30 May 2018

Using beefy spokes


The typical spoke decision is between straight gauge and some double-butted model. For conditions outside the bell curve, there are two specialty models.

Sapim Force is a triple-butted spoke with a 2.18/1.8/2.0mm profile. They are similar to Sapim Race with a little more meat on the vulnerable elbow section. There is a cost penalty but weight and stiffness are about the same. Fatigue life is better — if you’ve been burned by broken elbows, Force might be the ticket. I often use Force on touring and bikepacking wheels to work with 32 spoke wheels when 36 might be more conventional (opening up more choices for hubs and rims).

Sapim Strong is a single-butted spoke with a 2.3/2.0mm profile. These are the biggest bicycle spokes I sell and I stop at this gauge because it’s the biggest spoke that works with regular nipples. Strong shares the massive stiffness of Sapim Leader but has a serious amount of extra material on the elbow. People use Strong for e-bikes, cargo bikes and the heaviest touring applications. For regular day-to-day use they’re overkill though I’ve used them for riders >400 pounds.

29 Apr 2018

Hope is a strategy


Hope hubs don’t have the tightest geometry or the lowest weight, but they’re solid kit for the money. I don’t sell them but they’re easy to find and I don’t mind building yours. Here are a couple of Hope wheelsets built this month — you might see them on the road in different parts of Alberta.

15 Mar 2018

Tutorial video


Check out this Gerd Schraner wheelbuilding tutorial I found on YouTube:

13 Feb 2018

New nipple washer


There’s a new nipple washer available from Sapim — the Sapim MS washer has a generic V-shape profile compatible with all nipples (compare to Polyax washers with a Polyax-shaped cup). It has a thick, flat bottom for superior weight distribution however needs a flat resting spot 7.7mm in diameter. Where applicable, these stainless washers will impart a lot of strength.

Not much information is searchable for Sapim MS washers so I’m posting the product sheet to give you information from the source. Note carefully: my measurements put the diameter at 7.7mm compared to the nominal 7.4mm. Get MS washers and three other types of nipple washer here.