Blog: June, 2013

17 Jun 2013

Spoke tension utility update

Webmaster

This week I made a small change to my spoke tension utility just for Wheel Fanatyk users.

The scoop is you can enter deflection values in different units and the software will figure out what you mean. For example, you can enter the value 0.31 as zero-point-three-one or point-three-one or as three-one. Whether the units are millimetres or tenths or hundredths is now inferred and normalized for you. This is a time saver if your decimal key is far from the number row and, like me, you are without a numeric keypad. It’s especially helpful if you’re entering data with one hand while holding the tensiometer in the other. Existing functionality is not affected so the change can’t hurt.

This is small update but saving a keystroke or two on every entry adds up to a cumulative savings. I hope wheelbuilders, who understand a lot of tiny operations add up to something remarkable, will appreciate the change. Making things better and continuous improvement are always on my mind. If you have any comments to share, please send me a message. I know there are users as far away as America, Brazil, Britain and Japan. Your feedback influences future enhancements!

For a long time it seemed standard 19mm rims were the only option for road wheels. That’s changed a lot in the last few years. Now we’re seeing very good rims 23mm and wider.

To some extent wide rims are a product of racing technology. A wider rim increases the roundness of the tire profile compared to the lightbulb shape on a narrower rim. When tire width closely matches rim width there is an aerodynamic advantage — aerodynamics are key for pro racers.

In many cases race-oriented technologies don’t translate to the recreational market but wide rims offer benefits everyone can appreciate. You are less likely to experience pinch flats with wider rims; the larger air volume allows for lower pressures, which can increase comfort; cornering is improved since tires experience less flop in response to lateral forces; and wide rims are typically stronger with better durability. There are downsides to consider too. You may require brake adjustment when switching between wide and narrow rims; and brake modulation may suffer.

Two excellent wide rims I have in stock at the moment are the H Plus Son Archetype and the Pacenti SL23. The choice is a matter of taste and specific application. Get in touch to see which rim is best for you. Here are some photos of a recent build using the Pacenti rim laced to White Industries hubs for singlespeed use. These are comfortable wheels that handle well and look terrific.

04 Jun 2013

Spokes in stock and on tap

Webmaster

My spoke inventory has been refreshed and most sizes are back in stock! I keep DT Swiss Competition and Revolution butted spokes on hand in both silver and black. I also keep a small stock of straight gauge spokes from DT, Sapim and Wheelsmith but these are strictly for repairs. As usual aero spokes and the gamut of colored spokes and nipples are available by special order.

Deciding what sizes to stock involves tough compromises for the precision-minded. It feels really expensive to keep 1mm increments on hand when that kind of error is tolerable (and industry standard). For that matter many spoke types are only produced in 2mm increments.

To mitigate this issue I’ve installed a Morizumi spoke cutting tool in my workshop. This is a precision machine, made in Japan, and a beauty to behold. It cuts and rolls spoke threads using the exact processes found in spoke manufacturing. It carries a substantial pricetag but seems worth it for the ability to deliver spoke lengths on demand and dial precision ever tighter.