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  1. #1
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    various 700c spoke lengths

    Im planning on starting building a lot of 700c wheels. High flange and low flange, front and rear wheels. What are the range of spoke lengths that i should get. No radial spoking and nothing smaller than 28 spokes per wheel. Just a general guess if someone can shoot this off the top of their head.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    290mm to 300mm but that's not going to help you very much. The exact lengths that you need will vary depending on the particular hub and rim combination that you're using. You only have about plus or minus 1mm of tolerance.

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    I think this holds for velocity deep vs but the weinmann version has like an extra inch where the spoke can be way too long and never ever ever poke the tube.. So theoretically you can go large and not worry all that much!

    Spoke | wall 1 wall 2 | tube.

    ----------| (extra space) |C

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drwecki View Post
    I think this holds for velocity deep vs but the weinmann version has like an extra inch where the spoke can be way too long and never ever ever poke the tube.. So theoretically you can go large and not worry all that much!

    Spoke | wall 1 wall 2 | tube.

    ----------| (extra space) |C
    Nope, you're wrong. Ain't gonna work. You might be able to cheat on a little too long but you're going to run out of threads before you can bring the wheel up to tension.

    There's also this: Factory wheels are so cheap that the only reason for building your own is that you want the satisfaction of building the best wheel that you can. Starting with spokes that are the wrong size doesn't do it for me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Nope, you're wrong. Ain't gonna work. You might be able to cheat on a little too long but you're going to run out of threads before you can bring the wheel up to tension.

    There's also this: Factory wheels are so cheap that the only reason for building your own is that you want the satisfaction of building the best wheel that you can. Starting with spokes that are the wrong size doesn't do it for me.
    Nope, you're wrong.

    Factory wheels are a decent starting point, but if a serious rider is going to put serious miles on a wheel then before they are mounted on the bike those wheels should be retensioned and stress relieved. Building a wheel yourself is a satisfying endeavor (I always liken wheel-building as a hobby to knitting) and you can be sure you get it right the first time, or at least know there is no-one else to blame.

    I agree about spoke lengths, though... there is the right length (which maybe has 1 - 2mm (max) of wiggle room in either too long or too short) and there is the wrong length.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Factory wheels are a decent starting point, but if a serious rider is going to put serious miles on a wheel then before they are mounted on the bike those wheels should be retensioned and stress relieved.
    From a straight cost standpoint, buying factory wheels and then adjusting the tension and stress relieving them is the only way that makes sense. Some factory wheels are good enough as received and no corrections are needed. I've gotten two sets of wheels from Colorado Cyclist, used them straight out of the box and put tens of thousands of miles on them. They never needed any truing or touchup.

    Now, if building wheels is a hobby, not a cost consideration, knock yourself out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    From a straight cost standpoint, buying factory wheels and then adjusting the tension and stress relieving them is the only way that makes sense. Some factory wheels are good enough as received and no corrections are needed. I've gotten two sets of wheels from Colorado Cyclist, used them straight out of the box and put tens of thousands of miles on them. They never needed any truing or touchup.

    Now, if building wheels is a hobby, not a cost consideration, knock yourself out.
    There is a big difference between buying hand-built wheels from a shop and buying the budget, ready-made wheels available from wholesale distributors.

    From a product description on Colorado cyclist:
    Every set of wheels we turn out is built completely by hand to your specifications using DT spokes. From lacing and tensioning, to stress-relieving, re-tensioning and final truing, we take great pride in building the finest wheels available.
    And from the product description on a set of Deore/Rhinolite wheels from Pricepoint:
    Already Built!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Nope, you're wrong.

    Factory wheels are a decent starting point, but if a serious rider is going to put serious miles on a wheel then before they are mounted on the bike those wheels should be retensioned and stress relieved. Building a wheel yourself is a satisfying endeavor (I always liken wheel-building as a hobby to knitting) and you can be sure you get it right the first time, or at least know there is no-one else to blame.
    Man! You are digging pretty damm deep to find some detail to complain about what I said.

    My major point was that spokes have to be the right length. You agree with that. That building your own wheels was a satisfying pass time was a minor point. You agree with that too. Then you bring up the whole quality of factory wheels issue, that I didn't even mention, to show me up.

    So where was I wrong?

  9. #9
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    It depends on the parts you are using. 700C rims have ERD as low as 477mm (deep carbon aero) and as high as 619mm although most are between ~600mm and ~615mm. A 619mm ERD, 28-hole rim built 3X on low flange hubs will require ~306mm spokes. A 587mm ERD (Mavic CXP30), 36-hole rim built 3X on high flange hubs will require ~280mm spokes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JustChuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Man! You are digging pretty damm deep to find some detail to complain about what I said.

    My major point was that spokes have to be the right length. You agree with that. That building your own wheels was a satisfying pass time was a minor point. You agree with that too. Then you bring up the whole quality of factory wheels issue, that I didn't even mention, to show me up.

    So where was I wrong?
    Pretty amusing. I consider factory wheels to be Mavics or Lews or Zips or Campys, etc. They come spot on 99.9% of the time and stay that way. Unless you hit a tree or pile up a corner.

    Now CC(That Hill rider has had good luck with), that has been another story for our shop. We had a run of wheels(Brought in by customers) from Colorado Cyclist, claimed handbuilt, that were not even brought to an acceptable tension much less made round or true. If the wheel was for disk brake, multiply build error by a factor of five(This has been an issue with wheels from the bike suppliers as well)
    Last edited by JustChuck; 01-31-09 at 09:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I would never suggest anyone take a mail-order (or computer) wheel and put it on their bike and go for a ride. I'd strongly suggest they get it checked out by a qualified mechanic first. Such things as spoke-tension, dish, true, etc. No matter how good everyone says that so-and-so, where they bought it, is.

    This is just common-sense.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  12. #12
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    I would never suggest anyone take a mail-order (or computer) wheel and put it on their bike and go for a ride. I'd strongly suggest they get it checked out by a qualified mechanic first. Such things as spoke-tension, dish, true, etc. No matter how good everyone says that so-and-so, where they bought it, is.

    This is just common-sense.
    Ahh, but you're forgetting that the bicycle industry is perfect in every detail and it's people like you and me who want something different to what's offered or dare to fiddle with things ourselves who are delusional.

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  13. #13
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    To the OP. Just buy the spokes for each job and be done with it. At my lbs, the cost per spoke doesn't offer any real advantages over buying them in bulk (yours might be different). Time will tell whether it's worth stocking up on a particular size or not.

    Richard
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    There is a big difference between buying hand-built wheels from a shop and buying the budget, ready-made wheels available from wholesale distributors.
    Right, CC's wheels are supposed to be hand tensioned, etc. and my experience with them has been very good as received. I hope JustChuck's experience is not typical or is limited to their MTB wheels.

    However, my point was that even at CC's prices, which are significantly higher than a typical wholesaler's wheel, I couldn't begin to build the same wheel at anywhere near the same cost by purchasing the components individually. So even if CC's build isn't always perfect, you can still save money buying from them and doing the fine tuning yourself.

  15. #15
    Senior Member JustChuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Right, CC's wheels are supposed to be hand tensioned, etc. and my experience with them has been very good as received. I hope JustChuck's experience is not typical or is limited to their MTB wheels.

    However, my point was that even at CC's prices, which are significantly higher than a typical wholesaler's wheel, I couldn't begin to build the same wheel at anywhere near the same cost by purchasing the components individually. So even if CC's build isn't always perfect, you can still save money buying from them and doing the fine tuning yourself.
    It was MTB wheels and it was a while ago. But I still get wheels customers have bought from various online suppliers that need attention before they are acceptable. The big issue is usually round.

    If you are looking for a deal, and can finish them yourselves, buying built sets online(or even from the LBS, where they should also have been checked and you have a nerby place to come back to if there is an issue) is much cheaper than building them yourself

  16. #16
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    find the Spocalc (sp?) spreadsheet so you can figure out what size you need for each particular wheel.

    You can build inexpensive wheels if you don't mind hunting for good used hubs. I bought a Campy record wheel with a heavy rim for $100, and rebuilt it with an old Araya tubular rim I had hanging around.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Man! You are digging pretty damm deep to find some detail to complain about what I said.

    My major point was that spokes have to be the right length. You agree with that. That building your own wheels was a satisfying pass time was a minor point. You agree with that too. Then you bring up the whole quality of factory wheels issue, that I didn't even mention, to show me up.

    So where was I wrong?
    Sorry if you took it personally... I was trying to make a comment on the quality of most ready-made wheels (machine built, not factory wheels like Zipp, Shimano, etc; not hand built by a competent builder), which are often quite cheap but need work by an experienced person before they are 'good...'

    Also, you said that factory wheels are 'cheap' and thus the best choice for most... I tried to imply that there is a tradeoff between 'low price' and 'value.' If my post came across as nitpicky or too negative I am truly, sincerely, wholeheartedly sorry.

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