To the Point - DT Swiss Talks Spokes

Feb 19, 2013
by Richard Cunningham  
DT Swiss did not become the world’s leading spoke maker overnight. It has been manufacturing wire products, and forging and shaping metal before electricity powered factories. Its first machinery was powered by water wheels and until relatively recent times, the DT Swiss factory in Biel, Switzerland, stood on the same foundations at the foot of the mountain stream that powered the original plant. Now the site is being restored as a natural area and DT Swiss has moved nearby to a new location. DT Swiss also has manufacturing plants in Europe, Asia and North America that produce wheels, hubs, suspension products and, of course, stainless steel spokes – millions of them. This week’s ‘To the Point’ documents some of the intricacies of their spoke manufacturing process.

DT Swiss spokes in bin

A batch of freshly made DT Swiss spokes leaves the threading machine and will soon be on its way to join a wheel. (DT Swiss photo)


Spoke Primer:

Gauge: refers to US/British standards for the thickness of wire. Most stainless steel spokes are made and butted to one or a combination of 14, 15, or 16-gauge wire thicknesses (2.0mm, 1.8mm and 1.6mm). More about gauges
Straight gauge: wire, or a spoke that is of one constant diameter throughout its length.
Butted spoke: a spoke manufactured with one or more thicknesses across its length, thicker near the ends and thinnest in the center span.
Bladed spoke a spoke that has been ovalized or flattened across its span.
Drawing: pulling a larger-diameter wire through a smaller hole in a special ‘die’ to create a longer, smaller-diameter length of wire. Tubing is also made using the drawing technique.
Forging: squeezing metal in one or a number of steps into a smaller shape creates a more dense condition of the metal and helps to align its grain structure in a more desirable direction for a specific application. Spokes are forged using a radial forging (also, rotary swaging) technique.
J-bend: the standard spoke head is bent at 90-degrees and looks like the letter ‘J.’
Straight-pull spoke: spokes that have no bend at the flared head, or in the case of DT Swiss Tricon wheels, spokes that are threaded at both ends. Straight-pull spokes require dedicated hubs.




DT Swiss says that its spokes are forged. Is that a different process than drawing wire to size?

All DT Swiss spokes are forged into the diameters and shapes needed to suit the desired application(s). It's actually more of a complex process than you would think. The only "drawing" process that a spoke ever goes through is at the factory when it isn't even a spoke at all. The molten mix of metals is drawn into a constant diameter of wire and then forged into straight-gauge spools of wire. This wire forms the basis of all spokes. If a spoke is to be of a straight-gauge, DT Champion for example, the spool of wire is fed into a spoke manufacturing machine where it is cut to length, the end threaded and the spoke head manufactured. If butted spokes are desired, the wire is cut into prescribed lengths and blanks are manufactured. In this step the factory forges butting profiles needed. The blading process is a separate step, performed by a different forging process. The only part of the process that DT Swiss does not oversee is the manufacturing of raw materials into the finished spools of wire. Everything else is done in-house.

Contrary to popular belief, butted or bladed spokes are not "drawn" or stretched into their butted profiles by DT Swiss. Most people think the butted portion of the spoke is stretched into shape that is the finished product. This is not the case because it would leave the metal strained and weak. The butted spoke is actually is forged into its shape and while the process may seem similar, it isn't. The forging process allows the metal to be compressed into a denser package and this strengthens the metal by aligning the grain, giving rise to a part with improved strength characteristics.

In essence, the spoke can do more with less - if you get my drift. Think of a blacksmith manufacturing horseshoes. The metal for the shoes is not only hammered into shape, but is made denser through the process, thus removing voids and gaining durability through working the metal. Stretching the metal does the exact opposite.
Rotary Swaging machine patent drawing

DT Swiss uses a type of radial forging machine to butt its spokes that operates similar to this drawing. Also called rotary swaging machines, they operate by rotating a ring of rollers (7) that press down on plungers (2) as they roll over them (9). The plungers squeeze dies (3) that force the spoke (5) into a smaller diameter as it is fed through. Radial forging is a very precise and repeatable method of forming round shapes. (US Patent drawing)




Reduced aerodynamic drag is not a factor for off road cycling, so why do mountain bike wheels sometimes use bladed spokes?

Given that our aero spokes go through an extra forging process, they do gain some strength over their round cousins. Also, bladed spokes provide additional stiffness under braking and acceleration loads.

DT Swiss bladed spokes

DT Swiss uses a different forging process to profile its bladed spokes. Top secret, of course. (RC photo)



What kind of stainless steel is used to make DT Swiss spokes?

The blend of alloys and metals we use is kept under lock and key and is a strict company secret. Our formula is proprietary to DT Swiss and we've worked for countless years developing it. What I can share, is that we buy our raw materials from vendors that we've had long-standing partnerships with. We value these supplier relationships because they are able to provide us consistent product and the high level of quality control we demand. When you shop around for the best deal, this control is lost and the end product suffers - all to achieve a lower price. We are ultra-hyper about the quality of our spokes and starting with great materials is the best way to put the best finished product out there.

Is there any sort of heat treat process involved in the making of a spoke?

Not in the manufacturing of the spoke itself, but from the raw material stage to the bulk wire stage, yes. After that, all processes are done at ambient temperature. All of the forging and manufacturing processes are done without heat. This allows for better control, given the scope of product we are manufacturing.

DT Swiss aluminum nipple collection

DT Swiss states that the type of application, not superior strength, is the determining factor for using aluminum nipples rather than conventional brass items. They offer square, hexagonal and Torx type drive interfaces as well as a variety of anodized colors. (DT Swiss photo)



What is the difference in strength between aluminum and brass spoke nipples?

I think it's better to attack this from a "pros vs. cons" debate between the two. The advantages to brass nipples are they are less expensive to manufacture, and due to the harder material (brass), brass nipples are less prone to rounding by the nipple wrench. Brass nipples are better for wheels that see more service and are used in corrosive or dirty environments. Brass nipples can also be a bit easier to build with because the nickel-plating acts as a "lubricant" allowing them to spin a bit more freely under tension. The main disadvantages to brass nipples are increased weight and limited color options.

Alloy nipples have their place too. They are lighter and reduce rotational weight at the rim which some users feel is critical. Colors and build personalization abound with alloy nipples. Numerous anodized color options are available to help customize any build. There are some things to be mindful of when using alloy though. Due to the softer metal, care must be exercised when building/using alloy nipples in order to not round the nipple at the wrench flats. This is where our Hexagonal or Torx nipples really shine. Both offer more purchase for the nipple wrench and allow for better performance. Corrosion can also plague alloy nipples being used in high-mileage, all-weather applications. Typically, this pertains to wheels that see little maintenance and many, many miles in wet environments.
As a side note to the nipple discussion, DT Swiss manufactures nipples for just about any application imaginable - different materials, colors, wrench interfaces or locking agents are all available from DT. I point this out, because choosing the right nipple for the build shouldn't be an afterthought. Proper nipple choice (I can hear the funny reader comments now....) is just as important as choosing the right rim, hub or spoke.

DT Swiss Pro Lock nipples

A split view of a DT Swiss Pro Lock nipple shows its pre-applied thread-locking material, as well as the unthreaded section of the bore that acts as a stress reliever where the spoke enters the nipple. (DT Swiss photo)




How are the threads applied to the spokes?

They are rolled under high pressure. Rolling the threads does not remove material as cutting does. Plus, it allows the spoke and nipple interface to have a tighter tolerance fit. This promotes a longer lifespan for both the nipple and the spoke by avoiding broken threads or stripped nipples. It is for this reason that we recommend against shops cutting spokes to length using a spoke machine. A lot goes into manufacturing a spoke into the finished product that you see at the shop level. And all of these processes are done with machinery that is specific to DT and our spoke production.

DT Swiss spoke cutting and threading machine

Spiral grooves in a pair of rotating bars advance blank spokes through this machine, where they are measured, cut to precise length and the threads are rolled onto the ends. (DT Swiss photo)



Is there any significant loss in strength between a J-bend or a straight-pull spoke in real life?

J-bends spokes tend to suffer more breakage issues due to poor build quality and low spoke tension. Also, some hubs have spokes holes too large, which causes poor fit of the elbow. Most of the time you can chalk up premature J-bend spoke breakage to corners being cut in the wheel-building process. For example: it's always surprising to me to see a shop build wheels without the use of a spoke tensiometer. To me, that's like trying to build a house without a tape measure! I can't speak for other brands of spokes, but I can say that our J-bend and our straight-pull spokes are very close in quality and strength. Going forward, DT Swiss will be offering more versions of straight-pull spokes due to numerous requests as field replacements on other brands of wheels/build, or for new wheel builds on DT hubs.

DT Swiss Competition spoke

The classic 'J' bend spoke head of the DT Swiss competition spoke. Reportedly, the J-bend will stand up to an equal amount of abuse as a straight-pull spoke will - as long as the hub flange design is correct. (DT Swiss photo)




Is a double-threaded straight-pull spoke stronger than one with a formed head on one end?

Double-threaded spokes are more of design criteria brought on by hub/wheel design. An example of this is our Tricon family of wheels. The unique design of our hub mandated the need for double-threaded spokes. It is important to note, DT does not offer double-threaded spokes for sale as an aftermarket item. This is due to a bit more complex calculation of the lengths needed to properly build the wheel. Besides, there are little to no hubs being offered as aftermarket product utilizing double-threaded builds.

DTSwiss Tricon front wheel

Tricon hubs use double-threaded, straight-pull spokes, partially because DT Swiss must weave the spokes into an undrilled tubeless rim during the build process. (RC photo)




What is the difference in thickness between the original coiled wire and the finished spoke?

Essentially none. All spokes start out at their base gauge, 1.8, 2.0, 2.34mm, etc, and are forged into the butting profiles desired for the application. This is where the differences in gauges (butting) comes in.


Is butting a spoke done only to save weight, or are there other benefits?

To reiterate, our butting is done by forging which actually increases strength of the spoke. So the end result is a product that is not only lighter but also stronger. Some wheelbuilders would also argue that a butted spoke is also a bit more "elastic." The butted spoke allows for a bit more flex allowing the wheel to deflect and return to shape, whereas a straight-gauge spoke is less yielding. Like the old saying goes, "like a Willow tree in the wind, it bends but never breaks...." Corny, I know.

Black and white spokes DT Swiss

DT Swiss uses a special 'anodizing' process to produce its black spokes. White and spokes featured in other colors are actually painted individually. (DT Swiss photo)




What is the typical tensile breaking strength of a DT Swiss spoke?

I could answer this question with endless amounts of data, charts, QC studies and blabbity, blah blah blah.....but that would be boring and overkill for 98-percent of your audience. Here's the best way to address the topic: even our thinnest spokes will hold more tension than the strongest rim and most hub flanges. In other words, it's pretty dog-gone high!

DT Swiss factory

The DT Swiss factory in Biel, Switzerland. Spokes in one millimeter increments are packed by the hundreds in cardboard boxes on the left, destined for bike shops and specialty wheelbuilders - and by the thousands in the metal boxes on the right, earmarked for OEM manufacturers around the world. (DT Swiss photo)



How many spokes will DT Swiss make in 2013?

Too many to count! We are one of, if not the leading spoke supplier in the cycling industry for both the OEM and aftermarket segments. To meet this demand, we have spoke manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and I'm proud to say, the United States. We are an important supplier to some of the best bike brands and some the best wheelbuilders in the world - something we're really proud of. Our company was founded on spoke production and it's deeply rooted in our culture. It's been an important part of our business for quite some time, and it provides a strong foundation for all of the products we produce now and in the future.


More about DT Swiss

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91 Comments

  • + 294
 I guess this is a DT swiss "Spokes"person that gave this interview... Badum tiss. Razz
  • + 28
 I see what you did there.
  • + 136
 this article really spoke to me
  • - 66
flag p3dirtjumpernz (Feb 19, 2013 at 0:52) (Below Threshold)
 Golden. Us New Zealanders are claiming the top comment with these To the Point articles. Our hilarity comes naturally. We must keep it up!
  • + 64
 p3dirtjumpernz - it's probably due to limited gene pool
  • + 79
 This article made my nipples hard!
  • - 29
flag Lapsus (Feb 19, 2013 at 5:14) (Below Threshold)
 My nipples explode in delight!
  • + 5
 P3dirtjumpernz last week it was a guy from Ireland...
  • + 42
 Well Spoke n
  • - 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 19, 2013 at 11:03) (Below Threshold)
 That was just a stupid joke I did, to check how much humour Kiwis actualy have - I just got +20 props from Australia

mpitt - Crikey! Ireland is a small island as well!
  • + 7
 Agh. My bad everyone! I thought my comment was the one last week, and this one was the next one.
  • + 5
 maybe it's my turn to comment on the "thread" ...ya only thing I could come up with
  • + 1
 Got some /true/ humor right there, BeRude
  • + 2
 Quite a few people throwing sticks into the spokes here... I love the wittiness of some of the people on this thread.
  • + 46
 PinkBike should tell us ahead of time who they are going to interview so we can say some specific questions we would like answered. just an Idea.
  • + 9
 Message me on PB with any subjects you'd like to have covered. I figured that we will be doing a follow up with a pro wheel builder this year and that would make a better forum to answer questions about the applications of spokes and nipples into a finished wheel. This feature is primarily about making the spokes. RC
  • + 3
 Wheel building DH, AM and XC tips and tricks.
  • + 3
 Excellent interview, RC.
  • + 10
 I would have really appreciated a more in depth discussion of straight versus butted spoke and some insight into different spoke prep materials (lindseed oil vs grease vs spoke prep).
  • + 3
 Butted spokes flex more at the middle and less at the ends. 98 percent of spokes break at the ends so this is a good thing. Due to this, butted spokes break less than straight gauge spokes. From my experience DT prolock nipples are a first choice, then wheelsmith spoke prep, then linseed oil... but never dry!
  • + 1
 The Prolock nipples rule, everything else turns to powder or doesn't last. I have heard people claim their double butted spokes are stronger than the straight gauge because the process of butting them makes them stronger, but that might be myth. Wish their rims were as durable as everything else they make, they are soft and dent easily. But still one of my favorite companies and their hubs rule.
  • - 4
flag Protour (Feb 19, 2013 at 8:01) (Below Threshold)
 After taking a closer look at the article I see it's not a myth about butted spokes being stronger, and Cedricos claim about butted spokes flexing more in the butted section isn't true because that section of the spoke is actually stronger because of the forging and would flex less.
  • + 1
 My wheel builder loves me cos i always bring DTspokes an brass nipples for my builds, an he uses............................ vegtable oil
  • + 2
 The last wheel I built (WTB Laserdisc Lite, DT Swiss Comp spokes, DT Swiss EX 500, 32, 3x) the old, grizzled shop guy I got the spokes from insisted that linseed oil was the best, and all I had were some regular nipples, so I tried it. Was not impressed. It did the lubricant half of the spoke prep just fine, but the tech had made a point of saying linseed would also do the the thread-locking half, and I just didn't see it. Back to Prolock nipples in the future for me.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I only use linseed oil on a cheap builds, and I make sure to have a lot of tension without going past the rim's limit because they don't lock nearly as well as prolock or spoke prep.
  • + 1
 Damn it. I normally use spoke prep but decided to try Linseed oil because free and Sheldon brown. I don't think it will end up being an issue but now you have me concerned.
  • + 2
 @Circes for me it meant being more vigilant for the first few weeks, doing a bunch of minor retensionings. Things settled down eventually and I just keep an eye out. You'll be OK.
  • + 0
 linseed oil all the way. UBI's DT wheel building class only used linseed oil aswell.
  • + 1
 WBI's shimano/PT course also had us using boiled linseed oil. gooyee stick crap sucked to work with but the wheels were pretty damn nice
  • - 3
 Yeah, it's Wheel building class! They take them all apart afterwards so it makes it easier. Linseed oil doesn't last, and it doesn't hold at all. I'd rather use creosote.
  • + 1
 They actually sell the wheel sets from the dt class. But way to keep it real protour.
  • + 1
 Sounds like a great place to NOT buy your wheels from if they use that roadie crap oil.
  • + 8
 Are the double threaded straight pull, bladed spokes with black anodising and orange alloy nipples compatible with spokey dokes????
  • + 5
 Who gave these answers?? Butting is a plasticity process. When a material is deformed in it's plastic region, the volume of it doesn't change, only the shape does. So with forging the material DOESN'T get denser, that can't happen. The grain in the metal gets realigned, grains get stuck in eachother, behind eachother, etc., and that raises the tensile strength.
  • + 4
 I am not a wheel builder or any kind of specialist on this subject and DT is a respectable company. I also have the feeling that their normal spokes and nipples of today are not as good as those from back in the day. This is also a general impression shared among my friends who actually build wheels every day. A few years back, I had to disassemble a wheel made with DT spokes and nipples on a Mavic D521 rim and Hope hub. Nipples were standard brass ones, as I was going for strength. To my surprise, 3/4 of all nipples failed. They were bent or cracked. I switched to Sapim from then on and reused spokes and nipple for as much as 3 or 4 times in some cases and they are still perfect. On the other hand, I also know Sapim had Polyax nipples long before there was any Pro Lock technology in DT ones. I used Sapim spokes on my better wheels and DT on the generic ones. Sorry!
  • + 1
 Thats with everything Maxipedia, washing machines, cars, computers, go on..
  • + 2
 That wasn't a "they don't make 'em like they used to" type of comment, just an honest opinion on spokes. If it was about moaning and expressing nostalgia, I'd immediately brag with bulletproof M730 from the basement. But it's not the case. I'm not very thrilled with DT product, whereas others kept their standards. I guess that comes from wanting to make a lot of stuff that is fairly complicated. As a matter of fact, I just came from a press camp where a MTB team was also presented and they switched from DT suspension (it's even funny to write that) to another brand. They were very diplomatic on the reasons when asked on the record. Off the record they were less polite. Wink
  • + 4
 Great article. I read it with intensity. Which is why I picked up on something. DT Swiss say that butted spokes are not drawn, but forged, and they state that the forging compresses the metal. So I have to assume the mass of the spoke remains the same before and after forging. But then they say the butted spokes are lighter. This does not compute.
  • + 8
 great info
  • + 3
 Brass nipples are far superior no matter what DT says, for the long run brass is more durable, and if you tension your wheel the right way then no thread lock needed, you oil the nipples (on the wheel that is) not thread lock them .
  • + 2
 Something about the J spokes. In two and a half years, I have had to tension them 2-3 times, but never used a tensiometer. Only ONE spoke broke on me over that time, while I was doing a cornering stoppie.

DT Champion 2.0 of course! Smile
  • + 1
 You missed one of the biggest questions!
To Lock-tite or not to lock-tite?

I was the wheel builder at Planet-X for just over 2 years and built over 3000 wheels in that time, plus plenty since then for myself and friends.
I've always been pro lock-tite, but I know other wheel builders who's skills I also respect, say no to lock-tite.
It always turns into a massive argument when it comes up in the pub Smile
  • + 1
 @IIIestT

never used loctite myself

should not need to rely on a thread locker to prevent spokes from unwinding on the nipples, if the wheel is built correctly?

and never using aluminium alloy nipples for customers in the UK, we have rain and more rain plus mud and road salt = premature seizure!

always found much better results using Park or DT spoke tension meter to check spoke tension whilst building, kinda scary how few "pro" shops even use those tools, claiming their experienced wheel builder "know better..."

when DT Swiss designed and built their first spoke tension meter; the story goes they gave the tool to some very experienced pro wheel builder in Europe (guys in their 40s and 50s who had built 1000s of wheels for the Pro road tours and discerning customers)

the majority found their "experienced hands" were actually up to 20% out in terms of spoke tension compared to using the meter! This makes a massive difference to the durability of the wheel.

its also interesting to take the spoke tension meter and apply it to brand new wheelsets coming on production bikes, and even "factory wheels" selling even at the high end and see how absolutely shockingly bad, most wheels are built

"Wheel Shaped Objects" my old Cytech training manager would call these structures...

if you try, you can actually build a very good wheel using the spoke tension meter and very little visual inspection of the wheel jig / rim, like flying a plane blind using "instruments"
  • + 6
 if you're good at building wheels, a tension meter tells you what you already know. I'm not saying I'm the best wheelbuilder in the world, but I do build wheels for a well know trials brand and I'd hazard a guess they take more abuse than pretty much any other type of cycling. I don't use a tension gauge as I know that all the spokes are turned the same amount. If the rim is bad quality, then you have no choice in applying different tension to get it straight so a tension gauge will already tell you what you know.

Building wheels isn't some black art, you don't need 20 years experience and some kind of "gift" to make a wheel last. Just follow a pattern and a bit of common sense will get great results. I've not had to true my wheels for over a year now and that with heavy street use with failed spins and tailwhips and that was without a gauge.

It doesn't surprise me that a company that makes a tool would suggest that people who didn't use their tool didn't do as good a job.

The important part is the stressing of the wheel, most people just bend the wheel over a desk/lap or bend it with their arms and elbows or maybe press it against the floor. For a super strong wheel that's just not enough in my books, I find putting the wheel on the floor and stamping on it gives best results, though not advisable for lighter XC or road rims.

I'd never consider using Brass nipples either, there's just no point, lubed alloy nipples will still be useable years down the line, they can allow tighter spoke tension (I'll explain if needed) and they are lighter, win win.
  • + 2
 Explain how aluminum is stronger than brass in long term in this application. Brass seems stronger over the long run and won't break like aluminum will from fatigue. At least that's been my experience. I've seen plenty of broken aluminum nipples, but cant remember any belem brass nipples.
  • + 3
 I never said alloy was stronger than brass, I said alloy was strong enough. People don't complain when bars, frames, rims are all made of it, they shouldn't be scared of alloy nipples either. I've never broken an alloy nipple.
  • + 1
 The link about radial forging/swaging machines seems to have some good info, but it's written (or translated) in such poor english that it's almost unreadable!

The one thing I found informative about this interview was to learn that butted spokes are in fact stronger than their straight-gauge counterparts, and not just for the reasons I usually hear (elasticity, magic, blah blah blah)! Thanks for that!
  • + 1
 aliclarkson What's your opinion on the Triple butted Super Comp spokes? How would you compare them to the COMP? I know they are a bit lighter and that they shift the weight to the center of the wheel... I am thinking about breaking loads.
  • + 1
 Do spokes (design) really make that much difference!? I mean, I started mountain biking in '91, I have had countless wheels, OEM and aftermarket, and my First cheap ass Raleigh ATB is about the only bike which I broke the spokes on.. I snapped many nipples on some Mavic 117's back in the mid 90's but not spokes and non since. I honestly haven't suffered a spoke failure from about '94... Well, actually, the DT Swiss wheels that came on my 2010 Specilized Enduro had 4 spokes snap off at the thread!! Something that never had happened to me before (always snapped the nipples), as a result a dithced the wheels completely for some Easton Havocs!
  • + 1
 Those were aluminum nipples on the DT wheels. Brass does make a difference for long term strength in wheels.

I recently acquired a wheel with the original XT hub, the original Sun Rhyno rim, and DT spokes and brass nipples. Everything is in great condition except the hub, which was completely wasted(most likely from over-tightening from a hack mechanic), and the wheel is probably almost 25 years old! Anyways, I'm planning on re-using the nipples on my next personal DH wheel build, that's how much confidence I have in the DT brass nipples and I look forward to testing then with confidence. I would rarely re-use aluminum nipples because I don't have the long term confidence in them. I might even use the original Rhyno rim on another bike, and luckily the wheel is a 36 hole so I'll have four nipples to spare in case any were damaged by the previously mentioned hack mechanic who over-tightened the hub.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I know Brass nipples are stronger, hence my comment about the ali nipples all breaking, but are spokes that detrimental? I mean even the DT guy said their thinnest guage spoke is still way stronger than an eyelet or hub even maybe, so what's it matter what spokes you have? Except for the weight weenies!
  • + 1
 DT takes their material from Sweden, most of the stuff used in alloy is even dug up there. So all you Euros, embrace that! Support local stuff - it's top notch quality as well! Santa supervises production, happy trolls dig it up. Gnome engineers melt shit, and Elves pack It for shipping... everything gets blessing of original Thors hammer, before it goes to Swtzerland where they dip it in finest Swiss Chocolate before forging. Chocolate nipples are always good for a long trip...
  • + 21
 You REALLY have too much time.... Ride your bike.
  • + 2
 Thank you for your input, but I have no free time in spans longer than 15min. Oh wait I have - after my daughter goes to sleep! Oh... It's dark by then! And then my wife requires (and deserves) attention - I shall consider any advice if you provide more details how to achieve "go riding" goal. Factor in ice on trails if you ever saw one.

Off course I could switch to BMX or street bike but I hate Hip Hop...

Cheers...
  • + 0
 studded tires and a baby seat or trailer with studded tires. there are ful suspension trailers - look at chariot. whatever it takes waki and with the excessive time you must have, you could even make your own tires. I have used rivets braced with outside chain links. or use stainless screws with a small nut on the outside. just line the inside with duct tape
  • - 2
 daeemm - this place is swarming with no-time-to-spare achievers... terashred - just send me a pic of you and your kid in charriot on a trail, it can be in super dry, middle of the summer, I don't care - I WANT TO BELIEVE!
  • + 2
 ill get back to you on that
  • + 2
 trolled.
  • + 1
 Here's a can of worms. Which spoke/build pattern do DT swiss favour (standard db jbend)? 3 cross/4cross trailing spokes on the inside or outside of flanges or opposing? And are coloured/annodized spokes weeker or stronger? Discuss!!!! (let battle commence!).
  • + 1
 3x and whichever way maximizes strength against the forces put upon the brake rotor. so in my opinion trailing spokes from the inside.
  • + 2
 I enjoyed that so thanks. I've seen many forum discussion where people say black spokes are weaker... it would have been interesting to hear what DT had to say about this.
  • + 1
 They are noisier...
  • + 3
 Maybe something to do with the paint and how it resonates with friction... Unless they don't touch, then I got nothing lol. I'm gonna go bike now.
  • + 1
 The black 'paint' comes off easily for the DT champion spokes..
  • + 4
 I love spokes
  • + 19
 but I love nipple too
  • + 9
 It's all about the flange...
  • + 0
 I love to spoke to the nipples (!)
  • + 2
 I love lamp
  • + 3
 the number of times i laughed at the term 'nipple wrench' is unreal...
  • + 3
 Best are nipples dipped in chocolate.
  • - 1
 So basically they have four factories churning out different quality-levels in different batches meaning it is totally hit and miss what you get. And I never liked my DT hubs and rims - they got out of shape quicker than my tinfoil Weinmann-rims /Shimano hubs from the late seventies. And I live a couple of mls of their factory.
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 19, 2013 at 10:54) (Below Threshold)
 How can you defecate into your own fondue?! Take an example from USA, they're the new French - they're so proud of themselves and their country - everything they do is so... flammeboyant
  • + 1
 Do Straight gauge or double butted need more truing?
What flex more of the two?
What happened to DTs Titanium alloy spokes?
  • - 2
 Ti spokes got stretched
  • + 1
 But they seemed to only stretch to a point then stop. I may be wrong. Not sure who neg repped you. DT Ti spokes did stretch. Not sure of Mawi or others.
  • + 1
 I don't know. My friend was usig them and said, that building a wheel with them was a terrible experience - spokes would stretch afterwards, sometimes over night after the building. Then after making it finaly work, they would break at every major impact.

There was a guy from my home town in Poland who worked in old sailplane factory who made a bunch of carbon spokes for his road bike, it was like 20 years ago. Very impressive... and scary! They were literaly like strings. They had molded steel inserts at both ends, at head and at the thread, both with a hole through which he dragged fiber like a string through a nitting needle. Then he put rusin on it using a brush and used two sheets of glass as a "form". It had a flat reinforced piece around thread near the nipple to hold it so the "spoke" wouldn't rotate while truing.

They were probably strong for stretching, but probably didn't not weigh much less than current steel ones. They must have broken like glass if something came into them... ridiculous yet fascinating Big Grin
  • + 1
 Man that Tricon hub looks burly...
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