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What happended to the price of spokes?

Old 02-04-11, 06:26 AM
  #1  
slowleak
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What happended to the price of spokes?

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?

Last edited by slowleak; 02-04-11 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:39 AM
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I don't think that's right
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Old 02-04-11, 06:50 AM
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Check on line sources.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:58 AM
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Ebay is a a good place to shop for spokes. I've also gotten them from Cambria bike and Niagara. You should be able to buy just the number needed plus a few spares.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:12 AM
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I have a large stock pile of spokes. Sounds like it is bigger then a lot of LBS supplies. Now if I could just get around to building wheels.

And a number of Ebay and online sources sell in lots of 20.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:15 AM
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Retail price on a box (144 spokes) of 14 gauge, stainless steel spokes from my supplier is $30.00 or $40.00 if you want black.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:22 AM
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I need 298, 299, and 301mm straight gauge DT Champion spokes with nipples. The best price I can find online is $1.50 per spoke plus shipping. One seller has $60 plus $10 shipping for a full box of 301mm, but even that's insane. That's still $180 for spokes. Even at $1.50 each, plus $14.98 shipping it works out to like $1.70 per spoke.
We're only talking about wire spokes here, not some rare gems or metal.

Even at straight up $1.50 per spoke, that's $108 in spokes. I did call one shop just now that will cut spokes on order but they're two hours north of me and they need me to pay first, then come back the next day to get the spokes I ordered cut to length. (they have a spoke threading machine and stock only one length of spoke). They want $1.77 per spoke plus tax.
Even if they were a dollar per spoke, that's still $72 in spokes for two plain old 27" wheels.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:40 AM
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Lickbike $18 for 20. If that helps.
https://www.lickbike.com/productpage....9;2216-00'
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Old 02-04-11, 07:44 AM
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Just another reason to buy nice used wheelsets. I rarely pay over $40 for a nice used wheelset, and most used ones I have found came with tires, tubes, and a cassette or freewheel. The last set I bought was 8/9/10 speed, Shimano 600 hub, 8 speed cassette, tires and tubes, $30 (700c wheels).
Put a WTB wheels in your local C/L, you should be able to find a set under $75, probably $50 or less. And that is for 700c wheels, 27 inch wheels are usually cheaper. The last set of 27s I bought was $20. A lot of people are moving to 700s, so 27s are usually cheap.


While I have built up some wheels for personal use, it has never been the most cost effective choice.

Spokes below look like a decent deal. T-Mar's deal looks great!

Last edited by wrk101; 02-04-11 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:45 AM
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https://www.treefortbikes.com/cat/0/1...22365170___390

They have 299mm for $49.99.

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Old 02-04-11, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by slowleak View Post
I need 298, 299, and 301mm straight gauge DT Champion spokes with nipples. The best price I can find online is $1.50 per spoke plus shipping. One seller has $60 plus $10 shipping for a full box of 301mm, but even that's insane. That's still $180 for spokes. Even at $1.50 each, plus $14.98 shipping it works out to like $1.70 per spoke.
We're only talking about wire spokes here, not some rare gems or metal.

Even at straight up $1.50 per spoke, that's $108 in spokes. I did call one shop just now that will cut spokes on order but they're two hours north of me and they need me to pay first, then come back the next day to get the spokes I ordered cut to length. (they have a spoke threading machine and stock only one length of spoke). They want $1.77 per spoke plus tax.
Even if they were a dollar per spoke, that's still $72 in spokes for two plain old 27" wheels.

Where are you looking? The first place I checked was prowheelbuilder.com ( No idea how their prices compare, but I was happy with the wheels they built for me ). Silver 14g DT Swiss Champions are $0.60, and silver nipples at $.12. So around $50, sold in lots of one each.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:53 AM
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Ebay seller: childhood_dreams

https://shop.ebay.com/childhood_dream...&_trksid=p3686

75 DB for $35
40 DB for $19

75 stainless for $20
40 stainless for $13

shipping seems to be $4 across the board.

Per the Ebay listing:

All you have to do is supply me with the length you are needing. It can be a mutiple amount of sizes, as most wheel sets can require up to 4 different lengths (depending on the lacing pattern).
I cannot speak for quality, but I am sure others have bought from him and may chime in. I will likely be shopping with him very soon.

Last edited by beech333; 02-04-11 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:56 AM
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My LBS sells straight gauge spokes for $20.00 for enough to build one wheel. Most likely they'll be Wheelsmith, but if they only have the length in DT, that's what you get.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:59 AM
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I agree Slowleak crazy prices! Here in the Uk you can just pop along to your local bike shop and buy as many as you need. I had a bit of a spill on my bike recently broke 3 spokes and ruined the tyre I just dropped it in to my local shop, spokes replaced new tube and tyre cost $40. I don't know how that compares with the states?
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Old 02-04-11, 08:46 AM
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You need to find a better shop. I have never heard of that "you gotta buy 'em by the box" nonsense. Break one spoke and you have to buy an entire box to replace it? I think not. I've never run into a shop that did such a thing, and if I did, they'd never see me again.

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Old 02-04-11, 08:50 AM
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When I need spokes, I email a guy called Lee at lkspoke@yahoo.com and tell him exactly what I need. He sends an invoice by paypal and the spokes arrive a few days later. Or you can look for him on ebay, user Childhood_Dreams or something like that.
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Old 02-04-11, 08:57 AM
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I think spokes cost to much for what they are and it has kept me from building up a set of wheels. I want to teach myself to build wheels and being that I haven't yet is because the price of the spokes. I have been stripping damaged wheels and cataloging the spokes by length,brand and number of how many are there then I will start building or rebuilding some wheelsets to start the learning curve once I have enough to do a set. I do want to do a new wheelset also and picked up a NOS set of Sturmey Archer Elite ST drum hubs that take a freelwheel but I am undecided on what I want to build ( thinking 27" or 700c road wheels though).
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Old 02-04-11, 08:58 AM
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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
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Old 02-04-11, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemore View Post
I have a large stock pile of spokes. Sounds like it is bigger then a lot of LBS supplies. Now if I could just get around to building wheels.

And a number of Ebay and online sources sell in lots of 20.
Bikemore, updated my e-mail to you last night...check for it
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Old 02-04-11, 09:53 AM
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I've been surprised by the cost of spokes at shops around here, too; much more than I expected, but nothing like what you've seen. The last wheel I built was with a dynamo hub and none of the shops in town had the right length (291mm I think). The shop I bought from had comparable prices to everyone else, but they cut them for me while I waited. Next time I'll be using the guy mentioned above.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:10 AM
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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
That is not a bad deal, that must be one of the places I didn't check. I have a bunch of sites under my bookmarks all from you guys here. $32 for SS spokes to do a least 2 wheels ( at least my needs ) fits into the budget quite well,thanks. Still double butted going to cost you around a $1.50 each with shipping in black or $24 + shipping to do one wheel in silver.

Last edited by Glennfordx4; 02-04-11 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:21 AM
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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.

Last edited by prathmann; 02-04-11 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:28 AM
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In Pittsburgh, the guy would charge me a 25 cents a spoke... I rebuilt a wheel I had for $8. IIRC, they were swaged, but I didn't know enough to be picky back then.

I miss that place.


Are you the only one in the area buying spokes for 27" wheels? I can see why they rather you take the hit for a full box, although I can't imagine the price they quoted you is discounted appropriately.
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Old 02-04-11, 10:45 AM
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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...
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Old 02-04-11, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
"

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
Where I've been getting my spokes.

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