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Since I changed my mind and am not using my K's on my cross bike and am using my Open Pro's, I'm thinking that I should respoke the rear wheel with straight guage spokes rather than the butted ones on them now. Good idea or are the butted spokes tuff enough? I'm a semi-clydsdale @ 190lbs.
 

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the bull said:
I thought double butted spokes were better because they were stronger and lighter.
Yep, no advantage to straight gauge. The durability is the same as db, and the weight is slightly more. Double butted, brass nips and 3x front and rear is the best setup for you bigger fellas.
 

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I thought that double butted spokes allowed some flex due to their construction, so they were less prone to breakage and would handle impacts more safely.
 

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wunlap togo said:
Yep, no advantage to straight gauge. The durability is the same as db, and the weight is slightly more. Double butted, brass nips and 3x front and rear is the best setup for you bigger fellas.
I'm a similar weight and have always run wheels with alloy nipples (build by dave thomas at speeddream.com). I rarely have had to true the wheels but when i have, i've had no problem with the alloy nipples.

Why do you recommend brass nipples for someone ~ 190 lbs.? I'm considering starting to build wheels (one of the few things i don't do myself) - and I'd appreciate a pragmatic view on this issue.
 

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jnichols959 said:
I'm a similar weight and have always run wheels with alloy nipples (build by dave thomas at speeddream.com). I rarely have had to true the wheels but when i have, i've had no problem with the alloy nipples.

Why do you recommend brass nipples for someone ~ 190 lbs.? I'm considering starting to build wheels (one of the few things i don't do myself) - and I'd appreciate a pragmatic view on this issue.
My understanding of this is that brass nipples are generally more durable. As the wheel rotates, the components of the wheel are constantly being loaded and unloaded. This is what mainly stresses the rim, nipples and spokes. The greater the load (bigger rider, aggressive riding) the more wear and tear you get. IME, the wear is usually first noticable at the contact points of the different components of the wheel (nipples/rim and spokes/hub). Therefore, brass nipples will generally outlast alloy ones- particularly under a bigger rider. That's not to say that big guys can't use alloy nips, just that brass will likely save you some trouble if you're planning on riding these wheels for several years.

On the spoke question, I have noticed that double butted spokes are just as durable as straight gauge. Almost all spoke failure occurs near the hub or the nipple. I can't really speculate on the comment regarding stiffness of one over the other, although it makes some sense that straight ones would be stiffer. I don't think that because they're stiffer they would fail more easily, but I'm just trying to use my imagination on this one.

Honestly, I'm not a particularly experienced wheelbuilder. I have built some wheels and been around some pretty opinionated (and well respected) wheelbuilders but I'm no expert. I've definitely repaired a lot of wheels though and I've seen what you big fellas can do to a light weight racing wheel... There are lots of good resources for this on the web, and other forums here on RBR that will get you some good advice. This is hardly a cyclocross specific discussion, any well built road wheel will put up with the rigors of cross.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help guys. I'll let them as they are.
 

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Speaking as a wrench/wheelbuilder kind of geek I think (that is it, just my thought) that 14/15/14 DT comp spokes to build the longest lasting wheels. I also build with DT14 straight, and DT Revolutions on a regular basis. I don't like 15 gauge because of the fit of the elbow at the hub. Under tension a 15g elbow will pull a bit and straighten to a small degree. Elbows are the weak spot on a high quality spoke. I have never seen a DT/Wheelsmith/Sapim break at the threads. Cheapos yes but never a nice stainless spoke. That said, a butted spoke is more flexible in the center which makes the transfer of shock/stress from riding less efficient to the elbow. No I have not lab tested this theory so feel free to poke at it.
 

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If you plan on building your own wheels for the first time, i'd suggest using brass nipples. Alloys tend to round off the more you take a wrench to them, especially at high tension. Being your first build you have to assume your going to have to true/retrue the wheels a few times before they settle in. Brass nipples will allow you to do this w/o accidently rounding them off.

Why do you recommend brass nipples for someone ~ 190 lbs.? I'm considering starting to build wheels (one of the few things i don't do myself) - and I'd appreciate a pragmatic view on this issue.[
 
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