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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to buy new wheels soon and am wondering if I should choose a 2/1.8/2mm or a 1.8/1.6/1.8mm spoke.

I see a lot of higher end bikes come with 2/1.8/2mm spokes. I know there will be a slight weight disadvantage (can anyone ballpark quantify this), but the wheels should be stronger, right?

Is it worth it to get thicker spokes, or should I stay with the thinner ones?

edit: this will be for xc riding on a 2009 rockhopper
 

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Depends....

the difference in weight isn't that significant (you'll save about 50g per wheel). But that weight savings is hardly noticeable as it comes mostly from the center to the mid point of the wheel. The most significant weight savings, i.e. noticeable, always come at the rim and/or tires. The most noticalbe weight savings are always at the outer diameter of the wheel. The thicker spoke, generally speaking, will build a stiffer and more durable wheel. But stiffness and durability are difficult to quantify. There are too many variables, rider weight, riding style, terrain, quality of the build, etc., that all have an affect on both.

It boils down to intended use and your requirements. If your goal is to build the lightest wheel possible then the thinner butted spokes would be the way to go. But you will be sacrificing some durability and stiffness. For general all around use wheels I usually recommend the 2.0/1.8/2.0 butting. They build a reasonably light and stiff wheel, without scarificing durability. So let your "priorities" for the wheel set dictate your components.

For most riders, the 2.0/1.8/2.0 is the better choice for an all around general use wheel.

Good Dirt
 

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It's a can o' worms. Read last weeks shindig about this kind of subject. While the thinner Comps weren't specifically targeted, you'll get the drift.

(This post was meant for the original poster)
 

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Weight weenie spokes on a Rockhopper?? Unless you're a lightweight yourself, I'd say it's not worth the trouble. Not dissing the bike, just saying it doesn't make sense to shave grams on a bike that's a little heavy to start with.

IMHO for most riders, 2.0/1.8 double butted spokes build very durable wheels at a reasonably light weight and modest cost.
 

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the thinner the spoke the more durable the wheel.
[disregard]OP- I'm not a fan of the idea of using spokes that are 1.8mm at the head due to the large discrepancy between the thickness of the spoke and the hole it is fitting into. in general, the tighter the fit at the bend, the better. one thing some do is use spoke wahers to make sure there's a firm fit and positive seat between spoke and hub.[/disregard]
if you're not going to build the wheels, find a good wheelbuilder and follow his/her recommendation.
chances are you'll end up with 2.0/1.8 spokes.
 

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meltingfeather said:
the thinner the spoke the more durable the wheel.
Within the limits of available spokes or would this theory/statement/opinion of "more durable" be infinite?

As most wheels don't fail (as in "collapse" or break spokes) what is the unit of measurement used for this extra durability? Or is it, as I suspect, theoretical based on the elasticity of materials and no tests to destruction have ever been documented? If there are such tests, can we access them?

I'm not a fan of the idea of using spokes that are 1.8mm at the head due to the large discrepancy between the thickness of the spoke and the hole it is fitting into. in general, the tighter the fit at the bend, the better. one thing some do is use spoke wahers to make sure there's a firm fit and positive seat between spoke and hub.
While I agree with the theory of this, there are two pro wheelbuilders who post at this site who build with those spokes. So they must be willing to risk their reputation on them. Could it be that 1.8mm spoke j-bends in normal hub-flange holes are strong enough?

I have a set of mtb wheels with 1.8/1.6/1.8 Comps so I guess time will tell whether they are up to the job. What a pity my mtb racing days are over or I'd have an opinion PDQ.
 

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Mike T. said:
Within the limits of available spokes or would this theory/statement/opinion of "more durable" be infinite?
cute. i'll entertain, though you are mocking me...
i assumed that the obvious was implied, which is that the comparison is made within the range of reasonable/available spokes and that the wheel must still be sufficiently strong to work. my comment was pointed directly at the statement that thicker spokes are more durable.
Mike T. said:
As most wheels don't fail (as in "collapse" or break spokes) what is the unit of measurement used for this extra durability? Or is it, as I suspect, theoretical based on the elasticity of materials and no tests to destruction have ever been documented? If there are such tests, can we access them?
Since you're such a fan of manufacturer 'data' and apparently sarcasm, the units would be wheel revolutions and Sapim's 'fatigue test' could be used to support that statement. You can access their depiction of the results here. Because controlled, testing-to-desctruction of bike wheels is expensive and has virtually zero payoff, my guess is that you won't find much more than a couple of marketing-tool cartoon depictions. There is the third basis you failed to mention, which is the experience of people smart enough and dedicated enough to author books on the subject, in which the consensus is what I stated... but propellerheads don't really know much, so why bother? Remember that most people spending the time to talk about bike components in detailed engineering terms also have plenty of time in the saddle. There's nothing about owning a calculator that prevents you from riding a bike.
Mike T. said:
While I agree with the theory of this, there are two pro wheelbuilders who post at this site who build with those spokes. So they must be willing to risk their reputation on them. Could it be that 1.8mm spoke j-bends in normal hub-flange holes are strong enough?
I know of one, and I didn't say it wouldn't work, just that I don't like the idea for the stated reason. I haven't thought too much about it because I don't have a motivation to use 1.8/1.6 spokes. It seems obvious that they are strong enough for the people who use them. I rescind my statement.
Mike T. said:
I have a set of mtb wheels with 1.8/1.6/1.8 Comps so I guess time will tell whether they are up to the job. What a pity my mtb racing days are over or I'd have an opinion PDQ.
Not sure what you mean. If you have the wheels and they work, the answer is plain, ain't it? I didn't say they wouldn't or don't work. Maybe you should call DT and ask them to tell you whether or not they work.
touche... ;)
 

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meltingfeather said:
cute. i'll entertain, though you are mocking me...
i assumed that the obvious was implied, which is that the comparison is made within the range of reasonable/available spokes and that the wheel must still be sufficiently strong to work. my comment was pointed directly at the statement that thicker spokes are more durable.
Your statement left a big door open. If your opinion is correct and true then if 1.0mm center section spokes were made they should make more durable wheels than 1.5mm center sections? I wonder where this "thinner is better" starts to fall apart? It's really very moot for most people - amateur builders (as myself), pro builders and end users. DT Comp and Sapim Race spokes (as I build with) do a great job with no known negatives. They won't prevent anyone from becoming world champion.

Since you're such a fan of manufacturer 'data' and apparently sarcasm, the units would be wheel revolutions and Sapim's 'fatigue test' could be used to support that statement.
Ha that's a joke. I'll admit to a touch of sarcasm but I have NEVER ever mentioned, let alone quoted, ANY manufacturer's claims. I'm a big fan of CX-Rays (I have two wheelsets that here that I've built with them) but, to my non-engineer eyes, Sapim's claims for their durability is an absolute joke. I didn't click the link you provided but I'll assume it's their mickey-mouse "cycles" chart from their website. A company that turns out such nice spokes should portray a bit more credibility.

controlled, testing-to-desctruction of bike wheels is expensive and has virtually zero payoff,
Or could it be that they don't want us to know the real test results? Maybe it would refute the "CX-Ray are stronger" claims that some use on this forum (I'm not one of them) and that Sapim use on their website.

There is the third basis you failed to mention, which is the experience of people smart enough and dedicated enough to author books on the subject, in which the consensus is what I stated... but propellerheads don't really know much, so why bother?
Rinard went to the trouble of doing a rim deflection test -
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm
- so why would he not do a strength test to destruction? Until then is it not just opinion and theory?
 

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Mike T. said:
Your statement left a big door open. If your opinion is correct and true then if 1.0mm center section spokes were made they should make more durable wheels than 1.5mm center sections? I wonder where this "thinner is better" starts to fall apart? It's really very moot for most people - amateur builders (as myself), pro builders and end users. DT Comp and Sapim Race spokes (as I build with) do a great job with no known negatives. They won't prevent anyone from becoming world champion.
At 100kgf a 1.0mm spoke would be beyond its tensile strength, so that would (probably) fail the 'wheel must be strong enough to work' test. I also meant to imply, if it wasn't communicated, that I'm talking about 'normal' XC mtb builds. If you build a 100-spoke wheel with 1.0mm spokes I'd bet it would last forever... twisted chrome fork, 8 rear view mirrors, and crushed velvet banana seat would be required.
I also didn't say 'thinner is better,' just that thinner (with all of the implications now explicitly described) is generally more durable. If you think you can tell and ultimate stiffness is your goal, then thinner is not better. It is moot, as is, I would say, stiffness. Comps and Races are great spokes, I won't argue that. I prefer a different spoke, but that doesn't mean I think all others are crap.
Mike T. said:
Ha that's a joke. I'll admit to a touch of sarcasm but I have NEVER ever mentioned, let alone quoted, ANY manufacturer's claims. I'm a big fan of CX-Rays (I have two wheelsets that here that I've built with them) but, to my non-engineer eyes, Sapim's claims for their durability is an absolute joke. I didn't click the link you provided but I'll assume it's their mickey-mouse "cycles" chart from their website. A company that turns out such nice spokes should portray a bit more credibility.
I've read enough of your posts to know you don't quote mfr data. That was the joke, and a play on your solicitation in another thread for DT and Sapim to come out with recs for Lasers & Revos. All in good fun. I'd also and actaully have said that Sapim's fatigue 'test' is a joke.
Mike T. said:
Or could it be that they don't want us to know the real test results? Maybe it would refute the "CX-Ray are stronger" claims that some use on this forum (I'm not one of them) and that Sapim use on their website.
Could be... I don't suspect an ulterior motive, but I wouldn't put it past a marketing department.
Mike T. said:
Rinard went to the trouble of doing a rim deflection test -
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm
- so why would he not do a strength test to destruction?
Rinard's test is one of my favorite resources (11% difference in lateral stiffness between SG 2.0 and DB 2.0/1.45, all else equal). Don't go quoting a propellerhead, now. ;)
My guess is that he didn't do a strength test to destruction because he mostly used other people's wheels that were sent to him voluntarily for the test and returned afterward.
I've been thinking, after your solicitation in another thread, about sending you a loaner 29er wheelset built with Revos for you to ride for a while, to fill in the experience gap in your opinion basis. I'm not making any promises, but I may get there.
 

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meltingfeather said:
I've been thinking, after your solicitation in another thread, about sending you a loaner 29er wheelset built with Revos for you to ride for a while, to fill in the experience gap in your opinion basis. I'm not making any promises, but I may get there.
Oh sure! If you've read enough of my posts (and I wouldn't be surprised if you missed this one) you'll know that my mtb is a ten year old 26" wheeled Seven. And no, Momma T. wouldn't allow me to buy another frame (rats!) just to test your 29er wheels. But if you could see your way clear to sending a 700c roadie set (I'm doing mostly road riding at the moment) with Revs I'd be all over that.

I have been wondering if a lighter set of wheels (than my OpenPro/DuraAce/32h Comp) would make up for my rapidly aging bod and the resultant loss of performance. Actually I'm as fast (or as slow) as I was 6 years ago. But I have done some thinking about lighter hand-builts and just for the price of a set of Revs (in new light wheels) at least then I'd have an opinion based on some first-hand knowledge.
 

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Mike T. said:
But if you could see your way clear to sending a 700c roadie set (I'm doing mostly road riding at the moment) with Revs I'd be all over that.
The 'roadie' set I ride with Revos is XT/Dyad and is relied on much too much to be loaned. someday...

Mike T. said:
I have been wondering if a lighter set of wheels (than my OpenPro/DuraAce/32h Comp) would make up for my rapidly aging bod and the resultant loss of performance. Actually I'm as fast (or as slow) as I was 6 years ago. But I have done some thinking about lighter hand-builts and just for the price of a set of Revs (in new light wheels) at least then I'd have an opinion based on some first-hand knowledge.
my guess is that if you used revos you'd like them a lot. they take a little more time to work with, but that doesn't sound like it'd bother you much. i love building wheels, so from my perspective it could be seen as a benefit. :D i can definitely see why a volume builder wouldn't be a proponent. i've built a lot of wheels with revos, and when i recently did a set with comps i was surprised when i looked at the clock after i was done.
 
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