I'm converting my old mountain bike into a slick wheel singlespeed for city use. The rear wheel had a chronic hop in the rim that nobody could fix, so i took the wheel apart, and plan to build a new wheel using the existing hub. It'll be my first try at wheelbuilding!
Anyway, a couple questions. I'm planning on using a Velocity K-525 rim from Nashbar, since it's the cheapest 32H 26" rim they have, and apparently it's very light too. I've heard it's not a very durable rim, but since this bike is mostly going to see pavement duty, it sounds ideal.
The hub is a Shimano Deore XT FH-M737 8 speed unit.
Anyway, here are the questions:
I calculated spoke length using two separate calcs. For one side, they agreed: 260.9
For the other side, they differed a bit: 262.3 vs 262.5
I know the difference is miniscule, but i'm new to this and don't want to screw up, so i'm just checking. Would i be correct to go with 261 spokes on one side, and 262 on the other?
Secondly, Nashbar has 15 gauge straight spokes on sale. I know they say a beginner should start with straight 14 gauge spokes, but since this is going to be a MTB wheel used on the road, thinner spokes sound ideal (plus they're cheaper). Is it going to be much trickier to build a wheel with one gauge thinner spokes?
Thirdly, perhaps because of the crap build and subsequent attempts to true the unruly wheel, some of the spoke holes in the hub flange have some deformation where the spoke dug into the soft alloy. The holes themselves are OK.. they are still round, not ovalized, but there are definite grooves leading away from some of the holes. Is this OK?
Here's a photo of the worst one. The others are less severe than this:
I guess that's about it.. I plan to order the cheap Minoura truing stand that Nashbar carries to do the build on.
Anyway, answers to those questions would be much appreciated!