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  1. #1
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    Broken Sapim CX-Ray - issue with the building technique?

    Hi Guys,

    I'd like to hear your opinion and advice from you.

    I'm in the wheel building business since good four years. Never had any broken spoke until today on my personal wheels during the race.
    Worth to say that during that race I crashed but I've fallen on drive side and the busted spoke was on non-drive side. I'm pretty sure that wheel didn't get any hit. The spoke got busted after 100km after the crash. It got broken exactly at J-bend area.

    Couple of facts:
    • Wheels have 12.000km.
    • Broken spoke was on non-drive side where lacing was 2xcross on DR and radial NDR
    • 24 spokes
    • Sapim cx-ray spokes, J-bend (imported from china, with sapim logo)
    • I weight 74kg, my max power is about 350W
    • Tension on NDR was about 50kgf with the tire on. My tensiometer is calibrated so that is the real value
    • Spoke tension very equal


    Now the question: During the build, when the spokes are still loose I always bend each spoke using my thumb so they lay on the hub flange. Then during the build I do several techniques of stress relieve (ex. putting leverage on the spokes using wooden stick) until they don't loose tension anymore. Then the final correction, truing and check of the final spoke tension.
    I'm wondering if I'm not weakening the spokes bending them using my thumb? What do you think?

    Couple of pictures of my work:
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q08b8MqPB...GAs/s640/4.jpg

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1LH7cElFn...As/s1600/5.jpg

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YGJEZwqpH...As/s1600/4.jpg

    Here is exactly same wheel I have:

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3RJCgRXqZ...As/s1600/5.jpg

    Thanks for your advice. I'm getting stressed now what about my all builds I did for the customers :/

    Cheers
    Tomasz
    Custom wheels handcrafted in Switzerland
    ----------------------------------------------------
    https://blackcatwheels.ch/

  2. #2
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat_wheels View Post
    Sapim cx-ray spokes, J-bend (imported from china, with sapim logo)
    Knock-off fake Sapim spokes? Do I read that correctly?

    I always bend each spoke using my thumb so they lay on the hub flange.
    That's what you're supposed to do.
    Last edited by Mike T.; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:30 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Hi Mike,

    I didn't say that I order fake sapim's (LOL!). I order them together with the carbon rims directly from the factory in China. They also provide ton of other components like DT Swiss hubs (350, 240), pillar spokes, bitex hubs etc and they sell/build wheels world wide.

    I personally do not believe they are fakes as they do have correct logo and the spoke stretch values on tensiometer are exactly same as sapims from France (my second distributor).
    I wrote that just to lay down all the facts which might be important.
    Price is the same between both distributors but indeed, that's the easy one to fix

    Obviously I didn't go personally to China to validate that on my own eyes but I don't think they would do that. However if anybody has any experience or the facts that China copies Sapim, pillar or Swiss hubs etc. I would be very happy to learn that.

    Thanks for confirming the build technique. At least one source of potential issue is removed from the list...

    T.

    P.S. Both of my sapim sources are on the official sapim list so I guess they're not fake...
    Find a distributor | Sapim
    Last edited by blackcat_wheels; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:18 AM.
    Custom wheels handcrafted in Switzerland
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    https://blackcatwheels.ch/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat_wheels View Post
    Hi Mike,

    I didn't say that I order fake sapim's (LOL!). I order them together with the carbon rims directly from the factory in China. They also provide ton of other components like DT Swiss hubs (350, 240), pillar spokes, bitex hubs etc and they sell/build wheels world wide.

    I personally do not believe they are fakes as they do have correct logo and the spoke stretch values on tensiometer are exactly same as sapims from France (my second distributor).
    I wrote that just to lay down all the facts which might be important.
    Price is the same between both distributors but indeed, that's the easy one to fix

    Obviously I didn't go personally to China to validate that on my own eyes but I don't think they would do that. However if anybody has any experience or the facts that China copies Sapim, pillar or Swiss hubs etc. I would be very happy to learn that.

    Thanks for confirming the build technique. At least one source of potential issue is removed from the list...

    T.

    P.S. Both of my sapim sources are on the official sapim list so I guess they're not fake...
    Find a distributor | Sapim
    Ahhh ok. The way you wrote it was confusing to me as "China" wasn't in any other context - like rims. I edited my post.
    .
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with motivation, information and resources.

  5. #5
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    Could be a bum batch of spokes. Had a wheelset built (Belgium+ with CK R45s) with CX-Rays in 2X that was a popper in the rear...resolved it with a rebuild with DT spokes and 3X.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat_wheels View Post
    Hi Mike,

    I didn't say that I order fake sapim's (LOL!). I order them together with the carbon rims directly from the factory in China. They also provide ton of other components like DT Swiss hubs (350, 240), pillar spokes, bitex hubs etc and they sell/build wheels world wide.

    I personally do not believe they are fakes as they do have correct logo and the spoke stretch values on tensiometer are exactly same as sapims from France (my second distributor).
    I wrote that just to lay down all the facts which might be important.
    Price is the same between both distributors but indeed, that's the easy one to fix

    Obviously I didn't go personally to China to validate that on my own eyes but I don't think they would do that. However if anybody has any experience or the facts that China copies Sapim, pillar or Swiss hubs etc. I would be very happy to learn that.

    Thanks for confirming the build technique. At least one source of potential issue is removed from the list...

    T.

    P.S. Both of my sapim sources are on the official sapim list so I guess they're not fake...
    Find a distributor | Sapim
    Packaging means nothing. Counterfeits, knock-offs, etc are so good nowadays that they sometimes end up on retail shelves in legit B&M stores. It is particularly epidemic with carbon fiber components like say 3T's Aeronova handlebar--the single most copied and faked handlebar design on EBay and AliExpress.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  6. #6
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    No worries Mike, it's my English

    Back to the root cause as I need to understand that...
    If the technique is right, what else is wrong? Would it be better to use 2-cross lacing on both sides? I'm thinking that for radial 50kfg is pretty low so the spokes work more than they should. Maybe it's simple fatigue caused by pretty low tension?

    I also read that cx-rays are pretty fragile spokes and I'm using those wheels on all type surfaces, often pretty bad tarmac (believe it or not, such roads exist in Switzerland).
    What's your take on this one?

    I'm/was always a true believer in J-bend spokes but maybe indeed the SP spokes are in general better in this matter....?!

    T.
    Custom wheels handcrafted in Switzerland
    ----------------------------------------------------
    https://blackcatwheels.ch/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Could be a bum batch of spokes. Had a wheelset built (Belgium+ with CK R45s) with CX-Rays in 2X that was a popper in the rear...resolved it with a rebuild with DT spokes and 3X.



    Packaging means nothing. Counterfeits, knock-offs, etc are so good nowadays that they sometimes end up on retail shelves in legit B&M stores. It is particularly epidemic with carbon fiber components like say 3T's Aeronova handlebar--the single most copied and faked handlebar design on EBay and AliExpress.
    That is true, but here we are talking about graved logo, company exist on sapim's list and the spoke stretch values are equal between two independent distributors/sources.
    Chance that they're fake is pretty low... however happy to hear if anybody was able to detect and confirm fake sapims...
    Custom wheels handcrafted in Switzerland
    ----------------------------------------------------
    https://blackcatwheels.ch/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat_wheels View Post
    No worries Mike, it's my English

    Back to the root cause as I need to understand that...
    If the technique is right, what else is wrong? Would it be better to use 2-cross lacing on both sides? I'm thinking that for radial 50kfg is pretty low so the spokes work more than they should. Maybe it's simple fatigue caused by pretty low tension?

    I also read that cx-rays are pretty fragile spokes and I'm using those wheels on all type surfaces, often pretty bad tarmac (believe it or not, such roads exist in Switzerland).
    What's your take on this one?

    I'm/was always a true believer in J-bend spokes but maybe indeed the SP spokes are in general better in this matter....?!

    T.
    I've used CX-Rays for maybe 20 years and have yet to have one break. I have never read that cx-rays are fragile spokes. Who knows why your spoke broke. If they kept breaking I would be concerned. If one broke it wouldn't bother me.
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  9. #9
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    FWIW, my shop claims they have seen too many problems with Sapim spokes, so they only use DT. Don't really know if this is true or if DT is just the brand they have access to. I use DT because I like to support my local shop.

    Mike, aren't Sapim Xrays the same 2.0 gauge at the j-bend and threads as their thicker spokes? If this is the case, a thicker spoke will do nothing to prevent a j-bend break.

    Blackcat, 50kgF with an inflated tire is plenty of tension. Generally, you tension up to what the DS can handle and the NDS falls where it may. As long as spoke tensions are equal, there isn't much else you can do.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  10. #10
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    Cx-Ray are Lasers with the center section forged flat.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    FWIW, my shop claims they have seen too many problems with Sapim spokes, so they only use DT. Don't really know if this is true or if DT is just the brand they have access to. I use DT because I like to support my local shop.

    Mike, aren't Sapim Xrays the same 2.0 gauge at the j-bend and threads as their thicker spokes? If this is the case, a thicker spoke will do nothing to prevent a j-bend break.

    Blackcat, 50kgF with an inflated tire is plenty of tension. Generally, you tension up to what the DS can handle and the NDS falls where it may. As long as spoke tensions are equal, there isn't much else you can do.
    Thanks Lombard.
    Last question - is there any specific preference/recommendation to use cross lacing over radial on NDR? Would cross lacing prevent potential spoke failure?
    Custom wheels handcrafted in Switzerland
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    https://blackcatwheels.ch/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat_wheels View Post
    Thanks Lombard.
    Last question - is there any specific preference/recommendation to use cross lacing over radial on NDR? Would cross lacing prevent potential spoke failure?
    Blackcat,

    Read my first auto signature - the quote by DCGriz. Then read it a few more times. Got it? OK. I am amazed at how many people believe that lacing the NDS radial or using thinner spokes on the NDS will reduce tension disparities. It won't. There are myths that simply will not die. Cross lacing is the strongest way you can lace a wheel. The number of crosses are limited by spokes possibly crossing over heads on the hub. So why are radial wheels so popular? Two words: "sex sells".

    I'm sure Mike T. and November Dave can chime in. They are very knowledgable and have been wheel building way longer than I have.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I'm sure Mike T. and November Dave can chime in. They are very knowledgable and have been wheel building way longer than I have.
    I'm sure I fail many times but I try really hard not to voice an opinion when I have no personal proof, personal experience or irrefutable proof from others. I don't know what the strongest way to spoke a wheel is. Everything from radial to x3 as performed perfectly for me which probably means that they were all strong enough.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I'm sure I fail many times but I try really hard not to voice an opinion when I have no personal proof, personal experience or irrefutable proof from others. I don't know what the strongest way to spoke a wheel is. Everything from radial to x3 as performed perfectly for me which probably means that they were all strong enough.
    "Strong enough" a.k.a. "can get away with" which IIRC, that phrase is a pet peeve of yours.

    So maybe radial lacing is "strong enough" for a front rim brake wheel or even a NDS rear rim brake wheel. But given that crossed spokes put less stress on the hub flanges and that there are no practical advantages to radial lacing, why lace wheels any way besides crossing spokes? After all, there must be a good reason why some hub manufacturers do not recommend radial lacing.

    My point in post #12 was that using thinner spokes or lacing them radially does nothing to improve tension disparities between DS and NDS spokes. The only way to change this is to lessen the differences in the bracing angle between the two sides. However, in a well built and properly tensioned wheel, these disparities are a non-issue. My guess is if Blackcat is popping spokes on the NDS, the wheel is either under tensioned or there are some defective spokes.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat_wheels View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I'd like to hear your opinion and advice from you.

    I'm in the wheel building business since good four years. Never had any broken spoke until today on my personal wheels during the race.
    Worth to say that during that race I crashed but I've fallen on drive side and the busted spoke was on non-drive side. I'm pretty sure that wheel didn't get any hit. The spoke got busted after 100km after the crash. It got broken exactly at J-bend area.

    Couple of facts:
    • Wheels have 12.000km.
    • Broken spoke was on non-drive side where lacing was 2xcross on DR and radial NDR
    • 24 spokes
    • Sapim cx-ray spokes, J-bend (imported from china, with sapim logo)
    • I weight 74kg, my max power is about 350W
    • Tension on NDR was about 50kgf with the tire on. My tensiometer is calibrated so that is the real value
    • Spoke tension very equal


    Now the question: During the build, when the spokes are still loose I always bend each spoke using my thumb so they lay on the hub flange. Then during the build I do several techniques of stress relieve (ex. putting leverage on the spokes using wooden stick) until they don't loose tension anymore. Then the final correction, truing and check of the final spoke tension.
    I'm wondering if I'm not weakening the spokes bending them using my thumb? What do you think?

    Couple of pictures of my work:
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q08b8MqPB...GAs/s640/4.jpg

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1LH7cElFn...As/s1600/5.jpg

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YGJEZwqpH...As/s1600/4.jpg

    Here is exactly same wheel I have:

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3RJCgRXqZ...As/s1600/5.jpg

    Thanks for your advice. I'm getting stressed now what about my all builds I did for the customers :/

    Cheers
    Tomasz
    Well, I do see one thing wrong. There should be no daylight where the spoke goes over the hub flange in the outer spokes in the front hub photo. I'm not sure it's totally possible to remove that though, but that can cause fail at the elbow due to flexing.

  16. #16
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    That comes from the fact that the hub has the drilling for aero spokes. I guess that 'daylight' can't be avoided using CX-Rays or similar.

    After replacing that one broke spoke I did over 2k km and so far so good. Will see after some time if the spokes hold up well
    Custom wheels handcrafted in Switzerland
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    https://blackcatwheels.ch/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    Well, I do see one thing wrong. There should be no daylight where the spoke goes over the hub flange in the outer spokes in the front hub photo. I'm not sure it's totally possible to remove that though, but that can cause fail at the elbow due to flexing.
    It's hard to tell from the pics whether these were bent in sufficiently. I find it is best to bend them before there is much tension. Press them in with thumbs while still fairly slack.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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