CX-Ray or Laser?

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CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby neild » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:23 pm

After reading a few recent wheel building threads, it's given me a case of wheelis-upgraditis. I'm in the process of putting together a list of parts on Bikehubstore using Kinlin XR-270 24/28h rims with Ultralight front and SL218 rear hubs. These will be replacing a set of Shimano R500 wheels so I'm sure I'll notice a huge improvement.

My question is in relation to spokes. I've built / rebuilt a few wheels, have a stand and tension meter and consider myself reasonably competent at building wheels. I only mention this as I have no issue with what spokes would be easier to build with. Would CX-Ray spokes offer a noticeable difference to Laser spokes in regards to performance? These will only be for commuting (28km each way) and recreational riding, no racing. There's quite a bit of price difference to use the CX Rays so I'm just trying to decide if its worth the extra $120 over the Laser spoke build?

Thanks and appreciate your comments.

Neil
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by BNA » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 am

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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby __PG__ » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 am

CX-Rays are often regarded as a very strong spoke due to the forging process which flattens them into 'aero spokes'. That is why mountain-bike wheels often use them.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:48 am

How much do you weigh and how many spokes do you plan to build with? I see those as two important bits that you have left out. I would avoid Laser spokes on the rear drive side regardless of weight, the Race would be a much better option for that. If you can afford it go CX-Ray, but your not loosing too much by going with Race/Laser spokes. I would stick with Race spokes if you are a bigger rider as they are a bit stiffer. I would also use the BHS SLF71W hub, it has a much wider flange spacing so it should build into a stiffer wheel.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby neild » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:24 am

Hi usernameforme, I'm about 93kg, looking to drop down to around 85kg. I've been running R500's which are 20f & 24r for a few thousand km and haven't had any issues at all, so I'm thinking of building these as 24f 1 cross & 28r 2 cross.

After posting this thread I did a bit more reading and read quite a few comments regarding Race rather than Laser. I normally use DT Swiss Competition spokes so I think I'll stick with Race ones. By the sound of it, while CX-Rays will build into a stiffer wheel it's mostly down to cost and how much you want to spend? Probably if I was building with something like 16f & 20r the CX-Rays would be better but at higher spoke counts not so much.

Thanks for the heads up on the SLF71W hub. I'll have a look at that. I'm also planning on building a set of Velocity Deep V's laced to disc hubs for my flat bar so I plan on ordering quite a few spokes.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:27 am

Hey Neil;

for your current weight and uses I would recommend the Race or CX-Ray 28/32 2x/3x to the Kinlin XR-270. You should be able to get away with a 24/28 but I feel that anything lower will be pushing it. With spoke selection it is largely down to how much you want to spend. If you can afford the CX-Ray I would go for it, but you won't be loosing too much by building with the Race or the Competition (maybe a bit of aero, but I'll doubt you'll notice that).
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby rifraf » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:01 pm

Not much to add except that for my 20" 406 wheeled touring bike I went with custom shortened CX-Ray spokes and have no regrets.
My wheels were built up by wheelbuilder.com in the States and after riding my heavily laden bike, towing a trailer, from
Mudgee NSW to Adelaide to Perth, I can report no problems nor issues with my wheels.
I'm currently considering building up a 29" Surly for Aussie off road touring and if I go ahead then I'll be getting the wheels built up
once again with the CX-Rays.
Why? Because they claim to be the best and I've read nowhere any good argument to say that they arnt. I'm not interested in fixing wheels or constantly replacing spokes cause I'm inherently lazy I guess. I figure I buy the best and I'll have to do the least (fingers crossed). Seems to have panned out ok.
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Good luck with the choice :!:
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby MichaelB » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:51 pm

Have just finished building my first wheel using bladed spokes (have built a few others using beuuted and plain gauge spokes).

I used Pillar spokes (6 of one, half dozen of the other) and found it easier to use the bladed spokes.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby biker jk » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:26 pm

I think you will be ok with a 24f, 28r spoke build. I have ROL D'Huez wheels which use the Kinlin XR-270 rim and Sapim CX-Ray spokes (well they do know, mine are a few years old and used DT Aerolite spokes, which is equivalent). They build them 20f, 24r with a weight limit of 86kg. So presumably at your weight a 24f, 28r build should be fine.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:12 pm

rifraf wrote:Image


That spoke angle...

I personally prefer the DT Aerolite as you can do this:

[img]idata.over-blog.com/0/02/72/10/randon-2008-news/aerolite.jpg[/img]

The Dt Aerolite are much better finished and they have a smooth transition between round/bladed shape. I believe that they are a higher quality, but they do cost more again...
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby warthog1 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:59 pm

usernameforme wrote:I personally prefer the DT Aerolite as you can do this:

Image

The Dt Aerolite are much better finished and they have a smooth transition between round/bladed shape. I believe that they are a higher quality, but they do cost more again...


:o
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby rifraf » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:45 pm

usernameforme wrote:
That spoke angle...


I understand that the 406 build is a particularly challenging one with the CX-Rays.
I didnt ask why.
My instructions were for strength alone with no emphasis on aerodynamics.

usernameforme wrote:I personally prefer the DT Aerolite as you can do this:

[img]idata.over-blog.com/0/02/72/10/randon-2008-news/aerolite.jpg[/img]

An interesting pass-time indeed but if they are dearer than CX-Rays its not a hobby I'm going to pick up :lol: :lol:
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby petal665 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:13 am

Use more spokes and Race or DT comp on DS rear, and if you are going to do that you may as well do NDS as well. Lower spoke count wheels give a harsher ride and cutting 4 spokes per wheel saves you what, 20g a wheel? Don't get caught up in the whole weight thing.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:37 am

petal665 wrote:Lower spoke count wheels give a harsher

Lower spoke count wheels do not give a harsher ride, spoke length may effect the ride quality (IME it doesn't) but your lacing, rim/hub choice have a bigger effect than your spoke count on spoke length. The tyres, tyre pressure and rim effect the ride much more than your spoke count.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby petal665 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:52 am

usernameforme wrote:
petal665 wrote:Lower spoke count wheels give a harsher

Lower spoke count wheels do not give a harsher ride, spoke length may effect the ride quality (IME it doesn't) but your lacing, rim/hub choice have a bigger effect than your spoke count on spoke length. The tyres, tyre pressure and rim effect the ride much more than your spoke count.
That's all great in theory, but get hold of a wheel with the same rim and tires in both 24 and 32 and come back to me with how it makes no difference. I ride a lot of different wheels as I build them for people. Yesterday I rode a 24-28 Belgium Hed C2 to Dura-ace wheelset, last night I swapped the tires to a 32-32 Belgium Hed C2 to Ultegra wheelset. They feel different on the road.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:18 am

Kinlin XR-300 20/24, 24/28 and 32/32, no difference in the ride, same spokes and hubs. I'd put your experience to either placebo or different tyre pressures and many other factors. You could also be using different spokes on those wheels too, which can also effect the ride. I'm not sure if the DA and the ultegra hubs have different flange geometries, but that can also effect your ride.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby petal665 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:28 am

Of course you wouldn't notice the difference when using XR-300 rims. They don't exactly give a comfy ride.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:43 am

But there is no difference to be noticed... and if you say you can't notice it with XR-300 rims, you shouldn't be able to notice it with XR-270 as they are equally stiff rims. Could you also confirm that you used the same spokes, same flange geometry and the same tyre pressure? I would think that less spokes would result in a smoother ride as you have less spokes (less support for the rim).
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby petal665 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:48 am

You're right, I'm wrong, whatever. 24 spokes are still not enough for commuting wheels and that weight, no matter what the rim is.
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:00 am

petal665 wrote:24 spokes are still not enough

I agree with you there, I'd personally recommend 28/32, but I'd disagree with the rest of the statement, prebuilt Mavic, Fulcrum and Shimano wheels all have spoke counts of under 24 and they seem to hold up just fine for both heavier riders and commuters (and both).

Oh, and sorry to the OP about getting off topic :oops:
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby neild » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:19 am

Hey thanks everyone for all the input. Some really interesting comments and I don't know how many times I went through the calcs and loaded up the basket and then clearing it and starting again!

In the end I went for 24 front & 28 rear Sapim Race all round. I've got a few builds going at the moment and planned projects so the $ saved on not using CX-Rays this time was a big consideration. Package has been sent and is on the way!

I decided on the 24f / 28r combination based on comments and the fact that I've been using R500's for quite a while and never had an issue with them and they're 20f / 24r. This along with the fact that they won't be used for daily commuting, maybe a couple of times a week. The remaining days will be on my flat bar (soon to be replaced by a CX disc bike when I find the right frame).

I'll post up my comments on the build & performance when I get them. I'm doing the Bendigo Belter in December so hopefully everything arrives and can be built by then.

cheers
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby usernameforme » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:26 am

Have fun Neil, enjoy the build
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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby Velo13 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:22 am

neild wrote:In the end I went for 24 front & 28 rear Sapim Race all round. I've got a few builds going at the moment and planned projects so the $ saved on not using CX-Rays this time was a big consideration. Package has been sent and is on the way!

I decided on the 24f / 28r combination based on comments and the fact that I've been using R500's for quite a while and never had an issue with them and they're 20f / 24r. This along with the fact that they won't be used for daily commuting, maybe a couple of times a week. The remaining days will be on my flat bar (soon to be replaced by a CX disc bike when I find the right frame).


Neil, you made a good choice.

I build a lot or wheels and always err on the side of extra spokes (read: caution), as the extra weight is minimal, the extra aero disadvantage is minimal, but the reliability of the wheel and stiffness is greatly increased.

As for the CX-Ray vs Laser vs Race argument, I find that the Lasers "wind up" a great deal as one tensions the wheel, and as a result the build requires more time, stress relieving and patience to get right. Once done though, they are a good strong spoke and I have not seen any failures due to the quality of the spoke.

The Race spokes, being thicker in the middle tend to wind up less, so are a little quicker and easier to build.

The great benefit of the CX-Ray (and all the new wide bladed spokes) is that you can see the blade twist as the spoke winds up, which makes eliminating wind up in the build really easy!

Lastly, make sure you lube those spoke threads and nipple seats (in the rim) before you build.

All the best,

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Re: CX-Ray or Laser?

Postby neild » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:24 am

Just had an email that there's a big box from BikeHubStore waiting for me at work! Not in today but going to swing past this afternoon and pick it up. Can't wait to see everything and start building!

Christmas has come early for someone. 2 weeks delivery from placing order which is not too bad. Will be sure to document the build for anyone interested.

Actually, that reminds me, I need to pick up a couple of new batteries for the kitchen scales.
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