I snapped a spoke in a wheel, and would ideally like to replace it with one of the same. I bought the wheel ready-made many years ago, and have no idea what the spokes are. They are double butted, and have a little squared-off section below the threads that i haven't seen on other spokes. This was quite helpful for getting a seized nipple off, because i could grip it with a pair of pliers.

the spoke in question

also the spoke in question

What are these spokes? What make and model, or else, what terms should I look for to find something similar?

EDIT The Sapim 2023 Spokes & Nipples OEM Catalogue talks about "Torsion Control Squares", and also "Torsion Control Spoke"; the page labelled 75 says:

The Torsion Control Spokes are the best spokes on the market for making a strong wheel. The secret of the spoke is in the unique square just above the thread (patented design). With this square it is possible to hold the spoke during tightening and truing, so it prevents the spoke from twisting. The TCS Spokes can easily be tightened to more than 200 Nm without twisting.

That's a name, and depending on how strong that patent is, suggests these may be Sapim spokes.

EDIT 2 Here's a picture of the hub - normal J-bed spokes, as far as i can tell:

enter image description here

EDIT 3 On closer inspection, i found that the bend is stamped "Sapim", so they are indeed Sapim. I measured them as 2.05 mm across the butts, and 1.55 mm across the middle of the spoke, which fits the published dimensions for Sapim Laser spokes, and none of their other models. So i think it's safe to conclude that these are Sapim Lasers with the TCS feature.

  • 3
    Unless aesthetics are your concern, I wouldn’t worry about matching spokes. Even matching the thickness or butting patter is largely irrelevant.
    – oscu0
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 18:08
  • Agree with @oscu0. As for the function of the square section of the spoke, you are right to say this is for holding in spoke in place when turning the nipple. Helps to prevent spoke from twisting. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 18:21
  • 2
    @oscu0 aesthetics are my concern! Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 8:06
  • @TomAnderson Are these spokes straight pull? Or do they bend? A photo of the hub end would be helpful Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 22:27
  • 1
    @LamarLatrell It's a three-cross wheel. I will try to post a picture tomorrow. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


If this spoke were a straight-pull, then the flats would serve as a place where one could grip the spoke with more standard tools compared to spoke holding pliers:

enter image description here

Without something to hold the spoke you cannot adjust tension via the nipple as the spoke will generally turn with it.

Less of an issue with bladed spokes, but the same applies with j-bend spokes and issues with spoke torsion, this can be mostly mitigated via other techniques though.

Update: Looks like they're J-bend. My guess is that the feature may be there to assist with machine building, but my original answer remains intact as it's all still relevant info to someone else who happens across this topic :)

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