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Is a 28-spoke wheelset a pure race-day luxury, or are there people out there who use them for plain-ol' xc thrashing? How do they hold up? Obviously, there are a LOT of variables--so gimme details of the wheelset setup/rider weight/style. . ..

Thanks,

Zizzle
 

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I got a set of 24 spoke custom OEM wheels that have been doing fine for 2 years (Hugi 240 + DT super comp + X3.1 UST rims). Plenty strong for regular XC work with a 170lbs rider in my opinion.

Note, that a lot also depends on your riding style. Some people brake stuff no matter how strong it is and how little they weigh. If you're one of those better go with something more conservative...
 

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28 and 24 spoke wheel experience

I used to run a king hub, db spoke, 28 hole bont val rim built 1 x by Speed dream. They were very light but not solid enough for me. This was more my fault than Dave's (speeddream). I had asked him for a super light wheel thinking at my weight (150 lbs) it wouldn't matter. I had the wheel relaced with 14 gauge 3x and was much happier. No twisting or vagueness in the front end. A few years later (memory sliding) I pick up a set of Hugi 240 disc, DT ,mavic 3.1 wheels with 24 spoke count. I thought the solid interior rim would make up for the lost spoke count. While the wheel was pretty stiff. I managed to run it out of true 6-8 rides. I decided to sell them before they bent.

I had a set of wheels built by Mike and oddsandendos.com and am very happy. Am Classics, ti spokes 32, and Vel Syn rims also got a set of trick abec 5 bearings. The wheels are light and very stiff but forgiving b/c of the ti spokes. The wheels have held up perfect after 20-22 rides on them. My feeling is that it is better to go with 32 lighter spokes than 28 or 24 heavy gauge spokes. I don't think you can build a solid wheel using 28 Revos for regular XC riding but you can with 32. But I don't think a Sid should be used for regular XC riding as well (too flexy for my liking). The weight difference between 32 Revos and 28 Double butted is so small and the wheel strength compromised. Oh well my 2 cents.
 

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chips & bier
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Agree there...

I've got two rim-brake wheelsets:

  1. 28(f)/36(r) with 3x Sapim Lasers (f) / 3x Sapim Race (r)
  2. 28(f)/28(r) with 2x DT Revos everywhere except rear drive, where I've used 3x DT Comps

Both are 'race only' wheelsets, although I don't hesitate using the former in severe terrain and endurance races. The 'silly light' wheelset really is XC/easy course only, although it's fared well so far. FYI, I'm ~150 lbs and a quite an agressive rider.

Both wheels use Mavic 217 Sunset rims - notorious for eyelets pulliong through, hence the 'race only' use.

Really, only reason I used 28 H rims was they were there (all the 32's were gone). I don't think 28 really has a big strength disadvantage, but the decrease in weight isn't very significant either. Just for standardisation's sake I say stick to 32, 3x spokes as you'll always be able to find a spare rim or hub - or spoke.

Regarding Ibis-SS' comments: I agree fully. Most spokes break where there are stress risers: at the head or at the start of the thread. 32 DT Revolutions will probably be just as strong as 28 DT Competition spokes, while the former is quite a bit lighter. After all, both spokes have 2.0 mm ends, and thus are exactly the same in high-stress areas.

A side note: in the past Mavic used only a few (20 or 24) thick steel spokes, with a lot of radial lacing mixes. The reason it worked for them is they use straight-pull spokes, which have less of a stress riser near the spoke head. Unless you going to buy Spada or Pulstar hubs, this is pretty much out of the question.
 

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If you're talking about the same 24 spoke wheels as I have, you have to stress relieve them yourself and tension them up. They're machine built I think and won't hold true very well initially. After I did some handy work on them they've been fine.
 

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They say I have a problem
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My fiance is riding a 28 spoke Sun 0degree Lite rim laced radially to a white industries hub....She's been riding the wheel for at least three years with no real problems....She's only popped on spoke and the only real complaint is there is some flex in the wheel...She rides XC and tries to stay away from the super technical stuff...She's a pretty safe rider and not hard on her stuff at all...I doubt we'd get her a 28 hole wheel again because of the flex and because she's not a racer...She just loves to ride..

Rich
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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28 in front, fine for XC use

I have a 28 front, 32 rear set up with Sun 0-degree Lite rims. Worked fine as my only wheels for midwestern XC riding. They are now on the "race" bike but see some pretty knarly trails still since I've just moved to Flagstaff. The 28 spoke wheel is still totally solid, it's the 32 spoke rear that's starting to crack. I weighed about 165lbs for most of the time I rode theses wheels, but I'm much slimmer now :)
 

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Chris Cocalis at Titus has been testing the new DT Swiss wheelssets...

Zizzle to the Tizzle said:
Is a 28-spoke wheelset a pure race-day luxury, or are there people out there who use them for plain-ol' xc thrashing? How do they hold up? Obviously, there are a LOT of variables--so gimme details of the wheelset setup/rider weight/style. . ..

Thanks,

Zizzle
...with 28 spoke count (240 hubs, Supercomp spokes, XR 4.1 rims). He's not a light guy either, and he says they've been holding up fine on their rugged Arizona trails. Four Supercomps according to DT is about 20gm of weight.
 

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28 Spoke Wheels. It's Whats For Dinner...

I had a Bontrager Race Lite wheelset which is 28 Spoke.

Don't be hard on me, I know I should not be riding this wheelset at 235lbs., but I trusted the selling dealer a couple years back, then had a Trek warranty issue and was upgraded to the Liquid Fuel using this wheelset. I've taco'd the rim twice, but the hub still seems to be OK. I no longer use this hub and use a burlier 32 spoke setup: Sun Ju-Ju Hub, Rhino-Lite Rim, brass nipples, and DT 14 guage spokes.
 
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