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Additional Notes on Spokes & Weight

All wheels for practical riding should have at least 32 spokes. The aerodynamics of 16 to 28 spoke wheels means nothing outside of a race, and they're weaker to boot. This chart shows the meager weight saved by cutting spokes.

# of spokes

How long mm

14ga. plain

14 ga. butted

Oz. per wheel

28

292

243.6

215.6

8.6/7.6

32

292

278.4

246.4

9.8/8.7

36

292

313.2

277.2

11/9.8

 

The weights assume brass nipples. You save an ounce a wheel with each four-spoke subtraction.. But as you go to fewer spokes, the spokes get longer, saving you less weight; and fewer spokes creates less wind drag; but with more spokes, the spokes draft one another better. This is a problem with this kind of meaningless detail. The nonsense kicks in and it can go on forever. If you simply want strong, reliable wheels, you’ll simply ride more spokes, heavier rims, and bigger & softer tires.