Which spoke breaks more often

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Which spoke breaks more often

Postby rdwaltonut » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:25 pm

I was recently getting one of my spokes replaced because it snapped. As my mechanic at my LBS was fixing it, he commented that he sees more black, powder coated spokes break than silver ones. I pose this to the BNA world to see if anyone else has seen the same thing
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by BNA » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:46 pm

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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby simonn » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:46 pm

Nope.
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby richbee » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:19 pm

Is that because more wheelsets are sold with black powder coated spokes than plain old silver ones?
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby master6 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:31 pm

The silver spokes dazzle the mechanics eyes, and he works by feel, actually seeing nothing. Simple really :D
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:26 pm

richbee wrote:Is that because more wheelsets are sold with black powder coated spokes than plain old silver ones?


Probably on the money :-)
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby coffeeandwine » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:24 pm

Quite a relevant question for me ATM.

At the risk of hijacking the thread (have already decided on black :)) I am looking at some new wheels and have a small range of spokes to choose from.

Spoke weights are easy to get, but in terms of strength how do the following compare:

Sapim CX-ray (seem to be the benchmark but are they worth the extra expense?)
DT Swiss Competition (spoke of choice for many builders)
Pillar Double butted
DT Swiss Champion
Pillar Plain Gauge

As a rule are plain gauge spokes stronger than butted spokes? - or is the marketing correct that butted spokes put the material where it is most useful (ie weakest point is near the hub where the spoke curves).

(I don't really go fast enough to get the benefit :)) but how do aero spokes compare in terms of strength?

(I understand numbers of spokes and lacing patterns have an influence on strength of the wheel, really after a feel for any difference between brands/spokes from people's experience).

I would appreciate your views.

cheers
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby drubie » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:46 pm

I had a real run of broken spokes on the back wheel of a tandem, all of them stainless steel.

Broke a heap of flat bladed spokes on a cheap mountain bike wheel that were black painted.

My conclusion was the colour of the spokes made no difference, but the appropriateness of the wheel to the task makes a huge difference.
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby sturmey archer » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:25 pm

coffeeandwine wrote:As a rule are plain gauge spokes stronger than butted spokes? - or is the marketing correct that butted spokes put the material where it is most useful (ie weakest point is near the hub where the spoke curves).


I believe plain gauge spokes will be stronger, but butted spokes will be less likely to fail. Huh -makes no sense? Butted spokes will stretch more under the same load removing some of the stress from the elbow where most failures occur. Also spoke loads will be spread across more spokes with butted spokes, again due to stretching.

Personally I haven't busted enough spokes of either type to be statistically meaningful (well apart from the wheel full of crap sapim(?) spokes that all break in the middle of the spoke)
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby coffeeandwine » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:16 am

sturmey archer wrote:
coffeeandwine wrote:As a rule are plain gauge spokes stronger than butted spokes? - or is the marketing correct that butted spokes put the material where it is most useful (ie weakest point is near the hub where the spoke curves).


I believe plain gauge spokes will be stronger, but butted spokes will be less likely to fail. Huh -makes no sense? Butted spokes will stretch more under the same load removing some of the stress from the elbow where most failures occur. Also spoke loads will be spread across more spokes with butted spokes, again due to stretching.

Personally I haven't busted enough spokes of either type to be statistically meaningful (well apart from the wheel full of crap sapim(?) spokes that all break in the middle of the spoke)

Thanks SM, this is the sort of info I was hoping for.
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:07 pm

Typically spokes don't fail from a lack of strength, they fail as a result of fatigue. Because butted spokes are more flexible they don't fatigue the spoke elbow as much. Butted spokes are also more expensive and more prone to twisting which means that they are less likely to be used by incompetent wheel builders or machines. Maybe silver spokes are the choice of human wheel builders, whereas machine built wheels are more likely to be affected by fashion.

I can't think of any reason why a light anodised coating would affect the life of a steel spoke, although Jobst Brandt reckoned that hard anodised aluminium rims were more prone to cracking in use but I gather that the process is quite different.


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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby Mugglechops » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:16 pm

Going on my experience over the last few years, I have broken a number of black spokes and no shiny silver ones.

I got my latest wheel rebuilt after failing at 1600kms. My LBS put some nice shiny spokes on instead of black ones as he said he has seen more black ones break.

Only time will tell I suppose :D
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Re: Which spoke breaks more often

Postby scotto » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:28 pm

I broke a nipple lady night sprinting up a short hill. It was black on the outside but silver inside !
Rising home was fun, waiting for more spokes to come undone given their new taste of (untensioned) freedom .
Hard part was getting the spare nipple in the hole - 80mm carbon rim. I looked stupid when the LBS told me an easy way....... Another great "d'oh moment" in DIY workshop. (Slide the spoke through the hole and screw nipple on then pull it through the rim !!
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