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 Post subject: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:48 am 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
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Location: Suffolk
I said I would write one and I am having to do again as I lost it.

Tools needed.
Spoke key
Spoke tension gauge I find the ear method difficult with some spoke like thing Sapim Laser's (a small change in tension produce a large change in pitch). The Park TM-1 is all the DIY builder will need. IT cost about £60.
A jig of some kind. Your frame will do
A dishing stick but again a rule on your frame will do.
Nipple driver - it make life easier but is not essential.
I am not one who believe that will do. The correct tools for the job just help you do a better job quicker. Home made versions of these tools can do the job well but only if you do it right.
Home made jigs have been covered before and as I do not use one and never have I will not go there. To me building your own wheels is not about doing it as cheaply as possible but about doing it yourself and the sense of satisfaction you get. To this end I will start at the begining.

Measuring ERD.
You need two spokes cut to 200mm and screw on nipples until the *bottom* nipple driver flats are flush with the top of the spoke. Place the spokes in the rim at opposite ends of the rim. Measure the distance between the ends of the spokes and add 400mm.
The two rims I am using are the Mavic XM717 ERD 541mm and XM117 ERD 543mm.
Image

Measuring the hub
The hubs picked are M732 rear 135mm OLD (over lock nut distance) and M730 front.
A hub has 5 important dimensions
1) left flange PCD
2) right flange PCD
3) centre left flange to centre of hub
4) centre of right flange to centre of hub
5) spoke hole diameter
Centre of hub is the mid-point between the locknuts.
PCD is the distance between the centre's of the spoke hole of two opposing holes.
Using a vernier measure form the inside of the drive side (DS) flange to the lock nut. This is D1
Image
Measure the thickness of the flange, this is D2.

Centre of flange to centre of hub = (OLD/2)-(D1-(D2/2))
Measure from the inside of the non drive side (NDS) flange to the centre of the hub and repeat the calculation.

Some manufacturers quote the flange to centre measurements from the inside of the flange or the outside. This messes with the bracing angle calculation which is a critical part of good rim, spoke and spoke count selection.

For the hubs I am using
M730
left/right flange PCD = 37.5mm
left/right centre of flange to centre of hub =35mm
spoke hole diameter 2.6mm
M732 rear
left/right flange PCD = 45mm
right centre of flange to centre of hub =24mm
left centre of flange to centre of hub =37mm
spoke hole diameter 2.6mm

The rear hub is perfect as it give high bracing angle which a stiff wheel. It also means I can use thin Sapim Lasers and still have a stiff wheel.

Calculating spoke lengths.
This is what I use - it simply works well.
http://sheldonbrown.com/rinard/spocalc.htm
Front rim XM117 and rear rim XM717.
Front spoke lengths 265.9mm DS rear 262.5mm and NDS rear 264mm. Always round down by 1mm especially with thin spokes. So I have selected 265mm for the front, 263mm NDS rear and 261mm DS rear. Spocalc is the best spoc calculator so why use anything else.

Also do not trust any manufacturers data, I have often found it to be wrong. In general trust your own measurements only and buy the spoke you think you need not the spokes some one else thinks you need. If you get the retailer to work out the lengths you need you are missing out on half the build process.


Last edited by bm0p700f on Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:10 am 
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Lacing.
Dip the spokes you have picked in 3 in 1 oil or linseed oil. I use 3 in 1 it works.
Start like this on the DS.
Image
this is for 3x lacing. the heads in spoke is 7 hole to the right of the heads out spoke.
The heads out spoke goes to the rim hole to the left of the valve hole.
The heads in spoke goes to the rim hole two holes to the right of the valve hole.
Image
Now place all the other heads out spokes in the DS flange.
Image
The heads out spoke to the right of the first one get interlaced with the head in spoke and goes to the rim 4 holes to the right of where you put the first spoke (one hole to the left of the valve hole.
Image
Now place each of the heads out spoke 4 holes to the right of the last each time screw a nipple on.
Image

Now place all the heads in spokes in the DS flange.
Image
Take the spoke to the right of the first heads in you did and take it to the rim 4 holes to the right and repeat for all the other spokes.
Image
Every other rim hole should have a spoke in it.
Image

The lacing method we are doing work for disc brake wheels and rim brake wheels. All my wheels are built this way so when I do a disc brake wheel I do not have to change the lacing method.

Now the first heads in spoke you placed two holes to the right of the valve hole will be two hole to the left no you turned the half built wheel the other way around. Trace it back to the hub. This is spoke 1.
To the right is spoke 2. Place a new spoke, heads out, in the NDS flange so that it hits the flange between spoke 1 and 2.
This spoke goes to the rim 1 hole to the left of the valve hole.
Image
Place a heads in spoke 7 holes to the right and place this two holes to the right of the valve hole and screw nipples down.
Now place all the other heads out spokes the NDS flange and take the one to the right of the first and place 4 hole to the right in the rim and repeat until every 4th rim hole is empty.
Image
Fill the remaining NDS flange holes with heads in spokes and take these to the rim and finish lacing.
Image

Done.


Last edited by bm0p700f on Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:48 am 
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Tensioning.

Front wheel tension 950N +/5% (anything more than 10% means you still have work to do)
Rear wheel DS tension 1200N +/-5% (anything more than 10% means you still have work to do)
Wind with the spoke nipple key all nipples until the tread is just covered and align all nipples. It is time to get a little fastidious.

Add turns the same number to each spoke. This build needed 4 until there was some tension. Then straighten the wheel out. Look for maximum wobble left and right. The spoke where the wobble is are pulling the rim in that direction so you can loosen those spokes of or tighten spokes on the other side. To decide look were the rim is vertically is it high or low. Low indicates tighten spokes opposite the the direction of the wobble. A high wobble means losening the spoke pulling the rim. A wobble to the DS for example that pull the rim up means loosening the offending DS spoke maybe two to let the rim move back into to line. Repeat until the wheel is straight.

Check the dishing. This is were a dishing stick make it easy but most of you will be doing this in a frame so it pointless explaining how the dishing stick work. Apply turns to the side of the wheel to pull the rim in the direction you need so it centred between the locknuts. Never assume the dishing will remain set check it through out the build process. Never assume anything with wheels.

Grasp pairs of spoke and squeeze hard to stretch them. Do three rounds of this around the wheel. The tension on each spoke will drop if you have done it right. Raise the tension to 75% of the final tension.
Grasp pairs of spokes again and place the hub axle on a piece of would and put pressure on the rim, not too much though as you do not want the the spoke to unload as that could damage the bearings. Doing this will remove any wind up and you will hear some pinging.
Check dishing and true wheel vertically and horizontally.
Truing vertically is easy. With a low spot you do not have enough tension so pick two spokes opposites sides and add tension. For a high spot (rim pulled towards the hub) remove tension from a pair of spokes opposite each other. In fact sometime you might have to do this for two pairs of spokes. It depends how long the high or low spot is.

Now even out the tensions. this is were the tension gauge come in handy. High tesnion spokes will be next to a low tension one. So even out tesnions in pairs. Add 1/2 a turn to one spoke means taking half a turn of it high neighbour. Do this on both sides of the wheel. If you have done it right the wheel will remain quite round and straight.
Stress relieve by grasping spokes and pacing the hub axle on your piece of wood and load.
Check dish, true wheel and check spoke tension and even out again if needed.
Raise tension to target value and grasp pairs of spokes and load rim while hub axle is on the piece of wood.
Check spoke tension and even out if necessary (only small adjustments should be needed). You only need tension even to about 5%. The wheel should be quite round and straight.
True until you are happy with it but do not try and so round that you introduce tension uneveness it is not worth it.
Grasp pairs of spokes and load rim. It will go out a bit. True the wheel and repeat this process until the wheel becomes stable. That is loading does not affect how true it is.

If you do it right your wheel will not go out of true on the first ride or on any ride unless to bend it.

If the wheel pings on the first ride you have not removed all the windup. You will know for next time.

There is no black art to this just methodical work. I will add more when I get chance.


Last edited by bm0p700f on Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:27 am 
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On the pitch method of evening tensions and setting spoke tension. If you are musician have have a really good ear it may be possible to do this really well. On 32/26 spoke builds wheels are generally quite stable so a if you do not have a brilliant ear (I don't I am practically deaf in one ear) then using the pitch method will introduce a bit more tension variation but it probably not going comprimise the wheel in a significant way. However the method falls down on low spoke count builds or on builds where a rim requires a lower tension than normal and or a hub with a poor tension balance is used.

For example the DT Swiss RR415 is a wonderful rim, light and quite stiff but it has a maximum tension of 1100N. This rim has a reputation for cracking but it cracks because builders have exceeded the max tension limit. As most people build without a gauge I think this is the reason they exceed the max tension as they have no real way of determining what 1100N is. A really practiced builder using the ear method might be able to do that but that will not be a first time builder. The rim has therefore earned a bad reputation but since I use the rim alot and have had no failure I can say so long as you stick to the max tension then it is reliable.

Also the ear method might run into difficulties on hub (road hubs mainly) has give low NDS spoke tensions (under 500N). Such wheels can be stable I ride such wheels (DT Swiss RR415 on miche hub build with Laser spokes) all the time with no issues but if there was any significant tension variation on the NDS then there risk of problems would increase.

So those who swear by the pitch method are mostly building 32 spoke wheels with thicker gauge spokes and there is nothing wrong with that. Using a tension gauge allows you to get a more refined control of spoke tension without having to train you ear and it also allow you to build wheels that other wise could be a bit risky.

Be aware thought the Park Tool TM-1 undereads by about 10%at least knowing this you can get to right tensions. It does a decent enough job of allowing you to even tensions out. Better gauges are made by these are really expensive and you would have to like your tools to buy one (like the DT Swiss Tensio I use)


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:19 am 
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I'm not a tension meter user and have happily built plenty of wheels that are still running fine so I can say they are for a general builder of standard MTB wheels not essential.

For modern web/phone/tablet users Then http://leonard.io/edd/ is the web interfaced version of spocalc. Use whichever is easiest for you.
But as mentioned, I know which measurement in the databases are good as I put them there. But some are poor (from spocalc originaly) or badly entered named.

To be honest though, rim measurements are the most important and as hubs fall into similar diameters and positions and differences don't have as great effect as the rim.


And for how to make a few tools on the cheap and a good general book on building wheels http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php is used by many.


Have fun, it's a good fun and worth learning if not just for truing a wheel whichever way you like to build them.


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:46 am 
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As I said for 32 spoke wheels the ear method is likely to work well enough for most people. It is for low tension limit rim hubs with a poor tension e.t.c that issues are likely to arise but most people I have met who use the pitch method tend to stick to higher spoke count anyway.
Also for those of use who are a bit hard of hearing the ptich method is not so relaible.


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:44 pm 
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I was looking at the tension tool you use nowhere does it state it's accuracy, precision and repeatability. I know it a relative gauge and you use whatever new lookup table says it is at that time depending on the spoke used and then stick to that number on the scale (tension is 20% tolerance from their sheets), but still it should have some specs.

Would be interesting to use one, but a proper truing stand comes first.

It should be noted for your ERD measurement that you are aligning with the end of the nipple, rather than my preferred place of bottom of the screwdriver slot. Which gives a different ERD.
Basically ERD is where you would like the spokes to end, that's for anyone that is getting conflicting diameters.
I prefer the bottom of flat as it is neat, easy to get a screwdriver in if needed and give some leeway in both directions, so I can round up or down, not always just down. Again another reason why you hear conflicting advice on that.

(Just noticed Wheelpro-musson book has been updated, off to have a skim over it.)


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Thanks Malcolm!

very usefull!!


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:59 pm 
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I actually use a DT Swiss Tensio Fluffy chicken. I also have the TM-1 but it is redunadant now.

Also Fluffychicken on ERD we are decribing the same thing I just forgot to clarify that you screw the nipple onto the spoke so bottom of the nipple driver flats are flush with the spoke. I have edit the relevant part. Thanks for spotting that.

So you and I would get the same ERD as we measure the same way.


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel building guide
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:11 pm 
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Nice guide, thanks! I've only built a few wheels and am nowhere even near expert level, but I think you should clarify this bit: "Add turns the same number to each spoke. This build needed 4 until there was some tension". It's much better to go all round the wheels 8 times, adding half a turn to each spoke each time, than to add 4 turns to each spoke in turn (going round the wheel only once). Obviously, half turns is probably under doing it a bit, but the tension need to be brought up evenly - the first spokes might take 4 turns easily, but the last ones won't, as they'll be under more tension when starting those four turns than the first spokes were. Hope that makes sense?


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