Skip to content

J Bend Vs Straight Pull Spokes-Pros & cons and More

There is a simple difference in their design which is shown in their names, j bend spokes are j shaped and these are bent at the lower end where these are mounted within the flanges of hubs and these are making an angle of 90 degrees, but straight pull spokes are straight in shape, these have their own recommended hubs and these straight spokes won’t work and perform on j bend hubs.

There is not a large difference between both of these spokes in riding, the difference comes when you have built a wheel with these spokes and the wheel is not tensioned properly, j bend spokes have a claim of breaking on rough terrains and due to their hooked structure within the hubs, these do not provide better tension after wheel building as compared to straight pull spokes. its breaking issues are common on the trails and also when you are building a new wheel while installing j-bends into the flanges of the hubs these will break from the lower round head places.

Both of these spokes are manufactured equally and the material is the same for both of them with equal power, strength, and tension, there is a difference between both of them, straighter spokes are always harder, and the best tension provider than j bends, in other words, the difference is found in their structure and designing, although you can solve the tensioning issue of j bends easily by using a tension meter when installing and building a new wheel.

Those bikes that have higher-end frames, and straight pull spokes would work much better because these are straight and they do not tolerate any pressure and force on them when the wheel rotates on the trails as compared to j bend spokes.

Advantages Of J Bend Spokes?

  • All the weight of the rider and bike would not depend on both ends of j bends, weight is distributed from upper to lower ends which increases the durability of these spokes.
  • Lower ends of j bend spokes have a lock feature within the flanges which makes them immovable.
  • These are cheaper and common in every mechanic store as compared to straight pull spokes.
  • If any j bend spoke broke on the trails or if anyone is missing, you can get a comfortable ride without the availability of a single spoke.

Common Disadvantage Of J-Bend Spokes?

If your spoke broke on the trails and if you want to replace the current spoke with a new one then for j bend spokes you have to uninstall the cassette of the drive train with disc brakes and rotors for inserting a new j bend spoke, but for straight pull spokes you don’t need to unmount these rear wheel parts and simply you can install a new straight pull spoke with in the hub.

These are heavier in weight also their hubs have more weight as compared to straight pull hubs.

These have less durability and do not sustains a long time because of the 90-degree bent angle making on the lower end of flanges.

Advantages Of Straight Pull Spokes:

These are stronger than j bends because they are straight and do not contain bent ends.

These are lighter in weight and their hubs are also lighter in weight as compared to j bends.

These are easily replaceable as compared to j bends.

Disadvantages Of Straight Pull Spokes:

  • All the weight of the rider, bike, and other stuff are on the lower ends of these spokes which decreases their durability as compared to j bends.
  • Their spokes do not have a lock factor.
  • These are expensive as compared to j bends.
  • these are not widely available in every bike shop, these are not common.
  • When building a new wheel, sizing of straight pull spokes is difficult and requires time as compared to j bends but wheel lacing is easy.

Difference In Spokes Replacement:

J bend spokes are easier to replace at any time in any place because you just need to install another j bend spoke within the flanges of the hub and these spokes do not require uninstalling of the hub, while for straight pull spokes almost every time when you want to replace one spoke with a new one you have to uninstall the hub for installing new straight pull spokes, it shows that there is a large difference found in both of them in wheel building.

J bend spokes are common in every mechanic store and every builder would know their work but straight pull spokes are rare and these are usually not found everywhere, the other difference is that hubs of j bend spokes are an affordable price as compared to hubs of straight pull spokes.

Hub Difference:

The flanges of j bend hub spokes have greater holes as compared to straight pull hubs, and it decreases the tensioning of j bend spokes but straight pull hubs have the exact same diameter of holes as that of the lower ends of straight pull spokes, this makes a big difference and it matters a lot for rough and hard terrains, especially for mountain biking.

J bend spokes need wheel building after 6 months because these spokes will lose their tensioning due to hub difference while straight-pull spokes do not need re-dishing in the given time period.

Diameter Difference:

The ends of both spokes have diameter differences which are due to the old discovery of j bend spokes, straight pull spokes are modern spokes for bike wheels and their size is 2mm while the diameter of j bend spokes is 1.8mm.

Wheel Lacing:

Straight pull spokes are easier to mount and as their structure shows these are straight, it is the reason they require less time in the lacing of the new wheel as compared to j bend spokes.

Weight Difference:

Straight pull spokes are lighter in weight as compared to j bend spokes. it is the reason straight pull spokes are used for racings and j bends have a heavier weight. The bladed structure of straight pull spokes makes them lighter in weight, these are thick at both lower and upper ends and thin in the center.

Comfortability difference:

Both types of spokes give an equal comfort zone but it totally depends on their lacing and tensioning, if the job is done by a senior and experienced mechanic, the wheel will provide more comfort, but straight pull spokes are harder and stiffer as compared to j bend spokes, it shows that for mountain biking and for rough terrains j bends are usually recommended for absorbing bumps and jumps of the trails.

Speed Difference:

Straight pull spokes are faster in speed as compared to j bend spokes, this ability is due to the excellent tensioning of the spokes and wheels rotate much faster on the trails.

Geometry Difference Of Spokes:

Straight pull spokes are round in shape at both ends but these are blade shaped in the center, it is the reason straight pull spokes are also known as bladed spokes. j bends are round in shape. when truing a wheel straight pull spokes are more difficult and irritating than j bend spokes.

Difference Of Flanges In Hubs:

Hubs of straight pull spokes do not contain flanges to mount the spokes, their mounting method is complex and a little bit different from j bend spokes, while hubs of j bend spokes contain flanges and holes where the bent part could easily mount within the hub during wheel lacing.

Durability Difference:

Due to the lower weight of straight pull spokes, these have low durability as compared to j bend spokes. The bladed structure of straight pull spokes makes them lighter and the rounded shape of j bends makes them heavier with more durability which increases their lifespan, j bends are mostly recommended for mountain biking and aggressive trails.

Recommendations For Carbon And Aluminum Wheels?

Straight pull spokes are recommended for carbon wheels and these are rarely used on alloy rims, but for aluminum rims, j bends are mostly recommended, these recommendations are usually helpful because this setup works appropriately and provides excellent tensioning to wheels.

Which Is Better J Bend Or Straight Pull For Narrow And Wider Rims?

J bend spokes have a good performance on wider rims which are mostly used for mountain biking and gravel riding but for road bikes and for clinchers and other narrow rims, straight pull spokes would perform better, this difference is due to the more durability of the j bend spokes.

Difference In Number Of Spokes( J Bend VS Straightpull Spokes):

Less number of straight pull spokes(28 spokes) would make your ride smooth and comfortable, but you cannot ride with j bend spokes if the rear wheel has a lesser number of spokes, it always needs a large number of spokes(32 to 36 spokes) and it makes a big difference for both front and rear wheels because many times it happens when you have own these spokes with different numbers and counting and you would not install them in your wheels because of this opposite difference.

Which Is Harder In Handbuilding?

When you are building a new wheel j bent spokes are a little bit harder as compared to straight pull spokes, because of the flanges of the hub while straight pulls do not have these flanges and these are directly built by inserting their spokes in the hub holes.

Which Is Best For Heavy Riders?

Straight pull spokes are limited and their wheel lacing contains a certain of number spokes. you cannot add or remove any of the spokes from their wheels, but for j bends you can easily add or remove spokes from j bend hubs, you can make a wheel of your own choice if j bend hubs and spokes are installed in your wheel. it helps a lot for the riders who want to add or remove spokes from wheels depending on their weight.