Samuel D wrote:Thanks for the precise measurements. It seems that Alpina’s dies or rollers or whatever they use to form their butted spokes are showing signs of wear.
Not that I’m complaining, because I had enough spoke wind-up anyway. On that matter, a 1.8 mm threaded end would reduce the wind-up torque generated at the threads, but those spokes are usually 1.8 mm at the elbow too, which I’d rather avoid for fear of a sloppy fit in the flange hole; and of course double-butted 1.8 mm spokes are maybe 1.6 mm in the middle and therefore more easily wound up to begin with. Component choice for wheels is not obvious to me despite having read a fair bit about it.
IIRC most DB spokes are made by swaging. There may be a QA issue there, but it might not be wear per se.
15G spokes are often a slack fit in hubs, but then so are plenty of 14G spokes too. The holes in most hubs are drilled about 2.3 or 2.4mm diameter. If you are prepared to use spoke washers you can make any spoke that is a slack fit a much better fit, and a spoke that is an average fit a really superb fit in the hub, such that the elbow bend is really well supported.
There is no 'perfect choice' of components for any given wheel; you can make satisfactory wheels with a wide variety of components. The fit of the parts and the techniques used in building are often far more important than the parts selected per se.
FWIW I have a good deal of respect for some
of the factory wheels that come out of Taiwan and are fitted onto mid-price bikes these days. Sure, they have usually not spent a fortune of the parts, but they have spent their money wisely, they are laced correctly, the spoke lengths used are often *perfect* , with the spoke ends finishing mid-slot. They use spokes in 1mm increments, and often use 1mm different lengths each side of a dished rear wheel. Such wheels are often just a hub set-up/service, a stress-relief, a tension balance, and some threadlock on the NDS spokes away from being perfectly acceptable (within the limitations of the components used). I'd have built many of them with spoke washers, to improve the fit, but this arguably isn't necessary as such, just a 'nice to have' feature.