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Old 08-11-10, 04:20 PM   #1
bikefreakvinnie
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Wheel Building spoke material question

I've converted one of my bicycles to have an electric assist function using a small 24 volt hub motor and conversion kit. Don't worry I still have 5 other normal bicycles!..

Anyway I've checked the tension on this Suzhou Bafang hubed wheel and its very erratic after just 1000 kms. Using the Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter the tension for this 36 spoke front wheel varies from 12 to 20 (on the meter).
I've built a number of wheels and in this case my plan is to aim for good even tension, if it was made from double butted stainless steel I'd aim for 100kgf.

But the trouble is I don't know what material the spokes are made from... From the attached picture and with this background info would anyone have any ideas? They dont seen to butted, I have a feeling it may be made from Titanium.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bikefreakvinnie View Post
I've converted one of my bicycles to have an electric assist function using a small 24 volt hub motor and conversion kit. Don't worry I still have 5 other normal bicycles!..

Anyway I've checked the tension on this Suzhou Bafang hubed wheel and its very erratic after just 1000 kms. Using the Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter the tension for this 36 spoke front wheel varies from 12 to 20 (on the meter).
I've built a number of wheels and in this case my plan is to aim for good even tension, if it was made from double butted stainless steel I'd aim for 100kgf.

But the trouble is I don't know what material the spokes are made from... From the attached picture and with this background info would anyone have any ideas? They dont seen to butted, I have a feeling it may be made from Titanium.
Check it with a magnet will narrow down the possibilities.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bikefreakvinnie View Post
I've converted one of my bicycles to have an electric assist function using a small 24 volt hub motor and conversion kit. Don't worry I still have 5 other normal bicycles!..

Anyway I've checked the tension on this Suzhou Bafang hubed wheel and its very erratic after just 1000 kms. Using the Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter the tension for this 36 spoke front wheel varies from 12 to 20 (on the meter).
I've built a number of wheels and in this case my plan is to aim for good even tension, if it was made from double butted stainless steel I'd aim for 100kgf.

But the trouble is I don't know what material the spokes are made from... From the attached picture and with this background info would anyone have any ideas? They dont seen to butted, I have a feeling it may be made from Titanium.
If you built a bunch of wheels your hands should roughly know whether something is much too high or much too low. Even if you don't know the absolute tension on the spokes, you can still use the TM-1 to balance the overal tension of spokes in the wheel.

Once that is done, if the wheel still comes out of true you can up the tension.
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Old 08-12-10, 01:17 AM   #4
bikefreakvinnie
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Thanks for that, the magnet does stick to it so i guess it must be steel!..
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Old 08-12-10, 10:26 AM   #5
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Cheap steel - plated with black treatment...

I recommend building electric hubs with:

1. 2.3/2.0 Stainless Steel in 1X or 2X config depending upon how big or small the hub is.

OR

2. If drilled for it - 2.6mm straight guage - (105 guage) in 1X or 2X.

In some cases, interlacing will not be possible - that's okay though.

Keep in mind as well...that a lot of older electric hubs are getting dumped on the market...cause wheel build wise they were bad designs with nasty asymetrical flange offsets that on rear models resulted in spokes on one side not getting anywhere near enough tension. The companies had engineers - but not engineers familiar with workable flange offsets and the like.

Crystalite for example has addressed this in their latest disc brake and rear hub model line.

=8-)
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Old 08-12-10, 03:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for that Mr Rabbit, thats disappointing considering the cost of the thing! That very valuable advice on the spokes for a re-build!
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