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  1. #1
    renaissance cyclist
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    DT comp or champion spokes?

    Iím a XC rider, getting ready to take the plunge into racing. In the interest of lightening my bike a little Iím having a wheel set built for me at my LBS. I know it is more expensive to do it this way, but the LBS is going to throw in a pair of XT rotors, they will true them up for me for as long as I still have my receipt, or they still remember me, and I donít have to pay shipping. Also, ďhand madeĒ internet wheels, donít give me the same warm fuzzy as having them built by someone I know, and who values me as a customer.

    Anyway, I wanted to use DT competition spokes, but the mechanic at the LBS is strongly urging me to use champion spokes, because he says the small difference in weight does not justify the difference in strength. One thing Iíve noticed about the guy is that he likes the more aggressive downhill riding and sometimes when he gives advice, he tends to assume that everyone is going to ride like he would. For instance, when I went clipless, he tried to convince me not to, event thought I was about to buy a pair of pedals from him.

    Iíve already spent more time dwelling on the topic more than it probably deserves; Iíve read reviews for the spokes, wheel sets that use competition spokes, and bikes that come with the spokes. The only negative review I have read was by rider who was much heavier than I am (Iím 6í0Ē, 168lbs). The wheels will be Mavic XC 717 rims W/ XT hubs used with a XC bike with 3.5Ē of travel. I plan to use my old wheels with beefy tires while training and for weekend trail rides while the trails are still muddy, and putting my new wheels with Kenda Karmas, and Ultra light tubes on the bike latter in the spring when things try up and the races Iíve signed up for begin. Iím doing a 24 hour race with a 5 person relay team, and an 8 hour race with a two person team.
    Has anyone heard if DT competition spokes not being strong enough for moderate trail riding?

  2. #2
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debusama
    Has anyone heard if DT competition spokes not being strong enough for moderate trail riding?
    Never. Comps are the spoke to beat. Don't listen to the LBS guy. The only good reason to use Champs over Comps is if you need to save $0.25 per spoke.

    What does the lack of butting in the middle of the Comp really give? Some might argue that it's a stiffer wheel but even that's debatable when you're connected to the ground by fat squishy tires. It certainly doesn't add longevity to the wheel as spokes invariably break at the j-bend (if they ever break).

    And because of that I'm beginning to think about Supercomps. They're 2.0/1.7/1.8mm - strength where needed and lightness everywhere else. Maybe they're the best compromise.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  3. #3
    renaissance cyclist
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    Good, I already told him just to use the Comps, but he hasnít started yet because he had to order my center lock hubs. I was just beginning to second guess myself because after talking to the LBS guy, I was envisioning myself having my first race ruined by broke spokes. Good to hear.

  4. #4
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by debusama
    I was envisioning myself having my first race ruined by broke spokes.
    That will depend a lot more on how well he builds them than whether the spokes are Comps or Champs.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by debusama
    Good, I already told him just to use the Comps, but he hasnít started yet because he had to order my center lock hubs. I was just beginning to second guess myself because after talking to the LBS guy, I was envisioning myself having my first race ruined by broke spokes. Good to hear.
    Broken spokes in the first race will not happen, no matter what spokes are used, unless you crash very hard and/or the wheels were very poorly built.
    mtbtires.com
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  6. #6
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    My first impression is that the LBS had Champion spokes in stock, but not Competitions.

    Poor advice from the LBS. Go with the Competitions.

    Frank

  7. #7
    Former Bike Wrench
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    DT Competitions are thinner in the middle...I have never in my 17 years of riding and 8 years as a bike mechanic seen a spoke fail from fatigue in the middle. In fact, one could argue that by making them thinner in the middle, the spokes are stronger at the bend (given the same gauge), where they fail most of the time because the butting allows the stress to be distributed better. Obviously you can go too thin based on riding style and weight...but the Competitions 14/15/14 are good for anything from XC to DH.

    Champions will build a STIFFER wheel, but not stronger.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    the Competitions 14/15/14 are good for anything from XC to DH.
    I second that...My wheelset is a XM719 with competition 2.0-1.8mm spokes (built by universalcycles in 2007)....I have used my bike for trail riding (75% of riding), dirt jumping, and at dh ski resorts and not an issue ever aside for minor truing at home. If I was creating a dedicated dj/fr/dh bike I'd go straight spokes but not for my trail bike.

  9. #9
    renaissance cyclist
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    Actually, he said he had both on hand. When I talked to the guy who does most of the sales, he quoted me one price, and when I actually came in to give my deposit so they could order the hubs, only the mechanic was working at the time, and he gave me a price that was a little less. After reading what everyone had to say, I think there might have been a miscommunication between the two of them, and the mechanic didnít know I wanted the competition spokes. He called me a little latter (presumably when he realized he had given me the wrong price) and tried to convince me to go with the champions. I think he didnít want to eat up the cost of the more expensive spokes (I had already paid the deposit and it was a little late to change the price), so he tried to convince me that the cheaper spokes would be better.
    I didnít budge on the spokes though. If he had just explained what happened, I would have paid the original price I was quoted, but since he tried to pull that, Iíll take the lower price.

  10. #10
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    I've built maybe 50 or 60 wheels over the years now, perhaps a dozen or so for myself, the rest for friends or paying customers (when I used to work in a bike shop). I ALWAYS used DT comp spokes.

    Now I've seen wheels built with DT comp spokes (admittedly with a tougher rim than a Mavic 717) have ridiculous things done to them. Honestly, DT comps are as has already been said, the spoke to beat! Most pro DH racers wheels are built with DT comps (or sometimes even super comps which are lighter still), they are way strong enough!

    DT champs are fine, but they're heavier and no stronger. They are a bit cheaper though of course.

    We Butt things (bicycle frame tubes, spokes) to remove material from sections where it is not needed, so as to remove some weight without sacrificing any strength.

    I'd say that if your wheel builder is worried about you trashing any wheels he has built you, he should be reccomending a heavier rim than the 717 as this will be the weak point in the build (or his wheelbuilding will be if he's no good), not the DT comps.

  11. #11
    Feeding your addiction
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    Quote Originally Posted by debusama
    Actually, he said he had both on hand. When I talked to the guy who does most of the sales, he quoted me one price, and when I actually came in to give my deposit so they could order the hubs, only the mechanic was working at the time, and he gave me a price that was a little less. After reading what everyone had to say, I think there might have been a miscommunication between the two of them, and the mechanic didnít know I wanted the competition spokes. He called me a little latter (presumably when he realized he had given me the wrong price) and tried to convince me to go with the champions. I think he didnít want to eat up the cost of the more expensive spokes (I had already paid the deposit and it was a little late to change the price), so he tried to convince me that the cheaper spokes would be better.
    I didnít budge on the spokes though. If he had just explained what happened, I would have paid the original price I was quoted, but since he tried to pull that, Iíll take the lower price.
    It's great to support local shops IF you have a good one. However, that warm fuzzy feeling should have disappeared very quickly when he suggested those spokes for what you described. I'd be a little skeptical of his experience/ability as a wheelbuilder based on that. No way in hell I'd recommend Champions, and I would really lean toward Supercomp's over Comp's for your weight and riding conditions.

    Larry
    Mountain High Cyclery
    larry@mtnhighcyclery.com
    "It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity". - Dave Barry

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