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Id's_OK

Zip ties on spokes?

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Id's_OK

I was just watching Long Way Round for about the fourth time, and noticed that the BMW techs had Charlie put zip ties around the spokes at each intersection of the crossing spokes? Anyone know why?

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dirtrider

Morning Christopher

 

Zip tying the spokes has been done for a long time now. In fact it is required to run in some of the off road events I participate in.

 

Zip tying the spokes does 2 basic things.

 

First, it reinforces the spokes where they cross making both spokes stronger.

 

Secondly, (supposedly) it retains a broken spoke to keep it from flopping around, hopefully not puncturing a tire, or flying off the bike.

 

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Id's_OK

Cool, thanks! Guess I'll get to work with those zip ties!

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dirtrider

Morning Christopher

 

Unless you abuse your bike off road or need to do it for an event just keep in mind that the area where the tie straps are on the spoke cross-overs can trap sand & dirt so with time will wear the protective coating off & discolor the spokes in that area.

 

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elkroeger

I'm calling B.S. on the stronger spoke theory. You're talking about a little plastic wire tie like electricians use? Baloney.

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kmac

I used to use SS tie wire tied tight and clipped short. I think it is as light, maybe lighter than a zip. It is stronger imho. And being narrower than a zip it holds the X cross of the spokes in a tighter spot than a 3/16" or so wide zip tie.

 

But that was only when I would race a long desert race where high speeds and extreme abuse was the norm.

 

As to adding strength....I also doubt a zip tie would add much if any strength, but if it lessened any flex by transfering even a tiny amount of force to the other spoke it could potentially add some small amount of strength.

 

In carpentry we know that triangles are the way to make anything stronger. Scaffolding has X braces. Walls have kickers as close as possible to 45* angles. It is amazing how much a small anount of locking something together into a triangle strengthens it and connecting 2 spokes together at the cross point turns the 2 spoke from tension device into 2 triangle tension devices...possibility for added strength. But I do prefer tie wire myself, strong stuff. I would not do it on a GS bike unless I was doing something very serious with it, probably far outside of its intended purpose.

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Witch_Doctor

The BMW Tech was having Charlie zip tie the spokes to know where he was while tightening (Tuning)them. As strengthening, can't see that, but if you have a loose spoke that won't stay torqued properly, zip tie it to the next closest spoke to prevent the spoke from flying off if it loosens out of its nipple.

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elkroeger

I thought that was the whole point to spokes on a GS. It results in a wheel with a certain amount of intentional flex, so you don't wind up with a dent, or a potato chip on the first bump.

 

Certainly with bicycles, there are a zillion types of spoked wheels. From school-bus style tandem touring wheels to uber light carbon fiber and kevlar spoked time trial jobbies. The normal procedure is to match the number of spokes, their thickness, and lacing pattern to the intended use.

 

Having said that, there are some adherents to creating a stiffer wheel without adding much weight by wrapping the spoke crosses with wire and then soldering or brazing the whole thing together. It does work, but not much. It is rather uncommon, and is usually limited to track racing. My two cents is that it is more of a way to improve cheap wheels and avoid buying new ones - for racers on a budget....

 

Compare soldering spokes on a very lightweight bicycle wheel, which has a debatable effect under heavy strain, to tying spokes together with polyethylene tie wraps on a wheel that weighs orders of magnitude more than a bicycle wheel. The stiffness hypothesis is utter nonsense.

 

The only purpose that makes any sense is to retain broken spokes. If there is data supporting the stiffer wheel hypothesis, I'd love to see it. I've been surprised before. :-)

 

 

Edited by elkroeger

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ESokoloff

Discusion here.

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racer7

Back in the old days before off road stuff had 2 feet of suspension travel, I used to safety wire (what it was called then) the spokes on my 2 stroke Kwakker..

Coming down off some air, I'd periodically break spokes, sometimes more than one at a time.

Usually the safety wire also broke or got lost- forget what gauge stainless we used but it was pretty stiff- about as stiff as one would want to run through the usual tool. So the spokes often flopped, too. Sometimes the wire stayed in place and held the broken one in place. IIRC the most spokes I broke at any one time was 6 or 7. (Those old bikes didn't have anything today's youngsters would even recognize as a suspension)

 

Can't believe that zip ties would do squat- most have less breaking strength that the heavier safety wires. The fat ones are similar but I doubt thats what is used. But maybe the zips would flex enough not to break like wire??

 

No doubt today's long travel stuff is a lot easier on spokes.

Edited by racer7

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