To cope with wet coastal winters I’m building a spirited road bike that takes fenders. These are the wheels I built for myself: White Industries T11 hubs laced to Stan’s Alpha 400 rims; Sapim D-Light spokes on the front and a blend of Sapim Race and Sapim Laser on the rear. 1518 grams total.
These wheels will run tubeless with Schwalbe One tires along with the full stack of Stan’s tape, valves and sealant. The cassette is Dura-Ace 9000 and the skewers are Dura-Ace 7900.
If you have a target weight for your next wheel project or want to compare the weights of different options, spoke weight is one variable to consider. Unfortunately published spoke weights often contradict one another because they’re based on different model spoke lengths. And more often than not these lengths are on the short side, which makes the numbers optimistic.
To get answers I can use, I personally weighed some of the spokes available here. My method was to weigh bundles of 25 spokes in order to reduce the influence of error in my scale. In all cases I used spokes 300mm in length, which is on the long side but helps establish a realistic ceiling.
If you’re like me, the first thing you do after looking up the weight of a spoke is multiply it by the number of spokes needed. As a simplification I’ve captured this information and process in a little spoke weight utility. Just enter the number of spokes of each type and press the calculate button. You can ask for the combined weight of different spoke types, which can be useful for estimating weight when using different spokes left and right or front and rear.
In the near future I’ll factor in nipples and washers for completeness.
I’m often asked what adapter spacers to use when mounting different road cassettes. The answer depends on your freehub and cassette. If you’re a Campagnolo user, the good news is no spacers are required if you’re using 9, 10 or 11 speed cassettes. Shimano is more complicated.
Shimano-compatible freehubs utilize the same design for 9 speed and 10 speed (ignoring the special outlier case of Dura-Ace 7800 hubs). If you want to run 9 speed with such a hub, no spacers are required. If you want to run 10 speed, a single 1mm spacer is installed behind the cassette. This spacer is packaged with 10 speed cassettes.
When using 11 speed Shimano-compatible hubs with 11 speed cassettes, no spacers are required. 11 speed hubs are backwards compatible with 9 speed when a single 1.85mm spacer is installed behind the cassette. To run 10 speed, install the 1.85mm spacer in combination with the 1mm spacer (2.85mm total). The 1.85mm adapter spacer is usually packaged with 11 speed hubs — if you’re missing this spacer and need one for compatibility, email me and I’ll sort you out.
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