View Full Version : Re-using Spokes?

06-08-2014, 6:06 PM
Is it a no-no?

Never re-spoked a wheel before, and I'm staring at it right now thinking that I need to take it apart to clean it up. Not sure I want to drop money on spokes, when the thought of re-lacing it to a 21 has crossed my mind, and just want to take it apart, paint the spokes, polish the hub, and call it good for now.

06-08-2014, 6:12 PM
It's done all the time. use common sense, review the toothpicks etc.

06-09-2014, 11:10 PM
A penetrant bath from both ends of each spoke is wise because you don't want to trash any threads.

06-10-2014, 9:38 AM
I've had good luck with several bicycle wheels re-using spokes doing a full on re-build (removing them, putting them in a new hub & rim) despite being told to never do so.... and one where spokes do occasionally fail. In that one case, I never even pulled them out of the hub on, just replaced the rim, so TBH I have no idea why they fail (I assume previous use introduced fatigue, as I bought the wheel on a useb bike, and the rim was bent). I do know I've never had a spoke I bought new and build up a wheel with fail (barring catching a chunk of rebar in my wheel once, and ripping the spoke free of the nipple). My guess is if they weren't already headed down the crapper, they should be fine for a rebuild (and if they were, well, you aren't any worse off).

Good luck, always wanted to try lacing a motorcycle wheel. The dozen or so bicycle wheels I've done were fun to make and use, and much better than wheels I purchased. On thing that puzzles me about motorcycle wheel building guides I've looked at is I never hear mention of stress relieving the spokes (over-loading them briefly to force them to take a 'set') which is a crucial step in building a bicycle wheel. Is it just not practical to do with such heavy spokes? The lack of this step makes me think you might be wise to keep spokes in the same positions (inside / outside and left / right) when re-building.

> A penetrant bath from both ends of each spoke is wise because you don't want to trash any threads.

That, and lube the spoke threads during assembly, and maybe the holes the nipples seat in. Anti-seize is ideal. If you don't replace the spokes, might still want to replace the nipples.

06-10-2014, 9:43 AM
Kind of what I figured......

I'll order new spokes at some point, but I'd like to tear it down and clean it up to ride it for now while I decide.......Should have done this months ago.