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I have a velocity deep-v rim and ultegra front hub sitting around. I am thinking of getting a semi-aero front wheel built up for windy days and such. Both the rim and the hub are 32-hole. I weigh 190-200. The rim is a 650 but I'd be using it on a tri bike where a lot of my weight would be out front.
Am I going to have serious durability problems if I build it up with 16 spokes?
Is switching from conventional to bladed spokes going to make it too weak?
If the answer to either is "yes," can a 32-hole rim and hub be built up with 24 spokes? I can envision a way to do it with 12 radially laced pairs, but I have no idea if this would work in practice.
The wheel would be for race use only. I'm not sure how much that matters; I really don't want to break a spoke in a race though I guess it does mean fatigue won't be a big factor.
Anyone who tells you they're as fast now as they were when they were 18...
sure wasn't very fast when they were 18.
I think that you would be safe to ride on a 16 spoke "built" wheel - such as the Shamal, Bora, and the "Atom" wheels as I call them (Neucleon etc.). These wheels are built with stronger spokes, hubs that are made for higher tension, stiffer rims.
The Velocity rim is known to be a rather flexy rim (but cheap and aero), the Ultrgra hub I would bet would snap a flange if you were to tension the wheel to the point that would needed for a stiff enough wheel. Most of the wheels that are higher tension (less spokes) are straight pull at the hub (meaning no bend in the spoke).
I would be very careful with any "Frankenwheel". That being said, my favorite light wheel is a Zip hub, Mavic Reflex Rim, Evolution at 2X on alloy nipples. Great wheel.
What if the Hokey Pokey is what it is all about?
Durability problems: many. You would have to true your wheel after every race, and you would eventually have problems with the wheel staying true. The lack of spokes also plays into the inability of staying true. The deeper rim and it being 650c (shorter spokes) could help, but aluminum is an inherently soft material.
I would not do it.