How do I know which type of spokes I'm using?

Turns out the used trial uni I bought has a slightly bent spoke. From what I found in this thread, I should exchange that spoke (it won’t break, but it won’t hold tension as it should, making the rim more vulnerable)… [correct?]…

… but how do I find out which kind of spokes I need to buy for replacement? I don’t know my exact setup: Most of the custom-built uni seems to be Nimbus, incl. supposedly a Nimbus hub, so I guess it’s also a Nimbus rim (which one?) and Nimbus spokes??
Did Nimbus ever change the spokes they’re using? The uni was supposedly (!) bought no more than 3-4 years ago. If it really matters, I can try to date the KH saddle of the uni (2010?)… but before I put on the deerstalker, maybe there’s a much easier way to identify my spokes. :o) Or in case you can simply tell from looking, I’ll attach some pics.

Right, and once I know the type of spokes–can I buy them in any bike shop, only in a larger or specialized bike shop… or should I better order them online at an online unicycle shop? (I don’t entirely trust my local bike shop. I’d only go there if I know exactly what I want and can check it’s what I’m getting…)

Sorry about being so clueless. Thanks for any help with this!!

I went to my LBS, he still cuts spokes in length and rolls thread on them …
…so maybe you just ask your LBS…

Don’t worry about it. Tighten it up, it’ll straighten out.

Ditto this.

But if you really want to put a new one in, just take the spoke out and take it into your LBS. They can measure it and get you a new one.

Thanks! Glad if I don’t have to mess with it, even if that means that I’ll stay ignorant for now. :slight_smile:

While the spoke doesn’t look loose (and when I tap it, its sound is one of the higher pitches among all the spokes), I’ll see what happens when I tighten it more. Let’s hope the LBS sells a spoke tensioner…

PS: I’ve seen there are two types of spoke tensioners (by different manufacturers)–do you recommend the single-size chip-style or the multi spoke size ring-style?



I use the Park vinyl-covered spoke wrench, because it grips more of the nipple. The black one is probably the right one for your spokes. If it’s not an emergency repair, you definitely want a wrench with good fat blades.

Between the two nipple grips in your post the “spokey” is the better one. In fact it is one of the best designs I’ve used (better than Park by far). I have a lot of different spoke wrenches, and the ones I favor engage 3 or 4 corners of the nipple. Lately I have been usinng a RavX wrench that fits four sizes of nipple, and grabs 4 corners to prevent slipping.

For what it’s worth the Park loop style wrenches are very good, and I used them for years until the Spokey hit the scene in the late '80’s/early 90’s. I also have an old Hozan wrench that is similar to the multi sized wrench in your picture, but much higher quality, and it is also very good. Still though at this point I can’t see myself recommending a purchase of those wrenches when there are better designs available.

I disagree with this advice. But only because I’d suggest leaving it alone and not bothering to tighten it up. If the rim is true and the spoke is making a nice high pitch, then clearly the spoke is holding a decent tension already - if you tighten it then you’ll make the rim out of true and you won’t permanently remove the bend (ie if you tighten and the loosen it, it will go back to how it is).

The “Don’t worry about it” was good advice - personally I’d have finished the post there.

If you did ever want to tweak your nipples, then a Spokey is a good suggestion - though personally I use a Spokey Pro which has a longer metal insert which holds the spokes better (I’ve had problems with a normal one on seized nipples). Beware though there are several different sizes - your link is to a black one, whilst most standard high quality nipples fit a red Spokey IME (which is what I have).

Unless you have hex nipples, then you probably prefer a wrench tool set top thingy, which is slim, so you can reach the nipple.
…unless you have some standard spline nipples, of which I don’t know the name. Then you defenitly want a wrench tool set top thingy that matches that: