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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has probably been gone over and over, and I did several searches, but I still hav'nt found what I'm looking for.

What I'm after is a light, stiff, and readily repairable race wheelset; my target weight ~ 1200 grams or less. I want to go tubular, both for weight savings and handling. I am 135 lbs at race weight and race mainly Crits and road races, Cat 4 currently. It seems that most offerings are 32 hole, and thats pretty standard, so I will stick with that. I'll probably just do a standard 3 cross pattern since I know how to lace that, its laterally stiff, and I have had good luck with it in the past. Crosswinds are a definate issue where I ride, and since when racing I'm in a peloton, aerodynamics are going to take a back seat to weight savings and reliability in this case, these are not to be TT wheels.

Rim Choices: I have been considering Mavic Reflex rims; they are light but may have issues with cracking? Kinlin is another option but I don't know much about them currently or the model I would want. I pretty much have ruled out the Velocity as being too heavy. I want something that is light, has a machined brake track, and is reasonably durable. I don't want anything carbon fiber, the purpose of the wheelset is to be crash repairable and reasonably economical. Are there any others I'm missing? I'd like to keep the rim weight under 350 grams and the price under $100. each.

Hubs: This is where I have the most uncertainty. I want something both light and that rolls like my Fulcrum 3 hubs (or better) with cartridge bearings. I considered Dura-Ace but they are expensive and not all that light like the DT 240s hubs. The 240s's also are on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for and race wheels need to roll well. I would not want to go any more expensive than the DT"s but am open to other options as long as they don't use proprietary spokes. The rear has to be Shimano 10 speed compatable and have a reliable freehub body.

Spokes: DT, Sapim, whatever... I'll probaly use 14 / 15 / 14 triple butted round spokes with alloy nipples. My current bladed spoke wheels pitch me around pretty badly in crosswinds so I don't think I want bladed spokes for this build and don't want to have to have any hubs holes notched. I want to use standard J bend stainless steel spokes.

I plan to build these up myself, I have the know how and the patience and it is also a matter of pride with me to "do things myself". I'm looking for suggestions, tips, opinions or advice. Ideally, I will get another set of "wheel system" carbon deep V wheels later next year for non-windy road races, but for now I see the most practicallity in a somewhat cheap, easily fixable, set of alloy tubulars.

Thanks in advance. :)
 

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desertdude70 said:
My current bladed spoke wheels pitch me around pretty badly in crosswinds so I don't think I want bladed spokes for this build and don't want to have to have any hubs holes notched. I want to use standard J bend stainless steel spokes.
Sapim CX-Ray aero spokes don't need slotted spoke holes and of course they are j-bend.
 

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Mavic Reflex = 375gr
Velocity Escape = 390gr - mine came in a little lighter at around 380gr
KinLin TB-25 = 440gr

64 DT Swiss rev. spokes and nips = ~296gr

That leaves you with around 200gr for your hubs to be close to your 1200gr mark.

Just something to think about, 32 spoke reflex rims with a 200gr hubset and 32 spoke reflex rims with a 400gr hubset are going to spin up/feel the same when you ride them. Since the rim weight is not changing.
 

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you'll need DT Comp on the rear wheel DS.

I built mine with Revos all around and changed the DS later on

DA Hubs, 32h
GP4 rims, 32h
DT Revos/DT Comp DS

Total weight is 1576gr for set
 

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In order to hit that target weight, you are going to have to be super picky with the components, and light very rarely comes cheap. However, as others have eluded to, if you buy that rotational weight, not static weight is the real determining factor of how a wheelset will perform, then hub weight is pretty much a non-issue. Get the lightest rims you can find that fit your needs. Look at some of the Ambrosio stuff in addition to your current selection. You also might find some older tub rims to be lighter than their modern counterparts, these are pretty rampant on Ebay. Choose your spoke count and specs wisely (Salsa's beefier DS suggestion is a good one I think) and get some hubs with the widest flange spacing you can afford (this will make a stiffer wheel compared to a narrower spacing).

Just to give you some ideas, Echappe Equipment has a Velocity Escape build that is pretty light. But they ain't cheap and obviously most of the weight savings are coming from hub, spoke count and spoke spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
krisdrum said:
In order to hit that target weight, you are going to have to be super picky with the components, and light very rarely comes cheap. However, as others have eluded to, if you buy that rotational weight, not static weight is the real determining factor of how a wheelset will perform, then hub weight is pretty much a non-issue. Get the lightest rims you can find that fit your needs. Look at some of the Ambrosio stuff in addition to your current selection. You also might find some older tub rims to be lighter than their modern counterparts, these are pretty rampant on Ebay. Choose your spoke count and specs wisely (Salsa's beefier DS suggestion is a good one I think) and get some hubs with the widest flange spacing you can afford (this will make a stiffer wheel compared to a narrower spacing).

Just to give you some ideas, Echappe Equipment has a Velocity Escape build that is pretty light. But they ain't cheap and obviously most of the weight savings are coming from hub, spoke count and spoke spec.
You make some very good points; I would most certainly think that at my light rider weight I do not need 32 spoke wheels. I used to ride Mavic GEL 280's back in the late 1980's without issue. The only problem with those now is that even if I could find some I want this set of wheels to be made of readily available components. I don't crash often, but the concept is that if/ when I do crash wheel damage is not a costly or time consuming ordeal. In a worst case scenario I can re-lace a new rim and be good to go for less than a $100. and a couple hours time. Unlike damaging a "wheel system" wheel where you send it back to the manufacturer, wait weeks or months, then get charged $300+++ for the repair.

The issue is that rims such as the Reflex only come drilled 32 or 36. Maybe the slightly heavier Velocity with a 24 front / 28 hole rear done 3 cross, with 2.0 x 1.8 x 2.0 spokes on the drive side and lighter spokes everywhere else would come in lighter than the Reflex's just based on the fewer spoke count? I think a spoke is about 3 - 5 grams each, depending on the spoke, That would save maybe 50 grams total in spoke weight, I'm not sure how it would affect stiffness and strength but as mentioned I only weigh 135 lbs and am no Cavendish sprinter. However, the difference in weight from the Reflex over the Velocity is only about 30 grams, so that would net a total wheelset savings of only ~ 20 grams... not that big of a deal really, especially if some strength and stiffness are sacrificed.

Thanks for the reply, it is much food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QuattroCreep said:
Mavic Reflex = 375gr
Velocity Escape = 390gr - mine came in a little lighter at around 380gr
KinLin TB-25 = 440gr

64 DT Swiss rev. spokes and nips = ~296gr

That leaves you with around 200gr for your hubs to be close to your 1200gr mark.

Just something to think about, 32 spoke reflex rims with a 200gr hubset and 32 spoke reflex rims with a 400gr hubset are going to spin up/feel the same when you ride them. Since the rim weight is not changing.
You too make a good point, rim and tire weight are more responsible for a "quick feeling" than the hubset. I really like how the modern cartridge bearing hubs roll compared to the old Campy or Dura Ace cup, ball, heavy grease and seal style of decades past. My Fulcrum 3 hubs or Kysyrium hubs spin remarkably well for what they are. I don't know of any 200 gram hubsets, but like you mentioned they would'nt be cheap. The DT 240s set is listed as 108 grams for the front and 222 gr. for the rear.
 

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"What I'm after is a light, stiff, and readily repairable race wheelset;"

DA 28 hole hubs.
Reflex 28 hole rims
15/16 2X front
14/15 3X rear

Vittoria CX or Veloflex......or maybe Comps.

If this is your first wheel build, you will have trouble in the future with the rear.
 

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I don't care for "cartridge bearing" hubs, but the F20's are fine. Same for the Sapim's.

All my race wheels are built with either GL330's or Wolbers. I bought a dozen, when shops were closing them out, because of the "New & Improved" machined rims. I think that I paid $20 ea for them.

I saw a website that was selling NOS GL330's, and they were asking "crazy" high prices for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Grumpy I used to train on GL330's, raced on GEL 280's... back in the day.

I've narrowed things down a bit, heres what I think will be the best choice to accomplish this goal:

American Classic Hubs; front = 58 g. / rear = 205 g. ~ $350.

Velocity Escape rims; 24 hole front / 28 hole rear = ~ 285 grams each cost ~ $65. average

CX Ray spokes or maybe Sapim Laser's; both have about the same weight but the Lasers are cheaper. If going with the Laser's (2. x 1.5 x 2.0) I'd use Sapim Race (2. x 1.8 x 2.) on the drive side and Laser's on the front and non-drive rear. ~ 226 grams for 52 spokes, ~ $130. for CX Rays.

Alloy nipples; ~ 20 grams / $ 20.

According to my on paper, theoretical calculations I'd end up with a wheelset that would be near 1250 grams and would cost approximately. $630.

I'd lace the front 2 cross and the rear 3 cross on the drive side and 2 cross on the non-drive side rear. If using standard round spokes I'd use a heavier guage on the rear drive side. My only real concern is will a 24 spoke front and a 28 spoke rear be strong enough for me. I never had an issue running 28 spoke GEL 280's when I was a Junior and I feel that pretty much every thing I ride is over built for me, Im not a power sprinter, I don't jump curbs, and I currently weigh 135 lbs. However, these wheels will be used extensively in Crits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MR_GRUMPY said:
"

If this is your first wheel build, you will have trouble in the future with the rear.
Why? I've built wheels before but I would not call myself a "master wheelsmith" like many seem to do. Most of what I've built were somewhat standard 3 cross road or mtn bike wheels. I never needed a spoke tensioner, just lace them, pull the spokes up even, tension by feel, true, and ride. Never had any issues in the past.

However, the type of wheel I'm comtemplating here I'd most likely spring for a Park spoke tension tool, just for peace of mind and so I could shut down people on Sunday morning rides who tell me my wheels are going to fall apart because I don't know exactly what they are tensioned to. Is there something here that I am missing?
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
I don't care for "cartridge bearing" hubs, but the F20's are fine. Same for the Sapim's.

All my race wheels are built with either GL330's or Wolbers. I bought a dozen, when shops were closing them out, because of the "New & Improved" machined rims. I think that I paid $20 ea for them.

I saw a website that was selling NOS GL330's, and they were asking "crazy" high prices for them.
I used some 28/28 GEL280's on Record hubs a while back. I'm quite heavy and kept pulling the rear out of true as I'd used the lightest Sapim's I could find. No problem up front. I had the rear relaced with heavier spokes and no probs, they're a very light/cheap wheelset.

I've got some GP4's I'm itching to lace to modern hubs. I'd love to find some 330's and CX18's, love those old school rims.

Haven't seen aWolber or Assos rim for ages. Nice to see old school rims still being used. I was going to get some fancy light modern hubs fer me 28 hole GP4's, mebe Tune and go Sapim CX Ray, wonder what they would weigh? 1400g or so I'd guess.
 

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desertdude70 said:
Grumpy I used to train on GL330's, raced on GEL 280's... back in the day.

I've narrowed things down a bit, heres what I think will be the best choice to accomplish this goal:

American Classic Hubs; front = 58 g. / rear = 205 g. ~ $350.

Velocity Escape rims; 24 hole front / 28 hole rear = ~ 285 grams each cost ~ $65. average

CX Ray spokes or maybe Sapim Laser's; both have about the same weight but the Lasers are cheaper. If going with the Laser's (2. x 1.5 x 2.0) I'd use Sapim Race (2. x 1.8 x 2.) on the drive side and Laser's on the front and non-drive rear. ~ 226 grams for 52 spokes, ~ $130. for CX Rays.

Alloy nipples; ~ 20 grams / $ 20.

According to my on paper, theoretical calculations I'd end up with a wheelset that would be near 1250 grams and would cost approximately. $630.

I'd lace the front 2 cross and the rear 3 cross on the drive side and 2 cross on the non-drive side rear. If using standard round spokes I'd use a heavier guage on the rear drive side. My only real concern is will a 24 spoke front and a 28 spoke rear be strong enough for me. I never had an issue running 28 spoke GEL 280's when I was a Junior and I feel that pretty much every thing I ride is over built for me, Im not a power sprinter, I don't jump curbs, and I currently weigh 135 lbs. However, these wheels will be used extensively in Crits.
See my note above. I'm 190lbs and on GEL280's, albeit with heavy spokes in the rear, and I'm fine on those so doubt you'd have problems on 24/28. I'm also on 18/24 Kinlin's and CX Ray's and again no probs.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
I don't care for "cartridge bearing" hubs, but the F20's are fine. Same for the Sapim's.

All my race wheels are built with either GL330's or Wolbers. I bought a dozen, when shops were closing them out, because of the "New & Improved" machined rims. I think that I paid $20 ea for them.

I saw a website that was selling NOS GL330's, and they were asking "crazy" high prices for them.
I just bought 8 pairs ( yes 16 rims ) GP4 36h for $100 the lot.

I also found a guy getting rid of 7800 36h hubs for $100 the pair.

incredible.

no demand for those on the market... everybody is looking to buy Ksyriums and Carbon wheels.

I will be building CycloX wheelsets to resell and for the friends with them
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Salsa_Lover said:
I just bought 8 pairs ( yes 16 rims ) GP4 36h for $100 the lot.

I also found a guy getting rid of 7800 36h hubs for $100 the pair.

incredible.

no demand for those on the market... everybody is looking to buy Ksyriums and Carbon wheels.

I will be building CycloX wheelsets to resell and for the friends with them
I rode GP4's back in the day too, good wheel for a clincher. I know what you mean about everyone wanting carbon wheel systems and I don't get it. Sure, I like them and all, they look cool and are lightweight and all but I still don't get the hype. Proprietary brake pads, downgraded braking performance in some cases, super expensive, and yes maybe a bit more aerodynamic for the Fred with a stack of 2 cm. spacers under his stem and riding the hoods exclusively. There are people in my area who train on carbon tubulars and then complain when they get a flat or damage a rim. Again, I don't get it, for real racing yes, for riding around on... not for me.

Another gripe of mine since were on the subject is that back in the 1990's and earlier virtually everything good was a handbuilt wheelset, there were no good "wheel systems". Any self respecting LBS could build decent wheels and most did just that. Nowadays anyone who knows a thing or two about building wheels is some "guru" complete with smoke, mirrors, etc. all the ready to convince people that there is some super secret trick to building a wheel. I don't get it. :D
 

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desertdude70 said:
I rode GP4's back in the day too, good wheel for a clincher. I know what you mean about everyone wanting carbon wheel systems and I don't get it. Sure, I like them and all, they look cool and are lightweight and all but I still don't get the hype. Proprietary brake pads, downgraded braking performance in some cases, super expensive, and yes maybe a bit more aerodynamic for the Fred with a stack of 2 cm. spacers under his stem and riding the hoods exclusively. There are people in my area who train on carbon tubulars and then complain when they get a flat or damage a rim. Again, I don't get it, for real racing yes, for riding around on... not for me.

Another gripe of mine since were on the subject is that back in the 1990's and earlier virtually everything good was a handbuilt wheelset, there were no good "wheel systems". Any self respecting LBS could build decent wheels and most did just that. Nowadays anyone who knows a thing or two about building wheels is some "guru" complete with smoke, mirrors, etc. all the ready to convince people that there is some super secret trick to building a wheel. I don't get it. :D
It's all advertising hype, marketing and the fact that "there's a sucker born every minute" isn't it? It can't be anything else as the boutique wheels bring no true improvements to the table.
 

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however, let me tell you a good carbon wheelset is no gimmick.

my 7850-C24-TU are simply great, makes accelerations off the saddle and climbing much easier.

True, you gain more speed on the flats by going on the drops and putting your back paralel to the floor than with a set of 50mm wheels and staying on the tops.

going uphill the lightness of those wheels are a lot of help.

but for most training and even racing situations a good set of GP4/DA/Revos is maybe all you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Salsa_Lover said:
however, let me tell you a good carbon wheelset is no gimmick.

my 7850-C24-TU are simply great, makes accelerations off the saddle and climbing much easier.

True, you gain more speed on the flats by going on the drops and putting your back paralel to the floor than with a set of 50mm wheels and staying on the tops.

going uphill the lightness of those wheels are a lot of help.

but for most training and even racing situations a good set of GP4/DA/Revos is maybe all you need.
Don't get me wrong, I still like the Zipp's and the similar wheel systems. I don't doubt that they are great wheelsets. However, I can't presently afford a $3000.+ set of wheels that may, or may not survive my next race depending solely on who decides to lean on who in front of me. If I was a pro, or rich, or both... sure why not? However, I will most likely never be either so I have make more practical decisions.
 
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