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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I recently built a light set of 24 spoke wheels for a guy to mount road tires on his CX bike. I am wondering if 24 spokes are enough for CX in gravel?

I built the front wheel with a standard 24 spoke disc hub laced 2x, and the rear wheel I laced 16:8 on a 32H hub. I am very pleased with the rear wheel, as the tension is almost exactly the same on all spokes on both sides.

I am a little concerned about the front wheel, because the 12 spokes on the right are only 70% of the tension recommended. The next 24 spoke disc wheel I build is going to be laced 16:8.

But what do you think, are 24 spokes enough for gravel and CX? I am thinking about building some more with both wheels laced 16:8 and using Alpha 400 or Iron Cross rims, or Pacenti SL25.

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I weigh 145-150 and would not consider it especially with those rims. Whether I "could" or not isn't really the question. What I'd get in return for taking the chance is. And the answer to that is; Nothing.
 

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I'm no expert but I wouldn't recommend a 24 hole build for cyclocross unless you are using a carbon rim. Or.... I guess a very strong alloy rim which defeats the (apparent) purpose of lighter wheels.
Most gravel rides aren't as much of a challenge to wheels but still wouldn't do it.
 

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As I said, I am no expert, but my current CX race wheels are 28 hole, 2x, 35mm carbon tubulars. My spare setup are 32 hole, 3x, American Classic Disc 101's.
I am 170 lbs. I can't speak to 16:8 wheels as I have no experience, although 8 spokes on the disc brake side of a wheel would concern me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
although 8 spokes on the disc brake side of a wheel would concern me.
You know both sides of the hub rotate with exactly the same speed and torque? The front wheel of a 16:8 would have 16 on the disk side, but the location of the disk or cogs really has nothing to do with it. The reason is for the dish and spoke tension.

The 28 spoke wheel has only 14 high-tension spokes, laced 2x. Those 14 spokes carry most of the weight. Every other spoke is only carrying 70-75% of the tension. 32 spoke wheels and 16:8 spoke wheels both have the shallow side with 16 spokes laced 3x.

On the 16:8 wheel, the rim is supported equally by all 24 spokes instead of most of the weight on only 14 spokes. It's got both more fully-tensioned spokes and more drive-side spokes.
 

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24h is almost commonplace for disc road & cx wheels now. As long as you haven't gone for spokes that are too light, these should be ok.

I'm 170 and running Bontrager Affinity disc wheels on my cx bike with no issues and don't anticipate any.
 

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Really has to do with how stiff the rim is. The stiffer the rim the fewer spokes, spoke diameter means next to nothing. On a taller section carbon rim I wouldn't worry regardless of the riders weight, on those rims which are notoriously "soft" i'd be concerned for anyone but light smooth guys. My go too race tubulars for the last few years are 50mm carbon rims with 20/24 spokes and they have been comedically bulletproof.
 

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Really has to do with how stiff the rim is.
I completely agree. I built a set of 24/28 wheels w/ some very light American Classic alloy rims. They've held up okay to CX racing, training, and gravel rides, but require more truing and are a little flexy. I have another set of HED Belgium rims that are only 18/24 that stay true better and feel stiffer in the corners. The stiffness of the rim is a big part of the equation.
 

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Plus, don't forget that with cx or gravel tires, you're absorbing MUCH more of the abuse in the tire rather than with the rim as on high pressure road tires. In the last year or so, I built two CX/Everything wheelsets, one for a close friend, one for myself. I went 24/28 with both of them, and although we both tend to ride light, we're certainly not babying them either. I agree that HED's Belgium rim is hard to beat, if you can afford the premium. I have that rim on my road wheelset and they have been perfect. For the CX wheels, I built one with H+Son Archetype rims, and the other with DT Swiss R460 (for the tubeless compatibility). No trouble with either so far, and none expected.

BUT...I choose my rims carefully, taking weight and strength into consideration. I wouldn't expect a light weight stans rim to be as trustworthy, which is why they weren't even on my radar with either build.

-Jeremy
 

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I have a set of Nox A36D with 24 hole 240's up front. I ride my gravel bike like a hardtail. No issues so far. Plenty stiff.
 

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So lets throw another wrench in the works. I have a Crux with SCS and it seems that all the Roval/Axis wheels that fit it are 24 spoke. Hope SCS hubs, the only aftermarket option, are also 24 spoke and straight pull which is apparently not great for CX, even though SCS is mainly on CX and gravel bikes... I also weigh around 200lb and am a fairly aggressive rider, so clearly I need a strong wheel.

The bike came with Axis 4.0 wheels that are 24 spoke and may already be pinging with loose spokes after 4 races and a few gravel rides. I like the rims which are 21mm internal width and tubeless compatible. Is there any way to make the wheels stronger? If I laced up the factory hub to something like a Stan's Grail rim, would that provide enough stiffness to make up for the lack of spokes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
So lets throw another wrench in the works. I have a Crux with SCS and it seems that all the Roval/Axis wheels that fit it are 24 spoke. Hope SCS hubs, the only aftermarket option, are also 24 spoke and straight pull which is apparently not great for CX, even though SCS is mainly on CX and gravel bikes... I also weigh around 200lb and am a fairly aggressive rider, so clearly I need a strong wheel.
This might be what you need. It's a narrow chainline hub available with 32 holes and 12x135 axle. It could be laced with 32 spokes or use the rim you have with 16 drive-side spokes to equalize the tension.

Hubs-BDop R135-11
 
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