Titanium spokes??

8 replies to this topic
  • Forrest_Thump

Posted May 31, 2002 - 04:51 PM


Is there such a thing as titanium spokes? Just wondering...

  • newmann

Posted May 31, 2002 - 06:08 PM


Hickman Racing used to make them. Not any more, done checked! Sure would have gone good with my magnesium hubs and titanium brake rotor. I know someone who had a set in his YZ250. He replaced them one at a time with stock spokes as they broke. Which he said was about one every ride.

Run Forrest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Forrest_Thump

Posted June 01, 2002 - 08:45 AM


If they break once a ride, that would explain why we never see anyone use them.

I AM running.......to my motorcycle! :)

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted June 03, 2002 - 12:11 PM


It was a factory Yamaha guy back in the 70's, dont remember which, but he grenaded a rear wheel that had titanium spokes in it at Hangtown one year. I wish I still had that picture. What a sight. Complete devistation.

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  • Fastest1

Posted June 03, 2002 - 06:27 PM


Titanium is a pathetic material to make spokes from! It is way too flexible. If you like to watch your rim wallow and wander then it would be ok. I ran a set on a mountain bike a few years ago, what a joke the wheel would rub the forks from side to side as you rode through singletrack. Precision steering is not what I would have called it. Titanium is overated, Steel is still the answer. :)

  • mikeolichney

Posted June 04, 2002 - 10:20 AM


Don't confuse stiffness (Youngs modulus, E) with strength. Titanium is only 1/2 as stiff as steel, but just (about) as strong. So if you take an equal sized spoke of both materials and hang a weight from the spokes, both will take the same amount of weight without breaking. However, the Ti spoke will stretch twice as far for the same weight. You would need to double the cross section of the Ti spoke to make it as stiff as the steel one-but then it would be twice as strong. Since Ti is about 60% of the weight of steel, this new spoke would weigh 20% more than the steel one. It also has great fatigue properties, and is very resistant to corrosion. If properly designed, Ti could be made to work well for spokes. For the same spoke weight (not size), a Ti spoke would be much stronger than steel but not quite as stiff.

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted June 04, 2002 - 02:57 PM


Mike, dont you want spokes to be stiff? I understand where the strength of a laced wheel comes from, but it seems like the stiffer the spoke the better still.

  • Forrest_Thump

Posted June 05, 2002 - 02:29 AM


Thanks for the info about Ti spokes, I knew there was a problem with that idea. What about stainless steel? I know it is heavier, and SS tends to be a bit on the brittle side compaired to steel, meaning it will snap before it bends as much a steel. But when rust is a problem it could be an answer, IF they hold up as well.

  • newmann

Posted June 05, 2002 - 03:34 AM


I think MikeO was just making a comparison of one material to another in the same size. And that to have a Ti spoke as stiff as a standard it would have to be physically larger in diameter. This would also make it twice as strong and heavier. Most people use Ti to save weight so it wouldn't be favorable in this case.Buchanan's spokes are stainless and are sold just about everywhere or you can buy direct. They refer to them as "Bulldog" spokes so they must be pretty strong. I've never broken any. Most sets are about $70.00 per wheel with nipples. I have them in a bunch of my vintage bikes. I built some lightweight wheels for my 250F and went back with stock spokes. They were the lightest I could find.

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