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):

  • cut spoke using a good heavy duty set of pliers or side cutters;

Cutting spoke with heavy duty pliers
  • clamp spoke in spoke threading machine, but not all the way in - this way you can access the end of the spoke;

Spoke partially inserted into spoke threading machine
  • file the spoke end flat and file a slight chamfer all round;

Filing spoke end flat
  • move spoke fully into threading machine;

Threading titanium spoke
  • thread spoke - I use a zip-tie on the shaft of the threading machine as a stop so I get about 10mm of thread on the spoke.

Improvised threading distance stop using zip-tie

Related articles:

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:

Sapim CX-Ray spokes


Crank arm shortening


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

Saving weight with less spokes

Two approaches: