would it be appropriate to use a box of 264mm spokes for both wheel and rim combinations? i have been told that its generally "alright" to round down in spoke lengths; and to be one millimeter short. I have also been told however that "longer" spokes [266mm] tend to bottom out the nipples. im trying to avoid my greedy local bike shop that overcharges me with everything, including custom cutting which i am under the impression is unnecessary. can somebody give me some useful input on my problem? thanks!
You should be OK using the shorter ones on the long side. I encountered the same thing last summer building the rear wheel for my DH bike. I wanted to stay one length of spokes so that I could get the economics of a 50-pack.
Just be aware that when you start lacing, it may feel like the nipples are just barely catching threads on you 'long' side. Don't panic; it should settle in and you should start catching plenty as you work around and start running things down more and snugging up.
oh and just for the record, my rear hub doesnt have a "long" or "short" side, the flanges are both identical in flange/spoke hole measurements. its a hub made by a small company that is somewhat similar to a profile fixed/free hub ill be using the freewheel side..
so im assuming that 264mm will just be my universal spoke length for the entire wheelbuild
^^ Yeah, I was still a bit foggy this morning and my reading comprehension wasn't what it could be. I'd still go with 164s. It'll save you some Dremel work if the 166s poked out the back of the nipples.