I have antique hub where i put new spokes and spoke j-bend appears to be too long (This picture spokes are only hand tightened)?

Original spokes j-bend was shorter compared to new.

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  • Those are spokes designed for machine installation, vs a manual build. Apr 29, 2021 at 12:06
  • Google spoke head washers. Apr 29, 2021 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


There is way too much space! Tensioning the spoke is going to stress the bend into opening the angle and you risk several failures. The spoke may break at the bend. The spoke-hole will be ovalized or break open through metal fatigue. There's also the risk of the wheel going easily out of true.

Put a stainless washer on the spoke first before threading it through the spoke-hole to compensate for this lack of material thickness of the flange of your hub. It's quite a usual procedure.

I've mentioned stainless washers (with stainless spokes) because introducing another a different material may cause electrolytic corrosion

  • 1
    There are (or were, maybe 10 years back) special washers made for this situation. They go on after the spoke is threaded through the hub and have a rounded hole that suits the curve of the spoke. Apr 29, 2021 at 12:05
  • Relevant: bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/45640/43557 Though a bit of google searching shows that most spoke washers appear to be brass?
    – DavidW
    Apr 29, 2021 at 20:01

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