Wheel Brands in Japan

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#1
Hello All,

This is my first post and I hope the beginning of many.

I have a questions and would like to know as many thoughts about this as possible. I am looking for a new set of wheels and would like to know what everyone thinks and if I should buy.

Ideally I would like a pair of DT Swiss RC38 wheels unfortunately they are impossible to find in Japan.

I think I will have to settle for a comparable wheel from Fulcrum, Mavic or Campagnolo. Is there a reason DT Swiss is not liked in Japan? And, which wheel should I go with that is easy to service and find spare parts.
 

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#3
Thanks for the link unfortunately this is for a lot of DT's older stuff. The wheels I am looking for are much newer that's what's available from this auction site.

I guess DT needs to increase their presence in Japan.
 

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#5
Thanks for those links as well. I have contacted the people at Rio Grande but they only import components from DT they don't do complete wheels.

I guess the people of Japan don't regard DT Swiss as a good brand for road?
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,655
474
103
Japan
#6
Well if you really want DT, wiggle will happily ship them. I guess DT Swiss just isn't as well know here, marketing is poor? Campagnolo and Shimano rule the roost and make good wheels. Why do you like DT Swiss?
 

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#7
I guess you are right Shimano should be doing well here since they are a Japanese brand and an industry leader for group sets. Campagnolo could be liked because of their heritage and commitment to being made in Italy.

I think DT Swiss is better than both of them hands down. Better hubs from DT Swiss probably the best in the world lightweight and an amazingly simply to service engagement technology. Also they have sealed bearings something which Shimano doesn't use in any of there wheels, I believe. Campagnolo I don't really know to much about their products so I can't say for sure but I assume that they use a standard pawl type technology in their hubs and spokes well who knows where they are from.

I think simply from a quality standpoint DT Swiss wheels are far better than either Campy or Shimano.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,509
2,190
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#8
My local bike shop in Asaka carries a large selection of Fast Forward wheels which come with either DT Swiss 240 or 350 hubs. Almost all are tubular but I think they had one set of alu clinchers.
 

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#9
Hmm... This is very interesting. You can almost all other things from DT Swiss in Japan except for their actual wheels. I suppose that DT has some work to do in this department.
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,533
1,203
433
Miura, Japan
#10
Quality, Ease of service, & j bend spokes are what appeal to me about CK hubs.
You mention wanting to find spare parts... to me the most import "spare part" is the availability of spokes while riding in the middle of no where.
Straight bladed spokes (especially proprietary) are much harder to come by than j bend spokes.
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If I were buying a set of wheels for racing, I suppose performance outweighs availability - but the wheels would be race day only, so if I pop a spoke there, the day is over anyway.
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As for buying your wheels - I have used both CRC and Wiggle for purchases since living in Japan without issue.
 

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#13
Agreed ENVE wheels are great but their prices are not. I think they are way to high priced for my blood.

I agree with the post about the j-bend spokes being easier to find in most bike shops but honestly the j-bend spokes are more prone to breaking than the straight spokes. One of the main reasons for going to straight spokes is add slight more tension on the spokes and to eliminate the chance of breakages at the spoke elbow. And it will just be a matter of time before more shops start stocking straight spokes. Finally I don't think any of the spokes in DT wheels are proprietary, Mavic on the other hand are.
 

Musashi13

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
1,772
1,104
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Ichikawa, Chiba
#14
I think if you want a high quality wheelset you can't go past ENVE, quality rims laced to DT SWiss hubs and available with service back up here in Japan
http://www.trisports.jp/?q=catalog/term/458

I haven'T used ENVE wheels but there carbon products rock. Check the reviews and see what you think.
Nice link. If you have to ask the price you can't afford it.

Might buy a few sets.
 
Likes: kiwisimon

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,533
1,203
433
Miura, Japan
#15
I agree with the post about the j-bend spokes being easier to find in most bike shops but honestly the j-bend spokes are more prone to breaking than the straight spokes. One of the main reasons for going to straight spokes is add slight more tension on the spokes and to eliminate the chance of breakages at the spoke elbow. .
I have heard this in the past, yet my experience when riding with friends..... straight blade spoke break probably 4 to 1 vs j - and all of them had to order spokes and wait.

I run 32 spokes in my wheels - the weight savings of running 28 is negligible for a Clydesdale rider.
I am usually a "to each their own" type when it comes to running what you want. I only chimed in due to your " easy to service and find spare parts." comment.
 
Likes: rommelgc

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
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Tokyo
#16
Speak to Tim at @GSAstuto if you want a quality set of wheels. If you're set on DT Swiss hubs I'm sure he would build on those for you. His own hubs are good quality cartridge bearing units, and his latest designs have a 2:1 spoke pattern to equalise the spoke tension.

Again, if you're set on DT Swiss hubs, Reynolds have a distributor in Japan and use DT 240s for most of their sets.
I've had Shimano Dura Ace wheels for about 4 years and the cup-and-cone bearings are still super smooth, so don't disregard their wheels on the basis of the bearing type.
 

Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#17
I have heard this in the past, yet my experience when riding with friends..... straight blade spoke break probably 4 to 1 vs j - and all of them had to order spokes and wait.
It would be interesting to know which brand of wheel your colleagues experienced broken straight spokes on. Would you be willing to let us know please.


I run 32 spokes in my wheels - the weight savings of running 28 is negligible for a Clydesdale rider.
As a Clydesdale rider you probably should never be running a 28 hole set up. Bigger riders need the extra spokes to eliminate the chance of spokes breaking.
 

bloaker

Maximum Pace
Nov 14, 2011
1,533
1,203
433
Miura, Japan
#18
I know two sets of wheels were Ksyriums. Which model, I don't know because not my bike. But I do recall two spokes popping in a high speed corner.
As for what did he do? What did he hit? Was he out of the saddle? Pothole, etc... I don't know. My eyes were looking through the corner I have ridden through dozens of times.
I heard the 'pop' and saw the result.
The other Ksyrium just came in with a broken spoke at the end of the ride. I wasn't aware it broke until I saw the wobble in the parking lot.

The others I truly do not recall which wheels since they we a little further back in time.
One set was the stock wheel that came on a Felt. I don't recall if they were bladed, but clearly recall straight pull - I am leaning toward them having been shimanos, but truly not positive.

I have only been around 1 broken j bend spoke. It was also on a stock bontrager wheel that I cannot recall the specs, but I recall the spoke having been replaced in the same day.
 
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Kickstand

Warming-Up
Sep 4, 2014
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#19
I think that certainly explains why this rider would have to wait for straight spokes from Mavic. All spokes in Mavic wheels a re proprietary and can only be laced up in their hubs and wheels. DT on the other hand can be laced to almost every hub manufactured today.

If a Shimano spoke broke these would also be made by Shimano but could be replaced with a DT spoke as their hub hole diameters are compatible with most standard spoke gauges. You are correct that it is still much faster to get j-bend spokes than straight spokes this will eventually change over time as most modern bike wheels today are being built with straight spokes.
 
Dec 21, 2013
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France - moving to Shizuoka
#20
I know two sets of wheels were Ksyriums. Which model, I don't know because not my bike. But I do recall two spokes popping in a high speed corner.
As for what did he do? What did he hit? Was he out of the saddle? Pothole, etc... I don't know. My eyes were looking through the corner I have ridden through dozens of times.
I heard the 'pop' and saw the result.
The other Ksyrium just came in with a broken spoke at the end of the ride. I wasn't aware it broke until I saw the wobble in the parking lot.

The others I truly do not recall which wheels since they we a little further back in time.
One set was the stock wheel that came on a Felt. I don't recall if they were bladed, but clearly recall straight pull - I am leaning toward them having been shimanos, but truly not positive.

I have only been around 1 broken j bend spoke. It was also on a stock bontrager wheel that I cannot recall the specs, but I recall the spoke having been replaced in the same day.
Do not what to offend anyone here but Ksyriums use bladed spokes. Originally fitted to my bike were Mavic Pro wheels with normal spokes and the rear one broke a spoke on almost every Chichibu ride. Bought set of Ksyriums Super Light wheels and no problem since.