Spoke Head Smoothness

I bought some long spokes for a 36er.
However, I see the spoke heads all have a little extra blob. Is this normal?

Given that it is going on an aluminum flange (Schlumpf), would it dig into the aluminum and cause damage or problems?

I’ve never used spoke head washers; are they required for something like this?

Looks wrong. Spoke heads are supposed to be uniform (and so are also my 36" spokes - just doubled checked as I have some extras).
Can you build a solid wheel with those non uniform spokes. Probably. But I would not risk my expensive Schlumpf. Get some new spokes (try to ask for an exchange first. To me this looks like a production issue / poor quality )


This is a bad mating surface for the hub flange. Do Not Use on your aluminum hub. In the past I have and the results will not be good. Never heard of spoke head washers, I’m familiar with the nipple washers that are used in the rim hole.

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Spoke head washers exist to solve a different issue - you don’t want to use them to try and stop an issue with badly formed spokes.

I’m with everyone else on this. Contact wherever you bought them from and ask for replacements.


I would agree too.

You certainly don’t want to put spoke head washers in with those, as far as I know they are meant to be used to take up any play between the head of the spoke and the flange. In this case the spoke head wouldn’t seat in them properly, that and the extra thickness of the washer itself would probably mean that you would stress the J-bend and maybe the hole. I’d be concerned that that would lead to spokes breaking at the bend or even eventually breaking out the hole on the flange.

Just for reference, these are spoke head washers – different from nipple washers (as mentioned above).


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Hey, Thanks for this info, all this time and all these uni’s and wheels I’ve built and never ran across these.

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Glad you found it useful.

I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on here over the years BTW, and going back and looking at stuff like your suspension unis. It seems like a lot of that kind of innovation has dried up a bit at the moment.

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Wow, Thanx, I am glad a lot of the innovations and advances have taken us to where we are. I think it is great that we can collaborate right here and then see these ideas come to a physical reality because of the people on the forum.

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Apparently all their spokes are like this (from Czech republic), and they’ve sold over 10,000 spokes already from this source.

Their advice was that it shouldn’t be a problem given how many wheels have used these spokes.
Also, said I could file them if I wanted them to be absolutely clean.

Sure but as this is standard/cheap 2mm (not butted) spokes they are probably used for building basic wheels with basic hubs like a ~20$ hub similar to this https://www.bike24.com/p2308268.html and who cares about a bit of deformation to the spoke holes as these cheap components will likely never be reused.

As I said initially you can likely build a solid wheel with these spokes but I would not risk deforming the spoke holes om my expensive Schlumpf that is likely to be reused for several wheel builds in its lifetime.

As there are a very small number of companies who make spoke blanks long enough for 36ers, you’re making me want to go and check my spares for defects on the heads.
Quite a different situation when I’m putting mine in a steel hub though.

I definitely won’t build them as is for that reason. I will at least try to file them.

And yes, the problem is that there aren’t many choices.

I ordered 359mm and 360mm spokes cut to length for a 2022 schlumpf and Brauss rim from UDC UK. I would have chosen UDC USA since i live in the USA, but they don’t have cut/thread service, nor long enough spokes in stock when I ordered. UDC US does have 380mm long spokes in stock now though.

It’d be great if other people could post pics of their 36er and spokes (silver ones maybe more relevant)

I have heard of broken flanges for nimbus aluminum hubs and old schlumpfs, but never heard it being related to spoke head quality.

I did not inspect the spoke heads when I build the wheel but the four leftover spokes looks very uniform. A bit difficult to show in a picture.

Bought them here: Kris Holm spoke 367 mm for 36"

To build my kh36/Nextie carbon (on a KH Spirit steel hub and using a four cross pattern)


They do cut spokes to order, though I don’t know if it’s explicitly listed on their website. You just need to request the proper length in the comment field. I did it last year to get some replacement spokes for my old 36" wheel.