Why do bicycles have spokes

Bicycle spokes as an important element in the wheel

Spokes are an essential part of a balance bike, whether it's a racing bike or a city bike. you connect hub and rim to a wheel. Bicycle spokes are available in different lengths, shapes and materials. There are also sometimes big differences in quality. Our article gives an overview of this topic.

What is a bicycle spoke?

Spoked wheels have been around since 2000 BC. found their place and function in the history of modern mankind. Your simple construction has not changed in principle up to the present day. Spokes connect the hub and the rim together. They transfer the print and the Weightthat acts on the rim, on the bicycle hub.

Bicycle spokes have one at one end thread, which is around two millimeters long. On this thread is the Spoke nipples screwed that connects the spoke to the rim. At the other end, the spoke forms an arc of about 95 degrees. There is the Spoke headshaped like a lens. He holds the spoke to the hub.

Variants of spokes

Spokes are available in different lengths and diameters. Two variants are very common. For once they are them Smooth spokesthat to default belong. They have a continuous cross-section of two millimeters. The stronger variant of this spoke shape is up to 2.34 millimeters thick. Smooth spokes have no thickening or tapering.

Thick end spokes are also a common variant of spokes and are very often built into a wheel. Here the spoke arch has a separate reinforcement. This reduces the risk of a spoke breaking, because the arch is usually the weak point of a bicycle spoke. Thick end spokes can be divided into Thickening spokes and the particularly stable ones Double thick spokes.

What material are the spokes on the bike made of?

In ancient times, the first spokes were made from material such as bronze or later too Wood produced. Meanwhile is stainless steel The most widely used material in spoke construction for bicycles. In addition to high strength, steel offers, above all, a long one durability.

For cheaper spokes for bicycles, chrome-plated or galvanized steel is sometimes used, which is, however, particularly susceptible to weather influences. So if the bike is constantly outside and used in the rain, there is a greater risk that the cheap spokes will rust faster.

Bicycle spokes Carbon or titanium are another variant. The disadvantage of carbon spokes is their susceptibility to breakage, so this material is not really suitable.

Preventing spoke breakage: Tips for a long service life

At some point the time has come. Breaking a spoke can hardly be avoided in the long term. In most cases, this is the reason for this Material fatigue. If the spoke is less tensioned enough, a break is more likely to become apparent. Also unevenly tensioned spokes favor a broken spoke.

If you want to prevent this dilemma, it is best to use quality high quality spokesthat have a thickening at the critical points. Also, make sure that all spokes are always well and properly tensioned.

The function of the spokes is that already mentioned Distribution of pressure and weight on the rim. When the wheel rotates, the topmost spokes carry the greatest load. If there is too little tension, your state changes constantly between extreme loading and unloading. This repetitive rotation eventually gradually tires the spokes.

How is a spoke installed?

It is always a good thing to start with if one is constantly Spare spoke is close at hand. In the event of a broken spoke, you are always well prepared to quickly repair the damage and replace the defective spoke. However, make sure that the design and type of the old and new bicycle spoke are identical and which one Spoke pattern has the impeller.

A Spoke change is easier to do on the front wheel than on the rear wheel. After changing a spoke, the wheel is re-centered so that it then rolls properly again. Therefore, first remove the bike completely from the bike frame and also remove the tire with the tube before the spoke is replaced. This way you won't have any problems with centering later and you can adjust the spoke nipples more easily.

After this Removal of the impeller you twist the broken spoke out of the bore of the bicycle hub and the nipple. Then you insert the new spoke. First you guide the curved spoke head through the hole in the hub. Then connect the other end of the spoke to the nipple by plumbing the sleeve of the nipple through the hole in the rim. There you twist it up onto the end of the spoke.

If you are the same change several spokes make sure that they are all mounted in their correct position. The position of the adjacent spoke is used for orientation.

Suitable tool for changing spokes

What do you need to easily replace a wheel spoke? Depending on the variant of the bicycle spoke and the wheel, you use one Allen key or a flat-bladed screwdriver. Use one to tighten the spokes Spoke wrench.

It also makes sense to hold the impeller firmly in one vice to be used so that it does not wobble when replacing and centering the wheel spokes. You also have both of your hands free to concentrate and work safely without injuring yourself.

How are bicycle spokes centered?

If you have checked after lacing that all the spokes are seated correctly, are evenly arranged and no spoke is out of line, you can do that Re-center the impeller and all of them Tighten the spokes. To center the bicycle spokes you need a special tool, the spoke wrench. It is available in three different sizes from specialist retailers.

The easiest way to center an impeller is when, as already mentioned, it is in a vice or a special one Truing stand is clamped. If it is now turned slightly, an imbalance can usually be observed. It is a visible rash in the spokes and looks like an arch. The Imbalance starts on one spoke, climaxes on the next, and ends on another spoke.

It helps this Mark spokes. To remove the imbalance, tension or relax a few bicycle spokes. If the curve is to the right, tighten the spokes that lead to the left hub flange. You relax those wheel spokes that are attached to the hub on the other side of the imbalance.

The Tension relationship is set in practice with the spoke wrench where the imbalance begins. Then you work your way in the opposite direction of the imbalance. Normally, a maximum of half a turn on the spoke nipple is necessary to put the spoke back into the desired tension to move.

In between you should Wheel keep rotating to check to what extent the imbalance has already been eliminated.