Spokes are perhaps the most elemental part of the bicycle, and while there have been many attempts to reinvent the wheel, the basic 32-spoke wheel has persisted. Wheelsmith, which started in Montana in the early 1990s and is now part of the Hayes Bicycle Group in Wisconsin, has perfected the art of the J-Bend spoke and continues to produce every single spoke with the iconic W stamped into the head out of its Milwaukee-area facility. Each is drawn from 304 stainless steel with threads rollednot cutinto each end at a precise 65 threads-per-inch. The spokes cost about $0.50 apiece. They're a staple of bike shops nationwide and a favorite of discerning wheel-builders everywhere.