Minor spoke gauge disaster

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Minor spoke gauge disaster

Postby Stradageek » 27 Oct 2014, 9:56pm

I'm putting some second hand alloy rims onto an old 1980 3-speed folder re-using the old spokes. Front wheel went great but I failed to realise that the rear wheel used 15 gauge spokes (not 14's as used on the front). My micrometer failed to notice the 200um difference probably because the spokes are a bit mucky and corroded. Unfortunately, this became apparent when I started to build the new wheel using a spare collection of 14 gauge nipples having discarded the old 15 gauge nipples because they had all been filed flat in the original wheel build. Lots of 'bangs' as the wheel came up to tension and the threads let go!

So the question is, can I build the rear (around the Sturmey Archer hub) using my spare collection of 14 gauge spokes (406 rim) or is the extra elasticity of the thinner spokes essential to avoid the short (183mm) spokes loosening over time?

I'm inclined to risk it.

All help appreciated



Posts: 121
Joined: 26 Nov 2010, 5:33am

Re: Minor spoke gauge disaster

Postby LWaB » 28 Oct 2014, 5:55am

The vast majority of 406 wheels use 14G spokes and your hub is drilled for 14G spokes, so the head of the 15G spokes are well supported than they should be. Yes, double butted would be best but realistically 14G will be fine.