availability of straight pull spokes vs. j-bend

Discussion in 'The Workshop' started by SeanC, May 2, 2012.

  1. SeanC

    SeanC Active Member

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    howdy,

    I am shopping around for a new wheel set with a 20mm thru axle front hub. I came across what seems like a good deal on a lightly used FSA Gravity Light
    wheelset, which uses "Sapim Strong 2.3mm straight-pull spokes".

    From what I've heard, these spokes are difficult to find, so you get jammed up for days if you break one.
    I searched a ton of website for these spokes to see how to buy replacements and couldn't find them anywhere.

    So, two quetions

    1). Are straight-pull spokes better than J-bend
    2.) Should I stay away from this wheel set since it will be hard to find replacement spokes???
     
  2. Smokie

    Smokie New Member

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    I think the straight pull spokes are a bit stronger.I have three wheelsets with them and have never broken a spoke.Buy a handfull of spokes when you get the wheelset and keep them on hand.Have you tried Wheelbuilder.Com?I ordered Sapim spokes from them and they came the next day.
     
  3. SeanC

    SeanC Active Member

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    thanks, my plan was to buy extra spokes with the wheel set, but the issue is that I haven't found the "Sapim Strong 2.3mm spokes" anywhere.
    that's what makes me leery about buying this wheel set.
     
  4. jeffj

    jeffj Bloated Mountain B'hiker

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    Saw the new straight pull spoke wheels (and hubs that will be available separately) from DT Swiss at Sea Otter and asked about availability of straight pull spokes in the future and was told it is coming.
     
  5. Varaxis

    Varaxis Trail Ninja

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    I don't know too much about wheels, in depth at least. Just my observations:

    Short version: that's seriously a bad sign. Being straight pull doesn't grant the spoke any magical properties that reduce its chances of breaking. Look for another wheelset.

    Extended version: J bend heads are more than strong enough to withstand the shearing force on the head when put in tension. A non-eyeletted, single walled, or straight drilled rim's spoke hole will likely fail before the j bend, unless the interface between the head and the hub flange don't mesh together well. A large majority of spoke breakage comes from things getting jammed in the wheels and not from forces on the wheel itself. If you take a force that's too much for a wheel, it's the rim that fails first.

    What straight pull spokes offer are different ways to design interfaces between the hub and rim. See Cobalt, Tricon, etc. Also see the wheels that design to have as little mass at the outside as as possible. They also make it easier to build a wheel, as they are less likely to suffer from wind-up.

    What matters more is the material and construction of the spoke. They're all steel, but there are ways to make steel more elastic, which allows it to deform more (and spring back) before snapping. The top end spokes, CX-Ray and Aerolites, claim to be stronger than plain 14g spokes and the CX-Rays are also among the lightest and stiffest. The Aerolites have a reputation for its high elasticity, getting kinks and taking numerous twists, instead of snapping. They're also light, but they probably trade stiffness for that elasticity (and maybe add some compliance). Seems Sapim CX-Rays are typically the spoke of choice among pros, considering how much I see them spec'd over Aerolites. I haven't ridden Aerolites, but I recall seeing a pic of one with at least half a dozen twists in it.

    J bends are just something that works well and is so common that it's an economical choice. Less tooling and well established standards. Those are likely the main reason why everything's not straight pull is that they'ere simply no standard. Not as simple as drilling holes in a ring with equidistant spacing.

    I know enough to prefer the overall package of wheel systems, than trying to build a wheel from individual parts. That's why my knowledge on this subject is a bit lacking, despite investing as much in wheels as I do with frames.
     
  6. rojomas

    rojomas A.K.A The Oxx

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    I have broken both straight pull and J-bend spokes. Honestly, I don't think that there is much of a strength difference between the two unless they are bladed. I have a set of Easton Havoc wheels that are straight pull and I have broken at least 3 spokes on the rear wheel. I also have a set of Mavic Crossrides that are a straight pull too and I have never broken a spoke on them. The difference between the spokes on the Mavics from the Eastons is that the Mavics are bladed. And since they are bladed, when you true them you need to hold them with a wrench to keep the spokes from twisting. On a standard round straight pull or J-bend spoke, the spoke will twist when truing, adding stress to the spoke other than just a linear pull. Next time you tighten down a spoke draw a line down the length of it with a felt tip pen and see how much it twists.

    Having said all that, I would worry about finding the spoke. I'm sure you can probably just order them from FSA. That's what I do when i need spokes for my Havoc's, I just call Easton.
     
  7. Varaxis

    Varaxis Trail Ninja

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    Too bad it doesn't work like that for DT bladed spokes (Revo and Aerolite, at least). Hold the spoke by the blade and, rather than the whole spoke winding up, it'll wind up (twist) from the point you're holding it on the blade to the nipple (and you'll have an unsightly wrinkle in your spoke, but I assume it'll ride ok). :lol: CX Rays are *much* friendlier. $3 a spoke is the biggest downside to those though.
     
  8. 2wheel_lee

    2wheel_lee Active Member

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    I assume you're referring to the Sapim CX-Ray spokes, and if that's the case, here you go: http://fairwheelbikes.com/sapim-cxray-straight-pull-spokes-black-p-3886.html
    I've bought Sapim spokes from them a couple times.

    The number one weak spot in conventional J spokes is the bend as a result of cyclical loads (branches in the spokes are a different matter). Eliminate the bend, you'll have a stronger spoke. But that doesn't mean that they can't or won't break.

    If you're going to replace CX-Ray spokes, you will need a quality spoke holder. While you may be able to fabricate one yourself, you can get one when you order your spokes. http://fairwheelbikes.com/alchemy-bladed-spoke-holder-p-2566.html

    Sorry if I misunderstood your post, but on a high tension wheel, there's no way you're going to hold a spoke by hand to prevent it from twisting, and no way would you want to risk even a slight nick in the spoke by using pliers or a crescent wrench.

    Since you're a technical guy, I'll give you the opportunity to correct some of the inaccuracies in the above paragraph.
     
  9. SeanC

    SeanC Active Member

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    I was referring to the "Sapim Strong 2.3mm" spokes. FWIW, I haven't found these online ANYWHERE. I've seen the CX-Rays, and most other Sapim spokes at one online shop or another, but
    none of them that I've seen carry the "Strong" ones. So far I am holding off on buying this wheel set and am looking around for other options.

    Like I said, I would gladly order a stash of replacement spokes to go with these if it were that easy.

    Instead I'm looking around at other wheel sets with j-bend spokes, so that if I break one I don't have to worry about a long wait and/or high cost to try and find a replacement.
     
  10. 2wheel_lee

    2wheel_lee Active Member

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    Ah, you're right! I was thinking that FSA was using "Strong" as just a marketing term for Sapim CX-Ray spokes, but Sapim actually has a "Strong" spoke. http://www.sapim.be/spokes/butted/strong

    Yeah...good luck with that search! :lol:
     
  11. rojomas

    rojomas A.K.A The Oxx

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    Like I said earlier, Have you tried ordering them straight from FSA?
     
  12. Varaxis

    Varaxis Trail Ninja

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    Do many spokes break at that weak spot? There's advantages to straight pull, but the point I was making is that they'll break similarly to how j bend spokes typically break. Poor availability of those spokes is a clear sign to avoid them. Even with great hunting skills or if it's something that QBP stocks, he says he doesn't want to have long downtime. Maybe if someone can link to where he can buy spare spokes, pref in the lengths he needs... nah, just avoid it, IMO. No point suffering a headache/hassle when there are lots of other options that are at least as good. Having the knowledge and senses to know which are good... actually, I'd just say to trust the brands that have been making wheels longest, if you don't want to get too technical: DT, Mavic, Sun, some custom hand builders, etc.

    I just brought up CX Rays since I was trying to explain how spokes can differ in strength beyond being being j bend and straight pull. I answered Q1 and Q2, but added the trivia, since Q1 hints that he's less informed about wheels than me. It helps give him a bit of a knowledge base to sense and filter through the myriad of wheel options out there.

    I use a "puck". Are the new fancy tools any better? Mine didn't work so well with Revos on a Vuelta XRP wheel that I had. Replaced some CX Rays with it, at even higher tension, without wind up, but I admit I had the threads lubricated.

    I'd use some fancy terms like ductility, Young's Modulus, and plasticity, but I'm trying minimize use of jargon when trying to explain things, preferring "everyday talk". Sometimes you gotta use the "wrong" word to get someone to understand something--useful for speaking with ESL folks, babies, kids, animals, etc (no offense, don't break my legs). Malleable, pliable, flexible... hard to find a word that fits well. I guess I could've left that out and just used the context, but I figured creating parallelism with the beginning of the paragraph would spark something in people's heads that helps them get the picture better.
     
  13. jeffj

    jeffj Bloated Mountain B'hiker

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    Looks like they sell the Sapim Strong spokes here (although I have not purchased from this source):

    http://www.wheelbuilder.com/store/sapim-strong-single-butted-spoke.html

    I used them for the drive side rear and rotor side front along with Sapim double butted 14/15/14 for a build on Flow 29" wheels and they came out great. At that time I purchased the Sapim Strong spokes from a source that doesn't normally sell just spokes to the public, as he is a wheelbuilder.

    As for straight pull spokes, it looks like Dan's Comp sells straight pull spokes:

    http://www.danscomp.com/products-PARTS-Spokes/435142/Tree_Straight_Pull_Spoke.html

    As always with Dan's Comp, you have to place spoke orders over the phone, and they usually send some nipples with the order, however the nipples are vurtually useless to me because they are 14mm long and they don't even sell 12mm long nipples. . . . Weird, but they still have great prices on spokes.
     
  14. gooseaholic

    gooseaholic Active Member

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    Jesus Christ people. Your not building an 8000 HP top fuel car. Just ride your bike. :) Now off to work.
     
  15. SeanC

    SeanC Active Member

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    Sigh . . .

    I've been to that wheel builder site. Your link is for the Strong J-Bend spoke, which is not what I'm looking for.

    Methinks the Strong 2.3mm straight pull spoke is a rarity. . .

    all because I wanted to upgrade my fork to a pike with 20mm axle.
    then I learn that simply swapping out front hubs is going to be way more expensive than originally thought.
    so I start shopping around for budget wheel sets ($200 ish range)
    "budget" because this is for a budget bike- Kona Steely hardtail.
    Used to be, there were plenty of takeoffs, OEM, etc wheel sets with 20mm front on Jenson, wheel world, ebay, etc. for $200 or even less
    now it's all 15mm b.s. plenty of cheap 15mm Front options out there.
    I asked a local wheel builder about front wheel options and was recommended a "budget" front wheel for $230
    I asked a local favorite LBS about a budget wheel set for a budget bike and they suggested building something up with
    Stans rims etc for about $500.
    So I find a new Gravity light wheel set out there for $200 but there's a spoke issue

    Sigh . . .
     
  16. Chewyeti

    Chewyeti Circus Bear

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    solution - build all front wheels with a hub that is versatile. (i.e. a hope Pro2 - 20mm/15mm/9mmRWS/std QR compatible), and never hit this problem again :)
     
  17. rojomas

    rojomas A.K.A The Oxx

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    If the spokes are that much of an issue for you why not just go with the Azonic Outlaw's? I've also seen the Easton Havoc's for a pretty good price too.
     
  18. SeanC

    SeanC Active Member

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    let me know where I can find either of these wheel sets that fit my $200 budget and I'll gladly buy one of them.
    Thanks.
     
  19. rojomas

    rojomas A.K.A The Oxx

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    I've seen the Havoc's for about $350. I thought the Outlaws were in the $200 range. They must of gone up, sorry.
     

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