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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking of building a set of blue open pro rims bought on closeout and blue chris king hubs. thinking of using the sapim cx-rays and sapim brass nipples. i want a "last forever & never wear out set of wheels. Thinking 3x front & rear.

Please share your opinions to help me better decide.

Thanks.
 

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1. Open pros are decent if you are light. I thrashed a set at 210 and using them for everyday type stuff (thrashing, jumping curbs, bunny hopping, some singletrack dirt.)

2. CK hubs are great. Annoying for me on the road though (and I use them on the dirt). Then again, my record hub is annoying a bit as well.

3. Sapim spokes are a rip off. Too goddamn expensive. Go DT. Alloy nipples.
 

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Kings are nice, but a complete waste of money for road use, and are annoyingly noisy for road use. A set of Record or Dura Ace hubs are a much better deal, quieter and will be just as durable.

BTW: nothing last forever. Count on 4+ years if handbuilt properly, but eventually ever rim meets its maker.

DT Revolutions might be a better deal then the expensive, but nice, Sapims.

Coolhand
 

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The Edge
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oxygen debt said:
Thinking of building a set of blue open pro rims bought on closeout and blue chris king hubs. thinking of using the sapim cx-rays and sapim brass nipples. i want a "last forever & never wear out set of wheels. Thinking 3x front & rear.

Please share your opinions to help me better decide.

Thanks.

I've heard of guys getting 30,000 miles out of a good handbuilt pair of open pros on standard shimano or campy rims. For the road I don't think it gets any tougher than ultegra 36 hole 3cross DT revolutions laced to CXP33s. Get Colorado Cyclist to build them and you'll never touch them again.
 

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Some suggestions

Your weight and intended purpose of the wheels will help people make recommendations.

Sounds like you already bought the rims so that's a given.

As others have stated, Record/Dura Ace or even Chorus/Ultegra, offer better value, unless you already have the Kings.

I don't know how many spokes/wheel you're using but 3x is a reliable build.

Are you building the wheels or using a builder? CX-Rays need a litle more attention given their bladed nature to avoid windup during the build. Sapim makes a special tool for this although one can be improvised fairly easily.

If these wheels are the everyday set and you're set on using Sapim spokes, I'd go with Lasers all around except for the rear drive side where I'd used 14/15 DB. CX-Rays, sexy as they be, are expensive but if you've got the cash, buy them.

Sapim make excellent spokes and offer an interesting variety of products although DT matches them now in most areas. Interestingly, most of the wheels I've had build in the UK, the last 4 sets, have all used Sapim spokes and they are no more expensive the DT's. I've not had a wheel built with CX-Rays. As for nipples, most people recommend brass. I've only used brass when I built my own but a couple of my UK builders use alloy nipples and there have been no problems with stripping or freezing.

FWIW, OP's are not my favorite rim but functionally, they're fine. A lot of how long a wheel last gets down to the quality of the build so if you're doing the work, take your time. If you're using a builder, use one that's got a long track record of satisfaction from customers with similar riding styles and uses to your own.
 

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I have a set of Open Pros on a Dura Ace hubset that has 40,000+ miles on them. And I am a big guy too. I am around 220. My Open Pros have the classic Open Pro click, but they are still fine and round and true. If built right and not over-tensioned they will last until you wear out the brake track. Most likely you will crash them or just get sick of them or they will become obsolete long before that happens unless you ride really abrasive pads, get a chunk of metal stuck in your pads, or just like to put in 20,000 miles a year.

If a rim fails, more often than not it is that it develops stress cracks at the spoke holes. Eyelets will help prevent this, but not totally eliminate it. If your wheels are over-tensioned, this will happen prematurely, but should still be years before it does happen. Most people crash and dent a rim or hit something to knock it out of round before that happens, so most never see that problem.

As for the hubs, Kings are great hubs. Possibly the strongest and nearly the lightest currently on the market. The freehub can be a bit too loud for some people's tastes, but you only hear it if you are coasting. As for the Sapim CX-Rays... good choice. They are far and away the best spokes on the market. They are not cheap, so be prepared for that. Also, don't build them with brass nipples. Use the polyax nipples that come with them. They were designed around those spokes, so use them. Keep in mind these spokes are stronger than DT's downhill spokes, lighter than Revolutions, and aero too. But they aren't cheap. That had to be said at least twice. They almost cost as much as Ti spokes. The upside is that unless you hit something hard with your spokes, like getting a pump caught in them, they won't break. Or at least they shouldn't. If you break a CX-Ray you would have broken every other spoke on the market too, had your wheel been built with anything else. The only advice I really have for you is to make sure the wheelbuilder is good. If they are, your wheels are going to come out about as indestructable as a wheel can possibly be.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I am using their Polyax 14mm brass nipples that wiegh 1 gram each. I think their aluminum 14mm polyax weigh .3 grams. I felt that I would be gaining a lot of strength without a huge weight penalty.

russw19 said:
I have a set of Open Pros on a Dura Ace hubset that has 40,000+ miles on them. And I am a big guy too. I am around 220. My Open Pros have the classic Open Pro click, but they are still fine and round and true. If built right and not over-tensioned they will last until you wear out the brake track. Most likely you will crash them or just get sick of them or they will become obsolete long before that happens unless you ride really abrasive pads, get a chunk of metal stuck in your pads, or just like to put in 20,000 miles a year.

If a rim fails, more often than not it is that it develops stress cracks at the spoke holes. Eyelets will help prevent this, but not totally eliminate it. If your wheels are over-tensioned, this will happen prematurely, but should still be years before it does happen. Most people crash and dent a rim or hit something to knock it out of round before that happens, so most never see that problem.

As for the hubs, Kings are great hubs. Possibly the strongest and nearly the lightest currently on the market. The freehub can be a bit too loud for some people's tastes, but you only hear it if you are coasting. As for the Sapim CX-Rays... good choice. They are far and away the best spokes on the market. They are not cheap, so be prepared for that. Also, don't build them with brass nipples. Use the polyax nipples that come with them. They were designed around those spokes, so use them. Keep in mind these spokes are stronger than DT's downhill spokes, lighter than Revolutions, and aero too. But they aren't cheap. That had to be said at least twice. They almost cost as much as Ti spokes. The upside is that unless you hit something hard with your spokes, like getting a pump caught in them, they won't break. Or at least they shouldn't. If you break a CX-Ray you would have broken every other spoke on the market too, had your wheel been built with anything else. The only advice I really have for you is to make sure the wheelbuilder is good. If they are, your wheels are going to come out about as indestructable as a wheel can possibly be.

Russ
 

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Good choice on the hubs. You can't go wrong with Kings. For road wheels, I only use King, Campy, Shimano, or White Industries. Nothing else really stands out. If the fishing reel buzz of the Kings doesn't bother you, they can't be beat for strength and weight.

Sapim CX-Rays are excellent spokes. Like russw19 wrote, they are very strong, very light, and aero. The aero factor only really comes into play with 24 or less spokes. Anything else and you're just churning butter. Jed Peters wrote " Sapim spokes are a rip off. Too goddamn expensive. Go DT. Alloy nipples."
That's a crock. CX-Rays are cheaper than DT's immatation version of them called Aerolites, in addition to being lighter and stronger. I can get a DT 14/15 spoke for $.75 each, but a Sapim 14/15 only costs $.62 each. Let's compare apples to apples here.

BTW... take a corner at 40 MPH and you'll feel a DT Revolution built wheel flex like a wet noodle. CX-Rays are much more sound and stiffer laterally. I'd go Wheelsmith DB14s or XL14s before I'd use Revos.

Brass vs. alloy nipples is a subject of much and endless debate, but it all comes down to preference, as there is no right or wrong. Brass will definately hold their own, but a wheel built properly with alloy nips will last just as long. This isn't 1990 anymore, and the new alloys and manufacturing processes make for a strong product. I have built downhill wheels for guys using alloy nips and they're fine after 2 years. DT and Sapim are both good choices. I don't like Wheelsmith because they distort easily.

I have not had good luck with Open Pros for anyone who rides hard. They are kind of soft and crack a lot, especially the hard anodized versions. The regular silver ones hold up better. For rims, I like FIR (you can find a dealer at www.redroseimports.com) or Velocity. I've used FIR rims on everything from touring to racing wheels to cyclocross, and never had a failure. They build up nicely and are stronger than OPs, same weight, and much cheaper!

To really make a sound recommendation, I'd have to know your height, weight, what frame you have, and how many miles you do a year.
 

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The only real reason I recommend brass nips

The real reason I recommend brass nipples to alloy is not the strength of the nipple, but how soft the alloy nipples are. If you have alloy nipples and have to true your wheels frequently the softer alloy nipples will round off much faster. Of course the other side of that coin is that if your wheels are built right, you shouldn't have to true them that often anyways. Also, use good tools and this is not a problem, but cheaper spoke wrenches chew up alloy nipples.

Russ
 

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I agree

I only use a four-sided spoke wrench on aluminum nipples. Most builders and bike shop employees use the 2-sided Park, which puts too much stress on the nipple and rounds it or even cracks it.
A proper build will lessen the truing intervals, if needed at all. Also, the right lubrication on the spoke threads and nipple/rim interface helps tons.
 

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Alloy nipple fatigue failure

A friend of mine had wheels built with alloy nipples. He was fine for a long while, but then they started failing all at the same time -- 3 nipples broke over the course of 40 miles. Then he replaced them all with brass.

From what I know of the material properties of the two metals, I believe that brass nipples don't fatigue and fail like alloy ones do.
 

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why not Phil Wood hubs?

If you are ready to spend a lot of money, and want trouble free hubs, I suggest Phil Wood. Heavy? Yes! But very confidence inspiring. They have a servicing/reconditioning program for older/used hubs, but I really don't know why.
 

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Kings and OP's

I'm currently riding a set that I built with black King hubs, black 32h Open Pro rims, black alloy nipples, and DT Revolution spokes 3X all around. The more I ride them the better I like them. I think the hubs take a few hundred miles to break in good. I didn't like the buzz at first but now don't even notice it. I don't see how Record people can criticize the King hub buzz. Some of my riding buds have Record hubs and their buzz is much louder than my Kings. And I'm not being critical of Campy because my next build will probably be with Record. No problem here with alloy nipples, that's all I use. Sorry, I have no experience with Sapim spokes. I did have a Revo spoke break in the J bend, non-drive side. That was before I invested in a Park tensiometer and increased the tension on all spokes. To me building bike wheels is a fun hobby.
~Al
 

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Phil hubs

t5rguy said:
If you are ready to spend a lot of money, and want trouble free hubs, I suggest Phil Wood. Heavy? Yes! But very confidence inspiring. They have a servicing/reconditioning program for older/used hubs, but I really don't know why.
I have a set of Phil cassette hubs that I bought on EBay a few years back. I didn't bring my truing stand to the UK so I had them built with Sapim Lasers, alloy nipples and Ambrosio Excellights by Paul Hewitt, a highly rated builder in England. Great wheels. Yeah, the hubs are heavy but not in the rotating area.

Interesting thing is that you rarely, and I do mean rarely, see Phil or King hubs for sale on EBay. Okay, their volumes are small but still, I think most customers are pretty happy.

The reason they have a servicing reconditioning program is primarily for the pre-FSA (field service adjustable) hubs which I also own. You cannot replace the bearings yourself, unless you have the appropriate bearing puller and mandrels for bearing insertion. They'll also replace the flanges if needed, one if they're showing wear of any variety and two, if you're changing the spoking number.
 

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Wheel building

Shimano compatable 8/9 speed hubs using an aluminum freehub body are subject to having the cogs dig into the freehub causing damage. The reason is the spline is shallow and alumimum is not strong enough to withstand the loads. This is the reason Shimano has never offered an aluminum freehub body for this application. The new 10 speed hub does use aluminum but the splines are taller (Campy splines are taller as well).

Most hubs lighter than Dura Ace use an aluminum freehub body (Chris King, Hugi, etc.). Beware if you want the wheels to last a long time.

Ed
 

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CK and DA 10

Nessism said:
Shimano compatable 8/9 speed hubs using an aluminum freehub body are subject to having the cogs dig into the freehub causing damage. The reason is the spline is shallow and alumimum is not strong enough to withstand the loads. This is the reason Shimano has never offered an aluminum freehub body for this application. The new 10 speed hub does use aluminum but the splines are taller (Campy splines are taller as well).

Most hubs lighter than Dura Ace use an aluminum freehub body (Chris King, Hugi, etc.). Beware if you want the wheels to last a long time.

Ed
Yup. I have a set of King hubs with OP rims, and there is enough damage to the splines that it's difficult to get cogs on and off. I'm planning to use these hubs with a DA 10 cassette, and am hoping CK will offer a tall-spline (10 only) freehub body soon. I'm also eager for Shimano to release 10-speed Ultegra, since the DA cassettes are just too much money.

If I didn't already have the CK hubs, I would've gone with the new DA. They're the same weight, less money, quieter, and shouldn't have the soft spline problem.

-David
 

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You could also have just gotten your King hubs with a steel cassette body, they do offer it as an option.

I don't mind the aluminum cassette body on the Kings. It makes the hubs lighter and I've seen very old King hubs that still work just fine. Eventually you may need to replace your cassette body, but it isn't like the hub is ruined or anything, that part can be replaced when the time comes.
 
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