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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if any of you wheel builders (pro or amateur) out there have built wheels up using the same hubs, nipples and rims with the only difference being DT Revolution 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes vs. CXray spokes--or even the 2.0/1.5/2.0 Wheelsmith XL14s vs. CXrays. Are there any real or noticeable differences in stiffness or tracking of the wheels? Is there really any difference in noticeable flex when braking if used on a disc brake wheelset?

I've heard so much marketing hype about CXrays being so much better when I know that people have been building with the 14g revos for a very long time with much success. The CXrays are NOT that much ligher (perhaps 2-6g per set of 64 spokes for the same length, if that), but are more than 2x the price of revos or XL14s in many cases. The only possible advantage I clearly see with the naked eye is that, when building the wheel up, it will probably be easier to see spokes twisting or unwinding with the bladed profile of the CXrays vs. the others. As I'll be building my first set of wheels soon, I may want to take that into account fairly seriously. But is there really any other real world advantage? If so, is there a way to prove it? I know it isn't the same, but I had a set of Nukeproof Carbon hubs (yeah, I had the o-ring, freehub drag problem with the rear...) with 15/16g spokes, alloy nipples and Mavic 217s for 3 years in the late '90s that only had to be trued twice, and that included a season of sport class racing in Arizona and all my training/recreational rides. They held up great and were super light for back then.

Just for the record, back then I weighed about 140lbs. Now I'm 160 at my heaviest including gear. I'm probably going to still have my race wheels built professionally, but I'd like to give building my own wheels a try at least once with some inexpensive rims and hubs I've come across. All my wheels are always built with 32, 3-cross laced spokes for my disc setups.

On a side note, I also wanted to know if building with hubs that have large, evenly sized flanges, like the WTB, Hope or King hubs really helps make the wheels stiffer given the same spokes and rims vs. hubs with smaller flanges such as XTR. Logically, you would think so because there is less spoke length to flex on the former than the later... Thanks!
 

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I have built similar wheels with 15/16 butted spokes and CX-Rays. Same hubs, the 15/16 spoked wheel had what should have been a stiffer rim.

The 15/16 spoked wheel rubbed the chainstay when climbing and in hard corners. The CX-Ray does not. The latter is now more than 4 years old and still going strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
shiggy said:
I have built similar wheels with 15/16 butted spokes and CX-Rays. Same hubs, the 15/16 spoked wheel had what should have been a stiffer rim.

The 15/16 spoked wheel rubbed the chainstay when climbing and in hard corners. The CX-Ray does not. The latter is now more than 4 years old and still going strong.
Thanks for the reply, Shiggy. I really only used the 15/16 spokes from my old Nuke Proof wheelset as an example of an even thinner spoked setup that lasted quite a while with few issues. I wouldn't build a disc wheel now with such thin spokes because I'm more wary of the elbow and end diameters being so thin... I'm really looking for an apples to apples comparison of the 2.0 (14g), butted Revolution spokes vs. the 2.0, flat forged CXrays (yes I know that the CXrays are forged from a straight 2.0).

For the record, I never had such an issue with my 15/16 spoked wheelset. That's pretty extreme. I know that there are quite few people on the forum who have built their disc wheels with 14g Revos, or ordered them pre-built that way. Just looking for direct, real world comparisons of stiffness/flex, ride quality, or even failures from stress or premature fatigue if there are any.

Just to add: For those interested, I believe the DT Revo 14g spokes mentioned are a 14/17g or 2.0/1.5/2.0mm spoke like the newer Wheelsmith XL14 and the Sapim Laser.

In retrospect, I guess your comparison still has some validity because of the center section of the 15/16 spoke being similar to a Revo's center section.
 

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AZ-X said:
(yes I know that the CXrays are forged from a straight 2.0)
I don't know where you got that one from. If that was so then the CX-Ray weight would be the same as their 2.0mm Leader spoke. Leaders are advertized at 424g/64. CX-Rays advertized at 291g/64 (mine weighed 282g)

CX-Rays are forged from their 2.0/1.5/2.0mm Lasers and have the same advertized weight (not a big surprise eh?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike T. said:
I don't know where you got that one from. If that was so then the CX-Ray weight would be the same as their 2.0mm Leader spoke. Leaders are advertized at 424g/64. CX-Rays advertized at 291g/64 (mine weighed 282g)

CX-Rays are forged from their 2.0/1.5/2.0mm Lasers and have the same advertized weight (not a big surprise eh?).
Thanks for the correction. I was obviously misinformed. Any insights on the original question? Especially since I have your wheelbuilding instructions in my favorites.:D

That information makes the question even more interesting doesn't it?
 

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AZ-X said:
Thanks for the correction. I was obviously misinformed.
No probs there AZ. Yes they are forged Lazers.

[/quote] Any insights on the original question? Especially since I have your wheelbuilding instructions in my favorites.:D[/QUOTE]
Nope, I've got no 1st hand knowledge of Revs so I didn't open my mouth on that one.

I hear your "2x the price and are they worth it?" type of question. To me it's like anything else we buy. It's all diminished returns for cost versus performance and if we all worried about that we'd all be riding around on Specialized Rockhoppers. For instance I took a Thomson stem off my bike and replace it with a Moots Ti. Realistically that's nuts but hell it's my money.

I can't justify the cost of X-Rays versus any other spoke - that's why I built up my last two sets of wheels (one road fixy set, one track bike set) with Sapim's Race spokes (2.0/1.8/2.0) at a fraction of X-Ray's cost. But I wanted the "ultimate" wheels for my mtb so I chose CX-Rays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The money is really not that much the issue. It's more the money charged vs. realistic superiority. I'm just looking for some comparative experience with the two, and some answers to the question with some real world examples between the 14g revos and the Sapims given the same rims, nipples and hubs. I'll still have fun riding my bike and building my wheels if nobody has any experiences like this though...:thumbsup:
 

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CX-Rays are a standard design that can be with any standard type hub (and a straight pull version is available).
Drawn stainless steel with forged heads (like all good steel spokes). Then cold forged to blade them.

The two aluminum spokes you mentioned are proprietary. Not what I want.
One is forged. I am fine with that.
The other is machined. Machined aluminum spokes? Makes no sense to me.
 
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