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  1. #1
    fmw
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    Wheel building supplier

    I want to learn to build wheels and I plan to start with a fairly simple wheelset. Any recommendations on a supplier of wheel components?

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Unless you are planning to buy wheel components in volume you'll usually get the best deal by buying a pre-built wheelset from one of the internet or mail order companies and taking them apart. Hubs, rims and spokes from the same supplier will almost always cost you $10.00 or $20.00 more.

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    fmw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Unless you are planning to buy wheel components in volume you'll usually get the best deal by buying a pre-built wheelset from one of the internet or mail order companies and taking them apart. Hubs, rims and spokes from the same supplier will almost always cost you $10.00 or $20.00 more.
    That's ugly. I found a light new American Classic hubset on Ebay and bought it. It wasn't very expensive. It is 28 holes front and rear and weighs only about 375 grams for the whole shooting match minus skewers. That should be a decent base for a light wheelset. Now I just need some 28 hole rims and enough knowledge to figure out what spokes I need in what size to get the job done. I'm still reading about dishing and other issues that I probably won't understand until I actually build something. It's a good exercise to do it from scratch. I may not even keep the wheels when I'm done. We'll see. Let me know if you come across a nice deal on 28 hole rims.

  4. #4
    Ferrous wheel
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    I usually take my hubs to the LBS and have them calculate the spoke length there. They have a PW machine that cuts spokes. They also stock rims.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

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    asc
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    Ouch. I'm not sure I'd buy all pieces at list either, but then if you want all new components this wasn't an idea you hatched in the middle of last night. You can always find deals if you spend the time to look around. Sapim, United Bike and Sheldon Brown all have spoke length calculators, some on-line (don't filch the numbers from the shop unless they're willing; they pay to receive the latest specs of rims and hubs for their calculating system). Lately fully spoked wheels are not a part of the business that shops keep up on anymore, making spokes harder to find in your lengths.

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    fmw
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    After finding the hubset on Ebay, I think I'll keep an eye open there for the rims. With patience, something will turn up. Most of the rims seem to be 32 and 36 hole models but I'm sure some black 28 holers will show up eventually. After that I can figure out what spokes I will need. I almost bought a pair of Rolf Vector rims but I had no idea where I might be able to find a paired spoke hubset to go with those. Our LBS's here don't carry rims in stock so I'm on my own. I usually am.

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    www.oddsandendos.com has good prices on spokes. Colorado Cyclist isn't bad either. UniversalCycles.com has pretty good prices on rims. FYI, I used the same hubs. You know they were recalled, right? There is a part you have to order from American Classic for the rear hub. Go to their web site (www.amclassic.com) and check it out. I got mine repaired and they've been great.
    For what its worth, I really like DT Swiss RR 1.1 rims. Velocity makes a nice rim too. Check out the Aerohead.

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    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    http://damonrinard.com/spocalc.htm
    Several spoke suppliers link to this spoke calculator......this is the one I use.
    http://www.dtswiss.com/index.asp is great spoke calculator as well.
    Remember to round down (shorter).
    I prefer Mavic rims and purchase them from http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/ or http://www.lickbike.com/
    Good Luck and Merry Christmas!

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    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmw
    I want to learn to build wheels and I plan to start with a fairly simple wheelset. Any recommendations on a supplier of wheel components?
    WHEELBUILDER.COM

    Dogbait

  10. #10
    fmw
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    Thanks for the tips. I know about the recall. The seller claims it has been repaired. I found a pair of NOS 28 hole Mavic rims in black on Ebay for $50 for the pair. Open 4CD I think they are called. If I can find a deal on the spokes, I'll get by with under $200 and should have a wheelset weighing between 1500 and 1600 grams. If it works out, I'll have to get another bike build started. I seem to have learned most of the other bike mechanic skills. I guess I can learn this one as well.

    One last question. I understand radial lacing is OK for front wheels. Would it make sense to use it in this project for the learning experience or should I just put it together 3 cross like the rear?

  11. #11
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmw
    One last question. I understand radial lacing is OK for front wheels. Would it make sense to use it in this project for the learning experience or should I just put it together 3 cross like the rear?
    Radial lacing is not always appropriate; Hugi advised against it and I saw a couple guys with broken flanges as a result. I don't recall if that's the case with the hubs you have but would advise you look into it.
    Also, some novice builders seem to have a bit more trouble putting together a solid radial wheel. I'd go 3-cross for your first effort, but that's just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmw

    One last question. I understand radial lacing is OK for front wheels. Would it make sense to use it in this project for the learning experience or should I just put it together 3 cross like the rear?
    Do 3 cross for the front. You won't learn much from radial lacing because it really is easier to do. Also, it voids most hub warranties. Although, in your case, I think Am Classic is OK with radial lacing. The flanges on their front hub are a little thicker than most.

  13. #13
    Car(e) Free! koine2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJWheelBuilder
    Do 3 cross for the front. You won't learn much from radial lacing because it really is easier to do. Also, it voids most hub warranties. Although, in your case, I think Am Classic is OK with radial lacing. The flanges on their front hub are a little thicker than most.
    I fully agree. I've built about 8 wheels now (in the last 3 months--it's addicting), and doing 3 cross for the first set is a great learning experience--plus it's a stronger wheel. Also, unique lacing patterns need a little more expertise in terms of tensioning.
    "There is hardly a man or woman who dares to be just what he or she is without doctoring up the impression." --A.W. Tozer

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