Blog: Software Utilities

30 Jan 2018

More things weighed

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Up in the utilities menu I have a little tool to compute spoke weight. Today I made a couple tweaks.

First I got a better scale in the shop, which helps because this tool is based on real world weights. At the same time I changed the sample weight from 300mm to 310mm spokes. The original idea was to depart from the norm of specifying weight based on short spokes. But since I sell spokes longer than 300mm, why not choose samples of the longest length? Job done.

Second I added all varieties of nipples sold here to the measurement tool. This update includes brass and aluminum nipples in all varieties. Still to come are spoke washers and nipple washers though they weigh next to nothing and are worth it when they’re needed.

09 Nov 2017

Updated deflections

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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

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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.

16 Dec 2016

Use the Sapim Force

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I added Sapim Force spokes to the spoke weight calculator.

Sapim Force spokes are triple-butted 2.2/1.8/2.0mm. This is very similar to Sapim Race (identical stiffness) but with more material on the vulnerable elbow section. I like Force for touring, heavier riders, and to reduce risk of elbow breakage. As we can see the weight penalty is very small.

25 Jun 2016

Zeroing the tensio

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In a previous blog I demonstrated the spoke tension utility available on this site. It works with the Wheel Fanatyk digital tensiometer and data cable.

When you place the tensiometer on a spoke, it’s ideal if the tool reads zero but sometimes that doesn’t happen because of the spoke itself — they’re not perfectly round. If you don’t zero the tensiometer, you introduce error into your readings. Zeroing the tensiometer is easy but you experience a delay while it resets and it requires the use of both hands. In short it takes a bit more time.

With the introduction of the data cable I had the idea of skipping that step by doing the zeroing in post-processing instead. How does it work? Suppose you place the tensiometer on a spoke and it reads 0.01. Instead of zeroing the tensiometer, send that reading to the software by pressing the foot pedal or send button on the data cable. The software understands this to be a baseline reading so it pops up a dialog box with the initial value and prompts for the final reading, which you send in the same manner. Then the net value is calculated, the spoke tension graph is updated and you carry on with the next spoke. At no time do you touch the keyboard or mouse on your computer so the workflow is very smooth. I’ve built several wheels this way and it becomes second nature.

To me this is the coolest thing in wheel tooling in a long time and it’s remarkably inexpensive. In part that’s because I offer the software part for free — not even ad supported — which I’m happy to do to support the wheelbuilding community. If you need spokes, support me by shopping here.