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Looking for cheap source of spokes

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Looking for cheap source of spokes

Old 06-17-20, 07:01 PM
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I use Wheelsmith DB spokes which can be pretty pricey. Found the best price and selection to be at Modern Bike. Bags of 50 average about $0.71 per spoke. Comparatively, Universal is $1.00.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:25 PM
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I have been buying boxes of DT spokes for about $60 per 100 spokes from 365 cycles. Boxes of nipples are cheap as well. The covid thing has changed my buying process but it has me buying from around the country at the best prices available.
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Old 06-17-20, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post

I don't buy into those inflation calculators, they don't match up with the real world when it comes to actual products.
The bottom line is a bicycle is only worth so much to the average person. Tell your everyday customer that its going to cost $150-$200 to rebuild two wheels and they look at your like your a thief.
The last time I bought bulk spokes was about 12 years ago, I was paying $19.99 per box for DT stainless straight gauge spokes and about half that for Asian stainless spokes. I rarely used the cheap ones due to so many broken spokes over the years with no name brand spokes.
Now they want $46 from the same source. Back in 1988, (the only older receipt I found, I was paying $7.99 a box for the same spokes.
These are spokes made from steel, not gold or silver. Part of the problem is the cost of shipping, but even so, I called to order about 9 different sizes the other day and they only had two of them. I was told that the other sizes had to come from different warehouses so there would be additional shipping costs. I canceled the order.
I'm not paying $18 to ship two boxes of spokes four or five times.

I've also tried local bike shops but it seems wheel building isn't a needed skill these days to own or work at a bike shop. Many won't even fix tires citing its a liability issue.
40 years ago just about every bike shop had a Phil Wood spoke machine and/or every size spoke in stock, and a couple of cases of tubes and tires on hand.
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Old 06-17-20, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
Now they want $46 from the same source.
So is that a box of 100? From where if you don't mind?
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Old 06-17-20, 09:18 PM
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My last couple of spoke orders have gone to https://www.wheelbuildingparts.comThey sell 14gauge Sapim "Leader" spokes for as little as $0.28 without nipples. Can't recall if they offer every length or just odds or evens. Other spokes (DT, butted,) are priced about the same as Treefort or Colorado Cyclist etc. The service is good, shipping costs are reasonable. For nipples I've been buying DT 12mm nipples from Treefort or Nashbar. Boxes of 100 nipples for about $.06/nipple plus shipping which I think is $1.50. Someone sells nipples by 500 (maybe Treefort and Wheelsmith nipples) at even a better price. Used to buy from Rose bikes in Germany but had some issues with poor packaging resulting in broken boxes and lost spokes and nipples. One time they made good, the next time they told me to #sand .
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Old 06-18-20, 12:52 AM
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I have to agree, the cost of spokes has gotten out of hand lately. They took a big jump around 2008 or so and have been steadily climbing in price since then.
Most of the shops that had spoke machines near me are gone, the few that are left sell department store bikes and don't do repairs.
I generally order only box lots, or what ever it takes to make a particular price point or to save shipping. Worldwide Cyclery is reasonable and around $52 per 100 for DT spokes right now, other sources are wholesale only but a few of them no longer stock all the sizes and a few have been sold out.
Knowing what they wholesale for, that's still too much. There's no doubt some are taking advantage of the current boom in sales. Not more than 5 years ago I stocked up on spokes, I bought 6 and 10 boxes of 100 of each of the sizes I use the most in both DT straight stainless as well as standard galvanized spokes. I got a deal then but ended up paying around $.10 per spoke or less. The bad part is that I should have bought more, I'm nearly out of many of the most popular sizes and that source is no longer there. Several good sources have gone away in recent years.
Collectors have pretty much cleaned out the older bike shops that had inventory on hand and the few that remain have either learned to sell online themselves or they want eBay type prices on things on their shelves.
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