Spoke key?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Brucey » 18 Aug 2019, 9:32pm

Mike Sales wrote:I have a set of three unusual keys, marked 13, 14 and 15 swg. Though less handy than a Park type I use them as my ultimate deterrent because they give a good grip and easy leverage.
They are in the shape of a flattened U, about 60mm in the base and 30mm in each arm. At the end of each arm is the nipple slot, in the shape of a slotted diamond. The axis of the slots is aligned, so that while one end is engaging a nipple, the other is round the spoke. This gives good leverage and a secure grip.
Has anyone such a spoke key? I cannot remember where I got them!
When wheel building the nipples are lubricated and do not need the ultimate deterrent, but these keys will shift any frozen nipple which it is possible to shift without breaking the spoke.


not quite as you describe but icetoolz used to make a set of three like this

Image

tartybikes used to sell them. Dunno where you can get them now.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mike Sales
Posts: 3231
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Mike Sales » 18 Aug 2019, 9:36pm

Brucey wrote:not quite as you describe but icetoolz used to make a set of three like this


tartybikes used to sell them. Dunno where you can get them now.

cheers


Not at all like those, except in the business end, the slotted diamond.
They have two business ends, the axes of which are in one line.

LittleGreyCat
Posts: 533
Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 19 Aug 2019, 1:05pm

Thanks for all the responses.

Most of them seem to include "but not for wheel building" which is fine because I currently have no plans to build wheels.

I was looking for a general purpose emergency key to fit a range of nipple sizes for use in the touring/group ride toolkit.
Based on the assumption that if you get 3 bikes in a group there are likely to be different nipple sizes depending on the bike style.

I haven't yet found a definitive guide on what nipples are used for which wheels. but I am assuming if you get a group with a road racer, an MTB, a hybrid and a tourer (plus perhaps a vintage road bike) then they won't all be using the same spoke and nipple size.

Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Brucey » 19 Aug 2019, 3:56pm

IME if you carry a red spokey and a yellow spokey that will cover about 95% of common wheels. They'll weigh stuff all, cost is reasonable, and you will be able to build wheels if you choose to. Anything outside these two sizes can be handled in an emergency using a small adjustable spanner.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tinpotflowers
Posts: 60
Joined: 31 May 2019, 7:16pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Tinpotflowers » 19 Aug 2019, 5:01pm

Brucey wrote:IME if you carry a red spokey and a yellow spokey that will cover about 95% of common wheels. They'll weigh stuff all, cost is reasonable, and you will be able to build wheels if you choose to. Anything outside these two sizes can be handled in an emergency using a small adjustable spanner.

cheers

I think you need a black one for the older Brompton wheels?0

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 10480
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Spoke key?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 19 Aug 2019, 5:55pm

Hi,
One tool easy to carry, made by Cyclo.
Edited- less than 35 grams.
Image Attachments
CYCLO SPOKE KEY 3 WAY.jpg
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cyclo-Bicycle-Triple-Spoke-Key/143313651210?epid=1012643398&hash=item215e28c60a:g:6nIAAOSwAxpdGEKZ
If You Don't Try You Don't Do.....Don't Do You Don't Get...I'm Still Trying....Well Very..
You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 5514
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Sweep » 8 Sep 2019, 11:54am

Brucey wrote:IME if you carry a red spokey and a yellow spokey that will cover about 95% of common wheels. They'll weigh stuff all, cost is reasonable, and you will be able to build wheels if you choose to. Anything outside these two sizes can be handled in an emergency using a small adjustable spanner.

cheers


Are DT swiss nipples smaller than the norm the red spokey is for?

If so, is it an issue?

Apologies if I have misunderstood something in my web trawling.
Sweep

Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Brucey » 8 Sep 2019, 12:00pm

IME red spokey is an excellent fit on DT, Sapim 14/15G nipples.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Brucey » 8 Sep 2019, 12:06pm

Tinpotflowers wrote:
Brucey wrote:IME if you carry a red spokey and a yellow spokey that will cover about 95% of common wheels. They'll weigh stuff all, cost is reasonable, and you will be able to build wheels if you choose to. Anything outside these two sizes can be handled in an emergency using a small adjustable spanner.


I think you need a black one for the older Brompton wheels?0


in the other 5%; rear wheels only because they use 'converter nipples' and 13G spokes I think. If you have a bike with odd size nipples, you need to have the right size key of course. Unless you are going to use 13G spokes that are also 13G at the nipple end, it makes very good sense to 'rationalise' your bikes so that the same spoke key(s) fit all the wheels you own. In my case that means to fit a red spokey, mostly 14/15G DT and Sapim nipples.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mike Sales
Posts: 3231
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Sep 2019, 3:06pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Brucey wrote:not quite as you describe but icetoolz used to make a set of three like this


tartybikes used to sell them. Dunno where you can get them now.

cheers


Not at all like those, except in the business end, the slotted diamond.
They have two business ends, the axes of which are in one line.

WIN_20190908_14_45_35_Pro.jpg


At last I got round to finding out how to place a picture.
I know this is a bit of a resurrection, but I wanted to try.

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 5514
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Sweep » 8 Sep 2019, 6:11pm

Brucey wrote:IME red spokey is an excellent fit on DT, Sapim 14/15G nipples.

cheers


The DT Swiss nipples on this are different?

https://www.taylor-wheels.com/bike-whee ... re-fh-t610

If you scroll down it has info on the spokes.

DT Champion.

One arrived the other day.

Front as well which not DT Swiss.

The red spokey is noticably looser on the rear than the front (and other wheels I had to hand).

My talent for screwing things up is impressive.

Don't I need a smaller key for those spokes?
Sweep

Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Brucey » 8 Sep 2019, 10:13pm

there's a tolerance for spoke key fit, and that tolerance is largest when you have a diamond shaped slot in the key and a full square (with good corners) on the nipple; this is how a spokey fits a DT or sapim nipple. BTW just because the spokes are a particular brand don't assume that the nipples are the same brand unless it is explicitly stated.

If you want to see what you can get away with, torque-wise, take some scrap wheels and play around with different spoke keys and nipples. Some nipples have pre-rounded corners and when you try and drive them with a square-slotted key, even if that key is as good a fit as possible, you can barely get enough torque on them to build the wheel. When these nipples are a bit tight, after some use, then they just round off as quick as lightning.

IME even if the fit seems slightly loose, a red spokey almost invariably has enough traction to shear a 14G spoke off if a DT/Sapim nipple seizes, all without damage to either the key or the nipple.

After you have built about a hundred wheels with a red spokey, it will be slightly worn. Get a new key then, and keep the old one because it will fit some odd-size nipples.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 5514
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Sweep » 9 Sep 2019, 8:45am

Thanks brucey.

Have ordered a 3.2 anyway - from the pic it seems to have a diamond slot.

It's an Ice-Toolz

Have the idea that many/all Park ones have square slots? That's a bad idea surely? If so, why do they do it?
Sweep

Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Brucey » 9 Sep 2019, 9:44am

square slots in keys are a lot cheaper to make and some wheelbuilders prefer them because they can be slightly quicker to get on and off the nipples, if you are used to that sort of key. If all you do is build wheels using new spokes and nipples you don't really need a high torque capacity. The diamond slot gives you

- a higher torque rating for any quality of fit
- a greater tolerance for a slightly slack fit.

Note that a really good fit between key and nipple may cause problems; if the nipple is slightly angled vs the spoke, you may have problems getting the key on and off the spoke, or avoiding binding between the bottom of the key and the spoke. The idea of the 'butterfly' shape to some spoke keys is that it avoids the clash between the spoke and the key, if the nipples are slightly kinked.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 17083
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Spoke key?

Postby Vorpal » 9 Sep 2019, 9:52am

LittleGreyCat wrote:A companion had a circular tool to use as a spoke key; it seemed to be able to fit different spoke sizes.

Nearest I can find is https://www.cyclestore.co.uk/giant_o_type_spoke_key-ID_56851 which would conveniently take my order into free delivery.

Are these kind of tools "a good thing"?

Looks more versatile than buying several dedicated spoke keys.

I have a park multi-tool that has a simple spoke tool. They are good for roadside use, if that's what you want?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom