Blog: FAQ

25 Jun 2018

Spoke shortening


If you bought spokes here but need shorter ones, I can help depending on the situation. I can cut them shorter and roll new threads so you end up with the length(s) you need. Maybe you realize your hub/rim dimensions were wrong, calculated incorrectly, abandon a project and start another, etc. The catch is you need to identify the issue before using them. Once spokes have been laced into the wheel, even without tension, the spoke cutting machine is liable to reject them. Send me an email with the details and we’ll go from there. I do this a few times a year but it’s not meant to be a secret handshake kind of thing.

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.

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.

09 Nov 2017

Updated deflections


From time to time tensiometer manufacturers update their conversion charts. While changing charts may seem counterintuitive, there can be good reasons to do it.

This week Wheel Fanatyk released a new chart for 2015+ tensiometers and my spoke tension visualizer has been updated in tandem. Download a copy of the latest chart from their official location. (Wheel Fanatyk is the authoritative source but I’ve mirrored the current charts as well: for original model and 2015+ model tools.) This update also includes support for 1.65mm spokes, specifically for Sapim D-Light. D-Light is supported with Wheel Fanatyk 2015+ and Park Tool TM-1 tensiometers.

As of today the conversions in my spoke tension visualizer should be up to date with current manufacturer data for all tensiometers. If you see a discrepancy, please holler.

04 Aug 2017

Which Wheel Fanatyk


As mentioned before my spoke tension visualizer has two choices for the Wheel Fanatyk tensiometer. Now there’s a new model with an IPIC digital gauge. To clarify configuration I’ve done some renaming in the setup menu. One option is named Wheel Fanatyk Original and covers a single model as seen in the first basket. The other option is named Wheel Fanatyk 2015+, covering Mitutoyo and IPIC models as seen in the second basket.

Also note the conversion data for 2015+ tensiometers has been updated. If you notice a discrepancy with 1.5mm spokes, that’s the source. Ric revised the conversion table and his latest numbers are live in my utility. Contact Wheel Fanatyk for a PDF chart of the revised data. Superseded.