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  1. #1
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    How hard is it to build a wheel??

    If i have all of the proper tools and some supervision. How hard it is to build a wheel??? Anyone ever build a wheel before? The only thing i have ever done to my bike is change a flat.

    Craig

  2. #2
    Canadian eh?
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    It could get frustrating the first few times. Trying to dish the wheel and everything. Eventually, it becomes second nature, although I work in the LBS so im biased. Umm, theres a book out there but I forgot what its called. It shows how to do everything.

  3. #3
    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    Easy, as long as you thread it correctly... then its off to the lbs for a $15 true n' dish.

    Never before has fifteen bucks been so worth it
    Lord Bowler: Uh oh. You hit the sheriff
    Brisco County Jr.: Yeah, but I did not hit the deputy.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    agree that its frustrating at first, but
    worthwhile once you get it done.
    If you're going to attempt it make sure
    you get the correct length spokes for
    the rim/hub comment you are using.
    The book that WorldIRC is talking about is
    "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt
    it will tell you everything you ever wanted
    to know about bicycle wheels, and more.
    The Bicycling maintenance book also has
    a good illustrated section on wheel building
    (although its a 3X 36 spoked wheel).
    Personally I wouldn't attempt a new
    low spoke high tension wheel.

    Marty
    Sono pi lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  5. #5
    Canadian eh?
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    Yah thats the book! Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Je vais vlo, donc je suis!

  7. #7
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    if you have a truing stand it's not too hard - i don't have one which makes it even more fun !.

    for your first wheel build - if possible, it's best to re-build a wheel with a new rim and re-use the spokes - with the old spokes you know that they're the correct length AND they're already stretched from usage.

    just this fall i had to do this twice as my rim wore too thin from braking and i had to replace the rim (after only 6 months but 61,000m of vertical!). unbuilt the old one to find out i had bought the wrong spoke-count 32 instead of 28 (i had described what i had in the bike shop and the guy thought for sure he knew what i had, and asked if we should count but we didn't). so i had to rebuild with the old rim and rode it 2 weeks until the new one that i ordered arrived and then had to take it apart and build it again. it's good practice and much easier than building from scratch b/c the spokes are already stretched.
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  8. #8
    xc AND road WoodyUpstate's Avatar
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    Truing stand, spoke wrench, dishing tool and . . . lots of patience.

    Go slow and keep your book open beside you. You'll need to refer to it often.

    It's not rocket science, but the first couple of times may take 3-4 hours from beginning to end.

  9. #9
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    To me, wheel building, though not technically difficult, is something best left until one has done enough work on bikes, including wheel truing, to have a feel for how things work. After a couple of years of maintaining, repairing, building, and rebuilding my three main bikes, plus others I feel confident doing anything that can be done to a bike, but I have not built a wheel. I have every confidence I can do it and routinely true my own wheels. So far I have found it much less expensive to buy pre-built wheels and touch them up myself. If you buy the rim and hub from them, Performance will build a wheel for $10, including labor and DT spokes. The spokes alone cost about twice that. So far I have not found it worth my time or the extra money to build a wheel. I will do it sometime just for the satisfaction of knowing I can.

    As far as reusing spokes, I have read numerous descriptions of wheel building, including "The Bicycle Wheel" cover to cover, at least two on-line sources (including Sheldon's), Bicycling magazine's "Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair, and Barnett's. Without exception I'm pretty sure they all recommend NOT reusing spokes.

    Barnett's, which happens to be close at hand, has this to say:

    "When a rim is damaged, it may seem to make sense to replace the rim but reuse the spokes. This can be another false economy. There is no way to tell what life is left in the old spokes. They may all be on the verge of fatigue failure."
    FWIW,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  10. #10
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    with the old spokes you know that they're the correct length AND they're already stretched from usage
    I hate to tell you this, but, if the spokes are stretched, they have been plastically deformed. That means they are now strain-hardened and brittle. A spoke that has stretched is about 95% of the way toward failure-reusing such a spoke is insanity.
    Je vais vlo, donc je suis!

  11. #11
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lotek
    ...The book that WorldIRC is talking about is
    "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt
    it will tell you everything you ever wanted
    to know about bicycle wheels, and more.
    The Bicycling maintenance book also has
    a good illustrated section on wheel building
    (although its a 3X 36 spoked wheel)...
    Marty
    Does anyone know where to get this book in the UK? I tried Amazon and Waterstones. Amazon will sell you anything even it it's no longer available! Waterstones quoted upto 6 months to get the book. Surely it's available commercially somewhere in the UK. You guys got some ideas?
    If your bollocks ain't sore, yer ain't on yer boike!

  12. #12
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Bokkie,

    I got mine thru Cambria Bikes for $14.99 which is the
    cheapest price I have seen.
    Yeah I know there is a Cambria in the UK (in fact
    I thought that was where the shop is) but this
    one is in the States, I know that doesn't help you
    but it was interesting!
    I did find it at Amazon UK for 15.99 pounds sterling.
    Its well worth it in my opinion (and we all know
    about opinions. . . )

    Marty
    Sono pi lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RainmanP
    As far as reusing spokes, I have read numerous descriptions of wheel building, including "The Bicycle Wheel" cover to cover, at least two on-line sources (including Sheldon's), Bicycling magazine's "Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair, and Barnett's. Without exception I'm pretty sure they all recommend NOT reusing spokes.[
    I don't know about the others but Jobst Brandt recommends resuing spokes provided the original hub is used and the spoke orientation maintained.

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8c.3.html
    Last edited by bikerider; 12-06-02 at 06:14 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by D*Alex


    I hate to tell you this, but, if the spokes are stretched, they have been plastically deformed. That means they are now strain-hardened and brittle. A spoke that has stretched is about 95% of the way toward failure-reusing such a spoke is insanity.
    I think he means that the spokes are stress-relieved:

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8c.1.html

  15. #15
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    ive just about re-built my rear wheel but one spoke @ a time, as they break, theres only about ten of the origials left !! wats the the fors & against for stainless/calv./d.b/ spokes.??
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  16. #16
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    Figuring out spoke length and then starting the lace pattern is the hardest part, the rest is just patience. I would suggest trying it on a day where you have no time restraints, and don't expect your first wheel to be great. Other than that, I would go for it!! You can't cross the road unless you cross it.
    Booyah!!

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