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Wire around spokes? Why?(14 posts)

Wire around spokes? Why?Marketing Dept
Sep 2, 2003 6:37 AM
I was looking at my friends bike. He has some Wheelsmith Open pro's with ultegra hubs. They are laced 3x. At the intersection of each of the crosses, there is a fine wire wrapped around the spokes.

Hard to describe and in my 20+ years of cycling and repairing bikes for friends, I have never seen it.

Do any of you know what this is for? I would guess it would make the wheels more stiff, but just a guess.
Its called tying and solderingpmf1
Sep 2, 2003 6:54 AM
But probably not spelled that way.

This is something that used to commonly be done to wheels. Wire was wrapped around the large cross of the spokes and soldered on. It supposedly made the stiffer and more durable.

If you have The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt, its described in there. I don't think this is commonely done anymore. I really doubt Wheelsmith would do it unless instructed to. Did your buddy get the wheels used?
tying spokes...philippec
Sep 2, 2003 6:56 AM
used to be a pretty common way of stiffening wheels. You still see it alot here in Europe -- but, interestingly enough, not on racing bikes! Anyway, it's pretty old school (and I don't mean that in a bad sort of way). I'm not sure if it is really an effective way of stiffening wheels -- I haven't seen any data one way or the other, though.


..still done by builder in Ottawa...Spunout
Sep 2, 2003 7:57 AM
best way to stiffen up a sprinter's crit wheels. Often, non-drive side only rear wheel where the tension is low. No data or tests for me, sorry.

Or, ultralight climbing wheels. Inexpensive performance upgrade as opposed to carbon rims.
tying spokes...asgelle
Sep 2, 2003 8:24 AM
-- I haven't seen any data one way or the other, though.

The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt,shows tying and soldering has no effect.
Great info...Marketing Dept
Sep 2, 2003 8:07 AM
Thanks for all of the info.

My friend bought them from a Wheelsmith rep who had a few special orders that were never paid for or so goes the story.

They are really light for a standard road set. They also have butted spokes, so I suspect they were built perhaps for climbing??

Anyway, thanks again.
Great info...pmf1
Sep 2, 2003 8:29 AM
Butted spokes (14-15-14) are pretty common and as strong as straight guage 14 spokes. I'm not sure the weight savings are that dramatic, and they don't require tying and soldering. All the wire wheels I used to build where with DT 14-15-14 spokes. they all held up well.
Tied spokes on Cipo's front wheel...TFerguson
Sep 2, 2003 9:21 AM
Photo from last spring. Must be one high level believer.
Photo ©: Jeff Jones & Chris Henry
The theory goes....russw19
Sep 2, 2003 10:33 AM
That by tying and soldering wheels that you effectivly move the hub flange out farther out from the axle. That's the theory, I don't have the data to see if this is true in real world applications, but it is said to stiffen a wheel. You don't see it much anymore, but you can still order wheels this way from places like Quality Bikes as well as any reputable wheel builder. It only adds about 30 grams to a wheel (the difference between brass and alloy nipples) and is also said to help balance tension by spreading the spokes load to the spoke it is anchored to.

But again, don't ask me if it really works, because I haven't ever done the math.

The theory goes....asgelle
Sep 2, 2003 12:19 PM
don't have the data to see if this is true in real world applications, but it is said to stiffen a wheel. ...

But again, don't ask me if it really works, because I haven't ever done the math.

But Jobst has. He shows that there is no lateral motion of the spokes at the crossing and so tying and soldering does nothing in regard to spoke motion. As to moving the effective hub to the crossing, since the spokes are still free to deform elastically along their entire length, even through the tie, there is no effect here either. Of course, you can find places to tie and solder, they charge extra for this don't they.
The theory goes....russw19
Sep 2, 2003 4:42 PM
I have never, nor will I ever try to one up Jobst.... I was simply stating what the long standing theory was. I trust that Jobst is correct, but I have not done the math, so my disclaimer was simply to make it understood that if you question this theory one way or the other, don't try to prove it to me. I don't care, as I don't tie or solder my wheels. Hence the title of my post being "The theory goes" not, "Here's why"

Just wanted to clear that up...

Challenging JobstSpoiler
Sep 2, 2003 5:28 PM
According to some roadies, most specifically Jobst himself, challenging Jobst is a sin against God. You came mighty close to feeling his wrath. Actually, if experienced pro riders and mechanics truly believe it stiffens the wheel, I'd believe their on-the-bike experience rather than Jobst's book full of calculations.
Challenging JobstletsGoOn2
Sep 2, 2003 5:58 PM
I own the book, and I believe Jobst to be a much better wheel builder than I am... He's certainly better at writing books about building wheels! On the other hand, I ride with some very experienced cat1's who've ridden tied wheels and swear that the difference tied spokes make is easily perceptible.

I do believe that a rider who is very in tune with their bike could perceive a difference that doesn't show up in any calculation or laboratory test.
Challenging Jobstrussw19
Sep 2, 2003 6:57 PM
Guys, my point was that I didn't make judgement either way... so I have not sinned against either myself or Jobst!

I simply offered up the explaination for why people would do this, past or present.

This subject is fun, but let's move on now....