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Single butted 2.0/1.8 spokes? Straight?

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Single butted 2.0/1.8 spokes? Straight?

Old 11-06-15, 12:56 AM
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Single butted 2.0/1.8 spokes? Straight?

I'm ready to build a couple of new wheels. But, I need some rather short spokes.

According to the spoke calculator, I think it is 206/208mm

DT apparently doesn't sell short spokes.
I think Sapim may make them, but at least some of the retailers aren't listing them. Special order?

So, I suppose the question is whether there is a significant benefit of double butted over say 2.0/1.8 single butted (cut) spokes.
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Old 11-06-15, 08:17 AM
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DT Swiss does not make butted spokes that short. They do make straight gauge spokes that would work. Sapim Laser spokes come in short lengths, but you will probably need to get them from a BMX shop. Dans Comp has them listed, but you have to call them to order.
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Old 11-06-15, 08:17 AM
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I've seen undertensioned spokes break at the elbow as well as where the thread starts. This, combined with the fact that double butted spokes exist, proves their worth and advantage over single-butted (cut) or straight gauge.

But that's more theory than reality. In reality, if you build the wheel properly you'll be fine with 2.0/1.8 single butted spokes. Or straight gauge. 1.8 is plenty at the threaded end.

Long story short: buy whatever you can get your hands on, but given the choice, go for double butted.
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Old 11-06-15, 08:20 AM
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Whats Bike Friday across town got? they use a lot of short spokes..


For the spectators Clifford and Bike Friday are in the same town.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-06-15 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 11-06-15, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Whats Bike Friday across town got? they use a lot of short spokes..
As best as I can tell from the Bike Friday web site they use DT straight 14 gauge (2.0 mm) spokes. No mention of butted, double or single, at all.
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Old 11-06-15, 09:08 AM
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i have used straight gage spokes for wheels over 30+ years * do the OCD expression if you wish.

got a phil or hozan thread rolling tool?

* including 15 ga straight , 36 per wheel. never broke a spoke on that wheelset.

touring the wheels I built used 88 spokes, the lower cost of straight 14ga became significant.
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Old 11-06-15, 11:17 AM
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Try Dan's Comp. They are my go-to source for short spokes. Cheap, reliable, fast and they also offer spokes in fancy boy colors.
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Old 11-06-15, 02:30 PM
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I ound a box of 100 14 guage n Amzon.
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Old 11-06-15, 03:50 PM
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To answer your question, butted spokes are said to result in a stronger wheel than straight, but it's academic if they don't fit...
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Old 11-06-15, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Whats Bike Friday across town got? they use a lot of short spokes..

For the spectators Clifford and Bike Friday are in the same town.
I think they cut their own spokes, and use straight gauge 2.0 (14G) on at least the wheels I've seen. They frequently lace a 36h hub onto a 24h rim (2 cross), leaving off 6 spoke holes on each side. I'm not sure why they make that choice. Perhaps it moves the second cross further away from the hub which should help a bit.

They're listing the spokes at $0.60 each, which might not be bad, especially as I'd only need to buy the number of spokes that I need for the one wheel (plus a couple of spares).

A couple of sellers on E-Bay are also cutting the ends off of double butted spokes to cut them down to length, at pretty close to the cost of the full length spokes.

I should also be able to cut my own if I go that route, but if it only costs 10 cents a spoke to get them made, then it is probably worthwhile to just buy them. And, factory spokes would be all the better.

Looking at a few small wheels on the internet, it looks like there is a risk of bending at the nipples which can't be good. Perhaps one should double check the drilling, as well as ensure proper swivelling at the nipple washers.



Nope, I didn't get the Java rims yet. I found some, but unfortunately they're 406 rims, I think, and not 451's.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions of potential suppliers.
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Old 11-06-15, 04:50 PM
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My guess would be that it's easier/cheaper for BF to source 36h hubs than 24h, and just don't need all those spokes to make the smaller wheels work. (Spoke holes on a 24h 451mm rim are closer together than 32 spokes on a 622mm rim.)
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Old 11-06-15, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
To answer your question, butted spokes are said to result in a stronger wheel than straight, but it's academic if they don't fit...
I don't think butted spokes result in a "stronger:" wheel, but one that's a bit more fatigue resistant since the thinner center sections stretch more under impact and protect the thicker ends from stress.
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Old 11-06-15, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Looking at a few small wheels on the internet, it looks like there is a risk of bending at the nipples which can't be good. Perhaps one should double check the drilling, as well as ensure proper swivelling at the nipple washers.
Yes, getting the spoke to leave the rim without bending above the nipple can be an issue. Because of this, low-number-crossing spoke patterns are preferred, especially on wheels built with large-flange hubs.

What are you building? I have several 451 wheels in my collection that I need to rehome. I've converted my Gold Rush recumbents to 406 diameter front wheels, so now I have 2 24-spoke and 2 28-spoke wheels to dispose of. Some rim wear, but still usable.
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Old 11-06-15, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
What are you building? I have several 451 wheels in my collection that I need to rehome. I've converted my Gold Rush recumbents to 406 diameter front wheels, so now I have 2 24-spoke and 2 28-spoke wheels to dispose of. Some rim wear, but still usable.
Oh, kind of having some fun

I've been working on tuning and modifying a couple of Bike Friday bikes. I wanted to try lacing up a Capreo rear hub to a 20-451 Sun M14A rim that I picked up.

I'd like to do a bit of a comparison of Capreo vs Sachs Dual Drive.

But, truthfully, I like my regular bike, so I don't know how many miles I'll realistically put on the BF.

I think my front wheels are in reasonable shape, but it never hurts to have a spare... or something for projects. I was also considering building a single wheel trailer to mate with the Bike Friday with a matching 451 wheel... so everything would more or less match.
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Old 11-07-15, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
I don't think butted spokes result in a "stronger:" wheel, but one that's a bit more fatigue resistant since the thinner center sections stretch more under impact and protect the thicker ends from stress.
So "fatigue resistant" isn't the same as stronger..?
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Old 11-07-15, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
So "fatigue resistant" isn't the same as stronger..?
Yes. You can build a very lightweight wheel that will last many thousands of miles ridden by a lightweight rider on smooth roads. Put it on a Clydesdale's mountain bike and it'll be toast by the end of the first ride. Clyde S. Dale needs a stronger wheel.

Take that same wheel, loosen all the spokes a turn or so and it's still rideable. However, the tension variations will rapidly fatigue the spokes, causing them to break in short order. Ms. L. W. Rider needs a well-tensioned wheel to live with all her miles.
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Old 11-08-15, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
So "fatigue resistant" isn't the same as stronger..?
Depends on who is doing the defining. If your definition of stronger is "doesn't break" that's a vernacular definition. We tend to use technical terms interspersed with vernacular terms so, whichever definition you use, there will always be somebody who is going to say that you're wrong.
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Old 11-08-15, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Depends on who is doing the defining. If your definition of stronger is "doesn't break" that's a vernacular definition. We tend to use technical terms interspersed with vernacular terms so, whichever definition you use, there will always be somebody who is going to say that you're wrong.
Well of course; this is the Bike Forums, isn't it..?
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