I am building a new wheel for my family bike: there will be a kid seat on the back rack over the wheel. I picked up some cheap double butted flat aero spokes (not elliptical but flat). From reading around forums these should be no different to a standard round spoke.

My question is this: is the double butted flat spoke weaker regarding the situation, not road/race but weight carrying?

Safety is important. No I am not looking for speed I got them as they were cheap clearance (Pro-Lite Gavia Aero Spokes).

  • 2
    Spokes almost always fail at one end or the other, where stresses are concentrated. This is part of why double-butted spokes even make sense. So long as the manufacturing process did not create stress points at the transitions from round to flat they should be as strong as regular spokes. (Whether "aero" spokes are really "aero" is a different question -- probably not.) Jul 2, 2013 at 11:19
  • If you are concerned with weight/safety, go with a 3x or 4x pattern. With kid seat behind, you should probably do both sides of the rear with a cross pattern (non-drive side is often done radial) and consider doing the front with at least 2x (3x is better).
    – Ken Hiatt
    Jul 2, 2013 at 16:08
  • Keep in mind that you will need to purchase a slotted hub to match your aero spokes (they will not fit through the round spoke holes on a standard hub). Slotted hubs, being designed for racing, will be more expensive.
    – Codebling
    Mar 12, 2015 at 3:24
  • Slotted hubs are not exactly designed for load bearing, either. That being said, despite the more aft weight distribution due to less aggressive posturing, as well as a child seat, I can't imagine it being a problem. But I am by no means an expert.
    – Codebling
    Mar 12, 2015 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


I don't think you'll have a problem. Aero spokes are no less strong than regular double butted spokes. I use them for downhill riding and whenever one breaks (due to bad handling, loose spokes or extreme impacts) it is never on the bladed flat area. They'll either break close to the nipple or close to the spoke head.

Also note that usually spokes break one by one and never all together. So even in the rare scenario that one breaks (probably because they where too loose) the wheel will be able to continue riding normally and you'll replace it and retighten as soon as you can.

  • My experience has been that when a spoke breaks the brakes immediately start dragging severely. Of course one can usually open the caliper on the problem wheel to "limp along" until a repair can be effected. It is quite rare to have more than one break at a time (though riding with a broken spoke will put added stress on the adjacent ones, so repairs should be made ASAP). Jul 2, 2013 at 15:19
  • Which kind of brakes start dragging severely when the wheel gets out of true?
    – cherouvim
    Jul 2, 2013 at 15:21

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