Blog: 2021

15 Jul 2021

RIP SpokeService

Webmaster

SpokeService is closing. Doing this work has been a pleasure so the single most important part of this post is to express my thanks to customers and colleagues of the last 10 years!

The reasons aren’t sinister. The timing coincides with my final COVID vaccination and my partner’s retirement. SpokeService works best as an operation with strict daily routines (e.g. ship orders every day) and that’s limiting when family life is otherwise more flexible. Nor is the daily schedule justifiable when sales are frustrated by parts shortages. I acknowledge the privilege of receiving vaccines and that the pandemic isn’t over globally, which is also to say supply chains won’t return to normal before 2022. Last I want to devote more time to my other business, Islandix Instruments, where I design/manufacture/sell wheelbuilding tools. I’m really into it — please check it out!

Answers to frequently asked questions

  1. Sourcing parts is tricky and I don’t have a list of recommendations. Expand your search to dealers outside your discipline, for example find mountain bike spokes at a road-specific shop.
  2. There are no plans to delete the SpokeService site apart from the commerce-specific pages. Following the example of Sheldon Brown, I’ll keep the blog and popular Spoke Tension Visualizer online. (If you grok visualization already, you should especially check out Islandix.)

Stay healthy!

15 Apr 2021

Truing at the joint

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If you true bicycle wheels using dial or digital indicators, you’ll know the joint area can be problematic on some rims. A little twist or bump can wreak havoc, sending your instrument to the moon if only for a moment. It’s possible to work around this problem.

Normally truing is oriented from the valve hole. Start at the valve hole and continue around the wheel until returning to the valve hole again. There’s nothing special about the valve other than being a signpost to indicate you’ve covered the whole wheel. Instead start at the joint. Begin scanning immediately after the joint and continue around the wheel until returning to the point immediately before the joint. This factors out hyperlocal distortion at the seam. If you need to make the joint more conspicious, apply a little piece of masking tape to establish your own signpost.

28 Mar 2021

Back in the saddle

Webmaster

We were able to navigate the supply drought, which resulted in this wheelset. It’s a heater. Beautiful DT Swiss RR511 rims paired with Hope hubs. The rims impart a lot of stiffness due to their V-shaped profile and durability is maximised by using Sapim Force spokes.