Spokes
 

We sell Wheelsmith, Sapim and Rohloff spokes. And we'll sell you as many Wheelsmith and Sapim spokes as you need. If you need just 20, fine and dandy. If you need 2,000, finer and dandier. Rohloff spokes are only sold in packs of 37 with Sapim Polyax Secure Lock brass nipples. We sell spokes to the home wheelbuilder, as well as to bicycle shops.

I've been building wheels with Wheelsmith spokes since 2000, when DT made a change to their spoke design which I didn't like. I mostly use the DB14 version which are 2.0mm at the ends and 1.7mm in the center. This makes for an extremely strong spoke that's light weight and flexible, which helps to prevent cracks in light weight aluminum rims. Wheelsmith's quality control was excellent. "Was", you say? Yes. Unfortunately, Wheelsmith spokes are no longer being made. But we have quite a few left and are still very happy to build wheels with them.

In the winter of 2018-2019, when Wheelsmith began to wind down their production, I began stocking Sapim spokes, and since then I've been increasing the selection of Sapim spokes that I stock.

I give my lifetime warranty on wheels I build with Rohloff, Wheelsmith and Sapim spokes. All of the spokes I sell are made from stainless steel. Almost all of the Rohloff, Wheelsmith and Sapim spokes I stock are "butted" spokes. Some are single butted and some are double butted. Single butted means that the diameter of the spoke is greater at the hub end than in the middle and rim end. For instance, the DB14 measures 2mm at the ends and 1.7mm in the center of the spoke. A Wheelsmith DH13 is a single butted spoke. A double butted spoke is thicker at both ends and thin in the center. A Sapim "Sprint" spoke is 2mm diameter at both ends and 1.7mm diameter in the center. Since spokes generally only break at the ends, that puts extra strength where you need it most. The thinner section in the middle saves weight, and allows the spoke to stretch slightly as the wheel is subjected to stress while riding, resulting in fewer cracks around the spoke holes in the rim, and less stress at the elbow of the spoke.

Wheelsmith XL14 and Sapim Laser spokes are 1.5mm diameter in the center. They save quite a bit of weight with little or no loss in durability. Since the center cross section is so thin, these spokes cannot take as much tension as thicker spokes, and are not suitable for use on the right side of dished rear wheels, of with disc brakes. As you tighten them, they don't achieve high tension, they only stretch out longer and longer until they break. However, they are perfect for front wheels and for the left side of dished rear wheels, which don't need as much tension. I highly recommend them for front wheels and the left side of rears. But I do not recommend them for the right side of modern road rear wheels since the right side requires very high tension.

So, for the right side of modern road bike wheels, I recommend either Sapim Sprint (2.0mm-1.7mm-2.0mm) Sapim D-Light (2.0mm-1.65mm-2.0mm)or Wheelsmith DB14 (2.0mm-1.7mm-2.0mm). All of these spokes can get to high tension without damage. As I write this in February 2021, we are close to running out of longer lengths in Wheelsmith DB14 spokes. But we have plenty of Sapim Sprint spokes which have identical dimensions.

Sapim also makes a 2.0mm-1.8mm-2.0mm spoke called "Race". I don't stock it, and here's why. If the Sapim Sprint with a 1.7mm center couldn't hold enough tension for the right side of a modern rear road wheel, I would stock the Race spokes. But since the Sprint can hold the tension, and since it's the same price as the "Race", I don't stock the "Race". Some builders will prefer building with the heavier "Race" spokes because they tend to wind up a bit less when tensioning the wheel, so the build takes less time since the builder doesn't have to "unwind" the spokes. I've been building wheels since 1969, and I take out the windup without really thinking about it. Maybe it takes me an extra minute to build a wheel. The Rohloff spokes are made by Sapim and have the same diameters as Sapim's "Race" spokes.

Wheelsmith DH13 spokes (2.3mm at the hub and 2.0mm from there to the rim are extremely strong and stiff and should only be used with very strong, stiff rims. Lightweight rims are likely to crack around the spoke holes with heavy stiff spokes like the DH13.

In order to use the Wheelsmith DH13 spokes, the hole in the hub flange must be large enough for the thicker spoke end. Shimano road hubs like Ultegra and Dura Ace have small spoke holes.

Aluminum nipples can save some weight at the perimeter of the wheel, which aids in acceleration. They cost a bit more and aren't as durable as brass nipples. But if you're trying to get to the top of the mountain as fast as possible, let us know and we'll use aluminum nipples for your wheels. Be aware that if an aluminum nipple should crack, it is not covered by my lifetime warranty!

When you order black spokes, we'll assume you want black brass nipples, unless you ask for nickel plated brass nipples. Some people want black nipples with their unplated stainless spokes. Spokes and nipples are priced separately.

Please don't ask me to build wheels with other brands of spokes, or to rebuild wheels for bikes with rim brakes with your rims or spokes. I only build wheels with the rims I sell and the spokes I sell. I go to great lengths to be sure that the wheel components I use are good enough that I can give them my lifetime warranty. The exception is using rims for disc brake bikes. For disc brakes, the roundness of the rim is a bit less important than it is for rim brakes. So I don't need to be quite so fussy.

The fact that I don't use certain products doesn't mean that they're no good. What it means is I haven't determined to my satisfaction that they are good enough for me to stake my reputation on them, or perhaps that I don't consider them a good value. I can't know everything, and life is short. So I stick with what I know and that keeps me out of trouble, even if it annoys a few people. ;-)

If I've built you a wheel in the past and you've worn out the rim, and you now would like the wheel rebuilt, it's not cost effective to have me re-use the spokes. Nor will I re-use the spokes if you take the time to unlace them from the rim. There are too many potential issues when re-using spokes, and I will not risk having a wheel fail in order to save a few dollars. And I'm perfectly willing to lose some business to uphold my standards. Sorry, but this is not a negotiable issue.

So, in a nutshell, if I'm going to build you a wheel, it will be with new spokes that I sell you, and a new rim that I sell you. Also, the hub must be suitable to the task. Whether or not you buy the hub from me is irrelevant, and whether or not it's suitable is something you and I can discuss either in person or over the telephone.

Sapim CX-RAY

Sapim CX-Sprint

Sapim Laser

Sapim D-Light

Sapim Sprint

Sapim Force

Sapim Leader

Wheelsmith DB14

Wheelsmith XL14

Wheelsmith DH13

Brass Nipples

Aluminum Nipples

Rohloff Spokes & Nipples

 

Sapim CX-RAY
     

CX-RAY spokes are bladed through the center for minimal aerodynamic drag. 2mm diameter at the ends, the wide cross section through the center is 2.2mm by .9mm, so there's no modification to standard hub spoke holes needed. I have every length you might possibly need.

Since wind resistance has the greatest effect on how fast you can ride, it makes sense to use bladed spokes. The downside is the added expense, as these are difficult and costly to produce.

CX-Ray spokes are perfect for rim brake front wheels and for the left side of rear road wheels. For the right rear side, and for front wheels with disc brakes, I recommend CX-Sprint, which are a bit heavier and can hold the extremely high tension required on modern road wheels and the high stresses from disc brakes.

     
SAP/GIC14/220.L CX-RAY, Silver, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $3.40
SAP/GIC14/220.LB.NT CX-RAY, Black, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $3.70
     
     

 

Sapim CX-Sprint
     

CX-Sprint spokes are bladed through the center for minimal aerodynamic drag. 2mm diameter at the ends, the wide cross section through the center is 2.25mm by 1.25mm, so there's no modification to standard hub spoke holes needed. I have every length you might possibly need.

Since wind resistance has the greatest effect on how fast you can ride, it makes sense to use bladed spokes. The downside is the added expense, as these are difficult and costly to produce.

CX-Sprint spokes weigh a bit more than CX-Ray spokes. They are an excellent choice for front wheels and rear wheels. They can take the extremely high tension required for the right side of most modern rear wheels. They are hard to distinguish visually from CX-Ray spokes.

     
SAPWS36310-57 CX-Sprint, Silver, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $2.60
SAPWS36310-58 CX-Sprint, Black, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $2.90
     
     
   
Sapim Laser
     

A very light spoke for racers, triathletes, or anyone wanting the lightest wheel. Recommended for front wheels with rim brakes, and for the left side of highly dished rear road bike wheels. Not suitable for disc brake wheels. With disc brakes I recommend a slightly heavier spoke such as the Wheelsmith DB14, Sapim D-Light or Sapim Sprint. Like the Wheelsmith XL14, the Laser is not suitable for the right side of a highly dished rear wheel since it cannot hold sufficient tension.

The Laser is 2.0mm diameter at both ends and 1.5mm diameter in the center.

SAP/GIV14/310.L.NT Laser, Silver, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $0.96
SAP/GIV14/310.LB.NT Laser, Black, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $1.26
     
     
   
Sapim D-Light
     

The D-Light is the lightest spoke suitable for use on the right rear side of a modern highly dished road wheel. It can take the high tension, unlike the thinner Sapim Laser or Wheelsmith XL14 spokes. And it's also well suited for lightweight front wheels and the left side of rear road wheels.

The D-Light is 2.0mm at the ends and 1.65mm in the center.

SAP/GID14/310.L.NT D-Light Silver, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $0.94
SAP/GID14/310.LB.NT D-Light Black Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $1.26
     
     
Sapim Sprint
     

The Sprint is much like the D-Light, but is slightly larger in diameter in the center at 1.7mm. So it's really the best spoke for most wheels used by high mileage riders.

The Sprint is 2.0mm at the ends and 1.7mm in the center.

SAPWS24310-57 Sprint, Silver, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $0.65
SAPWS24270-38 Sprint, Black Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $0.90

 

Sapim Force
     
Force spokes are ideal for tandems and very heavy riders. They are triple butted, diameter at the hub is 2.3mm, then thinning to 1.8mm in the center, and 2mm at the threaded end. We cut & roll the thread on these in 1mm increments. So if you need a 295mm length, we'll do it.
     
SAPWS22310-57 Force, Silver, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $0.80
SAPWS22310-58 Force, Black, Cut & Rolled to size for our retail customers, w/o nipple $1.10
     
     

 

Sapim Leader
     
The Leader spokes are straight gauge. These are fine for really small wheels using extremely short spoke lengths. So we have these in 186mm, and we cut & roll them to the size needed. We have these in black only.
     
SAP/GIO14/186.B Leader, Black, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. 186mm and shorter, w/o nipple $0.44
     
   

 

Wheelsmith XL14
     
The Wheelsmith XL14 is a light weight spoke ideal for front racing wheels and the left side of rear road wheels (rim brakes only). The thin center section allows the spoke to absorb shock, reducing the chance of rim cracks in lightweight racing rims. Not suitable for the right side of highly dished rear wheels as they can't handle the extremely high tension. Not suitable for use with disc brakes. 2.0mm-1.5mm-2.0mm Available only in silver. Lengths from 260mm through 300mm available.
     
WSMXL14265 Wheelsmith XL14 silver spoke, w/o nipple $1.00
     
   

 

Wheelsmith DB14
     
The Wheelsmith DB14 is a relatively light weight spoke suitable for all high performance wheels. The 1.7mm center section allows the spoke to absorb shock, reducing the chance of rim cracks in lightweight racing rims. Perfect for the right side of highly dished rear wheels along with XL14 or Sapim Laser spokes on the left side. Recommended for use with disc brakes. 2.0mm-1.7mm-2.0mm Available in silver and black. Very wide range of lengths available in silver. 277mm through 296mm in black.
     
WSMDB14310 Wheelsmith DB14 silver spoke, w/o nipple $0.70
WSMDB14B310 Wheelsmith DB14 black spoke, w/o nipple $1.00
     
   

 

Wheelsmith DH13
     
The Wheelsmith DH13 is a heavy weight spoke suitable for tandems or any utility application like cargo bikes. 2.3mm at the hub then transitions to 2.0mm all the way to the rim. Recommended for use with disc brakes. 2.3mm-2.0mm Available in silver only. Available in any length up to 300mm.
     
WSMDH13 Wheelsmith DH13 silver spoke, w/o nipple $0.80
     
   

 

Brass Nipples
     
I mostly build with brass nipples. I have lighter aluminum nipples as well. Sapim's Secure Lock nipples grip the spoke threads eliminating the need for thread compound. When we build wheels for you, we use a thread compound, saving some expense. But if you prefer, we can use the Secure Lock nipples. They just cost a bit more.
     
SAP/14G-R1 Sapim Polyax 14g 12mm nickel plated brass nipple. $0.10
SAP/14G-R1/B Sapim Polyax 14g 12mm black plated brass nipple. $0.16
     
SAP/14G-R3 Sapim Polyax 14g 14mm nickel plated brass nipple. $0.10
SAP/14G-R3/B Sapim Polyax 14g 14mm black plated brass nipple. $0.16
     
SAPWS80500-05 Sapim Polyax 14g 12mm Secure Lock nickel plated brass nipple. $0.25
SAPWS80500-06 Sapim Polyax 14g 12mm Secure Lock black plated brass nipple. $0.30
     
SAPWS80500-07 Sapim Polyax 14g 14mm Secure Lock nickel plated brass nipple. $0.25
SAPWS80500-08 Sapim Polyax 14g 14mm Secure Lock black plated brass nipple. $0.30
     
WSMBB16MM Wheelsmith 14g 16mm black plated brass nipple. $0.16
     
   

 

Aluminum Nipples
     
I mostly build with brass nipples. But I have lighter aluminum nipples as well. Sapim's Secure Lock nipples grip the spoke threads eliminating the need for thread compound. With aluminum nipples, the Secure Lock feature provides a more consistent grip on the spoke thread than you get with thread compound. This makes building with aluminum nipples as easy as with brass, and any later truing is less likely to result in damage to the aluminum nipple.
     
SAPWS80505-05 Sapim Polyax 14g 12mm Secure Lock silver aluminum nipple $0.45
SAPWS80505-06 Sapim Polyax 14g 12mm Secure Lock black aluminum nipple $0.45
     
   

 

Rohloff
     

Rohloff requires that their hubs only be built using Rohloff brand spokes. The use of other spokes can void the warrantee on the Rohloff hub shell. Rohloff spokes are made for Rohloff by Sapim to Rohloff's specifications. We sell every length they make. Longer lengths can be had in silver or black finish. Short lengths are only available in silver finish.

Rohloff spokes are only sold in sets of 37 and you get 37 Sapim Polyax Secure Lock brass nipples in the package. With silver spokes you get silver nipples and with black spokes you get black nipples. So, keep in mind that the price for Rohloff spokes includes the nipples.

Longer lengths come to us unthreaded. We cut and roll the threads to the required length using our Phil Wood spoke machine. We do not charge to cut and roll Rohloff spokes for our retail customers. Shorter lengths, 198mm and shorter come to us from Rohloff already cut & rolled.

     
ROH83CR-300-S Rohloff pack of 37, 300mm, silver, blanks, with nipples, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. $42.00
ROH83CR-300-B Rohloff pack of 37, 300mm, black, blanks, with nipples, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. $56.00
     
ROH83CR-270-S Rohloff pack of 37, 270mm, silver, blanks, with nipples, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. $42.00
ROH83CR-270-B Rohloff pack of 37, 270mm, black, blanks, with nipples, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. $56.00
     
ROH83CR-240-S Rohloff pack of 37, 240mm, silver, blanks, with nipples, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. $42.00
ROH83CR-240-B Rohloff pack of 37, 240mm, black, blanks, with nipples, cut & rolled to size for our retail customers. $56.00
     
ROH83-198-S Rohloff pack of 37, 198mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
ROH83-154-S Rohloff pack of 37, 154mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
ROH83-152-S Rohloff pack of 37, 152mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
ROH83-150-S Rohloff pack of 37, 150mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
ROH83-148-S Rohloff pack of 37, 148mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
ROH83-146-S Rohloff pack of 37, 146mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
ROH83-128-S Rohloff pack of 37, 128mm, silver, with nipples. $42.00
     
   

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Peter White Cycles LLC
24 Hall Rd.
Hillsborough, NH 03244
USA
603 478 0900 Phone
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