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.