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  1. #1
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    Using 295mm spokes in place of 293/294 for build, okay? double butted or straight?

    I'm building a budget disc bake wheelset that hopefully will be strong for my obese body. I am using a set of Shimano hubs that are in perfect condition that I got from my co-op, a pair of brand new 32 hole Mavic A119 touring rims (42 dollars for the pair), and now I need to source spokes. We didn't have the 293/294mm needed at the co-op but I did find a bundle of 32 295mm double butted spokes.

    Do you think I can use the 295mm double butted spokes on the wheel? Or is it possible I will run out of threads before I get the wheel fully tensioned?

    Second question, would you use the double butted spokes on the front or the rear wheel? I will probably end up with a set of standard spokes for the other wheel. Now mind you, I'm 350+ pounds so the wheel is going to have to be strong. I usually put a lot of tension on my rear wheels when I build them and they hold up well. I have one wheel that didn't do so good though at one point, it was a Mavic Open Pro 28 hole rim with double butted spokes and I broke several spokes before I gave up and rebuilt the wheel with new standard spokes so I'm concerned about using the double butted spokes but usually they are considered a good thing.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    Do you think I can use the 295mm double butted spokes on the wheel? Or is it possible I will run out of threads before I get the wheel fully tensioned?
    The important question is if you run out of threads can you give the spokes back.

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    Where did the spokes break? 14/15/14 spokes are just as strong as 14 ga straight gauge spokes IN THE AREAS THAT ARE SUBJECTED TO THE GREATEST STRESSES, the area near the J bend and the area just below the threads. Besides, DB spokes are more compliant than straight gauge and withstand the constant flexing that affects spokes. I believe the lighter the spoke, the more durable it is, even for a Clydesdale. Spokes have plenty of tensile strength. You don't pull them apart, you flex them to death. Use DB spokes. Your wheels will be better.

    Also you are not likely to run out of threads before reaching optimum tension. If your still worried, a safeguard would be to add washers at the hub and rim holes. That takes up some slack.
    Last edited by rpenmanparker; 02-02-14 at 09:12 PM.
    Robert

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  4. #4
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Tt would appear 294mm/292mm is needed according to my spreadsheet:

    http://www.mrrabbit.net/wheelsbyflemingapplications.php

    295 on rear non-disc side and front non-disc side might be pushing it - hard to say. But for the drive-side rear and disc-side front, you'll run out of threads before achieving desired tension.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezalel View Post
    The important question is if you run out of threads can you give the spokes back.
    OH yeah. We only charge a nickel for each spoke and if they don't work, I will just put them back.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Where did the spokes break? 14/15/14 spokes are just as strong as 14 ga straight gauge spokes IN THE AREAS THAT ARE SUBJECTED TO THE GREATEST STRESSES, the area near the J bend and the area just below the threads. Besides, DB spokes are more compliant than straight gauge and withstand the constant flexing that affects spokes. I believe the lighter the spoke, the more durable it is, even for a Clydesdale. Spokes have plenty of tensile strength. You don't pull them apart, you flex them to death. Use DB spokes. Your wheels will be better.

    Also you are not likely to run out of threads before reaching optimum tension. If your still worried, a safeguard would be to add washers at the hub and rim holes. That takes up some slack.
    The spokes were breaking at the j-bends. I just must have not had the spokes fully tensioned on that wheel when I first built it. It was one of my earlier builds.

    I might consider the washer trick, forgot about that. But according to Mr Rabbit, the shorter spoke should be 292. I was using the EDD calculator and got 293. I wonder how thick a washer would is and would that be enough to overcome the 3mm difference?

    If you think that they would be better than straight gauge, I would probably just put them on the rear wheel (remember, I only have 32 of them, I still have to source another 32 spokes elsewhere).
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    I would say you're OK. The ideal spoke would be 294, but 1mm extra? It won't matter. There should be enough extra thread for that.

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    I don't get involved in length calculations unless I do the measurements myself.

    At your weight, I'd use plain gauge spokes for the right flange, and the DB on the left. Then if you have enough I'd build the front with the rest of the DB, otherwise plain is fine. Fronts have very small demands so just about anything goes.
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    Having built several wheels for my 275lb self I have used DT swiss 14ga straight spokes with great success along with DT swiss Hexhead nipples. Another option is the DT swiss alpine III triple butted spoke that are 2.34 / 1.8 / 2.0. They would give you more strength at the J-bend if your hubs will fit them. As far as length goes, might work might not work.

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    You need double butted spokes. The only problem I see is the number of spokes for your weight. 36 is the minimum I would suggest and even then I would go for extra tension on the DS spokes. At least 120Kg.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    You need double butted spokes. The only problem I see is the number of spokes for your weight. 36 is the minimum I would suggest and even then I would go for extra tension on the DS spokes. At least 120Kg.
    Oh I have no problem with 32 spoke wheels. I even now no longer have any problem with the 28 spoke Open Pro that I rebuilt a while ago, I think that the original spokes were too low of tension and fatigued them to the point where they were all work hardened so even after I properly tensioned the wheel, I still broke spokes

    Its all about how well the wheel is built and how much tension is applied and how the person rides. I try to ride light. I don't bunny hop, curb drop, hit pot holes, etc. I get off my bike if I have to go down a curb. I down shift to my lowest gear in the middle ring to start out with. I try not to mash and so on. My son is who is only 300 pounds has had more problems than I have with his rear wheel because he is a hard core masher. I watch him when we ride and he is spinning his pedals at like half what I spin mine. I can only picture that its like lugging a 4 cylinder engine going up a steep hill in too high of a gear.

    And yes, I do go for extra tension. People who examine my wheels have said to me that they are surprised by how tight the spokes feel. I have never broken a rim either.

    A nice side effect of knowing how to build rims for a huge guy like me is that when I build rims for my friends, they are pretty much indestructible.
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  12. #12
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    ...random additional thoughts in no particular order.

    How do you manage to sell decent spokes at your co-op for a nickel ?

    If Mr Bunny is telling you you'll probably run out of threads, you really ought to check your calcs again.

    Why anyone in your situation in terms of weight and function of the wheel would not be using straight 14g DT's or similar is beyond me.

    Butted spokes are swell, but they usually stretch a little more at high tensions, thus adding to your dilemma.



    I know that Jobst Brandt and every other guy on God's green earth tells us to go with db spokes, but I build
    a lot of wheels with straight gauge 14's, and I make certain to aggressively relieve the elbows. They seem
    to last me quite a while, but because I have them on a number of bikes, i cannot tell you how many miles
    they go prior to failure......none of them have ever failed except for one that popped a spoke in a crash test.
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    ...random additional thoughts in no particular order.

    How do you manage to sell decent spokes at your co-op for a nickel ?

    If Mr Bunny is telling you you'll probably run out of threads, you really ought to check your calcs again.

    Why anyone in your situation in terms of weight and function of the wheel would not be using straight 14g DT's or similar is beyond me.

    Butted spokes are swell, but they usually stretch a little more at high tensions, thus adding to your dilemma.



    I know that Jobst Brandt and every other guy on God's green earth tells us to go with db spokes, but I build
    a lot of wheels with straight gauge 14's, and I make certain to aggressively relieve the elbows. They seem
    to last me quite a while, but because I have them on a number of bikes, i cannot tell you how many miles
    they go prior to failure......none of them have ever failed except for one that popped a spoke in a crash test.
    A large amount of our new spokes were donated to us a few years ago. Not many people build wheels so we have dwindled the stock slowly. We sell stuff cheap to help the low income people. We also do recycle used spokes that are stainless and come off of usable wheels that usually are damaged by crash damage. However the popular sizes have almost run out like the 292/293/294.

    As far as Mr Bunny telling me that I am going to run out of spoke threads, remember, the point of my question was that I found a stash of nice 295mm DB spokes since we have no decent 293 or 294mm spokes so I wondered if I could use them without running out of threads. When Mr Bunny ran the numbers (assuming he did), he came up with 292 and 294 for the lengths. Not all spoke calculators are created equal and I know that some come up with different numbers compared to others. I think I could get away with 2mm exposed threads but 3mm? That is what Mr Bunny was pointing out, that might be too much and I would run out of thread.

    If this is all an exercise in futility, I will probably just make a trip out the bike shop that I know has a Phil Woods machine and get 70 or so nice new 299mm straight gauge spokes that I do have chopped to the proper 292/294 lengths but the trip to the shop is a 70 mile round trip and that is about 11 dollars in gas and then the time. At that point, it might behoove me to just order a set of inexpensive spokes from the JB Catalog and be done with it. But I want to build the wheels now! LOL
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

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    If the spokes were donated and the co-op policy is to "sell stuff cheap to help the low income people" do you have any concerns when depleting the stash for your personal use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    If the spokes were donated and the co-op policy is to "sell stuff cheap to help the low income people" do you have any concerns when depleting the stash for your personal use?
    What makes you think OP is not in the low income category? I have no idea, but am disposed to presume so for the purposes of the discussion. He has mentioned on multiple occasions the desire to save money on this wheel build.
    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    A large amount of our new spokes were donated to us a few years ago. Not many people build wheels so we have dwindled the stock slowly. We sell stuff cheap to help the low income people. We also do recycle used spokes that are stainless and come off of usable wheels that usually are damaged by crash damage. However the popular sizes have almost run out like the 292/293/294.

    As far as Mr Bunny telling me that I am going to run out of spoke threads, remember, the point of my question was that I found a stash of nice 295mm DB spokes since we have no decent 293 or 294mm spokes so I wondered if I could use them without running out of threads. When Mr Bunny ran the numbers (assuming he did), he came up with 292 and 294 for the lengths. Not all spoke calculators are created equal and I know that some come up with different numbers compared to others. I think I could get away with 2mm exposed threads but 3mm? That is what Mr Bunny was pointing out, that might be too much and I would run out of thread.

    If this is all an exercise in futility, I will probably just make a trip out the bike shop that I know has a Phil Woods machine and get 70 or so nice new 299mm straight gauge spokes that I do have chopped to the proper 292/294 lengths but the trip to the shop is a 70 mile round trip and that is about 11 dollars in gas and then the time. At that point, it might behoove me to just order a set of inexpensive spokes from the JB Catalog and be done with it. But I want to build the wheels now! LOL
    Keep in mind you can have the DB spokes "chopped" just as effectively.
    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    If the spokes were donated and the co-op policy is to "sell stuff cheap to help the low income people" do you have any concerns when depleting the stash for your personal use?
    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    What makes you think OP is not in the low income category? I have no idea, but am disposed to presume so for the purposes of the discussion. He has mentioned on multiple occasions the desire to save money on this wheel build.
    Heh. You want to know what my income has been for the last year? Zero. Me volunteering at the bike shop is my only job. I'm one of those extended unemployed middle age professionals who are having an hell of a hard time finding a job. The bike co-op gig is to keep me working in some manner. I'm thinking about volunteering at my local animal shelter too.

    These wheels are a small treat to me. I rarely if ever buy new parts for my bikes except for tubes and wally world chains. Everything I have has been bartered or bought cheap of off CL like my Specialized Sequoia carbon/alloy frame. I got the frame and complete drive train for 20 dollars from one of those weirdo bike hoarders that we all find once in a while.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

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    No offense intended, don't have a co-op here or know how they work. I'm all for economical bike builds!!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Are these NEW spokes or used?
    If used, I wouldn't bother with them unless it was for a CL flipper.

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see which hubs you are using.

    One option for the rear wheel is to use DB spokes on the NDS and straight gauge on the DS.
    NDS only has around 60-65% of the DS tension, so the thinner section absorbing some of the "stretch" is still useful.

    I weigh 215-240 depending on the time of the year.
    My 32 spoke hybrid wheels have 14-15 DB rear DS and 15-16 DB in the other 3 positions.
    When over in CDA last April, I dropped the rear wheel in one of the old fashioned storm sewer grates, bouncing my butt about 10" off the seat.
    Wheel (Sun Rims M13 II with 26mm tire) had only the slightest wobble (maybe 2mm?) which was taken care of when I got back home. I was VERY pleased, considering the impact.

    BTW- I "think" your spokes would work, but barely on the DS.
    Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 02-03-14 at 11:44 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Are these NEW spokes or used?
    If used, I wouldn't bother with them unless it was for a CL flipper.

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see which hubs you are using.

    One option for the rear wheel is to use DB spokes on the NDS and straight gauge on the DS.
    NDS only has around 60-65% of the DS tension, so the thinner section absorbing some of the "stretch" is still useful.

    I weigh 215-240 depending on the time of the year.
    My 32 spoke hybrid wheels have 14-15 DB rear DS and 15-16 DB in the other 3 positions.
    When over in CDA last April, I dropped the rear wheel in one of the old fashioned storm sewer grates, bouncing my butt about 10" off the seat.
    Wheel (Sun Rims M13 II with 26mm tire) had only the slightest wobble (maybe 2mm?) which was taken care of when I got back home. I was VERY pleased, considering the impact.
    That's a good formula. The jury is out on just how much good the two spoke gauges does on the rear, but one thing I am pretty sure of is, it couldn't hoit (as they say in Brooklyn).
    Robert

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Are these NEW spokes or used?
    If used, I wouldn't bother with them unless it was for a CL flipper.

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see which hubs you are using.

    One option for the rear wheel is to use DB spokes on the NDS and straight gauge on the DS.
    NDS only has around 60-65% of the DS tension, so the thinner section absorbing some of the "stretch" is still useful.

    I weigh 215-240 depending on the time of the year.
    My 32 spoke hybrid wheels have 14-15 DB rear DS and 15-16 DB in the other 3 positions.
    When over in CDA last April, I dropped the rear wheel in one of the old fashioned storm sewer grates, bouncing my butt about 10" off the seat.
    Wheel (Sun Rims M13 II with 26mm tire) had only the slightest wobble (maybe 2mm?) which was taken care of when I got back home. I was VERY pleased, considering the impact.

    BTW- I "think" your spokes would work, but barely on the DS.
    The spokes I dug out all look to be new. They don't have any wear marks where the crosses would occur, no staining, and the j-bend area still look virgin, not bent like used spokes generally do and the threads all look fresh, and lastly no tell-tale signs where staining occurs at that point where the spoke just enters the nipple.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
    Tt would appear 294mm/292mm is needed according to my spreadsheet:

    http://www.mrrabbit.net/wheelsbyflemingapplications.php

    295 on rear non-disc side and front non-disc side might be pushing it - hard to say. But for the drive-side rear and disc-side front, you'll run out of threads before achieving desired tension.
    +1
    I would rather take a risk on 290 than 295. Running out of threads is a real bummer. Can you measure the minimum thickness of the available spokes? If they get down to 1.5 mm, like Revolutions, stretch can make them grow even longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    +1
    I would rather take a risk on 290 than 295. Running out of threads is a real bummer. Can you measure the minimum thickness of the available spokes? If they get down to 1.5 mm, like Revolutions, stretch can make them grow even longer.
    The stretch, even in Revolutions or Lasers or CX-Rays is nearly always insignificant. Can it put you over the top re: too long a spoke? Sure? But in general it is minor compared to other factors.
    Robert

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    +1
    I would rather take a risk on 290 than 295. Running out of threads is a real bummer. Can you measure the minimum thickness of the available spokes? If they get down to 1.5 mm, like Revolutions, stretch can make them grow even longer.
    I tend to not like going a bit too short rather than a bit too long when it comes to spokes. I have seen where spokes that are a few MM too short tend to break spoke heads since the design of a spoke and nipple is that the spoke is supposed to enter the nipple fully for proper torque.

    I saw where someone built a wheel with spokes that were like 2 or 3 mm too short and after a while, the nipples started to break.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I tend to not like going a bit too short rather than a bit too long when it comes to spokes. I have seen where spokes that are a few MM too short tend to break spoke heads since the design of a spoke and nipple is that the spoke is supposed to enter the nipple fully for proper torque.

    I saw where someone built a wheel with spokes that were like 2 or 3 mm too short and after a while, the nipples started to break.
    Right. If the spoke doesn't reach above the shoulder of the nipple when all tensioned and trued, then all the tension in the spoke is pulling the nipple apart at the shoulder. If the spoke does reach higher than that, it supports the nipple against being ripped apart. Best bet is try the long spokes and see if they work. All you have to lose is time. As a cycling hobbyist, that is okay with me. But you may feel differently, I surely understand that.
    Robert

    My hero: "Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin'..." (Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus")

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