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Hand built wheels

harrywolperharrywolper Posts: 95
edited June 2007 in Workshop
Looking to get some hand built wheel for my new PX carbon bike - to replace the Reynolds Alta Comp ones. Probably will go for Dura Ace hubs, sapim lazer spokes and Ambrosia Excellight rims. Radial front and crossed rear, both 28 spokes. All for œ300. Any views please?

Regards

Al

Posts

  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    I checked out Harry Rowland, who came up with a good price and good spec.
    I also checked out Dauphin, who pretty much spec'd what you suggest.

    I eventually went for a pair of Condor handbuilts, which are awesome.
    Unbelievable difference compared to my Campag. Ventos - which themselves are good wheels.

    The Ultegra hubs I use do not spin quite as freely as the Campags under no-load, however Shim. hubs have the advantage of being regreasable. Maybe because they're brand-new (40 miles).
    Not sure about Campag. hubs - Vento ones are sealed.
    DA hubs should be top Q though.

    Have seen at least 1 negative comment regarding Ambrosia rims - though hubs seem fine.
    I'm running Mavic Open Pro CD rims - very good.

    The spokes I have are chunky straight gauge on 32H front radial, rear 3x - They're worth the weight increase - the wheels are bombproof, reactive, stiff, yet soak up undulations.
    Brass nipples were recommended.

    Overall weight - only about 50g lighter than my half-the-price Ventos (which should give you an idea of how value for money your quote is).I'd go for the handbuilts every time.

    Edit: I'd go for 32H rear - the extra weight is worth it for the added stiffness/security.
    Radial front should give excellent feedback and steering feel.
    DA hubs are radial lace compatible.
  • hubgearfreakhubgearfreak Posts: 480
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by harrywolper</i>
    Any views please?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    don't go for a radially spoked wheel.
    and also 32 or even 36 spokes are much better, but not much heavier
  • monty_dogcpmonty_dogcp Posts: 382
    You can regrease Campag hubs - just because they're sealed bearings doesn't mean you can't maintain them. Ambrosio rims are on a par with Mavic, just a shade heavier - Ambrosia is rice pudding!. Straight gauge spokes don't actually offer any real benefit apart from price - double butted are lighter, more resilient and therefore give a better 'feel'. You could always look at something like a Velocity Aerohead rim with aero radial spokes on the front, and 3 cross on the back.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by JWSurrey</i>

    I checked out Harry Rowland, who came up with a good price and good spec.
    ...

    I eventually went for a pair of Condor handbuilts, which are awesome.
    Unbelievable difference compared to my Campag. Ventos - which themselves are good wheels.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Mmmm I heard a rumour that Harry makes (some) wheels for Condor, theres a possibility they are 'Rowlands' after all.[8D]

    I predictor Lotto... I predictor Lotto!
    \'You Come At the King,You Best Not Miss\'
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Monty Dog</i>

    ,,,,just because they're sealed bearings doesn't mean you can't maintain them. ,,,,Ambrosia is rice pudding!.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Thanks for the maintenance tip Monty - How do I get at them to re-grease them?
    I was recommended to use straight gauge, so I went with it, and my understanding was because it made for a tougher wheel.
    The front's radially laced as it's supposed to provide a more direct feel and more feedback - it certainly rides well.
    Rice pudding - Oops - More haste, less speed. [:)]
  • hubgearfreakhubgearfreak Posts: 480
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by JWSurrey</i>
    I was recommended to use straight gauge, so I went with it, and my understanding was because it made for a tougher wheel.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    ever see a spoke snap in the middle?? no, me neither. this is because the bending at the elbow weakens the metal, and threading the other end thins it. that is why they break at either end.
    however, the thinner the spoke the more it will stretch at differing amounts of tension, which is a good thing.
    most serious cyclists don't spend the extra money on the extra rolled spokes for fun
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by hubgearfreak</i>
    ever see a spoke snap in the middle??...most serious cyclists don't spend the extra money on the extra rolled spokes for fun
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Well, I just went with what the experts at Condor recommended, at the end of the day - I guess they build lots of wheel, know what works and what comes back broken.

    I've never seen a forum post relating to snapped straight gauge spoked handbuilt wheels, however I have seen forum posts relating to DB spoked handbuilts that have broken.

    As for radially spoked front wheels - I now have two.
    Of the Campag. Ventos, the front (radial) runs perfectly true still, after riding on it since January 1st up and down uneven Surrey back roads.
  • pbiggspbiggs Posts: 9,232
    Straight gauge certainly can snap. I broke more of them than DBs. Maybe not many are mentioned on this forum because most contributors with handbuilt wheels use DB nowdays. Just a guess. Actually most posts about snapped spokes don't mention whether they're DB or not.

    Builders like straight because they're easy to build with (don't twist so easily). They offer you no advantage besides being cheaper. Double butted spokes are more fatigue resistant, so are less likely to break if all else is equal. You can get double butted (or triple butted) spokes with extra thick ends if you do want even more reliability.

    Re Campag hubs: Chorus, Record and certain older models have cup and cone bearings that are fully serviceable. The cartridge models can't be properly serviced. You could prise off the seals and add more grease, but you're likely to do more harm than good in the process.

    <i>~Pete</i>
    <i>~Pete</i>
  • I've broken WheelSmith Double Butted spokes in the middle, although this may have been due to a stress riser where it was machined.
  • pbiggspbiggs Posts: 9,232
    I don't think more reputable brands such as DT and Sapim break in the middle due to any manufacturing or design issue.

    Any spoke can break in the middle if it's been damaged first by a foreign object, but this is quite rare.

    <i>~Pete</i>
    <i>~Pete</i>
  • I can't believe this discussion [:D]

    and i really must fight the urge to join in!

    i've snapped spokes at the elbow, in the middle, near the thread. both DB and butted, even aero ones.

    i did find black spokes to be weaker out of all the spokes i've used

    Mleh Mleh Mleh
  • TRcpTRcp Posts: 418
    A note on the rim choice - the comiic recently commentaed that most of the hanbuilts at this years Paris - Roubaix were Ambrosio, even if not always branded as such. The Ambrosio rims have a very distinctive plate around the valve opening. This must count as some kind of recommendation as there is no tougher test of arim.
    Open Pros are nice, though. I have a set of each and they are both good. Ambrosio a little mre exclusive though..?
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