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  1. #1
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    Carbon Wheel build

    OK, i have ordered a set of carbon rims. I am building them up myself. My question to all the wheel builders out there is what spokes to use?

    I am 230lbs before i gear up.

    I ride east coast gnar, so they have to handle it all. I am going with hope pro ll hubs and brass nipples. I just want to hear suggestions on spokes. I want strong spokes that can handle my weight and not be a bithc to work with.

    I have considered cx-ray to keep wind up out of the question so i can tension right up to tolerances, but is there other options? I just hate to spend $3 bucks a spoke.....Plus I'm being cheap, just had a kid

    Just more info on me, I have built wheels before. I have even built my own truing stand. It helps when you own a machine shop. If i could expense spokes through my shop i would, but i dont think it would fly..... I usually build my wheel with a +/- .005 tolerance if the rim will allow. I am not looking to go super cheap, just have never used carbon so looking for some good advice!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: derby's Avatar
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    I'm 200+ lbs, sometimes up to 215 before gear in late winter. And I like rocky trail. I've built my own wheels for 15+ years and always used DT Competition 2.0/1.8DB, 3-cross, alloy nipples. And I can't remember ever breaking a spoke of my wheels. The alloy nipples pull out of the rim first when sucking a derailleur or stick. Riding wet winters in NorCal and washing with a garden hose after most rides year round (no outside storage, so stays in the house), after about 4 years the alloy nipples begin to fail at their flange inside the rim from corrosion.

    Carbon rims can endure far higher spoke tension than alloy. But the hubs available today may not be designed for more than what alloy rims can endure. IMO, when building CF rims, for the durability of the hub and spokes, stay within maximum spoke tension recommended for high quality alloy rims. Even using no more spoke tension than alloy rims, the minimal CF rim flex makes a stiffer wheel.

  3. #3
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    Thanks derby,

    i am def going with the 3cross, but i am sticking with brass nipples. I was really looking at the Comps but i have always built with Wheelsmith. I am probably gonna stick with butted 2.0/1.8 range. Is there any real proof that one of the big 3 spoke makers (Wheelsmith, DT and Sapim) are better than the other?

    I was figuring on keeping the spoke tension up high, but i was unsure about how high. I know the rims state that you can go up to 150 or so but i worry about the other parts like spokes and hubs being outside of their range.

  4. #4
    Plays with tools
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    What rims are we talking about? I've noticed that carbon rims can get by with a lighter spoke than you would use for an aluminum rim. I know Enve recommends lacing their rims 2x because of nipple alignment in the spoke bed. So you should do some research and see what your rim manufacture suggests. a 14/15 is hard to beat. The cx-ray/aerolights are nice strong spokes but they don't build the stiffest wheel laterally. I've also seen those spokes break at mid span for no apparent reason. My theory on why it happens is at rock chips and nicks that create stress risers in a spoke that's on the limit in pristine condition.

  5. #5
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    I am going with the Light Bicycle 30mm rims. For the money, i gotta try'em! I am pretty sure i am going to go with the 14/15 spokes. Just have to pick a brand. I might just stick with Wheelsmith unless someone can talk me out of it. I have built several wheels with them and...... they just work. I dont know about lacing 2 cross with these rims. I was worried about the nipple angle and was also going to ask, if i do go with 3 cross, should i use washers to help with alignment?

  6. #6
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    If your comfortable with wheel smith spokes don't let anybody talk you out of them. Going two cross isn't going to hurt anything. I've never used nipple washers but I can't imagine them being thick enough to do much good.

  7. #7
    Custom Wheelbuilder
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    Maybe consider building on the Cxray. They are much less prone to going slack than straight guage or even double butted spokes. They seem to build up pretty rigid and they are resistant to gouging.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

    www.facebook.com/zencyclerywheels

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    Maybe consider building on the Cxray. They are much less prone to going slack than straight guage or even double butted spokes. They seem to build up pretty rigid and they are resistant to gouging.
    Where did you come up with that?

  9. #9
    Custom Wheelbuilder
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Where did you come up with that?
    Just what I have experienced.
    It seems to be most noticeable on hubs that don't have ideal non drive side flange offset.That combined with a bit softer rim can make for something like a DT Comp or Sapim Race very prone to going slack, thus leading to early j bend wear and possible breakage.
    It seems the Cxray has a slightly more elastic tendency, which causes it to retain some tension even when the rim gets deflected to the non drive side.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

    www.facebook.com/zencyclerywheels

  10. #10
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    Correct me if i am work, but with the carbon rims i shouldnt have to worry about deflection or the spokes going slack if i build the wheel right because of the carbon rim being so stiff.

    Also, when you say gouging please explain.

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