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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Moonlander Spoke Length

    Hey all;

    Bought a Moonlander....letting the shop hold it until they get one in to replace if someone comes in to check one out they have it....Fat Biking is catching fire here in Western PA....

    But anyway, a couple other guys around the area bought a Moonlander this year I thought about dressing mine up some to set it apart in the crowd.

    I found Loaded Precision does some Awesome Anodized I'm going to pull the trigger on some Green Spokes, and re-lace the wheels...but as it's sitting up at the shop I figured I'd see if I can find the lengths of the spokes, and order them and drop them at the shop.

    I'm going to continue to use the stock hubs so nothing is going to change but the spokes themselves.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    Going to Post this in the Fat Bike Forum too.....Don't shoot me ;p
    Climbing Builds Character

  2. #2
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sorry if my post isn't going to be more helpful, but if you can't get the precise measurements from someone, buy long and most shops will be able to cut them down to the proper lengths when they build with them. I've had a few friends buy the longer colored Soma spokes and do that.

    But hopefully someone will be more help than I am and you can just order them outright.

    Or, if I am misunderstanding you... if the shop was already going to cut them down for you. they'll have access to many online spoke calculators that are pretty fool proof that they can use to get the numbers for proper spoke length.

    Or they'll have parts in stock to gauge from/ have specs for said parts available to them pretty easily.

    I'll stop talking now, so we can wait for a more useful post than mine.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Thanks for the input....the shop is going to measure them when they get a chance....two of the guys are out of town for a week, and there is only one guy in the shop and he's swamped.....Fall riding season and I don't want to press them, I thought I'd ask here and see if I could find out the lengths sooner, so I can just order them and drop them off.

    But hey man thanks, I didn't think of just ballparking it and going long....but I think I'll wait till I get a definitive answer....I mean if they make that length we won't have to cut anything....just trying to get a jump on things....but I never heard of Soma spokes so I'm off to look them up!!! Thanks
    Climbing Builds Character

  4. #4
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In my very limited experience they never seem to make exactly the right length. cutting and threading spokes has always been necessary for wheel builds or repairs.

    Also, I think there is 2 or 3 or 4 different spoke lengths on a single wheel. depending on hub flanges.

  5. #5
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
    Reputation: hunter006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    You can't just ask for, "what spoke length should I use?" - there's not enough information.

    There's a multitude of reasons for this. The most basic are:
    1) Hub flange height varies.
    2) Hub flange width varies.
    3) Hub flanges on the front and rear vary.
    4) Number of holes change the spoke length.
    5) Lacing pattern changes the spoke length.
    6) Inner rim diameter varies, even between rims that are supposedly all the same "height" (e.g. Zipp 404's are all supposed to be 40.4 mm high, but if you find another 40mm rim those exact spokes might not work as well as they should).

    What you need to do is find 1) the exact rim you are going to use and 2) the exact hub you are going to use (front and rear, if applicable), and 3) decide what lacing pattern you want to use.

    From there, you need to go look up the the ERD - Effective Rim Diameter of the rim. For example, the ERD for a DT Swiss XM 490 rim is 603mm: DT Swiss - XM 490 29 (scroll down to the specs section)

    You also need to find the flange height, distance from center, pitch, etc. for your hub as well. This is something you can measure, but it's easier and better just to find a fact sheet on your hub - and it will be different for front and rear hubs. Schmidt make an excellent one for their Son28 hub, so I'm going to link it here - diagram is on the bottom right:

    Now that you have all the measurements, you need to figure out what lacing pattern you are going to use. 3X is the most common lacing pattern, but is slightly heavier (as the spokes are slightly longer). Radial is the lightest. There's also some crazy ones out there like snowflake or crows feet. For simplicity, if you have a low flange hub, a 3X will build up a bombproof wheel that is the easiest to build.

    So you take all these numbers, and you plug it in to a spoke calculator. You can figure it out yourself if you're good enough at the math, but trust me on this - I am good enough at the math, and I don't like doing it!!
    There's a stack of them out there, but as an example here's one that's available to the public: DT Swiss calculator

    Honestly if you're ordering spokes, your LBS figuring it out will be the easiest way to do things. Bring all those numbers with you (ERD, pitch, flange height, etc.), or at the very least which hub you're going to use and which rim you're going to use. QBP, the wholesaler, has an excellent calculator on their site but you have to have an account with them to use it.

    Unless you're doing some weird lacing pattern, you will end up with somewhere between 1 and 4 measurements. If you're insanely lucky, all your spokes will end up being the same length. For lower end front disk hubs, they tend to have 2 different lengths on the left and right side. Rear hubs have a shorter right or "drive side" spoke (next to the cassette) than left or "non-drive side" spoke. If you change the lacing patterns, you'll change the spoke length too; e.g. my Rohloff originally laced with 3X was 286mm spokes on the XM490 rims, but when we relaced it to 2X it was a 270mm spoke.

    You're also allowed some variation on how long spokes can be, but they shouldn't be longer than the values quoted in the spoke calculator otherwise they'll poke out the back of the nipple once you've laced the wheel (the back of the nipple is basically where the rim strip is, and beyond that is an inner tube...). My front hub is supposed to have 290/288mm spokes, but I just had them cut all the spokes to 288mm, and the ones on the right haven't been threaded quite as far in to the nipple. My rule of thumb: 2mm shorter is ok.

    My recommendation:
    1) find the rim
    2) find the hub
    3) find a LBS and ask them to order the spokes in the right length for you.
    4) Request that they coat the threads of the spokes with some sort of spoke prep, e.g. Wheelsmith Spoke Prep. This will make the build slightly easier and help the spokes stay tensioned once built. Linseed oil is the old school equivalent.
    Last edited by hunter006; 09-22-2013 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Wrong spoke lengths on front hub.

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