Handbuilt wheels... the big thread

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  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,007
    I'm thinking of building a set of 20F/24R Miche Primato on DT R460 with Lasers front and NDS and D-light DS as inexpensive, but light(ish) (under psychological 1600 g barrier!) all weather wheels. Would the lack of spokes and their lightweight nature cause a problem for average riders under say 75 kg?
  • Depends how you ride. With that rim 24f/28r is alot stiffer and more reliable. They wont feel heavier.

    Remember how a wheel responds to load is mostly what you feel unless tour comparing a 2000kg wheelset witha 1500g wheelset of similar stiffness.

    So 8 more spokes wing maje the wheel feel heavier.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,007
    I hear you, but 24F/28R is going to weigh 1650 g with brass nipples and cost me around £180 with the Sapim spokes, so if I'm not caring about weight, I may as well use ACI spokes and save £25 as these should turn out just shy of 1700 g.

    On the other hand, 20F/24H should built up to around 1560 g with alu nipples or 1595 g with brass, which in my mind is a fairly light wheel, and compares very favourably with most factory wheels in that price bracket.

    I know we're only talking about 140 g, but the perceived difference between 1560 g and 1700 g is massive in the eyes of your average wheel buying punter, and that kind of matters if I end up trying to sell them rather than keeping them for myself.
  • bobones said:



    I know we're only talking about 140 g, but the perceived difference between 1560 g and 1700 g is massive in the eyes of your average wheel buying punter, and that kind of matters if I end up trying to sell them rather than keeping them for myself.

    People buy handbuilt wheels for reliability, so you might actually have more luck selling a 24/28 than a 20/24 set.
    As an aside, buying something inadequate with the idea that it might have a better resale value than something more appropriate seems the wrong way to go about it

  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,007
    But is it really "inadequate"? 20F/24R or less seems to be very common for highly regarded "bombproof" factory wheels, e.g. Fulcrum Racing 7s are 18F/20R, Shimano RS11s are 16F/20R, Mavic Aksium are 20/20. Or are these wheels all using much heavier, heavy duty spokes that aid their stiffness?

    I guess 20F/28R may be a sensible compromise? The 20H R460 rims are only £24.66 on Wiggle at the moment so this may be tainting my judgement somewhat. But, like I say, it's really only a silly psychological thing, where I think anything under 1600 g is light and anything over is heavy!

    I might just build the 20/24s to see how bad or otherwise they might be in reality.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    20h front should be fine for a rider of sub 75kg.

    I've ridden a 24 spoke r460 without any complaints, and I'm 120kg.

    Since you are getting all weight weenie, I'd also suggest switching to novatec a171/172 hubs which will save about 45g and have been fine in my experience.

    But yeah, 28 spoke rear probably a good idea, especially if you are using d-light/laser spokes.

    Or be quick and buy these rims - https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s116p4299/AMBROSIO-P20-20h-24h-Black

    24 rear should be fine with that rim profile.
  • Agree that 20 h front is fine and 28 rear is better...
    I use DT 460 and have 24 h front and 32 h rear... I am lighter than you, but I needed wheels for mileage... 13,000 miles later they have yet to see a spoke key (which is not true because the rear needed a new rim when the original wore out, but you get the gist)
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,007
    timothyw said:

    20h front should be fine for a rider of sub 75kg.

    I've ridden a 24 spoke r460 without any complaints, and I'm 120kg.

    Since you are getting all weight weenie, I'd also suggest switching to novatec a171/172 hubs which will save about 45g and have been fine in my experience.

    But yeah, 28 spoke rear probably a good idea, especially if you are using d-light/laser spokes.

    Or be quick and buy these rims - https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s116p4299/AMBROSIO-P20-20h-24h-Black

    24 rear should be fine with that rim profile.

    Just bought 2 x 20 and 2 x 24 :smiley: Brilliant Tim, thanks for the tip!

    I have built a few sets with those Novatec hubs or a variation (and same with Bitex), and I find the bearings only need a couple of soakings before they start to squeak and get rough. My current winter wheels are Open Pro UST on the Syntesi hubs with black lasers and D-lights and they're really nice and the bearings are lasting well. I do a fair few miles too in all weather (890 miles last month for example) so I'm looking for low maintenance as well as low weight and cheap!
  • sopworthsopworth Posts: 191
    A bit of hub buying advice please. I need a rear disc hub to complete my wheelset. I’ve built the front on a dt Swiss 350 hub but can’t afford the same for the rear hub. I think sub £100 is my best for the rear hub.
    Any advice of what to get?
    It’s for a Velocity major Tom tubular rim for a CX wheelset. I built the front 28h so will do the same for the rear I guess.
    Ideally, something that isn’t going to be too difficult to service after CX season.
    Thanks
  • bobones said:

    I'm thinking of building a set of 20F/24R Miche Primato on DT R460 with Lasers front and NDS and D-light DS as inexpensive, but light(ish) (under psychological 1600 g barrier!) all weather wheels. Would the lack of spokes and their lightweight nature cause a problem for average riders under say 75 kg?

    If you can punch it than this setup is not ideal.
    Either more spokes on the rear wheel or thicker spokes (Sapim Strong oder DT Alpine) ideally combined with bigger hub flanges.
    Against better knowledge I have built a similar wheelset. Rear wheel is made of Kinlin XR26T, Novatec F172sb and Sapim Race and Laser spokes.
    It is a lagging wheel, it just won't go.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    If your determined to build a 24 spoke rear bobones you really need to use sapim race or DT comps. Thinner spokes wont give you enough lateral stiff for high mileage reliability (well thats not guaranteed but the chance of a failure is too much of a chance). Even a 28 rear will benefit from thicker spokes. dont fall into the trap of lighter is better. it isn't. If lighter is not stiff enough (torsional and lateral) then it feels sluggish. Front wheels are less sesistive to spoke count but when it comes to pot holes 4 extra spokes can help stop the wheel going out of shape.

    Sopworth. I have a number of Miche SWR DX hubs pairs in 28H drilling. You can have the pair for £100. I am clearing old stock. Otherwise Bitex BX106 or Novatec D792 are you other choices.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 23,969
    edited December 2019
    My DT 460 rims are thinning up again... I'm torn between keeping the same setup which has treated me well or buying a pair of Open PRO UST which are a bit lighter.. bearing in mind I prefer to use clincher tyres and tubes... are the Open PRO a nightmare to fit a clincher to, or a Vittoria Rubino slides on just fine (as it does on the DT 460)?

    There seems to be an awful lot of people complaining about how tight the OP UST are...

    Another option could be a DT 460 rear and a DT 411 front... although that means new spokes
  • Given your back on tubes dont bother with the mavic rims. Once you have to put tubeless tape on tubed tyre fitting is too tight for the user to be happy. It's a rim for tubeless tyre only and then only if you have good (irc) levers.

    Stick with the dt swiss r460 or use the kinlin xr 22t and rt rear. The red is the same as the dt rim.

    Tyre fitting for the r460 is easier than on the RR411.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,007

    My DT 460 rims are thinning up again... I'm torn between keeping the same setup which has treated me well or buying a pair of Open PRO UST which are a bit lighter.. bearing in mind I prefer to use clincher tyres and tubes... are the Open PRO a nightmare to fit a clincher to, or a Vittoria Rubino slides on just fine (as it does on the DT 460)?

    There seems to be an awful lot of people complaining about how tight the OP UST are...

    Another option could be a DT 460 rear and a DT 411 front... although that means new spokes


    A few days ago I had to remount a tubeless tyre with an inner tube on an OP UST when I broke the valve stem after fixing a hole with a plug. It really wasn't too much of a struggle to get on, and I didn't need to use levers. Sample size of one, but I think it's doable. They're very nice rims and usually under their specified weight.
  • phil485phil485 Posts: 318
    edited 20 January


    Timely post Ugo.
    I have just removed a powertap hub from what I thought was a mavic open pro rim, actually stickered open sport.
    What would be a suitable replacement rim to go on my dolan dual so thinking wider rims are not ideal. Skinny mudguards. 32 holes.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,007
    I use wide rims on my Dolan Dual with 25 mm tyres so I wouldn't exclude them. Tyres will sit wide, so not quite as tall, on wide rims, so you might actually get more problems with guards rubbing on narrower rims.

    Open Pro UST are very nice looking rims. They're very light but possibly a bit thin at the brake track. DT Swiss R460s are a bit heavier, but also good looking. These have a wear indicator and can be picked up for less than £30 from r2-bike.de. I've also got Ambrosio P20s, which are very nice, stiff, strong rims, but seem to be a closer fit to my guards than the other two.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 23,969
    In the end I went for another pair of DT 460, which seem to tick all the boxes... tyre mount easy, tubeless or not... the rim is robust and stiff enough and not overly heavy.... most importantly it is half the price of the trendy Pacenti offers.

    It's on a Dolan Dual with SKS guards
  • edward.sedward.s Posts: 121
    Just about to build a pair of 650b DT G540db rims up as some more robust wide rubber wheels for my CDF. Got some 40mm Conti Terra Trail tubeless ready tyres on the way for them, wondering if anyone has experience of how well (or not) they set up tubeless?

    Going for a bomb proof 32/32 build with DT comp spokes on shimano RS505 hubs as the bike is QR front and rear. I know they won't be light, but neither am I (100kg) so hopefully they'll be good for some light use on easier trails.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    RS505 hubs are not made anymore.

    Setuping them up tubeless is not the issue. DT Swiss rims lack the bead lock to retain the tyre securely if you remove air. So you have to pour the sealant into the tyre rather than inject it come refil time and that means potential faff as dried sleant on the bead can stop tyre reseating easily. Also if you flat you sticking a tube in.

    Why do people think tubeless on a bicycle is any different to tubeless on a motorcycle or car. You would not accept tyres unseating eaily on a car so why on a bike. Use the DT rims if you want to but they are not tubeless compatible rims the way tubeless should be defined. That goes for all Dt swiss rims. The only rim they made which has a proper tubeless profile was the RR450.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,164 Lives Here

    Why do people think tubeless on a bicycle is any different to tubeless on a motorcycle or car. You would not accept tyres unseating eaily on a car so why on a bike. Use the DT rims if you want to but they are not tubeless compatible rims the way tubeless should be defined. That goes for all Dt swiss rims. The only rim they made which has a proper tubeless profile was the RR450.

    We sell wire wheels for old cars, the manufacturer has updated some of their wheels to tubeless. When they started doing this they also changed from rim tape over the nipple to a silicone type sealant. Most people think it is the sealant that made the difference, whilst the sealant is needed to hold air it is the rim profile having the bump to retain the tyres that makes them tubeless. They would be dangerous without the bump.
  • edward.sedward.s Posts: 121

    RS505 hubs are not made anymore.

    Setuping them up tubeless is not the issue. DT Swiss rims lack the bead lock to retain the tyre securely if you remove air. So you have to pour the sealant into the tyre rather than inject it come refil time and that means potential faff as dried sleant on the bead can stop tyre reseating easily. Also if you flat you sticking a tube in.

    Spa Cycles still had some 32h 505s in stock thankfully. I've had a couple of pairs in use on t'missus's and my winter bikes for a couple of years now and they have been really reliable so I was keen to use them again.

    I'm not totally fussed by tubeless for these so I guess I'll have a play and see. I tend to run tubes on my road bikes while both MTBs are tubeless, these are sort-of borderline at 40mm profile.

    I've built a few pairs of wheels with DT Swiss rims now (those winter wheels I mentioned are r460db rims) and they built up nicely so I thought I'd give these a whirl. Choice is a bit more limited in 650b, out of curiosity, what would you have chosen in my situation? not trying to pick holes in you, genuinely curious.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    edited 21 January
    Kinlin TL23 Lighter (425g vs 540g) and very good tubeless compatability. Very round, very flat kind of perfect actually. Cheaper too.

    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    the bead lock should really be call the anti burp bump. Because without it tyres can burp. Never happened to me then again I am picky about what rims I use.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 23,969
    And the wheel goes round and round... ovalised spokes.. they used to be called Elliptical and I got a large batch of Alpina as NOS a few years back...

    Looks like Pillar have reinvented the wheel...

    https://www.bikeradar.com/news/nippelshop-pillar-spokes/
  • edward.sedward.s Posts: 121
    the cringy interview that the 'nippleshop' Pillar people did on Bikeradar youtube was enough to put me off.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 23,969
    edward.s said:

    the cringy interview that the 'nippleshop' Pillar people did on Bikeradar youtube was enough to put me off.

    I find it kind of pointless to promote spokes when there is no distribution. I wouldn't know where to get Pillar spokes in the UK. As a matter of fact, even the distribution of DT Swiss is very patchy... I've never been able to find the DT competition race, which I would have liked to try and virtually all the aero spokes from DT are impossible to source in the UK (aerolite, aerocomp and aerospeed)
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    Ovalised what like the CX ray/Sprin/force....

    Pillars 1422 spoke is a traditional bladed spoke. The Pillar CXwing is more like a CX ray. Campagnolo use them in the BORA wheels probably because of price and availability.

    Pillar is easy to get hold of but nippleshop prices are not cheap. alot cheaper from a taiwanese distributor.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Has anyone using CX-ray on disc wheels had fatigue failures on them? That's what they're pitching for isn't it, a 'stronger' alternative to the market leading cx ray.

    Ultimately no harm in having another product on the market, question is whether they hit a price point and availability that makes them worth using for the average wheel builder.

    Personally don't think the extra price of aero spokes is worth it, you can get a similar gain by switching to hidden nipples and that's a lot cheaper (if a bit slower to build/harder to work on).
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 266
    edited 22 January
    I have use cx Ray's on my 45mm deep 24 spoke disc brake wheelset. No failures and there wont be. One set of 29er mtb wheels is built with lasers. I would normally build such a wheel with a thicker spoke though.

    What should be remembered the spike is one part of a wheel and fatigue is due to length changes in the spoke. Increase the stiffness in that plane and the length changes goes down and fatigue happens at a slower rate.

    The pillar wing spoke that's the cx ray mass is 2.0 wide and 1.2mm thick. That cant be as aero as the cx ray if that bothers you and I dont know how it can be argued that the wing 20 spoke is stiffer.

    The wing 22 is the same mass as the cx sprint and the wing 23 is the same mass as the cx force but wont fit through hubs with a 2.3mm spoke holes like shimano dura ace.

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 23,969
    I don't have a lot of trust in Pillar spokes... they look like a good company and all, but I have fixed quite a few wheels built with Pillar spokes that failed... and not all of them were Chinese wheels... in fact I recall having a chat via email with Harry Rowland a few years back and he said he had stopped using them because they weren't very reliable.
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