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Best source for spokes?(4 posts)

Best source for spokes?mr_spin
Oct 1, 2001 8:19 AM
Because I must know how and why things work, I've started building my own wheels. In fact, I've successfully built a couple that I actually ride on.

I've gone 3x so far, but now I want to experiment with some different lacing patterns. But the cost of getting all those different lengths really adds up.

Anybody know a cheap source for spokes? I've been using the basic DT Champion (or is it Competition? I forget) 15/16 on my road wheels and 14/15 on my MTB.
Price doesn't seem to vary muchcory
Oct 4, 2001 10:51 AM
They're a pretty basic item, not very expensive, and there's not much room for retailers to play around. Might see if you can get a bike shop to give you a rate on 'em, but there's no motivation for them to do it, so you'd probably have to be on good terms with them to start with.
re: Best source for spokes?grzy
Oct 4, 2001 4:00 PM
Mail order saves a bunch of cake over LBS prices - they really gig you on the little stuff. you can save something like 30%.
Accommodation salenee Spoke Wrench
Oct 5, 2001 6:34 AM
I doubt very many bike shops make ANY money on spoke sales. There are lots of different styles, sizes and even colors and you pretty much have to have the exact replacement. Believe it or not, spoke storage for shops can be a real problem. It adds up to a fairly significant inventory cost and spoke sales tend to be real labor intensive. If all you are selling is a few spokes, the gross mark up will never cover the cost of your direct labor to make the sale. You have to think of it as an accommodation so that the customer will think of you as a good guy and buy other stuff from you.

When I had my own store, I charged $1.00 a piece for DT Champions to people who just wanted 2 or 3 spokes and half that to someone who bought a whole wheel's worth.

One other bit of advice. Regardless of where you buy them, measure your new spokes yourself. While I have no personal experience, I've heard rumors of both DT and Wheelsmith spokes being mislabeled from the factory. I have personally had the unpleasant experience of lacing up an entire 48 spoke tandem wheel to find that someone had mixed two different lengths of spokes in the same box.