Double Butted vs Plain Gauge Spokes

Home Forum Bike Forum Double Butted vs Plain Gauge Spokes

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Double Butted vs Plain Gauge Spokes
  • Dibbs
    Member

    From what I understand there’s no advantage in using PG apart from price.

    clubber
    Member

    PG spokes don’t make a stiffer wheel, only heavier though they are more resistant to direct damage (eg chain in the spokes).

    pedalphile
    Member

    I’ve always built wheels using plain gauge, however arguments can be made that double butted is stronger as the spoke “stretches” to absorb shock better, helping prevent snapping. This would explain why DT markets their Alpine butted spokes for DH and tandem use. For stiffness, I always ramp up my spoke tension as high as I feel they can safely go. But others would suggest the use of a tensionmeter for that.

    Premier Icon allankelly
    Subscriber

    In my experience, spokes break at the head. There’s no butting there. It’s a price thing I think.

    al.

    For what its worth I used double butted on the non drive side rear and plain gauge on the drive side. Also same at the front but plain gauge for the disc side. These are 29er wheels which I built a few months ago and have been running them on a CX bike with no suspension obvviously!.

    These wheels have took a real hammering over some hard terrain and have not gone out of true by even 1mm.

    A few well respected wheel builders told me to give this a go and I’m happy with the result.

    I have noticed that wheels I have had that are built with plain gauge spokes, tend to actually go out of true a bit more. Maybe its down to them being too stiff and not having as much give as DB ones. I would not go any less than the DB spokes though. I do think it comes down to the build though as much as DB V PG

    cynic-al
    Member

    “from experience” – I doubt anyone has built/used enough wheels with both to give you a statistically relevant answer.

    I’m certainly not riding around thinking “I hate this, those db comp spokes are too flexy”.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Real world experience/hard facts only please, no armchair wheelbuilders!
    😉

    Which is stronger if any?
    Will PG spokes build a STIFFER wheel? (Or is that more down to the build?)

    Ta muchly.
    🙂

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Inconclusive, then? As I expected….
    😉

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    PG spokes don’t make a stiffer wheel

    Actually yes they do.

    We have done this one quite recently, and I believe the search function now works quite well. But anyway, as I said last time PG will build a stiffer – and as wheel strength is closely related to wheel stiffness, stronger wheel. However PG spokes themselves are more likely to suffer from fatigue failure, and it is harder to build a wheel well with them due to them stretching less. It really depends whether you have an issue with bending wheels due to impact or breaking spokes due to long term use – for the former PG helps, for the latter DB.

    I have built plenty of wheels, though none with PG, so have chosen to ignore the request in the OP. However like everything else on a bike, spokes do obey the normal rules of physics, and there is good science behind my comments.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Ahh. SO it looks like PG will be of use to me then….
    Thanks.
    🙂

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Personally I’ve always thought it was a weight thing (DB being a bit lighter for the same given strength) rather than an out and out strength thing. The DB rear wheel I built a bit before a PG front, has a slight wobble in it, the PG one hasn’t ever needed truing. Could be that I twatted the rear wheel, paid more attention when I did the front, who knows.

    Never really given it masses of thought TBH. Tend to use DB just because…

    andywhit
    Member

    “stiffer wheel” ? People on here actually ride along thinking gosh my front/rear wheel isn’t very stiff ?

    coffeeking
    Member

    “stiffer wheel” ? People on here actually ride along thinking gosh my front/rear wheel isn’t very stiff ?

    Lateral stiffness can be very obvious on front wheels, especially if you still run rim brakes, and on rears if you have tyres that are fairly close to the frame its even more annoying….”buzz…buzz…buzz” while pedaling.

    sv
    Member

    Email Roger @ Wheelpro, he usually responds with his POV when I ask wheel build questions – nice bloke.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    I always break spokes at the thread-end, i’ve NEVER broken a spoke at the bend, or the middle.

    I can’t tell you wether p-g spokes make a stiffer wheel, but they do make for easier true-ing – they twist less while i try to tighten them, with d-b spokes all i seem to do is wind the spoke round…

    And i’m convinced by the ‘black-spokes-break-more’ folklore, i’ve got a wheel that’s slowly turning silver, as i replace broken black d-b spokes with silver p-g spokes. (as above, the black spokes always break at the thread).

    (all my wheels get built by the same guy – i replace spokes myself)

    z1ppy
    Member

    sv – Member
    Email Roger @ Wheelpro, he usually responds with his POV when I ask wheel build questions – nice bloke.

    I preface this with the fact that have never built a wheel (though I have one to play with soon)…but in Mr. Musson book (he has probably built more quality wheels than everyone on here put together) he recommends a quality stainless steel Double butted spoke.
    As for a stiffer wheel, again Roger comments are it down to the build, bugger all to do with the spokes.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    “stiffer wheel” ? People on here actually ride along thinking gosh my front/rear wheel isn’t very stiff ?

    Yep. Corner hard enough on a flexy wheel and I can feel it. But then I’m a bit heavier than most.
    I can trash rear wheels very easily. Indeed only last night I was replacing a snapped rear Hope axle…
    After having a few 32 spokers, I’m going gradually back to 36 spoke rear wheels. They are noticeably stiffer and stronger. I shall try PG spokes too.

    cynic-al
    Member

    (all my wheels get built by the same guy – i replace spokes myself)

    You need a new wheelbuilder IMO. Did he use good quality black spokes?

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    dunno – i’ll check, i don’t have any trouble with his silver-spoke-wheels…

    (and some of those have been mauled by rocks)

    why black spokes cynic-al, i thought that was purely astetic(and didn’t some builders stop using them after a bad batch?)

    As for can you feel the stiffness? Yes, having seen the light and tried some rims other than 717’s i will never be going back! By comparison my en321’s actualy feel like they’r doing what im telling them to do and give much more feedback, whereas the 717’s you could feel them fluttering through rocks and on hard off camber corners etc.

    both were built with PG spokes.

    IMO/E the hub and rim have more an impact on stiffness than spoke type. I went form LX-36*PG-D521 to bulb-32*TB-D521 and the change in stiffness was hugely possitive.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    As for a stiffer wheel, again Roger comments are it down to the build, bugger all to do with the spokes.

    Does he really? In which case my opinion of him has decreased somewhat – I had thought he knew his stuff. Given the same components and a build which isn’t so rubbish that the spokes are completely losing tension and the wheel’s falling apart, the build actually makes bugger all difference to stiffness.

    In matters like this I’d far rather rely on Jobst Brandt’s book – he’s not only built loads of wheels, but has also done lots of analysis of the science behind them (the book also does a pretty good job of telling you how to build a wheel). Meanwhile I wonder whether anybody ever bothers to use google to find things like this out, as the first hit for “wheel stiffness” is http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/index.htm which has real scientific data – see section 7 (and also section 1 for those who think build makes a difference).

    cynic-al
    Member

    Many folk have slated black spokes…when they were fashionable there were tons of bikes coming out with cheap oem black spokes…which were crap…and broke.

    IME of using and building with black dt spokes – they have been fine.

    Before I got a proper job I was mechanic and wheelbuilder for 5 years, although I’d built wheels for a good 5 or before that.
    I built wheels for the Cannondale downhill team, track riders, cross riders, roadies, and normal fat mountain bikers. I never used PG spokes – ever – and never had a problem*. My advice would be to get some DT stainless DB spokes and get on with your life.

    *Apart from when I used Sapim black spokes for a short period – I had numerous breakages and a couple of wheels literally exploded on the impact of a big stair jump (i wasn’t riding)!

    roger-m
    Member

    I think I may have been quoted when I mention that all types spokes are more than strong enough, but bad building can lead to early fatigue failures. The elasticity of spokes will have an effect on wheel lateral stiffness but to quatify this is not easy other than to build up different wheels and do some static deflection tests. Then people will say you get different results in a dynamic situation.

    In the real world I don’t have a “problem” looking for a solution and find all my wheels built with butted spokes work fine and I’ve never have feedback from customers indicating any bike handling issues or tyre rub etc.

    If you have the ability to build wheels then it’s easy to play around with different spokes and go looking for different riding characteristics. The problem is repeatability in testing. Not easy.

    Roger

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    UPDATE –

    Well, I built my wheel last night. 36 spokes, Hope hub, Sun SOS rim, DT PG spokes.
    I got as much tension in there as I could, and it’s as close to perfectly true as I can measure on my budget wheel jig, and within 1mm of ’roundness’. I didn’t notice it being any harder to build than DB spokes, but then this is the 5th wheel I’ve built, and I’ve been truing my own for 15 years, so I’m not a complete novice. 🙂
    I have to say it does seem remarkably less flexy (During stress relieving) than others I’ve built, but it’s the beefiest rim I’ve done to date and I’m comparing it to a Hope Hoops with a DT 5.1 rim really, with 4 less spokes.
    The first ride it’ll get will be in the Alps next Tuesday! We’ll see how it goes!
    Thanks muchly to Roger, all done from your wheelbuilding book…
    🙂

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    PS – Wheelbuilding is strangely addicive…..
    🙂

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

The topic ‘Double Butted vs Plain Gauge Spokes’ is closed to new replies.