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Help rebuilding wheels; need spokes

Old 08-21-19, 10:52 PM
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thook
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Help rebuilding wheels; need spokes

i'm finding really affordable to me deals on spokes of 300mm length lots on ebay. one auction is enough to build two wheelsets or one twice over. thing is, for this one wheelset, i need 303mm for the front wheel and the non-drive side of the rear, but i need 300mm for the drive side. the current nipples on my wheels are 12mm, so i was wondering if i can get some longer nipples for the front and ND side of the rear so as to use the shorter length and save my myself some money over buying two lengths? i see 14mm nipples also at a really good price. but, what length would i need?

thanks!
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Old 08-22-19, 09:31 AM
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Longer nipples don't always have extra threaded length. Unless your front and DS spokes are already long enough to poke out the ends of the nipples, I would just plan on buying slightly longer spokes for the NDS.
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Old 08-22-19, 09:43 AM
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Spoke advice

Bite the bullet, pay reasonable retail for exact right length spokes. If you haven't built wheels before, but Gerd Scraner's wheel book and read it through. Long nipples aren't a good way to fudge too short spokes; a spoke that goes through the inner rim surface and engages max nipple threads will hold tension the best and give you a stronger wheel. Also, double butted spokes are WELL worth the price, they'll hold tension best and give a slightly better ride. Small stuff-spokes, cables, etc., are a really cost ineffective place to save $. Using the right small stuff will give you results you'll ultimately be happier with.
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Old 08-22-19, 12:01 PM
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Anything over 300mm seems extremely long for 3x, low-flange hubs, and 700c.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:46 PM
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they're araya single wall rims from the late 80's maybe early 90's. i've measured and checked it twice. that's how long the spokes are

i don't want to invest a lot in this particular wheelset. they're not "the best". i just want to use some spokes that are good enough for now. it occurred to me the other day if these decades old schwinn wheels (different wheels from the these 700c's) have lasted this long without rust, i could rebuild these 700c to learn and sort of just putz around on. and, they'll last a while.

the actual intention on them is to simply swap out the spokes one by one. a wheel building primer for me, if you will. later, i can get a stand and maybe spoke tension meter so i can swap out some rear hubs on a couple of my better double wall 700c's and even completely rebuild a couple of 26 inchers i have. do things proper. but, i get it. i've known for a long time DB stainless are the best way to go for really good wheels. i just can't justify the cost for these araya wheels

as for just getting longer spokes all around...ie. a lot of 303mm's (if that's what's being expressed?) my concern is i''ll run out of threads on the shorter side before they tighten properly. and, i think 12mm nipples are as short as they get. i don't quite have my head wrapped all the wheel building business, yet; getting precise spoke length with the math, nipple length varying by brand, etc.

i did read last night at other web sources until my eyes blurred and i'm sure i'll eventually grock it all, but most say it's not terribly complicated stuff even for the avg home mechanic. i do recall reading the spokes...whatever it is you get...need to be atleast flush with the trough inside the rim. is that correct? so, i guess i just need to keep patiently looking
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Old 08-22-19, 09:05 PM
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Do not use longer nipples to lengthen your spokes. Danger lies ahead.
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Old 08-22-19, 09:09 PM
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Spoke exchange thread where everybody lists their inventory?
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Old 08-22-19, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Do not use longer nipples to lengthen your spokes. Danger lies ahead.
yes, yes. i was just reading all about that! there were even images provided on how that can/does fail. the nipple breaks at the stress point of where the too short spoke stops

so, this gets me back to wondering of how long is too long? iow's, is there an estimated or standardized length tolerance before you might run out of threads to adjust? say if i got this lot of 85 spokes at 303mm, how many mm's before i run out of threads at the nipple where i'd ideally need the 300mm spokes?
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Old 08-22-19, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
yes, yes. i was just reading all about that! there were even images provided on how that can/does fail. the nipple breaks at the stress point of where the too short spoke stops

so, this gets me back to wondering of how long is too long? iow's, is there an estimated or standardized length tolerance before you might run out of threads to adjust? say if i got this lot of 85 spokes at 303mm, how many mm's before i run out of threads at the nipple where i'd ideally need the 300mm spokes?
Unfortunately, that's hard to say. You might not run out of thread, and the only problem will be spokes that stick out. Then you have to file the ends off. It's a pain, but I've done it many times.
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Old 08-22-19, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Unfortunately, that's hard to say. You might not run out of thread, and the only problem will be spokes that stick out. Then you have to file the ends off. It's a pain, but I've done it many times.
fair enough. i read, though, on mtbr where spokes being a little too long is a bigger problem than being a little too short. you lose the ability of using a screwdriver. of course, there wasn't anything more specific quantifying length, but the more i read seems 1mm is enough

i also just read this thread on mtbr: https://forums.mtbr.com/wheels-tires...ay-108163.html

this post #23 was particularly hopeful for me :

I found this little ditty on spokeanwheel.stormpages.com/lacing.htm

Nipples and spokes have enough threads on them that spokes will work fine if they are 2mm or so too short. The only real problem with spokes being short is that a nipple-driver screwdriver would not work to get the spokes started when you started building the wheel. The first spokes that you tightened up would work, but once you were about half way around the wheel, the screwdriver would tighten the spokes to their limit before it reaches it's spin-off point. The other problem with spokes that are a little too short is that the threads might show a little, but if you don't care about this, the wheel will work just fine and be as reliable as if the spokes were longer.

If your spokes are too short and you will have to get the wheel started using only a nipple wrench, try this. About the easiest way for starting all of the spokes evenly in a case like this is to take an extra unneeded spoke (maybe an old one), cut it so it's about two inches long off the threaded end, and wrap a piece of tape around the spoke about 4mm or 5mm from the end that's threaded. Make sure to use enough tape that it will stop the spoke from threading into the nipples for the whole build, 5 or 6 layers worth. Thread this spoke into the nipple from the 'inside' until the tape just touches the nipple. After starting a spoke, tighten the nipple to the point where the wheel's spoke touches the taped spoke. You might be able to do this by twisting on the cut spoke, if the spoke threads turn smoothly enough and you cut the starter spoke long enough to grab well. If you do this properly you will have a starting point where all of the spokes are evenly seated in their nipples around the wheel. Tighten the spokes 1 turn at a time in passes around the rim until the wheel starts to tighten up. Then finish building the wheel like normal.


probably safe to assume these guys know what they are talking about. so, assuming this info is true and reliable, then i'm going to assume i can get spokes at 301mm all around without trying to fudge with longer nipples and using too short of spokes in an attempt to avoid buying two lots of different lengths and wind up with waaaaay more spokes than i need.

there's an auction on ebay for a lot of 36 count SS (!!) spokes at the 301mm length. i buy two lots and wind up paying about equal to cheaping out on galvanized. really, it's been difficult finding galv. spokes....or any spokes....at the lengths i've originally stated needing

anyway, please correct me if i'm misunderstanding before i go buying
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Old 08-22-19, 10:20 PM
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My understanding is that demand for stainless spokes has gone up and for galvanized has gone down. And it seems that the price difference has almost gone away, so there's not much reason to prefer galvanized any more. Are they still available cheap? I used DT galvanized in 1983 to build wheels for my commuter bike. That's before the company was called DT Swiss. They were the best galvanized spokes around at the time. I suspect they don't make them anymore.
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Old 08-22-19, 10:22 PM
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btw, my current spokes measure 2.5mm in thickness using my calipers. what gauge would that make them? 14g are 2mm, aren't they?
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Old 08-22-19, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
i don't want to invest a lot in this particular wheelset. they're not "the best".
Then why bother? Have you broken any spokes? If you want to practice building wheels, just take these ones completely apart and reuse the spokes and nipples.
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Old 08-22-19, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
My understanding is that demand for stainless spokes has gone up and for galvanized has gone down. And it seems that the price difference has almost gone away, so there's not much reason to prefer galvanized any more. Are they still available cheap? I used DT galvanized in 1983 to build wheels for my commuter bike. That's before the company was called DT Swiss. They were the best galvanized spokes around at the time. I suspect they don't make them anymore.
cheap? oh yeah they are, but harder to find. i found one lot of 85 for less than $20 w/shipping

yeah, i know.....stainless is much more popular. with good reason, of course. but, i wouldn't say the price difference has gone away. not with what i've seen thus far. and, it's not like i would prefer galv, but then $20 is hard to beat when you're on the cheap
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Old 08-22-19, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Then why bother? Have you broken any spokes? If you want to practice building wheels, just take these ones completely apart and reuse the spokes and nipples.
i can see where you might wonder about that, but the spokes are completely rusted, compadre. it's a no go on reusing. i got them second hand from an older gentlemen years ago....originally off of a giant perigee. he let them sit out in the elements as with all of his bikes and other parts and they were a bit rusty to begin with. when he gave them to me, i rode them for a little while on a bike i had at the time until a spoke or two started breaking and couldn't true the rims as the nipples were seized. took'em off and barn storage in arkansas humidity had it's way. i like the rims and hubs well enough, though, to try and salvage them inexpensively as i can. am i wrong?
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Old 08-22-19, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
btw, my current spokes measure 2.5mm in thickness using my calipers. what gauge would that make them? 14g are 2mm, aren't they?
my 2.5mm measurement likely is more accurately 2.3mm making them 13g. would 14g still work?
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Old 08-22-19, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
fair enough. i read, though, on mtbr where spokes being a little too long is a bigger problem than being a little too short. you lose the ability of using a screwdriver. of course, there wasn't anything more specific quantifying length, but the more i read seems 1mm is enough

i also just read this thread on mtbr: https://forums.mtbr.com/wheels-tires...ay-108163.html

this post #23 was particularly hopeful for me :

I found this little ditty on spokeanwheel.stormpages.com/lacing.htm

Nipples and spokes have enough threads on them that spokes will work fine if they are 2mm or so too short. The only real problem with spokes being short is that a nipple-driver screwdriver would not work to get the spokes started when you started building the wheel. The first spokes that you tightened up would work, but once you were about half way around the wheel, the screwdriver would tighten the spokes to their limit before it reaches it's spin-off point. The other problem with spokes that are a little too short is that the threads might show a little, but if you don't care about this, the wheel will work just fine and be as reliable as if the spokes were longer.

If your spokes are too short and you will have to get the wheel started using only a nipple wrench, try this. About the easiest way for starting all of the spokes evenly in a case like this is to take an extra unneeded spoke (maybe an old one), cut it so it's about two inches long off the threaded end, and wrap a piece of tape around the spoke about 4mm or 5mm from the end that's threaded. Make sure to use enough tape that it will stop the spoke from threading into the nipples for the whole build, 5 or 6 layers worth. Thread this spoke into the nipple from the 'inside' until the tape just touches the nipple. After starting a spoke, tighten the nipple to the point where the wheel's spoke touches the taped spoke. You might be able to do this by twisting on the cut spoke, if the spoke threads turn smoothly enough and you cut the starter spoke long enough to grab well. If you do this properly you will have a starting point where all of the spokes are evenly seated in their nipples around the wheel. Tighten the spokes 1 turn at a time in passes around the rim until the wheel starts to tighten up. Then finish building the wheel like normal.


probably safe to assume these guys know what they are talking about. so, assuming this info is true and reliable, then i'm going to assume i can get spokes at 301mm all around without trying to fudge with longer nipples and using too short of spokes in an attempt to avoid buying two lots of different lengths and wind up with waaaaay more spokes than i need.

there's an auction on ebay for a lot of 36 count SS (!!) spokes at the 301mm length. i buy two lots and wind up paying about equal to cheaping out on galvanized. really, it's been difficult finding galv. spokes....or any spokes....at the lengths i've originally stated needing

anyway, please correct me if i'm misunderstanding before i go buying
That doesn't sound to me like good advice - spokes that do not come up to the head of the nipple have plenty of threads engaged, yes. They just pop the heads off. Spokes that are so long the thread bottoms out and you cannot get sufficient tension are obviously bad but spokes that are long enough that a screwdriver doesn't tighten them all the way just means you have to spend a few more minutes with a spoke wrench. Unless your time is worth huge amounts of money, so what? (And if it is,what are you doing building wheels?)

I consider the perfect build to have spokes that come to between the screwdriver slot bottom and the top of the nipple. A mm or so over is just fine. (Yes, if these are not box rims, you will have to file off the spokes to the tops of the nipples to protect the rim strip and tube as noglider pointed out.)

I use that guy's trick to starting nipples; not because the spokes are too short but because many of the rims I use are box section without the ferrules for the nipples. (Velocity Aeros) Losing a nipple in those rims , especially after the wheel is almost all laced, is a PITA. Only I make my nipple starter by screwing on a nipple backwards all the way. That leaves the perfect starter amount of threads. Much more durable than tape. I cut the spoke in the middle and bend a nice handle. Have one for each gauge nipple I use.

Ben
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Old 08-22-19, 11:02 PM
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okay. i believe it's all gelling, now. according to the mtbr thread i linked, i can do this. 301mm spokes all around and use 14mm brass nipples from DT swiss (cheap) where the 303mm spokes were used as they do have more threads. use the 12mm nipples that come with the spokes elsewhere and file down the 1mm where too long

again, though, will 14g spokes work instead of 13g? will i need to use spacers?
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Old 08-22-19, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
That doesn't sound to me like good advice - spokes that do not come up to the head of the nipple have plenty of threads engaged, yes. They just pop the heads off. Spokes that are so long the thread bottoms out and you cannot get sufficient tension are obviously bad but spokes that are long enough that a screwdriver doesn't tighten them all the way just means you have to spend a few more minutes with a spoke wrench. Unless your time is worth huge amounts of money, so what? (And if it is,what are you doing building wheels?)

I consider the perfect build to have spokes that come to between the screwdriver slot bottom and the top of the nipple. A mm or so over is just fine. (Yes, if these are not box rims, you will have to file off the spokes to the tops of the nipples to protect the rim strip and tube as noglider pointed out.)

I use that guy's trick to starting nipples; not because the spokes are too short but because many of the rims I use are box section without the ferrules for the nipples. (Velocity Aeros) Losing a nipple in those rims , especially after the wheel is almost all laced, is a PITA. Only I make my nipple starter by screwing on a nipple backwards all the way. That leaves the perfect starter amount of threads. Much more durable than tape. I cut the spoke in the middle and bend a nice handle. Have one for each gauge nipple I use.

Ben
hmmm...dang

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Old 08-23-19, 05:16 AM
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DT nipples simply extend the threaded, cylindrical section towards the hub as you buy longer nipples. If you're 3 mm short @ 12mm nipples, building with 14mm should bridge the gap nicely.

(pic off an earlier post somewhere)


I'm not entirely convinced about how bad it actually is to use longer nipples to compensate for short spokes.
It's not like the spoke/nipple interface can know if you're using a longer nipple b/c of inventory reasons, or b/c the rim profile requires it to provide tool flat protrusion. And then choose to fail or not depending on that.

If there really was a risk to it, shouldn't there be a disclaimer notice about building with longer nipples regardless of cause?

Looking at the pic, it seems to be about 3 turns from start of nipple head to the available full thread engagement for the 16 mm spokes. You'd need a very accurate build to get that. Particularly considering that spokes are usually sold in 2 mm intervals. And then you're maxed out on available spoke tension.
THAT sounds like a sketchy, impractical build.

And of course, there's the big variation in number of spokes, type of hub, rider weight, riding style etc.
I had a Chimo road bike with a 6-speed rear, 36-spoke that had threads showing above the nipple on the NDS.
For the kind of use that bike got, that was apparently entirely sufficient.
I went through at least two freewheels w/ any spoke issues before the bike got passed on for other reasons.
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Old 08-23-19, 07:47 AM
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@dabac, the top spoke in the picture shows an acceptable gap. The mistake is in making it so big that the top of the spoke doesn't reach the bulging part of the nipple.
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Old 08-23-19, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@dabac, the top spoke in the picture shows an acceptable gap. The mistake is in making it so big that the top of the spoke doesn't reach the bulging part of the nipple.
1) in that case, you shouldn't have any objections to the OP using longer nipples to finish his build, assuming the math and measurements is correct. If the spoke calc is set for a spoke to end flush with a 12mm nipple, then doing that build with a 14 mm nipple and a 3 mm short spoke should leave you with sufficient engagement.

2) The thing is that the top spoke is bottoming out on the threads. It won't go any further in. And at that, the spoke is about three turns into the bulging part of the nipple. If you want to keep some margin for future tightening, three turns of engagement is a fairly small window to shoot for with spokes generally available in 2 mm interval.
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Old 08-23-19, 08:17 AM
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When I first started working with DT spokes in about 1982, I noticed they had shorter threads. I had to use more precision in choosing the sizes. I had to stock more sizes, in 1mm increments. It's a considerable cost, and I don't know the rationale for shorter threads. The product is otherwise superior to previous products, but I never liked this aspect.
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Old 08-23-19, 08:23 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
DT nipples simply extend the threaded, cylindrical section towards the hub as you buy longer nipples. If you're 3 mm short @ 12mm nipples, building with 14mm should bridge the gap nicely.

(pic off an earlier post somewhere)


I'm not entirely convinced about how bad it actually is to use longer nipples to compensate for short spokes.
It's not like the spoke/nipple interface can know if you're using a longer nipple b/c of inventory reasons, or b/c the rim profile requires it to provide tool flat protrusion. And then choose to fail or not depending on that.

If there really was a risk to it, shouldn't there be a disclaimer notice about building with longer nipples regardless of cause?

Looking at the pic, it seems to be about 3 turns from start of nipple head to the available full thread engagement for the 16 mm spokes. You'd need a very accurate build to get that. Particularly considering that spokes are usually sold in 2 mm intervals. And then you're maxed out on available spoke tension.
THAT sounds like a sketchy, impractical build.

And of course, there's the big variation in number of spokes, type of hub, rider weight, riding style etc.
I had a Chimo road bike with a 6-speed rear, 36-spoke that had threads showing above the nipple on the NDS.
For the kind of use that bike got, that was apparently entirely sufficient.
I went through at least two freewheels w/ any spoke issues before the bike got passed on for other reasons.
Thanks for posting this illustration! The. middle example would be what could be called perfect spoke length for a finished wheel.
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Old 08-23-19, 10:16 AM
  #25  
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If our OP were planning to use aluminum nipples (which I think are safe to rule out given his budget), I'd still be a little concerned with partial/no nipple head engagement, but you lay out a good case for the DT nipples, @dabac.
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