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Old 11-22-12, 08:25 AM   #1
ibanezfreak
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Wheel lacing; 'Custom-cutting spoke length' & cost

Hi guys,

Im not the one lacing the wheel, the LBS is. However, i'd like to know if im being ripped off;

I sent my 50mm rear carbon wheel to get the hub replaced. However, i was told by them that the new spokes (since the replacement hub is of a different size, its self-explanatory that new spokes of a different length have to be used) cannot be bought pre-cut to length, but instead have to be 'custom-cut' to length, to lace the 50mm wheel.

And through this process of cutting the spokes to length, the price i was told before ('price before' refers to just cost of pre-cut spokes and installation labour cost) has been nearly doubled (130bucks)!

I hope i don't sound like a whiny chap, but is it really not possible to source spokes of the ideal length in the first place?

Thanks for reading! I have really no clue.. so please bare with me!
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Old 11-22-12, 08:34 AM   #2
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Unless you're using bladed spokes custom cutting shouldn't add significantly to your cost. The cost of cutting is so low that many shops stock only 310mm unthreaded spokes and cut everything because it's more economical than carrying a large inventory of lengths and types.

Other shops keep the most commonly used lengths and types and cut the rest as needed. When I sold spokes I charged a dime a spoke for custom lengths.

If you let us know the lengths and type of spokes you need, odds are someone can supply them at a low cost, then the shop can sell you the labor only.
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Old 11-22-12, 09:05 AM   #3
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But to do that this tool must be bought, paid for , first,
http://www.philwood.com/products/tools/spokemach.php

by the shop , and some of that $ has to come from somewhere..

alternatively spokes come in boxes of 50 or 100, there is a lower price per spoke,
if you end up with the extras, buying a box , for each of the required lengths.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-22-12 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 11-22-12, 10:30 AM   #4
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I can understand shops charging 1.00 for the first spoke just to get started, and then .10 to .25 for each spoke thereafter to make some money off of the dies. Anything more is excessive.

As to wear and tear - it's almost nill for the Phil Wood and Morizumi machines...

The Kowa suffers wear and tear - but then again it's a much lower cost machine to start with and therefore things even out expense wise.

As FBinNY already stated though - it's a whole different situation with bladed spokes - (insertion, guide and rolling clearance interferes in 99% of cases) - if they are using the Cyclo/Hozan vise mounted tool - then a large labor rate is justified.

=8-)
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Old 11-22-12, 10:57 AM   #5
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Between buying a new hub and paying to rebuild it is it worth having the wheel rebuild v buying new? Does the carbon rim have a metal nipple bed?
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Old 11-22-12, 11:02 AM   #6
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When I had my LBS cut spokes that I supplied (36), he charged me 5 dollars one time and just did it for free another time.
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Old 11-22-12, 05:49 PM   #7
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When I had my LBS cut spokes that I supplied (36), he charged me 5 dollars one time and just did it for free another time.
You're lucky then. Spoke cutting machine =~ $3k. Cost has to be recouped somehow.
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Old 11-22-12, 06:06 PM   #8
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Yes, Philwood cutters are awesome, but very expensive.

It is normal to charge $.50 ~$.75 per spoke.
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Old 11-22-12, 06:17 PM   #9
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Spoke cutting machine =~ $3k.
Wow. Let's have another look at it, then.



BTW, long time no see.
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Old 11-22-12, 09:03 PM   #10
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Wow. Let's have another look at it, then.



BTW, long time no see.
Closer to $4000.00 actually...Morizumi not too far behind. Both are mult-user/multi-personality machines.

Also, the Phil has the added plus to handle 2.6mm (old 105 gauge) spokes, which I do a few wheels with of each year.

=8-)
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4000+ wheels built since 1984...

Disclaimer:

1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
5. My all time favorite book is:

Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life
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Old 11-22-12, 09:43 PM   #11
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SO far dunno what spoke the op is talking about, maybe the shop just carries 3 length of spokes and they play with that cutting and rethreading spokes just because saves them some room and is more practical? W/o knowing specifics is hard to know if the guys ripped him off or not but I have to agree, double the price just because of cutting the spokes IMO is like too much unless the guy spent like 10 minutes for each spoke to cut them and rethread them, in that case they found a way to use their time. Rethread a spoke is like a minute? my old master builder saw him doing like 100 spokes in less than 20 mins like 30 years ago, one guy was cutting and he was threading the spokes.

Anyhow, is time to say something that many have thought and that many have been saying to many other forum members since before I was actually in the forums: "Dude thats the reason you have to learn to do your own stuff."
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Old 11-23-12, 02:44 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies guys!

yes i'd gladly learn to do it myself if i had the tools! Heck i'd love to build my own bike if i could! It'll probably assplode though..

but in anycase, i don't have much a choice since they already started..
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Old 11-23-12, 07:54 AM   #13
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When i was teenager the darn tools were super expensive but now is not the case. Learn to do your stuff man... if you do the things wrong and have a problem you are to blame (less headaches and people to deal with).
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