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Roval straight-pull spoke options

Old 08-23-13, 08:13 AM
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EnzoRWD
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Roval straight-pull spoke options

I picked up a very pretty set of Roval hubs and realized they do not take "standard" straight-pull spokes. I've learned that Baron Corpuz, of defunct The Bici and possible also defunct Cafe Velo had some some years ago. Anyone have current contact info? I'm reaching out to Muzi of Yellow Jersey as well. Does anyone know of a source for compatible spokes? Can round-head straight-pull spokes be forced to fit? Is it downright silly to grind down round-head spokes to fit the T-slots?


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Old 08-23-13, 10:35 AM
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I'd only use what Roval designed for those hubs and nothing else as it pretty much a proprietary design. "Forcing" something to fit/work on a critical item like a wheel is just taking to much of a chance IMO.
I've been also eying Roval wheels for my French 80's bikes in the last couple of years, but I never could pull the trigger to buy them when I find them as I am nervous about the availability of replacement spokes......but I suspect you can eventually find them if you try hard enough as we always find out that C&V bike parts and components that we think are extinct, seem to eventually come out of the woodwork and end up for sale at eBay from time to time..... I think C&V Roval wheels are in my future,...... just need to find spare spokes to go with them when I do decide to buy a set.
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Old 08-23-13, 11:34 AM
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From what I recall Roval spokes are available through your Specialized dealer. They own Roval.
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Old 08-23-13, 11:36 AM
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They look like this?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/30397150@N07/4227496695

Seems to me like it would work to start with a regular strait pull spoke. Use a hammer & anvil to show the spoke who is boss, re-shape the head flat and bulge it into the roval "T" shape, probably would be stronger than just grinding material away.
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Old 08-24-13, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
They look like this?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/30397150@N07/4227496695

Seems to me like it would work to start with a regular strait pull spoke. Use a hammer & anvil to show the spoke who is boss, re-shape the head flat and bulge it into the roval "T" shape, probably would be stronger than just grinding material away.

I did just that about 15 years ago. I broke a couple of spokes while tensioning, because the nipples were seized to the spokes.
I just hammered a pair of nail-head replacement spokes into T-head style spokes, worked just fine.

I couldn't even find the exact width guage of nail-head aero spokes anywhere, so I actually ground down the two spoke's aero sections to make the longer dimension of the cross section closer to the original's.

Note that Rovel spoke nipples seated on plastic washers inside the rim. The spokes would lose tension over year's time as these washers slowly compressed/settled.
The spoke re-tensioning was typically hindered by some kind of threadlocker on the threads.

There is also the matter of establishing a spoke-tension specification, which is known to be much lower than spokes of this size would normally be tensioned to, but I have yet to find a number for it.

I arrived at a usable tension by sound and by chance, in the days before I owned a tensiometer, and was able to put a couple of thousand miles on those wheels.

The Roval tubulars had a fairly stiff aero rim, and I remember the clincher version having a very narrow internal width.

On either version, you had to remove the tire to access the spoke nipples for rim truing and/or spoke tensioning.

The axles on Roval's Maillard-built hubs were very fine-threaded for increased resistance to axle breakage, just as on some of Maillard's top-level hubs from the late 70's and early 80's, so replacement parts may be hard to source. I did at one time use a complete axle assembly from another brand of hub, so as to use an 8-speed freewheel, but the fit at the dust covers left a disturbing larger gap.

Last edited by dddd; 08-24-13 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 08-24-13, 04:50 AM
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Does this mean I shouldn't have cut out the hubs of my wheel set with a bad rim?
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Old 08-24-13, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Does this mean I shouldn't have cut out the hubs of my wheel set with a bad rim?

Well, maybe, if only for the value of the spare set of spokes. A full wheelbuild with generally-unavailable rims might not be practical(?).

I've sourced parts for these by buying complete, bent Roval wheels at swap meets, so now have a good few spokes laying around.

Good luck finding a worthy rim substitute in the correct "effective rim diameter" (if you wanted to rebuild a pair with new rims).

The hubs are very high quality however, so I can't rule out someone wantind to build up a pair with modern rims, so yes, Jim, maybe you cut those spokes in haste?
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Old 08-24-13, 12:07 PM
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I'm not losing any sleep over it...
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Old 08-24-13, 09:48 PM
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Baron was using the ebay handle chriswebster at least the last time I bought something from ebay from him.
I don't know how far into his nine electronic lives that makes, but I would look up his stuff on offer and contact him that way. Maybe even purchase something to grease the wheels of trade.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:28 AM
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In the Roval instructions, I don't buy the statement that you can't use a tensiometer because of the elasticity of their nylon bushing/washers, although it is necessary to figure out and estimate how the seemingly unique spoke blade dimensions affect the tensiometer's number reading.

There's no way that the washer's elasticity matches or even approaches that of the spokes, or these wheels would be floppy, and they aren't.

I used a tension around 80kgf I'd guess, since I had no tensiometer.

And as far as equalizing spoke tension on either side of the wheel, one can pluck spokes to compare tensions of adjacent spokes to a high degree of precision, within 5% easily I'd say.
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Old 08-27-13, 07:40 AM
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Thanks for all the info. Hammering the nailhead spokes is a much better idea than grinding - I should have thought of that. I've got unused hubs - 24h. I want to build with a modern rim, not Roval rims. I won't have to deal with the plastic washers. I might check with a Spec dealer on the off chance that they can get spokes.

Though looking at that spoke photo at full res, it almost looks ground. I will wait for my hubs to come in the post and experiment with fitting hammered straightpull spokes.

Last edited by EnzoRWD; 08-27-13 at 07:49 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-05-16, 11:51 AM
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Hello,
I am trying to find a source for vintage Roval spokes.
Did you ever find a source for the spokes and nipples?


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Old 01-05-16, 04:07 PM
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There was just recently a bit of discussion about Rovals over on the Classic Rendezvous list. Might be worth joining and perusing there. Some folks have modified other straight-pull spokes to work.
-John

Originally Posted by moonm View Post
Hello,
I am trying to find a source for vintage Roval spokes.
Did you ever find a source for the spokes and nipples?
Regards
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Old 01-05-16, 05:40 PM
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Best to source a bent wheel for spare parts, that's what I did.

Before that, I did make a few modified modern spokes as replacements, for those that broke due to the Loctite on the threads.
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Old 10-16-19, 12:45 PM
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Nice wheels, shot front rim

So... I have a set of these with the rare silver rims in 24h front and rear. However my front rim is shot, big nasty dent in the brake surface. You said there aren't "many" options for a replacement rim in the right ERD, does that indicate that there are "some?" :-)

The hubs are so smoooooth and all my spokes/nipples are in good shape and free threading...

Maybe they can be rebuilt in modern rims *without* the troublesome nylon washer???

wishful,
Todd in Boston
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Old 07-10-21, 07:38 PM
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I'm dredging up this old thread because I have a client that wants a Roval hub built into a Zipp rim. The slots in the hub will only accommodate a 1.8mm spoke, so I am trying to find straight pull spokes wit 1.8 mm diameter right to the head.
Just to test the feasibility of altering spokes to fit, I straightened the elbow on a J bend 1.8 spoke and cold forged a T head onto it. It fit nicely, and the T head settled right into place, so if I could find straight pulls, I could make this work.
Anyone know of a source? Straight gauge 1.8 would be fine, or double butted so long as the butted section would allow cutting to around 250mm.


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Old 04-13-22, 07:37 AM
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Another Flummoxed Roval Wheel Owner!

Me too! Where do we find spokes that work on these great wheels? I've contacted Roval/Specialized (current owners) and unfortunately, they carry no vintage parts for the pre-Specialized era.

I recently broke two spokes on my rear drive side when for some unknown reason my Dura Ace AX RD decided to de-mount from the rear dropout hanger.


I appreciate all the foreknowledge shared in this thread, but before proceeding with fashioning my own Roval replacement spokes, may I ask:

Dan Burkhart , did you succeed in the wheel build and what spokes did you use for the modification?

dddd , did the original Roval nipples work on the replacement spokes you modified?

Finally, I have spare spokes from an unused front wheel. They are about 3-5mm too long. Would it be possible to file down the bladed portion and attempt to thread it to allow the nipple to proceed to the correct length for the rear wheel? Or is this just flirting with some future disaster?




Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 04-13-22, 05:34 PM
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Darn! That stinks. Maybe someone out there has a damaged rear wheel or something. Spoke donor, like you did with the front.

i am betting you could sell each spoke for $10 on eBay.

Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Another Flummoxed Roval Wheel Owner!

Me too! Where do we find spokes that work on these great wheels? I've contacted Roval/Specialized (current owners) and unfortunately, they carry no vintage parts for the pre-Specialized era.

I recently broke two spokes on my rear drive side when for some unknown reason my Dura Ace AX RD decided to de-mount from the rear dropout hanger.


I appreciate all the foreknowledge shared in this thread, but before proceeding with fashioning my own Roval replacement spokes, may I ask:

Dan Burkhart , did you succeed in the wheel build and what spokes did you use for the modification?

dddd , did the original Roval nipples work on the replacement spokes you modified?

Finally, I have spare spokes from an unused front wheel. They are about 3-5mm too long. Would it be possible to file down the bladed portion and attempt to thread it to allow the nipple to proceed to the correct length for the rear wheel? Or is this just flirting with some future disaster?




Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 04-14-22, 07:13 AM
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jdawginsc I totally agree, in fact I'd pay $25 for the spoke and nipple combo.

The Rovals are such a great wheelset. Strong, smooth bearings, great rims, and they hold true like no other wheels I've ever ridden. Plus, the sound the bladed spokes make as they rotate at 15mph--- absolutely mesmerizing!

Based on the limited responses and the fact that this 9-year-old thread only has 19 total comments/replies, the vintage Roval Wheels did not make a strong appearance here in the US.
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Old 04-14-22, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
i am betting you could sell each spoke for $10 on eBay.
I'd rather just see Specialized / DT properly support their legacy equipment (after all, these were still being used on modern wheels - in black - up to 2015, at least).

Not really a fan of that type of profit in hobbies like these. If the parts become too expensive, a number of people who appreciate this equipment get priced out of it, and then nothing gets supported at all. That's half of the fun of vintage lightweights - a relatively minimal cost barrier into the hobby.

-Kurt
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Old 04-14-22, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'd rather just see Specialized / DT properly support their legacy equipment (after all, these were still being used on modern wheels - in black - up to 2015, at least).

Not really a fan of that type of profit in hobbies like these. If the parts become too expensive, a number of people who appreciate this equipment get priced out of it, and then nothing gets supported at all. That's half of the fun of vintage lightweights - a relatively minimal cost barrier into the hobby.

-Kurt
Absolutely. I think all manufacturers should do that. However, then no one would buy the new stuff.
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Old 04-14-22, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
jdawginsc I totally agree, in fact I'd pay $25 for the spoke and nipple combo.

The Rovals are such a great wheelset. Strong, smooth bearings, great rims, and they hold true like no other wheels I've ever ridden. Plus, the sound the bladed spokes make as they rotate at 15mph--- absolutely mesmerizing!

Based on the limited responses and the fact that this 9-year-old thread only has 19 total comments/replies, the vintage Roval Wheels did not make a strong appearance here in the US.
Wondering if someone had a threading machine, you could use the front spokes, but forgot how close to the nipple the bladed version comes.
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Old 04-14-22, 12:58 PM
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I've ordered these spokes, DT Swiss Aerolite Spoke 2.0mm Bladed 278mm Straight Pull Black, with the hopes I can re-shape the head into the flattened "T" head of the original Roval spokes.



Sorry about the poor focus.

In the meantime, I'm cleaning, polishing, and lubing the Shimano 600 AX RD clubman so generously sent me from Nova Scotia, and I've mounted new Vittoria Corsa tubulars on the original Dura Ace AX hub/Fiamme Ergal rim wheelset. Hopefully I'll have the Lotus back on the road soon.
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Old 04-14-22, 02:02 PM
  #24  
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If it helps in reshaping the head, the flickr album in an earlier post here has a French caption which says the flattening of the head of the spoke was done by striking it (presumably with a hammer or other such forging device). I would start by trying that (on some scrap spokes first!)
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Old 04-15-22, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
I've ordered these spokes, DT Swiss Aerolite Spoke 2.0mm Bladed 278mm Straight Pull Black, with the hopes I can re-shape the head into the flattened "T" head of the original Roval spokes.



Sorry about the poor focus.

In the meantime, I'm cleaning, polishing, and lubing the Shimano 600 AX RD clubman so generously sent me from Nova Scotia, and I've mounted new Vittoria Corsa tubulars on the original Dura Ace AX hub/Fiamme Ergal rim wheelset. Hopefully I'll have the Lotus back on the road soon.
The hub I referenced above would not accept a 2mm spoke in the slot. I was unable to source 1.8mm straight pull spokes, and because it was a front wheel, did not wish to accept the liability of altering the slots by filing, or the excessive cold working required to straighten J bend spokes to fit, so in the end, I sent it back without building it.
I have hammered T heads out of standard spoke heads numerous times with no issues though.
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