Sapim CX-Ray or DT Aerolite Spoke ?



BikeyGuy

New Member
Sep 27, 2003
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I'm in the midst of choosing spokes for a new set of wheels.
Sapim CX-Ray or DT Aerolite Spoke ?

All the specs are about identical.
I'm guessing they both are fine.

Any of you have a preference?
Any particular reason ?

Thanks
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Meek One said:
I am close to 100kg and run a front 20 with Sapim CX-rays and they are strong!
I'd second that - I killed my American Classic CR420 rim before any of the CX-Ray spokes went. My new back wheel has cx-rays too. Sapim claim that they're suitable for downhill mountain bike racing whilst being almost as light as titanium. Plus they're aero and the hubs don't need slotting like the old DT blade spokes.

http://www.sapim.be/content/tests.php
 
Dec 30, 2007
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BikeyGuy said:
I'm in the midst of choosing spokes for a new set of wheels.
Sapim CX-Ray or DT Aerolite Spoke ?

All the specs are about identical.
I'm guessing they both are fine.

Any of you have a preference?
Any particular reason ?

Thanks

No such thing as a free lunch. Too few thin spokes along with a light rim can make for an unreliable wheel. Marketing claims by a spoke maker like 'these are strong enough for a downhill MTB wheel' really doesn't tell the whole story. Spokes are just 1 of the 4 components of a reliable wheel. Light, oval spokes doesn't automatically translate into a faster, better ride.

Unless you are very light, or are using a beefy rim, I would think twice about using either of these on a rear wheel.
 

mwestray

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Sep 11, 2003
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No such thing as a free lunch. Too few thin spokes along with a light rim can make for an unreliable wheel. Marketing claims by a spoke maker like 'these are strong enough for a downhill MTB wheel' really doesn't tell the whole story. Spokes are just 1 of the 4 components of a reliable wheel. Light, oval spokes doesn't automatically translate into a faster, better ride.

Unless you are very light, or are using a beefy rim, I would think twice about using either of these on a rear wheel.

Peter knows wheels! That said, I've been riding a set of custom built (http://www.spinlitecycling.com) Velocity Aerohead/Aerohead OC rims with CX-Ray spokes (24F radial w/alloy nipples, 28R radial non-drive side w/alloy nipples, 3x drive side w/brass nipples) laced to White Industries H-1 hubs as my everyday wheels for the past 18 months or so (6000-7000 miles). Wheels = 1425 gms, me = 150 lbs. The wheels are as perfect today as they were the first time I rode them. From my experience, the CX-Ray spokes when used by a good wheel builder make for a damn tough wheel!
 

Meek One

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May 5, 2004
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No such thing as a free lunch. Too few thin spokes along with a light rim can make for an unreliable wheel. Marketing claims by a spoke maker like 'these are strong enough for a downhill MTB wheel' really doesn't tell the whole story. Spokes are just 1 of the 4 components of a reliable wheel. Light, oval spokes doesn't automatically translate into a faster, better ride.

Unless you are very light, or are using a beefy rim, I would think twice about using either of these on a rear wheel.

Peter, I am curious. What spokes would you recommend for my application: Rear wheel build using 32h Powertap, Velocity Deep V. I was going to go with the CX-Rays because I love them on my front Deep V (built by wheelbuilder on a 240S hub). I'd like something aero-ish. Thanks.
 

sideshow_bob

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Apr 26, 2005
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Unless you are very light, or are using a beefy rim, I would think twice about using either of these on a rear wheel.
I've got training track wheels laced 20/20 with CX Rays, and have never had a problem on them in 2 seasons of training.

I've got about 5 other sets of wheels in varying rim and spoke count configurations with DT Aerolites. This includes 20 hole, 24 hole and a 28 hole rear.

I've broken 1 spoke in the past 2 years (that didn't include someone elses bike parts ending up in the spokes that is). It was on the 28 hole rear, which was a Crostini 1.2, 400g rear rim / 1350g set of wheels. For the record that rim actually after about 15,000km and a lot of racing on really **** chip seal roads, just failed with a small 1cm crack on one of the eyelets.

My weight sits between 74kg at peak road racing weight up to about 78kg when it's track season.

So I'd say either spoke is generally pretty fine in rear wheel builds.
 

jjiam1234

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Sep 4, 2006
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Does anyone know the difference in price for spokes? Are they sold individual or as a set or what? and how much are the sapim cx rays, and that being said, who can you trust to build you a good wheel. I noticed that bikemania sells both, so would they build me the wheel or what?
 

mwestray

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Sep 11, 2003
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jjiam1234 said:
Does anyone know the difference in price for spokes? Are they sold individual or as a set or what? and how much are the sapim cx rays, and that being said, who can you trust to build you a good wheel. I noticed that bikemania sells both, so would they build me the wheel or what?

There are prices for spokes and wheel builds on the Spin Lite Cycling website: http://www.spinlitecycling.com/road_wheels.htm

Custom wheel building is a dying art, but there are still plenty of craftsmen out there. I highly recommend Spin Lite Cycling. Depending on your location, there may be a bike shop with a great wheel builder. Look for a shop that promotes racing and has some old guys back in the mechanics area.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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Meek One said:
Peter, I am curious. What spokes would you recommend for my application: Rear wheel build using 32h Powertap, Velocity Deep V. I was going to go with the CX-Rays because I love them on my front Deep V (built by wheelbuilder on a 240S hub). I'd like something aero-ish. Thanks.

If you want something aero-ish, use DT oval spokes but for a robust wheel, use 14/15 spokes and brass nipples(for all non eyeled rims, IMO). $2.50 spokes, and the slight 'aero-ness' isn't going to make much difference on this wheel.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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sideshow_bob said:
I've got training track wheels laced 20/20 with CX Rays, and have never had a problem on them in 2 seasons of training.

I've got about 5 other sets of wheels in varying rim and spoke count configurations with DT Aerolites. This includes 20 hole, 24 hole and a 28 hole rear.

I've broken 1 spoke in the past 2 years (that didn't include someone elses bike parts ending up in the spokes that is). It was on the 28 hole rear, which was a Crostini 1.2, 400g rear rim / 1350g set of wheels. For the record that rim actually after about 15,000km and a lot of racing on really **** chip seal roads, just failed with a small 1cm crack on one of the eyelets.

My weight sits between 74kg at peak road racing weight up to about 78kg when it's track season.

So I'd say either spoke is generally pretty fine in rear wheel builds.

For a bike shop that builds wheels(about 450 per year) and stands behind them absolutely, we don't build rears with thin spokes unless the rider is light, lighter than 78kg(171 pounds in old money). If you wish to spend the $, and have a less reliable wheel built, to save 250 or so grams, go ahead but when we see light riders kill things all the time, we aren't going to risk our pretty good wheelbuilding rep on a poorly designed wheel.

If your wheels are working for you, great, but an additional $140+ for these or other thin oval spokes is not money well spent, but it's your $...

Just my opinion and also the opinion of others that don't like to go out on a limb to save a couple of hundred grams on a wheel and perhaps strand somebody.
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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For a bike shop that builds wheels(about 450 per year) and stands behind them absolutely, we don't build rears with thin spokes unless the rider is light, lighter than 78kg(171 pounds in old money). If you wish to spend the $, and have a less reliable wheel built, to save 250 or so grams, go ahead but when we see light riders kill things all the time, we aren't going to risk our pretty good wheelbuilding rep on a poorly designed wheel.

If your wheels are working for you, great, but an additional $140+ for these or other thin oval spokes is not money well spent, but it's your $...

Just my opinion and also the opinion of others that don't like to go out on a limb to save a couple of hundred grams on a wheel and perhaps strand somebody.

It doesn't matter how "thin" a spoke is. What matters is the cross sectional area of the spoke. The stress on a spoke varies inversely with that area. When you measure the cross section of aero spokes, you'll find that area is a lot larger than you think and is, in fact, larger than a lot of spokes with round cross section.
 

Meek One

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May 5, 2004
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If you want something aero-ish, use DT oval spokes but for a robust wheel, use 14/15 spokes and brass nipples(for all non eyeled rims, IMO). $2.50 spokes, and the slight 'aero-ness' isn't going to make much difference on this wheel.

Umm just went to the DT site and the spokes you mention aren't there and do you prefer them simply because you sell them (went to your site), only asking cuz I know a guy that owns a bike store and he ONLY thinks the bikes he sells are 'worth' the money (okay :rolleyes: ):


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DT aero speed 215 - 305 mm 355 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Black Bladed

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DT aero speed 215 - 305 mm 355 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver Bladed

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DT aerolite 232 - 304 mm 278 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Black Double butted and bladed

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DT aerolite 232 - 304 mm 278 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver Double butted and bladed

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DT new aero 215 - 305 mm 437g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Black Bladed

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DT new aero 215 - 305 mm 437g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver Bladed

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DT alpine III 245 - 305 mm 418 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver Tripple butted

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DT competition 200 - 315 mm 382 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Black Double butted

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DT competition 200 - 315 mm 382 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver Double butted

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DT revolution 231 - 308 mm 283 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Black Double butted

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DT revolution 231 - 308 mm 283 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver Double butted

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DT super comp 243 - 305 mm 318 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Black Tripple butted

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DT champion 140 - 315 mm 359 g - 591 g* (mentioned above) Black -

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DT champion 140 - 315 mm 318 g (64 pcs / 264 mm) Silver
 

sideshow_bob

New Member
Apr 26, 2005
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Meek One said:
Umm just went to the DT site and the spokes you mention aren't there and do you prefer them simply because you sell them (went to your site), only asking cuz I know a guy that owns a bike store and he ONLY thinks the bikes he sells are 'worth' the money (okay :rolleyes: ):

The competitions and revolutions are double butted. I'm not sure of their guages through.
 

sideshow_bob

New Member
Apr 26, 2005
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If your wheels are working for you, great, but an additional $140+ for these or other thin oval spokes is not money well spent, but it's your $...

Just my opinion and also the opinion of others that don't like to go out on a limb to save a couple of hundred grams on a wheel and perhaps strand somebody.

When I broke the aerolite in the 28 rear the wheel was perfectly ridable. In fact it happened around the corner from my wheel builders factory, so I dropped in to have it fixed. He wasn't there (at 9am on a Saturday morning), so I did about 50km on a training loop before returning to his shop and having it replaced after he had gotten in.

Personally I think 250g, or a half pound is a fairly significant amount of weight to shed, for a relatively small cost, without any real demonstrated difference in reliability. From memory my wheel builder charges $2AU per spoke premium using Aerolites, CX Rays are a bit cheaper. So 24+28=52 > $104$AU (~$80US)

If you don't like them, you're completely entitled to that opinion, but my question is Peter, are you basing that opinion on having had a bad run with these types of spokes, or are you in theory thinking a light spoke isn't going to make a strong / reliable wheel and saying "nope we aren't building wheels with them".
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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There's a lot of mythology "built" into wheels. Take radial spokes, for example. I forget the guy's name, but a British wheel builder who's legend over there, built a set of track wheels for a big track cyclist with radially laced spokes everywhere: front, rear NDS, AND rear DS. Apparently it worked and was durable. Guys like Troy Watson and Eric Gottesman build lots of wheels with Aerolites or CX-Rays without problem. From sprinters to rec riders, those work and last.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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Meek One said:
Umm just went to the DT site and the spokes you mention aren't there and do you prefer them simply because you sell them (went to your site), only asking cuz I know a guy that owns a bike store and he ONLY thinks the bikes he sells are 'worth' the money (okay :rolleyes: ):

Aerolites and Aerospeeds..we do sell them, have built wheels with them. 'Worth' is something customer has to decide, not me. BUT I design a wheel that is going to do what the customer needs, to the best of my experience. If the customer agrees, we build it. If they want something I think may not be reliable, they may go somewhere else. No great worry but if we stand behind our wheels, and they are in need of constant attention, because they are too light for the application, that costs money, our money.
 
Dec 30, 2007
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sideshow_bob said:
When I broke the aerolite in the 28 rear the wheel was perfectly ridable. In fact it happened around the corner from my wheel builders factory, so I dropped in to have it fixed. He wasn't there (at 9am on a Saturday morning), so I did about 50km on a training loop before returning to his shop and having it replaced after he had gotten in.

Personally I think 250g, or a half pound is a fairly significant amount of weight to shed, for a relatively small cost, without any real demonstrated difference in reliability. From memory my wheel builder charges $2AU per spoke premium using Aerolites, CX Rays are a bit cheaper. So 24+28=52 > $104$AU (~$80US)

If you don't like them, you're completely entitled to that opinion, but my question is Peter, are you basing that opinion on having had a bad run with these types of spokes, or are you in theory thinking a light spoke isn't going to make a strong / reliable wheel and saying "nope we aren't building wheels with them".

Never said I didn't 'like' them. They have their place. They can make a strong reliable wheel for certain riders. We have built with them, for light riders, for racing type wheels, again, with light riders. BUT if the rim, hub and build quality are the same and you use a DT aerolite or CX-ray instead of a 14/15, the wheel isn't as strong. Can it be reliable, sure but for a 175 pound rider, and a 17 pound bike, it isn't going to be as reliable as the one with 14/15 spokes. Is it worth the less relaibility, slightly lower weight(28 14/15 aren't 250 grams heavier than 28 Aerolites) and increased cost? Donno, that has to be answered by the customer BUT we aren't going to design a wheel that we suspect we are going to see a lot, that costs us time and money.

250 grams, about 1/2 pound, a teeny % of the total weight of a pretty light bike and rider(175 pounds again, plus all the stuff, clothes, shoes, bike, water, etc), I don't describe that as 'significant'. BUT again, your money, your rig. I see heavy riders with light, light stuff have no problems and I see light, like 140 pound riders kill stuff left and right. As a business, in biz to stay in biz, it makes sense to be more conservative when it comes to wheels designed and built.