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With 11 speeds and up, are wheels going to be more and more weaker as far as non-drive tension)? Will wheels be durable enough? i noticed shimano is using triplet lacing.
 

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The non-drive tension doesn't have to be super low by moving to 11 speed. There are a couple options including not moving the non-drove side tension out as far. It'll result in a less stiff wheel laterally, but plenty of wheels have been built this way for a while.
As you move the non-drive side flange out further the stiffness of the wheel increases, but the tension of the non-drive side will lower. This is where having good drive side flange spacing is pretty important. With our new hub design we decided to go with a 131mm axle to "cheat" that drive side to the right another mm. 131mm will fit in every frame and it allowed us to do 17mm on c-ds and 38mm on c-nds. The tension balance is 44.7% which means if the drive side is at 125KgF the non drive side will be at ~56KgF. It's enough to keep spokes in tension as long as there is really good stress relieving done.

Triplet lacing will keep the non drive side spokes at a higher tension, but there is also a lot of load on a few number of spokes. If by chance a non drive side spoke breaks, don't plan on riding that wheel home as it will go way out of true. You also can't double cross the non drive side spokes with triplet so the transfer of torque from the hub to the rim isn't as great.

You probably will see a lot more wheels that have non drive side spokes slightly loosen due to lack of tension. . .or people will start using heavy locking agents to keep nipples in place. It really would have been nice if when Shimano went to 11 speed they would have just said "By the way, from now on everybody is doing 135mm spacing. . .deal with it." Road, cross, and mtb would all have the same spacing. Wheels would be stiffer, tension balance would be better, 20 dollar bills would rain from the sky every night.
 

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Do you think, though, that torque transfer from the NDS is significant anyway? Or that that higher tension on radial lacing or 1x NDS with triplet offsets very low tension with 2x? I would think that higher tension and better tension balance, aside from making the wheel more stiff laterally, would make it an overall more responsive wheel - torque transfer included.

Give it two years....Shimano and some of the major bike manufacturers will announce that 130 is obsolete and we're all going to have to upgrade.
 

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Do you think, though, that torque transfer from the NDS is significant anyway?
The split is around the 10%to 15% range. 85-90% from DS, 10-15% from NDS.


I would think that higher tension and better tension balance, aside from making the wheel more stiff laterally, would make it an overall more responsive wheel - torque transfer included.
Spoke tension does not significantly affect wheel stiffness. The left bracing angle, the spoke thickness and the rim do a much better job on that. I dont think higher tension plays a role on torsional rigidity either because the pushing spoke rigidity is counteracted by the pulling spoke rigidity, at least for the cross patterns. I know Brandt did some testing on that but I dont recall what the results where.

I believe wheel responsivenes is closer tied to the stiffness balance between rim and spokes than anything else.
 

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My question is, I saw Shimano had patents of up to 18 speed cassette (more or less). Would non-drive tension still be OK, or they'll move to 135mm hub?
You could put a 50 speed cassette in a 10s space if you could make the cogs and chain thin enough but given current technology there's no way you could do 18 in anything but 135 mm spacing.
 

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I currently have four wheels, all using the White Industries hubs. All were custom built by Richard of Prowheelbuilder.com.

Two are for 10-speed drivetrains (SRAM Red) and two are for 10-/11-speed drivetrains (Shimano 9070).

Normally I try not to be an early adopter but I decided last year that I just had to try the new Shimano 11-speed DI2 for my next custom bike...

My three training wheelsets all use HED. C2 clincher rims.

1) Decent city road training
Front wheel: WI MI5 hub, 28 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 2x, DT Swiss Prolock Hex nipples, Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG 24mm tire, Latex tubes
Rear wheel: WI MI5 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, DT Swiss Prolock Hex nipples, Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG 24c tire, Latex tubes

2) Seaside/Countryside
Front wheel: WI MI5 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced radial, brass nipples, Continental 4000s 25c tire, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.
Rear wheel: WI MI5 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, brass nipples, Continental 4000s 25c tire, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.

3) Countryside
Front wheel: WI T11 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, brass nipples, Vittoria Open Corsa CX 25c, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.
Rear wheel: WI T11 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, brass nipples, Vittoria Open Corsa CX 25c, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.


My climbing/fair day/indulgence/now favorite wheelset uses the ENVE 3.4 Tubular rims with Veloflex tires

4) Favorite
Front wheel: WI T11 hub, 20 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 2x, Veloflex Carbon Black 23c.
Rear wheel: WI T11 hub, 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 2x, Veloflex Arenberg 25c.

A bit about myself:

Well, I am fat at 195lbs, have ridden seriously for only 2-3 years, am a spinner/masher at an average cadence of 90-95 rpm, am 44 year old with a partially torn right ACL due to skiing, rarely get out of the saddle to pedal, do not produce massive watts with a FTP of about 175, and generally ride solo 80-100 km in 3-4 hours on both Saturday and Sundays as my exercise training rides. I try to do a solo centuries in 5-6 hours on coastal roads about once a month.

In the past year, I have ridden about 8000 km on one training wheel set for the 10-speed bike and another 2000 km on the other training wheel set for the other 10-speed powermeter bike, without any issues with the wheels and they have stayed true - and I have ridden on rough countryside roads and salt farm roads where the salt crystals have caused punctures.

So far, I have only ridden about 1000 km on my WI T11 wheel sets for the 11-speed DI2 bike and have not noticed any spoke-unwinding issues nor flexing issues - but that might be because I am fairly gentle on my wheels.

I was thinking about another wheelset for my 11-speed bike so, after reading this thread, I sent a couple of emails regarding hub selection to Richard of Prowheelbuilder.com, and a side email to Jason Woznick of Fairwheelbikes and to Wheelbuilder.com.

I would like to share excerpts of the email conversations:

________________________________

From John Olson of Wheelbuilder.com:

"The ORC-UL has been very delayed. We were supposed to get them in March, but have not really seen any. I would look the CK at this point because we really have no idea when the UL would be ready for builds. I find CK to be very reliable. I found the ELF to not be very durable for larger riders. They are finicky and I would not recommend them to riders over 165 pounds. Also they have some play in them and if you overclamp you can destroy the bearings."

From Jason Woznick of Fairwheelbikes (he is one of the authors of the FWB 11-speed hub review):

"I like both the Alchemy (Mark: ORC-UL) and the King (Mark: CK45), but would probably choose the King over the Alchemy. If the rim was not so stiff then there might be more of a difference but in this case the rim (Mark: ENVE 6.7) is so stiff that the hub really doesn’t matter all that much. I’d choose the durability/reliability of the King over the Alchemy.

I’d also recommend the DT240 over the King. The reason is that it has a better left/right tension ratio which helps keep non-drive spokes from going slack better than the King. You also get the same durability/reliability of the King, but with a hub that can be serviced at any shop in the country. Most shops do not have the proper tools to fully service a king hub."

From Richard at Prowheelbuiler.com:

"So my thoughts on White Industries versus Chris King, I have listed a pro’s and con’s list below for you to review. Please keep in mind that both are great hubs and although there are several differences none will be a huge difference in the next 5 to 6 years and both hubs can be kept in service well past 10 years (although the White Ind T11 will last longer).

White Ind Pro’s
Non proprietary bearings
Side load adjustable
Titanium driver body
Cromoly axle 15mm
Large Ball Bearings
Non shouldered axle design
Lowest drag driver mech.
Great value

White Ind Con’s
Heavy (29 grams over ck r45)
Set screw collet

Chris King Pro’s
Non radially loading driver mechanism
Side load adjustable (with threaded collet)
Quick engagement
Multiple color options
Light (29 grams lighter than wi t11)
Non shouldered axle design

Chris King Con’s
Very high drag driver mech.
Proprietary bearings ($45 each)
Proprietary tools needed for service.
Aluminum driver body.
Expensive

The article you reference (Mark: I referred him to the FWB 11-speed hub review) mostly speaks about flange diameter and placement. As I build with a lot of different hubs I have found that this makes far less of a difference than the article would have you believe. But that being said the T11 is better than the R45 in this as well however I would definitely (Mark sp) not let that be a concern. Hope this helps. Thank you."

I also sent an email to White Industries and got back the following emails. I am impressed with their level of customer service in their willingness to reply to an email - probably a bit biased but understandable:

From Lynette Toepfer of White Industries:

"I pulled up the blog (Mark: I referred them to the FWB 11-speed article) and read through it. As you were able to read there are a lot of challenges with the new 11 speed system that Shimano introduced and it has been a difficulty for all hub manufacturers. The bracing angle isn't going to be as good as with the ten speed cassette which is true, however, we have had the same offset for the Campy 11 speed hubs for the last two years with absolutely no problems so we are confident in the design. As far as comparing against the other manufacturers, I'll have to call Fairwheel on Monday to question them. The only other manufacture that has a compatible hub in production is DT with an 3.5mm vs our 3.3mm as reported by them. I'm not sure how they can compare the production hubs specifications against the other manufactures 11 speed hubs that have not been introduced or manufactured as if yet. It seems only fair that comparisons would be finished product to finished product. Like I said, I'll give them a call when I'm back in the office."

and

"I don't think I got back to you after receiving your follow up e-mail. Thank you for being such a supporter of our products. I’m delighted that you have been using our hubs in your wheels. Rich is a good guy and puts a lot of time and effort into his wheel builds.

A quick comment about the Campy 11 speed, while it is true that the largest cog cantilevers over the shell a bit, the offset still needed to be different for Campy vs Shimano (10 speed) for clearance reasons. This Campy configuration was even needed for our H2 model previous to the H3 so this same bracing angle has been in production for many years and we have never had one problem. We are confident in the integrity of the hub and wheel if properly laced."

_________________________________

Like I said, I am impressed with White Industries customer service and have used their hubs without any problems. I also like that she knew of Richard of Prowheelbuilder.com.

Well, all three builders sell more than one hub (CK45, WI T-11, and DT240, with only FWB having the ORC-UL now), so figure that asking all three might be able to get a combined. unbiased opinion. I do have a good history with Richard so I would tend to give him more credit - and he does probably build at least 1000 wheel sets a year.

I was originally pretty much set on choosing the CK45 hub for my 11-speed bike until the last email from Richard.

What do you all think?

Mark
 

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@MarkThailand

Selecting the best hub for the job is a compromise between the potential effect the hub geometry has on the wheel lateral stiffness and durability. Rim and spoke selection play a major role as well but for the purpose of this discussion let's assume they will be the of the same choice for either hub.

The following is the analysis I go through in deciding which hub to use.

................Tnds(kgf).........BAR......nds/ds deg.

T-11..........53.4................2.3.......7.6 / 3.2-----------40.5, 55 (16,38)

R45............59.4................2.1.......7.3 / 3.4-----------51 (17.1, 36.2)

DT 240........65.1...............1.9........6.5 /3.4-----------45 (16.9, 32.6)

The above values are calculated for 3x/3x lacing, 588 ERD and Tds=125 kgf for the rear hubs listed.

What these numbers show:

T-11 shows the largest NDS bracing angle and offers the greatest potential for higher lateral stiffness than the other two. However, its doing so at the expense of NDS tension. Lower NDS tension allows the spokes to be less resistant to heavier loads which, in turn, allows them to potentially slacken quicker and thus affect the wheel durability. An example of an applied heavier load would be when the wheel hits a pothole at speed.

The DT 240 shows the exact opposite. The lower NDS bracing angle potentially results to a flexier wheel but a wheel with substantially improved NDS tension.

The R45 happens to be in the middle between the two.


What is the effect:

T-11 and R45 offer comparable results. In my view, the T-11 favors the potential for a bit more stiffness and the R45 the potential for a bit more NDS tension. Some may argue that the R45 offers a somewhat more balanced compromise between stiffness and durability for the average rider.
IMO, the results on a properly built wheel with either of these hubs may be close enough for the hub resultant differences to be undetectable to the rider. However, and again IMO, a lower built quality wheel (one with unequalized tension or inadequate stress relief) may be quicker to suffer degradation when built with the T-11, especially when exposed to frequent higher loads (i.e very heavy rider on bad roads). In other words, the wheel built with the T-11 may arguably be less forgiving if less than optimum build conditions exist.

The DT 240 shows very good tension but, IMO, insufficient lateral stiffness capability for a heavy rider the likes of 240lbs. This does not mean that the wheel will disintegrate underneath such rider but shows a compromise that, in my preference, should not be taken when a custom wheel is built for such rider.
On the other hand, a lighter weight rider and especially one capable for up to moderate power output most probably will be perfectly fine with such hub.

It is important not to be tied down with the absolute numerical value of any of these numbers. You are estimating the effect they have in comparison to one another.

Lastly, the above has been my attempt to understand the theories behind what it takes to build a good wheel which I believe starts with the hub. Use it as you choose considering that no theory can totally compensate for the art involved with building these things which makes the wheel building so intriguing.
 

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Good info! Especially dcgriz and MarkThailand...

Might as well include Alchemy. Easily the lightest and the best build dimensions (18mm/38.5mm offsets). Very good tolerances... better than WI, though WI seems to have improved. New design, so reliability is unknown... but it is definitely easier to service than the old model.

Getting back to the original question, it isn't that you can't build a good wheel with 11spd dimensions... it's just that we are pushed further into the area of compromise. The wheel is going to be either weaker or heavier than if it had been built on a 10spd hub. So take your pick.

IMO one good change to make is the use of heavier DS spokes. It increases the radial load the wheel can take before the NDS spokes go slack. And yes, it'll be 15-20g heavier, but that's pretty trivial.
 

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The wheel is going to be either weaker or heavier than if it had been built on a 10spd hub. So take your pick.
This sums it up nicely.


IMO one good change to make is the use of heavier DS spokes. It increases the radial load the wheel can take before the NDS spokes go slack. And yes, it'll be 15-20g heavier, but that's pretty trivial.
Do you find there is an upper limit on spoke stiffness that if exceeded the results are counterproductive to the wheel durability?
Specifically, if a wheel was to be build with 14/15 ga. spokes on the non drive side and 14 ga. spokes on the drive side do you think the limited resiliency of the DS spokes would be counterproductive?
Would it be a safer bet, for a case like the above, to just increase the number of the 14/15 ga. spokes and keep them uniform on both sides?
Any ideas?
 

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I wouldn't use straight gauge spokes. You can buy 2.3/2.0 spokes... but I can't remember the last time I used those either.

I like to go to the thin side (and aero) unless the rider is just too heavy and needs a lot of thick spokes for lateral stiffness. And in that case you need a stout rim, too. Plus the stiffness of the rim (lateral, radial, and torsional) has a big effect on wheel lateral stiffness.

Note that the stiffness imparted by the spokes is proportional to the bracing angle squared. So if the NDS offset is pretty high, you can use light spokes and still get good lateral stiffness.

IMO though, lateral stiffness is less important than keeping tension in the spokes. It's one of those deals where "stiff enough" is fine and there is no benefit to making it stiffer. It isn't problematic unless the lateral flex gets pretty bad. If spokes lose tension, the lateral stiffness drops very quickly... and I think this is often what riders are encountering when they say a wheel isn't stiff enough.

When the Pillar Megas and CX-Supers came out I thought we'd have good spokes for dealing with 11spd hubs, but they are very expensive and hard to get. I don't like that the Supers are 1.8mm on the ends either.

But DT Aero Comps are readily available, and they do not require slotting, so I use them on the DS of most builds, with CX-Rays on the NDS and front.

Sort of rambling... not sure if I've answered your question... but I always increase the number of spokes before I increase the stiffness/size of the spokes.
 

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... not sure if I've answered your question... but I always increase the number of spokes before I increase the stiffness/size of the spokes.
You did....thanks....I needed to reaffirm my belief.
 
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