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  1. #1
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    Observations on two different wheelsets.................

    Hi all fellow wheel builders and wheel enthusiasts!

    So far, I have done two wheel builds:

    Wheelset #1:

    HED Belgium C2 Rims (not plus)
    Shimano Ultegra 6800 Hubs
    DT Swiss Competition Spokes
    DT Swiss Brass Nipples
    Laced: 32 spoke 3 cross front and rear

    Wheelset #2:

    DT Swiss R460 Rims
    Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Hubs
    DT Swiss Aero Comp Spokes
    DT Swiss Brass Nipples
    Laced: 24 spoke 2 cross front / 32 spoke 3 cross rear

    My recent observation is that Wheelset #1 appears to corner better and feel more stable than Wheelset #2 even though Wheelset #2 has slightly wider rims. I can't think of any reason for this other than the higher spoke count in the front on Wheelset #1.

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

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  2. #2
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    Same tires?
    Too old to ride plastic

  3. #3
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    Same tires at the same stage of wear?

    Slightly wider rims means you should use slightly lower PSI. The same PSI on different internal width rims doesn't equate to the same hard/soft feel.

  4. #4
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    Same tires and same width. Wheelset #2 tires are newer (about 450 miles) than Wheelset #1 (about 2000 miles). On Wheetset #1, it did appear that the ride felt smoother as the tires wore, but the cornering feel didn't change.

    Using the same PSI on both sets. HED C2s are 17mm internal, DT R460s are 18mm internal.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  5. #5
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    Try about 5psi less on the wider ones.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Try about 5psi less on the wider ones.
    This. Will make a difference or eliminate a variable.
    Too old to ride plastic

  7. #7
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    OK, I'll give that a try, thanks!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  8. #8
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    What's your weight? 32 spokes front and back seems overkill for wheel set #1.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keoki View Post
    What's your weight? 32 spokes front and back seems overkill for wheel set #1.
    I wanted to use Shimano Ultegra 6800 hubs which only come in 32 and 36 hole. 32 spokes on the front IS overkill. But so what? On wheelset #2, I decided to splurge and go for Dura-Ace hubs which have more drilling options, so I went with 24 in the front. I also have factory wheelsets that are 16 front / 20 rear. Guess what? None of these make me slower or faster than any of the others. Different feel as far as stability and cornering - yes. Speed or acceleration differences - NO.

    I weigh 175lbs. in my birthday suit. On longer rides in sparsely populated areas, I carry a pack with extra water, food, tools, rain gear, etc. It all adds up. I also climb quite a few hills, so I like to have 32 rear to handle the extra torque. Maybe unnecessary? Can't hurt.

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

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I wanted to use Shimano Ultegra 6800 hubs which only come in 32 and 36 hole. 32 spokes on the front IS overkill. But so what? On wheelset #2, I decided to splurge and go for Dura-Ace hubs which have more drilling options, so I went with 24 in the front. I also have factory wheelsets that are 16 front / 20 rear. Guess what? None of these make me slower or faster than any of the others. Different feel as far as stability and cornering - yes. Speed or acceleration differences - NO.

    I weigh 175lbs. in my birthday suit. On longer rides in sparsely populated areas, I carry a pack with extra water, food, tools, rain gear, etc. It all adds up. I also climb quite a few hills, so I like to have 32 rear to handle the extra torque. Maybe unnecessary? Can't hurt.

    Overbuilding is much preferable to underbuilding.
    All of this. Also, a broken spoke won't end a ride.
    Too old to ride plastic

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Also, a broken spoke won't end a ride.
    That too.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  12. #12
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    These two rims are comparable and the extra 1 mm I don't think would make much difference. I agree with you that the number and type of spokes seems to be the variable causing what you experience and it maybe because the HED rim is better supported.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  13. #13
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    You have more spokes on the stiffer rim. The width difference is more or less inconsequential (isn't C2 18mm internal anyhow?), and without doing a full calculation I think using 5 psi less is overkill. The variation in tires from one to the other could overcome that rim width difference.

    Same tubes as well as tires?

    Same skewers?

    For what it's worth, I'm a particularly aggressive bike handler cornering-wise (I have lots of downhill KOMs) and there's nothing I can do that a well-built 20h front with good components can't support. I weigh 160. There is no reason on earth that there should be cornering deficiencies with the 24h wheel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcgriz View Post
    These two rims are comparable and the extra 1 mm I don't think would make much difference. I agree with you that the number [of spokes]
    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    You have more spokes on the stiffer rim. The width difference is more or less inconsequential........
    This is what I suspected.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcgriz View Post
    ...........and type of spokes seems to be the variable causing what you experience and it maybe because the HED rim is better supported.
    I hadn't thought that there may actually be a difference in feel between DT Competitions and DT Aero Comps, or that the HED C2 rims may be stiffer than the DT R460s.

    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    (isn't C2 18mm internal anyhow?)
    No. The C2 is 17mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Same tubes as well as tires?
    All standard Kenda butyl tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Same skewers?
    Skewers that came with the hubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    For what it's worth, I'm a particularly aggressive bike handler cornering-wise (I have lots of downhill KOMs) and there's nothing I can do that a well-built 20h front with good components can't support. I weigh 160. There is no reason on earth that there should be cornering deficiencies with the 24h wheel.
    You're definitely way more aggressive on the downhills and corners than I am. Therefore I am assuming that you are probably less sensitive to variations in cornering feel and stability. Don't know what else to think.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  15. #15
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    The C2s I just measured are 17.85.

    As for cornering, my assumption would be that more aggressive cornering would unquestionably highlight differences between wheels. The more demand you place on the equipment, the more the differences show. I can't see any way how that would possibly be different.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    The C2s I just measured are 17.85.

    As for cornering, my assumption would be that more aggressive cornering would unquestionably highlight differences between wheels. The more demand you place on the equipment, the more the differences show. I can't see any way how that would possibly be different.
    I think he was trying to be polite to himself and was really saying his skill isn't very good compared to yours so he's prone to be thrown by slight variations that you'd probably deal with subconsciously and not realize you did.

    Aggressive is one thing, level of aggressiveness relative to skill level is quit another.

    Not that that necessarily makes sense either but it's the only way I can think how that would possible be different.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I think he was trying to be polite to himself and was really saying his skill isn't very good compared to yours so he's prone to be thrown by slight variations that you'd probably deal with subconsciously and not realize you did.

    Aggressive is one thing, level of aggressiveness relative to skill level is quit another.
    LOL. I think you hit the nail on the head, Jay. While I'm generally a pretty good hill climber, bombing down hills with twists and turns is not my forte.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post


    I hadn't thought that there may actually be a difference in feel between DT Competitions and DT Aero Comps, or that the HED C2 rims may be stiffer than the DT R460s.
    Yes, the Aero are bladed spokes, thus more flexible. That's the reason why they are often replaced with stiffer double butted spokes on the drive side as the first step when the circumstances call for a stiffer wheel.

    Whether the HED C2 is stiffer than the R460 I'm not sure. IMO, these two rims are pretty similar so any difference in rim stiffness would be insignificant.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcgriz View Post
    Yes, the Aero are bladed spokes, thus more flexible. That's the reason why they are often replaced with stiffer double butted spokes on the drive side as the first step when the circumstances call for a stiffer wheel.

    Whether the HED C2 is stiffer than the R460 I'm not sure. IMO, these two rims are pretty similar so any difference in rim stiffness would be insignificant.
    Are you sure about this? DT Competitions and DT Aero Comps are precisely the same weight, per DT's page. Their stiffness in a wheel would be dependent on cross sectional area and Young's Modulus of the material. Since they're the same material, Young's Modulus is the same. Since they're the same material and the same weight, cross sectional area must be the same. Ergo, same stiffness. Having been cold worked into the bladed shape, the Aero Comps probably have a significantly higher tensile strength, but that's not relevant here.

    On the other hand, I have directly measured a stiffness difference between R460 and C2 in favor of the C2. The alloys used are clearly not the same, which is observable when you handle and build them.

    Neither set of wheels is anything resembling underbuilt for the OP's purpose.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Are you sure about this? DT Competitions and DT Aero Comps are precisely the same weight, per DT's page. Their stiffness in a wheel would be dependent on cross sectional area and Young's Modulus of the material. Since they're the same material, Young's Modulus is the same. Since they're the same material and the same weight, cross sectional area must be the same. Ergo, same stiffness. Having been cold worked into the bladed shape, the Aero Comps probably have a significantly higher tensile strength, but that's not relevant here.

    On the other hand, I have directly measured a stiffness difference between R460 and C2 in favor of the C2. The alloys used are clearly not the same, which is observable when you handle and build them.

    Neither set of wheels is anything resembling underbuilt for the OP's purpose.
    Your description on wheel stiffness as it pertains to spoke stiffness would be accurate for axially applied loads at a static wheel. However, this is not the case while the wheel curves around a turn. There you have radial, lateral and torsional loads that in turn challenge the radial, lateral and torsional stiffness of the wheel as a whole.
    Furthermore, I believe the shape of the spokes influences all of the above since the shape of an object affects its flexular rigidity (a.k.a bending stiffness) in relation to the direction of the applied load. Easier to bend sheet metal along its wide axis than a metal rod of same length and overall weight. This is also the same principle that the increased fatigue life of the bladed spokes vs. round spokes is based on.

    In reference to your statement about the rigidity between these two rims: My understanding is that shape and weight affect the rim stiffness significantly more than the variations between the aluminum alloys used for rim construction. However, I will accept your conclusion simply because I believe that one actual measurement is better than fifty theoretical deductions. I would be very interested to see your measurements on these if you care to share.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  21. #21
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    This is certainly getting interesting. I would really like to think that Dave is correct on this one. I say that because having built wheels with these two types of spokes, I know how much easier it is to build with bladed spokes because it is so easy to see exactly when windup occurs.

    Though my gut feeling is that DC is also correct. I say this because look at spoke dimensions of the two types:

    DT Competition: 2.0/1.8/2.0
    DT Aero Comp: 2.0/2.3-1.2/2.0

    Now I am not an engineer, but I am thinking the bladed spoke having a measurement of 1.2 in the thin direction is the weakest point. So would it matter whether the wide direction is 1.3 or 2.3 or even 3.3? The narrow measurement is the "weak link" so-to-say. Would total weight really matter in this case? Am I wrong?

    If Dave is indeed correct on the theory of better quality alloys on the HEDs, that might certainly explain their drastic price difference.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  22. #22
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    Wind up in building is completely irrelevant here. The shape of the bladed spoke conveniently lends itself to preventing windup. That's all.

    What it relevant is that all wheel stresses impart (or reduce) tensile loads on spokes. Flexing in the middle section of the wheel is 100% irrelevant in this regard. There is no fulcrum around which spokes get bent to make that relevant. A spoke in a wheel is either being pulled harder or less hard. That's it. End of story.

    There are a number of reasons why one rim may be more or less expensive than another, which again, isn't relevant here. Though the R460 is a nice, useful rim which has a place in the universe of rims, the alloy used in it is soft and this is obvious when you build with it. It is also not finished as nicely as a HED rim (few to none are). But the shape of a HED C2 is not the same as a DT R460, and the metal is not the same, therefore there is no reason why they should be the same stiffness. And they are not the same stiffness.

    To reiterate the most important part, neither wheel, properly built, is anywhere close to under built for the OP's purpose. A difference has been perceived but no difference has been proven. Without being an a-----le, I challenge the premise that there's a perceptible difference. I don't think we're going to get a selection of people to blind test these wheels under controlled conditions, so this whole discussion is academic at best. I didn't do a very good job of not being an a----le there.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    This is certainly getting interesting. I would really like to think that Dave is correct on this one. I say that because having built wheels with these two types of spokes, I know how much easier it is to build with bladed spokes because it is so easy to see exactly when windup occurs.

    Though my gut feeling is that DC is also correct. I say this because look at spoke dimensions of the two types:

    DT Competition: 2.0/1.8/2.0
    DT Aero Comp: 2.0/2.3-1.2/2.0

    Now I am not an engineer, but I am thinking the bladed spoke having a measurement of 1.2 in the thin direction is the weakest point. So would it matter whether the wide direction is 1.3 or 2.3 or even 3.3? The narrow measurement is the "weak link" so-to-say. Would total weight really matter in this case? Am I wrong?

    If Dave is indeed correct on the theory of better quality alloys on the HEDs, that might certainly explain their drastic price difference.
    Aren't the HEDs made in the US and the DT Swiss made in Taiwan? (That alone would factor in the price difference)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Aren't the HEDs made in the US and the DT Swiss made in Taiwan? (That alone would factor in the price difference)
    Nope. HEDs are also made in Taiwan.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    What it relevant is that all wheel stresses impart (or reduce) tensile loads on spokes. Flexing in the middle section of the wheel is 100% irrelevant in this regard. There is no fulcrum around which spokes get bent to make that relevant. A spoke in a wheel is either being pulled harder or less hard. That's it. End of story.
    ^^ this
    Also the "J" point on both spokes is the same, (round 2.0) and this is the typical place a spoke breaks. There may be some side bending here in the area the spoke exits / contacts the hub under extreme lateral loads, but the cross section is identical in both cases.

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