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  1. #1
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    Wheel build spoke advice needed

    I have a rear wheel I am going to rebuild. The spokes appear to me to be straight 13G - they are huge. The bike came to me with this wheel, but the rim is bent (was ridable for some time). I bought a new rim and thought I'd just switch everything straight across, except with new spoke nipples. Would I be better off buying butted spokes and not reusing the huge ones. The bike is used as a townie for shopping, commuting, etc. and sometimes carries heavy loads. Wheel is 700C Campagnolo Omega Strada Hardox with Sachs 7X3 hub and 4x pattern. Spoke calculator gives me lengths of 303.5 and 301.8 but I will measure the old ones to be sure if I go with new spokes. I can get 302 length either 2.0/1.7 or 2.0/1.8, would those work?
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  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Not to just leave it at appearances, Measure .. 13 gage is like 2,3MM.


    Id use a Touring Heavy duty rim , Lace the spokes like they were ,
    since rim flange is compressed by the old spokes.
    14 gage straight spokes are fine , I have many reliable wheels with 14 gage straight spoked wheels.

    7X3 Hybrid internal and cassette combination hub?, Cool !
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-19-11 at 11:02 AM. Reason: decimal adjustment.

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    Before taking the original wheel apart, make a note of high close to the tops of the nipples the existing spokes reach. You'll use this as a guide for chosing the new spoke length compared to the exiting ones. ie, if the spokes reach to the very to to the nipple, they are the max length and you'd go 1-2mm shorter. If they end below the slot, you could go a bit longer.

    Now you need to compare the rim diameter at the nipple seat between the old and new rim. you can do this based on published specs. or by measuring down from the lip with the depth gauge of a caliper. knowing what you had, and the adjustments for the differences in rim diameters, and the usable range of adjustment will confirm your spoke calculation.

    As to the spoke selection, I'm a big fan of butted spokes, and use the exclusively, except for special purpose wheels such as sprinting on the track. If the bike is doubles as a bit of a utility bike use 2.0/1.8/2.0 spokes.

    BTW- if the wheel truly has 13g spokes, you might find the hub drilled a bit large for 14g spokes (also might not). if you consider the spoke fit sloppy in the hub, you can slide #2 stainless washers down the spoke priot to threading them to tighten the fit a bit. Or since it's a bit of a work bike use single butted 13g/14g spokes to build workhorse wheels.
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  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciufalon View Post
    I have a rear wheel I am going to rebuild. The spokes appear to me to be straight 13G - they are huge. The bike came to me with this wheel, but the rim is bent (was ridable for some time). I bought a new rim and thought I'd just switch everything straight across, except with new spoke nipples. Would I be better off buying butted spokes and not reusing the huge ones. The bike is used as a townie for shopping, commuting, etc. and sometimes carries heavy loads. Wheel is 700C Campagnolo Omega Strada Hardox with Sachs 7X3 hub and 4x pattern. Spoke calculator gives me lengths of 303.5 and 301.8 but I will measure the old ones to be sure if I go with new spokes. I can get 302 length either 2.0/1.7 or 2.0/1.8, would those work?
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Match the rim and use the existing spokes. It's very easy and saves you the expense of new spokes. You detension the wheel by unscrewing the spoke nipples. Lay the new rim on the old one and then just transfer the spokes to the new rim one at a time. Don't put tension on anything until all the spokes are transfered and then just layer on the tension as you would when building a new wheel.

    Matching the rim can be either by using the same rim or by getting one with the same effective rim diameter.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Not to just leave it at appearances, Measure .. 13 gage is like 2,5MM.

    Id use a Touring Heavy duty rim , Lace the spokes like they were ,
    since rim flange is compressed by the old spokes.
    14 gage straight spokes are fine , I have many reliable wheels with 14 gage straight spoked wheels.

    7X3 Hybrid internal and cassette combination hub?, Cool !
    13 gauge is 2.3mm. Most hubs can take the 2.3mm because that's the outside diameter of the threads on 14 gauge (2.0mm) spokes and the hub holes are 2.4mm. DT Alpine III, Wheelsmith DH13 and Phil Wood heavy duty spokes use 2.3mm heads.

    I've used the Alpines on many wheel builds with all kinds of different hubs and have never had a fit problem. They make superbly strong wheels.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 04-19-11 at 09:23 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Just for my future wheel building knowledge, was my assumption that 302mm length would be about right to use be right, given the calculated measurements I posted? Kind of split the difference and use same length for both sides when wheel building? I think these are definitely 13G spokes - the biggest I've seen on a bike. I bought the exact same kind of rim NOS, so everything should work. I also am planning to do exactly what Cyccommute suggests to make the transfer. Just want to use new nipples and from the sound of it those that fit 14G will work?

    Thanks for the helpful replies.
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  6. #6
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    Ciufalon,

    Where did you get nipples for 13 Ga. spokes without the spokes? I checked around, but all the local shops would only sell them with the spokes.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I think these are definitely 13G spokes
    I repeat .. Measure and remove all Doubt.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-19-11 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    no 14ga nipples will not fit 13ga or 12ga spokes, Measure it, don't guess. Also why do you want to replace the nipples? Are they twisted? Rounded? Corroded? If not I would just re-use them, be sure to lube them and the rim they are going on. I used to build my twenty inch bike with 12ga spokes in the rear and I would just re-use the nipples on that. I think I went through two or three rims on it but never a nipple (It's always bad to come down front wheel first on a 20' jump onto flat ground, always bad....) One thing that is hard to use is new, smaller spokes on hubs that have been drilled for larger spokes, usually it takes washers to keep the keep the spoke head from coming through the hub flange, so I probably wouldn't use new spokes.
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  9. #9
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    Seems like a couple of the nipples are rounded a bit. Since I am reusing the spokes I just thought it would be cheap to use new nipples with the new rim. Have not bought new nipples yet, but I know they can be bought separately. I used calipers to measure the gauge and it shows almost 2.5mm; I was using non digital calipers, so I am thinking it is 2.3. Will definitely take fietsbob's advice and take a spoke to the bike shop or co-op and be sure. They might be 12 gauge, the spokes are BIG!
    Be the person your dog thinks you are.
    T.J.

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