I ordered and received a shimano lx / mavic 221 wheelset from Blue Sky Cycling in Feb. I have had a couple of issues with the spokes.
The first issue that I noticed was that the black paint chips off the spokes. This is not too big of a deal to me, but I thought I should put the observation out there. At first I thought the black spokes looked sort of cool, by the time they started chipping I was just wishing they were silver.
The second issue is a little more concerning. I had a couple of spokes break on the rear wheel drive side. The spokes broke near the flange. Looking at the other spokes, it is apparent there is a slight bend at that location on more than half the spokes. The location is just outside the hub flange. The spoke should be straight at this point between the hub flange and the spoke crossing. It's as if they were bent during assembly or something. I attached some pictures of these bends.
Here are some notes about how the wheels have been used: I have been riding the wheels daily to work on a mt bike used only for commuting. The wheels have around 600 miles on them. I have a single pannier on the rear rack, but it's fairly light with only clothes. I weight about 175 lbs. The roads I take are fairly smooth. There is no off roading or curbs involved in the commute route. The tires are road tread 1.25" panaracer paselas at 95 psi.
I contacted Blue Sky about the issues. In a polite way they were not very helpful. Apparently, wheel warranties are hard for them to quantify because they are not able to determine what sort of use the wheels have experienced. I also asked for a discount on some spokes, but they don't carry spokes, just wheels.
I put off writing this up to mtbr for a while while I stewed on it. Today, I finally went ahead and ordered a new set of dt db spokes from a different place. I have a friend who has built a few wheels and has agreed to walk me through the process. This seemed like a good time to put the info out here.
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