Re: [CR]Fwd: Reusing spokes

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Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:31:15 -0500
To: Tom Dalton <>, Classic Rendezvous <>
From: Sheldon Brown <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Fwd: Reusing spokes

Tom Dalton wrote:
> At least in a shop setting, this practice is frowned upon because
>it takes more time. It's hard enough to get people to pay a fair
>price for wheel builds, and I suspect that the whole "never reuse
>spokes" thing was started by shops that had no interest in trying to
>pry another ten bucks out of a customer for the time required to
>unthread all the spokes. Even if this time is paid for, once it is
>done there are still so many problems. If the spokes are old an
>fatigued and one breaks in the first 1,000 miles it will be "the
>shop's fault." If the spokes are the wrong length for the new rim
>you need to call the customer with disappointing news. Or, maybe
>they were the wrong length to begin with, but the kid doing the
>service writing is clueless about the whole matter.

That's all correct.

I'll add that it's also possible that sometime in the past a spoke or two may have broken and been replaced. The replacement spoke might be a slightly different length than the original. That could cause significant hassles in building up the wheel.

Also, it's not unusual for old wheels to have frozen or damaged nipples. It's just a big potential hassle, too big to deal with at shop labor rates.
> ...In fact, proper disassembly of a wheel requires letting out the
>tension evenly, maybe a half turn at a time, all the way around.
>Only at that point should you cut away the old spokes, and by then
>it's not much harder to completely unscrew the nipples (particularly
>if you use an electric drill). Unfortunatley, many (most?) shop
>mechanics take the quick route by cutting down fully tensioned
>wheels. This really puts a lot of stress on the hub flange...

I don't believe this is a real-world problem. I have never known of any hub being damaged by this.

Sheldon "Chopper" Brown +-------------------------------------------------------+ | Le beau est aussi utile que l'utile --Victor Hugo | | (The beautiful is as useful as the useful) | +-------------------------------------------------------+ --
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