Which spoke gauge is best for KH29 MUni?

I was messing with my single speed KH29 wheel last night and I noticed that the spokes are 13g. I remembered being instructed to build my Schlumpf KH29 wheel with 14g spokes.

So, what’s the reasoning? Obviously, 14g spokes make a lighter wheel. Given equal quality wheel builds, do 13g spokes really make a better wheel for MUni than 14g spokes?

13g spokes probably make a better MUni wheel if your wheel build is crappy. If your wheel build is good, 14g spokes are better.

All else being equal a thinker spoke will be both stronger and heavier.

Probably the best would be a 13/14G butted spoke.

It’s funny you say that because I realized how crappy the stock wheel build of the 13g wheel was after I built the 14g wheel. Even though the 14g wheel was my first wheel build it felt way more solid than the 13g wheel ever did.

So now I’m wondering if the additional strength of 13g spokes is worthwhile with the weight penalty. But who’s counting grams? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think 13g spokes are necessary or particularly helpful. They’re just more weight.

Re: Which spoke gauge is best for KH29 MUni?

On Thu, 4 Dec 2008, saskatchewanian <> wrote:
>
> All else being equal a thinker spoke will be both stronger and heavier.

And less durable, and more prone to spoke fatigue failure.

But easier and cheaper to build.

regards, Ian SMith

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I agree; I discussed this with Ken Adelman; he figures 14 ga spokes are fine, and people who break 13 ga spoke’s (at the head) probably have a poor wheel build (not stress relieved, and/or not equal tension).

I built my Kh24 guni with 14 g spokes.

corbin

I bought the KH 29er 13g spokes from UDC when I got my LBS to rebuild my 29er into a standard Moment hub (since the spokes were already sized correctly).

I used 14g spokes when I used it with the KH/Schlumpf hub and never broke a spoke. I broke a spoke at the head with my 13g moment hub build, b/c it was a poor/loose build. Bike shops don’t tension unicycle wheels correctly I have found. If I had the choice of 13g or 14g when building a single speed 29er muni I think I would still go the route of 13g. The real key is having a strong wheel build, but it is hard to find a really good wheel builder in my area.

Kevin -

Your 14g wheel might have felt stronger because of the larger hub flanges on the kh/schlumpf hub.

That did occur to me–partly why I asked. :slight_smile:

Aren’t most 36er wheels being built with 14g spokes too? They have an even longer run.

If Ken says 14g is good enough with a quality wheel build and Corbin is actually riding 14g spokes, then I tend to believe that 14g is plenty strong.

I think the key thing is a good wheel build.

As an example of that, the wheel on my KH36 when it arrived was fairly borked - out of true, out of round, SO much flex and quite a few spokes so overtightened they couldn’t be tightened further. Not a good wheel build.

I’ve since had the wheel rebuilt with 14G spokes by a well regarded wheel builder in Melbourne who also has built quite a few unicycle wheels. His view was that 13G is not necessary. The wheel kicks butt now, the 36 spends most of its time off road.

When I get around to it the 29 wheel will also be rebuilt with 14G.

I would also agree with this.

The hub is designed for 13G spokes, so go with the butted ones so you are sticking to the spokes it was designed for.

How does one find a local person (LBS?) to rebuild a wheel? I know there are some directions on the web, but I am not sure I want to jump into such a project. How difficult is it to tune up a wheel for a novice with no equipment but a spoke wrench? :thinking:

My Nimbus II 24" creaked a bit when I first rode it. I took the very simple action of tightening all the spokes 1/4 turn–and that appears to have eliminated the creaking. I doubt that it made it a “well-built wheel.”

Ask around for local wheel building experts if you want to find someone to build a wheel. The more I unicycle, the more I think it’s a vital skill for every unicyclist to learn.

I built my first wheel earlier this year using Sheldon Brown’s guide: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

There are also good directions in Uni Magazine Issue 5.

If you consider yourself mechanically inclined you could probably teach yourself too. It’s probably best to build a wheel from scratch using all new parts just to get the hang of it before trying to true an already built wheel.

Thank you for the suggestion. Building a wheel from scratch does sound like an interesting exercise, and I suppose I might end up with another unicycle at the end of the project. :roll_eyes:

What tools does one need to proceed? Brown’s guide suggests using a truing stand. Do I just clamp my unicycle upside down and use that, or is there some other type of equipment I need? It sounds like I need some method to judge the various distortions of the rim. (As a kid I recall just holding a piece of chalk near the rim and spinning it to find high spots.) What tools does one need, and are their both high-tech and low-tech versions?

Re: Which spoke gauge is best for KH29 MUni?

On Fri, 5 Dec 2008, scott ttocs <> wrote:
>
> What tools does one need to proceed?

A good spoke key - preferably one of the sort that grips across all
four faces. A drop of oil per spoke.

> Brown’s guide suggests using a truing stand. Do I just clamp my
> unicycle upside down and use that,

Yes. A good truing stand (sprung easily adjusted pointers etc) makes
life easier, but you don’t need it.

> is there some other type of equipment I need? It sounds like I need
> some method to judge the various distortions of the rim. (As a kid
> I recall just holding a piece of chalk near the rim and spinning it
> to find high spots.) What tools does one need, and are their both
> high-tech and low-tech versions?

You can normally fix something to the frame (sticky tape or cable tie
or something) to act as a pointer. One possibility is to put a cable
tie round the frame, pull it tight and leave the tail sticking out,
then twist that around the frame so the end of the tail is up close to
the rim and acts as a pointer.

If you want high-tech there’s other stuff - truing stand, dishing
stick, tension gauge - but you don’t need it. I had a dishing stick
but seem to have misplaced it and haven’t bothered to look for it for
the last few wheels I’ve built - check dish by putting the wheel in
backwards and see if it’s still central.

regards, Ian SMith

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I have a friend who has a bike wheel truing station (model?) but he does not live close. Can I drop an ISIS hub into a standard bike wheel truing station? Would I need some type of special adaptor?

Uni wheels will not go into a bicycle truing stand. I improvized with my truing stand by gently clamping the bearings to the top of my stand, and it worked alright. It would be nice to take a sacrificial uni frame and make a truing stand out of it.

I haven’t found that to be true; I’ve seen 24" to 36" wheels in bike wheel truing stands. The 36" wheel required a 29’er adapter on the stand, but it fit. Maybe it depends on the model of truing stand.

corbin

Hi Corbin,

OK, so what model stands work?

I’ll try to find out from them; two of my friends have ones that work (Ken Adelman and Bronson Silva – of silvacycles.com ). They look like this one:

corbin