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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a set of wheels I built up 2 years ago with new DT Competition spokes and DT brass nipples that I never got around to riding. They literally have been hanging in the basement for 2 years, I am building up a new hardtail and want to recycle these hubs/spokes/nipples into a new wheelset with a heavier AM rim. I have run several spoke calculators and determined if I re-lace to a Mavic EN521 my spokes will be 2mm longer than ideal, or I can use a DT Swiss EX500 or 5.1d and my spokes should be spot on. I have had excellent experiance building with Mavics in the past and can buy them for less than the DT's.

My question is: Can I get away with the 2mm difference in spoke length? Are there any tricks to compensate for the difference? like different nipple brand/design?
 

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2mm extra length is too much. If you can find a LBS with a Phil Wood spoke cutter and roller, and an experienced operator, it is possible to shorten the spokes and extend the threads. I've had it done before for custom length spokes, with excellent results.
 

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jbf said:
I have a set of wheels I built up 2 years ago with new DT Competition spokes and DT brass nipples that I never got around to riding. They literally have been hanging in the basement for 2 years, I am building up a new hardtail and want to recycle these hubs/spokes/nipples into a new wheelset with a heavier AM rim. I have run several spoke calculators and determined if I re-lace to a Mavic EN521 my spokes will be 2mm longer than ideal, or I can use a DT Swiss EX500 or 5.1d and my spokes should be spot on. I have had excellent experiance building with Mavics in the past and can buy them for less than the DT's.

My question is: Can I get away with the 2mm difference in spoke length? Are there any tricks to compensate for the difference? like different nipple brand/design?
2mm is too much. Use the DT rims or buy new spokes
 

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2mm is too much if the lengths are already spot on. But....if you're transitioning from one rim to another, things may work out.

Spoke lengths and calculations aren't always perfect. DT spoke calcs with wheelsmith spokes have to have a 1mm fudge factor. So if that's your case, you're already halfway there. There's a few other exceptions too.

It's not a perfect world, but it may work. What hubs/rims do you have now?
 

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+2mm could be perfect. Most of the calculators I've used figure spoke length to about 1mm from the top of the nipple, you can go about 1.5mm past the end of the nipple before you run out of threads. So it may work or it may bite you in the but if your on a budget it's worth a shot.

Most veteran builders will never re-use spokes that have been tensioned regardless of weather or not they have been ridden, might want to think about that.
 

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Listen to the other guys 2mm is to much. You will get the wheel all laced and as you begin to tension it the nipples will bottom out on the spoke where the thread stops. Then guess what? You will be pissed. Some shops have threaders and you could cut the threads deeper
 

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Most veteran builders will never re-use spokes that have been tensioned regardless of weather or not they have been ridden, might want to think about that.
Some wheel builders will reuse spokes even when they have been tensioned, when they have been ridden and also when they are replacing a damaged rim.

Others will systematically use new spokes.

Some refuse to re-cut threads, others have no problem with this...

You have to decide for yourself.

+2mm could be perfect. Most of the calculators I've used figure spoke length to about 1mm from the top of the nipple, you can go about 1.5mm past the end of the nipple before you run out of threads. So it may work or it may bite you in the but if your on a budget it's worth a shot.
2mm too long is 2mm too long according to the spoke calculator. But that doesn't necessarily mean the wheel will be dangerous. Everything depends on whether or not the nipple runs out of thread on the spoke and starts tightening on the un-threaded part of the spoke. The fact that the spoke protrudes 1 or 2 mm beyond the top of the nipple doesn't necessarily mean that you are tightening on to an un-theaded part of the spoke. Unfortunately the only way to check this is by testing. That means building the wheel and looking/checking.

If you find the nipple is tightening on un-threaded spoke or protruding more than 1 or 2 mm from the end of the nipple - you will require shorter spokes.

Ultimately you have to decide for yourself.
If in doubt don't !
Don't build a dangerous wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After considering all the replys to my initial question, I think I will use the DT Swiss EX500 rims. I don't want any surprises in the middle of the build. I may use new brass nipples since they are cheap, but I am going to re-use the spokes. Thanks for all the input ...
 
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