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Sorting spokes is a task that is guaranteed to come up during the processes of despoking and wheelbuilding, and occasionally at other times. It is a very simple thing to do, but it requires care, as proper spoke length is critical.

Measuring spokes

This is covered by its own module, here.

When to scrap

We salvage lots of spokes, but the spokes you are sorting may not be good enough to make it into the drawers. Better spokes are stainless steel, which you can tell by touching them to the magnet on the side of the spoke motel. If they don't stick (or stick only weakly), they are stainless, and you should sort them. If the drawer is full, and some of the spokes in the drawer are not stainless, you should take them out and put them in the bad spokes box on top of the spoke motel, and put yours in the drawer instead.

Always measure

If you are measuring spokes to build a wheel, or measuring a spoke to replace a broken spoke in your wheel, there is one additional important instruction: always measure. If you need 280mm spokes, and you find a bundle of spokes in the 280 drawer with a tag on them that has 280 written on it, you must measure each spoke to make sure it's right. This will probably end up saving either work or confusion by the time you're done.

Nipple sizes

Another thing to be aware of if you're using spokes and they didn't come with nipples is that spokes come in two widths. Some are 2.0mm and some are 1.8mm. To check which size your spokes are, try to thread one into a 1.8mm nipple. If it doesn't go, it's a 2.0mm. This is important, because if you use 1.8mm spokes and 2.0mm nipples, the threads will strip out of the nipples once you tension the spoke. These sizes have nothing to do with spoke wrench sizes.

Created by: pgarver. Last Modification: Tuesday 24 of June, 2008 05:43:19 UTC by JSheehan.