01 Mar 2016

Nipple length


The DT Swiss spoke length calculator has an option for nipple length. What’s that about?

DT Swiss deals with the issue in a complicated way, which is the reason their calculator asks for nipple length. Standard DT nipples are 12mm long. When you use longer DT nipples, such as 14mm or 16mm, you need to shorten your spokes. This is because DT Swiss adds internal threads as nipples grow — so you need a shorter spoke to avoid bottoming out. As a result it’s best to pretend DT nipples longer than 12mm don’t exist, particularly in the case of aluminum nipples.

If you use the DT Swiss calculator, be aware of how it works. DT offers suggested spoke lengths that are rounded from theoretical spoke lengths. When you specify a nipple in the DT calculator, it rounds using nipple-specific logic to reflect the reality described above. So if you use their calculator, or any calculator that includes nipple selection, take the theoretical spoke length and round to the nearest millimetre yourself. This applies to all lengths of Sapim nipples.

15 Jan 2016

Edit graph titles


The biggest problem I’ve had with spoke tension graphs is mixing them up when I have a handful to manage. To help I pushed an update allowing the page title to be changed — click or tap the title and edit as you wish. Titles are preserved when the graph is rendered for printing so you’re covered if you archive graphs using the print/print-to-file feature of your browser. If the printable reports don’t fit a single sheet of standard paper for your part of the world, please let me know.

Sharing update

Over the holidays I looked into developing a feature to publish graphs directly to Instagram. Unfortunately Instagram is a closed system and its owners ask you to develop features for demonstration prior to approval. Since they can withhold approval arbitrarily, it doesn’t feel worth the effort. Would publication to Facebook or Twitter be useful?

31 Dec 2015

Campagnolo road


Super attractive wheels: White Industries T11 hubs to H Plus Son Archetype rims. With DT Revolution spokes and alloy nipples, total wheelset weight is 1560g — light yet strong.

10 Oct 2015

Wheels for Ryan


To cope with wet coastal winters I’m building a spirited road bike that takes fenders. These are the wheels I built for myself: White Industries T11 hubs laced to Stan’s Alpha 400 rims; Sapim D-Light spokes on the front and a blend of Sapim Race and Sapim Laser> on the rear. 1518 grams total.

These wheels will run tubeless with Schwalbe One tires along with the full stack of Stan’s tape, valves and sealant. The cassette is Dura-Ace 9000 and the skewers are Dura-Ace 7900.

16 Sep 2015

Spoke weight


If you have a target weight for your next wheel project or want to compare the weights of different options, spoke weight is one variable to consider. Unfortunately published spoke weights often contradict one another because they’re based on different model spoke lengths. And more often than not these lengths are on the short side, which makes the numbers optimistic.

To get answers I can use, I personally weighed some of the spokes available here. My method was to weigh bundles of 25 spokes in order to reduce the influence of error in my scale. In all cases I used spokes 300mm in length, which is on the long side but helps establish a realistic ceiling.

If you’re like me, the first thing you do after looking up the weight of a spoke is multiply it by the number of spokes needed. As a simplification I’ve captured this information and process in a little spoke weight utility. Just enter the number of spokes of each type and press the calculate button. You can ask for the combined weight of different spoke types, which can be useful for estimating weight when using different spokes left and right or front and rear.

In the near future I’ll factor in nipples and washers for completeness.