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  1. #1
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Why are my spokes too short?

    What a humbling experience! I've built 100's of wheels before but I've got to be doing something goofy and I can't figure out what it is.

    Chris King Classic front hub, Mavic Open pro rim, 32 holes, cross 3. Depending on which spoke calculator I use I get answers from 295 to 277mm. I'm using 295mm spokes which I realize is on the short end of the range, but they look to be around 3 or 4mm short.

    I'm tempted to just buy some 298mm spokes but I'm kind of reluctant to do that until I figure out what I'm doing wrong. Anybody have an idea?

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Check the lacing one more time, are the 2nd 8 spokes on the right side of the first. Sometimes if you get it backwards, everything looks right (at least untill you realise that it doesn't really look right.. )and the third set of spokes gets short after 2 or 3 are in place.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Short flanges on the Hub- try crossx2--Start again on the calculations

    Just guessing as I put my wheel builds out to someone who knows what they are doing

    My wheel builder had a similar problem with my Tandem wheels. First set of Hope Bigun hubs to downhill rims laced by 3 were fine. Second set felt different and were only X2 lacing. The builder had made a mistake but did not spot it till the wheel was half built. It did make a difference on the ride but shortly after I changed the Forks and got a Thudbuster so did not feel the difference.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I recently came up similarly short on a wheel build (old Campagnolo Record high-flange hubs, 27"* 36-hole Nisi rims, 4X)-- most embarrassing for someone who has built dozens of wheels and who used to work at a bike shop.

    ___
    * My initial reaction was that I ordered spokes for 622mm / 700C rims instead of 27", but I rechecked my work several times. I'll probably cross-lace to a set of 700Cs, perhaps even the bike's original tubular rims, and move on. ...
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Perhaps your wheel is too large and your spokes are just fine?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Perhaps your wheel is too large and your spokes are just fine?
    I actually considered that possibility. I cut two spokes to exactly 250mm, locktighted nipples onto them and inserted them into opposite spoke holes. Then I measured the distance between them to get the effective rim diameter. It turned out to be very close to what I expected it to be.

    I checked all of the significant hub dimensions (except for spoke hole diameter) too.

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Perhaps your wheel is too large and your spokes are just fine?
    Well, one could argue that the diameter of the rim's spoke hole circle is too large, compared to either a box rim or an old Araya.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Perhaps your wheel is too large and your spokes are just fine?
    Are the spokes too short at one end only or at both ends?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berre View Post
    Are the spokes too short at one end only or at both ends?
    I'm thinking they're short on both ends. When I measure from the middle I get the exact same answer to each end - right down to the 10th or a millimeter.

  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Does anyone make a "spoke stretcher?" I think there is a market!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-21-09 at 06:44 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  11. #11
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I've not seen a spoke stretcher, but if you use an unsanforized rim.........a few washings.........hot water............

  12. #12
    Senior Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Does anyone make a "spoke stretcher?" I think there is a market!
    Yep, they sell one at the auto parts store, right next to the blinker fluid.
    Clarity to Agreement (Dennis Prager)

    alot? a lot.

  13. #13
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    You'd think by now an official spokes person would have chimed in.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    I've not seen a spoke stretcher, but if you use an unsanforized rim.........a few washings.........hot water............
    You don't suppose that running my spokes through the dishwasher could have anything to do with it?

  15. #15
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    It just might be too cold. Wait till summer to finish the wheels..............

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Woo hoo! I figured it out.

    There were actually 2 separate problems. My spokes really were about 2mm short. Normally I would have been able to lace the wheel with spokes that short, but I also had the pattern, relative to the 2 flanges, off by one hole. Each problem kept me from being able to see the other.

    The nice thing about a problem that stumps you is how good you feel when you finally figure it out. The more frustrating the problem, the better you feel after solving it. I'm feeling pretty good this afternoon.

    I hope it's warm next weekend.

  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Maybe the spokes weren't too short, but the wheel was too long?
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