Old 08-04-19, 08:05 PM
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Micro examination of spoke failure always shows the same thing. We know why and where spokes fail but cannot answer the “when.” The measure of science is not hindsight ability to explain but predictive power. By this standard, the science of spoke failure is as weak as most macroeconomics.

If breakage is wire material based, then consistency with adequate strength, is paramount. You bet. Wire consistency is an obsession of spoke makers and they have as little control as you once they accept the wire. There are too many variables over too many miles of wire. Variables include annealed state, surface finish, micro-hardness variability, occlusions and contaminants, crystal structure uniformity, and more.

Making strong wire (high tensile strength) is straight forward. Making it über consistent is very hard. Stainless wire for high end spokes is so extreme and unique in this parameter that it sees no other industrial use. No one would pay so much for consistency outside of medicine and there aren’t many medical uses for 14g wire.
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