Spoke count

daft1024
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Spoke count

Postby daft1024 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:46 am

Is there a sweet spot for the number of spokes for do everything cross bikes?

This is my only bike and I'm getting a bit jack of changing between road tyres and off road tyres. I want to get another set of rims so I can simply get out of bed and change wheels if I feel like doing road kms or dirt kms.

I'm looking at getting a bdop kit (http://www.bdopcycling.com/DIY%20Alloy%20Road%20Disc%20Wheel%20Kit%20130%20OLD.asp) which should get me a set of wheels for around $400 inc the cost of getting them built here at LBS.

I'm not sure what drillings I should order? I have 32 spokes at the moment, but I was wondering if a lower spoke count might be more desirable. I normally weight <80 kgs if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance

Calvin27
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Re: Spoke count

Postby Calvin27 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:55 am

There is a lot more to wheel strength than just spoke count. A lot of it is in build quality, rims, spoke gauge and hubs, I wouldn't solely be looking at spoke count.

For reference I weight 85kg and my road bike comes with 32 spokes on the rear. The cross country mtb runs 28. Both wheels are solid and I've never had trouble with either.

FYI Kinesis crosslight at about $450 delivered from wiggle or merlin would be the best bet. One of the best bang for buck disc wheels (you after disc or canti?) you can get at about 1600g a set. Judging by the link ylooks like you're after cantis. I think at the $400 range you might as well buy off the shelf. Rims brake cross wheels are super discounted at the moment because everyone is going to discs.
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daft1024
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Re: Spoke count

Postby daft1024 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:14 pm

Unfortunately I need a disc wheel with a 130 O.L.D. otherwise I'd be all over the 135mm crosslights (or one of the many 135mm 29'r options)... It really really limits the OEM options.

The bdop kits seems to the most the most affordable option that comes "off the shelf". Getting the 130mm disc hubs is the biggest issue with only a few vendors having affordable options.

From your post I'm guessing there isn't any huge differences between a 32 or 28 all things being equal. What about lower spoke counts like 24?

Calvin27
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Re: Spoke count

Postby Calvin27 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:27 pm

Depends on your interpretation of 'cross bike' I guess. For me a cross bike wheel will take more punishment than my mountain bike because it will have more force on the wheel with less tyre and no suspension to soften the blow.

Personally I'd not go as low as 24 - but i have never tried it but there are a few out there in 29er wheels. Not sure what your purpose of going low spoke count is though. If you're chasing weight savings you can get pretty light in 28 already.

Also on a side note, if you are changing wheels you will have to adjust rear derailleur and brakes each time unless you have identical hubs. Which is pretty close to just changing the tyres....new bike looms.
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silentbutdeadly
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Re: Spoke count

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:40 pm

The only reason to go low spoke count is to get more 'aero'. Since this is not an issue in CX (or road for that matter) for most of us mere mortals I'd be going for a 32h or more.

Your BIGGEST problem will be finding an 130 OLD disc hub that is sufficiently sealed to be able to cope with dust and mud AND strong enough. I for one would not like to use a two bearing rear hub like the D352 for CX - a 4 bearing hub would be better as you are less likely to bend the axle. I'd be looking at something like the Hope Mono RS instead...or one of the lovely White Industries hub.
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daft1024
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Re: Spoke count

Postby daft1024 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:08 pm

Calvin27 wrote:Depends on your interpretation of 'cross bike' I guess. For me a cross bike wheel will take more punishment than my mountain bike because it will have more force on the wheel with less tyre and no suspension to soften the blow.

Personally I'd not go as low as 24 - but i have never tried it but there are a few out there in 29er wheels. Not sure what your purpose of going low spoke count is though. If you're chasing weight savings you can get pretty light in 28 already.

Also on a side note, if you are changing wheels you will have to adjust rear derailleur and brakes each time unless you have identical hubs. Which is pretty close to just changing the tyres....new bike looms.


It will take punishment. I take it on the fire and single trails a few times a week - although I normally shoulder through the worst of the trails. I bought it to keep some fitness while recovering from running injuries, and had a bit of thought about giving cross a go this year if I can get enough skills to be able to keep out of everyones way.

I was thinking about 32 hole originally but a guy I ride with has 28 hole on his fancy stumpjumper and 16 on his roadie so I got to wondering if I should get 32.

I'm guessing there can't be a huge weight saving in it though.

I will have identical hubs :-) I've changed my current front hub to Novatec already and was going to buy a novatec rear for the current wheel so not withstanding the different rims I was hoping it would be a plug and play setup with the same cassette type (12/30 tiagra).

daft1024
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Re: Spoke count

Postby daft1024 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:33 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:The only reason to go low spoke count is to get more 'aero'. Since this is not an issue in CX (or road for that matter) for most of us mere mortals I'd be going for a 32h or more.

Your BIGGEST problem will be finding an 130 OLD disc hub that is sufficiently sealed to be able to cope with dust and mud AND strong enough. I for one would not like to use a two bearing rear hub like the D352 for CX - a 4 bearing hub would be better as you are less likely to bend the axle. I'd be looking at something like the Hope Mono RS instead...or one of the lovely White Industries hub.


OK so I thinking for me the 32 is probably the best option. I'm not skilled enough to need the benefits of better aero on the road.

I agree with the D352 is not ideal, but unfortunately my google skills have failed to turn up any affordable alternatives. The internet reckons that White Industries and Phil Wood have some but they are more $$$ than the entire bdop wheelset. I didn't see any Hope options that are 130 OLD and disc?

The big bonus with the D352 is they are rebuildable. The formula branded hubs that came on it are made of cheese and are not affordably rebuildable. How bad is it to have only two bearings if I accept that they will need to be rebuilt every few years?

Calvin27
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Re: Spoke count

Postby Calvin27 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:39 pm

Sounds like you should go for 32.
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silentbutdeadly
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Re: Spoke count

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:28 pm

Rebuilding Novatec hubs is doable but only for a relatively limited time as they keep 'parts shifting' and sourcing bits for older hubs can be problematic. But if that's your only option then go with it.

Hate to come across as fanboi but it might be worth your while talking to Josh at XLR8 Wheels about your build because he is quite useful and open to dealing with weird specs, has quite a collection of useful bits in his shed and is very familiar with the Novatec spec you are looking at. Also quite a handy and well priced wheel builder too.
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daft1024
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Re: Spoke count

Postby daft1024 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:14 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I will give XLR8 a call before I push the buy button with bdop.

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CXCommuter
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Re: Spoke count

Postby CXCommuter » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:50 pm

Don't touch the BDOP kits- had a set (road set) that the spokes kept on snapping midway on the rear then both rims cracked and the front rim kept on stripping shards of aluminium into the brake pads. The hubs are still good though and got them built up with Hplusson Archetypes- in 24/28 these would be a nice do it all wheelset on an appropriate hub.
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biker jk
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Re: Spoke count

Postby biker jk » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:27 am

CXCommuter wrote:Don't touch the BDOP kits- had a set (road set) that the spokes kept on snapping midway on the rear then both rims cracked and the front rim kept on stripping shards of aluminium into the brake pads. The hubs are still good though and got them built up with Hplusson Archetypes- in 24/28 these would be a nice do it all wheelset on an appropriate hub.


Who built your BDOP kit into wheels? I built a wheelset with the same XC-279 rim, Sapim CX-Ray spokes and BHS hubs (Bitex) and covered 8,000km without a problem.

daft1024
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Re: Spoke count

Postby daft1024 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:35 pm

Hi all who replied - an update

I talked to a few local builders and in the end I went with the bdop kit. They could only supply a 28-32 combo.

The good news - The rear hub is actually a 4 bearing setup and according to the shop who built them up they are good quality. The final wheelset is around 1/2 kilo lighter than the old wheels so that's a nice bonus. I was actually quite surprised by the feel. I can only imagine the real weight weenie wheels must feel pretty amazing.

So far I've only done around 500 kms of road and gravel but no problems thus far - certainly no broken spokes - but I've not hit any single tracks.

The bad news - the bike shop seem to think the XC-279 rims are not the best quality. They laced up ok, but the weld had a bit of a kink that the shop was not super happy with. They didn't seem to think this would be a problem but it does reflect on the product a bit.

The only other consideration is the rim has a high gloss finish which doesn't handle off road use all that well. After easy gravel use so far they do have some marks already. They did look great on road rides though.

The shop thought all the other parts were ok and the packaging and postage was very good.

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CXCommuter
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Re: Spoke count

Postby CXCommuter » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:43 pm

biker jk wrote:
CXCommuter wrote:Don't touch the BDOP kits- had a set (road set) that the spokes kept on snapping midway on the rear then both rims cracked and the front rim kept on stripping shards of aluminium into the brake pads. The hubs are still good though and got them built up with Hplusson Archetypes- in 24/28 these would be a nice do it all wheelset on an appropriate hub.


Who built your BDOP kit into wheels? I built a wheelset with the same XC-279 rim, Sapim CX-Ray spokes and BHS hubs (Bitex) and covered 8,000km without a problem.

Shards of aluminium and cracking along the braking track has little to do with the wheelbuilder. Furthermore the same builder built up the Archetypes on the same hubs and a separate set of Archetypes on Hope Mono RS, none of which have had a problem in over 12 months and about 5,000km on each wheelset.
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biker jk
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Re: Spoke count

Postby biker jk » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:43 pm

CXCommuter wrote:
biker jk wrote:
CXCommuter wrote:Don't touch the BDOP kits- had a set (road set) that the spokes kept on snapping midway on the rear then both rims cracked and the front rim kept on stripping shards of aluminium into the brake pads. The hubs are still good though and got them built up with Hplusson Archetypes- in 24/28 these would be a nice do it all wheelset on an appropriate hub.


Who built your BDOP kit into wheels? I built a wheelset with the same XC-279 rim, Sapim CX-Ray spokes and BHS hubs (Bitex) and covered 8,000km without a problem.

Shards of aluminium and cracking along the braking track has little to do with the wheelbuilder. Furthermore the same builder built up the Archetypes on the same hubs and a separate set of Archetypes on Hope Mono RS, none of which have had a problem in over 12 months and about 5,000km on each wheelset.


You referred to spokes snapping which can be a result of insufficient spoke tension (i.e. poor build). Your experience with the Kinlin XC-279 was bad while mine was good. That's a sample size of two and hardly sufficient to conclude the rim is rubbish.

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Re: Spoke count

Postby softy » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:51 pm

Yeah spoke count, another cycle myth!

Years ago all racing bikes where 36 hole, with very light rims (tubulars).

Now they are down to 16h on the front, but the rims are deeper and stronger and usually heavier (for the same material).

So what is better! Good question.........

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