Bicycle Mechanics - One more Wheel question
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I have a rear wheel that cracked in several places, the wheel only had about 1500 miles. I know it was a spoke tension related problem. So that is not where my question is headed. Obviously the rim is trash. The hub is a Shimano RSX, not really good but OK. The cracked rim was a Mavic CXP 21. I am thinking about buying rim and attempting to rebuild the wheel myself. Mostly so I have wheel for when the bike is on the wind trainer. I know I will have to buy a rim, it has been suggested that I do not reuse the spokes. I can buy a cheap wheel on the net for aroud $70 that will suit my needs. To rebuild this one I guess I will need a truing stand and dishing tool, those will cost more than the wheel. Straight up it does not seem like a cost effective solution to rebuild, but I was hopeing it would be interesting and fun. Am I thinking straight on this one or is this going to turn out to be a pain in the @$$ that I do not want to deal with.
For a one off I don't suppose it would be cost effective. However, the skills that you would learn would stand you in good stead for the future. There is plenty of literature around on how to go about it and it would be fun and certainly interesting. If you feel you have the ability, go ahead and learn something new. When you've succeeded you will have achieved something really useful, to yourself and maybe to others.
I've almost convinced myself to have a go.
09-05-02, 03:24 PM
I would learn how to do it. If you replace a wheel every 1500 then you will find the cost will add up. What if you want a higher end wheel work out the costs then. In the end if you are a serious rider (even considering a truing stand hints this) you will at some point need to make your own wheelsets if you want to save money.
09-05-02, 03:28 PM
While I second the thought that the experience will save you money over time. I suggest your first wheel rebuilding attempt should be made using a front wheel.
Reason being: Spokes are the same lenght either side of the hub, therefore tension is consistant and should be the same. Dishing is the wheel isn't necessary because it's the center of the hub. You don't have to worry about removing your cassette.
Plus, I also suggest your first attempt be made on wheel you're NOT going to use. Go to your LBS and see if they've got an old front wheel they're throwing away. Or buy a bike from Goodwill or Salvation Army for $5.00 and use it as a practice bike. Take it apart and try to put it back together. If you can make it ride and look better, you can always sell it at a garage sale for $15 and not lose any money!
I used top-quality truing stands and dishing tools when I worked at Bikecology [Supergo], and I do own a mid-grade truing stand, but I have never felt compelled to buy a dishing tool. In fact, I usually true wheels and dish rear wheels right on the bike, using the brake pads as a guide. As long as the frameset is square, this technique is quite good.
Wheel-building is not difficult, but you do need to pay meticulous attention to crucial details, notably spoke tension. Practice first on an old wheel, before tackling a new or otherwise valuable rim. Expect new spokes, particularly stainless, to stretch a bit during the first few rides.
If you are mechanically adept and enjoy working with tools, by all means learn to how to build and repair your own wheels. If not, hire a competent bicycle mechanic.
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