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Thread: spoke wrench

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    Member zzMike's Avatar
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    spoke wrench

    I want to true my wheels so i have to buy a spoke wrench. There seems to be a few different sizes. Most of the wheels I will be working on are mountain bike type. Is there a standard size for that type of wheel? Also, does anybody have any recommendations for a particular brand of spoke wrench?

    Thanks.

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    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    I'm no expert and someone may correct me, but here goes:

    Spoke nipples come in a few different sizes. If you have the wrong wrench it either won't fit, or it'll round off the nipple. I purchased this spoke wrench, which can be used on three different sized spoke nipples. It works well but I've found myself rounding them off sometimes. If anyone has a recommendation of a better tool I'm all ears.

    ptswt1-1.jpg
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

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    the red and black from park will be the most common sizes

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    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    The Park SW-20 and SW-40 are MUCH better:
    But then do I have to buy three of them? I frequently use all three sides of the wrench I posted (0, 1, and 2.)
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

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    yes, buy all three of them. i don't have th butterfly looking park one i have the black one that grips from all 4 sides. it's the only one i've needed thus far but it works perfectly. sometimes tough to get it to come off the nipple but it never rounds them off. if it does get stuck, I just stick a screwdriver in between the wrench and the rim and give it a gentle nudge and it comes right up. Dont waste your money buying one of the round ones that has 4 or 5 different sizes on it, that piece of crap was sold to me by my bike shop and it immediately rounded nipples and got chewed up.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Almost all stock wheels come with Japanese spoke nipples which take a Park Red spoke wrench. Hand built wheels usually have Wheelsmith or DT nipples which take the Park Black wrench.

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    Member zzMike's Avatar
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    So, I looked on the Park Tool site to see what they had...the easiest was the one FastJake mentioned that has 3 different sizes.

    .136"/3.45 mm -- Red -- models SW-2; SW-22; SW-42 (which is 4-sided).
    .127"/3.23 mm -- Black -- models SW-0; SW-20; SW-40 (4-sided)
    .130"/3.30 mm -- Green -- model SW-1

    Red and Black seem to be the most used. How does a 4-sided spoke wrench help?

    Somebody told me the 4-sided Spokey works really well (they have them on Amazon...it doesn't mention size, but its red...I'm not sure if that means it is the same size as the Park Tool Red).

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    The 4-sided wrench grips all 4 sides of the nipple and cannot slip off.
    Sounds great in theory, but when I bought the one from Park, it was so annoying to get off/on the nipple, that I went back to using the 3-sided one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    The 4-sided wrench grips all 4 sides of the nipple and cannot slip off.
    Sounds great in theory, but when I bought the one from Park, it was so annoying to get off/on the nipple, that I went back to using the 3-sided one.
    Right.

    With proper lubrication on the spoke threads and at the nipple/rim interface the normal 2-sided wrench won't cause problems unless you're making a damaged wheel rideable using your head light for illumination and neglect to fully seat the wrench on an alloy nipple which twists but remains functional. If that happens to you just replace the nipple when you replace the rim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    The 4-sided wrench grips all 4 sides of the nipple and cannot slip off.
    Sounds great in theory, but when I bought the one from Park, it was so annoying to get off/on the nipple, that I went back to using the 3-sided one.
    i agree but then i discovered simply sliding a screwdriver under and giving mild pressure would release the spoke wrench without scratching the rim, a bit annoying but not as annoying as rounding off nipples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    i agree but then i discovered simply sliding a screwdriver under and giving mild pressure would release the spoke wrench without scratching the rim, a bit annoying but not as annoying as rounding off nipples.
    I've replaced rims on wheels I built over a decade previously with alloy nipples and rode in all weather conditions including snow with salt and sand on the roads. They still turned fine (I like anti-seize apart from the mess it makes).

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    SpoKey from Rixen and Kaul is a 3 sided wrench,
    like one you use for the brake line connectors on your car
    grips 3 corners .. red one in that, black one from Park
    used with DT Wheelsmith Sapim
    basically the common pro race spoke choices

    I brought the Spokey in my Touring tool kit ,
    the park ones stay home with the truing stand.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-18-11 at 10:07 PM.

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