- spokes are wires which are woven between a hub and a rim to create a wheel
- spokes usually have a bent head that keeps the wire from coming out of the hub
- spokes have a threaded end which goes through the rim and engages a nipple
- spokes can be straight or single-butted, double-butted or triple-butted
- spokes can be have oval or flattened shapes in the middle of their length
- spokes should be rust-resistant, strong, light and have some flexibility
- single-butted spokes tend to be thick at the hub end, thinner in the middle, and maintain that thickness to the rim (threaded) end.
- A double-butted spoke is thick at the hub end, thinner in the middle, then returns to the original thickness at the rim end.
- A triple-butted spoke is thick at the hub, thin in the center, and a third (thicker) diameter at the rim end.
OK, I think that's enough background information. Now it's time to ask, "Do we need math to make a bicycle wheel?" Probably not, right? I haven't provided any numbers.
No, it turns out that you need a surprisingly large amount of math. Wheel (we will) look at the issues more closely tomorrow.
PS - I guess it's unfair to have NO numbers at all, so here - you've heard the phrase "let's not re-invent the wheel." Why not? Because everyone else is. I did a patent search and found 4668 patents on bicycle wheels!