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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just ordered a set of Stan's Olympic rims and going to build them up myself with 240s. I want the wheel to be as light as possible, and think that does the little amount of coloring on the "black" spokes affect the weight? I want to use "Black" spokes coz it looks way better than "silver" ones, but the weight is giving me doubts.

Have anyone tried to weight the same spokes with the same length to see wether the "silver" are lighter than "black"??

Thanks for any inputs.
 

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Ernest Lam said:
Just ordered a set of Stan's Olympic rims and going to build them up myself with 240s. I want the wheel to be as light as possible, and think that does the little amount of coloring on the "black" spokes affect the weight? I want to use "Black" spokes coz it looks way better than "silver" ones, but the weight is giving me doubts.

Have anyone tried to weight the same spokes with the same length to see wether the "silver" are lighter than "black"??

Thanks for any inputs.
insignificant. You will get more variation with the amount of spokeprep you use. Unless them spokes are PAINTED black...... :D
 

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Black Spokes

I do not know...But the interesting thing that I have heard from some very experienced wheelbuilders is that they believe black spokes to be weaker than the same spoke in silver. Superstition or reality, I do not know, but if the spokes are anodized I could see how the anodization process could weaken them. I have also heard some wheelbuilders say that black spokes will seize up when used with anodized nipples.
Now I only build with silver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
verrocchio100 said:
Ernest, where did you order the Olympic rims from? I am in need of 2 myself for a wheelset build?

Thanks!
www.notubes.com

Find their phone number on the site and give them a call. Tell them what you want and they will set it all up with you. They promise me to ship the rims right after the call and I shall receive it in a week, right here in Hong Kong.
 

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barrows said:
I do not know...But the interesting thing that I have heard from some very experienced wheelbuilders is that they believe black spokes to be weaker than the same spoke in silver. Superstition or reality, I do not know, but if the spokes are anodized I could see how the anodization process could weaken them. I have also heard some wheelbuilders say that black spokes will seize up when used with anodized nipples.
Now I only build with silver.
Spokes are usually stainless steel right? You can't anodize stainless steel, they are most likely painted. Some stainless steel screws are available with a black oxide coating, I don't know what is involved with that process.
 

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BSEVEER said:
Spokes are usually stainless steel right? You can't anodize stainless steel, they are most likely painted. Some stainless steel screws are available with a black oxide coating, I don't know what is involved with that process.
Sapim uses a hot oil process to make their stainless steel spokes black. None of the high-end spokes are painted.
 

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You can't annodize stainless but there are a host of platings and ceramic coatings that can be done on it that can alter its appearance. As to black spokes being weaker, well, DT claims identical strengths for their black and polished stainless spokes. Perhaps its just a case of most OEM wheelsets with black spokes using a grade of stainless steel that's inferior to say, the grade DT uses on their spokes. The black coating adds to the production cost of the spokes, and is done as the last step of production. DT's Black coating adds about 50% to the spoke cost, and DT spokes are already amongst the most expensive stainless spokes around. One of my suppliers that offers a generic black stainless spoke charges about one FIFTH of what DT charges for their champion series black spokes, and one third of the cost of the silver DT champions. DT also has a discount silver stainless spoke line, that's about 1/2 the price of their Champion model, because they use a weaker stainless alloy for it. So if some other brand is cheaper still than the lowest cost DT spokes, and in black at that, you know its a pretty low grade stainless being used.
 

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If you measure spokes of equal diameters, DT usually comes out to be the lightest, since the butted (thinner) part starts right after the head and the treaded part, while cheaper (lower grade stainless steel) spokes need more thick area to prevent failure. I had a set of spokes plated red(ish) for one of my bikes, which I sold some time ago. It looked super!

-b
 
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