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  1. #1
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    Ambrosio Excellight or Excellence rims and spoke count

    I'm going to be doing a hand built clincher wheelbuild (with some help from a LBS).

    I was ready to go ahead with a set of Ambrosio Excellight rims (approx. 428g) with 28 hole front and 32 hole rear, but I'd like to understand if that is an appropriate spoke count setup for my weight (180 to 185lbs).

    I'll only go with 32/32 or even look at Ambrosio Excellence rims (approx. 460g) in 32/32 if I really need to. If others have experience with any of these configurations I'd like to know how they've held up over the years and even how they feel to ride on. As much as I'd like some nice light wheels, I'd prefer to lean towards good performance, reliability and longevity.

    I'm looking to get Alchemy hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes. I'd like to keep the wheels around 1500g or a bit less. Most of my riding is either alone or with some local clubs, with typical farm/and low traffic and low populated areas, with flats, rolling hills, some steep grades, etc. Rides tend to be 3 or more hours.

  2. #2
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    I have built with both of those rims. You should be okay with Excellight rims in 28f/32r. if you want to save money you can use Sapim Laser or DT Revolution spokes.

    The last Excellight wheels I built were a few years ago in 32f/r with Dura-Ace 7800 hubs and DT Revolution spokes (w/DT Comp spokes on the rear drive-side). The rider using them weighs about 200lb and has had no issues with them. He sent me an e-mail recently that he just bought a new bike that came with Ksyrium Equipe wheels. The Ambrosio/Dura-Ace wheels weigh less and feel better to ride.

    Excellence rims have a slightly lower profile and have a balance weight at the valve stem hole. I have had good feedback from users. They look especially nice on classic steel frames.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleycyclist View Post
    I have built with both of those rims. You should be okay with Excellight rims in 28f/32r. if you want to save money you can use Sapim Laser or DT Revolution spokes.

    The last Excellight wheels I built were a few years ago in 32f/r with Dura-Ace 7800 hubs and DT Revolution spokes (w/DT Comp spokes on the rear drive-side). The rider using them weighs about 200lb and has had no issues with them. He sent me an e-mail recently that he just bought a new bike that came with Ksyrium Equipe wheels. The Ambrosio/Dura-Ace wheels weigh less and feel better to ride.

    Excellence rims have a slightly lower profile and have a balance weight at the valve stem hole. I have had good feedback from users. They look especially nice on classic steel frames.
    Excellent thanks. Would I be pushing things if I went 28/28 with Excellights? Are Sapim Laser spokes the same weight as CX-Rays? Do they have the same lifespan? Would I need to get the DT Comp spokes for the rear drive side, or would the Lasers or CX-Rays suffice?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by keppler View Post
    Excellent thanks. Would I be pushing things if I went 28/28 with Excellights? Are Sapim Laser spokes the same weight as CX-Rays? Do they have the same lifespan? Would I need to get the DT Comp spokes for the rear drive side, or would the Lasers or CX-Rays suffice?
    I think 28f/28r is okay, but you are not talking about much extra weight to go with 32r. I would recommend 32r spokes.

    According to Sapim, CX-Ray spokes have a longer fatigue life than Laser spokes. Practically speaking, you should not expect issues with either type of spoke. DT Comp (or Sapim Race) does not add much weight when only used on the rear drive side. They are stiffer than Laser spokes and should make for a better rear wheel. Also, Laser spokes are harder to properly tension to the higher tension you want on the drive side since they twist so easily.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  5. #5
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    Get the extra spokes, they add practically nothing to the weight but will greatly increase durability.

  6. #6
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    Get the Excellight

    I've been using both rims for the past 10 years and find they build up easily, are well made and last. Before that I used Mavic Open Pros. Still do and just recently built up a pair but if you can find the Ambrosio's and don't mind the increased pricing, get them.
    i've got limited minutes left in life, don't waste my time

  7. #7
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    The Excellite are about the same weight as Open Pros, which I use at #200 and 32 spoke. So you will be fine with them I think. I have one set of Excellence built up in 32 spoke too. They had the best blue anodizing I've seen - nicer than Mavic. Ride is similar to OP. Whichever, I'd stick with 32 spoke rear.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleycyclist View Post
    I think 28f/28r is okay, but you are not talking about much extra weight to go with 32r. I would recommend 32r spokes.

    According to Sapim, CX-Ray spokes have a longer fatigue life than Laser spokes. Practically speaking, you should not expect issues with either type of spoke. DT Comp (or Sapim Race) does not add much weight when only used on the rear drive side. They are stiffer than Laser spokes and should make for a better rear wheel. Also, Laser spokes are harder to properly tension to the higher tension you want on the drive side since they twist so easily.
    I have no problem keeping 32 on the back. I'm still not clear on which spokes to use on the drive side. Can I just use CX-Rays all around? Or do I need the DT Comps because they're better for that side? Also, do I need any brass nipples? I won't be riding in rain or snow, just dry weather.

  9. #9
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    Another question I have is spoke lacing. I see that most box rims don't use radial in the front. What lacing should I get in the front and rear with the Alchemy hubs?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by keppler View Post
    Another question I have is spoke lacing. I see that most box rims don't use radial in the front. What lacing should I get in the front and rear with the Alchemy hubs?
    32 spoke radial lacing is hard on the hub flanges and increases the chance of a flange failure. The spoke holes are fairly close together with little 'meat' in between them. It is safer to lace radial with 28 spokes, but I would still lace a crossed spoke pattern. Alchemy does not recommend radial lacing on the 32 hole ELF hub probably for this reason.

    On the rear I would go 3x.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleycyclist View Post
    32 spoke radial lacing is hard on the hub flanges and increases the chance of a flange failure. The spoke holes are fairly close together with little 'meat' in between them. It is safer to lace radial with 28 spokes, but I would still lace a crossed spoke pattern. Alchemy does not recommend radial lacing on the 32 hole ELF hub probably for this reason.

    On the rear I would go 3x.
    So I can go with a 2x front and 3x rear? Can I just use all CX-Ray spokes in the rear?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by keppler View Post
    So I can go with a 2x front and 3x rear? Can I just use all CX-Ray spokes in the rear?
    That sounds good. Please post a picture when they are built.
    Last edited by valleycyclist; 10-06-2011 at 10:14 AM.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleycyclist View Post
    That sounds good. Please post a picture when they are built.
    I will.

    Just thought of another thing, but not sure if this is up to the builder or a suggestion I can make: is there a specific spoke tension we should go after? Is there a tension that will yeild more stiffness (snappier ride) but take away some comfort? Or the opposite, nicer ride and giving up a bit of snap? Or do the rims and hubs dictate what tension they require front and rear?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by keppler View Post
    Also, do I need any brass nipples? I won't be riding in rain or snow, just dry weather.
    I originally built my Excellence wheels up with alloy nipples.

    Was unable to keep the rear in tension & true. Ended up rebuilding the rear with brass - no problems since. The front still has the alloy nipples & it's been fine.
    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?

    One.

    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

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