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i love desk! i love lamp!
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Hi Wizards,

So I've decided to flip the K elites that will be coming on my new bike, and instead, will have a set of race wheels built up.

Front:

DT RR1.1, 240s hubs, 2x 28 hole, alloy nipples

Rear:

DT RR1.1, 240s hubs, 3x 28 hole, alloy nipples/brass on drive side.

Now I have a few spoke choices: cx-rays, dt aerolites, dt revo's, and dt comps.

My race weight is around 135ish, so I'm a lightweight, but I'm also a sprinter and can wind it up pretty good. (Yes, i can see you rolling your eyes right now. Sounds like an oxymoron, but somehow it's possible). These will split racing duties with another set of tilium carbons that I have.

Because I have a relatively aero wheelset already, I'm wondering whether spending the extra $$$ on the cx-rays/aerolites are worth it. Ideally, I'm looking for a laterally stiff and lightweight wheelset (under 1500g) that won't leave me dnf'ing and will stand up to the occasional pothole when I'm biting handlebar; hence the 2x front, 3x rear setup. What would you guys recommend? I've been told that the DT revo's are quite flexy under load, though I've yet to have any experience with them. Are the CXray/Aerolites worth it? I don't care about the bling factor as these "normal" wheels will be replacing boutique K's.

Thanks!
 

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Qualitatively, a wheel that is flexy to one rider may be perfectly fine for another. But quantitatively, we can make some definitive statements on spoke flex. Except for some exotic spokes (like the aluminum spokes on Ksyriums or the hydrocarbon spokes on Topolinos), all spokes are made of the same thing - name, stainless steel. Therefore, the stiffness of the spokes will be directly proportional to the cross sectional area. Since Sapim CX-Rays, Sapim Lasers, DT Revolutions, and DT Aerolites all have about the same cross sectional area (about 1.8 mm^2, which is the equavalent of a 1.5mm diameter round spoke), they will have the same stiffness.

DT Competition spokes are thicker (their 1.8mm diameter has a cross sectional area of 2.54 mm^s), so they will make for a stiffer wheel.

From personal experience, I have several wheels with 28 DT Revolution spokes, and have not noticed any excessive flex. However, since rear wheels have more closely spaced flanges, they will naturally be flexier than front wheels (all else being equal), so I would recommend the thicker DT Competition spokes for a 28 spoke rear wheel. DT Revolution spokes are about 2.5 grams more per spoke than DT Revolutions. If you want to compromise, you could use DT Competitions on the drive side, and any of the lighter spokes (CX-Ray, Laser, Revolution, Aerlite) on the left.
 

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wheelbuilder
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Mark McM said:
Qualitatively, a wheel that is flexy to one rider may be perfectly fine for another. But quantitatively, we can make some definitive statements on spoke flex. Except for some exotic spokes (like the aluminum spokes on Ksyriums or the hydrocarbon spokes on Topolinos), all spokes are made of the same thing - name, stainless steel. Therefore, the stiffness of the spokes will be directly proportional to the cross sectional area. Since Sapim CX-Rays, Sapim Lasers, DT Revolutions, and DT Aerolites all have about the same cross sectional area (about 1.8 mm^2, which is the equavalent of a 1.5mm diameter round spoke), they will have the same stiffness.

DT Competition spokes are thicker (their 1.8mm diameter has a cross sectional area of 2.54 mm^s), so they will make for a stiffer wheel.

From personal experience, I have several wheels with 28 DT Revolution spokes, and have not noticed any excessive flex. However, since rear wheels have more closely spaced flanges, they will naturally be flexier than front wheels (all else being equal), so I would recommend the thicker DT Competition spokes for a 28 spoke rear wheel. DT Revolution spokes are about 2.5 grams more per spoke than DT Revolutions. If you want to compromise, you could use DT Competitions on the drive side, and any of the lighter spokes (CX-Ray, Laser, Revolution, Aerlite) on the left.
Excellent choices. I will only add the Wheelsmith DB 14 in the mix for the drive side. They have a 1.7mm diameter along the length of the spoke. They fill the gap left by DT Competitions and DT Revolutions.
 
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