Author Topic: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes  (Read 11233 times)

ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« on: October 20, 2008, 10:57:10 am »
Is it worth paying extra for DT Swiss Comp double butted spokes over ACI double butted ones ? Where is the cheapest source for these spokes ?

border-rider

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp Spokes
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 10:59:06 am »
Is it worth paying extra for DT Swiss Comp double butted spokes over ACI double butted ones ?

Yes

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Where is the cheapest source for these spokes ?

Damn cheap spokes

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 03:14:36 pm »
Since it doesn't seem possible to get DT Swiss Comps in quantities smaller than 100 any more, I'll ask a different question

What's the next best thing ? Sapim Race ?  why are ACI db spokes a poor choice ?

border-rider

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 03:18:49 pm »
Sapim Race

Lasers are a bit too skinny for my tastes - they wind up like no-one's business, and stretch if you put a shedload of tension on them.  The ones I had also had aluminium nipples, which are the work of Stan.

I just don't know what ACI are like; I've used Sapin & DT and I know they're good.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2010, 03:23:07 pm »
At Rose in Germany you can get single DT Swis comp spokes.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2010, 04:53:51 pm »
Is it worth paying extra for DT Swiss Comp double butted spokes over ACI double butted ones ? Where is the cheapest source for these spokes ?

The reason why people are willing to pay extra for Sapim and DT Swiss spokes are because of their consistent high quality. This is because they both buy their spoke wire spools from Sandvik SMT, a large high tech materials company that makes the best quality spoke wire in the world.
Many other spoke companies have used less skilled or even dishonest spoke wire manufacturers, like the Chinese manufacturer that started to cheapen their manufacturing process which resulted in inferior spokes that caused the "great 2005 spoke scandal".

ACI Alpina is however a well known old spoke manufacturer that uses European spoke wire (more expensive but probably of more uniform higher quality than Chinese spoke wire), so their db spokes are probably of good quality. No personal experience though.

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andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2010, 04:56:38 pm »
The great 2005 spoke scandal?
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2010, 05:47:20 pm »
I used Sapim Race for my rear wheel. Very nice, silky finish, seem very uniform. No problems with wind-up.

The elbow is beautifully shaped and interestingly not a right-angle.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2010, 05:57:03 pm »
Try Chain Reaction Cycles and/or All Terrain Cycles.  I think the latter only carries MTB lengths.  DT are worth the money because building is so much easier - they're just more consistent.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2010, 06:08:58 pm »
I've used Sapim and DT double butted spokes to build wheels and been happy with both. Sapim offer the Polyax nipple, which is rounded where it seats in the rim. This allows the nipple to seat properly in the rim even if the angle between the spoke and the rim is much less than 90˚, as with a 26" rim with a deep "V" section. I would expect the shape of the Polyax nipple to offer some advantage in any wheel, but more so as the angle between spoke and rim becomes more acute.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2010, 07:16:17 pm »
The great 2005 spoke scandal?

Quad Cities Bicycle Club - Home of TOMRV
See
"Widespread Spoke Failures"
Among the brands hit in the US alone where:
Fuji, Giant, Jamis, Pacific Cycle, Raleigh, Specialized, Trek and others.

The end result was much more damaging since the spokes was used in cheap bicycles all around the globe, and several big Chinese spoke manufacturers where hit by the problem. But the industry tend to not to speak too much about failures like this or Shimano's early versions of the notorious Nexus 8 IGH, or Mavic's self destructing R-SYS wheels etc.

Here is another blurb regarding the 2005 spoke problems:
Kore Launches Taiwanese Spokes With Sandvik Wire  | Europe from AllBusiness.com

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Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2010, 07:25:24 pm »
ACI are fine, I've built all my wheels with them.

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The reason why people are willing to pay extra for Sapim and DT Swiss spokes are because of their consistent high quality.

It's marketing.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2010, 07:55:31 pm »
I've never tried ACI, but I find DT Competition far easier than Sapim Race.  DT Revolution are pigs to build with, but you expect that with a 1.5mm centre section.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2010, 08:33:21 pm »
ACI are fine, I've built all my wheels with them.

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The reason why people are willing to pay extra for Sapim and DT Swiss spokes are because of their consistent high quality.

It's marketing.

I really don't think so. I have never even seen a Sapim commercial, and DT Swiss spoke marketing material really isn't that common. They are known because wheel builders use these brands, and they do so because a batch of bad spokes can ruin their reputation and their business. And bad spokes have been a recurring problem for many other spoke manufacturers.
If wheel manufacturers could get the same consistent spoke quality from other manufacturers in China at half the price, they would stop using expensive Sapim and DT Swiss spokes in a second.

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Regards

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2010, 08:45:43 pm »
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I have never even seen a Sapim commercial, and DT Swiss spoke marketing material really isn't that common.

Don't that sponsor or supply to pro teams?

They have adverts in magazines. DT even has a whole book advertising their products disguised as a book on wheel building.

Sapim seems to be fairly recent, I don't recall seeing much mention of the them in the UK until a few years ago.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2010, 09:47:35 pm »

Don't that sponsor or supply to pro teams?

All Pro teams have fat contracts with wheel manufacturers, not spoke manufacturers. AFAIK neither DT Swiss or Sapim sponsor any Pro Tour teams (DT Swiss sponsor some Continental Race Teams though).

They have adverts in magazines. DT even has a whole book advertising their products disguised as a book on wheel building.

I have never seen an Sapim advert, nor a DT Swiss advert that was about spokes. Not saying that they don't exist, but they really seem rare.
Schraners wheel book is published by DT Swiss, and like Park Tools "Blue Book" it is meant to sell DT Swiss stuff. But it can hardly be considered a media storm, I mean, most people that build wheels doesn't even own a book about it.

End users that build their own wheels are just a small part of their sales; most spokes goes to wheel manufacturers or professional wheel builders. And they are the ones that choose to pay more simply because of the consistent high quality of their spokes. As I said, most of their quality (and higher cost) is owed to the fact that they buy good stuff from Sandvik SMT.

To quote a manager from a new spoke company in Taiwan:

“Everyone wants the quality of European spokes but they do not want to pay for it. Making the spokes in Taiwan is slightly cheaper than making them in Europe, but there is no getting around the fact that if you want Sandvik quality wire, you are going to have to pay for it,”
Kore Launches Taiwanese Spokes With Sandvik Wire  | Europe from AllBusiness.com

Sandvik spoke wire is just recognized as the best quality one can make spokes of, so a lot of Sapims and DT Swiss' reputation rest on that quality.

Sapim seems to be fairly recent, I don't recall seeing much mention of the them in the UK until a few years ago.

Sapim was founded in 1918 and has long been regarding as a high quality spoke manufacturer.


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Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2010, 11:25:50 pm »
From Sapim's UK distributor/importer:

Chicken Cycles

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Sapim has made high quality spokes and nipples in Belgium for the last 90 years. Focusing only on the connection between rim and hub, age long manufacturing techniques and experience, the latest R & D, very strict quality controls have led Sapim to become one of today's leading spoke manufacturers. Knowledge is gained from various lab test centres as well as Pro Tour and MTB racing

Sponsorship is not just a marketing tool. Sapim wants to give athletes the very best. Racing teams like Rabobank, Discovery, Quickstep, Gerolsteiner and Highroad are all supplied with Sapim spokes. Many national and international mountain bikers are also sponsored, providing valuable input from the racing circuit – the best test bench of all.

I don't think Sapim spokes were all that common in the UK a few years ago, perhaps Chicken became their importer not too long ago.

I have definitely seen DT spoke adverts in magazines and I wouldn't say they're really rare.

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Schraners wheel book is published by DT Swiss, and like Park Tools "Blue Book" it is meant to sell DT Swiss stuff.

But the book does not actually say DT is behind it, there is no mention of DT being the publisher. It just looks like a book about wheel building, it seems to me to be an underhand method of promotion.


Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2010, 01:11:03 am »

I don't think Sapim spokes were all that common in the UK a few years ago, perhaps Chicken became their importer not too long ago.

Perhaps not as loose spokes in the UK, but many wheels, including high end wheels from e.g. Zipp has been using Sapim spokes for decades.

I have definitely seen DT spoke adverts in magazines and I wouldn't say they're really rare.

I have never seen such an advert, and I am surprised that DT Swiss have even made them considering how much more profitable it would be for them to advertise their wheels instead.

But the book does not actually say DT is behind it, there is no mention of DT being the publisher. It just looks like a book about wheel building, it seems to me to be an underhand method of promotion.

I can see I was wrong; DT Swiss isn't the publisher. I just thought so because Schraner works/worked for DT Swiss and they sell his book. I haven't read it since everybody says that Jobst Brandt's book is superior, but if it really is a badly disguised DT Swiss promotion book without any acknowledgment of its affinity with the firm, than I find it distasteful too.

However, I don't think any of this changes my view, that Sapims and DT Swiss' reputation and higher prices is because they consistently have delivered high quality spokes (because they use expensive but high quality spoke wire from Sandvik SMT), while many other spoke manufacturers have failed in this regard.

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Regards
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Regards

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2010, 02:34:44 am »

But the book does not actually say DT is behind it, there is no mention of DT being the publisher. It just looks like a book about wheel building, it seems to me to be an underhand method of promotion.

I can see I was wrong; DT Swiss isn't the publisher. I just thought so because Schraner works/worked for DT Swiss and they sell his book. I haven't read it since everybody says that Jobst Brandt's book is superior, but if it really is a badly disguised DT Swiss promotion book without any acknowledgment of its affinity with the firm, than I find it distasteful too.

However, I don't think any of this changes my view, that Sapims and DT Swiss' reputation and higher prices is because they consistently have delivered high quality spokes (because they use expensive but high quality spoke wire from Sandvik SMT), while many other spoke manufacturers have failed in this regard.

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Regards

My copy of Schraner's book carries an acknowledgment to "the DT family" in the dedication, and little or no other reference to DT except where called for (listing major spoke brands, describing a particular set of wheels, etc.). It doesn't strike me at all as a "badly disguised DT Swiss promotion book".

As the owner of both, I wouldn't say that Brandt's book is necessarily superior, just written from a different viewpoint. Brandt is an engineer with a degree from a highly regarded institution (Stanford University) and a wide range of experience inside and outside the bicycle industry. His book tends to emphasize the theoretical aspects of wheel building and he brings a fair bit of scientific rigor to his work. Schraner is a very competent wheelbuilder and mechanic with a lot of experience building wheels for bicycle racers. He tends to focus on what he and other race mechanic's have found effective, and has a lot of stories to tell about his experiences in the bike racing world. Either book would be perfectly suitable to a novice wheelbuilder who just wanted a good set of guidelines to build wheels with.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2010, 04:42:11 am »
I've just had a quick look through my 1999 copy and it does not mention any other spoke brand. The phrase "market leader DT SWISS" is used a lot, and "DT SWISS" and DT products are mentioned throughout the book. The specific wheels described (built for various riders) all have DT spokes. The promotion of DT in the book is fairly subtle but nevertheless it's there.

I've read that the book was commissioned by DT.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2010, 04:59:03 am »
Apparently the promotion of DT was too subtle for me. I read the book, found it entertaining and informative, and built a pair of wheels with Sapim spokes shortly thereafter.


GrahamG

  • Babies bugger bicycling
Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2010, 11:33:26 am »
I've used ACI spokes on quite a few wheels now, mostly on non-dished fixed sets using their DB spokes - only problems I had were with spoke breakages after a very poor quality DIY wheel build, I've since rebuilt that one and had no problems whatsoever over a thousands miles or so of crappy potholed road riding.

Have to admit to using Sapim on the touring wheels though - I wanted every last ounce of re-assurance that those would be solid, and i took great care in building them too :D
Brummie in exile (may it forever be so)

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2019, 12:16:45 pm »
I've used ACI spokes on quite a few wheels now, mostly on non-dished fixed sets using their DB spokes - only problems I had were with spoke breakages after a very poor quality DIY wheel build, I've since rebuilt that one and had no problems whatsoever over a thousands miles or so of crappy potholed road riding.
Have to admit to using Sapim on the touring wheels though - I wanted every last ounce of re-assurance that those would be solid, and i took great care in building them too :D
Many miles on those wheels, now, Graham - hope you are well. The ACI Alpina DB spokes are half the price (24p cyclebasket) of Sapim Race (60p Spa C) or DT Comp (60p Tweeks) - all prices with nipples.
Apart from the ACIs being a little less polished, is there a difference in quality (comments from others who have actually used ACI spokes appreciated)? The ACI Alpinas have a slightly higher gauge (more is less) in the main length of the spoke.

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2019, 12:58:57 pm »
IME ACI spokes are often made from material that is slightly less strong than DT or Sapim. This doesn't stop you from building good wheels with them, but it may constrain you regarding skinny spokes, high tensions and low spoke counts.

 I have also seen a few batches of ACI spokes where the tooling that formed the elbow bends was allowed to gall and material presumably built up on it  until the spoke elbow shape was affected.  The affected spokes fatigued and broke more easily, (despite stress-relief)  to the extent that once I'd found out what the problem was, the wheel was best rebuilt (on one side only, the other side had unaffected spokes of a different length in it).

  Presumably the spokes all came out of the same box when the wheel was built (I didn't build it initially) but not all spokes were affected in the same way. in this case you could actually feel the discontinuity on the inside of the J bend using your thumbnail, when one was present. However it is probably the case that you could have a defect that was small enough that you couldn't feel it, so that test isn't necessarily infallible; I examined the spokes under a microscope to be sure.

QA is a tricky thing; one way of looking at it is that no amount of  'process control'  type QA will prevent you from ever making duff spokes, but that your QA (sampling/inspection) system ought to at least prevent the duff ones from going out the door.

I have seen even good spoke brands have variable quality; sometimes this just affects the finish or the butt length but other times it is more serious.  For example I had heard of batches of Sapim spokes that went brittle in service and I didn't know whether to believe it or not. I have now seen such spokes for myself and I am endeavouring to find out 'why'.  I suspect that the material may have been heat treated at the wrong temperature but that is only speculation at this stage.

cheers

Re: ACI or DT Swiss Comp or Sapim Race Spokes
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2019, 03:41:34 pm »
I have only positive experiences with ACI db ss spokes.   A lot depends upon how well the wheel is built of course.