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What happended to the price of spokes?

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What happended to the price of spokes?

Old 02-04-11, 10:55 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
I need 298, 299, and 301mm straight gauge DT Champion spokes with nipples.
I am surprised nobody commented, but you don't need to be so precise in the spoke length. For DT spokes, I would be OK using 299's for all lengths. 301's are the non drive side rear spokes, they don't need full engagement as they are not tensioned very much.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:19 AM
  #27  
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when I was having some wheels built last year the spokes were almost $2 ea. on the 3rd and 4th set they gave me a deal at $1.10 ea.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:21 AM
  #28  
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I just wanted to +1 a couple things kicking around here:

The spokes at Lickbike are DT butted, so they are pretty much the strongest, best ones you can get (since DT stopped manufacturing the Alpine in silver), and they're in convenient sets of 20. I did have a problem with Lickton's giving me mis-measured spokes once, but I've bought from them a few times, and it's not happened since.

If you are looking to go cheaper, Danscomp is the best deal out there. I've built with sapim spokes, they're fine. Never broken one.

And seriously, you should not be paying $1.80 per spoke for a straight gauge spoke, or even a butted one. Especially when you're buying by the box. That's wild. That means the shop is charging you a huge amount just to act as a middleman between you and the distributor. Pretty standard shop prices are $.50 for straight gauge DT spokes, and $1.00 for butted.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:24 AM
  #29  
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I have been known to re-use spokes for project bikes (only if they're 14G stainelss straight) by cutting and re-threading them. I don't even use a "real" spoke threader, and I know there will be safety nannies saying I need one because it rolls the threads instead of cutting them, but for a cheap project bike, I'm not spending $50+ to rebuild a wheel and I don't need a $150 Hozan spoke thread roller.

MetinUz is right, 1, or even 2mm difference won't matter much. You could even get 301's and trim 1mm off of 3/4 of them. There is still plenty enough thread left to build a safe wheel. My only advice would be to shop around for bulk spokes, and be patient.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:47 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
I think spokes cost to much for what they are and it has kept me from building up a set of wheels. .
This is true. I'd play around with making up crazy wheels to toy with if I didn't have to spend 40$ on spokes for a wheelset. It puts a damper on things.

I'd love to build up a 700 tubular SA set for my Sports. Put a freewheel on a 20. Stuff like that. I have all these extra hubs and rims...I'd like to be able to mix and match just to try them out.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:58 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
when I was having some wheels built last year the spokes were almost $2 ea. on the 3rd and 4th set they gave me a deal at $1.10 ea.
If those weren't butted, you got ripped off.
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Old 02-04-11, 01:55 PM
  #32  
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I only run DT stainless straight gauge spokes, at my height and weight they're the only one's that have held up. I made the mistake of using Sapim spokes twice, never again. They didn't last long at all. Wheelsmith is OK too but most shops around here always had DT. I don't get why nipples no longer come with the spokes either?
The 301 spokes are for the front, the others for the R/L in the rear. I could get away with 301 or 302 up front and 298 in the rear I suppose. I just figured that if I had to get them cut and threaded, I'd get them dead on exact. The prices I got were from several shops, the online prices were common among several who listed DT Swiss Champion SS spokes.

I dug around and found the last receipt I had for spokes, I bought 36 custom cut and threaded DT stainless spokes for a rear wheel back in 2004, they charged me $8.73 for 40 spokes with the nipples. That was for a bike on which I installed a Shimano Nexus hub. They were 267mm. That shop and most others in the area are gone now, The closest to me is over 45 miles away. The one won't sell spokes over the counter, two others said they don't stock spokes and if I wanted them they were $60 per box plus tax, paid up front and they had to order them. Two others gave me the higher prices, and they stocked nothing. I got the impression they wanted to make the spokes higher than just buying a new bike. Of course the cheapest road bike there was over $1800.
One problem with ordering spokes online is shipping cost, a bundle of spokes is over 2lbs, meaning about $11 shipping or more on top of the cost of the spokes. More than about $0.30 per complete SS spoke is crazy.

To those who sent a PM, I can't reply since it appears you need 50 or more posts here to use that option.

I won't use used spokes, it's just not worth the work. I may just have to wait until I snag a deal on eBay.
I'd buy enough to do several sets if I got the right price. I've got three bikes to build wheels for right now.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:18 PM
  #33  
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I usually buy a box on ebay when I need some; 40-50 bucks, butted or straight, whatever I find. They'll also order DT boxes for you at REI, 75. for a box of butted last time I got some. I hardly ever go in a bike store anymore...

Oh, back in the 70s I think we paid 10 cents a spoke, and 10 cents a foot for cable housing. Any color you wanted!

Last edited by dbakl; 02-04-11 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:21 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by FunkyStickman View Post
re-use spokes by cutting and re-threading them. I don't even use a "real" spoke threader, and I know there will be safety nannies saying I need one because it rolls the threads instead of cutting them,
FWIW, I was just reading in a motorcycle magazine that rolled threads are prefered over cut on motorcycle spokes because it doesn't remove material...
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Old 02-04-11, 02:36 PM
  #35  
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Looks like cycling may have gotten a little too expensive for you.. I never really thought spokes were pricey but I've also haven't bought spokes a decade ago. That's crazy you still have the receipt though!
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Old 02-04-11, 02:47 PM
  #36  
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I was surprised how cheap my last spoke purchase was considering the quantity (one).

$1.00 for a straight 14 gauge DT and nipple.

I hadn't bought any since 1997,so expected higher.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:48 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
I've bought several sets of the Sapim spokes from Danscomp, and they were able to supply them in long enough lengths to build 26" wheels. They mostly deal in BMX products, and I never bothered to ask if they carry spokes long enough for a 27" wheel, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did...
I just called, in the DB 300mm max.
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Old 02-04-11, 03:07 PM
  #38  
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It think location matters a lot. In Eugene, where there are lots of bike shops that carry spokes, you can get double butted DT for around $0.60 each, including nipples, from a number of shops. In the town that I live in now, which only has one bike shop, spokes start at $1 for straight gauge and nipples are extra, though not very expensive.
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Old 02-04-11, 03:30 PM
  #39  
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Of the four shops I deal with, only one keeps spokes, and even then they usually have to order them. They too will only sell a whole box, his reasoning is why stock something that will not likely sell. They don't build or true wheels either. They just sell bikes. I was told that bike parts basically don't exist anymore. Manufacturers used to sell parts, now the bikes are made in China and there is no real parts supply.
They happen to be the only shop that does road bikes, the other three won't sell road bikes, one only sells Single speeds and BMX.
I bought two sets of DT Champion Stainless Spokes in 14g, straight for $1.45 each last spring, it was high but I tried dealing online but ended up with mismatched spokes. Some were older style DT, some were newer Champion style. I ended up not using those and buying full boxes, I bought two boxes of 100. It was the only way I found to get them for under $2 each. I had tried to order from BikeTools but they backordered the size I needed and I didn't feel like waiting. I do remember when $10 worth of spokes built a set of wheels. It wasn't that long ago.
What really burns me is that even plain galvanized spokes are over a buck each, I rebuilt the wheels on an old Rollfast three speed for a neighbor, I got new rims for $8 each, and a new front hub for $4 at the LBS, but spokes were $80. I was going to replace the handlebar grips on that same bike for her too but they wanted $24 for a plain old set of Hunt Wilde grips. They used to be $3 no more than 10 years ago.
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Old 02-04-11, 03:39 PM
  #40  
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get them from ebay and have them cut your size - shipping is only $4.00
https://shop.ebay.com/childhood_dream..._from=&_ipg=25
40 strait gauge spokes are 12.99
he uses a phil wood spoke cutter.
that 16.99 shipped to your door for 40 spokes
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Old 02-04-11, 05:27 PM
  #41  
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I got this link from a thread a while back and it looks like a good source

https://www.danscomp.com/435905.php?cat=PARTS
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Old 02-04-11, 05:39 PM
  #42  
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DT spokes wholesale for:

Champion straight gauge: $38.99/100 count
Competition dbl butted: 54.99
Revolution dbl butted: 54.99
Super Comp: 69.99
Aerolite: 56.99

Generic SS:

21.99/75 count


Regular steel:
11.99/144 count
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Old 02-04-11, 08:29 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post

...While I have built up some wheels for personal use, it has never been the most cost effective choice....
I suspect that is the way of the world. Spokes are getting hard to find at retail because of the huge variety in wheels nowadays must make it expensive to stock enough to satisfy the customers. Remember the days of Mavic MA-2's on low-flange NR hubs, X3? One size of spoke was all you ever needed, almost. (Well, OK, 2 mm shorter for the rear drive-side...) If they make you buy a whole box (so as not to get stuck with a bunch of spokes they'll never sell), then yes, building your own wheels is gonna suck....unless you really really want to.

I bake bread every Saturday, by hand, from scratch. We haven't bought a normal grocery-store loaf in about 5 years now. I doubt that I can bake a loaf of bread for less than what it costs to buy one, even not counting the value of my leisure time, because I'm not buying flour by the tonne and yeast by the kilogram. Honey and molasses are surprisingly expensive. Yet my bread is better and I enjoy doing it. When I build wheels (once a year or so) my goals are the same....definitely achieving the latter, not so sure about the former but I'm getting better all the time. But to make money at it?, especially if I had to build 100 wheels....?

That said, you could try MBS Tandems (mbstandems.com) in Mississauga Ontario. Dave has a garage full of DT spokes and shipping to the U.S. is not really a big deal: under NAFTA you shouldn't have to pay duty on them.
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Old 02-04-11, 09:01 PM
  #44  
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Old 02-04-11, 10:11 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I think the title of this thread should be "What happened to the price of spokes at my LBS?"

Another online source is BikeToolsEtc. Bag of 20 Sapim 14g spokes for $8.00 (not including nipples).

https://biketoolsetc.com/index.cgi?id...Straight-Gauge

Neal
Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
I've bought several sets of the Sapim spokes from Danscomp, and they were able to supply them in long enough lengths to build 26" wheels. They mostly deal in BMX products, and I never bothered to ask if they carry spokes long enough for a 27" wheel, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did...
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
https://www.danscomp.com/ sells Sapim stainless spokes for $0.25 each for straight 14g and $0.40 each for butted.

My LBS sells individual spokes for $0.50 which includes cutting them to whatever length is needed.
Any opinions about the quality of Sapim spokes? I see one of the links has doubled butted stainless for around $.40 and straight gauge for $.25. That's a good deal if the spokes last.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:27 PM
  #46  
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Basically... if your local shop won't sell you the spokes you need in the quantity you need, find another shop.

DT Champions should be $1.00 each at most brick and mortar shops and many shops will knock down the price a little if you buy a quantity of them... cost on them is now pretty close to .60 wholesale.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:51 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
I went to a bike shop the other day to get a set of spokes and almost fell over after hearing the price of spoke. I was told that for Stainless I have to buy the whole box, which means three sizes, at $160 per box, ($1.60 per spoke and nipple), times three.
Are they insane? That would mean I'd have to buy $480 worth of spokes to build two wheels. Plus, none of the local shops stock spokes, and I specified DT Stainless straight 14 Gauge spokes. Even if I could buy only the 72 I need, that's still $115.20 for just spokes.

The new old stock rims cost me $75 for the pair, the hub set was $80, so I'd have to put out $270 just for the parts to build a stock set of 27" wheels.

The last time I bought spokes, probably about 10 years ago, I went to a bike shop and walked out with $8 worth of spokes, enough to build two wheels.
What happened to the cost of spokes? Its not like their some rare antique or something, and there's just not that much metal there to say it's the cost of things these days.

What do most people do for spokes these days? Obviously going to a bike shop isn't the answer. I don't see many options online either. I want all the spokes to match so I don't care to order a few here and a few there either. Many of the bike places online were $1.50 to $2.00 per spoke, plus shipping.

I also don't see any other options for good stainless spokes, all I can find is DT and Wheelsmith. I asked around at several shops and most said they don't do spokes, they sell wheels.

One place told me I should just save my old spokes and reuse them, he didn't seem to get it that I was building a new set of wheels. Besides, who would build a new wheel with used spokes?
When I set out to build two new wheels I figured on maybe $20 for spokes or so with reasoning that the last set of wheels cost me $8 in spokes, and it being 10 years later, with inflation and all, but this is ridiculous.

How could spokes possibly have gotten so expensive?
Spokes are made by taking a piece of wire, cutting it to length, flattening one end, and rolling a thread onto the other, in the case of a butted or double butted spoke the die the metal goes through to make the wire is variable in size. I can't really see the cost of making a straight gauge spoke being more then about 5 cents, or about $7.20 for a box, considering that, the manufacturer should ship it out the factory door for $14.40 per box, the distributor buys it for $14.40 and sells it the the retailer for $28.80, so a retailer should sell that box for $57.60 give or take a couple of bucks. Typically when a product is priced at 3 times the cost, it's because the shop doesn't want to sell that item, which makes sense when they would prefer to sell you a whole wheel.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:07 PM
  #48  
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Those on eBay for $12.99 plus shipping come to $25.98 plus $6 shipping since I need 72 in all, and no where in that ad do I see it mentions DT Champion spokes. I pretty much ignored that ad for that reason.

Icycles comes to $45 for 72 spokes shipped, they charge $16.99 for shipping. I have dealt with them before for other items, but only when I have a huge order to make for parts, otherwise it's not worth it with all the shipping.

As far as just finding another bike shop, there aren't any. There's only one in this town, and they don't do road bikes or parts, the nearest that does road bikes is the one that only sells by the box, and they also made the comment that they've never sold straight gauge spokes in all their years in business. They stock only some sort of flat fiber spokes. At 300+lbs, that's not an option. If adding some weight handling ability wasn't the case here, I'd not be looking to build a better set of wheels.
In my search for spokes though I did come up with a new old stock of Phil Wood hubs, and they were cheap too. The one shop had no idea what they were and sold them to me for $40 cash brand new. I thought that was a pretty decent deal. I've had pretty good luck with those hubs over the years. The same shop that had the hubs didn't stock spokes and wasn't even sure if they could still get them. The kid at the counter was pretty much clueless.
A lot of the shops in the area have either closed up, gone out of business, retired, or become chain run stores. There's only one shop that's been around for more than a few years in the immediate area, and over a 100 mile radius, only three or four. The rest are worthless. I went to one that I didn't realize was even there about 20 miles away this afternoon, if I was building an old balloon tire bike or muscle bike, they had parts, but nothing for road bikes. No stainless spokes, and the guy even went on how SS spokes were no good. He had a shop full of Sun single speed cruisers and some antique bikes hanging up. It looked like one step up from Walmart.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:31 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
How could spokes possibly have gotten so expensive?
The shop you went to does not build many wheels or thinks that the sizes you want are not worth having. Do your calcs, order online.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:34 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Any opinions about the quality of Sapim spokes? I see one of the links has doubled butted stainless for around $.40 and straight gauge for $.25. That's a good deal if the spokes last.
I like them, they build well on Campagnolo hubs. I like the double butted. On one wheel I built up straight ga. on the drive side, for old time sake.
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