Spoke Question (butted vs. straight gauge)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Steve Sloan, Feb 27, 2003.

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  1. Steve Sloan

    Steve Sloan Guest

    In a recent post on another subject, I read a comment indicating the formula I have followed in
    recent years for specifying wheels for myself may be flawed. The commenter is somebody whom I
    respect greatly. This is the formula I have been following over the last five years and about 25,000
    riding miles:

    36 hole MA2 (or stronger rims) with 14 straight gauge spokes, with alloy nipples and Ultegra hubs.

    The commenter indicated that I would have stronger wheels if I used butted spokes and that I
    shouldn't use "cheap spokes." In five years and 25,000 miles of riding I have had one busted spoke.
    I weigh 200 to 210 pounds (varies) and carry up to 50 pounds of cargo.

    I chose straight gauge over butted on the theory that at my weight spoke weight as a percentage of
    the total package was insignificant, and that straight gauge spokes would be as strong at the ends
    as butted spokes and would be stronger in the middles. It was hoped this might improve lateral
    strength of the wheel. Cost was never part of the equation.

    The broken spoke was on a front wheel. I have had bent rims from hitting nasty potholes, but no
    other spoke problems. Can someone please let me know what I am doing wrong? I thought I was doing
    pretty good.

    Thanks:

    Steve Sloan [email protected]
     
    Tags:


  2. Steve-<< the formula I have followed in recent years for specifying wheels for myself may be
    flawed. << 36 hole MA2 (or stronger rims) with 14 straight gauge spokes, with alloy nipples and
    Ultegra hubs.

    why alloy nipps on this set of wheels..makes no sense to me.

    << The commenter indicated that I would have stronger wheels if I used butted spokes

    i would agrere but the wheels you mentioned aren't weak. They would be the strongest with DB spokes
    and brass nipps.

    << I weigh 200 to 210 pounds (varies) and carry up to 50 pounds of cargo.

    And why alloy nipps??

    << but no other spoke problems. Can someone please let me know what I am doing wrong? I thought I
    was doing pretty good.

    Nothi-the buiold is more important than the components you menstioned. But why alloy nipps on a
    touring wheelset??

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  3. David Ornee

    David Ornee Guest

    "Steve Sloan" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In a recent post on another subject, I read a comment indicating the
    formula
    > I have followed in recent years for specifying wheels for myself may be flawed. The commenter is
    > somebody whom I respect greatly. This is the formula I have been following over the last five
    > years and about 25,000 riding miles:
    >
    > 36 hole MA2 (or stronger rims) with 14 straight gauge spokes, with alloy nipples and Ultegra hubs.
    >
    > The commenter indicated that I would have stronger wheels if I used butted spokes and that I
    > shouldn't use "cheap spokes." In five years and 25,000 miles of riding I have had one busted
    > spoke. I weigh 200 to 210 pounds (varies) and carry up to 50 pounds of cargo.
    >
    > I chose straight gauge over butted on the theory that at my weight spoke weight as a percentage of
    > the total package was insignificant, and that straight gauge spokes would be as strong at the ends
    > as butted spokes and would be stronger in the middles. It was hoped this might improve lateral
    > strength of the wheel. Cost was never part of the equation.
    >
    > The broken spoke was on a front wheel. I have had bent rims from hitting nasty potholes, but no
    > other spoke problems. Can someone please let me
    know
    > what I am doing wrong? I thought I was doing pretty good.
    >
    > Thanks:
    >
    > Steve Sloan [email protected]
    >
    Steve,

    I think your choice of rim and hub are very reasonable. Straight 14 g spokes will give you the
    lateral stiffness you are looking for. See more about wheel stiffness at URL:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm I can't argue with your results, but brass
    nipples are both stronger and more durable. However, you can gain more durability (not strength)
    with double butted spokes. From the FAQ section of the DT Swiss spoke website, quoting the author of
    the book "The Art of Wheel Building", Gerd Schraner from URL:
    http://www.dtswiss.com/en/laufradbau.html "Why are some spokes, especially those on expensive bikes,
    thinner in the middle section?

    The use of these "reduced" spokes allow longer-life wheels to be built. Spokes with a thinner
    mid-section aren't just lighter and more aerodynamic but, more importantly, are much more elastic
    than normal straight-edged spokes. When placed under extreme overloads, they react in a similar way
    to resiliant bolts used in the machine industry.

    If a wheel undergoes rapid radial forces, for example a bump, the spokes spring as they take up the
    overload, thus protecting the hub.

    Why do spokes break?

    The source can always be traced back to an irregularity in the wheel spider.

    Reason #1 Play between the hub and the spokes. Every time the wheel rotates, every spoke is loaded
    and discharged once.

    For example, a wheel ridden over 2,000 km experiences one million on-off load changes.

    If the spoke has the tiniest amount of play in the hub flange, then a broken spoke is a mishap
    waiting to happen. The spokes are forever jumping to and fro in the flange. The spoke elbow is put
    under huge stresses, the material changes and becomes brittle. The spoke just gives up and breaks at
    the spoke elbow.

    Solution Use washers beneath the spoke head of any spoke which has any play at all.

    Reason #2 Insufficient spoke pre-tension.

    Loose spokes cause a wheel to become unbalanced. The lower the pre-tension, the more the elastic
    spokes have to bend. They move around in the spoke holes at the flange and we have the same
    unfortunate result of movement between the hub and the spoke.

    Solution A high, optimised spoke pre-tension makes a wheel more balanced because the wheel spider
    then moves very little. The higher the spoke pre-tension, the more effectively wheel overloads are
    distributed amongst the spokes."

    You should also read Jobst Brandt's book "the Bicycle Wheel" on this subject.

    David Ornee, Western Springs, IL
     
  4. As that thread about butted spokes vs straight gauge went on and on I decided that I could
    understand and accept the explanation of why butted spokes would make for a stronger wheel. However,
    that information isn't too useful without an indication of MAGNITUDE. Would butted spokes make a
    wheel a great deal stronger, enough that perhaps I should take my newest (and unridden) wheels back
    and have the straight 14 gauge spokes replaced with butted ones? Or just somewhat stronger, or
    perhaps only a tiny bit stronger?

    This same issue of magnitude is important for lots of things discussed in this group. Something or
    other may be true but one must have some indicatiopn of magnitude to know whether it really matters.

    Bob Taylor
     
  5. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Steve Sloan writes:

    > In a recent post on another subject, I read a comment indicating the formula I have followed in
    > recent years for specifying wheels for myself may be flawed. The commenter is somebody whom I
    > respect greatly. This is the formula I have been following over the last five years and about
    > 25,000 riding miles:

    > 36 hole MA2 (or stronger rims) with 14 straight gauge spokes, with alloy nipples and Ultegra hubs.

    That your wheels work is not necessarily related to your choice of components but rather how well
    the wheels were built or possibly your use of them. When you chose straight gauge spokes, what made
    you believe that these were more durable than the same spoke with its mid section reduced in
    diameter? When you say "alloy nipples" I assume you mean aluminum ones since all common spoke
    nipples are made of alloys (brass is an alloy).

    > The commenter indicated that I would have stronger wheels if I used butted spokes and that I
    > shouldn't use "cheap spokes." In five years and 25,000 miles of riding I have had one busted
    > spoke. I weigh 200 to 210 pounds (varies) and carry up to 50 pounds of cargo.

    He may have chosen the wrong word inadvertently, the more accurate term being a more durable wheel.
    Wheel strength is determined by spoke tension and that is limited by rim strength. Durability is how
    long it will perform without rim cracking and spoke failure, not how strong the wheel is in bearing
    great loads. Aluminum nipples are generally operating closer to their failure stress than brass ones
    and we see contributors to this newsgroups reporting their failure often, even though testimonials
    such as yours are also presented.

    > I chose straight gauge over butted on the theory that at my weight spoke weight as a percentage of
    > the total package was insignificant, and that straight gauge spokes would be as strong at the ends
    > as butted spokes and would be stronger in the middles. It was hoped this might improve lateral
    > strength of the wheel. Cost was never part of the equation.

    Yes, but why do you believe they do anything a swaged spoke of the same end dimensions would not do
    better? Spoke elasticities in tension play into the amount of load distribution among adjacent
    spokes, although these minute deflections are not perceptible to the observer. The effect of load
    distribution is overlooked by most people in assessing probable wheel durability.

    > The broken spoke was on a front wheel. I have had bent rims from hitting nasty potholes, but no
    > other spoke problems. Can someone please let me know what I am doing wrong? I thought I was doing
    > pretty good.

    Once you have a bent rim, especially from the cause you mention, spoke tension is no longer uniform,
    nor is stress and load bearing. When a wheel has visible misalignment that cannot be readily
    retrued, it is on its way to failure and the trash heap... that is, the rim is, the spokes are
    nearly always worth keeping, even if you had one failure. In your case, I would dump the spokes
    anyway and switch to swaged spokes.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  6. Robert Taylor wrote:

    > As that thread about butted spokes vs straight gauge went on and on I decided that I could
    > understand and accept the explanation of why butted spokes would make for a stronger wheel.
    > However, that information isn't too useful without an indication of MAGNITUDE. Would butted spokes
    > make a wheel a great deal stronger, enough that perhaps I should take my newest (and unridden)
    > wheels back and have the straight 14 gauge spokes replaced with butted ones?

    No, this would be silly, it's not that big a deal.

    However, in fairness, I must admit that when I was a teenager I first became aware of the existence
    of butted spokes. I was charmed by the idea, which at the time I associated strictly with weight
    savings. As a result I did buy a set of butted spokes and rebuild the rear wheel of my Elswick
    Lincoln Imp. This was the first wheel I ever built! I had no source for any instructions on how to
    do it, but it came out just fine, lasted at least until the bike was stolen a few years later.

    > Or just somewhat stronger, or perhaps only a tiny bit stronger?

    Stronger isn't actually the issue, it's more durable. Also, the main issue isn't the durability of
    the spokes, but rather the durability of the rim. Rims built up with heavy straight-gauge spokes are
    very much more liable to suffer fractures around the spoke holes. That's why I stopped using such
    spokes, even though they are cheaper and easier to build with.

    > This same issue of magnitude is important for lots of things discussed in this group. Something or
    > other may be true but one must have some indicatiopn of magnitude to know whether it really
    > matters.

    It matters enough to choose double-bubble when building a new wheel, but not enough to take a
    perfectly good wheel apart and rebuild it (unless you're a silly teenager.)

    Sheldon "But, But..." Brown +-----------------------------------------+
    | If a fool would persist in his folly, | he would become wise. | --William Blake |
    +-----------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  7. Alexey Merz

    Alexey Merz Guest

    [email protected] wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    [...]
    > Yes, but why do you believe they do anything a swaged spoke of the same end dimensions would not
    > do better? Spoke elasticities in tension play into the amount of load distribution among adjacent
    > spokes, although these minute deflections are not perceptible to the observer. The effect of load
    > distribution is overlooked by most people in assessing probable wheel durability.

    Jobst's comment on load distribution raises a point that I don't yet understand. If I recall
    correctly, most posters here take the view that tying and soldering of spoke intersections does not
    usefully increase durability. And yet, at the DT website linked in a previous post to this thread, I
    find the following:

    ---------
    "Is tying and soldering really worth the effort?

    Yes, it certainly is. It improves the quality of the wheel. It extends its life expectancy without
    influencing the spoke pre-tension. It helps to balance the wheel spider, because the spokes and the
    rim should form as much of a single unit as possible. And in addition, when the wheel hits a bump,
    the immediate spokes taking up the load are relieved by their neighbors which are soldered to it."

    http://www.dtswiss.com/en/laufradbau-faq.html
    ---------

    And so I ask: what (if anything) is wrong with this argument?

    Alex Merz
     
  8. Wayne T

    Wayne T Guest

    "Robert Taylor" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > As that thread about butted spokes vs straight gauge went on and on I decided that I could
    > understand and accept the explanation of why butted spokes would make for a stronger wheel.
    > However, that information isn't too useful without an indication of MAGNITUDE. Would butted spokes
    > make a wheel a great deal stronger, enough that perhaps I should take my newest (and unridden)
    > wheels back and have the straight 14 gauge spokes replaced with butted ones? Or just somewhat
    > stronger, or perhaps only a tiny bit stronger?

    Most people in my club tour on 14 guage DT spokes and have experience not problems with spoke
    breakage. And I don't believe that they are all that much lighter. So, to go to the expense of
    having your wheels rebuilt, seems, imho, not worth the money.
    >
    > This same issue of magnitude is important for lots of things discussed in this group. Something or
    > other may be true but one must have some indicatiopn of magnitude to know whether it really
    > matters.
    >
    > Bob Taylor
     
  9. Wayne T

    Wayne T Guest

    "Sheldon Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Stronger isn't actually the issue, it's more durable.

    Curious. Which would hold up better in a crash, straight 14 guage or double butted 14/15?
     
  10. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    Sheldon Brown <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Robert Taylor wrote:

    >> This same issue of magnitude is important for lots of things discussed in this group. Something
    >> or other may be true but one must have some indicatiopn of magnitude to know whether it really
    >> matters.
    >
    >It matters enough to choose double-bubble when building a new wheel<snip>

    I always used linseed oil as "spoke prep" - does kiddy bath soap really work well? ;-)

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  11. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Alexey Merz writes:

    >> Yes, but why do you believe they do anything a swaged spoke of the same end dimensions would not
    >> do better? Spoke elasticities in tension play into the amount of load distribution among adjacent
    >> spokes, although these minute deflections are not perceptible to the observer. The effect of load
    >> distribution is overlooked by most people in assessing probable wheel durability.

    > Jobst's comment on load distribution raises a point that I don't yet understand. If I recall
    > correctly, most posters here take the view that tying and soldering of spoke intersections does
    > not usefully increase durability. And yet, at the DT website linked in a previous post to this
    > thread, I find the following:

    > ---------
    > "Is tying and soldering really worth the effort?

    > Yes, it certainly is. It improves the quality of the wheel. It extends its life expectancy
    > without influencing the spoke pre-tension. It helps to balance the wheel spider, because the
    > spokes and the rim should form as much of a single unit as possible. And in addition, when the
    > wheel hits a bump, the immediate spokes taking up the load are relieved by their neighbors which
    > are soldered to it."

    > http://www.dtswiss.com/en/laufradbau-faq.html
    > ---------

    > And so I ask: what (if anything) is wrong with this argument?

    I see it as repetition of an unfounded myth rather an argument. I see no explanation of why this
    should have the effects claimed. That this story is still retold is sad considering that "the
    Bicycle Wheel" has been in print for more than 20 years in English and German, and the German
    edition was distributed by DT. This is much like bicycle shops in the USA that sell the book but do
    not read it themselves, being sure they already knowing all there is to know about wheels.

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8c.5.html

    Historically, James Starley invented cross laced spoking for the high wheelers of the days before
    chain drive because the long crude spokes of these wheels nearly always caused a header when one
    broke. Starley crossed the spokes so he could tie them together with twine to prevent crashes.
    Shortly thereafter, he built his first chain driven "safety" bicycle, the Rover in 1884, where spoke
    failures no longer caused a crash.

    The tying of spoke intersections continued just the same, and with some small justification
    considering that a broken spoke can still get tangled although unlikely if spokes are interleaved.
    Wheel builders charged money for this feature and were smart enough to make it look neater while
    attributing benefits to it that went unquestioned.

    When "the Bicycle Wheel" first hit the book shelves it was the enemy of many wheel builders, both
    because it defrocked myth and lore, and it explained why spokes fail and what to do about it, two
    things that were not previously understood by most in the business. Today much of that is considered
    old hat and "we always knew that" but it wasn't so.

    Your question reminds me of the olden days.

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

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Wayne T Dunlap writes:

    >> Stronger isn't actually the issue, it's more durable.

    > Curious. Which would hold up better in a crash, straight 14 gauge or double butted 14/15?

    Why do you pick "a crash" in which I assume you mean a wheel destruction. Unless a spoke becomes
    kinked in the incident, all spokes should be reused if the rider rebuilds the wheel himself. Used
    spokes have a lesser tendency to break than new ones because those with insufficient stress relief
    will have already broken, assuming the wheel has a few thousand miles on it.

    What is it you visualize when you say crash? My spokes have far more than beyond 200,000 miles
    on them, getting reused with new rims now and then. They have survived crashes that ruined the
    rims as well. I have two sets of wheels, the other is a backup and has a bit fewer miles but
    otherwise the same.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  13. Wayne T

    Wayne T Guest

    What I'm thinking of when I say crash is the wheel gets bent up and most spokes survive so that you
    can reasonably true wheel till you get home and have wheel rebuilt.
    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Wayne T Dunlap writes:
    >
    > >> Stronger isn't actually the issue, it's more durable.
    >
    > > Curious. Which would hold up better in a crash, straight 14 gauge or double butted 14/15?
    >
    > Why do you pick "a crash" in which I assume you mean a wheel destruction. Unless a spoke becomes
    > kinked in the incident, all spokes should be reused if the rider rebuilds the wheel himself. Used
    > spokes have a lesser tendency to break than new ones because those with insufficient stress relief
    > will have already broken, assuming the wheel has a few thousand miles on it.
    >
    > What is it you visualize when you say crash? My spokes have far more than beyond 200,000 miles on
    > them, getting reused with new rims now and then. They have survived crashes that ruined the rims
    > as well. I have two sets of wheels, the other is a backup and has a bit fewer miles but otherwise
    > the same.
    >
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  14. ritaylor-<< However, that information isn't too useful without an indication of MAGNITUDE.

    << Would butted spokes make a wheel a great deal stronger, enough that perhaps I should take my
    newest (and unridden) wheels back and have the straight 14 gauge spokes replaced with butted ones?
    Or just somewhat stronger, or perhaps only a tiny bit stronger?

    This is like saying that 120mm 5 speed wheels are a lot stronger than a 130mm 10s wheel....but
    failing to mention that the 130mm wheel is still strong.

    The build is much more important than DB or straight spokes-..

    keep the spokes ya have-go ride-

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  15. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Wayne T Dunlap writes:

    >>>> Stronger isn't actually the issue, it's more durable.

    >>> Curious. Which would hold up better in a crash, straight 14 gauge or double butted 14/15?

    >> Why do you pick "a crash" in which I assume you mean a wheel destruction. Unless a spoke becomes
    >> kinked in the incident, all spokes should be reused if the rider rebuilds the wheel himself. Used
    >> spokes have a lesser tendency to break than new ones because those with insufficient stress
    >> relief will have already broken, assuming the wheel has a few thousand miles on it.

    >> What is it you visualize when you say crash? My spokes have far more than beyond 200,000 miles on
    >> them, getting reused with new rims now and then. They have survived crashes that ruined the rims
    >> as well. I have two sets of wheels, the other is a backup and has a bit fewer miles but otherwise
    >> the same.

    > What I'm thinking of when I say crash is the wheel gets bent up and most spokes survive so that
    > you can reasonably true wheel till you get home and have wheel rebuilt.

    As I said, as long as spokes don't receive a kink in this process, they are reusable. A distorted
    rim can be bent back into shape but this is not generally done the way people imagine, if the wheel
    has completely slack spokes. Trying to bend a rim without first loosening all spokes (even loose
    ones) about two turns is trying to yield the rim while tensioning the wheel. This causes further
    damage that is often not correctable by tension adjustment. If it is only a slight wow, the usual
    bending methods can be used without loosening spokes, followed by judicious spoke adjustments.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  16. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Fri, 28 Feb 2003 04:24:15 GMT, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Sheldon Brown <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Robert Taylor wrote:
    >
    >>> This same issue of magnitude is important for lots of things discussed in this group. Something
    >>> or other may be true but one must have some indicatiopn of magnitude to know whether it really
    >>> matters.
    >>
    >>It matters enough to choose double-bubble when building a new wheel<snip>
    >
    >I always used linseed oil as "spoke prep" - does kiddy bath soap really work well? ;-)

    Of course not, Sheldon was clearly referring to bubble gum. See:

    http://www.dubblebubble.com/

    Bubble gum sets up more firmly than linseed oil, and kiddy bath soap for that matter.

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  17. Steve Sloan

    Steve Sloan Guest

    Wow, I have learned a lot about spokes and nipples through this exchange. My old formula worked so I
    didn't change it. I am not an expert in the mechanics of wheel building that some of the posters to
    this list are, and I really appreciate their/your input.

    Because of my work and the time I spend in community volunteer groups, wheel building is not
    something I've studied or done. I think it was a fellow at Wheelsmith's (sadly, now gone) who got me
    using alloy nipples.

    My wheels are now built by a fellow who is about 80 and is the father of the owner of a local bike
    shop owner (George Slough of Slough's in San Jose,
    CA.) He loves building wheels, does a great job and his son set him up with a wheel building stand
    so he can build wheels while he watches TV. He is in no hurry when he builds wheels. I have had
    such good luck with his wheels, and liked knowing it made such a nice guy happy, I never saw a
    reason to change. Unfortunately he just recently broke his hip.

    Dale Saso recently built a set of wheels for me and he talked me into letting him use double butted
    spokes on one wheel (a front.)

    So, if I go with 36 spoke rims, Mavic MA2's (I have a pile of those rims, I use T520's for my
    commuter) 14/15 Double Butted spokes, brass nipples I guess I expect to go 50K miles between broken
    spokes rather than the 25K miles I experienced with my previous setup?

    This will be my new formula!

    Thanks for the input, I will also buy the book!

    --Steve

    [email protected] http://homepage.mac.com/s_sloan/
     
  18. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Peter Chisholm writes:

    >>> Is tying and soldering really worth the effort?

    >> Yes, it certainly is. It improves the quality of the wheel. It extends its life expectancy
    >> without influencing the spoke pre-tension.

    >>> And so I ask: what (if anything) is wrong with this argument?

    > Nope, When using aluminum rims and then the wheel is ridden, the aluminum rim WILL become deformed
    > somehow. When it does, it changes the tension, has to. By tying and soldering, it helps to reduce
    > spoke at the flange movement of a too loose spoke(due to the deformed rim), particularly on left
    > side rear, making a broken spoke there much less likely.

    I think you would be more credible if you showed some evidence for this contention and explain what
    happens if the same wheel is used without this treatment. Repeating this claim may let it live a
    while longer but it does not hold up to any analysis. How do you explain that wheels that are not
    tied and soldered (most wheels) survive all manner of loading without problems? I am curious about
    what you think of measurements made on the same wheels before and after tying and soldering that
    show no measurable change in rigidity to side loads and rear wheel torque.

    > Of course Jobst will slam me for this, but, so what else is new???

    That is not a good defense of your hypothesis and it does not deter me from presenting the facts as
    they were measured. I'm not sure what you mean by "slam."

    > I choose to believe Gerd on this... who has built more wheels than Jobst and me put together...

    I know a man who has poured more cubic yards of concrete into prestressed concrete structures than
    you and I, but he does not understand the stresses in these structures. From what you say, I detect
    an anti-intellectual tone, a complaint that was broadly heard when "the Bicycle Wheel" came off the
    press, especially the one of: "Hey! Who's built more wheels, me or this guy from the ivory tower?"

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

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Steve Sloan writes:

    > Dale Saso recently built a set of wheels for me and he talked me into letting him use double
    > butted spokes on one wheel (a front.)

    > So, if I go with 36 spoke rims, Mavic MA2's (I have a pile of those rims, I use T520's for my
    > commuter) 14/15 Double Butted spokes, brass nipples I guess I expect to go 50K miles between
    > broken spokes rather than the 25K miles I experienced with my previous setup?

    Well I wouldn't jump on that so fast. Broken spokes are not caused by loading as the 14 and 16-spoke
    wheels have shown (they use 2mm diameter spokes). It is cyclic loading of a spoke that has residual
    stress from manufacture (as they all do) and from lacing into a wheel that involves bending.

    I'm no lightweight and have used 1.6-1.8mm diameter spokes exclusively for my wheels for as long as
    I have ridden a good bicycle. It was experience of many years through which I realized that spoke
    stress relieving is the most important aspect of wheel building. As I have often related, I ride on
    hubs and spokes that have been together for far more than 200,000miles over many years. Spokes are
    so far below their yield stress from loading that they should never fail. Therefore, there are other
    stresses and these must be eliminated.

    > This will be my new formula!

    Build your own wheels. It's much like patching your own tires. It isn't a mystery. It only looks
    that way because there are "so many" pieces.

    > Thanks for the input, I will also buy the book!

    I think it will help explain what is occurring in your wheels.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  20. Alexey Merz

    Alexey Merz Guest

    [email protected] wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Alexey Merz writes:
    >
    [snip]
    > > increase durability. And yet, at the DT website linked in a previous post to this thread, I find
    > > the following:
    >
    > > ---------
    > > "Is tying and soldering really worth the effort?
    >
    > > Yes, it certainly is. It improves the quality of the wheel. It extends its life expectancy
    > > without influencing the spoke pre-tension. It helps to balance the wheel spider, because the
    > > spokes and the rim should form as much of a single unit as possible. And in addition, when the
    > > wheel hits a bump, the immediate spokes taking up the load are relieved by their neighbors which
    > > are soldered to it."
    >
    > > http://www.dtswiss.com/en/laufradbau-faq.html
    > > ---------
    >
    > > And so I ask: what (if anything) is wrong with this argument?
    >
    > I see it as repetition of an unfounded myth rather an argument. I see no explanation of why this
    > should have the effects claimed.

    [snip]

    Jobst:

    Thanks for your reply.

    I don't have any stake in the outcome of this argument. I don't weigh a lot (135-140 lb) and I don't
    destroy wheels (not even when I was a bike messenger in Portland, OR, with LOTS of curb jumping
    etc). My current wheels are not tied and they stay true, even though the ones on my mountain bike
    are underbuilt by the standards espoused here (Phil hubs, 28 DT Revolution spokes/wheel, 3X, DT
    alloy nipples, very light double eyelet rims).

    > When "the Bicycle Wheel" first hit the book shelves it was the enemy of many wheel builders, both
    > because it defrocked myth and lore, and it explained why spokes fail and what to do about it, two
    > things that were not previously understood by most in the business. Today much of that is
    > considered old hat and "we always knew that" but it wasn't so.

    > Your question reminds me of the olden days.

    I was surprised to see the endoresement of tying and soldering on the DT website, given what I've
    seen here over the years. I had assumed that they of all manufactureres would understand the
    properties of spokes and wheels. Is it possible that DT have information (e.g., on wheel/spoke
    failure rates) that you do not?

    In other words, are you saying that DT's web materials simply are not vetted by engineers, or are
    you saying that their engineers don't agree with you?

    -Alexey
     
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