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Spokes too short

Old 03-27-21, 06:17 PM
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Shinkers
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Spokes too short

Hello,

I'm well aware that proper spoke length is generally when the spoke reaches the bottom of the slot in the nipple or thereabouts. I've just received a wheel that has long nipples and spokes that are a few threads short of that.

While I know this isn't ideal, what is the actual likelihood of running into broken spokes/nipples? I'm not looking forward to rebuilding the wheel...
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Old 03-27-21, 06:22 PM
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Depends how long your piece of string is. If the nipples are aluminium, it's guaranteed. But they're long, never seen long ally nipples so I bet they're brass, in which case I'd give you about a 30% chance of never breaking one, assuming the relevant factors put you in the middle of the bell curve of wheel load...
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Old 03-27-21, 09:02 PM
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These are indeed brass nips. This is for a 36" wheel and it looks like I'd probably need a 371mm spoke which isn't really available at this time so I may not have a choice here.

Thinking about trying a 2x lace and see if that works (probably too long though...)
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Old 03-27-21, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
Hello,

I'm well aware that proper spoke length is generally when the spoke reaches the bottom of the slot in the nipple or thereabouts. I've just received a wheel that has long nipples and spokes that are a few threads short of that.

While I know this isn't ideal, what is the actual likelihood of running into broken spokes/nipples? I'm not looking forward to rebuilding the wheel...
I just got an Ibis wheel back from the shop. They (Ibis) originally built it with aluminum nipples (which should be illegal) and I guess the spokes were too short. Brass nipples are more tolerant. If you have aluminum nipples, you are doomed. Mine just started spontaneously cracking in half, just sitting in the garage. Front wheel. No obvious stress.

Last edited by Cyclist0108; 03-27-21 at 09:26 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-27-21, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
I've just received a wheel that has long nipples and spokes that are a few threads short of that.
Maybe you could replace the nipples with even longer ones. I ran into this recently, bought some pretty long nipples, and it worked out really well.
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Old 03-27-21, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
These are indeed brass nips. This is for a 36" wheel and it looks like I'd probably need a 371mm spoke which isn't really available at this time so I may not have a choice here.

Thinking about trying a 2x lace and see if that works (probably too long though...)

36" as in Corker sized? Or 36 spokes? How big are you and your riding loads? Do you pedal squares? With brass nips very few nips break generally. Andy
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Old 03-27-21, 09:29 PM
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36" as in Coker sized, yes. This is a unicycle wheel. I weigh around 200 lbs. and sometimes carry a backpack.
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Old 03-28-21, 09:51 AM
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FWIW, I took a spoke out and measured it. They are 367mm which means a 369 will work (which is in stock) so I've just decided to order those and build the wheel the right way. Bummer I'll have to wait for the mail now...
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Old 03-30-21, 12:18 AM
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Basically it doesn't really matter whether or not you can see threads, but if the end of the spoke isn't past the wall of the rim a portion of the nipple will be in tension and not compression and will be prone to failure.
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