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.

Spokes Not Made Of Steel

Old 02-12-15, 10:50 PM
  #1  
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 7,516

Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Spokes Not Made Of Steel

I am curious about spokes that are not made of steel.

Spectra fiber, for example, is supposed to have yield strength similar to high strength steel, at one eighth the density. Are any wheels made using spectra fiber spokes?
jyl is offline  
Old 02-12-15, 11:28 PM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,654

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1731 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
One of the qualities that is nice in a spoke is not being brittle. Another is an elasticity. Wheels are one part of the suspension on a bike. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 02-12-15, 11:50 PM
  #3  
lopek77
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: lower mitten
Posts: 1,555

Bikes: With round 700c & 26" wheels

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You can build a usable/working wheel using cord/twine. I think steel spoke is the strongest-cheapest...best value overall. Different new technologies come and go, but regular spoke is not changing a lot, while dominating the market.
lopek77 is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 12:36 AM
  #4  
Drew Eckhardt 
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Posts: 5,681
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
One of the qualities that is nice in a spoke is not being brittle. Another is an elasticity. Wheels are one part of the suspension on a bike. Andy.
Spectra has yield strength comparable to steel and about twice the elasticity.
Drew Eckhardt is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 12:52 AM
  #5  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,919

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1636 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 58 Times in 49 Posts
Real world questions. How well does spectra hold up in UV light, such as in sunlight? In heat and in cold? Does it stretch over time?

SS wire, as when drawn into spokes, does very well in those conditions. In fact, when a wheel is left outdoors in any climate, those SS spokes are the one part of that wheel we know are good to go. No one even asks "how many years?".

Ben
79pmooney is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 02:44 AM
  #6  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,947
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 813 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
I am curious about spokes that are not made of steel.

Spectra fiber, for example, is supposed to have yield strength similar to high strength steel, at one eighth the density. Are any wheels made using spectra fiber spokes?
Years ago I saw a (factory) wheel using a high-end fiber string instead of spokes. Talked to the shop about it, word was tha while it worked, it wasn't worth the hassle/cost.
There's also a fiber spoke that come pre-terminated and intended to be used as a replacement spoke. Folds up nicely and is length adjustable. Would cost more than Sapim's most expensive, but could be used to build a wheel with otherwise stock parts.
dabac is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 02:48 AM
  #7  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,947
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 813 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Spectra has yield strength comparable to steel and about twice the elasticity.
But too much elasticity isn't always a good thing. Look at the early generations of Ti bikes for instance. And there are still people getting bit by "upgrading" their bikes with Ti bolts and screws. Not always a wise move for every use.
dabac is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 05:38 AM
  #8  
mconlonx 
Str*t*gic *quivoc*tor
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,563
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6952 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 25 Posts
There were or are Ti spokes.

And then there was the Tioga/Sugino Tension Disk...






And as for why they are no longer available, this comment from a blog: The Tioga Tension Disk. Advertised as lighter, stronger, more aerodynamic, and staying true longer…the reality is they are the opposite of all of these things.
__________________
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 08:26 AM
  #9  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 6,230

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 651 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Years ago I saw a (factory) wheel using a high-end fiber string instead of spokes. Talked to the shop about it, word was tha while it worked, it wasn't worth the hassle/cost.
There's also a fiber spoke that come pre-terminated and intended to be used as a replacement spoke. Folds up nicely and is length adjustable. Would cost more than Sapim's most expensive, but could be used to build a wheel with otherwise stock parts.
Fiberfix: Wix.com FiberFix Spoke created by morrisonmary41 based on Consulting Com It would be a pretty ugly wheel with all of the tensioning mechanisms hanging off it, though.
dsbrantjr is online now  
Old 02-13-15, 08:44 AM
  #10  
Jiggle
Senior Member
 
Jiggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere in TX
Posts: 2,269

Bikes: BH, Cervelo, Cube, Canyon

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 211 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Yes, but the fatigue life is also important. Steel is very, very good at this. That's why we make buildings out of it.
Jiggle is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 09:13 AM
  #11  
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 7,516

Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Seems like you'd have steel ends, imagine the J-bend and nipple ends of a spoke but with eyelets, then the Spectra fiber knotted between them.

Titanium was mentioned.

I've looked up titanium spokes online - seems interesting, half the weight of steel, about $2-3 each, seem intriguing but I don't know anyone who has used them. Reports? Thoughts? Do the nipples gall and freeze up on the spokes over time?

Last edited by jyl; 02-13-15 at 09:18 AM.
jyl is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 09:18 AM
  #12  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,654

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1731 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
Another aspect that's needed in a spoke is the ability to replace them and service the results in places other then first world big cities. Any spoke material can and will fail for some reason or another, fatigue/impact/exposure/vandalism/corrosion the list is long out in the real world. So a wheel using spokes that are rare or unique will be worthless in time in many locals around the rest of the world. The ability to take a steel spoke and cut and thread it to fit in less then 1 minute does wonders for a shop's inventory management. The ability to take a spoke out of one wheel and install in another wheel (given suitable lengths) is what many third world "service departments" rely on.

To discuss spoke materials without the rest of the real world and business issues is academic at best.

There's a reason that the common mouse trap is still what it is. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 09:24 AM
  #13  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Spectra has yield strength comparable to steel and about twice the elasticity.
How are you using the word?

In technical terms, materials that are described as more elastic are less stretchy, ie. steel is more elastic than aluminum. This is the opposite of how most people use the term in conversational English.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 09:36 AM
  #14  
dr_lha
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 4,816

Bikes: 2016 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross v5, 2015 Ritchey Road Logic, 1998 Specialized Rockhopper, 2017 Raleigh Grand Prix

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
In technical terms, materials that are described as more elastic are less stretchy, ie. steel is more elastic than aluminum. This is the opposite of how most people use the term in conversational English.
Not quite. Things that are more elastic are not less stretchy, they just have a better ability to return to their original length/shape after being stretched. After all an elastic band is pretty stretchy and also very elastic!
dr_lha is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 09:42 AM
  #15  
KenshiBiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,074
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Real world questions. How well does spectra hold up in UV light, such as in sunlight? In heat and in cold? Does it stretch over time?
Spectra does just fine in UV. It's used in high-end rigging (not sure if that's the right term) for sailboats (kites too).
KenshiBiker is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 10:37 AM
  #16  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Not quite. Things that are more elastic are not less stretchy, they just have a better ability to return to their original length/shape after being stretched. After all an elastic band is pretty stretchy and also very elastic!
I wasn't interested in getting into a technical definition of elasticity. I asked the question because spectra was described as having twice the elasticity of steel in response to a post about the wheels needing some flex as part of a bikes suspension.

So, I ask again---- by "twice the elasticity", did he mean that the spectra would be stiffer (ie. give less for a given load) or more giving than steel.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 11:09 AM
  #17  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,928

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6833 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 214 Times in 178 Posts
++ sunlight breaks down synthetic Polymer chains ... ever seen an old easily ripped Nylon Bag? that's sunlight damage..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 11:36 AM
  #18  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,708
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 366 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 11 Posts
Mavic's R-Sys wheels had carbon fiber spokes. The wheels were recalled after numerous failures in the field.

RECALL: MAVIC R-SYS wheels | Tokyo Cycling Club
Trakhak is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 11:44 AM
  #19  
SlowJoeCrow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 402

Bikes: Redline Conquest Pro, Kona Cinder Cone, Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Mavic makes wheels with aluminum spokes and carbon fiber spokes, although the early R-Sys CF spoke wheels had a habit of failing catastrophically. There are also several other companies making various carbon fiber spoked wheels like Reynolds and the now defunct MadFiber.
I've never seen a "string" type wheel other than the Tiogas and the Fiberfix emergency spoke, I suspect it is one of those things that looks good in theory and fails hard in practice.
SlowJoeCrow is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 11:48 AM
  #20  
Jed19
Senior Member
 
Jed19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Another aspect that's needed in a spoke is the ability to replace them and service the results in places other then first world big cities. Any spoke material can and will fail for some reason or another, fatigue/impact/exposure/vandalism/corrosion the list is long out in the real world. So a wheel using spokes that are rare or unique will be worthless in time in many locals around the rest of the world. The ability to take a steel spoke and cut and thread it to fit in less then 1 minute does wonders for a shop's inventory management. The ability to take a spoke out of one wheel and install in another wheel (given suitable lengths) is what many third world "service departments" rely on.

To discuss spoke materials without the rest of the real world and business issues is academic at best.

There's a reason that the common mouse trap is still what it is. Andy.
+1.

In the real world, engineers and industrial designers have to take into consideration the economic viability of a product. Steel is relatively cheap, abundant and works very well. Why mess with spectra and other fibers in everyday wheels?

I once had a conversation with a cyclist riding some expensive Mad Fiber wheels, and while liked the wheels somewhat, he complained about them being too stiff. My take on this is that the carbon spokes used in those wheels did not have the elasticity and the resultant give and take we take for granted with steel spokes.
Jed19 is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 11:50 AM
  #21  
dr_lha
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 4,816

Bikes: 2016 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross v5, 2015 Ritchey Road Logic, 1998 Specialized Rockhopper, 2017 Raleigh Grand Prix

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I wasn't interested in getting into a technical definition of elasticity. I asked the question because spectra was described as having twice the elasticity of steel in response to a post about the wheels needing some flex as part of a bikes suspension.

So, I ask again---- by "twice the elasticity", did he mean that the spectra would be stiffer (ie. give less for a given load) or more giving than steel.
By any definition ("technical" or otherwise), something that is twice as elastic should be more stretchy and therefore less stiff. Of course, when words are bandied around by people who aren't using their true meaning, it's hard to tell what anyone means.
dr_lha is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 11:57 AM
  #22  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
By any definition ("technical" or otherwise), something that is twice as elastic should be more stretchy and therefore less stiff. Of course, when words are bandied around by people who aren't using their true meaning, it's hard to tell what anyone means.
Maybe you should let the person I asked answer. As used in engineering, materials having a higher modulus of elasticity are MORE resistant to stretching under load. This is exactly opposite to what you're saying which conforms to how elasticity is used in conversation.

This is why I asked. When Spectra is described as twice as elastic as steel, is the person saying it has twice the modulus of elasticity, ie stiffer, or half the modulus, ie stretchier?
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 12:14 PM
  #23  
dr_lha
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 4,816

Bikes: 2016 Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross v5, 2015 Ritchey Road Logic, 1998 Specialized Rockhopper, 2017 Raleigh Grand Prix

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 355 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, Youngs Modulus (AKA the Modulus of Elasticity) is a measure of stiffness of an elastic material. So double and means double the stiffness. OK I'm shutting up now.
dr_lha is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 12:52 PM
  #24  
Drew Eckhardt 
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Posts: 5,681
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
How are you using the word?
As the inverse of Young's modulus where I may be confusing stiffness (how much force it takes to deform a material) and elasticity (how much can you deform a material before the change becomes permanent).

OTOH, Young's modulus is also referred to as the elastic modulus.

121 GPa +/- 11 for Spectra, 200 for steel.

which is different than the elastic limit past which a material does not spring back to its original shape.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 02-13-15 at 04:04 PM.
Drew Eckhardt is offline  
Old 02-13-15, 12:58 PM
  #25  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
As the inverse of Young's modulus which is technically incorrect - I'm confusing stiffness (how much force it takes to deform a material) and elasticity (how much can you deform a material before the change becomes permanent)....
Thank you.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.