Three wheelbuilding tips that are often overlooked:
(1) Set spoke elbows
Spokes will give maximum service life and strength if the elbow is firmly set against the hub flange during building. If not, spokes may appear to “loosen up” and their fatigue life may decrease, resulting in premature breakage. When a spoke is set loosely into a hub, it should lie about 15 deg. above the angle directly to the target rim hole. That’s the amount that the spoke will need to be bent to conform to its position.
When designing a spoke there are two factors to consider: 1) strength, meaning reliability and fatigue life, and 2) hub fit. Unfortunately, some shapes that seem to improve hub fit can actually decrease strength and fatigue life. Therefore, there must be a compromise in the final spoke design to account for these two factors.
The spoke design is complicated by the fact that many hubs have different shapes and proportions. Read more →