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I’m building a set of bikes for my wife and I. Both are Surly Bridge Club frames, and we’ll initially be running WTB KOM Tough i40 rims with 2.8in Schwalbe tires.

I purchased some DT Swiss Revolution 2.0mm spokes to build the wheels. But I’m now questioning if these are too light.

I’m about 200lbs and we plan to carry some load on our bikes, mostly in frame packs. Mostly on gravel trails, 2-tracks, and similar.

I’ve never broken a spoke, even when riding the full Great Divide, across South America, or on any daily rides, using a mix of wheels with one being a 28 spoke.

Does anyone recommend against using DT Swiss Revolution 2.0mm spokes for this use? Should I move up to Alpine III or something in between?

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Yes, do not use them here.

They will be impossible to get to full tension without windup on a rim even remotely as stout as that. What's likely to result is a wheelset that could have been rock solid will have constant issues with spokes going loose.

If you want to run fancy spokes, Supercomps are about as light as make sense here, and the 1.8mm tips give the advantage of much more breakage-resistant nipples for a given material choice, which is a nice thing on a disc brake touring bike getting off-road use.

Normal 2.0/1.8 would be the more standard choice. They make it easiest to deal with windup and get a stable build.

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  • “They will be impossible to get to full tension without windup on a rim even remotely as stout as that.” Isn’t that mostly a matter of wheel building skill? You could even grip the spoke with pliers close to the nipple if you are concerned about windup. It’s been said that spokes with a thin middle section are great for durable wheels because they are more elastic (allowing a more even load distribution). – Michael Feb 8 at 13:38
  • Thanks, I think I'll swap out the Revolutions for Champion or Alpine IIIs. – Brett DeWoody Feb 8 at 14:14
  • @Nathan Knutsen - would you recommend the Champion 2.0 or the Alpine IIIs over one another? The Alpine's appear to cost nearly double the Champion's on the sites I'm looking at. – Brett DeWoody Feb 8 at 14:44
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    @Michael no, pliers won't help. You can't grab a round spoke hard enough to keep it from rotating without deforming it. You can do it to non round aero spokes, though. To adjust thin spokes you need to push the rim so that the spoke is loosened. – ojs Feb 8 at 15:30
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    I'm also not a fan of Alpine 3s other than on hubs that really want the extra big gauge. The extra material can create the illusion of being a shield against breakage, but lack of material isn't the problem really. I would go either Competitions or Supercomps, brass nipples either way. I do think Supercomps are probably the "best" for this sort of build. – Nathan Knutson Feb 9 at 4:47

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