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 Post subject: building a wheel
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:44 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:25 pm
Posts: 506
Location: worksop
hi all, i just wanted to know how hard it is to build up a wheel from scratch? its one of those skills i would love to learn as all the bike shops in my area are pants. just want to guage peoples experiences with building wheels good or bad. thanks :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:10 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:23 pm
Posts: 3613
Location: Cumbria
Do as much reading up as you can and then just start with something relatively cheap. I'd start with a front wheel too. Certainly takes a lot of practise to be good, but no harm having a play. Consult with you local bike shop if you get part way through and are struggling. A good skill to have though :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:13 pm 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:26 am
Posts: 16165
Location: Rurally close.
I used sheldons site which i couldnt get my head round at first. Came back to it with a fresh mind about a week later in june or july and have built 8 or so wheels since!

Yep go at a spare first or a semi decent cheapy(i.e without rusted spokes and corroded nipples).

When i did my first one i messed up the lacing and had a few people online and a real life mate point out what was wrong - so good to have people that know how around (or on here).

If your impatient like me i had my mate point out so i could carry on sharpish.

Id say probably strip a front wheel first so you know the spoke lengths are right to begin with rather than measuring up spokes (do this at a later date as i found it can be tricky, lots of jargon).

Im getting better with practice but certainly leave yourself enough time to finish it properly - hence using a spare or whatever.

Looking at spoke tensions now which is slightly more advanced but good practice. The wheels i have built before this though have been fine so its not necessity. Just make sure they not massively slack or tight.
Good to have another wheel to hand to cross reference also.

And yes, read read read. I did find though that a lot of reading can sometimes be bad as writers throw in each of their opinions/tips/tricks (due to jargon?).

Once you can do it though you will think its much simpler than its can be made out to be.

Invest in a decent spoke key(s). Think halfords may still have half price park tri ones which i use and does me fine.

One key point for me was;
quarter turn = minor adjusment
half turn = middle adjustment
whole turn = large adjustment.

'Oh my wheel goes to that side lots, i will just whole turn loads' isnt the best principle. Haha.
Small adjustments are best as they are easily rectified.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:18 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:25 pm
Posts: 506
Location: worksop
thanks for the info guys, its seems as with everything in life practice makes perfect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:33 pm 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:26 am
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Location: Rurally close.
http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:32 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8219
Location: New Forest, UK
Take your time. It's not too difficult. I've built six now, all have stayed true (even when used for loaded touring) and nothing has broken or folded up.

Don't start until you can true a wheel up quickly. Trueing up is the hardest part, the rest is straightforward assembly.

I still find it a bit hit and miss getting the valve hole in the right place when lacing up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:53 pm 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:26 am
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Location: Rurally close.
I normally have to lace twice haha! Not the valve hole on the wrong place though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:31 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 1:29 pm
Posts: 10798
Location: Manchester, UK
cyfa2809 wrote:
I normally have to lace twice haha! Not the valve hole on the wrong place though.


some great tips there Josh (previous post I mean), one of my first howlers was to fit ALL the LH spokes into the RH holes!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:21 pm 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:26 am
Posts: 16165
Location: Rurally close.
Cheers!

One i did recently was 2 spokes to either side. A right and a left on the same side repeated all the way round! Ha. Cant believe i didnt notice it until the end.

Another point that got me on first build was that with standard 3 cross pattern, they cross in the flange.

And there is 4 spokes between 2 that cross at the highest point, if that makes sense.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:11 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 pm
Posts: 1787
Location: It's not easy being a dolphin.
It's fun, but put plenty of time aside!

I read alot, printed St: Sheldons stuff, left the print-out on the printer, thought sod and got another wheel as a template to study and just went ahead.

For the wheel building jig I used a pair of forks with a metal ruler attached across them held with springed plastic clamps. This was used for the roundness and centering. I then got a plastic clothes peg and attached it to the metal ruler for left - right trueness.

4 hrs later, odd swearing, 2 pints of lager, a stiff back and voila a front wheel.

Same principal, 3 hrs later a back wheel. Supplemented with cronic back ache and two large whiskeys I was satisfied I made a set of wheels by my own hands using sight and sounds! No CNC robot rubbish from Tiawan or $4000 DT Swiss computer stress guage spoke tensioners. Real artistic old skool satisfaction stuff. Admittidly, I have not been contacted by Mavic to service the TdF.

Cracking set of stiff wheels with a very bling look down the valve hole and see the XT logo. They are holding up very very very well. Since that day I've noticed some very poorly built wheels with rims, hubs the wrong way, leading spokes wrong, etc. I'll definitely do it again, highly recommended.


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