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  1. #1
    Hail to the King, baby
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    1/8" spoke thread showing - bad?

    I brought my bike into Rebec & Kroes in Ottawa to have the front wheel rebuilt with disc hubs. I went to them because they are supposed to have a good reputaion for wheel building.

    When I got it back, I took the bike to Award Cycle, where I bought it last summer, for a warranty inspection.

    The owner asked me if I rebuilt the wheels myself.

    I told him that it was done a Rebec & Kroes, and he said he was surprised.

    He told me that it looks like they did not have the correct length spokes and just used whatever they had on hand. There is 1/8 inch of spoke thread showing outside the nipples on many of the spokes and only a few actually have not thread showing.

    He told me he did not think it was safe, since I would be very likely to break spokes with that much thread showing. He says there should be no thread showing. He suggested that I take the wheel back, and have it done properly.

    So, what's the story? Is he right?

    old_dude
    Last edited by old_dude; 02-20-2004 at 12:05 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Yeah, a full 1/8" of an inch (~3mm) is a lot...

    Ideally, you shouldn't have any threads showing on a commercially built wheel. Sometimes you might see like one thread hanging low, especially if it's a spoke that was threaded using an older Phil Wood machine (those make a longer threaded area). Perhaps they threaded some spokes in-house for your build, and cut a few extra threads on them that are now showing?

    A full 3mm of thread showing on a standard factory spoke is too much. You need to bear in mind that the threading inside the nipple does NOT start at the bottom of the nipple. It begins about 3-4mm from the base of the nipple, which makes it easier to assemble the wheels. You can kind of pop the spoke inside the nipple without having to turn it at the same time to get it started into the nipple hole. The threaded area of the spoke is typically only about 10mm. So if you've got 3mm showing outside the nipple, and 3-4mm of unthreaded space inside the nipple, that could leave you only with 3-4mm of thread actually engaged inside the nipple.

    The other thing that is rather odd is that apparently only SOME of the spoke are doing this? With that much exposed on some spokes, it should be showing threads on ALL the spokes on that same side of the wheel. Aside from the "extra threads" theory I mentioned above, the only way I can imagine that you'd have 3mm on some and not on the others is if they used different lengths within one side of the wheel. It's normal to have different lengths on the two different sides of a rear wheel (drive-side and non-drive side), but all the spokes should be the same length on each side.

    Aside from the problem of not having enough threads engaged, you have to consider that the nipple is a hollow tube. It gets it's strength from bing filled with the spoke, If you spoke is stopping way down from the top of the nipple, the hollow nipple can collapse and break under a sideload.

    I would pull the tire and rim tape, and take a peek at the top of the nipples. If the spokes are all within about 1mm of the top of the nipple, then they simply have more threads than usual on them and it's not a functional concern. (Kind of a cosmetic no-no though!) If there are sone that are well below 1mm from the top, then I think it would be best to have the wheel rebuilt with the correct length spokes.

  3. #3
    a legend in his own mind
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    Could be.

    Usually anything over 1.5mm is bad juju. Problem is you run out of threads on the spoke. The blunt part of the spoke comes up in the softer nipple threads and destroys them. The deeper you go the worse it gets. The wrench flats break away from the rest of the nipple because there's nothing left to support them.

    I'd check it out. Old dudes can't afford to break stuff (bones). Being another old dude myself, I know this for a fact.
    "I think this is the worst thing you've ever done Homer."
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  4. #4
    Feeding your addiction
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_dude
    I brought my bike into Rebec & Kroes in Ottawa to have the front wheel rebuilt with disc hubs. I went to them because they are supposed to have a good reputaion for wheel building.

    When I got it back, I took the bike to Award Cycle, where I bought it last summer, for a warranty inspection.

    The owner asked me if I rebuilt the wheels myself.

    I told him that it was done a Rebec & Kroes, and he said he was surprised.

    He told me that it looks like they did not have the correct length spokes and just used whatever they had on hand. There is 1/8 inch of spoke thread showing outside the nipples on many of the spokes and only a few actually have not thread showing.

    He told me he did not think it was safe, since I would be very likely to break spokes with that much thread showing. He says there should be no thread showing. He suggested that I take the wheel back, and have it done properly.

    So, what's the story? Is he right?

    old_dude
    That's not acceptable. Take them back and make them rebuild at no charge.
    Larry Mettler
    http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com

  5. #5
    Code Burr
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    on the flip side

    How much should be showing above the nipple in the rim hole/eyelet?
    I've seen a few wheelsets with a couple mm above the nipple under the rim tape when
    changing it out, it was only a couple mm so didnt worry too much.
    Is this cause for concern?

  6. #6
    a legend in his own mind
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    Ideally none.

    The spoke should be flush with the top of the nipple. It's like B4me said, some companies will have the spokes cut with extra long threads. This way they can use one or two spoke lengths on more wheels to cut costs. Working at a bike shop you see a lot of it on oem wheels.
    "I think this is the worst thing you've ever done Homer."
    "Oh Marge you say that so much it has no meaning."

  7. #7
    Hail to the King, baby
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    I now agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Ventanarama
    That's not acceptable. Take them back and make them rebuild at no charge.
    Larry Mettler
    http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com
    I had my wife's bike done before mine, and I found after inspecting her's, that no thread shows at all, on any of her spokes. She has exactly the same disc hub and the same rim, and the same bike actually.

    I am taking the wheel back to be built correctly. This is BS.

    I went to them because of their wheel building reputation. This does not help their reputation. What were they thinking?

    old_dude

  8. #8
    Hail to the King, baby
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    They are going to fix it

    I just dropped off the wheel. They said they will fix it.

    old_dude

  9. #9
    Hail to the King, baby
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    Wheel is not rebuilt with correct spokes

    Quote Originally Posted by old_dude
    I just dropped off the wheel. They said they will fix it.

    old_dude
    Rebec & Kroes rebuilt the wheel, no charge. I have the whell back and there is now, no spoke thread showing outside the nipples.

    old_dude

  10. #10
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    word on the street...

    Is that when a wheel shows it's spoke threads, it arouses neighborhood dogs, who generally tend to show their arousal by agressively sniffing any and all crotches in the area. This simple spoke length problem has led to some hilarious internet banter, and has also led to at least one old man close to being admitted to an insane asylum. Beware, ye of too much spoke thread!

  11. #11
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_dude
    Rebec & Kroes rebuilt the wheel, no charge. I have the whell back and there is now, no spoke thread showing outside the nipples.
    Then it makes you wonder that if they'd turn out crap like that in the first place, what are the chances of the wheel being built correctly anyway. There's more to it than just looking good.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  12. #12
    I <3 29ers
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit
    Is that when a wheel shows it's spoke threads, it arouses neighborhood dogs, who generally tend to show their arousal by agressively sniffing any and all crotches in the area. This simple spoke length problem has led to some hilarious internet banter, and has also led to at least one old man close to being admitted to an insane asylum. Beware, ye of too much spoke thread!
    (snicker) That's quite ...(snicker snicker)

    BUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!! Ooooooh. That's hilarious!

    Thanks rideit, I needed that.

    Sorry, just had to get that out. Pardon me.

    Oh, old_dude - might be worth x-posting in the Eastern Canada section for your locals? Just a thought.

    (snicker snicker) Dogs....
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

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