Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
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I generally use the DT spoke calculator (online at DT swiss) but in the case of these wheels, the data is not in the tables.............ok, use manual input. The ERD is printed on the rim and my experience is that the older LX hubs follow the Shimano standard model for 100mm fronts and 135mm rears. (this latter is changing at a faster and faster rate as new style hubs are entering the market)
The spokes will be either DT or Wheelsmith. Where to buy is always a good question. Different shops seem to have different spokes available at certain times of the season. Again, experience tells me that spokes of the exact length, color and style that I want are more likely to be available from now to late spring as the new stock comes in. Later in the season, availability becomes more spotty as inventories are depleated. The second part of spoke buying is......can I get them in the quantities that I want. It is unlikely that I will want to buy a box of 100 253mm spokes when I will probably be using them for one radially spoked front MTB wheel with no forseeable follow on in that size. Ideally I'd like to be able to buy 34 spokes at the best price possible. Life is a balancing act......
At the present time, JensonUSA, Alfred E Bike, Cambraia and Excel sports are all selling some spokes of different flavors. Performance has none but that sometimes changes in the spring. There may be odd lots on Ebay and if all else fails, they can probably be ordered (that is far from the least expensive option).
I will probably build a radially spokes front wheel and a 3 cross rear using double butted spokes. Depending on what is available I can be moved up to straight guage or over to DT revolutions. I would prefer that the whole wheel be black this time (OCP strikes again). Maxx's madd wheels tend to be a compromise between performance and the necessary strength for a largeish sort of rider (bows head and stares at floor for a while here). They are built of lightweight components but with 32 spokes, spoke washers and as much tension as I believe the rim can withstand. What I can build for myself may be different from what could be sold as if I suffer a rim failure, there is no liability.............I just learn a lesson and do it differently next time.
I'll post pictures at various stages of the wheel build for their entertainment value. (there are things that happen during a build that no wheelbuilder would ever want you to see......spokes that look like spaghetti untill tension is applied)