Wheel (Building) Variables...

Wanted to ditch my Weinmann Deep Vs and get something a little less crap and (if possible)
a whole lot less ugly.
(Probs gonna go Velocity and was looking at B43s).
When it comes down to the build what effect on durability, handling etc. does rim size, spoke (size & count) actually have?
Thought I’d ask those who know…

I’d have thought that the B43 would be the antithesis of “less crap and a whole lot less ugly”.

More spokes, higher spoke tension, butted (swaged) spokes and less dish (fewer gears) will all increase wheel durability.

Rim weight, nipple weight and, to a lesser extend, spoke weight will all make the wheel harder to accelerate, decreasing “responsiveness”. This is why B43s suck.

^ Exactly

A B43 will perform worse than what you have already.
Sounds like you want a lighter wheel- an Open Pro rim would be a good starting point.

One of the biggest factors that has an effect on performance and strength is the design of the rim. In general, a cheap, single wall low profile rim rim is lighter, but flexes a shitload. A deep rim with two (or 3, in the case of the B43) walls is of course a lot stronger, but you get an increase in weight. B43s shouldn’t be touched, unless you just want a big slab of colour on your bike. They’re just heavy and pointless.

If you’re interested in performance, +1 to Horatio’s comment, Mavic Open Pros are up there with the best. They’re nice and light, and build up into reliable wheels. If you’re more interested in looks, then go for something like a Velocity Deep V. They’re heavier, but they come in colours other than black and silver.

In regards to spoke count, stick to 32. If you’re a bigger rider, you might consider 36 spokes for the rear wheel (or even both). Unless you’re racing, anything less than 32 spokes is also pointless, and you’re better off with a higher spoke count. Save yourself money down the track and go with DT Swiss or Sapim spokes. Even their basic straight-gauge spoke has a heap of strength.

If you place a low quality wheel next to a high quality wheel with strong spokes, the difference in stiffness is massive, and as soon as you ride them, the difference becomes even more noticeable.

but if you do still want a set of b43’s in white (and you know you do) pm me…


I have a question, would building a rear wheel to a 24h hub, even a quite expensive Bowermeester hub,
say a 60mm deep or 90mm deep carbon rim. would this be ok? for racing?
like would it be strong enough?

i don’t have first hand experience, but from the amount of zipp/edge/reynolds deep carbon rims out there with 20 spokes on the back and 16 on the front (laced radially no less), i’d imagine you’d be fine with 24. how much do you weigh?

24h on a deep rim is fine

and the wheelbuild is just as important as the rim. My Weinmann (Rigida DP18) semi-snowflake 18h front and 20h Velocity Deep V rear holds my 110kg fine - but I wouldn’t trust them unless I had faith in the wheelbuilder.

I never used to like building wheel with any less than 28 spokes, but I’m slowly changing my thoughts on the matter. You shouldn’t have any problems with a 24 spoke rear wheel if the parts you choose are good enough, and the wheelbuilder tensions it evenly.

B43’s rule, but the anodised ones crack around the holes, so watch for that.
Otherwise, they rule. If you have massive legs then an issue in acceleration won’t be too much of an issue.

The more wheels I build the more I like less spokes… it’s quicker for a start :wink:

Here’s my hand up saying the DT RR465s build up nicer than open pros. they seem to be “harder” (stiffer maybe…) when bringing up tension in the wheel. I guess theres a small weight difference but only 20g or so. I havent tried the 415s but would like to see if the single eyelet takes that hardness down a level or not.

And also a hand up for less spokes up front than at the rear. I wish I had a 28 front on my roadie.

Alloy nipples are pretty nice difference in weight, but pro lock nips are fantastic… they hold pretty toughly.

As an opposing view to JP, I wouldn’t touch alloy nipples with a bar of soap - but only from personal experience of factory built wheels that I’ve rebuilt with s/s or brass nipples. Also, I’ve snapped more front spokes over the years in the front wheel rather than the rear - strange you may think considering rear wheel dish - but in a sprint or punching up a sharp hill most of your weight will be over the front - there’s not too many times all the weight will be directly over the back wheel when you are putting out a lot of power.