Spoke Gauge Maximum Diameter

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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manianac   1 µW

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Spoke Gauge Maximum Diameter

Post by manianac » Nov 29 2020 9:52pm

So is there such a thing as going too big with spoke diameter? I have an MXUS X40-45H with 4.2mm spoke holes, and a 1.6x21 rim with 8mm holes.

I figure I can go up to 8G spokes, but is there any reason not to? Should I use a 9G or 10G so there is some flex, or am I overthinking this?

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Spoke Gauge Maximum Diameter

Post by MadRhino » Nov 30 2020 12:37am

Spokes need to match rim strength. Thinner spokes are making better wheels, especially when the spokes are short. 8ga spokes require a very heavy rim.
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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Spoke Gauge Maximum Diameter

Post by Chalo » Nov 30 2020 2:42am

manianac wrote:
Nov 29 2020 9:52pm
So is there such a thing as going too big with spoke diameter?
Yes. The thicker the spoke, the tighter it must be to work correctly. But rims can only withstand so much tension before they crack, pucker, or buckle.

Any given rim can carry more weight and torque reliably, the thinner the spokes are. The thinner the spoke, the more it can stretch and retract to follow the rim's deflections under load. I build wheels for pedicab trikes that carry over 2000 lbs gross weight, and for those I use 14-15ga double butted spokes. They have proven to be much more reliable than 12ga, 13ga, or even straight 14ga spokes when the loads are extreme.

The strength of the wheel is in the rim, not the spokes. Spokes are supportive, and they can do their job better when they're thin.
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