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Wheel Component Equivalents?

freebsfreebs Posts: 199
edited April 2014 in Workshop
I'm keen to do some wheel building and have bought the Wheelpro book. I am confused as to the equivalent levels of the componentry. For example, I have shimano RS20 wheels on my winter bike and Ksyrium Elites on the summer one. What hubs/spokes/rims would I have to get for equivalent builds?

I should add that I'm primarily going to learn to build wheels for my own satisfaction rather than to upgrade what I have but I don't want to downgrade too much! Hope this makes sense!!
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  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    Start with:

    Shimano 105 5700 32H hubs from Ribble Cycles
    Mavic Open Pro 32H rims from Chain Reaction Cycles
    32 Sapim Race spokes (295mm) from Just Riding Along (front wheel)
    16 Sapim Race spokes (293mm) from Just Riding along (rear wheel, non-drive side)
    16 Sapim Race spokes (292mm) from Just Riding Along (rear wheel, drive side)

    These will be relatively easy to build and will yield a nice set of Winter/training wheels not too expensive (~£160) and not too heavy (just over 1800g). Once you have successfully built them the World is your lobster. :mrgreen:

    Contrary to a lot of advice (including Roger Musson) I would advise getting a Park TM-1 tensiometer as well. It really helps to get even tension in the spokes on each side of the wheel which is very important.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Agree on starting with 32 hole, 3 cross build. Better value and lighter would be Novatec hubs, Kinlin rims and ACI spokes all from Sdeals.com
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Thanks guys. I'm just trying to get my head round which components will be of similar quality. Like comparing groupsets I guess!!
  • freebs wrote:
    Thanks guys. I'm just trying to get my head round which components will be of similar quality. Like comparing groupsets I guess!!

    You can't.
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    freebs wrote:
    Thanks guys. I'm just trying to get my head round which components will be of similar quality. Like comparing groupsets I guess!!

    You can't.

    So how do I decide which components to buy? There are lots of hubs/rims/spokes. In two posts on this thread I have had two different recommendations. I know that is the nature of internet forums, but I just want to make a reasonably informed decision!

    The wheels I am riding are branded as mentioned above. I've had no real issues with either I just thought it would improve my knowledge/enjoyment of my hobby if I tried to build my own. I'm not looking for any immediate gain, I just don't particularly want to downgrade and I don't know which parts are worse/better than the ones I have (although I'm guessing the RS20's which were £120 are not tip top quality).
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    freebs wrote:
    So how do I decide which components to buy? There are lots of hubs/rims/spokes. In two posts on this thread I have had two different recommendations. I know that is the nature of internet forums, but I just want to make a reasonably informed decision!

    The wheels I am riding are branded as mentioned above. I've had no real issues with either I just thought it would improve my knowledge/enjoyment of my hobby if I tried to build my own. I'm not looking for any immediate gain, I just don't particularly want to downgrade and I don't know which parts are worse/better than the ones I have (although I'm guessing the RS20's which were £120 are not tip top quality).

    The two different recs you have had from Monty Dog and me are both about the same level in terms of quality, price and weight and are good combinations of components to start building your first set of wheels. If you manage to build either up successfully you will end up with a better set than the RS20s and you will value them more because you built them yourself and learnt a lot in the process.

    Barring that I don't know what more to suggest other than read a hell of a lot of the archive posts on this and other wheel building forums like I did. Ugo's posts and the one's from the Cycle Clinic tend to be especially helpful.
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Hypster, thanks for your suggestions. I have read many of the posts and will make my decision. I just thought it was odd to be told by Ugo (who clearly is expert in wheelbuilding) that you can't compare wheel components.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    I think what he means is you can't really compare factory built wheels with hand builts because the factory built wheels are usually composed of proprietary components made by each manufacturer. In general terms you may be able to equate one set of factory wheels with a proposed hand built set because they may be similar in terms of quality, price and weight.

    Wheel building is like any manual skill though, it's best to master the basics with something easy before jumping in and doing the more advanced stuff. You will find that once you have built a basic set of wheels your opinions about component selection (or even bothering to build wheels at all!) will change because your knowledge level has increased considerably. The other thing is you learn most by failing so if you do have problems then keep at it because there are a lot of numpties who manage to successfully build and ride their own wheels! :mrgreen:
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Ah I see! Thanks guys!!
  • Pound for pound the best hubs on the market right now are the new Ultegra 6800 32 H, get those. 105 are cheaper, but they are a bit more agricultural if I am allowed the term and they won't take 11 speed if you want to upgrade in the future...
    Lace them to the rim you want, but get a good quality rim, whether it's a Mavic Open PRO, an Ambrosio or H plus Son Archetype (more difficult to build for a fist timer as it's got no eyelets and it requires a bit of technique). ACI Alpina, Sapim and DT Swiss spokes are all very good, just avoid the light ones (Sapim Laser and Dt Revolution). I would probably go for the Alpina DB spokes mentioned by Monty Dog previously, just because pricewise they make a lot of sense.
    For Ultegra on Open PRO 3 cross you need 295 front, 292/294 for the rear drive and non drive side. They come with brass nipples
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    Pound for pound the best hubs on the market right now are the new Ultegra 6800 32 H, get those. 105 are cheaper, but they are a bit more agricultural if I am allowed the term and they won't take 11 speed if you want to upgrade in the future...

    I wouldn't necessarily disagree in total with you Ugo but I have just built up a set of 105 5700 hubs and they are silky smooth. It would be hard to imagine the Ultegra 6800s being any better performance for twice the price but I do agree with the 11-speed comment.
  • hypster wrote:
    I wouldn't necessarily disagree in total with you Ugo but I have just built up a set of 105 5700 hubs and they are silky smooth. It would be hard to imagine the Ultegra 6800s being any better performance for twice the price but I do agree with the 11-speed comment.

    The older Ultegra 6700 were 99% the same thing as 105, the newer ones are closing the gap with Dura Ace... they have alloy axle and the ratchet mechanism to adjust the cones, so no more tedious cone spanners and bench vice work... in essence they have taken the Ultegra hubs into the 21st century... this also means they might take less abuse than the 105, hence the term agricultural for the latter... just like a tractor, the 105 will keep going even when they're shot...

    On balance, given modern bikes can't take much abuse (exposed bearings, light parts, bad design etc.) 105 hubs are a bit over-engineered on anything but a winter/commuting bike
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Brilliant. Thanks guys. Just one last question. Can I damage rims/hubs easily? I'd like to think I won't be over tensioning the spokes to that degree but I don't want to ruin parts whilst learning? (I do all the other maintainence on my bikes so have a fair bit of experience)
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    The older Ultegra 6700 were 99% the same thing as 105, the newer ones are closing the gap with Dura Ace... they have alloy axle and the ratchet mechanism to adjust the cones, so no more tedious cone spanners and bench vice work... in essence they have taken the Ultegra hubs into the 21st century... this also means they might take less abuse than the 105, hence the term agricultural for the latter... just like a tractor, the 105 will keep going even when they're shot...

    On balance, given modern bikes can't take much abuse (exposed bearings, light parts, bad design etc.) 105 hubs are a bit over-engineered on anything but a winter/commuting bike

    Good to know, thanks. The one thing I object to now with Ultegra kit is that it comes in that God-awful pewter finish that doesn't match anything else on the bike. It's neither one thing (silver) nor the other (black) and looks cheap compared to the polished finish that I have on an older set on my Scott CR1.

    I wouldn't buy Ultegra now based purely on that consideration which is annoying because it is a nicer quality kit than 105 but at a more realistic price bracket than Dura Ace.
  • freebs wrote:
    Brilliant. Thanks guys. Just one last question. Can I damage rims/hubs easily? I'd like to think I won't be over tensioning the spokes to that degree but I don't want to ruin parts whilst learning? (I do all the other maintainence on my bikes so have a fair bit of experience)

    No... but as someone pointed out previously, get one of these Park tension gauges... they're not expensive and they're just as good as a professional tension gauge (I have both). They come with calibration for most of the spokes you will find on the market and they're accurate enough to avoid damaging your rims.
    For reference, I build Open PRO on Alpina DB with 22 reading on the drive side... front around 20
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Great. Thanks for all your help. Will speak again when I am struggling to build them!!!
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    freebs wrote:
    Brilliant. Thanks guys. Just one last question. Can I damage rims/hubs easily? I'd like to think I won't be over tensioning the spokes to that degree but I don't want to ruin parts whilst learning? (I do all the other maintainence on my bikes so have a fair bit of experience)

    The worst that will happen is that you tension the spokes too highly and exceed the yield limit of the rim. This won't damage it but will make truing impossible so you will have to slacken off the tension in the spokes evenly and retrue. I think Roger Musson covers this in his book. I would advise reading the RM book again before you start and print out the main sections on tensioning and truing the wheels and follow his instructions carefully. Make sure you oil the spoke threads and the eyelets as he suggests as well which prevents the spokes from binding up when approaching the higher tensions.

    I built my first set of wheels using RM's book and his "pinging spokes" method for evening the tensions. I managed to get the tensions quite even but was a bit tentative with the final tension which subsequently led to the non-drive side loosening up on the first long ride I did. I invested in a Park TM-1 tensiometer which admittedly is not that accurate but is close enough for the relative tensions in the spokes. My TM-1 over-reads by about 30 kgf but I make allowance for that when adjusting the ultimate drive side tension and have not had a problem with any wheel I have built since.

    All rims have a manufacturer's maximum spoke tension limit although they are not always explicitly stated but you can generally find out what other builders have used by Googling "XXX max spoke tension" or something similar. You can very often exceed this limit slightly but you do run the risk of the eyelets cracking in the rims over time. That can also depend on the rider's weight and how they ride as well though.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188

    No... but as someone pointed out previously, get one of these Park tension gauges... they're not expensive and they're just as good as a professional tension gauge (I have both). They come with calibration for most of the spokes you will find on the market and they're accurate enough to avoid damaging your rims.
    For reference, I build Open PRO on Alpina DB with 22 reading on the drive side... front around 20

    Ugo,

    What are the thickness of those Alpina DB spokes, is it 1.7mm? The sdeals site has them at 14/17/14 gauge but that would mean they are 2.0/1.4/2.0mm which must be wrong.
  • hypster wrote:

    No... but as someone pointed out previously, get one of these Park tension gauges... they're not expensive and they're just as good as a professional tension gauge (I have both). They come with calibration for most of the spokes you will find on the market and they're accurate enough to avoid damaging your rims.
    For reference, I build Open PRO on Alpina DB with 22 reading on the drive side... front around 20

    Ugo,

    What are the thickness of those Alpina DB spokes, is it 1.7mm? The sdeals site has them at 14/17/14 gauge but that would mean they are 2.0/1.4/2.0mm which must be wrong.

    1.7 yes, and yes 17 is not right
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Right. Parts ordered (Ultegra 6800 hubs - pushed the boat out! and Mavic Open Pro rims). Also got the Park Tensiometer. I'll keep you updated (if you care!!!!).

    Thanks for your assistance folks.

    Freebs.
  • When the hubs arrive please post an opinion on the colour, I,m considering a build with grey H plus rims.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    freebs wrote:
    Right. Parts ordered (Ultegra 6800 hubs - pushed the boat out! and Mavic Open Pro rims). Also got the Park Tensiometer. I'll keep you updated (if you care!!!!).

    Thanks for your assistance folks.

    Freebs.

    Well done! Take your time and be methodical in the build and you will end up with a really nice set of wheels which should last a good few years. Even when the rims eventually do wear out you with have the wherewithal to replace them or fix any problems.

    Let us know how you get on and don't be afraid to ask if you run in to problems.
  • When the hubs arrive please post an opinion on the colour, I,m considering a build with grey H plus rims.

    They are matching colours and they're very nice
  • which hubs to choose for a first Campag flavour build??

    looking at miche or novatec. or should i be looking at campag brand ones
    Specialized S Works SL2 . Campagnolo Record 11spd. rolling on Campag Zonda wheels

    http://app.strava.com/athletes/881211
  • which hubs to choose for a first Campag flavour build??

    looking at miche or novatec. or should i be looking at campag brand ones

    If you can afford Campagnolo, get Campagnolo. It is no capital sin to invest money in quality hubs... it is silly to invest money in a carbon stem.
    If you are not the disposable type, a set of Record hubs can be your friend for a long time... if you are the disposable type, then get the cheaper ones... they're 80% as good. Miche or Novatec are both good... Miche have better bearings, but it's a close call
  • nice one!!!

    see how the money is after i buy the rims
    Specialized S Works SL2 . Campagnolo Record 11spd. rolling on Campag Zonda wheels

    http://app.strava.com/athletes/881211
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Ugo, I've got 295mm spokes for the front wheels, my plan is to build 3 cross, I'm guessing these are 3 cross for the front too? Thanks!
  • freebs wrote:
    Ugo, I've got 295mm spokes for the front wheels, my plan is to build 3 cross, I'm guessing these are 3 cross for the front too? Thanks!

    yes
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Thank you!
  • freebsfreebs Posts: 199
    Nearly there! Regarding getting the dish right, I'm using a stand rather than a dishing tool. Do I tighten the spokes the side I want to pull the rim or the othernside to pull the hub over?!
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