01 May 2016

Straight gauge good

Webmaster

There’s straight pull spokes, which are to be avoided, and there’s straight gauge. Not the same.

In my day I’ve criticized straight gauge spokes once or twice. The main problem is they have less fatigue life than butted spokes. Does that really matter? If your rims last forever or you regularly break spokes or tour into the unknown, it might be a concern.

That said there’s a lot to like. Straight gauge spokes, like Sapim Leader, are an economical option and availability is usually better than specialty spokes. They’re the easiest round spoke to build bar none. Straight gauge spokes are stiffer than butted spokes, which can help if your rims are little soft or if you’re building with fewer spokes than might be ideal. A corollary is you can use straight gauge spokes to reduce your spoke count for fashion or aerodynamic reasons.