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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I might be able to get my hands on a hand-built carbon clincher wheelset at a great price, but there's only one problem. I'm around 200lbs, and the wheelset is 20/24 with CX-Ray spokes. I would highly prefer a higher spoke count, but I don't know if the spoke quality makes up for it at all. Unfortunately that build is my only option. What do you guys think, should I do it? How strong are CX-Rays?
 

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A wheelist
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CX-Rays are plenty "strong" for any application. Spokes are rarely subjected to any force strong enough to break them in tension. Whether the wheels are stiff enough for you and your needs should be the issue. Less spokes mean each spoke does more work and the potential for metal fatigue is greater. Plus, a wheel with less spokes goes more out of true if a spoke breaks.

You should be considering the benefit of less spokes (makes you faster; availability, cost etc) and the downsides. Are the trade-offs and benefits worth it for you level of riding? They're not for mine as I'm just an average cyclist and I only weigh 175lbs.

YNMV!
 

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Whether these wheels can support you, it really depends on how well they are built and quality of the rims and hubs. Good hubs, like Chris King and White Industries, have solid designs (wide flanges) and parts (bearings, panels). Quality rims like Enve, Zipp and Reynolds have strength and stiffness in the appropriate areas.

If you are dealing with unknown or generic parts, you taking an expensive chance. Plus a wheel failure while riding could cause you to have a serious injury.

In the end, you will probably pay less in the long run by buying quality factory wheels or having a well known wheel builder build a set.

"The stingy man often pays more."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All good points guys. These are from a wheelbuilder who is giving me a deal because of an error with my original order of 20/28 Hed Belgium's. They are definitely legit, and I hear about them from this forum actually.

They would be built with Novatec hubs, which I havent seen a lot of detail on honestly.
 

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A wheelist
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All good points guys. These are from a wheelbuilder who is giving me a deal because of an error with my original order of 20/28 Hed Belgium's. They are definitely legit, and I hear about them from this forum actually.
They would be built with Novatec hubs, which I havent seen a lot of detail on honestly.
You'll probably do just fine but you'd do more finer on more spokes. There ain't no free lunch. That's it!
 

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The radial strentgh of the wheel should be fine for your weight if the rim is 45mm wide or larger.

The lateral strenght though is a different story as it is also dependent on your power output and cycling style. Typically, 24 spokes is the absolute minimum to keep the rear wheel from rubbing the pads as the rim "overpowers" the spokes and the whole wheel moves laterally from the point of road contact at one plane. The remedy is either using heavier ga. spokes or preferably adding more spokes. 28 spokes is a much safer bet.

My guess is that if you generate around 400 watts and dont overly tilt the bike, chances are you may be ok with a 45mm 20x24 (if indeed the rim is 45mm). Of course, this does not include longevity, durability and the like although noone should be getting carbon wheels if longevity and durability are in the cards.
 

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Also carbon rims really only bestow a benefit if they are deep (>30mm) and you are riding over 20 mph. Deep carbon offer a weight benefit over deep allow wheels.

But low profile carbon versus alloy is a toss up. No weight benefit and allow wheels will brake better in all weather conditions. HED and DT alloy rims would build into a nice lightweight and reliable wheelset.

The Novatec hubs are fine. Not on par with CK or WI hubs but make a good wheelset.
 

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All good points guys. These are from a wheelbuilder who is giving me a deal because of an error with my original order of 20/28 Hed Belgium's. They are definitely legit, and I hear about them from this forum actually.

They would be built with Novatec hubs, which I havent seen a lot of detail on honestly.
A deal isn't a deal if you can't benefit from them. I don't know what type of riding you do and what your goals would be but chances are pretty good you already have everything you need with the 20/28 Heds (although 20 in the front it pretty low) and wouldn't benefit from deep carbon clinchers. It never hurts to have a backup though I suppose.

Anyway, riding style, components (not just spokes) and build quality are huge factors. Personally if I was 200 I wouldn't ride 20/24 but it's anyone's guess if you'd get away with it.
 

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Cooper1960
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I'm not sure why you would back off what you originally wanted? What kind of "error" can there be?

I obviously don't know the builder but when I see these kinds of scenarios where one thing is being supplied in place of something else my gut instinct is to question why. I would be worried the builder is offering you a great "deal" on something he already has in stock. It doesn't matter if it's right for you or what you wanted, it's what he has to get rid of.

I say stick to your original purchase.
 

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I'm not sure why you would back off what you originally wanted? What kind of "error" can there be?

I obviously don't know the builder but when I see these kinds of scenarios where one thing is being supplied in place of something else my gut instinct is to question why. I would be worried the builder is offering you a great "deal" on something he already has in stock. It doesn't matter if it's right for you or what you wanted, it's what he has to get rid of.

I say stick to your original purchase.
oh, if that's the case then my post is N/A. I was thinking he got those wheels but the builder is trying to make up for giving him a run-around or something like that so offering a deal on another set.
But I don't know that and you could be correct.
 

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Cooper1960
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oh, if that's the case then my post is N/A. I was thinking he got those wheels but the builder is trying to make up for giving him a run-around or something like that so offering a deal on another set.
But I don't know that and you could be correct.
You could be right about this being a second set of wheels, I didn't get that impression though.

Another thing that doesn't make sense to me is the OP said "Unfortunately that build is my only option". Again that sounds like he's being leveraged into buying something that isn't meeting his needs but something someone is trying to clear out of their inventory. When the OP said "hand built" my first thought is he was dealing directly with a wheel builder, but after re reading I don't think that's the case. What reputable builder would tell a guy this great "deal" I'm offering you is your only build option?

Would the wheels work? Possibly. But if they don't what's his recourse?

OP give us more details. What was the "error" that prevented you from getting the Heds and where are you getting these wheels from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So the deal with the deal is this.. There was simply a communication error between me and them which lead to an unusually long turnaround on my original wheels. They said they could send me a better build that was already done, or I could wait longer for my original ones. The better wheelset would be the carbon clinchers instead of the HEDs.

After reading the advice here I decided that although appealing, the carbon ones could be less reliable, and the gains are mostly outside of my average speed of that's 17-18mph. Therefore I am gonna stick with the HEDs, which are a major upgrade as-is. I am going to ask for 24/28 over my original order of 20/28 though. I've been riding 18-20 spoke front wheels for years without issue, but if I get to choose, why not ensure that they're solid for years more to come.
 

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A wheelist
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After reading the advice here I decided that although appealing, the carbon ones could be less reliable, and the gains are mostly outside of my average speed of that's 17-18mph. Therefore I am gonna stick with the HEDs, which are a major upgrade as-is. I am going to ask for 24/28 over my original order of 20/28 though. I've been riding 18-20 spoke front wheels for years without issue, but if I get to choose, why not ensure that they're solid for years more to come.
A very wise decision. You won't regret it.
 

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So the deal with the deal is this.. There was simply a communication error between me and them which lead to an unusually long turnaround on my original wheels. They said they could send me a better build that was already done, or I could wait longer for my original ones. The better wheelset would be the carbon clinchers instead of the HEDs.

After reading the advice here I decided that although appealing, the carbon ones could be less reliable, and the gains are mostly outside of my average speed of that's 17-18mph. Therefore I am gonna stick with the HEDs, which are a major upgrade as-is. I am going to ask for 24/28 over my original order of 20/28 though. I've been riding 18-20 spoke front wheels for years without issue, but if I get to choose, why not ensure that they're solid for years more to come.
Smart move.
I'm about 145 pounds and have H Plus Son rims (pretty much the same as those Heds) with 20/24 and another set with 24/28. I don't notice any difference at all in speed, performance, or anything. Sure, the 20/24 have been fine but the 24/28 have been just as fine with not trade-off so why not play is safe.

edit: And I've tried, but never owned, some high $$ deep carbon rims. I can't say I wasn't faster because I didn't do any scientific measuring but there was definitely nothing there that made me feel faster or in anyway enhanced my riding. I'd say you're definitely making the right move here.
 

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After reading the advice here I decided that although appealing, the carbon ones could be less reliable, and the gains are mostly outside of my average speed of that's 17-18mph. Therefore I am gonna stick with the HEDs, which are a major upgrade as-is. I am going to ask for 24/28 over my original order of 20/28 though. I've been riding 18-20 spoke front wheels for years without issue, but if I get to choose, why not ensure that they're solid for years more to come.
Very good choice. You won't regret it.
 

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edit: And I've tried, but never owned, some high $$ deep carbon rims. I can't say I wasn't faster because I didn't do any scientific measuring but there was definitely nothing there that made me feel faster or in anyway enhanced my riding. I'd say you're definitely making the right move here.
There's really no "free speed" if you are not riding over 20mph. You can really feel it when pacelining/drafting- I don't have to pedal and often have to slowdown by tapping the rear brake or drifting out of line to use the wind to slow
 
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