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Old 03-08-18, 10:38 PM
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EduF
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First Time Wheel Builder

Hi All.

I'm looking to lace my own wheel and try to true it with the help of a friend mechanic. Unfortunately, it's not common practice here for mechanics to calculate spoke lengths.

I've tried and calculated the spoke lengths I need using: https://leonard.io/edd/

Can anyone please check my calculations in the attached file (can't upload excel file).

I'm looking at Shimano XT hubs (HB-M8000 and FH-M8000) and Araya DS700

Lengths are 284.1, 285.3, 285.4, 285.5. Can I get away with 286mm for all?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-09-18, 12:50 AM
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GamblerGORD53
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In your intro list you got the 4 and 5 backwards, it's 284.5 in the chart. So any way I think you need half of each size, 284/ 286. I used all locking nipples on 4 heavy duty wheels, that costs extra but are worth it. They will stay put far better and cushion the stresses too. My bike was 120+ lbs on tour. Indestructible.

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Old 03-09-18, 01:06 AM
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I think I swapped Center to Right Flange with Center to Left Flange.

I used spoke calc and here's what I got:

Front (L / R): 285.5 / 284.5
Rear (L / R): 285.4 / 284

So 284, 284.5 ~ 284?
and 285.5, 285.4 ~ 286?

I was hoping to get 286 for all as I found a good deal on ebay at $4.50 per 10 DT Swiss Champion. I guess the 2mm difference is a big deal?

By the way, I should have mentioned the bike is for my do it all steel rigid bike: tour (pave and unpaved), utility, commute and single tracks (no jumps).
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Old 03-09-18, 02:21 AM
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2 mm is pushing the limit of what I see recommended. I read a post here a while ago suggesting that going a little short is preferable to a little long. For your first build it's probably best to have things as close to ideal as is practical.
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Old 03-09-18, 04:15 AM
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I've been looking around online and it looks like there are some options for 285mm. Will this work? Purchasing two kinds of lengths seems to be more expensive and wasteful as lots usually come in 72pcs boxes.

Also, I believe the calculation is based on 14mm nipples. Will the spoke length change if say I used 16mm nipples? The spoke calc from Sheldon Brown doesn't have an option to add nipple length...

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Old 03-09-18, 06:12 AM
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You can order sapim spokes at whatever lengths you want from www.danscomp.com; pretty sure less than $0.45 per spoke cost. I ordered and used spokes for three wheels so far.

Type "sapim spokes" into search to get to the spokes. 14g are $0.25; double butted $0.60.

Good luck!
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Old 03-09-18, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by EduF View Post
I was hoping to get 286 for all as I found a good deal on ebay at $4.50 per 10 DT Swiss Champion. I guess the 2mm difference is a big deal?
This is your first wheel. You want everything to go right but you don't have the experience yet to know what "right" looks like. I'd suggest getting spokes as close to nominal length as you can.

FWIW, spokes that are too short can be hard to lace. Spokes that are too long can run out of threads before you get them up to tension. Either way, you won't find out until you are well into the process.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
2 mm is pushing the limit of what I see recommended. I read a post here a while ago suggesting that going a little short is preferable to a little long.
Depends on a couple things. If you're using aluminum nipples, then you should have the spoke fill the slot, and reach the bottom of the nipple when finished, so a little long is better there. This reinforces the nipple slot. Brass nipples are strong enough for this not to be a problem, but it doesn't hurt to fill their slot either.
If you're using a single-wall or a shallow double-wall rim where too-long spokes will cut the inner tube, perfect-to-a- little-short is better of course. But it was a common practice in the old days to nip or grind the spoke end off if it protruded. But on doublewall rims this is rarely if ever necessary.
Either way, as long as you have about five or six spoke threads engaged in the nipple, there's no problem with the strength of the connection.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:53 PM
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I would go with the 284's if you want to carry spares for road repair. I would also use 15 gauge double butted spokes.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:57 PM
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I tried to help out late last night, but when I saw the dish on the wrong side, I gave up on the provided #s. Perhaps I am out of line by saying this, but given this is the OPs 1st wheel, the thought of him turning aluminum nipples makes me cringe. I built my 1st wheel in 1990 & I still can't get myself to stray from brass. YMMV.

Good luck to the OP!
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Old 03-09-18, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by LKA View Post
Perhaps I am out of line by saying this, but given this is the OPs 1st wheel, the thought of him turning aluminum nipples makes me cringe. I built my 1st wheel in 1990 & I still can't get myself to stray from brass. YMMV.
Oh, I wasn't suggesting he use aluminum nipples, only noting the main circumstance in which you'd use spokes that are sized a bit long.

That said, aluminum nipples are fine in most circumstances IMPO. They can disintegrate after a long time or in rough conditions, but usually it's just the flats that break off. The threads don't often strip out. And they're fun if you want a little color on your wheels. I made a rasta wheelset once to complement my CK Dreadset on an otherwise black bike.
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Old 03-09-18, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
Oh, I wasn't suggesting he use aluminum nipples, only noting the main circumstance in which you'd use spokes that are sized a bit long......
Yeah, I know you didn't, it was the mere mention of them here that made my BP rise. Way back when I 1st got into the fray, a [newb to wheel-building] friend was tensioning his newly minted wheel and he overdid it...TWANG and a small aluminum projectile made a dent in the drywall behind his head. PTSD is real.*

Granted, that was 28 years ago, so I'm certain metallurgical/design advances have come a long way since then.

G'day!

*edit: I wear safety glasses thanks to that!
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Old 03-09-18, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by EduF View Post
So 284, 284.5 ~ 284?
and 285.5, 285.4 ~ 286?
Yup. You won't regret paying a little more and getting two different sizes.
But if you really had to, you could do it with all 284 - a little too short can be a bich, but a little too long can be impossible.
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Old 03-09-18, 03:32 PM
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EduF,

Recently I built up two wheels using DT Swiss rims, Shimano hubs, and Sapim double butted spokes with brass nipples. I ordered all the spokes from the link below. Nice prices and are happy to give info over the phone. They also recommend going 'shorter' rather than 'longer' on length. They sell aluminum nipples, but recommend brass unless you are very concerned about weight over durability.

Sapim Spokes and Nipples

I was nervous about getting the correct spoke lengths from my new rim and hub measurements so I plugged my information into the following calculators to verify similar results from each. This gave me confidence that all was good.

http://www.prowheelbuilder.com/spokelengthcalculator

https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/

https://leonard.io/edd/

https://biketechtools.com/spoke-length-calculator

Then I laced up the wheels sitting in front of my TV watching old re-runs of Gunsmoke and I may have had a couple of brewskis. Lots of fun and I always get a grin while ridding thinking I did my wheels...

Go forth and have fun.....!
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Old 03-09-18, 05:06 PM
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EduF
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Thanks for all the replies. All is appreciated.

I've decided to get the proper lengths - 284 and 286. I'm looking at Sapim double butted with brass nipples. I realized there's also different nipple lengths, but the spoke calcs say 14mm. What happens when I go shorter or longer nipples?

Also, is there a big difference between double and triple butted spokes? What's the recommendation?
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Old 03-09-18, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by EduF View Post
Thanks for all the replies. All is appreciated.

I've decided to get the proper lengths - 284 and 286. I'm looking at Sapim double butted with brass nipples. I realized there's also different nipple lengths, but the spoke calcs say 14mm. What happens when I go shorter or longer nipples?

Also, is there a big difference between double and triple butted spokes? What's the recommendation?
The triple butted has a thicker elbow.
It's the part that normally fails from fatigue, so thicker means it will flex less and should result in a longer lived spoke.
It also "fills" the hole better, which as Martha would say, that's a good thing.
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Old 03-10-18, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bill kapaun View Post
the triple butted has a thicker elbow.
It's the part that normally fails from fatigue, so thicker means it will flex less and should result in a longer lived spoke.
It also "fills" the hole better, which as martha would say, that's a good thing.
+1.
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