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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two sets of 26" Bontrager wheels and I'm wondering how much effect the spoke gauge and lacing AND the hubs have on the overall stiffness.

1st set = Race Lite disc
- DT Onyx hubs (steel rear axle and freehub, alum front axle, alum shells)
- 3-cross 14/15 gauge spokes
- 28 hole tubeless ready Bontrager rims

2nd set = Race X Lite disc
- DT 240 hubs (alum. axles and freehub and shells)
- 2-cross 14/16 gauge spokes (thinner spokes, but stiffer lacing)
- 28 hole tubeless ready Bontrager rims

I know that 2-cross lacing in theory is stiffer laterally than 3-cross, but the narrower spoke gauge would not be. And I'm wondering how much difference the steel axle on the rear Onyx hub makes.

So, considering the sum of those builds, which set should be stiffer?

I'm going to jump ahead a bit and predict that the general concensus is that the Race X Lite will be LESS stiff... if that is true, how much stiffer would relacing them 2-cross with 14/15 gauge spokes make them?

For what it's worth, I'm a lightweight xc rider, so I'm generally not going to flex much of anything too much... it's just something I'm wondering about :thumbsup:
 

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LA CHÈVRE
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I thought 3-cross was stiffer than 2-cross, as each spoke is supported at one more spot by it's fella spokes, and that the idea of going with less than 3-cross was more to lose weight by using slightly shorter spokes, not to make them stiffer... I'm no wheelbuilder though so feel free to educate me anyone.

All I'm sure about is that the Race Lite I had, even though they only have 28 spokes, are stiff enough for XC and even rougher trail riding.
 

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3 cross is laterally stiffer. 2 cross is radially stiffer.

i would lace my 130 lb wife's road wheels with a 28 hole, 2 cross.

i would lace my (200 lb) mountain wheels with a 32 hole, 3 cross.

if you weigh nothing and ride urban bike paths, go for the lighter setup. if you honestly ride hard and weight 170+, go with the traditional 32 hole 3 cross.
 

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Rich A. said:
I have two sets of 26" Bontrager wheels and I'm wondering how much effect the spoke gauge and lacing AND the hubs have on the overall stiffness.

1st set = Race Lite disc
- DT Onyx hubs (steel rear axle and freehub, alum front axle, alum shells)
- 3-cross 14/15 gauge spokes
- 28 hole tubeless ready Bontrager rims

2nd set = Race X Lite disc
- DT 240 hubs (alum. axles and freehub and shells)
- 2-cross 14/16 gauge spokes (thinner spokes, but stiffer lacing)
- 28 hole tubeless ready Bontrager rims

I know that 2-cross lacing in theory is stiffer laterally than 3-cross, but the narrower spoke gauge would not be. And I'm wondering how much difference the steel axle on the rear Onyx hub makes.

So, considering the sum of those builds, which set should be stiffer?

I'm going to jump ahead a bit and predict that the general concensus is that the Race X Lite will be LESS stiff... if that is true, how much stiffer would relacing them 2-cross with 14/15 gauge spokes make them?

For what it's worth, I'm a lightweight xc rider, so I'm generally not going to flex much of anything too much... it's just something I'm wondering about :thumbsup:
The Race Lite should be "stiffer" overall because of the thicker spokes (and if the rims are basically the same). Being 3X they will also be torsionally stiffer (less windup in braking/drive). Number of crosses has little effect on lateral stiffness/strength of a wheel.

The reason you see low spoke count wheels using fewer crosses is there are fewer spokes to be crossed on the way to the rim. The tangental spoke angles on a 36/4x, 32/3x and 28/2x wheel is basically the same.

I would not bother relacing the Race X Lite wheels unless you have issues
 

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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So the spoke gauge has the greatest effect

shiggy said:
The Race Lite should be "stiffer" overall because of the thicker spokes (and if the rims are basically the same). Being 3X they will also be torsionally stiffer (less windup in braking/drive). Number of crosses has little effect on lateral stiffness/strength of a wheel.

The reason you see low spoke count wheels using fewer crosses is there are fewer spokes to be crossed on the way to the rim. The tangental spoke angles on a 36/4x, 32/3x and 28/2x wheel is basically the same.

I would not bother relacing the Race X Lite wheels unless you have issues
Interesting! Thanks. So it looks like the spoke gauge is what has the greatest effect on the stiffness in this case. It's interesting to me that these wheels have different lacing even though they have the same number of spokes. The 2x looks like a better "fit" to me on a 28 hole rim... the nipples on the rim are less "leaned over".

My first impression when I bought the Race X Lite is that I could feel a bit of flex in the rear wheel, but I don't know that it's enough to worry about relacing right now. If I ever pop a spoke or something then I'll think about it. I use them as everyday wheels and need them to be durable enough for that without requiring constant attention.
 

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a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My Bonty tubeless have been great

eyebike66 said:
I'm thinking of converting from Stans's (always leaking) to a bonty tubeless ready wheel. Have you had any problems with yours? Thanks
The Bonty tubeless system has been awesome... that was probably the primary reason I first bought the Race Lites and it works so well that I bought the Race X Lites when I bought a second frame and built it up.

I've had standard tires with sealant, tubeless tires without sealant, and Bonty tubeless ready tires on them. The cross section of the strip is identical to the Mavic UST system (even though Bonty doesn't call it "UST" as far as I know).

Everything else about the wheel is rather standard stuff, but it was the rim and rim strip that set them apart from others in my opinion.

You can read my review of these wheels in the reviews section... http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Wheelset/product_127881.shtml
 

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LA CHÈVRE
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Rich A. said:
The Bonty tubeless system has been awesome... that was probably the primary reason I first bought the Race Lites and it works so well that I bought the Race X Lites when I bought a second frame and built it up.

I've had standard tires with sealant, tubeless tires without sealant, and Bonty tubeless ready tires on them. The cross section of the strip is identical to the Mavic UST system (even though Bonty doesn't call it "UST" as far as I know).

Everything else about the wheel is rather standard stuff, but it was the rim and rim strip that set them apart from others in my opinion.

You can read my review of these wheels in the reviews section... http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Wheelset/product_127881.shtml
They have DT spokes and hubs. As for Bonty not having the UST specification, it is probably just that they don't want to pay the fee to use the trademark name or that the strip makes the rim cavity less deep than the official UST standard... I'm not sure but I think that they are not exactly the same profile which explains why it's often harder to mount tires on a Bontrager tubeless rims than on a UST Mavic rim, they feel tighter...
 

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eyebike66 said:
I'm thinking of converting from Stans's (always leaking) to a bonty tubeless ready wheel. Have you had any problems with yours? Thanks
I have been using the new Bonty Rhythm Comp TR wheels. 28mm wide with the Bonty TR rim strip. Works great, seals easily and the tires mount easier than on my Mavic XM819s.

These are still meant for tubeless and tubeless ready tires. Standard tires should still be used with inner tubes on these wheels.
 
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