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wheel building help, before i order spokes

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wheel building help, before i order spokes

Old 02-22-12, 12:57 AM
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wheel building help, before i order spokes

i'm ready to order spokes for the wheel set i'll be building for the Colnago Super.


i wasn't able to find the ERD for the specific rims i'm using so i measured it myself.

the rims are 700c Nisi Moncalieri Torino Italia tubulars.




the ERD i came up with was 617mm, which seems to match a few of the Nisi rims on velobase. like these M20 Pista Speciale.

i used the 2 spokes and measure the gap between them method, and did this every 4 holes all the way around the rim, then averaged them all up.

as a back up, i also measured by dropping a nipple down on a derailleur cable, pulled it through a spoke hole, then the opposite hole. dropped another nipple on the cable and marked the back with a sharpie. came up with the same ERD.

i'll be lacing them up to Campagnolo Record low flange hubs.

i used several of the online spoke length calculators and came up with +/- 0.1mm:

FRONT: 300.1mm

REAR DS: 297.9mm

REAR NDS: 298.8mm


in the past, i've had issues with the spokes being too long, and the nipples bottoming out on the threads before i could get the wheel tensioned up. for both of those wheel builds i used the ERD from the manufacturer to calculate spoke length. i didn't measure them myself because i figure the manufacturer knows more about such things than i do.


i'm tempted to get spokes that are slightly shorter, but how much shorter is safe?

what size would you order?

Last edited by shnibop; 02-22-12 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 02-22-12, 06:01 AM
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The answer depends on how many sizes of spokes you want to order. Are they out of the box or are they cut to length? How do you want the rear length to look, do you want DS and NDS to both be at the bottom of the slots or is it OK if the DS is engaged more? In general, with regular 12mm DT nipples you can go about 2mm short and still have ample thread engagement.

You could probably get away with 298's all around.
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Old 02-22-12, 06:16 AM
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For my builds I usually go for the bottom of the spoke slot or just a bit past. I made an ERD spoke tool that works great, I post a few picture of it in a bit. I just woke up and it's out in the work room.
I use this on line calculator, it's been spot on every time.

https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/
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Old 02-22-12, 06:44 AM
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Alex, I think part of the problem is there doesn't seem to be a good ID for these rims on any of the calc sites I can find. I have a pair too, but will lace mine to LF hubs, so I'm curious about this too. This model is generally referred to as the "Moncalieri" I guess, but the stamping on these rims merely refers to where they were made, I think. Moncalieri is a town where Nisi was located, a few miles from Torino. That said, I think your 617 ERD seems to be correct. Did you add washers when you tested?
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Old 02-22-12, 08:01 AM
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300 Fronts Sapim Lazer
298 DS Sapim Race
299 NDS Sapim Lazer

Order as few or many as you like in different sizes at Dan's Comp, includes Sapim 14mm nipples.
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Old 02-22-12, 08:13 AM
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Assuming these are 32h rims I'd order:

33 - 300mm Sapim Race
17 - 297mm Sapim Race
17 - 298mm Sapim Race
66 - 12mm brass, chrome plated nipples

This order would cost about $45 shipped USPS Priority where I buy my spokes and would be at my door in about 3 days; custom cut on a Phil Wood machine.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:11 PM
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Most of the old tubular rims are so close in ERD that all they all take almost the same size spoke in 3X.
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Old 02-22-12, 02:48 PM
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miamijim- I will be lacing them 3x and I was planning on ordering the spokes from CT Bikes in NY via eBay. They offer bundles of 18 spokes in all the different lengths I was looking at. They also offer to put together a complete spoke kit if you email them.

rootboy- I measured without the washers, each washer is about 0.5mm in thickness. I started measuring the ERD with the washers in place but they kept getting stuck inside the rim and were a real pain in the you know what to get out, so I gave up haha.

ColonelJLloyd- they are 36 hole. I guess the spokes wouldn't be much shorter the hubs were 32 hole.


Where do you guys get Sapim spokes? I've always used DT Competitions from my LBS, they cut them for me but their Phil spoke cutter isn't the most reliable tool in town. Also, they charge $1 per spoke/nipple, not bad but I could save a good chunk of change ordering online.

Best place to get spokes?
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Old 02-22-12, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by shnibop
ColonelJLloyd- they are 36 hole. I guess the spokes wouldn't be much shorter the hubs were 32 hole.


Where do you guys get Sapim spokes? I've always used DT Competitions from my LBS, they cut them for me but their Phil spoke cutter isn't the most reliable tool in town. Also, they charge $1 per spoke/nipple, not bad but I could save a good chunk of change ordering online.

Best place to get spokes?
You've already figured the length. I'm just suggesting you get one extra spoke in each length and a few extra nipples (unless you already have a stash). I've never needed an spare spoke yet, but it's not a bad idea. I order my spokes from eBay seller childhood_dreams, though I order them directly and not via eBay. His name is Lee and he's a good dude. He doesn't prefer Sapim to DT or vice versa; but has been sending me Sapim Race spokes when I order stainless, double butted spokes. I'll send you a PM with his email address.
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Old 02-27-12, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Did you add washers when you tested?
I think a better way to say this is to make sure you use washers brass or bronze
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Old 02-27-12, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kc0yef
I think a better way to say this is to make sure you use washers brass or bronze
well, I doubt it. I merely wanted to know if he included washers behind the nipple head, before he took his measurements. He answered that question above.
As for brass or bronze, I believe he also answered that question above. He is using stainless steel.
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Old 02-27-12, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
You've already figured the length. I'm just suggesting you get one extra spoke in each length and a few extra nipples (unless you already have a stash). I've never needed an spare spoke yet, but it's not a bad idea. I order my spokes from eBay seller childhood_dreams, though I order them directly and not via eBay. His name is Lee and he's a good dude. He doesn't prefer Sapim to DT or vice versa; but has been sending me Sapim Race spokes when I order stainless, double butted spokes. I'll send you a PM with his email address.
+1 on Lee. Great resource for custom spokes.
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Old 02-27-12, 07:25 AM
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make sure the nipples match the spoke gauge. they come in at least two diameters (nipples that is). 1.8 and 2.0. they are incompatible.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 02-27-12 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 02-27-12, 07:51 AM
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Best to buy the nipple and spoke together and from the same vendor. They don't often mess this up -although I did have the LBS screw this up for me and had to run back and give me the right nipples. Then I had to run back again because they gave me one too-long spoke.

Now I just use Lee, pay a LOT less for spokes, and get everything right the first time with fast turn-around (unless I screw up my calcs -can't blame that one on the vendor!)
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