Everyone is all about the double butts, but lemme tell ya something. Sometimes one butt is all you need. Pillar rates these spokes for the hardest possible usage: Downhill, E bikes, E cargo bikes, and trips to the in-laws at Christmas.
Single butted spokes are 13 gauge at the hub. That’s 1 gauge thicker than a straight gauge spoke, ditto a typical double butted spoke. Whatwhywhocares?
Spokes fail at the hub shell, because they are bent in a little candy cane shape there, and all of the load of the whole spoke is concentrated on the inner curve of said candy cane. You know, the part your finger touches when you twirl the candy cane around like the Mr Peanut guy. Your finger is the hub shell. Look at that candy cane twirl. Think about how little of the curve of the cane is touching your finger. Very little. Probably not even enough to make your finger smell like peppermint, or if you are one of those sickos who like different flavors of candy canes, blue raspberry marshmallow.
Let’s do some more bedroom physics. Put your finger out, and suspend the candy cane from it. You stole one of those little ones that are set out in bowls at the bank. It’s 1/4” thick or so. Now: keep holding that finger out, and pull on the long end of the candy cane. Keep pulling until it breaks. Betcha it broke at the bend. Do the same thing with a thicker Candy Cane, the kind you stole off the X-mas tree at the entrance to Shaws. Wooo, that hurts. Strong Candy Cane. It’s barely thicker, really, but it’s way stronger and stiffer.
Spokes are of course a bit different than candy canes. But once a spoke is laced up to a high tension, they’re similar in how they handle stress at the bend. And if the bend is where spokes fail, a thicker spoke is stronger. Thicker spokes also make for stiffer wheels, which is why these spokes are rated for E bikes. You really want a very stiff wheel for an E bike with a big ole electric motor. You can’t have a bunch of spoke elongation or the wheel would loose tension rapidly. Troll wheel building forums (no don’t, they’re a cess pool of misinformation, like spending an afternoon with someone who gets their news from Get’r) and you will see that people build E bike wheels with butted spokes only to see them fail shortly thereafter. Maybe the wheel was properly built, but it was not properly designed.
Whew, ok. Here’s the thing to know. Butting spokes costs money. The more butts, the more money, the more money, the more problems. No wait. That’s a song. Just, more butts = more money. A quad butted spoke is harder to make than a single butted spoke. A double butted spoke is too. But a single butted spoke, IF you make it with a fat j bend section, is stronger and stiffer and a 14 / 15/ 14 gauge double butted spoke, and costs less. The only downside is marginally more weight. If you are looking for strength, and want to save a bit of cheddar, go single butted. If you are building a DH wheelset, E bike wheelset, or Cargo bike wheelset, go single butted no matter what.
We can cut Pillar Single Butted spokes to any length between 160mm and 310mm. Silver or black. $1.5 each cut and prepped with wheel fanatyk spoke fix. Silver only at the moment.