Reusing spokes

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by llllllll, 17 Apr 2008.

  1. llllllll

    llllllll New Member

    I think my rear hub's a bit more terminal than I first thought and since that's a wheel rebuild I'm thinking of replacing the rim as well (worn braking surface). So it's basically a new wheel, being a cheapskate I'm wondering if it's o.k to reuse the spokes? They're the extra strong ones (not sure of the brand, probably Alpina) usually used on touring bikes and tandems. They're only used on racing bike, but the standard ones kept breaking.
  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I wouldn't ! - But it's up to you - are you replacing like for like with hub/rim - as it may mean you need a different spoke length.
  3. Don't do it.
  4. OP

    llllllll New Member

    O.k, I suspected it was a bad idea to keep them, just thought I'd get a second opinion.

    So since I'm changing spokes there's no need to stick with the same rim and hub. The Mavic (CXP33) rim has been good, not so keen on the hub (Shimano Sora). I'd prefer an non-shimano hub (long history of Shimano parts breaking on me), but the freehub needs to be shimano compatible, preferably with cartridge bearings. My commute is pretty long (about 12 miles each way) over some rough roads and it's my only realistic way of getting to work so it has to be strong and reliable. Unfortunately my bike gets left outside at work where lots of bikes go missing, so nothing too expensive.
    Any reccomendations?
  5. 02GF74

    02GF74 Über Member

    .... and the reason being?

    Shops replace spokes since they can charge you for them and it is quicker for them to chop the spoke than to undo it.

    I have rim brakes on my commuter and when the rim is worn, I buy same mavic rim and relace the new rim in place of the old one. I have done that at least twice on each wheel USING THE SAME SPOKES and not have had any problems.

    So curious to know why.
  6. Shops replace spokes because correctly tensioning a wheel with old spokes is an absolute pain in the ass. The spokes will have bends and deformities from where they crossed one another in the origional build. The exception is when one is doing a simple rim swap where you tape a new rim to the old one and transfer spokes one by one.
  7. Landslide

    Landslide Rare Migrant

    Called to the bar
    Seems weird, when you consider that the first thing spoke manufacturers do is put a bend in them (the spoke elbow)!
    Mickle's right though, re-using old spokes for a complete rebuild is a real pain, especially when trying to get the tension right.
  8. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    It's a false economy. New rim, new hub, old spokes?

    Just buy or build a new wheel.
  9. andrew_s

    andrew_s Guru

    If you have had no problem with broken spokes (since last rebuild), there's no reason not to re-use them provided that they are the right length. However, the main advantage is not having to relace when replacing a rim, and if you are changing the hub too you don't get that so you may prefer the peace of mind of new spokes.
    If you do re-use the spokes, take care not to mix the spokes up, especially not gear side and non-gear side. Leading/trailing spokes doesn't matter so much, but it's probably best to replace in the same orientation if you can.

    Bike shops don't re-use spokes because they don't know that there haven't been any problems, and if the wheel comes back with a broken spoke, they are straight into losing money. Just like a bike shop will never patch an inner tube.
  10. 02GF74

    02GF74 Über Member

    quick look at spoke/nipple prices whcih are about £ 20 - so that is at least £ 80 I have saved, not had any problems so don't see why that is not anything but good. :becool:
  11. robbarker

    robbarker Well-Known Member

  12. andygates

    andygates New Member

    If the spokes are nice, reuse them. Particularly if you're just doing a rim or hub transplant, so the crossings and everything will be the same. When spokes cost as much as a set of DT ones do, my inner Yorkshireman just won't let me throw them away.

    Never had any problem with it.
  13. That's the key though, keeping them in the same place. Straightforward with a rim swap, a nightmare of epic proportions with a hub swap.
  14. OP

    llllllll New Member

    So if I keep them in the right order I can re-use them? They were just over a pound each, so I'd have a bit more money avalible for the hub if I could keep them and I don't like throwing stuff out if there's some life left in them.
  15. Saddle bum

    Saddle bum Über Member

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