Personally, I rarely make a great effort to use vintage spokes, cables, cable housings or tires. In the first three cases the modern stuff is clearly better, and as for 30 year old tires, the rubber has often deteriorated unless they were stored very carefully. You can stiil find some high quality tires in classic colors, so none of these new items look out of place on a classic bike. You have to look pretty closely to tell a bike has modern DT spokes rather some classic brand. If I happened to have a box of correct classic spokes the proper length lying around I might use them, but I wouldn't go the much trouble and expense to find and obtain them. And for rebuilding used wheels, I'd hesitate to use classic spokes even if I had them. Many old wheels can be quite out of true or out of round, so it may require significantly higher tension on some spokes to pull them back into line. Modern spokes tolerate this much better than most of the classic ones.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX
George Allen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: I'm ready to build up some wheels with NOS Campy Record hubs and an assortment of nice NOS rims. One wheelset in particular is for a nearly NOS 1973 Schwinn Paramount that's all original except, of course, for the wheels. I have procured high flange Record hubs with '73 lock nuts and the "Schwinn Approved" Super Champion rims. So do I use vintage spokes in building up the wheels? And, if so, what spokes would be appropriate for a 1973 Paramount? And exactly where does one find such spokes? If the bike were not so original I probably wouldn't care and would just use modern double butted, stainless spokes like I've used on all my other wheel builds with vintage rims and hubs.
What are other listmember's opinions on the use of vintage spokes? How anal should we get in the period correct department? Wouldn't modern spokes make for a stronger wheel? Thus, wallhanger = old spokes, regular rider = new spokes?
George Allen Lexington, Ky USA
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