Any Experience with Sapim CX Ray Spokes?
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  1. #1

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    Any Experience with Sapim CX Ray Spokes?

    I'm building wheels using Mavic Ops and CK Hubs. I intend to use 32 (3X) rear and 28 (2X) front. The question is which spokes to use. I want a very strong wheel set (the roads here are lousy). I am not interested in trading strength/reliability for lighter weight. Aero is not an important consideration either. BUT, the Sapim website claims that their CX Ray (which is both aero and very light) is actually stronger than their strongest double butted (2.0/1.8/2.0) spoke, the Race. Do people's experience with these spokes support Sapim's claim? Putting aside the question of cost for the moment, can I use CX Rays all around (front/rear; drive/nondrive) and have as strong a wheel as I would have with Sapim Race or DT Comps on the rear?

  2. #2
    What the Hell is going on
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    I will never use Sampim spokes again because they physically stamp their name near the J-bend of the spoke. I built up a vintage Colnago using 36h C-Record hubs laced 3x (front and rear) to Campagnolo Victory Strada tubular rims. It seems like every time I take her out for a ride I brake a spoke in the rear. Two weeks ago I broke two spokes in the rear only after 4.5 miles of riding. All spokes broke in the rear (both drive and non drive sides) just above the stamped "Sampim". I've never had this problem with DT or Wheelsmith spokes.

    I've been riding bikes for over 20 years and I built all my wheels for all 11 of my bikes. Nothing fancy; just good stout wheels (32h hubs laced 3x).
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  3. #3
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    The CX-Ray starts life as a Laser (2.0/1.5mm) and should perform similarly. I question the quality of Sapim's test... I'm thinking that the spokes had residual bending loads, and this favored the CX-Rays because their center sections have greater flexibility in bending.

    The reason to get CX-Rays over Lasers is aero performance. The reason to choose Race over Laser is stiffness... not strength (fatigue strength that is)... except for the DS rear where heavier spokes will slightly reduce the chance of NDS spokes going slack from radial loads. I'd lace the NDS 2x rather than 3x to slightly reduce the torque effect on the spoke tension.

  4. #4
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    I have a set of WI H1 hubs built with CX-Rays and they are great spokes. I also just re-built my Powertap with CX-Rays

    I haven't had a lick of trouble with the spokes. They are light, relatively aero and very easy to build with. Any problems people SAY they are having are due to build or equipment problems.

    I've beaten the crap out of th WI wheelset and they as true today as when they were built. And FWIW, I'm 180 pounds...and the wheelset weighs 1400 grams...

    They only downside is price. CX-Rays are high $, but when you are building a nice set of wheels, spend the money and get the best.

  5. #5

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    I don't know who the hell makes Sampim spokes, but the CX-Rays I've had on various wheels have all performed as they should without issues.

  6. #6

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    Have you used them on the rear drive side?

  7. #7
    Impulse Athletic Coaching
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    CX Rays all used to be strong, and then they changed their manufacturing process awhile ago for some reason...at least, that's what I heard.

    I have the newer version of the CX-Rays and they are great for aero benefits, but they are not strong. Can't say I'd recommend them to anyone over 145lbs who wants to use them in less than ideal conditions.

    For the record, I'm 145-150lbs depending on the season.

  8. #8

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    CX-Rays are in DS and NDS in back. I weigh 180lbs. Zero problems. I've used the new and the old CX-Rays without issue.

    The internet is great place to spread rumors.

  9. #9
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    The reason Sapim claims theirs are stronger are due to a manufacturing process that involves cold rolling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_rolling), some strange alloying of the spokes and that the company itself is belgian. As any self respecting cyclist knows, Belgium is the only place that has cobbles and every Belgian component must be strong enough to survive cobbles.

    In my experience, CX-Ray's have been strong, dependable, expensive spokes that I'd use over Revo's any day. I don't know if theres any strength benifit over 2.0/1.8 spokes or even 2.0 straight gaugers.

  10. #10

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    i have a wheel set bulit up with cx-rays.. i weigh about 172 -185 depends on season an i have pounded them through NYC streets through cobblestone potholes an there true to the day i got them..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Root
    CX-Rays are in DS and NDS in back. I weigh 180lbs. Zero problems. I've used the new and the old CX-Rays without issue.

    The internet is great place to spread rumors.
    +1

    Both my rear wheels are 32h and CX-Ray on both sides...no issues...

    Again, the poster talking about Sampim spokes has either issues that have arisen from using old hubs for a build or hands-on build issues...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonnitro
    CX Rays all used to be strong, and then they changed their manufacturing process awhile ago for some reason...at least, that's what I heard.

    I have the newer version of the CX-Rays and they are great for aero benefits, but they are not strong. Can't say I'd recommend them to anyone over 145lbs who wants to use them in less than ideal conditions.

    For the record, I'm 145-150lbs depending on the season.
    O RLY? I raced mine, both in crits and cross and never had issue one. They WI wheels are easily as stiff as my Ksyriums and the rear PT wheel is only slightly less stiff than my rear Carbone...

    People who are having problems are having them due to build issues, not the spokes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rruff
    The CX-Ray starts life as a Laser (2.0/1.5mm) and should perform similarly. I question the quality of Sapim's test... I'm thinking that the spokes had residual bending loads, and this favored the CX-Rays because their center sections have greater flexibility in bending.
    that's what i thought.... Sapim says the stiffness tested was pre-rolling IIRC. So the stated stiffness relative to a straight guage is the same as the laser c.60%. Isn't this at the very least misleading. Surely a flattened laser would be less laterally stiff?

    whether or not that actually translates in a built up wheel is something else, but its something to ponder... also, they're pretty expensive... does rolling really add that much cost? 2x+ over lasers? even so, its a pretty minimal extra cost relative to the wheelset's total cost...

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    It is the builder that determines stiffness

    Any wheel with any spokes can be made as stiff or as soft as you want.
    I would look into doing research on your weight and riding style before you build a set of wheels up and create a masterpiece for your body. That's why I hate "boutique" wheels.
    "People ask me what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike - busting my ass - six hours a day. What are you on?"
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  15. #15
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    Opposite results....

    I pretty much will not build a wheel itout using CX-Rays. I have had 5 wheelset built using these spokes (3 mountain bike wheels and I have yet to break a single spoke. I have priken nipples and on the Mavic UST (MTB) tubless wheels broken the screw that hold the nipples into the rims......but NEVER broke a single CX-Ray spoke. I have of course broken other manufacture and types of spokes.

    Michael
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    Quote Originally Posted by O-Man
    I'm building wheels using Mavic Ops and CK Hubs. I intend to use 32 (3X) rear and 28 (2X) front. The question is which spokes to use. I want a very strong wheel set (the roads here are lousy). I am not interested in trading strength/reliability for lighter weight. Aero is not an important consideration either. BUT, the Sapim website claims that their CX Ray (which is both aero and very light) is actually stronger than their strongest double butted (2.0/1.8/2.0) spoke, the Race. Do people's experience with these spokes support Sapim's claim? Putting aside the question of cost for the moment, can I use CX Rays all around (front/rear; drive/nondrive) and have as strong a wheel as I would have with Sapim Race or DT Comps on the rear?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wankski
    Sapim says the stiffness tested was pre-rolling IIRC. So the stated stiffness relative to a straight guage is the same as the laser c.60%. Isn't this at the very least misleading. Surely a flattened laser would be less laterally stiff?
    I didn't know they had stiffness numbers... only ultimate strength and fatigue numbers. Stiffness will be the same as Lasers. Steel spokes are too long and thin to support side loads... axial stiffness (not bending) is all that matters.

    Besides the forming of the aero section, I doubt that CX-Rays are different than Lasers. If Sapim has a special treatment that makes the spokes stronger, then why not apply this to all of their spokes?

    Though CX-Rays are expensive, they are quite a bit cheaper than Aerolites.

  17. #17
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    I have broken CX-Rays before. For a while I was having bad luck with them. But, I have had good luck on my current wheels with them.

    Cost wise, not sure they are worth the premium over DT Revolutions.

    My favorite beater spokes are the DT Comps. They are tough. Not sure I would waste the money on CK road hubs. No more durable then a D/A or Record hub. Also the OP rims are not the toughest things in the world.

    How about some DT 1.2 rims. Heavier, but bound to be stiff and durable.

    Dr. Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

  18. #18
    Juanmoretime
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    I like them and have them on several wheelsets. I have also broken two non-drive spokes at the elbow on one wheelset. My oldest wheelset with them I've never had an issue.
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rruff
    I didn't know they had stiffness numbers... only ultimate strength and fatigue numbers. Stiffness will be the same as Lasers. Steel spokes are too long and thin to support side loads... axial stiffness (not bending) is all that matters.
    That does make sense.... table, which took me a while to find where i saw it from is here:
    https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462...es/f0jeeea.jpg

  20. #20
    A wheelist
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    I've had CX-Rays on my mountain bike for about 4-5 years and haven't had a problem. I weight 190lb. My spoke tensions are tight and even which prevents almost all breakage problems.

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