Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Washers? Bend the spoke?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Washers? Bend the spoke?

Old 07-31-19, 02:38 PM
  #1  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
Thread Starter
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,973

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1121 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 229 Posts
Washers? Bend the spoke?

I laced my first wheel. It's true and round, and the spoke tension is pretty good I think. But the spokes don't lay against the hub flange. See the photo, below, or Jobst Brand's drawing (from "The Bicycle Wheel", by Jobst Brandt). As I understand it, I could
1) Bend all the spokes against the flange by squeezing opposing spokes together - this seems like it might be difficult.
2) bend all the spokes as shown in the second drawing
3) Use washers to pull the spoke close to the flange.
Advice?

WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 07-31-19, 03:10 PM
  #2  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,331

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3739 Post(s)
Liked 2,291 Times in 1,440 Posts
Brass #2 washers. Add some bling!

Originally Posted by JaccoW

__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Likes For ThermionicScott:
Old 07-31-19, 07:13 PM
  #3  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 17,332

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3885 Post(s)
Liked 3,110 Times in 1,899 Posts

Here's my SA alloy AW hub with brass spacing washers under the spoke heads. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 07-31-19, 07:26 PM
  #4  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
Thread Starter
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,973

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1121 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 229 Posts
Both setups look nice. Thermionic's wheels are blingy. Andrew, I noted that the list of bikes you own includes six bikes that you made. That's impressive as heck!

I could use washers, and the two votes above carry a lot of weight. But since I'm trying to make this pretty much stock I'm resisting. The question is: are the spokes bowed out away from the hub because I didn't prebend them properly during installation? Jobst recommeded bending them in place so that they laid down (the second drawing was supposedly for thinner hub flanges, as for example, steel hubs).

I'm thinking of going through the wheel and bending each spoke in place to lie flat, as opposed to taking each spoke out and adding a washer. Will that work? Or if I'm going to bend the spoke to fix this, should I remove the spoke and to the spoke set shown in the second Brandt drawing?

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 07-31-19 at 08:04 PM.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 07-31-19, 09:37 PM
  #5  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,646
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 722 Post(s)
Liked 457 Times in 278 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
Both setups look nice. Thermionic's wheels are blingy. Andrew, I noted that the list of bikes you own includes six bikes that you made. That's impressive as heck!

I could use washers, and the two votes above carry a lot of weight. But since I'm trying to make this pretty much stock I'm resisting. The question is: are the spokes bowed out away from the hub because I didn't prebend them properly during installation? Jobst recommeded bending them in place so that they laid down (the second drawing was supposedly for thinner hub flanges, as for example, steel hubs).

I'm thinking of going through the wheel and bending each spoke in place to lie flat, as opposed to taking each spoke out and adding a washer. Will that work? Or if I'm going to bend the spoke to fix this, should I remove the spoke and to the spoke set shown in the second Brandt drawing?
Part of the problem is that spokes themselves have changed over time. Back in the day of galvanized spokes, the distance from the bend to the forged (I think...) head was short enough that the spokes would lay flat on that era's thin flanges. Since then flanges have gotten thicker to allow for radial lacing and generally beefier hubs. IIRC, Wheelsmith led this charge in the '80's, followed by DT and the others.

So if you combine old hubs with new spokes, you'll end up with the situation in the "unmodified" and "modified" pictures. You could "modify" the spokes by pushing down on the outside spokes so they lay flat against the flange. This will reduce the tension in these spokes, so you'll need to go through and re-tension them. The "outside" spokes will need more work than the "inside" but check them all.

IMO, it's better to have the bend of the spoke supported by the material of the flange. You can see this when using old aluminum hubs- the bend will have created a channel in the flange that contacts the inner radius of the spoke. In order to have a "new" spoke conform to this channel (remember, the bend is farther away from the head) a washer under the head is needed.

I'm facing that situation myself- relacing a set of crusty old wheels with modern stainless spokes. I'll be using brass washers under the heads.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 07-31-19, 11:05 PM
  #6  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,854
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1048 Post(s)
Liked 653 Times in 413 Posts
Another vote for washers if they're needed. Old steel hubs seem to have thinner flanges. I've ended up using washers in nearly all of my builds on older hubs.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 06:44 AM
  #7  
Moe Zhoost
Half way there
 
Moe Zhoost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,911

Bikes: Many, and the list changes frequently

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 969 Post(s)
Liked 849 Times in 509 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
I laced my first wheel. It's true and round, and the spoke tension is pretty good I think. But the spokes don't lay against the hub flange. See the photo, below, or Jobst Brand's drawing (from "The Bicycle Wheel", by Jobst Brandt). As I understand it, I could
1) Bend all the spokes against the flange by squeezing opposing spokes together - this seems like it might be difficult.
2) bend all the spokes as shown in the second drawing
3) Use washers to pull the spoke close to the flange.
Advice?

If this is your finished wheel, I think it looks ok. I've built dozens of wheels without washers, just bending the spokes at the hub as Jobst recommends. Tens of thousands of miles on many of them with nary an issue. I'd not hesitate to use washers though, if the idea provides comfort. I may try them on my next wheel build.
Moe Zhoost is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 09:38 AM
  #8  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 26,323

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 142 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5556 Post(s)
Liked 3,233 Times in 1,889 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
I laced my first wheel. It's true and round, and the spoke tension is pretty good I think. But the spokes don't lay against the hub flange. See the photo, below, or Jobst Brand's drawing (from "The Bicycle Wheel", by Jobst Brandt). As I understand it, I could
1) Bend all the spokes against the flange by squeezing opposing spokes together - this seems like it might be difficult.
2) bend all the spokes as shown in the second drawing
3) Use washers to pull the spoke close to the flange.
Advice?
Iíve never used spoke washers on any wheel and Iíve been building them since 1986. Never even knew about spoke washers until about 5 or 6 years ago. Iíve also not had any problem with the spokes forming to the hub nor breakage because the flanges are too thin. Your wheel looks good and I wouldnít do much too it. I might have formed the spokes around the hub a bit more during the initial phase of the build but the spoke will find their own set soon enough. Just keep an eye on tension and you should be fine.

I got to say that this is about the most ďwrongĒ illustration Iíve seen. If you took your spokes and pounded them flat with a hammer, you might get them to that bend. But using the technique that Jobst and other use of bending the spokes down with a lever wouldnít leave them like that. It would cause the bend to be a little sharper but not shallow like in the picture.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is online now  
Old 08-01-19, 11:29 AM
  #9  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
Thread Starter
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,973

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1121 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 229 Posts
All, thanks. Will advise.

Cyccomute, I have some background in mfr'ing. You could make a spoke bending jig to get that bend pretty easy. But I think I may just try to bend the spokes individually. At least for the rear wheel which I've yet to do.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 11:42 AM
  #10  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,331

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3739 Post(s)
Liked 2,291 Times in 1,440 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
Both setups look nice. Thermionic's wheels are blingy. Andrew, I noted that the list of bikes you own includes six bikes that you made. That's impressive as heck!
I wish I could take credit! That's from a post by @JaccoW that I remembered.

In my case, I used them less for aesthetic reasons, and more because I received DT spokes from that brief era where they made the elbows extra long. Being extra-thin spokes (1.8/1.6/1.8) I wanted to make sure they had as much support as possible. No pictures since the washers have gotten tarnished and the wheels are currently dirty from RAGBRAI.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 08-01-19, 11:48 AM
  #11  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 26,323

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 142 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5556 Post(s)
Liked 3,233 Times in 1,889 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz
All, thanks. Will advise.

Cyccomute, I have some background in mfr'ing. You could make a spoke bending jig to get that bend pretty easy. But I think I may just try to bend the spokes individually. At least for the rear wheel which I've yet to do.
Itís best to form them to the hub...thatís where they are going to spend their lives. I use a left crank arm to push down on the top spokes and pull up on the bottom spokes. Like this

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The spokes will eventually take that kind of bend if you do nothing but they lose tension doing it.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is online now  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 08-01-19, 12:14 PM
  #12  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
Thread Starter
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,973

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1121 Post(s)
Liked 306 Times in 229 Posts
Ok, so I went back and looked at the original spokes. They have about the same geometry, and so for 40 years the spoke gaps looked like what I show in the photo. I think I'll use the LH crank arm method to form in place. Again, will advise, and thanks to all.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 08-02-19, 03:37 AM
  #13  
JaccoW
Overdoing projects
 
JaccoW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, former republic of the Netherlands
Posts: 2,323

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist, Gazelle Lausanne, Gazelle Tandem, Koga-Miyata SilverAce, Koga-Miyata WorldTraveller

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 745 Post(s)
Liked 1,068 Times in 612 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
I wish I could take credit! That's from a post by @JaccoW that I remembered.

In my case, I used them less for aesthetic reasons, and more because I received DT spokes from that brief era where they made the elbows extra long. Being extra-thin spokes (1.8/1.6/1.8) I wanted to make sure they had as much support as possible. No pictures since the washers have gotten tarnished and the wheels are currently dirty from RAGBRAI.
It is one of those things you do, just because you know it's there. So yeah, for me it was for aesthetic reasons.
I did however need to bend the spokes inwards a bit.

I do have an alloy Sturmey Archer FM 4-speed hub that probably does need them when I start building a wheel around that one.

Two more pics:

JaccoW is offline  
Likes For JaccoW:
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
unterhausen
Bicycle Mechanics
5
10-21-17 03:01 PM
simplify
Bicycle Mechanics
19
08-18-10 12:33 PM
dooodstevenn
Bicycle Mechanics
3
08-03-10 10:32 AM
digger
Bicycle Mechanics
6
07-08-10 05:29 PM
kneeeerow
Road Cycling
2
01-26-10 08:02 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.