Wheel Build Questions - Buying today

I just bought a new Specialized Allez Sprint and would like to build some nice wheels for it.
What spoke count should I go for? 24/24?
I’m 180 lbs and will use the bike for lots of group rides and crits and road races.

The build I’m going with is:
Hubs: Industry 9 Torch Classic Road
Rims: HED Belgium C2
Spokes: Sapim Cx-Ray Bladed
Tires: GP5000 25mm

  1. What spoke count should I go with? What’s the trade off for going with more/less other than aesthetics?

  2. Does anyone here have experience with HED C2+ Rims on the Allez Sprint? I’m planning on going with the Belgium C2 because I’m worried about the C2+ not fitting.

Thanks for any help!

If I was getting wheels for my summer race bike, I’d get 20 (radial) at the front, and 24 (3X cross) at the back.

If you think it might be used over winter, and/or over rough surfaces, and don’t mind a little extra weight, then maybe 24 / 24 or 24 / 28 might be more appropriate.

Can you get advice from the wheel builder? That’s your best bet, they put thousands of wheels together so they have both the experience and the motivation to help you choose a setup that works well and makes you a happy customer.

Trade off with more spokes is more weight and less aero. Vs resilience - not just less likely to pop a spoke but if you do then the more you have the greater the likelihood that you can get home as the remaining spokes are close enough together to keep the wheel fairly true. Really depends on use case, if you’re going to be training a long way from home on crappy roads then I’d go with more spokes - I’m similar weight to you and my winter/training wheels are 32/36, I don’t race on them and wanted peace of mind and the ability to not worry about every pothole. On the flip side I have some race wheels with 16/20 spokes and ~5000 miles on them with no problems, so it’s not like a lower spoke count is asking for trouble.