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New stainless spokes

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New stainless spokes
Started at 03:25pm on the 12th November, 2017 by Earlybird
Earlybird Subject: New stainless spokes
hi folks, Wonder if this would work.....has anyone tried it? My front wheel has a fairly clean rim and a nice clean hub but it's let down by rusty spokes,back wheel has been rebuilt at some stage with stainless spokes,poor front wheel stands out even more! I'm no wheel builder but thinking could I replace and tension spokes one at a time and end up with a 'true' wheel or will it all go pear shaped? regards.
Posted: 03:25pm 12th November, 2017
vince Subject: New stainless spokes
Hi, in theory yes it would work but because of the bend at the top of the spoke your'll find it impossible to lace it into position. IE; the other spokes are in the way. Vince
Posted: 07:22pm 12th November, 2017
Alan R Subject: New stainless spokes
Well----- I did exactly what Earlybird is suggesting on the front wheel of a Honda CG125 a few years ago for exactly the same reason BUT}-- it wasn't easy, and I've been engineering on bikes for some 40 years now...Remember that some spokes face forwards--some face rearwards and some are radial.......

Stainless spokes ??..I'm not to happy with them as some have been known to snap in the past ( Early Hinkley Bonneville comes to mind )..Why not just fit new galvanised ones??...Cheaper for a start and a lot more forgiving when you need to "Tweak" them....Incidentally I did the CG125 wheel off the bike and held horizontally in a 6" bench vice.....I use a surplus Enfield swing arm held vertically in that vice to check for run-out etc....TIP}-Don't get your spoke head angles mixed up and do get yourself a decent spoke spanner...Good luck !!
Posted: 09:05pm 12th November, 2017
Bullet Whisperer Subject: New stainless spokes
I have heard of people shying away from stainless spokes, but since 2004 when we first started racing the R.E.'s, all three bikes wearing wheels built by me with stainless spokes, I have only ever seen one broken one and that was in the rear wheel of the current 500, which has been racing since 2006, so I must say I have faith in them.
Posted: 09:19pm 12th November, 2017
Bullet Whisperer Subject: New stainless spokes
Meant to add - that broken spoke happened this year, so it was about 12 years old at least.
Posted: 09:20pm 12th November, 2017
Earlybird Subject: New stainless spokes
thanks for replies,still have a few jobs to do to get bike back on road,bought it with engine in boxes three years ago,got it starting first kick then did no has lived outside without cover since but still cleans up beautifully and always starts. Front wheel is the only shabby bit on the bike........and I do love stainless stuff,I'll price up getting someone to do it for me but maybe I should get the other bits done before I stall again.......... Regards
Posted: 08:38am 13th November, 2017
DaveP150 Subject: New stainless spokes
Hi I'd encourage you have a go yourself, time permitting. I re-spoked a wheel for the first time recently, if you take your time to get the hang of it you will be able to get the wheel true. Not as fast a professional wheelbuilder maybe but more satisfying and a new skill learnt. There are plenty of tutorials online (Youtube etc). Take some photos or make a sketch before starting to record the pattern of the spokes and the offset. I used an old 1/4" BL Mini brake adjusting spanner with a slot cut in the end as a makeshift nipple spanner and this proved effective, but the purpose made tool would be a good investment. kind regards Dave
Posted: 09:24am 13th November, 2017
John L Subject: New stainless spokes
My 1973 Bultaco has stainless spokes front and rear as Standard, so hardly "new" tech., are they ?
Posted: 10:08am 13th November, 2017
stinkwheel Subject: New stainless spokes
I find wheelbuilding very theraputic. I started building bicycle wheels first following instructions off the internet. The principals are the same. I think replacing one at a time would be the road to madness and you'll probably need to do just as much trueing afterwards anyway

That being the case, I'd just go with relacing the whole lot and lace it up from scratch then bring it all up to tension. You'll land up with a stronger wheel for it.

I'll echo the advice above about taking plenty of photos and measuring the offset before you start (then at least you can give it to a professional to sort out if you mess up). I think it helps to have an understanding of the lacing pattern and what the spokes are doing anyway so I can recommend reading through Sheldon Browns excellent article on bicycle wheel building. In may ways wht you're proposing is easier because you already know what length of spokes you need.

A jig is easy to make to support the wheel once it's laced but I'll often just true a wheel "in-situ". If you have the the rim central and the vertical and horizontal runout tweaked close enough with the hub bolted in the frame it's going to be used in, it's hard to think what else you need to do. I'll build a wheel using nothing fancier than a steel rule clamped across the forks to set the dish and a couple of cut-off cable ties round the fork legs to set the runout. Last bicycle wheel I did like that, I put a dial guage on the rim after I finished just to see. Had a maximum lateral runout of 0.05mm.

Tension is more important in motorbike wheels than bicycle ones so have a ping at all the spokes before going out and do remember to re-true after a very short ride because stuff settles and pings about alarmingly.

Two top-tips. 1) Have a comfy seat so the wheel is supported directly in front of you. So either a raised jig or a low seat. A lot of wheelbuilders will use a piano stool. 2) White background. Its much easier to see runout (the gap between the rim and the cutoff cable tie) with a sheet on the floor.
Posted: 02:01pm 13th November, 2017
papasmurf Subject: New stainless spokes
Having seen several people making a complete bog of re-spoking motorcycle wheels personally I would not attempt it myself. I don't have the centring frame or dial gauge anyway.
Posted: 02:17pm 13th November, 2017
Revband Subject: New stainless spokes
As Papasmurf says, DON'T DO IT,if people start building their own wheels how am I supposed to earn my pocket money?. But seriously it ain't as easy as some will have you believe, trueing the rim does take a lot of skill, you really need a spoke key with a torque setting, spokes too tight or too slack is asking for them to break. "Re true after a short ride things ping and settle". Not on a correctly built wheel they don't. Are you really going to send every wheel back to be re done after a few miles?, I don't think the wheel builder would be impressed.
Posted: 03:12pm 13th November, 2017
papasmurf Subject: New stainless spokes
Torque spoke keys are VERY expensive for good reasons, you really do need one to do a safe job.
Posted: 03:22pm 13th November, 2017
Tomshayes Subject: New stainless spokes
I manages to replace a broken stainless spoke in situ to the rear wheel on my 500 Bullet it was fairly straight forward as it was broken at the hub end and i managed to wheedle it.. Let enough air out of the tyre to depress the spoke nut enough to get the spoke in.. Wouldn't fancy doing a whole wheenl though! tom
Posted: 04:04pm 13th November, 2017
neddy Subject: New stainless spokes
I say "go for it" these bikes are ment to be owner maintained, if all goes wrong then goto "Revband"
Posted: 01:29am 14th November, 2017
Revband Subject: New stainless spokes
Replacing one spoke is an easy DIY job if done with care and not over tightened, building a complete wheel is not DIY for most people, I would only take on a messed up DIY on the understanding that I can only use the owners measurements unless I had the makers data, and I would only fit new spokes not the possibly weekend ones, I would not want the responsibility of the wheel collapsing. Yes it is possible one over tight spoke snaps this puts extra strain on the ones next to it, they are already over stressed and a chain reaction sets off.
Posted: 12:56pm 14th November, 2017
Earlybird Subject: New stainless spokes
Thanks again,so many replies!!! Will have to think it a few non cosmetic jobs to do first but it's definitely a job that will be done,back wheel with stainless spokes looks fab! Got wheel bearings,fitting a new hitchcocks seat,some electrical niggles then hopefully an m.o.t. I'm in that catch 22 situation where bike needs a run to make sure it's all good but can't be done because it needs an m.o.t etc.
Posted: 07:46pm 14th November, 2017
Alan R Subject: New stainless spokes
The use of a private estate would be nice !!
Posted: 08:02pm 14th November, 2017
Earlybird Subject: New stainless spokes
Yes private estate would be just the ticket.......can anyone help? I'm in the Kent area and would need picking up in a van and bringing home again..........maybe I'm asking a bit too much!!!
Posted: 11:22am 15th November, 2017
stinkwheel Subject: New stainless spokes
"Not on a correctly built wheel they don't. Are you really going to send every wheel back to be re done after a few miles?, I don't think the wheel builder would be impressed."

I'm presuming you fully tension relieve your wheels and bend the spokes round one another at the cross before sending them out though? A home builder may not get this done fully (mainly because they are afraid to be too rough with them). Hence checking and re-trueing.

If we're being fully anal about it a torque wrench isn't measuring the tension in the spoke, it's measuring the resistance to turning of the nipple which opens a whole can of variables. A deflection tensiometer would be the correct tool for measuring spoke tension. However, I've always been under the impression that accoustic tensioning is pretty accurate.
Posted: 01:22pm 15th November, 2017
Revband Subject: New stainless spokes
I have been building wheels since Noah was a lad, no I don't use a spoke torque wrench, they were not invented when I started, almost invariably when someone brings me a recently built wheel with a snapped spoke it's because some ham fisted amateur who thinks they can build a wheel has overtightened the nipple.

There is no substitute for being shown how to do it correctly by an experienced wheel builder followed by many years experience, the internet and Google cannot show you has to do it correctly.
Posted: 04:45pm 15th November, 2017

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