Spokes! We custom cut all the spokes that we use. Threading is done by rolling. Rolled threads are used for two reasons. First, since the thread is formed by rollers, not cutters, the resulting metal is stronger. The metal grain structure has been realigned rather than interrupted. Second, a cut thread reduces the average diameter and strength of the wire. Since no metal is removed from a rolled thread, the wire’s strength is less diminished. If the wire’s strength were to change abruptly at the thread, a weak spot would be created.
We sell Wheelsmith 14/15 gauge double butted stainless steel spokes in lengths from 245mm through 310mm. We can also cut in half mm increments. So for example if you want 296.5mm spokes then we can create that for you. If you only need 16 or 20 or 44 we will sell you just the number that you need. No more boxes of 18 sitting around on a shelf gathering dust. Call for dealer pricing. 15/16 gauge is also available. Most orders will ship the same day we receive payment.
We can also have spokes powder coated in one or two colors. If you want particular colors for one or two of your spokes or all of them we are happy to work on that with you to make your wheels all the more distinctive.
Here is why we prefer Wheelsmith spokes over all others.
Spokes must possess exceptional qualities to work optimally. They are exposed to extremely corrosive conditions and severe cycles of loading and unloading—from near breaking tension to zero tension, often many times per second. Even the smallest of surface imperfections can lead to the failure of a spoke. Wheelsmith spokes are made from ultra-grade stainless steel which is progressively drawn and heat treated to produce a fine gauge wire. The drawing process, performed at room temperature, produces tremendous tensile strengths and leaves the wire with a lustrous and extremely smooth finish.
Wheelsmith spokes are “cold headed” with great accuracy, and marked with the distinctive “W”. Elbows are formed over a radiussed mandrel rather than a flat surface as with other popular spokes. This results in a larger bend radius, and preserves the round cross-section of the elbow. Consequently, Wheelsmith spokes require a minimum of bending to conform to a hub, thereby maximizing fatigue life.
Wheelsmith’s double-butted spokes are extremely light. The center sections are forged rather than cut, ground, or drawn to smaller diameter, giving them greater strength and uniformity. The butt transitions are visible and distinctive so you can quickly tell them from the straight gauges.
Wheelsmith nipples are precision forged from high-grade brass or 7000 series aluminum. Their strength is enhanced by forging the spoke wrench flats, keeping them full-width and very uniform. All Wheelsmith aluminum nipples are anodized to guarantee maximum strength and service life.
Wheelsmith nipples have more threads than others. Each Wheelsmith nipple holds a full 8mm of thread, 33% more than our major competitors’ nipples. The extra threads are in the region of the spoke wrench flat, reinforcing the flats and making collapse less likely. This additional threading also benefits wheel assembly since each nipple catches the spoke earlier, leaving more slack during lacing. The Wheelsmith nipple is 1mm longer than others. This, combined with the extra threads, makes it less sensitive to spoke length estimates. The threading is far less likely to show once a wheel is finished.