Wheelbuilding question

I just built a KH 2005 hub into a 24" Alex DX32. The spokes seem to be a bit short, they are a few mm short of the rim. I was tightening up the wheel, and 2 spokes popped out of their nipples, and now won’t go back in. What do I do? How far is the spoke supposed to go into the nipple/rim?

that usually means you have laced it wrong. double check your hub and rim, to see if the spokes are in the right places. post a pic if you can.


Everything is right, as far as I can tell.

You should be able to screw on each spoke until only about two threads are left showing, before the wheel gets very much tension. If you can’t even engage the threads, you either have laced the wheel wrong or you have spokes which are too short.

If you laced the wheel inconsistently, you will have some spokes which are too short and some which are too long. Check to see that each set of spokes (inbound and outbound on each side) is set properly with one spoke in every 4 holes (3 spokes between), and that the number of spoke crossings is correct.

If you used the wrong lacing pattern, you can just back out and lace it properly; you might have spokes appropriate for a three-cross lacing pattern and you laced it four-cross (or whatever).

If your spokes are too short, you might be able to get away with changing the lacing pattern (three-cross to two-cross or whatever) to reduce the required spoke length.

I started building a wheel last night as well, a KH/Onza hub into a Surly LM rim, and I thought the spokes were playing around with me. Are some spoke engaged and some spokes falling short? Try straightening the spokes you’ve already installed (stop them from bowing) and that might give you the extra play you need to get the spokes nippled properly.

What instructions are you using to build it up? Have you checked the spoke length on the UDC Spoke Calculator? I get 235.52mm for the length. What are you currently using?


Whoa whoa whoa people, I’m not an idiot. I laced the wheel correctly. All spokes are even, about 3 mm from the rim when pointing at the right hole. I measured a spoke and it looks to be about 231.5 mm. I think the spokes were cut too short. If that’s the case, what should I do about it? On the 2 spokes the popped loose, if I take the spoke off to the side and try to put the nipple on until the threads hit, the nipple goes on until 1 or no threads are showing.

I just got a KH2005 hub and am having the LBS install it… 'cause I was afraid of this exact same thing happening :wink:

But I got a related question: I still have the tire strip from the rim before I took the tire off (I figured I’d cut labor by getting the wheel off myself). Can I reuse that strip, or should I get a new one? In case I’m using incorrect terminology, it’s the rubber strip thingy that protects the tube from the spoke thingy’s on the rim :wink:

The Strip of stuff that covers the nipples inside the rim is called ‘Rim Tape’ and no, you should never re-use it, always get a new roll. If the glue isn’t up to the job it will become detached, slide around inside the rim & possibly uncover the end of a nipple. This is bad news if you want to keep your inner tube unpunctured…


If you asked for 235mm spokes and they gave you 231mm, ask them to give you a new batch.

You can re-use a rim strip if it’s not an adhesive one. The black rubber ones (or red polyeurethane) are both reusable if they are not visibly worn out or torn.

Re: Wheelbuilding question

The spoke needs to go to the head of the nipple. It should go right to the end. If it doesn’t, you risk the possibility of the nipple snapping off at the head. With the spoke threaded to the end, it will give strength to the nipple.

Yeah, the spoke only goes into the nipple maybe 1/4", and the nipple is 5/8" long. I emailed UDC and they are sending new spokes at no cost to me. Sweetness!