Mark, there's two problems caused by smaller DS flange width. One is the reduction in lateral stiffness. If the flanges are moved in the bracing angle is less which make the wheel flex more laterally. Second is increased tension differential vs the NDS.
The spokes need to be a certain tension so they don't detension completely as the rim flattens out very slightly where the wheel meets the road or when the wheel flexes as it receives side force, as when you are out of the saddle and rocking the bike side to side. A detensioned spoke is no longer supporting anything as spokes support by being a pre-stressed member. When its detensioned the spoke flexes especially at the elbow. Because of the wheel dish the NDS spokes are always at a lower tension. A classic sign of a wheel with too low NDS tension is NDS spokes breaking at the elbow.
Somewhere around 60 kgf is the minimum to keep the spokes tensioned. But that depends on the stiffness of the rim and the riding style of the rider- one who rocks the bike a lot will put more stress on the wheel. (that's why I break wheels even though I don't weigh much or make much power but I do climb out of the saddle a lot. Its why I've been reading about wheel building and building my own).
The smaller DS flange spacing on the T11s will make the wheel less stiff laterally and will increase the tension differential. Some hub makers are addressing the latter by also moving the NDS flange out (or simply using the same old shell, shifted to the left with different end cap spacing and a longer freehub). That make the stiffness reduction less but makes the tension differential greater. But many were doing essentially the same thing with their Campy hubs, and they worked ok for the most part.
If your rim can handle more than the typical 120kgf tension then you can crank up the tension on the DS in order to get the NDS high enough. If it's one that's limited to 110kgf, you're probably out of luck. Some people will put locktite on NDS nipples but that only keeps the nipple from looseing when the spoke is detensioned. It does not prevent the flex that will cause the spoke to break at the nipple.
If you have never had a NDS spoke break like that, chances are that you'll be ok with the T11 spacing.
Thank you for your response.
I had also sent an email to White Industries inquiring about this issue and received the two emails from Lynette Toepfer, that I have attached to the bottom of this posting.
Technically, I think there will always be issues with all 11-speed compatible hubs because of two simple factors: the hub shell width limited to 130 or 131 mm and the width of 11-speed cassettes. These issues probably can be mitigated and/or ameliorated by stronger spokes, 2x or 3x lacing patterns, balancing the spoke tension, higher spoke tension, stronger rims, running tubular tires, qualified and experienced wheel builder, ....
So, I have decided to trust my good experience with White Industries which was further confirmed by their great customer service - I have ordered a couple of wheelsets built around the WI T-11 hubs. (For club rides, 195 lb spinner: ENVE 3.4 tubular rims with Veloflex Carbon 23c tires, WI T11 hubs, Sapix CX-Ray spokes, 20F and 24R laced 2x2x, by Richard Craig of Prowheelbuilder. For training, 195 lb spinner: HED C2 clincher rims with Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG 24c tires, WI T11 hubs, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, brass nipples, 32F and 32R laced 3x3x, by Richard Craig of Prowheelbuilder). I ride a fair amount (not a whole lot like some here) and have been forturnate with my wheelsets - 6000 miles a year (riding only on weekends) with about two-three flats a year, due to glass and tread wear.
From: Lynette Toepfer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 06 January 2013 01:30
To: Mark S. Tang
Subject: Re: White Industries T11 hubs - "poorest tension ratio" - what is the significance of this?
I'm not in the office so I apologize for my short note back - difficult with the phone. I pulled up the blog and read through it. As you were able to read there are a lot of challenges with the new 11 speed system that Shimano introduced and it has been a difficulty for all hub manufacturers. The bracing angle isn't going to be as good as with the ten speed cassette which is true, however, we have had the same offset for the Campy 11 speed hubs for the last two years with absolutely no problems so we are confident in the design. As far as comparing against the other manufacturers, I'll have to call Fairwheel on Monday to question them. The only other manufacture that has a compatible hub in production is DT with an 3.5mm vs our 3.3mm as reported by them. I'm not sure how they can compare the production hubs specifications against the other manufactures 11 speed hubs that have not been introduced or manufactured as if yet. It seems only fair that comparisons would be finished product to finished product. Like I said, I'll give them a call when I'm back in the office
Sent from my iPhone
From: Lynette Toepfer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 08 January 2013 05:57
To: 'Mark S. Tang'
Subject: RE: White Industries T11 hubs - "poorest tension ratio" - what is the significance of this?
I don't think I got back to you after receiving your follow up e-mail. Thank you for being such a supporter of our products. I’m delighted that you have been using our hubs in your wheels. Rich is a good guy and puts a lot of time and effort into his wheel builds.
A quick comment about the Campy 11 speed, while it is true that the largest cog cantilevers over the shell a bit, the offset still needed to be different for Campy vs Shimano (10 speed) for clearance reasons. This Campy configuration was even needed for our H2 model previous to the H3 so this same bracing angle has been in production for many years and we have never had one problem. We are confident in the integrity of the hub and wheel if properly laced.
Enjoy your wheels and keep riding!