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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:23 am
Posts: 440
How accurate do spoke lengths need to be?

Front calls for 275.6mm spokes
Rear calls for 288.2/284.5mm spokes

I used sheldon brown's calculator and wheelpro.

Thinking about using Sapim Race spokes. What length spokes should I order?


Last edited by bombertodd on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:33 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
+- 1mm is good for brass nipples. You can probably go -3mm if needed.
I prefer to stay within -.5mm/+1mm for aluminium if I can. If the spoke does not support the head it can pop off.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:56 am 
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Thanks Eric. I'm looking at a 28/32 wheelset for everyday bashing. Should I lace the front radial?

Hub will be: http://www.bikehubstore.com/SL85W-p/slf85w.htm


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
Front 274mm rear 288/284mm.

I have yet to find sapim alloy nipples popping off. so long as the tip of the spoke reaches the rim then all will be well.

Front would best done 2x.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
Laser vs CX-ray's. I have used Lasers on MTB builds before well my own ad the results have been mixed. With an appropriately tensioned wheel (1200N DS) using DT Swiss XR350 rims and A2Z hubs I found with Geax tyre the tension drop was too big for the rear wheel to remain true during a race. Swapping the tyres to Continental supersonic X-king solved this problems now the wheels remain true after a bettering in a race and the tension drop is now normal (i.e very small).

So Laser or CX-ray's need a stiffer rim I think especially if you get the tyre choice wrong. Never seen such a big tension drop before after fitting a clincher.

Also I do not believe for XC use there is a significant aero advantage to using CX-rays. Lets face it MTB's are not aero. I have no issue using round spokes and I will likely continue to use Race spokes only in MTB builds after my experience with Laser's.

I also now have 3 spoke tension gauges. A Park Tool TM-1, DT Swiss anologue and a Sapim. They all give significantly different tension measurements for the same spoke. I do not believe that a DT Swiss Revolution spoke has a significantly elastic modulus from a Sapim Laser as the steel used is the same E=193 GPa for this grade.

On a rear wheel DS on what I would condisder appropriate tension with Laser spokes, the Park tool tool gauge shows the lowest tension, the DT Swiss in the middle and the Sapim gauge show the highest tension on their chart. The difference between the DT Swiss and Sapim gauge is around 150-200N. So I am not sure which one to believe any more, the Park show much lower tensions.

So I will stop stating tensions for builds as it the result entirely depends on which gauge I use to measure it not much use really and these are all brand new gauge's. So it is back to feel and use the gauge to assess relative tension rather than absolute tension. Some day I will tension spokes with a know calibrated weight and measure the create my own conversion chart.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Location: Estonia
bm0p700f wrote:
So Laser or CX-ray's need a stiffer rim I think especially if you get the tyre choice wrong. Never seen such a big tension drop before after fitting a clincher.

Also I do not believe for XC use there is a significant aero advantage to using CX-rays. Lets face it MTB's are not aero. I have no issue using round spokes and I will likely continue to use Race spokes only in MTB builds after my experience with Laser's.

I have wheels on my CX bike built with Lasers 32H, 3x + Novatec hubs and no name carbon rims, no probs. And the rim is very stiff. Tyres are non UST, but without tube, just Stans milk.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
bm0p700f wrote:
the Park show much lower tensions.

Interesting! I'd like to see the numbers from the different gauges if that is possible.
Are you using the latest Park conversion chart? Apparently they revised it in the last few years. It's on their web site.
bm0p700f wrote:
Some day I will tension spokes with a know calibrated weight and measure the create my own conversion chart.


Building a tensiometer calibration rig is on my todo list. I've seen pics of one with an electronic scale attached to a spoke, all in a frame that allows variable tension
to be applied to the spoke. I plan to make something like that.

I have not had a Sapim aluminium nipple's head break off either, but it's possible.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Location: Slovenia---that forest land
I have Wheelfanatyk tensiometer for around 6 months and it is perfection tool
And now i get new Parktool (old one has broken spring)

Parktool show higher tension than wheelfanatyk.

calibration tool is a must if you are in wheelbuilding. I will make it from digital scale (300kg)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
I will take some measurement tomorrow from the three gauges on a Velocity A23 build for comparion. Carbon rims Kavitor are normally very stiff so the lack of stiffness in the Laser spokes is not going to be an issue. With a light weight alloy XC rim it is it seems. It was an experiment You have to try these thing and I try all my experiments out on my self. This is one that did not work. Yes with the right rims Lasers will work but I like lightweight rims and I am not sold on carbon XC rims. Damage a rim will be expensive and I have managed to twat rims before when racing.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:04 am 
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Location: Victoria, BC Canada
kavitator wrote:
I have Wheelfanatyk tensiometer for around 6 months and it is perfection tool
And now i get new Parktool (old one has broken spring)

Parktool show higher tension than wheelfanatyk.

... )


I would concur with this. I have an electronic strain gauge jig setup. When I tested all of my tensiometers the last two times, the two Park ones have read consistently higher by up to 10kg. The Wheel Fanatyk has not drifted over 200 wheels and is within 2-3kg of the electronic S-bend strain gauge. The variance depends on type of spoke. My DT Tensio is good for some spoke types and out for others. Rather than "calibrate" them I just create my own charts.

That said my go to tension meter is Rik's Wheel Fanatyk designed by Brandt.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
zed wrote:

That said my go to tension meter is Rik's Wheel Fanatyk designed by Brandt.


Is it more cumbersome to use than the Park since you have to zero it on each spoke?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:15 pm 
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
Wheel build with A23 and Novatec hub. Sapim Race spokes DS. Park reads 22.25 - ~1175N DT Swiss reads 1.88 = 1100N Sapim reads 2.95 = ~1040N. so not such a big gap between the Sapim and DT Swiss gauge so I was wrong and the result tallies with what has been said about the Park reading high. Good to know.

Still given I feel I am at the tension limit (as the velocity rims seem to go a bit wobbly when stress relieving when a certain viable tension is past) of the rim I cannot raise tension further. Velocity do claim the tension limit of there rims is in the 110-130kgf range. I have one at the low end.

My own calibration chart is what I need but I the time to make it first. The gauge is more useful to set relative tension.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:59 am 
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bm0p700f wrote:
Wheel build with A23 and Novatec hub. Sapim Race spokes DS. Park reads 22.25 - ~1175N DT Swiss reads 1.88 = 1100N Sapim reads 2.95 = ~1040N. so not such a big gap between the Sapim and DT Swiss gauge so I was wrong and the result tallies with what has been said about the Park reading high. Good to know.

Still given I feel I am at the tension limit (as the velocity rims seem to go a bit wobbly when stress relieving when a certain viable tension is past) of the rim I cannot raise tension further. Velocity do claim the tension limit of there rims is in the 110-130kgf range. I have one at the low end.

My own calibration chart is what I need but I the time to make it first. The gauge is more useful to set relative tension.


Park's gauge is really not so useful if the user is more interested in actual tension rather than tension balance. I find Park's only has a precison of up to 1/2 gradation when measuring the same spoke repetitively, thus making the absolute tension even less credible. Wheelfanatyk's seems to have the best design among these tension gauges.

Still good to know Park's would show higher readings, since I have a bad tendency to overshoot my target tension by 10~15kgf. :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:12 am 
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Location: Victoria, BC Canada
[quote="bombertodd"]Thanks Eric. I'm looking at a 28/32 wheelset for everyday bashing. Should I lace the front radial?
I wouldn't recommend radial lacing 28h BHS WF85. There's not enough meat on that hub with a 31mm FD. 24h is the max you'd generally consider radial lacing with a few exceptions, high-flange solid track hubs come to mind, but for this hub. No. 2x lacing.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:13 am 
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eric wrote:
zed wrote:

That said my go to tension meter is Rik's Wheel Fanatyk designed by Brandt.


Is it more cumbersome to use than the Park since you have to zero it on each spoke?


Not at all. I do it instinctively, like blinking.

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