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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Help me Plan my next Wheel Build

    Hi all Total amateur wheelbuilder here. I've built about 10 sets of wheels, and the last few have gone quite smoothly (thanks to the great resources provided by Mike T, but Sheldon Brown's old webpages, etc.).

    I'm still really slow, but I feel like I know what I'm doing now. I got a new disc brake road bike (and perhaps gravel as well) over the winter and after putting about a bunch of miles on it I'm ready to upgrade the wheels.

    I'm fairly light (140-145 lbs) and I'm very easy on wheels. I've built plenty of 20/24 rim brake sets and I also built a 24/28 disc brake set, and I haven't had any problems with any those wheels over about 15,000 miles of riding.

    I ride a mix of faster group rides, along with plenty of rides with lots of climbing, e.g. 30-mile rides with 2,500 feet, 70-mile rides with 6,000 feet etc. Once or twice a season I do a really long ride with lots of climbing (140+ miles and 11k+ feet).

    Here's what I've decided on already:
    • light bicycle wide cx rims (28-29mm wide externally, 21-22mm internally)
    • sapim spokes
    • bhs centerlock disc hubs
    • 24/24 2x lacing


    I'll run these with 28mm tires (probably measuring out close to 30) and maybe also run them with 30-32mm tires (measuring out to the max on my bike of 33) for the occasional gravel ride. The rims are tubeless but for now I'll run them with tubes.

    Here's what I'm trying to decide and would love input on

    1. 28mm depth or 36mm depth rims?

    I don't race, and my "faster" group rides still aren't all that fast (20-24mph), and the bike is a disc brake bike, so not aero to begin with. So I'm unsure whether the extra depth will matter much.

    On the other hand, everything I read says aero matters more than weight, so I don't know whether there's much advantage in the lighter (about 50 grams less for the pair) shallower rims.

    In other words, if neither aero nor weight is all that it's cracked up to be, which do I choose the lighter rim or the deeper rim?

    2. Sapim Lasers or CX-Rays

    I know all about the difference between the two spokes: a CX Ray is a Laser that has been "drawn" or "forged" to have a flattened section. I've built up wheels with both spokes, so I also know from experience that it's quite a bit easier to build with the CX-Rays. Of course, they are much more expensive too.

    24 spokes is a fairly low number for a disc wheel, but the LB rims are so stiff and strong that I think I'll be totally fine. But I do wonder if the CX-Ray is worth the money to build a stronger and more reliable rim. Dave at November cycles has a great blog post where he shows that the CX-Ray is stronger than the Laser.

    So do I save some money with the lasers (and just take my time with the build, which I've done before), or do I spend the extra dollars for a slightly better-built (and easier to build) wheel?



  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I've built about 10 set of the light bike 28 wide 36 tall disc rims. Have built 5 sets of the 46 tall ones. 4 sets were 24/24 the rest were 24/28 spokes. Rims have been very good. No issue on any of them. I do recommend using the CX Rays on these builds, If you want to save a little use the CX Sprint spoke. The rims seam to be able to handle higher tension well, so a bladed spokes will make it easier to build. All of mine have been on Hope, I9, or DT hubs.

    I've been curious about the 28 tall rim, the weight is really low on it. FWIW, the weight on the 36/46 rims have been a bit on the heavier side, which is fine with me

    https://www.lightbicycle.com/Road-bi...available.html
    Last edited by Enoch562; 08-03-2018 at 05:13 PM.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch562 View Post
    I've built about 10 set of the light bike 28 wide 36 tall disc rims. Have built 5 sets of the 46 tall ones. 4 sets were 24/24 the rest were 24/28 spokes. Rims have been very good. No issue on any of them. I do recommend using the CX Rays on these builds, If you want to save a little use the CX Sprint spoke. The rims seam to be able to handle higher tension well, so a bladed spokes will make it easier to build. All of mine have been on Hope, I9, or DT hubs.

    I've been curious about the 28 tall rim, the weight is really low on it. FWIW, the weight on the 36/46 rims have been a bit on the heavier side, which is fine with me

    https://www.lightbicycle.com/Road-bi...available.html
    Thanks, enoch. Very helpful.

    Yes, the 36s I was thinking about are exactly the ones you linked to. For the 28s I was looking at this one: https://us.lightbicycle.com/shop/700...yclocross-rim/

    As you say, very low weight. Also quite a bit more expensive. I like that the 28 is offset. In my limited experience building wheels I really liked building offset much easier for a newbie like me to make sure I have adequate spoke tension on the NDS.

    My instinct was to go ahead and build with bladed spokes, given that it's a low spoke-count disc wheel. So thanks for the confirmation there.

    One thing I'm curious about: for a disc wheelset, why build with higher spoke count in the rear? Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that the torque placed on the front wheel when a rider brakes hard at a very high speed is far higher than any torque that rider can apply to the cassette of the rear wheel. So if spoke count for the front wheel is X, and it's an adequate spoke count for that wheel and rider, then I don't understand the point of having X+4 for the rear wheel just seems like the rear wheel would be overbuilt. But I must be missing something obvious.

    2nd question: for the builds you did with DT Swiss hubs, did you do straight pull or standard J bend? I'm leaning toward the Bitex hubs, but I was also consider DT 350s, as they aren't that much more expensive and, in particular, there seem to be good deals on the straight pull hubs. I've only ever built with standard J bend spokes.

  4. #4
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    Rear wheels see more load and unload than front. I doubt many people can say I grabbed the brake and I heard a spoke pop. Usually you hear I stood up and something went pow.

    Not a fan of straight pull. It seems like a great idea, but it really has little to offer. My next road disc will prolly be with the 28 tall rim. I didn't notice it was a offset spoke bed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch562 View Post
    Rear wheels see more load and unload than front. I doubt many people can say I grabbed the brake and I heard a spoke pop. Usually you hear I stood up and something went pow.
    Fair enough. But I'm still not sure I see the physics of it, or maybe I'm just a light/weak rider who doesn't put out many watts. In any case, I'm still fairly sure I can apply more torque to the wheel by slamming on the front brake at 35mph than I can by standing on the pedal.

    Not a fan of straight pull. It seems like a great idea, but it really has little to offer.
    Ah, that's SUPER helpful, since the above (after tons of reading but zero real-world experience) was exactly my conclusion as well.

    My next road disc will prolly be with the 28 tall rim. I didn't notice it was a offset spoke bed.
    I still need to decide on 28 vs 36 LB rims. That 28 looks like a very impressive rim (and given the price, LB surely seems to think a lot of it). At 24/24 with CX-Rays the 28 rims would build up into a sub-1400 gram wheelset. I know I'm not supposed to care about weight, but that's still really tempting!

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