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Old 09-21-05, 02:51 PM   #1
robo
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First time wheelbuild: a couple questions...

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!

-robin
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Old 09-21-05, 03:38 PM   #2
eddy m
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An 8 speed rear wheel is difficult to build for an inexperienced builder because the drive side must be tensioned so much more than the non-drive side. If you are building it up for a single speed, you will have an easier build and a stronger wheel if you can use spacers on the axle to reduce the dish of the wheel. An even better solution is to get a BMX or track hub that can be built up without any dish at all.
That said, you should use 14 (straight) guage spokes on the drive side and 14/15 double butted on the other side. Straight guage are easier to tension because they don't wind up as much as double butted spokes, but on the non-drive side they will not have enough tension to prevent them from going slack frequently, leading to fatigue and early failure. Tension the wheel by first truing it with the rim closer to the drive side, then add tension only to the non-drive side to draw the rim back to center. (If you decide to get a symetrical hub, ignore all that and use all 14 guage straight spokes.)
If you use a used hub, lace the wheel so that the new spokes ride in the grooves made by the old spokes. Those grooves make the wheel stronger by distributing the stress on the spoke. Don't use a 15 guage spoke, as that is too small to seat correctly, and that will also cause early spoke failure.
I use a truing stand I made from an old fork, but I added a dial indicator to it. The dial indicator is way more important than the type of stand you buy. I would buy a tensiometer before I would buy even an inexpensive stand.
The most accurate way to measure the dish of the wheel is to put 2 Advil bottles on the edge of a table about 25 inches apart, balance the wheel on the bottles, measure the height of the locknut from the table, flip it over, measure again and compare the 2 measurements. Unless you have a pro quality stand, you can't really center the rim accurately by reversing the wheel in the stand.

em
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Old 09-21-05, 03:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
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!

The hub is a Shimano Deore XT FH-M737 8 speed unit.
You would be better off with a proper singlespeed hub, if you're going to that much trouble and expense already. It will build up a MUCH stronger wheel.

See: http://harriscyclery.com/singlespeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
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?
I would go 261 and 263.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
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?
I wouldn't cheap out on spokes, I'd use 2.0/1.8 ("14/15") double bubble. They're not that much more expensive, and will build a more durable, reliable wheel...especially with a cheap rim.


Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
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?
Yes, just install the new spokes so they go in in the sam orientation, and are cradled in the same grooves.

You might find my wheelbuilding article useful: http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild

And we would be glad to help you with parts: http://harriscyclery.com/parts

Sheldon "Wheels" Brown
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|   Whatever became of eternal truth?   |
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Old 09-21-05, 04:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.. I ordered 14/15 DB spokes instead!

I was wondering if Sheldon also thought an 8-speed rear would be too challenging for a first wheel?

BTW - your site is amazing
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Old 09-21-05, 04:54 PM   #5
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I built an 8-speed rear for my first wheel, and it still rides great.
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Old 09-21-05, 04:59 PM   #6
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Hmm.. sheldon's instructions are for a 36 spoke wheel. Do the instructions hold up exactly for a 32, except that you use 7 spokes per 'color' instead of 8?
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Old 09-21-05, 05:07 PM   #7
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Interesting read as I'm going to be building my first wheels soon myself. I'll be sure to check out some of the resources above when I have a bit more time. Right now need to figure out where I can get my hands on some decently priced 28h hubs mtb (esp since I'd like to use a front disk). Good luck on the build robo and make sure you show us the final results and any problems you encouter along the way. I'm sure I'll run into the same! lol.
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Old 09-21-05, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
You would be better off with a proper singlespeed hub, if you're going to that much trouble and expense already. It will build up a MUCH stronger wheel.
Probably true, but a Surly hub would almost double the cost of this project! I know this will be something of a 'quick and dirty' singlespeed if it works out at all, but money is an object... that's why i didn't just go out and buy a Rivendell Quickbeam, much as i'd love to have such a machine! My budget is pretty tight, and part of the reason i'm building the wheel is that the Minoura truing stand is cheaper than the cost of a wheelbuild in NYC!

(well, plus i've always wanted to try wheelbuilding)
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Old 09-21-05, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
Thanks for the replies.. I ordered 14/15 DB spokes instead!

I was wondering if Sheldon also thought an 8-speed rear would be too challenging for a first wheel?

BTW - your site is amazing
Nope, he doesn't think 8-speed is any harder than anything else.

Sheldon "Not Rocket Science" Brown
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Old 09-21-05, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
Hmm.. sheldon's instructions are for a 36 spoke wheel. Do the instructions hold up exactly for a 32, except that you use 7 spokes per 'color' instead of 8?
7 per "color" is for 28 spoke wheels. 8 for 32. 10 for 40. 12 for 48. Notice a pattern here? ;-)

My example is a 36 spoke wheel, because that was the standard 25 years ago when I created the graphics on the old PDP-11, but the instructions are scalable for any standard spoke number.

Sheldon "4 Colors" Brown
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Old 09-21-05, 06:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
that was the standard 25 years ago when I created the graphics on the old PDP-11,

Aha! Just as I thought: you were a member of the Vax Populi.

[sorry]
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Old 09-21-05, 07:02 PM   #12
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With due respect to Sheldon I liked your first choice of spoke lengths better. Slightly shorter spokes on the drive side rear reduces the possibility of bottoming out the nipples (running out of threads) under high tension, spokes stretch.

Al
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Old 09-21-05, 08:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo
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:
That's fine, perfectly normal deformation from the spokes. The trick here is to line up the new spokes exactly in the same orientation so that they rest in the grooves made by the previous spokes. This will support the bend over a larger surface area and spread the load out. So follow the instruction on Sheldon's sight, lace all the spokes going in one direction first, then twist the hub so that the spokes fall into the grooves and that should be it. Have fun!
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Old 09-21-05, 08:55 PM   #14
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The first wheel I built in 1983 was a rear wheel, no one told me how difficult it would be at the time, so Iforged ahead, 2s years later that wheel is still going strong. My truing stand was a very basic Minoura, cost all of $30. You did not mention anything about manuals or instructions, I use Brandt's book,
the easiest to follow. I would use 14g spokes, at 5'10" and 200lbs, they have worked better for me.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
7 per "color" is for 28 spoke wheels. 8 for 32. 10 for 40. 12 for 48. Notice a pattern here? ;-)

My example is a 36 spoke wheel, because that was the standard 25 years ago when I created the graphics on the old PDP-11, but the instructions are scalable for any standard spoke number.

Sheldon "4 Colors" Brown
Ah, Duh! Sorry. As they say, there are three kinds of people in this world: those that can count, and those that can't.

Anyway, good to know that the steps should be the same.

And i have to say, producing graphics of any kind of a PDP-11 is pretty darn impressive.. that computer is older than me!
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Old 09-22-05, 07:13 AM   #16
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At the risk of disagreeing with Sheldon, I think a heavily dished rear wheel, like an 8 or 9 speed, is pretty hard to tension correctly, especially for an inexperienced builder. Straight guage spokes on the drive side make tensioning a little easier, and double butted spokes on the left side make the wheel almost as strong as a well built wheel with all double butted. After you've built a few (or many) wheels, you get a feel for it, and then an 8 speed is as easy as any other wheel.

EM
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Old 09-22-05, 10:20 AM   #17
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When I read the subject line here, I thought you were rebuilding your wheel because you wanted the same rim and a new hub. Seems silly to me to use an 8 speed hub for a 1-speed machine, when you don't even want to keep the rim it was laced to.
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Old 09-22-05, 10:56 PM   #18
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^ I was trying to keep costs down, i was curious about building wheels, and I'm not even sure if i will like singlespeed, and might want to go back to geared at some point..

seemed like a good solution at the time
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