Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

My LBS won't sell me spokes??.....

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

My LBS won't sell me spokes??.....

Old 08-14-22, 03:27 AM
  #26  
branko_76 
Senior Member
 
branko_76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: The Urban Shores Of Michigami
Posts: 1,703

Bikes: ........................................ .....Holdsworth "Special"..... .......Falcon "Special".......... .........Miyata 912........... ........................................

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Liked 631 Times in 395 Posts
About 20 years ago, I went to my LBS, a very busy place, to see if they had a single seat stay clamp for a Blackburn rear rack. There were plenty of customers waiting while the owner looked through his parts bins to find one for me. After paying a measly $2.00, I walked out of the store happy they had it but felt like a jerk for wasting this guys time with my petty little request.
branko_76 is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 06:03 AM
  #27  
Narhay
Senior Member
 
Narhay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3,716
Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 952 Post(s)
Liked 535 Times in 300 Posts
Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
About 20 years ago, I went to my LBS, a very busy place, to see if they had a single seat stay clamp for a Blackburn rear rack. There were plenty of customers waiting while the owner looked through his parts bins to find one for me. After paying a measly $2.00, I walked out of the store happy they had it but felt like a jerk for wasting this guys time with my petty little request.
It's just a little thing but I'm sure they can appreciate how one small part makes or breaks a project.
Narhay is offline  
Likes For Narhay:
Old 08-14-22, 06:18 AM
  #28  
easyupbug 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,244

Bikes: too many sparkly Italians, some sweet Americans and a couple interesting Japanese

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 438 Post(s)
Liked 358 Times in 269 Posts
Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I'm wondering why they changed their sales policy on spokes after selling them so many years with seeminly no problems ( unless we don't know about them)
I am thinking it is a National trend that customer service does not pay as well as it once did. I see it in other subtle areas, just help a good do-it-yourself lady with a plumbing problem and she had no info on the valves left by her plumber who historically would be left and she filed away for her to change the seals/o-rings. He now could get a $100 call back.
easyupbug is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 11:25 AM
  #29  
bamboobike4
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 1,072
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 359 Post(s)
Liked 563 Times in 329 Posts
Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Things get weirder when the spokes are proprietary.

A few years back, I was out for a ride one morning when I heard a snap and a zing, followed by a complete loss of power. My chain had snapped and had broken straight through one of the spokes on my Campy Neutron rear wheel.

Thought it would be simple to buy one spoke for the system. Nope. Proprietary spoke and screw, there was no aftermarket equivalent.
+1

Same with Ksyriums, straight pull bladed. Very high tension. Proprietary nipples. Supplied plastic spoke wrench is useless. Metal wrench cracked the nipples. No access to the nipples from the rim.

1 spoke, 1 nipple was $18.50. Before 1/2 the nipples disintegrated.

Found a used wheel, owner is using it to display greeting cards. Offered to replace with mine and pay decent money. Declined, said she has offers all the time.

The market has already realized this. Spoke sets, with nipples, used, rival a rear wheel cost when available.

More than one shop has told me “wheels are disposable now.”

I suck at lacing. BF members have laced my last few sets. Reliability has moved there.
bamboobike4 is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 11:58 AM
  #30  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 8,666

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1788 Post(s)
Liked 1,495 Times in 908 Posts
I like these guys https://www.wheelbuildingparts.com/
__________________
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
(looking for Torpado Super light 56,57 or so)

squirtdad is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 12:35 PM
  #31  
Dylansbob 
2k miles from the midwest
 
Dylansbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,834

Bikes: ~'75 Colin Laing, '80s Schwinn SuperSport 650b, ex-Backroads ti project...

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 463 Post(s)
Liked 763 Times in 373 Posts
Just throwing it out there, but I bought spokes from Bmxguru for a recent build. He seems to be about the cheapest for cut-to-size orders online. Sapim db, no problems.
Dylansbob is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 01:09 PM
  #32  
Dfrost 
Senior Member
 
Dfrost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,915

Bikes: ‘87 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer, ‘79 Miyata 912 by Gugificazione

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 473 Post(s)
Liked 359 Times in 216 Posts
Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
Beefy is good. Anyone who can tell the difference between a 1.8 wheel and a 2.0 wheel must be something special. The difference between brands of tires' weights is just way bigger and can actually be felt. I.mean, people slap on 25mm or 28mm tires without a care and someone worries about 2.0 spokes?

Might just be me, but, seriously ...
The benefit of butted spokes is not due to weight reduction. It’s the stretch in the thinner portion so there’s much less stress on the spoke elbow (where most spoke failures occur) and the hub flange.
Dfrost is offline  
Likes For Dfrost:
Old 08-14-22, 01:15 PM
  #33  
embankmentlb
Senior Member
 
embankmentlb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: North, Ga.
Posts: 2,232

Bikes: 3Rensho-Aerodynamics, Bernard Hinault Look - 1986 tour winner, Guerciotti, Various Klein's & Panasonic's

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 176 Times in 83 Posts
Been there done that. Gave up on one LBS years ago. Can’t buy spokes or nipples for emergency repair. They don’t want to work on older bikes. Always pushing new bike purchase.
embankmentlb is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 09:14 PM
  #34  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 3,565

Bikes: 82 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1394 Post(s)
Liked 916 Times in 574 Posts
This thread has me considering $0.38 spokes. Tell me they work as well as mid 80s straight gauge spokes used on standard 105 or 600 with Wolber or Araya wheel sets.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 09:37 PM
  #35  
RandolphCarter
PeopleCode delaminator
 
RandolphCarter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Round Lake. NY
Posts: 339

Bikes: 1986 Trek 310 Elance, 1997 Schwinn HydraGlide, 1987 Trek Antelope 800, 2003 Haro F4, 198? Allsop Offroad Climber

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
This thread has me considering $0.38 spokes. Tell me they work as well as mid 80s straight gauge spokes used on standard 105 or 600 with Wolber or Araya wheel sets.
if you're referring to the link i posted earlier they absolutely will. I used them on a set of 48h wheels for a BMX build. The wheels originally had 180mm black spokes with 12mm silver nipples, the wheels were covered in spray paint with many rusty and/or broken spokes. I ordered a 100ct of DT Swiss black brass nipples from Amazon for pretty cheap. Other places had cheaper spokes but the shipping was a lot more.




Got the initial lacing done:



Still need to repack the hubs and tension and true the wheels.
RandolphCarter is offline  
Old 08-14-22, 09:56 PM
  #36  
jccaclimber
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: SFBay
Posts: 2,293

Bikes: n, I would like n+1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 117 Times in 94 Posts
I'm in SF and have a spoke cutter, so if you get spokes I might be able to help you cut them. When I was in a shop we hated special spoke orders. At the time spokes came in boxes of 100. If you use the same spokes a lot that's great, but if not say someone wants 2x 32, 2x 36, etc. then you get stuck with all the extras, or you have to charge extra for a bunch of spares the customer doesn't want.

One major caveat, I no longer have the spacers, so either you need to have the same gage spokes as what I last cut (IDK), or we need to find someone on this forum with a set they can measure so I can make a set. That or I need to find another shop with a spoke cutter who is willing to let me measure theirs.

I was in AC a few weeks ago and despite having a bad morning (someone had shattered their large front window and stolen a bike the night before) they were very helpful. I did get the impression that they're trying to lean towards whatever might be better paying work given staffing and supply chain issues. The owner was very willing to let me demo anything in the store, but for whatever reason *really* didn't want to order in anything special, even if I was willing to pay in advance. After some hesitation he took my name/number and promised to follow up with availability (a pair of shoes they didn't have in stock) and never did. I got a few accessories I needed to restock on to try to make my visit worth his time, but I'm not sure it did with SF rents.

All that said, while selling customers things they want to buy seems to be essential for a business to stay as one, I can see where the shipping trouble and time to do the math and cut spokes might be a net loss to the shop unless they can recoup some of that labor with a wheel build.
jccaclimber is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 01:23 PM
  #37  
dddd
Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race
 
dddd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 8,488

Bikes: Cheltenham-Pedersen racer, Boulder F/S Paris-Roubaix, Varsity racer, '52 Christophe, '62 Continental, '92 Merckx, '75 Limongi, '76 Presto, '72 Gitane SC, '71 Schwinn SS, etc.

Mentioned: 122 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1255 Post(s)
Liked 778 Times in 550 Posts
Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
All that said, while selling customers things they want to buy seems to be essential for a business to stay as one, I can see where the shipping trouble and time to do the math and cut spokes might be a net loss to the shop unless they can recoup some of that labor with a wheel build.
Wheel building has become more difficult due to today's twistier bladed and thinner spokes, not to mention carbon rims that impose a lot of friction at the nipple/rim interface.
I say you have to charge more, even with lower spoke counts. Building with yesterday's straight 14Ga and 15Ga spokes was so much easier, as was achieving tensions above 90kg.

Oh and about modern wheels being disposable...
Weird story (that I don't really expect anyone to believe):
About 2-1/2 years ago, I found a near-new pair of ~2014 Fulcrum Zero "2-Way-Fit" wheels in a shop's dumpster. Had an old service tag stapled to it and the pair was connected together with a zip-tie. This was equivalent to Campagnolo's top alloy wheel offering with their triplet-laced aluminum spokes. Only thing wrong was one broken rear spoke. Not easily sourced as a single aluminum spoke assembly, but I did finally find an online shop in Germany who sold me the needed spoke plus one spare spoke for each of two or three positions/lengths, plus a special tool, all for about $55 shipped. The wheelset is fixed, perfect, and is only un-detectably used since the sidewall machining pattern is still 100% extant.
Please don't ask me what shop it was.

EDIT:
Guessing...
I'm thinking that since the shop's manager was unsure if the extraspensive spokes and rim both needed to be purchased (and labor charged), that it may have seemed practical to sell the customer a (possibly upgraded) new wheelset and simply set the damaged wheels aside (until they later became further dated with their mere i15mm rim width).

Last edited by dddd; 08-15-22 at 01:36 PM.
dddd is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 01:29 PM
  #38  
Chombi1 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Chombi1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3,967
Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1417 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 534 Times in 358 Posts
Originally Posted by CVT View Post
Did you use to build the wheels yourself or buy the spokes from them and have them build the wheel for you? there is many sellers online that sell custom lenth spokes. I had to order few times when I couldn't find spokes locally.
There is shortage going on for many parts and products not only in the bikes industry, probably the local bike shop wants to keep the spokes for customers who are willing to pay for labor cost to build the wheel, since they can't make profit by just selling spokes without service fee.
I always bought my spokes from two brick and mortar shops that I was glad to support. American Cyclery in SF or from Tony Tom at Odyssey Bicycles in Sausalito to build up my wheelsets as they are very receptive to C&Vers. Tony's gone now and American Cyclery is not selling spokes.....
I'm going to look for othe brick and mortar bike shops to get them now. Otherwise, I won't have a choice but buy through the internet......
__________________
72 Line Seeker
83 Davidson Signature
84 Peugeot PSV
84 Peugeot PY10FC
84 Gitane Tour de France.
85 Vitus Plus Carbone 7
86 ALAN Record Carbonio
86 Medici Aerodynamic (Project)
88 Pinarello Montello
89 Bottecchia Professional Chorus SL
95 Trek 5500 OCLV (Project)
Chombi1 is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 01:32 PM
  #39  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,841
Mentioned: 119 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2549 Post(s)
Liked 1,494 Times in 1,121 Posts
Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I always bought my spokes from two brick and mortar shops that I was glad to support. American Cyclery in SF or from Tony Tom at Odyssey Bicycles in Sausalito to build up my wheelsets as they are very receptive to C&Vers. Tony's gone now and American Cyclery is not selling spokes.....
I'm going to look for othe brick and mortar bike shops to get them now. Otherwise, I won't have a choice but buy through the internet......
you are going to have to do your own spoke length calc's.
Maybe a bike Co-op ? I thought there were one or two in East Bay.
repechage is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 02:38 PM
  #40  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 12,916
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3446 Post(s)
Liked 2,203 Times in 1,303 Posts
The shop near me that I've found has the best mechanics as far as I can tell doesn't sell parts. They only display bikes and a small amount of clothing. Maybe a few water bottles and nutrition items by the register. Every time I've dealt with them, I've brought my own parts in with a specific request and they've done it quickly and competently. I think more shops seem to be going to that model because that's where they can make money. This is a shop that was an authorized dealer of one specific brand and because of that relationship was able to keep mtbs (not really road bikes though) in stock all throughout the pandemic.
himespau is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 02:39 PM
  #41  
Steel Charlie
Full Member
 
Steel Charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 376
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 85 Posts
Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
The benefit of butted spokes is not due to weight reduction. It’s the stretch in the thinner portion so there’s much less stress on the spoke elbow (where most spoke failures occur) and the hub flange.
Fascinating! In the last 45 years or so I've never broken a straight gauge spoke (or a hub) of any diameter. I have a set of straight 15's (like almost everything that I build) on DA hubs that I built in '85 or so, have thousands of miles on them and they have yet needed to be even re-trued. And they'll go right back on the re-hab'd Caylor when it is done. Not sure about all the other wheel sets that I've built over the years but I never had anyone want me to fix any of them or had any probs with the ones I still have and use.
I admit that I avoid potholes and logs in the road tho.

Last edited by Steel Charlie; 08-15-22 at 02:44 PM.
Steel Charlie is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 03:45 PM
  #42  
markk900
Senior Member
 
markk900's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,394
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 375 Post(s)
Liked 375 Times in 198 Posts
Chombi1 : You probably already have a favorite but this calculator has worked well for me in a number of situations - especially the "enter the manual specs" for the hub and rim when you have a weird old wheel you want to build....

https://spokecalculator.qbp.com/spokecalculator/
markk900 is offline  
Old 08-15-22, 04:35 PM
  #43  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,623

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3583 Post(s)
Liked 1,953 Times in 1,063 Posts
Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
In the last 45 years or so I've never broken a straight gauge spoke (or a hub) of any diameter..
Newb.
I'm not sure you can even call yourself a cyclist if you've never broken a spoke.
DiabloScott is offline  
Likes For DiabloScott:
Old 08-15-22, 07:56 PM
  #44  
repechage
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,841
Mentioned: 119 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2549 Post(s)
Liked 1,494 Times in 1,121 Posts
Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
+1

Same with Ksyriums, straight pull bladed. Very high tension. Proprietary nipples. Supplied plastic spoke wrench is useless. Metal wrench cracked the nipples. No access to the nipples from the rim.

1 spoke, 1 nipple was $18.50. Before 1/2 the nipples disintegrated.

Found a used wheel, owner is using it to display greeting cards. Offered to replace with mine and pay decent money. Declined, said she has offers all the time.

The market has already realized this. Spoke sets, with nipples, used, rival a rear wheel cost when available.

More than one shop has told me “wheels are disposable now.”

I suck at lacing. BF members have laced my last few sets. Reliability has moved there.
Marketing by engineering, create a disposable assembly. Expand the replacement market.
There will be a backlash.
repechage is offline  
Old 08-16-22, 12:18 PM
  #45  
Steel Charlie
Full Member
 
Steel Charlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 376
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 85 Posts
Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Newb.
I'm not sure you can even call yourself a cyclist if you've never broken a spoke.
I was referring to wheels that I had built. I did break a spoke in an OEM wheel on my first dualie tho. Does that count?
Steel Charlie is offline  
Old 08-16-22, 12:58 PM
  #46  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 25,513

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

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5017 Post(s)
Liked 2,599 Times in 1,536 Posts
Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
Beefy is good. Anyone who can tell the difference between a 1.8 wheel and a 2.0 wheel must be something special. The difference between brands of tires' weights is just way bigger and can actually be felt. I.mean, people slap on 25mm or 28mm tires without a care and someone worries about 2.0 spokes?

Might just be me, but, seriously ...
You are making an improper comparison. “Beefy” spokes, especially with large riders and/or heavy loads, isn’t about feeling any kind of difference while riding. It’s about durability of the spokes and the wheel. Frankly, 2.0mm spokes aren’t “beefy”. 2.3mm spokes make for much stronger wheels than using 2.0mm spokes. I’ve used them exclusively since the early 2000s. Where once broken spokes were a frequent occurrence, they are now nonexistent. This article explains why they are so much better for wheel durability. I find that the increase in strength is equal to about a 4 spoke increase in spoke count. In other words, a 32 spoke wheel built with 2.3/1.8/2.0mm triple butted spokes is about as strong as a 36 spoke wheel with 2.0mm spokes.

In the field, I have 36 spoke wheels on a touring bike carrying me and a touring load (probably over 300 lb) and haven’t broken a spoke in over 10,000 miles of loaded touring. I have similar wheels on my bikepacking bike that see far worse conditions with only a slightly smaller load that are equally trouble free.

As to the original post, I generally don’t buy spokes from shops anymore because most shops aren’t interested in providing parts for wheel building. Rose Bikes in Germany is one of the cheapest places around to buy DT Alpine III spokes…much less than wholesale here in the US…even with shipping.
__________________
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 offline  
Old 08-16-22, 01:05 PM
  #47  
gugie 
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 10,680

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4124 Post(s)
Liked 3,683 Times in 1,623 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
In the field, I have 36 spoke wheels on a touring bike carrying me and a touring load (probably over 300 lb) and haven’t broken a spoke in over 10,000 miles of loaded touring.
10k of loaded touring, that's living the life!
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  

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 My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.