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spoke length Q:

Nick

My name is Nick
Sep 21, 2001
15,558
3,813
behind you, don't wait up.
Generally speaking; is it easier / better to use spokes that are 2mm too short, or 2mm too long?

I have a build where I need 252s and 254s, and I'm wondering if I can get away with one or the other to avoid buying a second box of spokes that I will likely not use again, and if so, which size?

If too long, I'm concerned about available threads, if too short then too little insertion in the nip.

Thoughts??
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
58,164
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Too short if you have nipples long enough. if you go too long you increase the risk that on hard impacts the spokes will impale (and flat) your innertube.


edit: shorter than recommended spokes are more likely to work with longer nipples. They may work with regular ones, its just a matter of making sure there's enough threading engagement.
 

CarlE

Monkey
Jan 7, 2008
109
0
Long Island, NY
My old shop had a spoke trimmer and a spoke theader so I'd say too long but you'd have to have access to those tools. Or, like was said above, too short if your nipples are long enough.
 

- seb

Turbo Monkey
Apr 10, 2002
2,924
0
UK
Too short, IMHO. If your spokes are "the right length" you have to thread the nipple on a hella long way. I'd rather too short and lose a bit of thread overlap than too long and have the nipple gouging new threads into the spoke.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
Too short, IMHO. If your spokes are "the right length" you have to thread the nipple on a hella long way. I'd rather too short and lose a bit of thread overlap than too long and have the nipple gouging new threads into the spoke.
If you spoke is way to short, you loose thread engagement and then you risk pulling the threads out of the nipple. You can't "gouge new threads onto the spoke". The threads are rolled and are a larger diameter than the spoke itself.
 

ChrisKring

Turbo Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
2,399
4
Grand Haven, MI
Too short if you have nipples long enough. if you go too long you increase the risk that on hard impacts the spokes will impale (and flat) your innertube.


edit: shorter than recommended spokes are more likely to work with longer nipples. They may work with regular ones, its just a matter of making sure there's enough threading engagement.


I agree. It also helps to know how accurate your measurement calc is. I use the excel program spocalc. I typically will use spokes 2mm shorter than recommended without issues. It just makes it a little harder to build them. When you get toward the end of the lacing process, you might need to thread the wrong side of the nipple onto a spare spoke so that you can thread it through the spoke hole and engage the threads of the correct spoke. This is especially helpfull with deep dish rims. Is that clear (I'm drained right now)?

Again, should not be an issue. If you have problems, get some 16mm nipples.
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
I'd probably go too long. 2mm short is getting pretty short. Curious that you'd need to go a full 2mm too short or 2mm too long though. Spokes usually come in 2mm steps, so you should be able to get closer than 2mm, at which point if your calcs are good, you don't need to worry about it being long and poking through your rim strip. Seriously. Personally, I'd rather have more threads engaged, but I like to build wheels to last a long time.
 

Dartman

Old Bastard Mike
Feb 26, 2003
3,916
0
Richmond, VA
If they're within 2mm either way your fine. 2mm is as long as this underbar _. Unless you're viewing with your PDA.

Get 253's. :p