Powertap build- Complete cycleops wheel, or custom build- Help!
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  1. #1
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    Powertap build- Complete cycleops wheel, or custom build- Help!

    Hey everybody-

    I've been looking to dive into the powermeter game for a while, and the powertap sl+ prices are on closeouts right now. I have been dancing between either purchasing the complete cycleops sl+ rear wheel thru excelsports:

    Power Tap SL+ Wheel With Joule 2.0 - Excel Sports

    For roughly a grand, I'd get a complete rear wheel. Alloy 32H clincher, 20mm profile rim (dtswiss or velocity?). DT spokes, and also a Joule head unit. I'd eventually spend the 250 or so and get the matching front wheel.

    The other option would be to buy through Neuvation, who is running a closeout on the powertap sl+. I can build a rear wheel for 695- using Neuvation r440 alloy clincher (or I can upgrade to DT 465, or 585). I can also choose spoke count, Sapim race, laser, or aero spokes, and brass or alloy nipples. I would also build a front wheel to match at the same time, using a white ind. hub (and choice of spokes and nipples). Wheel set cost would be about 950 (and i'd have to buy a Joule). So, at end of day, pricing would end up being about the same..

    Now, I'm 6'4" 180lbs, a pretty big guy. Currently on 2011 Mavic Aksiums. I like the simplicity/ease of ordering the bundle from excel and getting the powertraining underway. But, I also like the idea of a lighter, more capable wheelset that I could tailor to my needs. I'd like to have a light/stiff wheelset that can take training and also do ok to race on. If this is the better way to go, I'd really appreciate some advice on what you experienced builders would reccomend for the wheelset build, front a rear:

    Rim choice (Neuvation, or spend more for DT swiss 465, 585)
    Spoke Count (front and rear)
    Spoke Choice (Sapim race, laser, aero. Drive side and non)
    Nipples (alloy or brass)

    I'd really appreciate some advice- as I'd like to get it right the first time

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The SL+ and Joule are cheap now... 2011 closeouts. You could go full custom with CX-Rays for just a little more from pretty much anyone.

  3. #3
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    Neuvation uses a Kinlin rim. So they are fairly strong. If you chose a 32-spoke Neuvation rim with the powertap, it would be a very strong wheel.

    Oh, and choose RACE spokes, not laser for the rear wheel. I think Lasers are pretty thin, especially for a driveside spoke.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replys.

    So, 32 spoke rear Neuvation R440, with Sapim Race on both sides...Strong enough for everyday use, and still a nice upgrade over my Aksium in stiffness (and 'raceworthiness')?

    As far as front- Sapim lasers? How about spoke count?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    The neuvation deal allows you to pick your fav computer if you don't want the joule. So if you have a garmin, you can use that instead.

    I've never used the joule, but have read good reviews on it. Some may prefer a garmin over it though.

  6. #6
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    I think I'm pretty set on the Joule. They have a new one coming out (but when?) that is smaller and much cheaper (but same functionality as the 2.0). The lack of GPS sucks, but I love the data fields that the Joule can display (rolling TSS, etc). I'll prob use my garmin 305 watch for GPS functionality.
    Problem is, when you buy the Joule separate, the price is much higher. Still hunting for a good deal...

  7. #7
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    You can run 24 spokes on the front wheel with CX-Rays and have a great wheel. Fronts don't take nearly the abuse that the rear does. In fact, the standard factory Neuvation wheels are 20 front/24 rear and those get good reviews for durability.

  8. #8
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    Great advice, thanks.

    Are the X-rays worth doing on the rear too (in 32h)? How are they, as far as stiffness goes, compared to the race?

  9. #9
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    CX-Rays are strong spokes as well as aero. I think there is very little aero benefit from the spokes on a rear wheel, but you would still have a strong spoke.

  10. #10
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    Cool. Neuvation is offering a 10% discount ontop of everything also, so I'm thinking of doing the xrays to take advantage of the savings...
    How about nipples- alloy vs brass?
    I'm guessing alloy is lighter but more 'fragile'?

  11. #11
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    Brass for rear drive side at least. Alloy is lighter, but more fragile. Probably best for a front wheel.

  12. #12
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    Sounds good. Thanks for your advice.
    Ok, as far as rear. Is there any reason I should consider a 28h over 32h? How much of a difference is there as far as stiffness, durability, and weight between the two configurations?

  13. #13
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    Just got mine in the mail

    I went with a 32 hole as I am around 200lbs and will use this as a training wheel and want it to be durable. If you use cx-rays, I think a 28h would be fine (IMO). Stiffness also depends on rim selected too.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Nice! what rim/spokes did you go with? How quick was it from ordering to recieving?

  15. #15
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    Went with the generic neuvation rim (heard it's manufactured by kinlin). Spokes were sapim lasers, meant to go with the race but :shrugs:

    I ordered on Friday Oct 7th (late Friday afternoon, so essentially on Monday), processed Oct 11th, charged thee next day. Received on Oct 18th. Pretty darn good IMO, especially since it had to go through Canadian customs. I only had to pay a handling fee from Canada post (5$).

    Just did a quick look-over and the wheel is nice and true lat/vert and each nipple has been greased. So far looks like a solid build. 2 skewers were included.

    Edit* weight is 990-1000 grams on my alpine scale, w/o skewer/rimstrip
    Last edited by pcs2; 10-18-2011 at 12:01 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfend View Post
    Brass for rear drive side at least.
    My understanding is that the PowerTap hub applies the torque through the non-drive side, so wouldn't you reverse that recommendation?
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-HY View Post
    I think I'm pretty set on the Joule. They have a new one coming out (but when?) that is smaller and much cheaper (but same functionality as the 2.0). The lack of GPS sucks, but I love the data fields that the Joule can display (rolling TSS, etc). I'll prob use my garmin 305 watch for GPS functionality.
    Problem is, when you buy the Joule separate, the price is much higher. Still hunting for a good deal...
    Apparently the power based metrics, such as TSS, will be coming to the Edge 500/800 with a firmware update. Garmin are doing this prior to the launch of Vector, but these will be available with any ANT+ power meter.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  18. #18
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    oh really? any word on the release date of the firmware update??

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukbloke View Post
    My understanding is that the PowerTap hub applies the torque through the non-drive side, so wouldn't you reverse that recommendation?
    It's the spoke angle on a rear wheel because of the dish of the wheel. 10/11 speed hubs have such a steep dish that the spokes on the drive side are almost vertical. So a stronger spoke on this side keeps the flexing down. Or that's my understanding of the principal behind it. A veteran wheelbuilder could probably elaborate.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-HY View Post
    oh really? any word on the release date of the firmware update??
    The latest update is here. Based on previous experiences, my guess is that we'll get the update in time for Christmas.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfend View Post
    It's the spoke angle on a rear wheel because of the dish of the wheel. 10/11 speed hubs have such a steep dish that the spokes on the drive side are almost vertical. So a stronger spoke on this side keeps the flexing down. Or that's my understanding of the principal behind it. A veteran wheelbuilder could probably elaborate.
    Interesting, thanks!
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  22. #22
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    The DS spokes have a higher tension due to wheel dish. Typically the NDS is about 50% of the DS. So you put the stronger nipples on that side.

    You can also use thicker spokes on the DS. I.e. Sapim race vs laser or cx-ray. That will add some lateral stiffness to the wheel.

  23. #23
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    I'm in on the Neuvation deal too! I had been considering Vector (before they announced pricing), and then started saving up for a Quarq. But this is more than a $1000 cheaper than the Quarq, and too good a deal to turn down. Finally, I can retire my old faithful wired PowerTap/OpenPro wheel.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

    "I think," said Christopher Robin, "that we ought to eat all our Provisions now, so that we shan't have so much to carry.", Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne.

  24. #24
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    Just put the order through, thanks to the advice of you guys. I went with a rear wheel only (I'll get the front in time for spring- settling on a house and getting married before then so things are a bit 'tight'). Went with: the Neuvation R440 alloy clincher in black, 28h Powertap SL+ hub, Sapim CX-ray's in black with black nipples (brass DS, alloy NDS). Figured this build should be a nice all around wheel, stiffer (and maybe lighter) than my Aksium, and still durable (hopefully). Total shipped was about $680. I'm stoked. I was going to do the 32h, but it sounds like the 28h should be sufficient with the CX rays. I also though this would leave the possibility to lace the wheel into a deep carbon clincher in the future (which typically aren't available in 32h).

    Also, just found and bought a used Joule 2.0 for 99 bucks.. That should get me going nicely. I figure I'll re-evaluate the head unit market when the firmware update hits for the Garmin line, and when the new Cycleops Joule line hits.

    I'm ecstatic to (hopefully) be training with power for ~780, with a nice new wheel. Thanks everyone for your advice, this saved me nearly $250 over the pre-built cycle ops wheel package that I was about to buy, and should be a better wheel for my needs.

    I'll post pics and weight when the wheel shows up..
    Thanks again!

  25. #25
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    Nice job, joule for 99$? Score.

    ebay?

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