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  1. #101
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    36 hole rims, there aren't that many. But you should be fine with 32. And I don't see a problem with 28 on the front, if you wanted. I just read another guy, 260, with 3 years on his Belgium Plus's, with no broken spokes and once trued. And his are 28/28. Because that is what was available at the time.

    Someone mentioned triple butted spokes. Good idea. Maybe just on the drive side, though, of rear wheel. Yes, alloy nips can fail, but not really a problem with proper length spokes. Maybe your wheelbuilder can put nipple washers in your rear wheel, as extra insurance, if it gave you piece of mind.

    Get whatever hubs your budget allows. Mountain bikers are putting more abuse on their Taiwanese hubs than you will with your road riding, and those hubs (mostly) are holding up. Get DT's if you can afford it, nothing wrong with 350's. Get Shimano XT if you want a low cost, durable option, with no worries of freehub bite (steel freehub).

    Other rims might suit you as well. Pacenti Forza's are offset and will yield more harder working spokes as a result. I didn't write it down, but a recent rear wheel with Forza rims had only ~10% difference in tension, drive to non drive side.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger-m View Post
    ... all interesting stuff, and a good discussion.
    Good discussion indeed.....and thanks for the clarifications.


    The experiment is to show the effect of changing just the spoke gauge, in which case the hub must be the same in both wheels. By stiffness I assume you mean lateral stiffness, which is not really relevant since different spoke gauges only allow the wheel to carry a higher vertical load before the left spokes become slack (go to zero tension).
    Yes, I do mean lateral stiffness and the reasons I brought it up is because I believe that, outside of a laboratory controlled environment, it would be affecting the wheel as the load is seldom applied dead true. My understanding also is that heavier gauge spokes result in laterally stiffer wheels as it has been exhaustively documented by Damon Rinard's work.


    The benefits come from having stiffer right side (drive side) spokes, with those spokes taking more of the vertical load, and thus protecting the lower tensioned left side. The left will eventually become slack, but at a greater load than if the two sides were the same gauge. Maybe this is what you mean, however, ......
    This is not what I meant. See below for hopefully a better explanation on my part


    I don't understand this. Surely the spoke in a cycle wheel is always in its elastic range regardless of tension. The only thing that matters is that the spoke has 'some' tension.
    Yes, but not to the same extent, at least to my understanding. The thicker spokes have a lower modulus of elasticity.

    A couple of posts earlier on you mentioned the elongation you measured under the same load for a 2.0 mm spoke and a 1.5 mm spoke. Assuming the applied load was 120 kgf and the original spoke length was 280 mm in either case (for the purpose of a numerical demonstration), the modulus of elasticity of the 2.0 mm spoke calculates to be at 55% of the modulus of elasticity of the 1.5 mm spoke.

    The stress-strain curve of a steel wire is linear within its elastic range until the yield point is reached. Hooke's Law applies within this range and states that the force needed to extend or compress such wire by some distance X is proportional to that distance.

    In my understanding, these two principles put together dictate how and at what parameters a spoke stretched within its linear elastic range will react to the exerted forces upon impact (i.e pothole at speed) and whether would develop enough tension drop to temporarily exit its elastic region thus allowing the associated nipple to possibly partially unscrew. The thinner spokes are anticipated to be able to remain in their elastic region under lower tension than their heavier brethren and are also expected to withstand greater modulation of applied load (ie impacts from potholes). An extension of this principle is that a wheel built with a greater number of thinner spokes may be more durable than a wheel built with heavier but fewer spokes.

    However, this "extra elasticity" of the thinner spokes come at a price that is reduced ability for load support per unit basis so they need to be viewed as supplemental to the DS spokes and not in replacement of the DS as far as load bearing is concerned.

    Analysis of the subject could be broadly qualitatively considered although a FEM quantitative analysis to establish where the real thresholds are is really needed to further understand the effects of all of the inner stresses at hand. Unfortunately, such analysis is not commonly financially feasible for this application.

    A couple of months ago a buddy of mine brought me one of his wheels after an incident he had. One of the NDS spokes was so slack I could turn the nipple by hand. Sapim Leader spokes all around, 32h alum. mid-depth rims, about 165 lbs rider weight, easy pedaling.
    I think this is a case where lighter spokes on the NDS (ie Race for this particular wheel) might have helped keeping things tight. However, if his wheel was laced with 24 spokes I would not have drawn the same conclusion.


    NOTE to OP: Apologies for derailing this thread so much. To our defense, the subject is very interesting and general awareness on the subjects of the discussion may be of good value to a wide audience.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  3. #103
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    I came across this question from one of the shops and I do not know the answer. I asked him to quote me a HED Belgium Plus with WI hubs with DT Swiss Comp double-butted spokes. But, he told me that I should be getting "straight gauge" (ive read also called plain gauge?) spokes. Especially since it makes the wheel stronger.

    Im trying to validate his response. Is he correct? Should I be getting plain gauge spokes to help make the wheelset stronger? Im hoping to get some guidance which route I should be taking on the spoke piece of the wheelset? Straight vs double-butted?

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtiClydesdale View Post
    I came across this question from one of the shops and I do not know the answer. I asked him to quote me a HED Belgium Plus with WI hubs with DT Swiss Comp double-butted spokes. But, he told me that I should be getting "straight gauge" (ive read also called plain gauge?) spokes. Especially since it makes the wheel stronger.

    Im trying to validate his response. Is he correct? Should I be getting plain gauge spokes to help make the wheelset stronger? Im hoping to get some guidance which route I should be taking on the spoke piece of the wheelset? Straight vs double-butted?
    Everything I've read on the subject says: No.

    The theory is that spokes break at the elbow and double butted allows more flex in the middle so take some stress of the elbows.
    That's how I understand it anyway. I'm sure someone who actually knows for sure what they are talking about can correct me if I'm wrong.

  5. #105
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    Stronger? What's his definition of that word? All spokes, even the skinniest, are strong enough. Can I assume he means plain gauge are supposed to be stronger in the mid section due to their extra material over butted spokes? Spokes never (never say never eh?) break in the middle. The vast majority break at the elbow due to fatigue.

    I'd say that butted spokes "last longer" (I didn't say "are stronger") due to their center section absorbing some of the shock loads that would otherwise be transmitted to the elbows.
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  6. #106
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    What Jay and Mike said is correct. While it may seem counter intuitive, butted spokes are more durable. The weak parts of a spoke are at the j-bend and the nipple threads. You want these points to be thicker than the middle.

    The only reason to use straight gauge spokes is if you are trying to save a few pennies and don't care how long the wheel goes trouble-free.

    Dirti, sorry to say, your bike shop guy is wrong.
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    What Jay and Mike said is correct. While it may seem counter intuitive, butted spokes are more durable. The weak parts of a spoke are at the j-bend and the nipple threads. You want these points to be thicker than the middle.

    The only reason to use straight gauge spokes is if you are trying to save a few pennies and don't care how long the wheel goes trouble-free.

    Dirti, sorry to say, your bike shop guy is wrong.
    A simple way to look at this is that butted spokes cause the peak stresses to transfer from the elbows to the middle thinner section thus extending the life cycle of the spoke.
    An additional, but less prominent, effect is that the thinner middle section allows the spoke to remain within its elastic range at a lower tension as the spoke goes through its loading-unloading cycle. This helps keeping the nipples in place thus safeguarding the integrity of the wheel.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Dirti, sorry to say, your bike shop guy is wrong.
    And this small statement pretty much sums up why I appreciate all of your information and posts!!! I knew that he was wrong from everything I read on this thread and others but I couldnt argue it with him. Mike, Jay, Lombard and everyone... sincerely tyvm! Im just hoping that is not the guy who is going to "build up" the new wheelset!?!?!

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