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First time rebuilding wheels - which spokes to buy?

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First time rebuilding wheels - which spokes to buy?

Old 07-14-20, 01:07 PM
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First time rebuilding wheels - which spokes to buy?

1988 Miyata 615. In the catalog under spokes for the 615 it says "#14 ". Under the Miyata 1000 it says "stainless #14 . What's #14 , and if the ones on the 615 aren't stainless what are they, and should I go stainless since I'm replacing them? And are there better options today than either of these options?

And where's a good source for these that will ship fairly quickly? A few local shops have quoted me $2 a spoke. 36 front, 40 rear.

Thanks!
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Old 07-14-20, 01:25 PM
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#14 is referring to 14 wire gauge spokes. If it were me, I would go with stainless. The originals were probably galvanize steel. While those are good, stainless stays good looking far longer. I also like double butted, however, they cost more. Some may say that the single butted spokes are stronger and they are not. Similar to the tubes on a bike frame they are thick were they need to be and thin where they don't need as much beef.

I have gotten them from the BikeHubStore. They may not be the absolute cheapest, however, they are close enough in price and they have been good about having the right sizes in stock and good delivery. That is all base on pre-COVID experience. I can't say how they or anyone else is now.

Here is the link: BikeHubStore

Also, by a few extra then you will never need them. Murphy's law.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
#14 is referring to 14 wire gauge spokes. If it were me, I would go with stainless. The originals were probably galvanize steel. While those are good, stainless stays good looking far longer. I also like double butted, however, they cost more. Some may say that the single butted spokes are stronger and they are not. Similar to the tubes on a bike frame they are thick were they need to be and thin where they don't need as much beef.

I have gotten them from the BikeHubStore. They may not be the absolute cheapest, however, they are close enough in price and they have been good about having the right sizes in stock and good delivery. That is all base on pre-COVID experience. I can't say how they or anyone else is now.

Here is the link: BikeHubStore

Also, by a few extra then you will never need them. Murphy's law.
Got it, thanks! I quickly figured out what the 14 meant after taking a spoke wrench to the wheels just a few minutes ago. So, #14 , stainless and double butted if I'm ok with the cost, but single will be ok.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:38 PM
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Are you reusing your hubs and rims? Make sure you get the correct length. I’ve used Yojimbo’s Garage on eBay for spokes.
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Old 07-14-20, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
Are you reusing your hubs and rims? Make sure you get the correct length. Iíve used Yojimboís Garage on eBay for spokes.
Ah, good call. Yeah, same hubs and rims. Just measure the spoke from one end to the other?
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Old 07-14-20, 01:57 PM
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The inside of the hook/head end not the over all length,
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Old 07-14-20, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The inside of the hook/head end not the over all length,
Hmm, ok. Looks like about 11 3/4".
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Old 07-14-20, 03:11 PM
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Probably have to shop with metric equivalencies given ; Sapim is Belgian, DT is Swiss ..
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Old 07-14-20, 03:23 PM
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Boy, these are pricey no matter how you look at it. Seems silly for spokes. So I'm guessing when it says silver that means stainless steel? None of the ones from BikeHubStore designate "stainless steel."

Buying a used set of 700c wheels would be more cost effective in some cases. However, these hubs and rims were just too clean to give up. Ridiculously so when compared to the spokes.



Last edited by polymorphself; 07-14-20 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 07-14-20, 03:39 PM
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That is a good looking hub. I love the shape. And it looks sealed too. Not that that is a must. I like the hubs with cones. If it were me, I would reuse the hub.

The spokes on the Bike Hub Store that are listed as silver are stainless. I wish it was more specific and said stainless steel.
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Old 07-14-20, 04:02 PM
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On old wheels, there is a good chance spokes have been replaced, either in a rebuild or individually. You may even find a variety of lengths on the same wheel. I personally would calculate the appropriate length vs measuring the old spokes.
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Old 07-14-20, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
On old wheels, there is a good chance spokes have been replaced, either in a rebuild or individually. You may even find a variety of lengths on the same wheel. I personally would calculate the appropriate length vs measuring the old spokes.
Thanks for the heads up, but the bike was only ridden about 50 miles and then stored for the rest of its life. Until I came along.
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Old 07-14-20, 05:35 PM
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Would these seals be considered safe to use again?again, these have only been ridden about 50 miles, so Iím not sure if they were already like this or if this happened when I had to leverage a screwdriver in to pop them out because they were so stick, but both seals appear to have a slight tear/lip. Will this be negligible when I put the hub back together or should I replace these?



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Old 07-14-20, 05:52 PM
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Be aware that the rear spokes will be a different length than the front, and also different on each side.
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Old 07-14-20, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
Be aware that the rear spokes will be a different length than the front, and also different on each side.
Well damn. Theyíre all mixed together now. What do you mean by different on each side?
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Old 07-14-20, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
Be aware that the rear spokes will be a different length than the front, and also different on each side.
Well damn. Theyíre all mixed together now. What do you mean by different on each side?
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Old 07-14-20, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Well damn. They’re all mixed together now. What do you mean by different on each side?
There can be three different length spokes per wheel set, but not always.

The shortest spokes will be for the drive side of the rear wheel, there should be 18 of them if your wheels have 36 spokes each

The front wheel will have all spokes the same length. The remainder will be for the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

...

Last edited by branko_76; 07-14-20 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
There can be three different length spokes per wheel set, but not always.

The shortest spokes will be for the drive side of the rear wheel, there should be 18 of them if your wheels have 36 spokes each

The front wheel will have all spokes the same length. The remainder will be for the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

...
The rear is 40, front 36. So now I need to sort out these 76 spokes and figure out whatís what? The video tutorials I watched didnít mention this, and they were done on old wheels.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:21 PM
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You need to get the length right within +/- 1mm or you will be sorry. NDS rear spokes may be approximately the same length as front, if hub diameters are the same. But not likely with LF hubs.
There was a thread on spokes in the past month or so discussing best pricing for spokes. I don't have a link handy but the best option, which I used, was something like wheelbuildingparts.com (ahh, here it is). As low as $0.28 per spoke, less nipples. Normally, nipples can be re-used, though there may be some attrition, so if you don't have any spares I suggest getting a few or even a full set of nipples with the spokes.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:25 PM
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Drive side and non drive side will be different, front all the same. Take the nipples off, and stand them up on the threaded end. It will be obvious. 36 will be the same length, then you will have 40 left, 20 of each length. If you have 56 of the same length and 20 longer, the longer ones will be the rear NDS.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:27 PM
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polymorphself , if the bike only has 50 miles on it then it's safe to say that the spokes have never been stressed. Given that, I'm going to make a suggestion.

Re-use the spokes.

1) spokes are not cheap as you have discovered
2) there is nothing wrong with the spokes you have other than some mild surface corrsion
3) this is your first build so you have some learning to do
4) there are degrees of wheel build quality, your first build may not be perfect so no need to waste a good set of new spokes
5) if you haven't already done so, buy a spoke length tool.... wheel truing stand.... and ....dishing tool

The easiest way to clean spokes is to soak them in something like this and wipe with a green scotch pad....Test on one spoke first.



Last edited by branko_76; 07-14-20 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:28 PM
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Sorting the spokes is possible. If you can't tell the difference in length within +/- 1mm, then they are close enough to the same. I suggest setting them vertically in small clusters <10 on the J-bend end on your workbench, and grouping same lengths together. After a few iterations, you will have sorted them into 2 or 3 groups of common lengths.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
The rear is 40, front 36. So now I need to sort out these 76 spokes and figure out what’s what? The video tutorials I watched didn’t mention this, and they were done on old wheels.
So 20 of them should be shorter than all of the others, they will be the drive side spokes


...

Last edited by branko_76; 07-14-20 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:40 PM
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I have a huge stash of spokes, all stainless. If you figure out what you need, PM me and I'll see if I have the lengths needed. The lengths will be in mm, not inches.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
polymorphself , if the bike only has 50 miles on it then it's safe to say that the spokes have never been stressed. Given that, I'm going to make a suggestion.

Re-use the spokes.

1) spokes are not cheap as you have discovered
2) there is nothing wrong with the spokes you have other than some mild surface corrsion
3) this is your first build so you have some learning to do
4) there are degrees of wheel build quality, your first build may not be perfect so no need to waste a good set of new spokes
5) if you haven't already done so, buy a spoke length tool.... wheel truing stand.... and ....dishing tool

The easiest way to clean spokes is to soak them in something like this and wipe with a green scotch pad....Test on one spoke first.


Thanks, youíre probably right and Iíll give soaking them a shot. Normally I would just clean spokes up with steel wool but somehow even that wasnít doing the trick. Not sure how this happened when the rest of the bike is close to NOS condition (under all the grime Iíve been getting off and out of it). And thatís part of the problem, the spokes being dulled or having corrosion spots will bother me compared to the rest of the bike when itís done, but weíll see what a good soak can do to them. Gonna pickup the spoke length tool as well because I may as well have one.

Any thoughts on the seals above?
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