Help on Tom Miller Spokes

I want to update to Tom Miller spokes on my coker. I have an airfoil and the UDC extrawide hub (100mm flange to flange). I called Tom yesterday and gave him the length off the spoke calculator for a 4 cross of 14.892". Tom thinks the length should be 14 3/4" based on the wheels U-Turn builds. Does anyone have a number based on experience? Thanks for the input.

If Tom and U-Turn don’t know, nobody does.

Re: Help on Tom Miller Spokes

Given the difference between 14.75 and 14.892 I’d say you’re probably safe in either case. However, I’d go with Tom’s suggestion for two reasons.

  1. He’s the source of spokes for nearly all custom Coker wheelbuilds.

  2. With a slightly shorter spoke (assuming it’ll still reach the spoke nipple) you run less risk of the spoke protruding into the tube and possibly causing a puncture.

My only experience with Coker spokes was when I replaced my stock Coker hub with a wider (maybe UDC?) hub. I did not replace the spokes and everything fit just fine.

Good luck with your project.


Re: Help on Tom Miller Spokes

Is U-Turn using the UDC superwide hub or a hub that Tom sells? When I talked to Tom, he mentioned that U-Turn had used his hub for some of the wheels that he built. If so, is the flange diameter different than the UDC hub?

I also am ready to order spokes from Tom and want to make sure of the lenth of spokes considering the price.

Cross 3 would use 14-1/2"
Cross 4 would use 14.89"
Based on spoke calculator

Help does anybody have numbers from personal experience?
Thanks for your help.

Tom has more years of experience than all of us put together.

Forget the spoke calculator. Tommi is correct:
14 3/4 for cross-4 airfoil rim
14 1/2 for cross-4 stock rim
14 5/8 for cross-3 airfoil rim
14 3/8 for cross-3 stock rim

Thank you for verifying that information. Very much appreciated.

Thanks, Pete.

For the Airfoil, the only one I know by experience is the 4-cross for the Airfoil and widened hub. The spoke calculator is way off on big wheels. It took me two sets of spokes to get Kris Holm’s Coker.5 correct, at $115 a set. Tom was great and gave me some return credit on the spokes that were too long. I had calculated their length using the spoke calculator. So, it’s still the Wild, Wild West, though a little more domesticated now… you have to take risks, and yes, Tom is a guy that does excellent work.

This shows shorter spokes for a stock coker rim than for a airfoil rim. But I thought the Airfoil used shorter spokes! (I think this because the deep v on the airfoil effectively reduces it’s diameter; and because I hear the stock coker spokes can be used in the airfoil if you go from a 3x to a 4x pattern; and because the spoke calculators show the stock rim needing longer spokes).

Help! Am I confused somehow? Or is this info wrong?

I agree these figures are definately duff. My guess is that you have them the wrong way around.

The spoke calculator should not be wrong, it should be more accuarate with bigger wheels than with smaller wheels where there is another factor which is the bend in the spokes. There is one important thing to remember and that is that the dimensions are to the end of the nipple; but most wheel builders who I know prefer to build so that the spoke ends at the bottom of the slot of the nipple. So the calculation should be about 1.2mm long in most cases. If you want it accurate, you should check the imput figures with the hub and rim you have.


Just been thinking, the ERD was created using 12 guage spokes, Tommi’s are not! they are 14 guage. The rim is drilled for 12 so the 14 guage nipples being smaller will sit further in the holes and then give a different figure.

Conclusion; check the erd using the nipples and spokes you intend to use.


The Semcycle nipples, which should be used for this application, are 12 gauge nipples but are tapped at 14 gauge. The spoke calculator has been spot on for me, I cut and roll my own.

I recently built some Airfoil rim/UDC hub Coker wheels using Tommi’s spokes and the Semcycle nipples. In addition, I used Sapim Spoke Washers between the nipples and rim, which increases the length spoke required by about 1/2 mm. I did not use any of the standard spoke calculators, but made my own measurements of the rim and hub. I consider a spoke the “correct” length when, under tension, the end of the spoke is flush with the bottom of the screwdriver slot in the nipple.

For 3-cross, I ordered 14 7/16 spokes. They worked well and I would do it again. I think you’d be ok anywhere between 14 3/8-14 7/16ths.

I later built a wheel for someone who already had a set of 14.710 spokes as 4-cross. They worked, but I considered them slightly short as some of the threads were visible adjacent to the nipple. If I did it again, I’d go with an even 14 3/4", but my personal preference is for 3-cross.

I wouldn’t worry about going slightly long and having the spoke protrude through the nipple and into the tube – with the Airfoil rim, the tube doesn’t really get anywhere near the nipple. The risk is that you run out of threads on the spoke before you reach a high enough tension. Tommi normally puts “extra” threads on his spokes above the standard 10mm. The Semcycle nipples are long and require these extra threads.

I really like the Semcycle nipples; the 12 gauge body lets you reach pretty high tensions compared to a bicycle wheel with less risk of rounding-off the nipple body. Since the rims are drilled for 12 gauge spokes, you really need these special nipples or some sort of washer. I tension the spokes at around 1900 Newtons.

I just built a coker wheel with an airfoil rim and a UDC superwide hub with a three cross patern and used 14 1/2" spokes and they were almost too long. The spokes have probably only one more turn before hitting bottom 14 5/8" is too long. If I did it again I would go with 14 3/8 or 14 7/16. I think if you use the spoke washers 14 1/2 would be perfect and if I need to I can allways redo my wheel with them, or go to a bike shop and have another thread turned onto the spokes.

We have just had 4 wheels built up professionally with standard spokes and the new airfoil rim and the UDC wide Coker hub. The spoke calculator says that it should be 378mm and we used 375; the standard Coker spokes. The spokes are almost exactly 3mm below the top of the nipples which is well within tollerance being only about 1mm below the slot.