RE: [CR]Fwd: Reusing spokes

Example: Component Manufacturers:Cinelli

From: Tom Harriman <>
To: Sheldon Brown <>, Tom Dalton <>, Classic Rendezvous <>
Subject: RE: [CR]Fwd: Reusing spokes
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 05:41:50 +0000

Evening all. In my shop days the spokes that failed the most often were on the right side of the rear wheel. These spokes did the most work because they had to both support there share of the combined weight of the rider an d bike, and transmit the power from the rear hub to the road. Often when a costumer brought us a rear wheel with a broken right side spook, and if th e hub and rim wear in good shape, I would advise them to replace all the ri ght side spokes, rather than make 15 more trips to the bike shop as they br oke one at a time.

The other trick was if a costumer brought us a wheel with a cracker, (or un loved tubular) rim, and we had a new rim with then same inside diameter and number of spoke holes, we would zip tie the two together, and then more th e spokes over one at a time, and them true the wheel. It saved time if all the parts matched up. If not, new spokes.

Most of the customers saw our reasoning, and wear grateful to have trouble free wheels when they left the shop.

I hope everyone gets the holiday bicycle wishes filled.

Tom Harriman San (fixed gears and big hills) Francisco, Ca
> Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:31:15 -0500
> To:;
> From:
> 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
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