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Thread: N brand spokes

  1. #1
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    N brand spokes

    I recently purchased a wheel that has spokes marked with an N. I've seen DT and W before. What does the N stand for?

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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    I recently purchased a wheel that has spokes marked with an N. I've seen DT and W before. What does the N stand for?
    Ni!

    Are you sure that's not an "S" for Sapim?
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    Not sure what company makes them, but they're pretty common on pre-built wheels around here. I suspect they're an inexpensive Chinese or Taiwanese brand.

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    Thanks. I figured because they had a brand mark on them, they were better than plain spokes, but I don't know. It's a front wheel so I'm sure they will be fine. Black Park wrench fits 'em.

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    Sapim puts SAP on the neck of the spoke rather than a mark on the head. The Pillar P looks sort of like a sideways n?

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    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    N is one of three markings used by CNSpoke.

    I know because I import them as well as Raleigh and DiamondBack.

    The other marking is a CN stamp inside of an incomplete circle - much like the "@" symbol except a CN instead of an "a".

    Their stainless steel spokes are between entry and mid-level grade - excellent for basic and replacement bicycles wheels such as those I produce.

    They do have a spoke a higher grade up marked with "mac" with the first bar of the letter "m" having an "h" starting top leg. "hac" but with the "h" as an "m".

    This year CN has reduced the polish a tad - possibly following my suggestion to them directly a couple years ago - semi-polish is better than polish in terms of spoke longevity.

    Long as they are properly tensioned to begin with - they hold up quite well - had a wheel go 20,000 miles without a broken spoke.

    =8-)

  7. #7
    A little North of Hell
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    XXXI

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    Mrrabbit, thanks for delivering the answer and the interesting details. Perhaps you built this wheel. I purchased it secondhand from a guy in Vermont. I think I have the polished spokes. They connect an LX hub to a Sun CR18 rim. The rim is very shiny, so I think the polished spokes look nice on this wheel. How much does the polishing process decrease longevity and why?

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    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Polishing prematurely ages the micronish outer layer of the spoke - i.e., introduces a little premature "brittleness" to the surface layer of the spoke - which reduces life expectancy.

    Remember, the killer of spokes is not overtensioning...or inability to handle tension...but rather the stress caused by continuos flex cycles...if you don't tension properly to begin with...you are introducing the flex-stress devil prematurely.

    Polishing has a considerable impact on el cheapo spokes - less on better quality spokes - but still has an impact.

    Of course poor tensioning of spokes has 100x more impact than polishing - yet polishing is a factor.

    Of the stainless steel variety...

    DT uses semi-polish.
    Union used semi-polish.
    Alpina used semi-polish.
    Hoshi used semi-polish.
    Phil Wood uses semi-polish.
    Wheelsmith uses polish.
    Super Duper Ugly El Cheapo Ohio's used no polish.
    Super Duper El Cheapo Shun Lih's use polish.
    CN used polish.
    CN now is leaning toward semi-polish.

    Guess which one tends to lose in the bend stress test?

    If you want detail of the test I use to demo for others - say so - I've posted it here before but I can do it again if you really want to know.

    =8-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    Polishing has a considerable impact on el cheapo spokes - less on better quality spokes - but still has an impact.

    Of the stainless steel variety...

    DT uses semi-polish.
    Union used semi-polish.
    Alpina used semi-polish.
    Hoshi used semi-polish.
    Phil Wood uses semi-polish.
    Wheelsmith uses polish.
    Super Duper Ugly El Cheapo Ohio's used no polish.
    Super Duper El Cheapo Shun Lih's use polish.
    CN used polish.
    CN now is leaning toward semi-polish.

    Guess which one tends to lose in the bend stress test?
    Despite their finish Wheelsmith spokes must certainly be "better quality" since neither I nor anyone I know has broken one. I had Wheelsmith built wheels with Dura Ace hubs, CXP-33 rims and Wheelsmith XL14 spokes (3X, 32H) that lasted over 30,000 miles of rough roads and not one ever broke. I retired the wheels because the rims were getting thin at the brake tracks but the spokes were all fine.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    I'm located in San Jose, CA...kinda doubt that's my wheel...though it'd be cool if it was.

    =8-)

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