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Old 03-11-09, 10:04 AM   #1
Banzai
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Black spokes

I've built wheels in the past with DT Comp spokes, but I've noticed that after about a year they're not really true black anymore. They fade to a reddish-black hue.

Do other brands hold their color better? Wheelsmith, perhaps?

Or maybe I should just build my wheelset in all silver...
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Old 03-11-09, 11:54 AM   #2
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My Nebula spoke on my Trek is already starting to peel,less than 300 miles ridden.
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Old 03-11-09, 12:01 PM   #3
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Another case of the black-chipping-spoke gnomes. The nipples do the same if you buy black ones (or pink, blue, paisley...).
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Old 03-11-09, 01:10 PM   #4
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Mine don't chip at all...they just seem to fade in the sun. But there are no chips.

So...no one can say whether the Wheelsmith black stays black better than DT black?
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Old 03-11-09, 02:41 PM   #5
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I break wheelsmith spokes like crazy but DT spokes hold up. I stopped buying black spokes because of the fading.
sliver spokes with brass nipples - everything else was just too much trouble in the long run
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Old 03-11-09, 03:17 PM   #6
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I've never broken a wheelsmith spoke...and Peter White loves them.

That being said...is the wheelsmith black dye/anodizing better than the DT?

What about Sapim race perhaps? (Not gonna buy cx-rays...not worth the money.)
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Old 03-11-09, 05:50 PM   #7
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I went all silver when I started building my own wheels. It is a PIA to deal with.

And I hate the sounds of the painted spokes rubbing together.
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Old 03-11-09, 06:42 PM   #8
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Peter Smith doesn't LOVE Wheelsmith. He HATES DT. And for good reason. They tried to get him to learn to build wheels "the DT Way!" - on his nickel.
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Old 03-11-09, 07:57 PM   #9
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Ah...my mistake.

So. More durable black anodizing? Or are they all that way? The only black I have experience with is DT. I've built silver Wheelsmith, and I've never used Sapim.
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Old 03-11-09, 08:14 PM   #10
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Spokes are steel. I thought annodizing was for aluminum only
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Old 03-12-09, 02:43 AM   #11
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... and titanium.

You can patina steel in black, I think, but spokes are stainless, which leaves us with paint again, I think.
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Old 03-12-09, 05:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sooprvylyn View Post
Spokes are steel. I thought annodizing was for aluminum only
Quote:
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... and titanium.

You can patina steel in black, I think, but spokes are stainless, which leaves us with paint again, I think.
This topic was covered once, a long time ago on BF. It was settled by someone knowledgeable that steel can be anodized.

I've been doing some research on the black spoke issue, and I've come up with from the roadbikereview forum, which I didn't save the link to. In a review of Sapim cx-rays, the reviewer said that Sapim uses black chromate for their spokes, which holds the black hue better than the cheaper black oxide process that DT and Wheelsmith use.

Can anyone verify?
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Old 03-12-09, 10:36 AM   #13
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I guess you could buy some stove black, paint the spokes with that then throw them in the oven at high for a couple of hours. Stove black lasts at least a couple of years on wood burning stoves so its tough stuff. Dunno what the heat would to the integrity of the spoke itself though.
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