I would like to change 4 of my spokes on my back wheel. The trouble is that I dont know the model of my bike nor do I know if that wheel is original, in order to look up the dimensions of the spokes. Here are the dimensions of the tire though if that is to any help:

enter image description here

What would be your recommendations in my case? I am not very proficient at bikes, so please be easy on me :)

  • 1
    Don't forget to buy new nipples too, and get a couple of spare spokes as well. If 4 are gone there's an excellent chance the fifth will go too.
    – Criggie
    Apr 8, 2021 at 12:08
  • @Criggie, thanks will do!
    – Clone
    Apr 8, 2021 at 22:39
  • Why do you need to change the spokes? If four just spontaneously broke, you may want to consider replacing them all.
    – MaplePanda
    Apr 9, 2021 at 6:59
  • @MaplePanda From personal experience it's far easier to replace an old set of spokes one at a time, maintaining the dish and true of the wheel, than it is to take them all out and start from zero. :)
    – DavidW
    Apr 9, 2021 at 14:11
  • 1
    @MaplePanda, they broke. At first one spoke broke then 3 more due to imbalance. Basically a new wheel will cost me more than I paid for the bike so I am trying to do it this way.
    – Clone
    Apr 9, 2021 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


Get one of the spokes out ans measure its length. It is a primitive method, but by far the simplest one. Less accurately, you could try to measure it on the wheel and account for the hidden part in the nipple, but I would not recommend it.

  • Yeah, remove a spoke and measure it. Apr 8, 2021 at 12:05
  • 3
    Further - remove a spoke carefully and note if it was a drive side or a non-drive side. There may be up to 2 mm difference, it seems to be a rear wheel in the photo. The front wheel has the same length spokes on both sides, but the rear may vary due to dishing.
    – Criggie
    Apr 8, 2021 at 12:07
  • 1
    Yeah, the drive side is the side with the chain and sprocket. The spokes on that side are often shorter. It would be unusual, though, for there to be a difference in thickness. Apr 8, 2021 at 22:36
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    The length difference might not matter, if the rim is a double construction (ie the nipples are buried in the rim, and below the rim tape) then it doesn't matter if a bit of the spoke pokes out. If it was a single wall rim, where the nipples press the rim tape, then any protrusion can cause punctures so length is important.
    – Criggie
    Apr 9, 2021 at 1:41
  • 1
    @Criggie Of course, a too-long spoke may bottom out, which isn’t good either.
    – MaplePanda
    Apr 9, 2021 at 6:58

When I absolutely have to do this, I very carefully measure with a ruler, ideally one that's graduated to the end, from the elbow to the spot that goes into the nipple, then add 10mm. I take the measurement in a couple different spots until it's coming out the same, because it's finicky. This way is accurate enough. 10mm errs short, which is what you want to do so you don't run out of threaded length or poke the tube on a single wall rim.

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