Short spokes

It's not easy to get spokes in the lengths that you need for kid's bike wheel builds, but there are a few options available:

Straight gauge spokes

2.0mm or 14g spokes are available in a range of lengths including the 232-238mm ranges needed for 24" 3x wheel builds. They are cheap but heavy (around 6g a spoke for a 243mm spoke).

Double butted spokes

CX-Rays, Super CX-Rays and DT Swiss Competition (2.0-1.8-2.0mm) spokes are available as short as 232mm.

Make your own shorter spokes

There's really no point in cutting ordinary 2.0mm/14g straight gauge spokes as they are readily available in the shorter lengths, but if you need something lighter, the cutting a longer spoke and re-rolling the threads makes a lot of sense. There are a few options:

  • straight gauge Ti spokes - these are 2.0mm/14g and are almost half the weight of a 2.0mm/14g stainless spoke;
  • DT Swiss Competition spokes - these are 2.0mm / 1.8mm / 2.0mm. The problem with shortening any sort of butted spoke is that you end up cutting them down into the butted area where the spoke is not of a diameter that you can properly re-roll the thread. For DT Swiss Competition spokes, you can if you cut them shorter than 230mm you lose the entire threaded end butting, but you can re-roll threads on the 1.8mm section and use the 15g nipples.

Related articles:

Shortening spokes

Here's how I do it (in this example I'm shortening a titanium spoke, but the procedure for stainless steel spokes is the same):

Sapim CX-Ray spokes


Marwi titanium spokes

Got 18 of these on special for no particular reason other than to check out the whole "titanium spoke thing". These are straight gauge 14g (2.0mm) spokes. 18 spokes weigh 71g, so they weigh 3.94g ...

Straight pull spokes

Why I don't like them

Crank arm shortening


Short cranks for kids

Update 2021