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Spokes and wheelbuilding

Sept. 9, 2018, 4:31 p.m.
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct. 15, 2003

I like to start building my own wheels and new to all of this.  Where is the best place to get cheap spokes?  Which spoke calculator do you guys use that have a good database so I don’t need to measure myself.

Sept. 9, 2018, 4:48 p.m.
Posts: 10847
Joined: June 4, 2008

I buy DT spokes by the box.  I can use 270's on both sides so it's good.  72 per box if I remember correctly.  I get them from bike-discount.de or CRC. 

I also spend the extra $$$ and buy a box of DT Pro-Lock nipples.  They are much better than the ones that come in the box of spokes.

DT-Swiss also has a good online calculator.

I couldn't imagine not having a Park truing stand to do all of this. 

I'd also suggest getting the Park tension meter if you've never done this before.  It's very easy to get a perfectly true wheel with a completely screwed up tension between spokes.

Sept. 9, 2018, 6:05 p.m.
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct. 15, 2003

Thanks for the info.  I was thinking of going straight gauge dt champions but on their website noble suggested double butted and in fact would void their warranty if you used straight gauge.  I am building up some American classic carbonators 

Thoughts?

Sept. 9, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Posts: 10847
Joined: June 4, 2008

No kidding.  First I've ever heard of that one.   Did they say why?

I switched to Champion almost immediately on all my new rims as I've needed them (both metal & carbon).

Sept. 9, 2018, 9:15 p.m.
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct. 15, 2003

No idea

Sept. 9, 2018, 10:04 p.m.
Posts: 209
Joined: May 11, 2018

DT butted spokes are great. They are actually stronger than non butted as they have more flex and are able to stretch rather than snap. The non-butted are stiffer but transfer more forces to the rim and as they are stiffer they are more likely to break due to sharper force  transfer through them. I suspect this is why Noble wants butted, to reduce the dynamics of force transfer to the rim. Also, if you are going to build up such a nice wheelset why cheap out on the spokes? Building wheels is not that hard and if you take time and have some idea about what you are doing there is nothing you can do to the wheel that can't get fixed by an experienced wheel builder.

I would go with ReductiMat's advice. Get the box of spokes and definitely get the locking nipples - best invention ever.

Sept. 10, 2018, 1:34 p.m.
Posts: 1232
Joined: May 23, 2006

Posted by: RAHrider

definitely get the locking nipples - best invention ever.

Yeah, definitely better than Locktite 242 up your nose. Same result though. For teh wheel I mean.


 Last edited by: tungsten on Sept. 10, 2018, 5:32 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Sept. 10, 2018, 1:46 p.m.
Posts: 23
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Hmmm.  I should try some of these nipples.   Sounds interesting.  Do you guys get the DT Pro Head or the Squorx?

Mike-E: 
- Don't cheap out on spokes.  Double butted high quality spokes will be stronger and easier to build with.

- I like the Pro Wheelbuilder calculator: https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/spokelengthcalculator 

- tension comes first, then trueness.  Ideally you have a perfectly tensioned wheel that is also perfectly round and true.

- If you have problems getting an even tension, think of spokes in pairs (the spokes that cross).  Sometimes the leading is tight and the trailing is loose and by balancing them out you maintain trueness and fix your tension.  Also think how tightening that one spoke will affect all the others.

- A good way to learn is to break it up into sections.  If you have a 100mm front or 142mm rear, then try tensioning the drive side (if rear) or brake side (if a front wheel) to about 2/3 tension first, while only worrying about vertical truing (roundness).  Then do the other side while only worrying about side to side truing.  This breaks the steps up in your head and lets you only worry about one thing at a time.  This method doesn't work as well with boost, but it depends on your hubs and how even the spoke tension is on each side (the more even it is, the less the method works).

- Over tighten 1/4 turn, then back turn 1/4 turn to minimize spoke wind up (e.g. if you want to make a 1/4 turn, turn it 1/2 way, then go back 1/4).

- Show us pictures afterwards.

Sept. 10, 2018, 2:12 p.m.
Posts: 724
Joined: March 18, 2017

I go with DT ProLock brass nipples on my builds.

Sept. 10, 2018, 2:40 p.m.
Posts: 14366
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Posted by: Endur-Bro

I go with DT ProLock brass nipples on my builds.

https://www.dtswiss.com/en/technology/wheel-technology/pro-lock-technology/

that ^^ looks cool, I never heard of these, how much more do they cost than plain old brass spoke nipples, so I assume you don't need to use spokeprep ??


 Last edited by: XXX_er on Sept. 10, 2018, 2:41 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Sept. 10, 2018, 2:50 p.m.
Posts: 209
Joined: May 11, 2018

The prolock nipples don't need spoke prep and don't slip. Best advice I ever got on wheel building was to be patient. If you work your way around the wheel tightening evenly as you go and making it perfectly round. Slowly increasing the tension of the wheel while maintaining perfect roundness, the rest of it is pretty easy. Once it is tensioned and round, only minimal tweaking is usually needed to pull it into alignment and true it.

Good luck

Sept. 10, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
Posts: 1232
Joined: May 23, 2006

During the build, frequently grab two handfulls of crosses and squeeze, man. Squeeze your way all around the wheel.

Your hands should be creased with oily grey lines and ache when you've finished the build.


 Last edited by: tungsten on Sept. 10, 2018, 5:33 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Sept. 10, 2018, 5:48 p.m.
Posts: 10847
Joined: June 4, 2008

When you’re done, grab both sides of the wheel, do a handstand.  Then move your hands an inch or two up the rim.  Repeat.  Until you’ve gone all the way around.

Then flip it and do it again.

Then measure tension again.

I’ve run straight-gauge, double butted and quad butted spokes.  Can’t tell the difference, but the champions have held up the best for fast park riding.

Sept. 10, 2018, 6:37 p.m.
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct. 15, 2003

Great info everyone.  I splurge and bought myself a tensiometer.  If you use one,what tension reading should I be aiming for?

Sept. 10, 2018, 7:17 p.m.
Posts: 10847
Joined: June 4, 2008

Posted by: Mike-E

Great info everyone.  I splurge and bought myself a tensiometer.  If you use one,what tension reading should I be aiming for?

Did you drop large on a DT Swiss one?

If you bought a Park one like me, use it as a relative measure and find what works for you, your spokes, your rim and your riding style.

My riding is fast and I’m not that good so my wheels see a lot of square edges. I found a decent equilibrium between losing all tension in all spokes immediately and breaking spokes every ride.

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