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Wheels of 32 hole or 36 hole?

Old 12-08-20, 11:35 AM
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Jno
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Wheels of 32 hole or 36 hole?

I have read remarks suggesting 32 hole rims offer better ride (less harsh) and 36 hole rims offer more strength/peace of mind should anything happen. The LBS building my wheels advocates for 32 hole. Would members of the forum recommend that I get 32h front and 36h rear to get a reasonable blend of these attributes? Or some other suggestion (that is budget conscious)
Btw: bike plus gear is expected to be 100 lbs ish; I am 180 lbs; we will be on roads (vast majority of which will be paved).
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Old 12-08-20, 11:49 AM
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I think 32's would be fine. 36 if you want extra "insurance".
i used to be 260 with bike and tailbag over 300 and I wouldn't have hesitated riding 32s.
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Old 12-08-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
I have read remarks suggesting 32 hole rims offer better ride (less harsh) and 36 hole rims offer more strength/peace of mind should anything happen. The LBS building my wheels advocates for 32 hole. Would members of the forum recommend that I get 32h front and 36h rear to get a reasonable blend of these attributes? Or some other suggestion (that is budget conscious)
Btw: bike plus gear is expected to be 100 lbs ish; I am 180 lbs; we will be on roads (vast majority of which will be paved).
Why is your bike shop advocating 32 hole rims? What is their reasoning? I am sure 32 hole would be fine, but I still prefer 36 hole rims, especially on the back, but that is just a preference.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Why is your bike shop advocating 32 hole rims? What is their reasoning?
He have me two reasons, and I suspect a third:
1. Slightly more flex means better, more forgiving ride
2. The wide internal rim width helps spread load so ďthese daysĒ, 36 is overkill.
3. He didnít say but my research has indicated that it is pretty tough finding 36h rims.
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Old 12-08-20, 12:49 PM
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I assumed you would be buying an off the shelf touring bike, did not know you are building up wheels for a frame.

I have occasionally heard someone say that fewer spokes gives more cushion, but I think that is a crock. You are talking about a touring bike, I assume you are using 35 or 37mm tires on it. Or maybe 32mm at the narrowest. Maybe you can feel more cushion if you are riding 23mm tires or high pressure tubular tires on a race bike, but that is not the case here. I can't possibly imagine that you would notice any extra cushion on a wheel with a tire like that with fewer spokes.

I always want 36 spokes on touring bikes, especially the rear wheel.

When I built up my titanium bike (Lynskey Backroad) for light touring, nobody had the dynohub that I wanted in 36, everyone was out of stock on it. But I found one in Germany on sale that was 32 spoke. Thought about if for a bit and decided that 32 in front should be ok because the front has much less weight on it than 36. Thus that bike has 32 spoke front, 36 rear. My other two touring bikes are 36 on front and rear.

***
I think I previously suggested to you that someone in your group should know how to true up wheels and replace a spoke. Since you are paying someone to build up wheels, you should buy spare spokes, a couple drive side rear and a couple front spokes would only cost a few more bucks. You probably will never need them but it is a good insurance policy.

***
Since you are building up wheels, have you considered a dynohub? The cost is the extra amount you pay for a dynohub minus the amount that the regular hub would cost. The difference in price is small. But, fitting a dynohub to a touring bike later costs a lot more. Thus, if you might ever want a dynohub, get it now.

If you got a dynohub, there would be extra cost for the USB charger or lights or both, but that is a different topic.

***
This is my Backroad, 32 spoke in front, 36 rear, 37mm tires.

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Old 12-08-20, 01:18 PM
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None of us knows how to true wheels - a fact that came to light when I read your earlier post. It’s on our to-do list. The bike is largely stock, but i did consider the dynohub. When I inventoried my battery powered stuff, I saw its virtue but I’m not sure if this tour, although long, isn’t a one-off, so I am trying to save money where the cost to me is inconvenience eg charging. The cost to get bike tour gear is surprising - it means it’ll be a long time until my wife lets me campaign to get the bike stuff I’ve been dreaming of for other bikes.... I should have started younger!
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Old 12-08-20, 01:25 PM
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36 for me.
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Old 12-08-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
He have me two reasons, and I suspect a third:
1. Slightly more flex means better, more forgiving ride
2. The wide internal rim width helps spread load so “these days”, 36 is overkill.
3. He didn’t say but my research has indicated that it is pretty tough finding 36h rims.
I think the difference in ride will be almost impossible to detect. Tires will play a bigger part in ride quality.

Originally Posted by Jno View Post
None of us knows how to true wheels - a fact that came to light when I read your earlier post. It’s on our to-do list. The bike is largely stock, but i did consider the dynohub. When I inventoried my battery powered stuff, I saw its virtue but I’m not sure if this tour, although long, isn’t a one-off, so I am trying to save money where the cost to me is inconvenience eg charging. The cost to get bike tour gear is surprising - it means it’ll be a long time until my wife lets me campaign to get the bike stuff I’ve been dreaming of for other bikes.... I should have started younger!
I have a Long Haul Trucker with the stock machine made rims. When I got the bike, I had the rims de-tensioned and re-tensioned by hand. They have remained in true since, despite being used for fully loaded tours and commuting. The only issue I had was hitting a block of concrete at about 40 MPH downhill. I didn't wreck, but noticed later my front brake pulsed. The rim was bulged out where it hit the block. I was able to get the rim hack into shape using a hammer and a small block of steel, the way you would pound out a dent in body work. Interestingly, once I got the dent out of the rim, the rim was still in true, and still is. That was 2015. I bought the bike in 2011. The bike has 36 hole rims.

If you want the most bulletproof rims that be less likely to need truing very often, get 36 hole rims. Overkill? I wouldn't say so, but, if it is, better overkill than slightly wounded.
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Old 12-08-20, 03:39 PM
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At 280 lbs of bike and rider, no way would I want 32 spokes on the rear unless maybe we are talking 26" wheels here, and I would still likely go 36 if possible. 700c wheels, definitely 36 spokes, not up for debate. If you have ever toured and had continuous wheel problems, you will know what a miserable ordeal it can be. More plush ride with 4 less spokes is BS when it comes to loaded touring. This is of course only my opinion but it is derived after many years of actual touring.
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Old 12-08-20, 03:55 PM
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Another decision made

I have committed to 36 rear, 32 front, double-butted. Thanks for the help
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Old 12-08-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
None of us knows how to true wheels - a fact that came to light when I read your earlier post. Itís on our to-do list. The bike is largely stock, but i did consider the dynohub. When I inventoried my battery powered stuff, I saw its virtue but Iím not sure if this tour, although long, isnít a one-off, so I am trying to save money where the cost to me is inconvenience eg charging. The cost to get bike tour gear is surprising - it means itíll be a long time until my wife lets me campaign to get the bike stuff Iíve been dreaming of for other bikes.... I should have started younger!
My previous suggestion to get spare spokes that match your wheels stands, but I think in an earlier thread I suggested a Fiber Fix emergency spoke for the group. Since it is likely that nobody else in the group would have spare spokes for their specific wheels, the Fiber Fix would still be a good insurance policy to carry in case someone breaks a spoke.

Breaking a spoke is very rare, but the best way to make sure it does not happen is to be prepared for it. If you are not prepared for it, the odds of it happening is much greater.

And it is possible to do that repair with the Fiber Fix on a drive side rear spoke without removing the cassette.
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Old 12-08-20, 07:45 PM
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re tires and cushioning.
I've really found over the years that overinflation is a much bigger cause of a harsher ride than anything else, and conversely, wider tires with proper pressures make a really big difference in making life easier for rims and spokes. Just a more cushioned layer in general and when going over bumps and potholes and whathaveyou.

Jno, again, Im not sure if I mentioned this, but the time I met two young women riding across canada, and one had continual spoke breakages on her (I think) 28 spoked wheels. Was a real hassle of having to get spokes replaced numerous times, so tracking down a bike shop, with a wobbly wheel--oh and of course costs each repair.
Ive had to get a spoke fixed in France once and while its not super expensive, if you have to get this done two or three times over a long trip, you might as well just spend more on a tougher wheelset----which is good to see that you've done so.

and yes, you'll be probably best off really watching for sales and stuff for equipment, although with proper choosing, you can equip yourself fairly well at reasonable prices. Tent, campmat, sleeping bag, panniers still will add up, and why often most of us have bought a whatsit here, a doohickey there, and thingamabob later etc etc to spread the outlay of cash.
Heck, I still use a 25+ year old sleeping bag that was reasonably light at the time, and still works ok, so just havent gotten a new one as it works.
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Old 12-08-20, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
He have me two reasons, and I suspect a third:
1. Slightly more flex means better, more forgiving ride
2. The wide internal rim width helps spread load so ďthese daysĒ, 36 is overkill.
3. He didnít say but my research has indicated that it is pretty tough finding 36h rims.
1. as others mentioned the difference is greater in the tire choice, 36 is actually probably more comfortable but no big deal either way.
2. I largely agree, I just get 32h for everything and never have problems, I just pick the spokes to save weight or add the necessary strength. My touring bike has 2.3/2.0 butted spokes in the back, it'll hold with its mtb rim as well as any road touring wheel from my experience.
3. Probably becoming true, still doesn't keep it from being a decent option and nothing wrong on a touring bike with a little overbuilt.

Originally Posted by Jno View Post
None of us knows how to true wheels - a fact that came to light when I read your earlier post. Itís on our to-do list. The bike is largely stock, but i did consider the dynohub. When I inventoried my battery powered stuff, I saw its virtue but Iím not sure if this tour, although long, isnít a one-off, so I am trying to save money where the cost to me is inconvenience eg charging. The cost to get bike tour gear is surprising - it means itíll be a long time until my wife lets me campaign to get the bike stuff Iíve been dreaming of for other bikes.... I should have started younger!
Can't complain too much, she's letting you tour.
It's important to know the basics of how to get a wheel straighter should something go wrong though disc brakes can negate that some what. If I broke a couple spokes on my touring bike I could just keep riding and not worry though I'd want to get it fixed asap.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My previous suggestion to get spare spokes that match your wheels stands, but I think in an earlier thread I suggested a Fiber Fix emergency spoke for the group. Since it is likely that nobody else in the group would have spare spokes for their specific wheels, the Fiber Fix would still be a good insurance policy to carry in case someone breaks a spoke.

Breaking a spoke is very rare, but the best way to make sure it does not happen is to be prepared for it. If you are not prepared for it, the odds of it happening is much greater.

And it is possible to do that repair with the Fiber Fix on a drive side rear spoke without removing the cassette.
For myself I prefer a tool that puts a Z-bend in the end of the spoke. With 5 bikes using 10 different wheel lengths although I don't like the added weight I prefer to carry a few extra long spokes, a cable cutter and the spoke bender. Also means I don't have to carry a chain whip, large wrench and cassette tool to change a busted spoke, the bend just laces into the empty spoke hole. Wheel fanatyk used to sell the tool which is used for lawn mower repair. Nice thing is its a permanent fix.
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Old 12-08-20, 11:18 PM
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I went with 36 H, but one cannot ignore the fact that many, many touring bikes coming out these days have 32 H as stock.
Maybe tech has improved over the years
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Old 12-09-20, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I went with 36 H, but one cannot ignore the fact that many, many touring bikes coming out these days have 32 H as stock.
Maybe tech has improved over the years

could also be the bike shop is pushing the latest fad,
pushed by the manufacturers. much easier to flog
whatever ya got in stock now, instead of ordering
something suitable for the task.

build 10 million wheels with 36 spokes vs. build
10 million wheels with 32 spokes.

save the cost of 40 million spokes and nipplies,
yet charge the customer more for the "upgrade."
what's not to love?
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Old 12-09-20, 06:55 AM
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Am I the only one that noticed bike plus gear are over 100 lbs, plus 180 for the rider?

36 for sure.
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Old 12-09-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
but one cannot ignore the fact that many, many touring bikes coming out these days have 32 H as stock.
Oh I think one can......
Or at least I can and do.
36 for me

Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
Maybe tech has improved over the years
Either that or bike shops try to sell products that will need more maintenance in order to have a source of income by way of repairs.
I guess I'm not very trusting of retail to look after my interests over their own

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Old 12-09-20, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I went with 36 H, but one cannot ignore the fact that many, many touring bikes coming out these days have 32 H as stock.
Maybe tech has improved over the years
Marcus, unless I'm mistaken, all proper touring bikes come with 36 spoke wheels.
Yes, there are many many gravel bikes out there, but they are clearly made for a much lighter traveling load compared to panniers.

one off my main points is that the hassle of time, and money spent getting to a bike store to get a broken spoke repaired isn't worth it in my opinion.
Especially if a 32 spoke wheel set is of fairly low quality which could mean multiple times with broken spokes.

Don't get me wrong, if a given wheel set works for you abd your touring load, that's great, go for it.

And don't forget, any wheel set should be tensioned properly by a very knowledgeable wheel person before a trip, but not right before.
And sufficient riding beforehand with the actual touring load to be sure all is well.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:33 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I went with 36 H, but one cannot ignore the fact that many, many touring bikes coming out these days have 32 H as stock.
Maybe tech has improved over the years
No, technology hasn’t improved. Manufacturers don’t want to be bothered with trying to find sources of 36 hole hubs and by the time spokes start to break the warranty period is past so that don’t have to worry about it.

The technology that has changed (20+ years ago) is spokes. A 2.3/1.8/2.0mm spoke could be used with a 32 spoke hub to make a wheel that is the equivalent of at least a 36 hole wheel with 2.0mm straight spokes. They might even push the strength to a 40 spoke or even a 44 spoke wheel. On the other hand, a 36 hole wheel is the 2.3/1.8/2.0mm spokes is equal to at least a 40 spoke wheel and perhaps up to 56 spokes. This article details why this is the case.

But you’ll never find this kind of spoke on an OEM wheel. If you have someone else build your wheels, you’ll likely run into resistance to using them. Even people who build their own wheels will resist using them for some reason.
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Old 12-09-20, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
Oh I think one can......
Or at least I can and do.
36 for me


Either that or bike shops try to sell products that will need more maintenance in order to have a source of income by way of repairs.
I guess I'm not very trusting of retail to look after my interests over their own
Donít blame the shops. They have no say in what a manufacturer specifies when designing a bike. They just have to deal with fixing the problems.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re tires and cushioning.
I've really found over the years that overinflation is a much bigger cause of a harsher ride than anything else, and conversely, wider tires with proper pressures make a really big difference in making life easier for rims and spokes. Just a more cushioned layer in general and when going over bumps and potholes and whathaveyou.
....
Reading your post reminded me of the old 15 percent tire drop theory.
https://www.adventurecycling.org/def...SIRX_Heine.pdf

Around home, I always run higher pressures than this. But touring, I run a rear pressure pretty close to the 15 percent drop when using 35 or 37mm tires. The weight on my rear wheel was greater than the chart, but it was pretty easy to print it off and draw straight lines to extend the data further for the weight I had.

I find that the 15 percent tire drop theory has too little pressure in the front, instead I usually run the front pressure about 65 to 75 percent of the pressure that I have in the rear. However when riding on some really rough West Texas chip seal, I lowered my front tire to 55 percent of the pressure I had in the rear.

I hope the OP is still reading this thread now that his decision as been made.


Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
...
For myself I prefer a tool that puts a Z-bend in the end of the spoke. With 5 bikes using 10 different wheel lengths although I don't like the added weight I prefer to carry a few extra long spokes, a cable cutter and the spoke bender. Also means I don't have to carry a chain whip, large wrench and cassette tool to change a busted spoke, the bend just laces into the empty spoke hole. Wheel fanatyk used to sell the tool which is used for lawn mower repair. Nice thing is its a permanent fix.
Cassette lock ring tool is small and light. Using a hacksaw and file, I "adjusted" a cone wrench to fit on the cassette tool, that saves some volume and weight. And several years ago I wrote up a post on a substitute for a chain whip, that post is at:
Chain Whip for Travel

That thread also listed some other options to the standard lock ring tool and wrench.

Nothing against the Z bend, but since I built up most of my own wheels, I had spare spokes from when I built them. I bought my road bike as a complete bike, thus did not get spare spokes for it, for that I bought a Fiber Fix emergency spoke.


Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
Am I the only one that noticed bike plus gear are over 100 lbs, plus 180 for the rider?
....
I noticed. He has not toured yet. I assumed he would find out that the big pile of stuff did not fit in the panniers and would need to cull out some stuff. And likely will try a few short tours near home where he learns how heavy that bike is.

And he is a road bike rider, thus I expect him to cull more weight than most people that are new to touring.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
......
I noticed. He has not toured yet. I assumed he would find out that the big pile of stuff did not fit in the panniers and would need to cull out some stuff. And likely will try a few short tours near home where he learns how heavy that bike is.

And he is a road bike rider, thus I expect him to cull more weight than most people that are new to touring.
My touring bike weighed 80-100 lbs fully loaded for a two-week trip. That's not unusual. But you really don't want to do that sort of thing on 32-spoke wheels.
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Old 12-09-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Cassette lock ring tool is small and light. Using a hacksaw and file, I "adjusted" a cone wrench to fit on the cassette tool, that saves some volume and weight. And several years ago I wrote up a post on a substitute for a chain whip, that post is at:
Chain Whip for Travel

That thread also listed some other options to the standard lock ring tool and wrench.

Nothing against the Z bend, but since I built up most of my own wheels, I had spare spokes from when I built them. I bought my road bike as a complete bike, thus did not get spare spokes for it, for that I bought a Fiber Fix emergency spoke.

I noticed. He has not toured yet. I assumed he would find out that the big pile of stuff did not fit in the panniers and would need to cull out some stuff. And likely will try a few short tours near home where he learns how heavy that bike is.

And he is a road bike rider, thus I expect him to cull more weight than most people that are new to touring.
As I mentioned, for me, carrying the right spokes means 10 different lengths, the youngest when we tour next will have a 20" wheel, the middle a 24" wheel, the eldest at 26" wheel, and my wife and I run different rims, when she weights low 100s there's no reason to use the same rim as me in the high 200s. Z bend is the best way for me to be assured of a fitted spoke without carrying a bundle. I can hit a shop if I need more then the 3 spokes I carried.

As Jeff Neese mentioned, also don't see too much wrong with his weight though it is a bit high. Fitted with 3 bottle cages, light, computer, and seat pack, and rack the bike weights just over 30lbs. 40lbs in the rear bags, tent and bag strapped to the top and a handlebar bag with tools and essentials in the front and a top tube bag for snacks I haven't weighed it but I'm guessing I'm approaching 90lbs.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
But youíll never find this kind of spoke on an OEM wheel. If you have someone else build your wheels, youíll likely run into resistance to using them. Even people who build their own wheels will resist using them for some reason.
don't know why, I like them for their strength and they're barely more difficult to build with.
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Old 12-09-20, 11:27 AM
  #24  
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If its a 1 off tour I definitely would have gone 32's. A couple weeks on satisfactory wheels versus several years on overbuilt built wheels after the tour. But thats me.

Sounds like you made a good choice for you!

Good luck & hope you have fun!
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Old 12-09-20, 11:33 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post

But you’ll never find this kind of spoke on an OEM wheel. If you have someone else build your wheels, you’ll likely run into resistance to using them. Even people who build their own wheels will resist using them for some reason.
I'm sure cost and availability are the main reasons that triple butted spokes are not used more often, and the fact certain hubs don't match up well.
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