I'm planning to build a new wheel, using a Velocity Synergy OC (asymmetric) rim. When I calculate spoke lengths using the Edd spoke length calculator I get these lengths:

Drive Side: 293.9 mm

Non-drive Side: 294.7 mm

So, the drive side seems easy, I'll use a 294 mm spoke. But what about the non-drive side, would it be better to round up to 296 mm or would 294 mm work? How do you decide when it is better to be a bit long or short?

  • 1
    You realize that those lengths are only estimates, and actual length can vary by 2-3mm based on rim and hub characteristics? Aug 31 '15 at 11:22
  • Err, no, I didn't. I take math as gospel – that and having always had things work out very close on the wheels I've built.
    – dlu
    Aug 31 '15 at 13:26
  • There is maybe 8 mm of adjustability on your standard spoke. Aug 31 '15 at 16:22

I would round to 294, since that would keep difference from theoretical less than 1 mm, and as bonus left and right would be of same length which means you have to stock only one size for replacements.


I would round up to 296 and buy only that size. Spokes that are too long can be easily trimmed and rethreaded by any decent shop (they make a machine to do just that). However, a spoke that is too short is utterly useless.

  • Nooo! If you have to shorten spokes you're in an expensive place. File a bit off the end if you must, but it's better to buy 1mm short and use a few long nippl,e is you get into trouble. But as @Daniel commented above, a couple of millimetres each way is normal tolerance.
    – Nuі
    Sep 7 '15 at 22:56
  • I disagree, I think it's always better to err on the long side. Even really shallow rims will have room for at least 3mm of protrusion between the walls. If the spoke doesn't thread past the shoulder of the nipple, the head is likely to shear off under load.
    – Syl-bonk
    Mar 31 '18 at 15:21

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