Wheelbuilder.com :: Spoke Information

Spoke Information

Before making your spoke purchase, you can confirm lengths using this Spoke Length Calculator, courtesy of our friends at DT Swiss.

There are a variety of spokes available to suit the unique demands of each cycling discipline. The pictures and text below explain the basic differences between each type of spoke and describe their common applications.

Aerodynamic Bladed Spoke

Double Butted Spoke

Single Butted Spoke

Straight Gauge Spoke

Aerodynamic Bladed Spokes:
These spokes are useful for road, triathlon, time trial, cross-country or other applications where the reduction of aerodynamic drag is crucial to maximum performance. Aerodynamic spokes can be identified by their ovalized or bladed cross sections.

With the bladed spokes we can bring the spokes to a higher tension and control the tension uniformity with precision thanks to the flat edge of the blade. Double butted or straight gauge spokes will wind up once they get to a certain tension and the wind up can be difficult to control.

Double Butted Spokes:
Can be easily identified by a change in spoke diameter near the head of the spoke and near the threaded portion of the spoke. Double butted spokes are lighter than straight gauge and offer better ride qualities due to a more flexible center section. These are generally very strong, however spokes with 1.5mm center sections are not recommended for mountain applications.

Single Butted Spokes:
These spokes can be identified by a single change in diameter between the neck and the body of the spoke. The neck is slightly thicker than the body to improve durability for disc brake and other heavy-duty applications. Single butted spokes are slightly heavier than double butted, but are also slightly less expensive. Single and double butted spokes are used for similar applications. Single butted spokes with 2.3mm neck diameters are also useful for wheels to be rebuilt with used hubs that have worn mounting holes in the flanges.

Straight Gauge Spokes:
These are the simplest spokes for in any type of general purpose or heavy-duty application. They have a constant diameter throughout their length, which makes them slightly heavier than double butted spokes. Straight gauge spokes offer a stiffer ride than single or double butted spokes because of their thicker cross section.

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