Measuring Spoke Length when Building a Bicycle Wheel

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Calculating Spoke Length for a Bicycle Wheel....5

Measuring spoke length when building a bicycle wheel is done by taking measurements of the dimensions of the wheel. Learn how to measure spoke length when building a bicycle wheel in this free video on bicycle wheel building.

Part of the Video Series: Bicycle Wheel Building
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Video Transcript

Ok. I'd like to show you how to properly calculate spoke length for a new wheel build. Once the hub and rim have been determined, we want to take certain measurements, and use an online spoke calculator to correctly determine that spoke length. I'll show you how to make those measurements. Now, we'll take the hub first, in this case we'll use a front hub, and we'll measure the hub flange diameter. This is the diameter from one hole to an opposite hole. We'll measure from the center of the hole, to the center of an opposite hole, and take that dimension. In this case, I see it as, thirty-eight millimeters. The next dimension we'll take is the center to flange measurement. From the hub ends, we'll measure to the center of the hub. We know in this case, that the over nuts are one-hundred millimeters, so the center is, fifty millimeters. That makes the center of the hub right on the x of x t. Now our hub flange center measurement comes from that point, to the center of the hub flange. In this case, we'll say, thirty-two millimeters. The next important measurement is derived from the rim, that is the effective rim diameter, and that measurement is taken from the spoke seat of opposite holes anywhere on the rim. In this case, the manufacturer was kind enough to write that number on the label. If we were taking a measurement, we'll be using a measuring tool on opposite spokes. In this case, we've got five-hundred and forty-two millimeters. Two more important numbers that will be used in the spoke calculation, are the spoke count, that is the number of spokes in the wheel, and the cross pattern, or the number of crosses. Obviously, it's important to count the hub, and make sure it matches the rim. Typical is thirty-two, we would want to determine the crossing pattern based on the application for the wheel. Anywhere, from zero crosses, which is called the radio wheel, to four crosses, which is typically built for two wearing wheels. Bare in mind, that on a rear wheel, or a mountain bike disk wheel, there's offset to those flanges. So, the measurements will be different, you'll have a distinct right side measurement, and a distinct left side measurement. For that reason, we measure each side independently. Notice in this case, we've got an overall mountain bike hub spacing of one-hundred and, thirty-five millimeters. That makes the center line, sixty-seven point five. So, sixty-seven point five shows us right on the little hump here just beyond the x, that gives us a right side center to flange measurement of about twenty-two millimeters, and a left side center to flange measurement of about, thirty-eight millimeters. Be sure to put those numbers correctly into your spoke calculator individually left side and, right side, so you get the proper spoke calculation for each side of the wheel.

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