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  1. #1
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    DT Swiss R470 db

    Is this a good wheel, average wheel, or simply a wheel? I'm currently riding on these (disc) and I'm wondering if I should plan to budget on new wheels one day in the future or if I already have great wheels and there will be no reason to upgrade.

    I'm not a racer, ride for exercise 16-18 mph on 2017 specialized roubaix. I'm more interested in comfort than racing, etc.

  2. #2
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    Probably just ride them , The R470 is a good rim, don't know about the hubs, but what do you weigh, and what is the spoke count, an what type of terrain do you normally ride, will determine how long the wheel lasts.

  3. #3
    changingleaf
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    It depends what you're looking for. Increased comfort will result from bigger tires and lower pressure.

    Bigger tires roll over cracks in the road better and lower pressure will absorb bumps better.

  4. #4
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    I have the same bike and wheels, and the wheels aren't bad. Not the lightest, but not slugs, either. I rode them with 28s for a while, but found my current 25s to be a better match for me. YMMV, of course.

  5. #5
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    The rims are excellent, nearly identical to Stan's Grail. But I would recommend Pacenti Forza to anyone wanting to replace them.
    Last edited by MudSnow; 02-24-2018 at 10:25 AM.

  6. #6
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    Tire fit is not as tight as on Grails. Either a feature or a bug depending on your use case. I wouldn’t recommend DT as a good choice for tubeless CX, where Grail is the top of that heap.

  7. #7
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    I actually much prefer Pacenti Forza rims and recommend them to everybody who asks about Grails. The asymmetrical offset makes a significant increase in spoke tension on the low side, making a stronger wheel with fewer spoke problems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSnow View Post
    I actually much prefer Pacenti Forza rims and recommend them to everybody who asks about Grails. The asymmetrical offset makes a significant increase in spoke tension on the low side, making a stronger wheel with fewer spoke problems.
    This may be true, but asymmetrical rims are more prone to their own issues.
    "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



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    This may be true, but asymmetrical rims are more prone to their own issues.
    what is the downside of asymmetric rims?

  10. #10
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    Issues such as what? Myself and dozens of customers have been on Forza since they were released, and not a single complaint.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    what is the downside of asymmetric rims?
    I've never have any issues first hand, but one of the professional wheel builders on this forum said they are more prone to spoke hole cracks. It may have been November Dave.
    "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



  12. #12
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    Asymmetric rims can definitely be more prone to spoke hole cracks. There's plenty of evidence of this over time, it intuitively makes sense from structural engineering, and we saw it firsthand while developing asymmetric carbon rims. A structure that would take spoke-breaking spoke tension as a symmetrical rim would crack pretty easily when you made it asymmetric.

    A very small sample size over a limited period of time is exceptionally limited proof. We had several hundred Pacenti SL23s in the field (version 2 - the one that "solved all the problems" the first version had) for a year before we had any hint of stuff going wrong. No hard to see how that one played out over a longer run.

    If you're looking for a chart or graph or some other collected data on this, good luck. Wheel companies still claim they've never seen brake track failures, and Pacenti claimed a less than 10% failure rate on the SL23 version 1. Most who saw that first hand (fortunately we didn't) would claim that there's a zero missing from that claim.

    So really three issues here. First is that asymmetric rims do equalize tension between drive and non-drive (or disc and non-disc) spokes. Fact. They do that. The only thing that this can do is prevent issues with slack off-side spokes. It doesn't create a stiffer wheel (off side bracing angle is diminished) or anything else. Off-side spoke issues don't have to be a problem, they are not an issue that gets reported to us in our builds.

    Second is that the reason we'd recommend a Grail to someone is for tubeless CX. It's the best alloy rim to be found for that. The Pacenti SL25 used to be as good as Grail at it (they were nearly the same rim, and in fact they might have been without the knowledge of either brand), but the Forza rim is not as good at that. So the use case overlap between Grail and Forza isn't there in my opinion, and there are a ton of rims I'd choose over a Forza for any given use.

    Third, while Pacenti did an "okay" job of supporting the problems that SL23 rims created, it was just okay. It cost builders a ton of time, money, and ill will. It cost customers inconvenience and frustration, and even the vast majority of customers whose wheels haven't shown any issues feel like they need to keep an eye on them. I know of more than one wheel builder who was put out of business by Pacenti rim problems, where they didn't receive even an "okay" level of support. The talking points around this that I still see (small number of customers, limited to people who had lower spoke count builds than they should have) are categorically untrue in our experience (and we sold as many SL23s as probably anyone), and that rankles me to no end. Going to this extent is wildly uncharacteristic of me, and I don't wish ill on anyone or anything, but feeling enthusiastic about putting people on Pacenti products isn't something that happens here right now.

    To keep things on track there's no immediate impetus for the OP to change his wheels, at all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Asymmetric rims can definitely be more prone to spoke hole cracks. There's plenty of evidence of this over time, it intuitively makes sense from structural engineering, and we saw it firsthand while developing asymmetric carbon rims. A structure that would take spoke-breaking spoke tension as a symmetrical rim would crack pretty easily when you made it asymmetric.

    A very small sample size over a limited period of time is exceptionally limited proof. We had several hundred Pacenti SL23s in the field (version 2 - the one that "solved all the problems" the first version had) for a year before we had any hint of stuff going wrong. No hard to see how that one played out over a longer run.

    If you're looking for a chart or graph or some other collected data on this, good luck. Wheel companies still claim they've never seen brake track failures, and Pacenti claimed a less than 10% failure rate on the SL23 version 1. Most who saw that first hand (fortunately we didn't) would claim that there's a zero missing from that claim.

    So really three issues here. First is that asymmetric rims do equalize tension between drive and non-drive (or disc and non-disc) spokes. Fact. They do that. The only thing that this can do is prevent issues with slack off-side spokes. It doesn't create a stiffer wheel (off side bracing angle is diminished) or anything else. Off-side spoke issues don't have to be a problem, they are not an issue that gets reported to us in our builds.

    Second is that the reason we'd recommend a Grail to someone is for tubeless CX. It's the best alloy rim to be found for that. The Pacenti SL25 used to be as good as Grail at it (they were nearly the same rim, and in fact they might have been without the knowledge of either brand), but the Forza rim is not as good at that. So the use case overlap between Grail and Forza isn't there in my opinion, and there are a ton of rims I'd choose over a Forza for any given use.

    Third, while Pacenti did an "okay" job of supporting the problems that SL23 rims created, it was just okay. It cost builders a ton of time, money, and ill will. It cost customers inconvenience and frustration, and even the vast majority of customers whose wheels haven't shown any issues feel like they need to keep an eye on them. I know of more than one wheel builder who was put out of business by Pacenti rim problems, where they didn't receive even an "okay" level of support. The talking points around this that I still see (small number of customers, limited to people who had lower spoke count builds than they should have) are categorically untrue in our experience (and we sold as many SL23s as probably anyone), and that rankles me to no end. Going to this extent is wildly uncharacteristic of me, and I don't wish ill on anyone or anything, but feeling enthusiastic about putting people on Pacenti products isn't something that happens here right now.

    To keep things on track there's no immediate impetus for the OP to change his wheels, at all.
    I had a set of V1 SL23's and the rear cracked in two places at DS spokes. The wheels were built by a very well respected builder in Fredericksburg, TX. It was replaced with an Easton R90 SL which lasted almost two years and cracked. The front was still the SL23. I unlaced the wheels and sent the hubs (Record 32H) to a guy in the Republic of Boulder and he built them up with DT RR511 rims and so far so good. I think it's a strong rim. There's a 522 rim that's similar but wider, but my bikes are older and lack the clearance between the chainstays for much more than a fat 25.
    Retired sailor

  14. #14
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    Well, thanks Dave, but you didn't name a single problem with asymmetrical Forza rims. And neither has anybody else yet, not on this forum, and not any other forum that I have seen.

    How about Velocity A23 asymmetrical or Kinlin asymmetrical rims? Or ANY other asymmetrical aluminum road rim? Or ANY asymmetrical aluminum rim at all?

    SL23 was symmetrical, 35g lighter with a thinner nipple bed, narrower, and more flexible. I think I read he also switched manufacturers for the Forza.

    Have you or haven't you seen any problem at all with Forza?

    Despite what you have written about asymmetrical carbon rims, they have become VERY popular.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I've never have any issues first hand, but one of the professional wheel builders on this forum said they are more prone to spoke hole cracks. It may have been November Dave.
    So NOBODY else has reported any issues? And Dave went on a rant about a rim which is different in every way, NOT ASYMMETRICAL, and no longer produced.

  16. #16
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    Crap, I just lost a long post and can't get it back, so here's abbreviated take 2:

    We haven't seen any problems with Forza. After this amount of time being out the SL23v2 had yet to identify itself as problematic, but after all it was. I know that the producer has changed - I knew who made them then and I know who makes them now. We built a ton of SL23s, so any problems we would have seen. The number of Forzas we've built is small, and has predominantly been done as either warranty or manufacturer-unsupported customer service for customers who had premature problems with SL23s we built, so if there were problems to see we wouldn't have seen them. And I know that our trust in Pacenti is broken.

    We've seen a ton of problems with asymmetric A23s. You'd see the joint shift about 90% of the way into the build, and it was a huge PITA. None of them got out, but it was enough that Velocity took back a large shipment we'd bought (they were great about it) and we stopped building with them. This is just about the time they restarted production in the US. Not every problem is a spoke crack.

    We've seen one and only one "in the field premature" spoke problem with a Kinlin, and it happened to be an asymmetric XR31T. We've built a TON of Kinlins. They were the first rims we ever sold, and we sold a ton of 270s, a ton of XC279s, and a ton of XR31Ts. Lately we've been selling more and more TL23s. On XR31Ts, we use asymmetric because that's what we decided to stock and they're good. With disc hub flange spacing, it's becoming increasingly unnecessary. For road, especially with hubs like Bitex which have not great tension ratios, they're helpful.

    I am not in all cases against asymmetric rims, but if you read carefully you'll see that I disagree that they are always and in all respects "better." I built a set of Santa Cruz Reserve 25s a couple of weeks ago. They are offset, and the drive and non-drive tension ratio was about 80% with XTR Boost hubs. The symmetrical Enve 4.5ARs we built just before those had about a 65% ratio on I9 Torch 12x142 hubs. Enve just redesigned their mountain rim range and it's symmetrical. One thing I will point out about the SC Reserve is that the on-side nipple must be brass, as the offset spoke bed forces the nipple off of the spoke's natural line. We observed this in developing carbon asymmetric rims, and it's basically impossible to address, it's just a fact of molding. I think these rims would actually be better with internal nipples so that they could better align.

    The asymmetrical carbon disc rim we developed wound up gaining about 60g per rim through its development just to make it asymmetrical, and if I had that all to do over again I'd have abandoned the asymmetric bit very early on. Others choose to go offset. As with many debates, there are two sides to this one.

    We think the use cases covered by the Forza rims are better covered with other rims. Grail has a specific superiority in cross tubeless applications.

    I hope the Forza is a great rim and that you build hundreds of them without issue. We built well (well) over a thousand SL23s and I don't wish the problems they caused us on you. And I don't see asymmetric rims as clearly superior.

    EDIT - this or anything else I've written in this thread is a rant? We have very different perspectives on that.
    Last edited by November Dave; 02-25-2018 at 02:20 PM.

  17. #17
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    Thanks, Dave, I just don't like to see an accusation thrown out there and then have ZERO examples to support it. And very glad to hear that (so far) you have zero broken Forza rims.

    Also, I guess I was fortunate not to build SL23, but I have built nearly everything else Pacenti has sold and never had a single complaint on my own bikes or anybody else's.

    My own preference for asym rims has come after replacing numerous broken spokes, and just generally being shocked at how incredibly low the spoke tension is on many rear wheel NDS spokes, like 60% or less. I have gotten so I prefer not to build 28 spoke rear wheels EXCEPT with asym Forza rims. I also never lace a 28 spoke wheel 2x.

    I have built several Grail wheelsets, and prefer to build the rear wheel either 24 spoke triplet or 32 spoke 3x. Same for HED Belgium+. Great rim, very low NDS tension.

    I am glad now I know not to build A23, thanks. I tend to stay away from pinned rims anyway.

  18. #18
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    Thank you for your clarification, Dave. I did not consider anything you wrote as a "rant". You are simply basing your views of your extensive experience which is worth a lot. A few comments.

    Claiming a "less than 10% failure rate" really doesn't mean much. That is 1 in 10 for crying out loud! Nothing to brag about. I would be impressed if they could prove a less than 1% failure rate.

    It is true that asymmetric rims help to equalize spoke tensions. But one of RBR's own wheel builders, DCGriz, has a great saying which I will paraphrase here - "With bicycles, it is important to differentiate between what is important and what is merely true". He is a clyde who builds his wheels with symmetrical rims. With good quality rims, spokes and a quality wheel build, spoke hole cracks and broken spokes are a rarity. On an 11-speed freehub, DS tensions of around 130kgF will make the NDS tensions fall around 55kgF which is plenty of tension. If DCGriz can build his wheels this way and not have any problems, I think at 60lbs. lighter, they will work just fine for me.

    That being said, I'm not trying to shave every ounce of weight either. I have built two wheel sets. One is 1850g, the other is 1640g. I can tell you quite honestly that the wheel set that's 210g lighter does not feel any faster!

    And let's face reality. Lighter rims and lower spoke counts will increase your chances of having problems. There is no way around that. Chances are, if I do a conventional 32 spoke, brass nipple build on a Pacenti SL23, Velocity A23 or even a Mavic Open Pro, I probably won't have a problems. But with so many other better quality rims out there by HED, DT Swiss, H+ Son, etc., why should I even bother considering a brand with a history of problems?
    "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



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Crap, I just lost a long post and can't get it back, so here's abbreviated take 2:
    This has happened to me a few times. I've learned to always highlight and copy before I hit reply.
    "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



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    why should I even bother considering a brand with a history of problems?
    This is what's really annoying me here. One bad design doesn't ruin the brand or Stan's would have been out of business a long time ago. I have built almost every rim Kirk has released except the SL23 and NEVER HAD EVEN ONE PROBLEM. His rims are straight and very round. They are all welded and have very smooth, true joints, straighter than many of Stan's or Hydra. And every tire I have installed on them fit well and sealed quickly.

  21. #21
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    Tried hard to find any unsupported accusation that I made and couldn't find it. My gist was that asymmetric rims aren't a free pass that only solve issues without creating them. Some have had issues. And Pacenti doesn't have a very good track record with rims. The new ones might be the cat's meow. The ones I've seen have been fine, but we and many others have historical issues that preempt our enthusiasm for what Forza rims may or may not do. That's all I'm saying.

    The rim itself only impacts tension ratio insofar as a rim with a greater ERD will have a slightly worse tension balance, and this is basically a minuscule effect. I just ran a "what if" on rim with same hub and same lacing with a rim with an ERD of 500mm and one with 590mm (HED ERD is 592, nominally) and with the 500mm ERD rim the non-drive was 55% of drive, but dropped down to 54% of drive with the 590 ERD rim.

    Grail and HED are two rims you can do 2:1 lacing on, as they're center drilled. A lot of rims you can't do it on, and I don't prefer it simply because non-drive spoke tension isn't an issue we really have, and you have a lot of distance between non-drive spokes when you do 2:1 (nearly 1 foot between non-drive spokes in a 24h rim, for example). Different strokes and spokes for different folks.

  22. #22
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    My personal preference for offset rims comes when I see a hub with less than 45% tension on the NDS and I'm working with lower spoke counts. If not, you are basically required to use locking nipples since at 120kgf drive you end up with 54kgf NDS. That's right on the edge of insufficient. Can it work? Yes. In all cases? No. I don't want to put my name on wheels with that possibility if I can avoid it.

    As far as the Forza, I too haven't seen any issues. It's fair to say that they are relatively new in the scheme of things, but having more material at the nipple bed and a better supply chain should have gotten rid of the previous bugs. I build them up with confidence.

    I also happen to ride a lot with a set of offset carbon rims on my 650B road bike. It has Nox Skyline rims. They are about 355g (really light!) and have proven themselves on harsh terrain including ripping down some really bad roads on D2R2. Top 20 overall on E Hill descent which is mostly jeep track! Cue sheet read... "CAUTION! Really nasty, unmaintained downhill. Consider walking in places."

    Offset can be designed with durability in mind without being that much heavier than its symmetrical counterpart. I've seen examples of this from many different brands and materials. Since I prefer to have a minimum tension on the NDS for long term durability I choose an offset rims where I think it may be appropriate. It's not the only way to build wheels, but it's how I do it.

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