can one buy generic spokes?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ant, Jan 28, 2003.

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  1. Ant

    Ant Guest

    I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It kills
    me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.

    Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs. However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If all
    I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic i can buy somewhere? I've only
    ever seen the name brands for sale. what do department store bikes use? The ones around campus dont
    seem to be rusting.

    Yes. im sure one can only find namebrand for a reason, but i cant help but wonder why a cheaper
    stainless spoke cant be made/sold. no butting. no blades.

    any sources? any ideas?

    thanks, anthony
     
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  2. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Anthony Anagnostou writes:

    > I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It
    > kills me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.

    > Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs? However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If
    > all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic I can buy somewhere? I've
    > only ever seen the name brands for sale. What do department store bikes use? The ones around
    > campus don't seem to be rusting.

    > Yes. I'm sure one can only find name brand for a reason, but I can't help but wonder why a cheaper
    > stainless spoke can't be made/sold. No butting. No blades.

    It took the principal spoke manufacturers many years to develop a wire from which durable spokes
    can be formed. That material must have a high tensile strength and high ductility for forming the
    spoke and installing it in a wheel, an operation that causes additional plastic deformation. Not
    long ago spoke failure was so common that riders always carried spare spokes, spoke wrench, and
    freewheel remover.

    Today, spoke material and manufacture has improved substantially, and I believe partly as a result
    of knowing how spokes are stressed in use as well as what causes failures, something that was not
    understood until recently. Spoke steel is not the same as ordinary structural or wire stainless
    steel and, the requirement of high strength and ductility being contradictory. Tensile tests of the
    better spokes (name brand) show that his has been achieved today.

    It isn't worth your while to build wheels with anything but a reputable brand name spoke and
    these are all relatively expensive. Your best bet is to look for the best price rather than
    lesser quality.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  3. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Anthony Anagnostou writes:

    > I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It
    > kills me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.

    > Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs? However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If
    > all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic I can buy somewhere? I've
    > only ever seen the name brands for sale. What do department store bikes use? The ones around
    > campus don't seem to be rusting.

    > Yes. I'm sure one can only find name brand for a reason, but I can't help but wonder why a cheaper
    > stainless spoke can't be made/sold. No butting. No blades.

    It took the principal spoke manufacturers many years to develop a wire from which durable spokes
    could be formed. A wire that must have high tensile strength and high ductility for forming and
    installing spokes it in a wheel, an operation that causes additional plastic deformation. Not long
    ago spoke failure was so common that most riders carried spare spokes, a spoke wrench, and a
    freewheel remover.

    Today, spoke material and manufacture has improved substantially, and I believe partly as a result
    of understanding how spokes are stressed in use as well as what causes failures, something that was
    not generally known until recently. Spoke steel is not the same as ordinary structural or wire
    stainless steel, its requirement of high strength and ductility being contradictory. Tensile tests
    of better spokes (name brand) show that his has been achieved today.

    It isn't worth your while to build wheels with anything but a reputable brand name spoke, and these
    are all relatively expensive. Your best bet is to look for a better price rather than lesser
    quality. While you're at it, you might also reconsider your choice of straight gauge spokes. Butted
    (or swaged) 1.6-1.8mm spokes are probably the best choice for a wheel.

    Thinner spokes wind up excessively from tightening torque unless special skills are used. When you
    think spokes, think long screws and that a screws usually fail in their threads, the smallest cross
    section. Machine screws designed for high cyclic loads are often "strain screws" with a mid section
    smaller in diameter than the root of the thread, essentially swaged spokes.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  4. Appkiller

    Appkiller Guest

    www.thorusa.com has excellent prices on Sapim spokes. $8.00/20 spokes (butted IIRC). Cheapest
    elsewhere I've seen is about $13/20.

    [email protected] (ant) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It
    > kills me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.
    >
    > Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs. However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If
    > all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic i can buy somewhere? I've
    > only ever seen the name brands for sale. what do department store bikes use? The ones around
    > campus dont seem to be rusting.
    >
    > Yes. im sure one can only find namebrand for a reason, but i cant help but wonder why a cheaper
    > stainless spoke cant be made/sold. no butting. no blades.
    >
    > any sources? any ideas?
    >
    > thanks, anthony
     
  5. Dax

    Dax Guest

    [email protected] wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Anthony Anagnostou writes:
    >
    > > I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It
    > > kills me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.
    >
    > > Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs? However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If
    > > all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic I can buy somewhere?
    > > I've only ever seen the name brands for sale. What do department store bikes use? The ones
    > > around campus don't seem to be rusting.
    >
    > > Yes. I'm sure one can only find name brand for a reason, but I can't help but wonder why a
    > > cheaper stainless spoke can't be made/sold. No butting. No blades.
    >
    > It took the principal spoke manufacturers many years to develop a wire from which durable spokes
    > could be formed. A wire that must have high tensile strength and high ductility for forming and
    > installing spokes it in a wheel, an operation that causes additional plastic deformation. Not long
    > ago spoke failure was so common that most riders carried spare spokes, a spoke wrench, and a
    > freewheel remover.
    >
    > Today, spoke material and manufacture has improved substantially, and I believe partly as a result
    > of understanding how spokes are stressed in use as well as what causes failures, something that
    > was not generally known until recently. Spoke steel is not the same as ordinary structural or wire
    > stainless steel, its requirement of high strength and ductility being contradictory. Tensile tests
    > of better spokes (name brand) show that his has been achieved today.
    >
    > It isn't worth your while to build wheels with anything but a reputable brand name spoke, and
    > these are all relatively expensive. Your best bet is to look for a better price rather than lesser
    > quality. While you're at it, you might also reconsider your choice of straight gauge spokes.
    > Butted (or swaged) 1.6-1.8mm spokes are probably the best choice for a wheel.
    >
    > Thinner spokes wind up excessively from tightening torque unless special skills are used. When you
    > think spokes, think long screws and that a screws usually fail in their threads, the smallest
    > cross section. Machine screws designed for high cyclic loads are often "strain screws" with a mid
    > section smaller in diameter than the root of the thread, essentially swaged spokes.
    >
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA

    Sapim "Indian Head" 14-g almost fit the bill... they have a decent stainless spoke and are half the
    price of DT etc. They seem to be more flexible/less brittle than some - Ъ×
     
  6. Bfd

    Bfd Guest

    [email protected] wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > While you're at it, you might also reconsider your choice of straight gauge spokes. Butted (or
    > swaged) 1.6-1.8mm spokes are probably the best choice for a wheel.
    >
    Can please explain why 1.6/1.8mm (15/16g) butted spokes would be a "better" choice than heavy, but
    stronger 2.0/1.8 (14/15g) butted spokes? Almost every wheelbuilder/shop I've talked to say 2.0/1.8mm
    spokes are better as its stronger and more durable than 1.6/1.8mm. Thanks...
     
  7. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    [email protected] (ant) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It
    > kills me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.
    >
    > Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs. However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If
    > all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic i can buy somewhere? I've
    > only ever seen the name brands for sale. what do department store bikes use? The ones around
    > campus dont seem to be rusting.
    >
    > Yes. im sure one can only find namebrand for a reason, but i cant help but wonder why a cheaper
    > stainless spoke cant be made/sold. no butting. no blades.
    >
    > any sources? any ideas?
    >
    > thanks, anthony

    Well, Jobst has explained things pretty well: since you've limited yourself to stainless steel,
    you'll have to pay the price of the expensive alloy needed to make a durable spoke.

    Department store bikes generally use cheaper cadmium- or chrome-plated spokes- they don't show rust,
    but they do corrode. You might be able to buy some from a local shop- but they won't won't make as
    good a wheel as stainless.

    For lower priced stainless spokes, take a look at BikePartsUSA's Wheel Master brand:
    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/view.phtml?f_b=Wheel+Master

    Jeff
     
  8. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    bfd (?) wrote:

    > Can please explain why 1.6/1.8mm (15/16g) butted spokes would be a "better" choice than heavy, but
    > stronger 2.0/1.8 (14/15g) butted spokes? Almost every wheelbuilder/shop I've talked to say
    > 2.0/1.8mm spokes are better as its stronger and more durable than 1.6/1.8mm. Thanks...

    Either thickness will result in the same spoke tension, which is governed by the rim strength, not
    the spoke thickness.

    Thinner spokes are more elastic and are more able to maintain tension while the wheel is
    compressed at the contact patch. A thicker spoke is less elastic and liable to go slack, sending
    the wheel out of true.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  9. Appkiller

    Appkiller Guest

    Just checked their site: $4.00 for 20 straight 14 ga. Hard to beat.

    App

    [email protected] (Appkiller) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > www.thorusa.com has excellent prices on Sapim spokes. $8.00/20 spokes (butted IIRC). Cheapest
    > elsewhere I've seen is about $13/20.
    >
    > [email protected] (ant) wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I want to build wheels, but the parts prices are prohibitive (ya' like that alliteration?). It
    > > kills me how I can buy a wheelset cheaper than I can buy its parts and build it myself.
    > >
    > > Anyways, I can get hold of cheap rims and cheap hubs. However, I've never seen cheap spokes. If
    > > all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic i can buy somewhere?
    > > I've only ever seen the name brands for sale. what do department store bikes use? The ones
    > > around campus dont seem to be rusting.
    > >
    > > Yes. im sure one can only find namebrand for a reason, but i cant help but wonder why a cheaper
    > > stainless spoke cant be made/sold. no butting. no blades.
    > >
    > > any sources? any ideas?
    > >
    > > thanks, anthony
     
  10. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    [email protected] (ant) wrote:

    > If all I want is a simple straight 14g set of spokes, isn't there a generic i can buy somewhere?

    I've had good luck with "Wheel Master" spokes which never cost me more than 1/2 what DT
    straight-gauge spokes do. They come in a somewhat limited selection of lengths, fine for most common
    rim/hub combinations. I think they're boxed in quantity 75, and my LBS charges me US$.25 apiece. If
    your LBS doesn't stock them, you may have to buy whole box quantities.

    Wheel Master also offer bright zinc plated spokes in packages of 144 for about $12. Less than ten
    cents a spoke is stinkin' cheap. Assembled to the nipples with grease lube, these spokes hold up
    fine in my experience. They don't give the satisfaction of a wheel that maintains its good looks
    seemingly forever, though.

    Though I've had no problem with either of these types of bargain spokes, I still use DT spokes for
    my own wheels. They come with far superior nipples, and the threads have a crisper and more
    consistent boundary on the spoke wire. I find that both these characteristics make them easier to
    build with than the cheapies.

    Chalo Colina
     
  11. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    bfd snipes anonymously:

    >> While you're at it, you might also reconsider your choice of straight gauge spokes. Butted (or
    >> swaged) 1.6-1.8mm spokes are probably the best choice for a wheel.

    > Can please explain why 1.6/1.8mm (15/16g) butted spokes would be a "better" choice than heavy, but
    > stronger 2.0/1.8 (14/15g) butted spokes? Almost every wheelbuilder/shop I've talked to say
    > 2.0/1.8mm spokes are better as its stronger and more durable than 1.6/1.8mm.

    You say "stronger 2.0/1.8 (14/15g) butted spokes" but that doesn't make them more durable or make a
    stronger wheel (one that can carry a higher load). Properly built, even a DT Revolution spoke
    1.5-2.0mm or
    1.5-1.8mm are more than strong enough for conventional wheels. Spoke failure comes from failure to
    stress relieve, not overload. That tensile stress is not excessive should be apparent from spokes
    not breaking in their thin midsections. Failure is caused by residual high stress left in spoke
    elbows and threads from manufacture and wheel building. That is why stress relieving is essential.

    Fatter spokes cannot make a stronger wheel. Only a heavier rim can do that.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  12. David Ornee

    David Ornee Guest

    Snip> . That > tensile stress is not excessive should be apparent from
    spokes not
    > breaking in their thin midsections. Failure is caused by residual high stress left in spoke elbows
    > and threads from manufacture and wheel building. That is why stress relieving is essential......
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA

    Jobst,

    The edition of your book that I have ( Second Edition, 8th printing, 1990, under SPOKE STRENGTH)
    says the following: "Butted spokes failed in their reduced diameter mid-sections while the unbutted
    spokes failed at their elbows." I note that this failure was under a test mode to tensile test the
    spokes. I also note that no spoke failed under less than 200+ kg force. I suspect that it is a rare
    situation that any spoke is under that force in a normal build and under normal riding conditions. I
    never have had a spoke fail in the reduced diameter mid-section.

    On another matter, the charts showing the elastic response to strain, there doesn't seem to be a
    significant amount more elasticity in any of the spokes (in their normal tension range) unless I go
    to the WS Butted more elastic reference line. Is there new data in more recent printings? What
    spoke tension are you seeing in high quality wheels? What amount of additional deflection margin
    should I expect?

    David Ornee, Western Springs, IL
     
  13. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    David Ornee writes:

    >> That tensile stress is not excessive should be apparent from spokes not breaking in their thin
    >> midsections. Failure is caused by residual high stress left in spoke elbows and threads from
    >> manufacture and wheel building. That is why stress relieving is essential......

    I should have gone on to say that it is fatigue that breaks spokes, not forced rupture and that is
    why all the straight gauge promoters are wrong when they claim that these stronger spokes also make
    a stronger wheel.

    > The edition of your book that I have (Second Edition, 8th printing, 1990, under SPOKE STRENGTH)
    > says the following:

    > "Butted spokes failed in their reduced diameter mid-sections while the unbutted spokes failed at
    > their elbows."

    > I note that this failure was under a test mode to tensile test the spokes. I also note that no
    > spoke failed under less than 200+ kg force. I suspect that it is a rare situation that any spoke
    > is under that force in a normal build and under normal riding conditions.

    Yes? This is a tensile test that causes failure where the highest stress occurs, something that is
    cross section and loading related. In use, spokes operate at about 1/3 their yield stress and
    therefore are not going to break at the slender cross section at mid span but rather at stress
    concentrations. However you know this because you have the book that explains that at great length.

    > I never have had a spoke fail in the reduced diameter mid-section.

    Yes?

    > On another matter, the charts showing the elastic response to strain, there doesn't seem to be a
    > significant amount more elasticity in any of the spokes (in their normal tension range) unless I
    > go to the WS Butted more elastic reference line.

    These were as measured stress/strain curves that are not straight lines from the origin because
    there is some bending in the elbow, they being real spokes and not straight tensile specimens.
    You'll notice that swaged DT spokes are so ductile that they did not rupture but just stretches like
    modeling clay beyond the yield point.

    > Is there new data in more recent printings? What spoke tension are you seeing in high quality
    > wheels? What amount of additional deflection margin should I expect?

    Only the units have been changes to Newtons.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
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