FLASH 29 Carbon 2 (19.6 lbs)
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  14. #14
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    1280??!! crazy light!!

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  15. #15
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    I use a non-rigorous definition of "rotating weight" as complete assembled hubs with freehub including axles (even though they don't rotate), spokes and nipples, and rims. I don't include variables such as rim tape, valve stems, QR skewers and etc. that you can add to wheels. This makes comparisons between wheel builds more straight forward.

    I think the most interesting thing is that this wheelset is both light weight and strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    What is the weight including the axles? (they do not rotate) Do you count the freehub body as rotating (while pedaling) or non-rotating (coasting) weight?
    Last edited by 4slomo; 05-17-2011 at 10:36 PM.
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  16. #16
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    What would be weight limit on these before needing to go with 32 spokes, for smooth XC
    Jboy

  17. #17
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    ENVE recommends 32 spoke mountain wheels for 165 pounds and up: http://www.envecomposites.com/manuals.aspx. I wouldn't push my luck with such expensive rims by using lower spoke counts if over 165 pounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBoy
    What would be weight limit on these before needing to go with 32 spokes, for smooth XC
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  18. #18
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    How many grams would the extra 8 spokes add?
    Jboy

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBoy
    How many grams would the extra 8 spokes add?
    CX Rays at that length are ~4.8g per, so 38.4g + ~2.5g in nipples, or about 41g total.
    that's ignoring any differences in the rim and/or hub.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  20. #20
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    I'm calculating an extra 42g for 8 spokes and nipples.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBoy
    How many grams would the extra 8 spokes add?
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  21. #21
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    Customer feedback on his wheelset: "In a word awesome. The maiden voyage was successful. The wheels are amazing. Very stiff and they track true. Thanks, again."
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  22. #22
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    Nice one. I built myself a set of those rims up, but with DT 240 hubs and CX rays, so they're a little heavier than that set... but DAMN are they a nice wheel to ride.

  23. #23
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    Tubeless setup?
    Do these rims need a rimstrip or is tape enough?

  24. #24
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    No rim strip, just the supplied tape, which is very simple to apply and has been trouble free for me.

  25. #25
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    ENVE XC Tubeless rim preparation

    I use several layers of a thin rim tape, to get a good airtight seal over the spoke nipple holes. Gorilla tape or equivalent is then used to build up the rim as necessary to get the tire bead to fit to the rim bead hook.

    No rim strip is needed, as previously mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dikkie View Post
    Tubeless setup?
    Do these rims need a rimstrip or is tape enough?
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    ENVE recommends 32 spoke mountain wheels for 165 pounds and up: http://www.envecomposites.com/manuals.aspx. I wouldn't push my luck with such expensive rims by using lower spoke counts if over 165 pounds.
    ENVE are building me a set at the moment and with all details supplied, including moi @ 200lb they are 28 hole XC clinchers/240's .
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  27. #27
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    There is one review for the Easton EC90 XC 29er.
    Comes from a 260lbs biker...and those carbon wheels have 24 spokes, straight pull though...

    I'm also looking around for a new carbon wheelset, and it has to withstand my 177lbs, not 260lbs.
    Don't want to drag unnecessary weight along, so the only solution would be a custom wheelset I guess.

  28. #28
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    I like the fat and flat tire profile the ENVE AM rims provide compared to XC, but I'm not sure if I want to put up with the extra weight...

    but, 4slomo...sorry to deviate off topic, those will be awesome race-centric wheels!

  29. #29
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    I'm trying to put together a "modified" build of a 2012 29er Superfly 100 Pro. So far, I've decided to swap out the SRAM XX groupo with full XTR. I'm going with XTR given good experience with XT on my current GF Cake 1 26 rig since 2005. Although I liked how the XX shifted during recent demos, I'd rather have a stouter build with the XTR given a little more weight (not sure how much, though)...

    Moving on...as far as wheels go, *****I want something STIFF & LIGHT (sub 1500g) but will last many YEARS to come, given my 200lb (210lb rider weight) and semi-race speed*****.

    I'm aggressive, not a racer, but ride with those who do race. For history sake, I've had 6 hairline cracks at the nipples on my stock rear GF wheel, with two smiley hairline cracks at the "virtual" brake track (disc brakes...of course). Also, I've broken the rear triangle once with full warranty replacement (thanks Trek!) and had my Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL's rebuilt 3 times given cracking at the nipples and hubs. WHEW! Thanks for reading....

    I PM'ed that 260lb poster and he was running the EA90 XC and NOT the EC90 XC! He was cool about it..

    1. I'm curious why 'ozzybmx', the 200 lb rider, only got a 28 spoke build. When I called ENVE the other day, they recommended me to get a 32 spoke setup with my 200lbs at 6'4".

    2. Any update on those that have built up ENVE Twenty9 XC? How long have you owned them, riding style, and weight?

    3. What's the difference between the hubs of DT240, Chris King, or even the original post "Extralite Hyper hubs"?

    4. Given my riding conditions of single track, rocks, roots, sandy dirt, and rolling terrain, what would the life span be for rims such as these? Hard to answer, but please give it your best synopsis. I'm trying to gauge whether I should buy these or even another rim. I'm flexible at this point, but I don't want to go to wheels that weight 1600g+.

    Again...thanks for reading,
    Keith

  30. #30
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    My customer has been xc riding, training and racing on this wheelset for the past 6 months. At the Leadville 100, he went down in a minor crash, no damage to the wheelset, got up, and kept going, finishing near his time goal for the race.

    He brought me his wheels and I checked the spoke tensions and true of the wheelset after he returned, the wheels remain unchanged. Very impressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingkk View Post
    ...Any update on those that have built up ENVE Twenty9 XC? How long have you owned them, riding style, and weight?...

    Again...thanks for reading,
    Keith
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    He brought me his wheels and I checked the spoke tensions and true of the wheelset after he returned, the wheels remain unchanged. Very impressive.
    Did you glue the nipples or did you use spoke prep (or both)? How are the wheels doing?

  32. #32
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    My customer brought his wheelset to me a few weeks ago, concerned that there was a creaking sound in the rear wheel. I checked the spoke tensions and found that some spokes were looser and some spokes were tighter than when I had built the wheels for him. This was quite confusing to me. I asked him if he had adjusted the spoke tensions to true the wheels, and he told me no one had touched the wheels true and spoke tensioning other than myself.

    I cleaned dirt and dust particles from the spoke crossings, and retrued the wheels. The only theory I could develop was that some of the spokes had started detensioning. I returned the wheels to my customer and told him to ride them and see how they felt. I also want to see if the nipples could again detension the spokes.

    Today I conducted an experiment on my rear wheel to test my theory that some spoke nipples started unscrewing. See this link. This demonstrates that as a spoke nipple unscrews and detensions a spoke, the tensions in the other spokes will either increase or decrease in response.

    I did use spoke prep, which includes a light locking agent. I do believe that the spoke prep had aged, and did not provide sufficient locking of the nipples. If my customer experiences more spoke nipples unscrewing, I will take all the nipples off, clean the spokes, apply new spoke prep, and retrue the wheels.

    My current opinion is that with the carbon rims, it is necessary to use spoke prep to keep the spokes from detensioning. I suspect that this is because the rims are so stiff, they transmit more vibrations from riding to the nipples.

    Quote Originally Posted by red5jedi View Post
    Did you glue the nipples or did you use spoke prep (or both)? How are the wheels doing?
    Last edited by 4slomo; 02-16-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    Today I conducted an experiment on my rear wheel to test my theory that some spoke nipples started unscrewing. See this link. This demonstrates that as a spoke nipple unscrews and detensions a spoke, the tensions in the other spokes will either increase or decrease in response.
    Interesting, and as I would expect.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    I did use spoke prep, which includes a light locking agent. I do believe that the spoke prep had aged, and did not provide sufficient locking of the nipples. If my customer experiences more spoke nipples unscrewing, I will take all the nipples off, clean the spokes, apply new spoke prep, and retrue the wheels.
    If you use Wheelsmith Spoke Prep, it does not contain any locking agents. It is simply a viscous PTFE (Teflon) lubricant. The viscocity is what is responsible for the "locking" action when the spokes have no tension.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    My current opinion is that with the carbon rims, it is necessary to use spoke prep to keep the spokes from detensioning. I suspect that this is because the rims are so stiff, they transmit more vibrations from riding to the nipples.
    Also interesting...
    I wonder if the stiffness of carbon rims and the smooth edges of the molded holes might play a role by reducing friction at the nipple/rim interface.
    What spokes did you use?
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  34. #34
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    I used Alchemy Lube and Lock for this wheel build, which has been described to me as containing a light loctite component. I suspect that the breakaway torque due to the loctite is similar to the viscosity effect of the PTFE.

    Carbon rims such as ENVE and the DT-S EXC and XRC with molded-in inserts, and also aluminum alloy rims with machined nipple seats such as the WTB Frequency models, can achieve low nipple/seat interface friction values. This enables higher quality wheel building results, but the builder must compensate for the loss of interface friction to keep the nipples in-place.

    The spokes are Sapim CX-Ray. The basic wheel build is listed in Post #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    Interesting, and as I would expect.

    If you use Wheelsmith Spoke Prep, it does not contain any locking agents. It is simply a viscous PTFE (Teflon) lubricant. The viscocity is what is responsible for the "locking" action when the spokes have no tension.

    Also interesting...
    I wonder if the stiffness of carbon rims and the smooth edges of the molded holes might play a role by reducing friction at the nipple/rim interface.
    What spokes did you use?
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    I used Alchemy Lube and Lock for this wheel build, which has been described to me as containing a light loctite component. I suspect that the breakaway torque due to the loctite is similar to the viscosity effect of the PTFE.
    10-4
    I'm not familiar with that product. IME Spoke Prep does not have a "breakaway" torque. That's what differentiates it from glues like Spoke Freeze.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    Carbon rims such as ENVE and the DT-S EXC and XRC with molded-in inserts, and also aluminum alloy rims with machined nipple seats such as the WTB Frequency models, can achieve low nipple/seat interface friction values. This enables higher quality wheel building results, but the builder must compensate for the loss of interface friction to keep the nipples in-place.
    Makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    The spokes are Sapim CX-Ray. The basic wheel build is listed in Post #1.
    woops... should have looked for that before asking.
    the reason I asked is that I'd think an elastic spoke like the CX-Ray would work in your favor in this context. hmmm...
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  36. #36
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    Looking at the other post suggests the NDS nipples at 70KgF were the ones loosenng. Enve lists recommended rear drive tension as 120-140KgF. The other post shows 120KgF RDS.so tensioning at 140KgF may increase NDS to a point where they will not loosen.

  37. #37
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    I conducted the spoke detensioning experiment described in the other thread using my DT-S EXC 400/CX-Ray/240s rear wheel, trued to a maximum tension of 120kgf. I loosened a NDS nipple to test my theory, and took the tension measurements, as a lower tension NDS nipple is more likely to loosen than a DS nipple.

    I built my customer's ENVE XC/CX-Ray/Extralite rear wheel, the subject of this thread, to a maximum tension of 140kgf. I wouldn't have used my customer's wheel to conduct an experiment.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Looking at the other post suggests the NDS nipples at 70KgF were the ones loosenng. Enve lists recommended rear drive tension as 120-140KgF. The other post shows 120KgF RDS.so tensioning at 140KgF may increase NDS to a point where they will not loosen.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  38. #38
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    ec90 xc review

    Quote Originally Posted by Dikkie View Post
    There is one review for the Easton EC90 XC 29er.
    Comes from a 260lbs biker...and those carbon wheels have 24 spokes, straight pull though...

    I'm also looking around for a new carbon wheelset, and it has to withstand my 177lbs, not 260lbs.
    Don't want to drag unnecessary weight along, so the only solution would be a custom wheelset I guess.
    Well, here is my review of them....and I am about your weight.

    I bought the EC90 XC wheels and rode for sixty days before the rear rim failed

    I am 175lbs and ride a f/s on xc trails...and the rear rim bead cracked despite using a 2.1 ignitor with 35lbs pressure. I only had them 60 days. Easton descibes on their website and marketing materials that these are "able to withstand seasons of abuse on rough trails" due to the impact resistant military grade armored balistic carbon. They are super expensive and Easton really markets them as bombproof...they are NOT. Upon return they would not honor the warranty and claimed crash damage. BS. I will not buy Easton again and do not recommend these wheels. On carbon rovals now. Have also heard good things about the enve wheels too.Would not buy again. Easton overhyped this product and didnt stand behind its claims. Buyer beware...its an expensive gamble.

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  40. #40
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    My wheel failed when the bead crushed, so different then what happened with the bloggers wheel, but no less disappointing. Easton dropped the ball big time.
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  41. #41
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    Pic
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 29er XC Carbon Race Wheels Lightest Yet-imageuploadedbytapatalk1331355084.483262.jpg  

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  42. #42
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    If I can ever scrape the coin together, I will be getting a set of ENVE rims for my mtb. will probably get the AM rims, only because I like my wheels wide, and I'm coming from WTB laserdisc trails.

    As a materials scientist, I can say the materials that ENVE puts into their products is absolutely the best in the industry. They take no shortcuts, cut no corners, and it shows in their final product. I do not work for ENVE, but hope to someday

  43. #43
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    Update to creaking in rear wheel

    It turns out that the creaking sound in the rear wheel was originating in the freehub, the bearings in the freehub were failing, but it wasn't possible to discern it by just rotating the freehub while the wheel was off the bike. The wheels had been ridden for a little over a year, but quite a few miles by an endurance racer on training rides and races.

    My customer ordered a new freehub and microadjusters for loading the Hyper hub bearings from Extralite, along with an order for a new set of Hyper hubs I needed for another wheel build.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    My customer brought his wheelset to me a few weeks ago, concerned that there was a creaking sound in the rear wheel. I checked the spoke tensions and found that some spokes were looser and some spokes were tighter than when I had built the wheels for him. This was quite confusing to me. I asked him if he had adjusted the spoke tensions to true the wheels, and he told me no one had touched the wheels true and spoke tensioning other than myself.

    I cleaned dirt and dust particles from the spoke crossings, and retrued the wheels. The only theory I could develop was that some of the spokes had started detensioning. I returned the wheels to my customer and told him to ride them and see how they felt. I also want to see if the nipples could again detension the spokes.

    Today I conducted an experiment on my rear wheel to test my theory that some spoke nipples started unscrewing. See this link. This demonstrates that as a spoke nipple unscrews and detensions a spoke, the tensions in the other spokes will either increase or decrease in response.

    I did use spoke prep, which includes a light locking agent. I do believe that the spoke prep had aged, and did not provide sufficient locking of the nipples. If my customer experiences more spoke nipples unscrewing, I will take all the nipples off, clean the spokes, apply new spoke prep, and retrue the wheels.

    My current opinion is that with the carbon rims, it is necessary to use spoke prep to keep the spokes from detensioning. I suspect that this is because the rims are so stiff, they transmit more vibrations from riding to the nipples.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
    I'm a wheel builder. SRLPE Wheel Works. Send me a PM.

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