19 Jul 2022

For Islandix users


I know some Islandix users also use the Spoke Tension Utility hosted here because it suits their older Wheel Fanatyk tensiometers. In release 1.2.0 of Islandix Wheel Analytics, it’s bundled onboard. This means you can make tension graphs even if your internet is down or if the SpokeService site is undergoing maintenance. Beta test by adding /spokeservice to your WA tool address, for example http://truingstand.local/spokeservice (make a bookmark for now).

The onboard edition fixes a couple bugs relative to the version offered here. It strips out many aspects of the SpokeService web site and strips the banner advertising on PDF artefacts. Overall a slightly sleeker, more business-oriented tool. Give it a try and share your feedback.

31 Dec 2021

RIP SpokeService


SpokeService is now closed. Doing this work has been a pleasure so the single most important part of this post is to express my thanks to customers and colleagues of the last 10 years.

The primary reason for closing is component availability. In this part of the world it hasn’t been possible to source a sufficient selection of parts to offer truly bespoke wheels. Instead of sitting idle I’m pivoting to work fulltime on my other business, Islandix Instruments. At Islandix I design, manufacture and sell wheelbuilding tools. I’m really into it and hope you’ll check it out!

Answers to frequently asked questions

  1. Sourcing parts is tricky and I don’t have a list of recommendations. Expand your search to dealers outside your discipline, for example find mountain bike spokes at a road-specific shop.
  2. There are no plans to delete the SpokeService site apart from the commerce-specific pages. Following the example of Sheldon Brown, I’ll keep the blog and popular Spoke Tension Visualizer online. (If you’re into visualization, stop now and check out Islandix.)
  3. If COVID subsides and the bicycle supply chain normalizes, SpokeService might reboot. There’s no hope this will happen in 2022 so the subject won’t be revisited until 2023.

Stay healthy!

15 Apr 2021

Truing at the joint


If you true bicycle wheels using dial or digital indicators, you’ll know the joint area can be problematic on some rims. A little twist or bump can wreak havoc, sending your instrument to the moon if only for a moment. It’s possible to work around this problem.

Normally truing is oriented from the valve hole. Start at the valve hole and continue around the wheel until returning to the valve hole again. There’s nothing special about the valve other than being a signpost to indicate you’ve covered the whole wheel. Instead start at the joint. Begin scanning immediately after the joint and continue around the wheel until returning to the point immediately before the joint. This factors out hyperlocal distortion at the seam. If you need to make the joint more conspicious, apply a little piece of masking tape to establish your own signpost.

28 Mar 2021

Back in the saddle


We were able to navigate the supply drought, which resulted in this wheelset. Beautiful DT Swiss RR511 rims paired with Hope hubs. The rims impart a lot of stiffness due to their V-shaped profile and durability is maximised by using Sapim Force spokes.

30 Nov 2020

A bit less black


Here’s few shots of sweet wheelset built earlier this month. This theme of black hubs, black rims, silver spokes and silver nipples is a new trend. Historically I haven’t see a lot of it but lately it’s more popular.