Spokes for a bicycle: what are and how to choose?

Spokes for a bicycle: what are and how to choose?

The quality of the cycling wheels depends on the level of their elements. Consist wheels of three items: sleeves, rim and spice. In this case, the knitting needles are a connecting element of all parts. From the material of this article you will learn what they happen and how to choose the desired option.

Why need?

Bicycle knitting wheel connects the sleeve with rim. Due to it, the wheel acquires high strength with a small weight. In addition to ensuring the integrity of the design, the knitting needles are a kind of shock absorbers. Thanks to their flexibility, it is possible to distribute the load on the line. Having a vertical position, they overcome gravity.

They consist of a rod and nipple or a mushroom-shaped nut, necessary to secure on the rim. The root end of the rod bent, on the second there is a thread (cutting or rolled). Options of the second type are considered more reliable and durable. Cycling spokes center the rim, hold the shape of the wheel, in addition to the strength, give it the rigidity.


Classify bicycle needles can be classified by several characteristics.

By material manufacturing

During the manufacturing process, various raw materials are used: stainless steel (chromomolibdden), aluminum, carbon, titanium. Steel products chrome either nickelate. Aluminum knitting needles use when it is necessary to reduce the weight of the bike itself. Carbon and titanium products have a small weight, but a high price. They are used for sports models.

Nuts produce from bronze, aluminum and steel. The first are good in that it is extremely rare, which simplifies the replacement of the spokes if necessary. Steel is distinguished by the budget value, although they like smaller bronze products with specialists. Aluminum options are more expensive, but facilitate wheeled construction.

By method of production

All varieties can be divided into 3 rules: rolled, flat and drawn type. The options of the first group are considered the most common, which is explained by their simplicity and low cost. Make them made of steel rods of the required diameter.

In this case, the thickness of the modifications is the same throughout the length.

Often these varieties are called cylindrical with constant thickness. They are characterized by a large range of profiles and may have different lengths. The disadvantages of the products are their weight and the need for frequent replacement.

The second line consists of a cylindrical type modifications with batting. They are relevant when traveling by bike when the wheels get sudden blows. These are variants of a drawn type for lovers to ride off-road. Absorbing part of the pressure, the rest they pass the frame and the steering wheel. The variable thickness contributes to the best load distribution.

Due to cold forging technology, they can stretch without any damage to the molecular structure of the material used.

Such needles are with one, two thickening and triple batting. Models of second type are considered priority options. Products with triple thickening are needed for electric bicycles, as well as downhill.

Analogs of flat type differ from rolled products flat shape. They are aligned on the same plane, due to which the aerodynamicity increases and the final strength. Their cost above rolled type products.

In professional circles they are called aerospants.

They have an aerodynamic profile to reduce air resistance. These are varieties of a batting line, which differ variable thickness. Often their profile compatible with all types of bushings.

According to the sizes

The entire sold assortment is divided into 2 groups: options for direct and indirect type. Variants of alternating section include multiple lines.

  • Single-Butted. Rare, thickened from the end with the head. They are used in the event that high strength on wheels with rim having type holes.

  • Double-Butted. Help reduce the weight of the bicycle, thickened from two ends, but are flattened in the middle. Excellent stretched, transmit part of the voltage to neighboring knitting needles, effective in shock loads.

  • Triple-Butted. Different with three different diameters of the section. Excellent option for those who need durable and durable bike knitting needles. Possess the advantages of the first two species, suitable for tourism with cargo.

  • Aerodynamic elliptic. Different flowing forms, in the middle hide on the ellipse.

  • Aerodynamic flat. Look like a drowned or flat profile. Wide for standard sleeve, in view of which when they are attached, it is necessary to make holes in the flange.

In size and caliber

Product size depends on bicycle type.

For example:

  • Models for children and adolescents are suitable options with parameters of 12 and 16 inches+
  • Trial needs products in 19 and 20 inches+
  • BMX, Ligrands and Folding Bicycles are fitted with 20 inches+
  • Modifications on the rear wheels for the dert, Street, Downhill and Freeride need 24 inches+
  • The main part of the bicycle mountain type needs products with dimensional characteristics of 26 inches+
  • 27 inches are considered the size for bicycle wheels outdated type+
  • 29 inches bought for mountainous, hybrid, as well as urban bicycle models.

The thickness of the spokes is made to measure in mm. Depending on the variety of cycling spokes, its indicators can be 1.6, 1.8, 2, 2.3 mm. At the same time, depending on the bike, the model for the front and rear wheels can be different. The thickness of reinforced models is 3 mm in diameter. Such options are used for motor-wheels. Nipples are in length 12, 14, 16 mm. The spoke parameters are selected by the diameter of the entire wheel.

    To find out the necessary parameters, you have to resort to the removal of special formula or the use of the length calculator. The second method is much easier, you can find Russified applications that are able to adjust the geometric length of the spokes per 1 mm. The simplified formula looks like this:

    Spokelength = SQRT (WX2 + DX2 + ERD2-2 * DX * ERD * COS (360 / (N / 2) * K).


    • SpokelengthXX – right or left knitting needles (XR or XL)+
    • WX – WR or WL (length from center to flange)+
    • DX – DR or DL ​​(flange diameter)+
    • S – hole diameter under the needle.

      In the range of trademarks, you can find products with a length of 175, 184, 186, 188, 252, 254, 262 mm. Based on the variety, the needles can be typical or color. Last variants are made of stainless steel.

      In count

      In England, 72 knitting needles were installed on the wheels of a bicycle for adults (32 in front and 40 rear). In other countries on the wheels put 36 spokes. For a typical bike, this amount was quite sufficient. Their number for an analogue of a highway can be smaller (28, 24 pcs.).

      It was believed that the decrease allows to achieve greater maneuverability in terms of changing speeds. Marketers believed that for a good ride it is enough to use no more than 32 pcs. On each wheel.

      However, despite experiments with an extreme number of spokes (16 pcs.), The best strength characteristics have wheels in which 36 spokes are inserted. Products with fewer suitable for fans cyclists. Wherein The number of spokes in different models may vary, however it should always be more than 2 or 4.

      On spinning

      Spicking options can be different. This is explained by different types of load (on the front wheel it is significantly less).

      Spicking the front and rear wheels can be radial and tangent (straight and cruciform). In the first case, the needles come from the rim to the sleeve. This type of spreating is considered not the best, it is not so reliable. However, this option looks aesthetically and quite suitable for the front wheels of the bike. But when the buyer installs the needles for this method, it deprives warranty.

      In a cruciform embodiment, the knitting needker is attached to the sleeve is not directly, but by tangent. In this case, it intersects three times with other knitting needles between the sleeve and the rim (option 3x). These wheels are stronger and reliable. In addition to spaceing in 3 cross, there is a spinning 4x.

      What to choose?

      The best option will be the model of the same type that stand in wheels. Today you can buy them today, and therefore it will be easy to replace the broken needle.

      When the need for the replacement and selection of the spokes of the desired type appeared, pay attention to several rules of good purchase.

      • Do not take expensive products if there is no need. For example, an unprofessional rider is suitable for stainless steel. Professional need reinforced modifications.
      • The type of cycling needles should depend on the alleged loads. Newcomer is not needed reinforced modifications that are also difficult to get.
      • You need to take models with medium thick, at an affordable price. The number takes, pushing away from the needs and parameters of a specific rim.
      • As for the length, you can contact the consultant. It will quickly help determine the desired option based on the diameter of the rim, the manufacturer’s brand, sleeve dimensions, spicial type.
      • Geometry for a novice should be simple or flat, with an optimal increase in load on rough terrain.
      • It is better to choose inverted needles, due to which the moment of inertia is reduced.
      • The best position of the spokes – Parno Cross. In this case, it will be possible to increase the transverse rigidity and the power of the tension, evenly distributing the load on the rim.
      • Perfect number of spokes – 36 pcs. The minimum number for the front wheel is 28 pcs. For tandem, the optimal option will be the purchase of 40 or 48 spokes.
      • The type of thread is important. Spokes with rolled threads are more durable, but cost more.

      In the next video you will learn how to pull the bike knit.

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