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Old 12-31-06, 12:04 AM   #1
scotthorrigan
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which book would you recommend for wheel building.... if any.

The Bicycle Wheel 3rd Edition by Jobst Brandt

http://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Wheel-...931989-8973653

or

The Art of Wheelbuilding by Gerd Schraner

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Wheelbuild...931989-8973653
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Old 12-31-06, 12:51 AM   #2
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Jobst Brandt- it's easy to understand and proven.
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Old 12-31-06, 06:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Talon
Jobst Brandt- it's easy to understand and proven.
+(place any number here)

Try these links for more info
http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
http://www.wellspokenwheels.com/wsw1.htm
http://www.crazyrides.com/en/mastermechanic/part3.htm
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/Wheels.asp

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Old 12-31-06, 09:47 AM   #4
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I've got the Brandt book and it does a good job of walking you through the build process. Other than this though it's quite dated.
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Old 12-31-06, 10:26 AM   #5
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Jobst Brandt
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Old 12-31-06, 11:11 AM   #6
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I'll take "Mr Real-world-building wheels for a living for people who ride for a living" over "Mr theoretical, I'm always right, I have a Stanford Degree in Engineering" ANYDAY.

BTW, I do build wheels for a living and have built, oh, a few thousand. And yes, I've read both books.

My beef with Jobst is that he sometimes draws sweeping conclusions from data that simply does not support the conclusions he reached, particularly with regard to his out-of-hand dismissal of tying and soldering. He created a static test, and on the basis of his result from that static test made a determination that it (tying and soldering) is of no benefit. The test he ran doesn't support that conclusion. Results speak louder than lab tests. The wheels I've T&S'd stay quiet (no notches worn in the spokes) longer, and with regard to disc equipped wheels seem to keep the wheels stable for longer periods.

The one thing that made me really question Jobst's T&S research is that his static test showed no movement at the spoke crossings. Now, if that is true, why do so many wheels that have a bunch of miles on them have significant notches at the crossings? Static tests don't work since a wheel functions in a dynamic state. I don't have access to a physics lab, but I'd love to see some data about what what is really happening in a wheel as it rolls down the road. Until then.....

Gerd, FTW.
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Old 12-31-06, 11:45 AM   #7
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Wheelbuilding, 3rd Edition by Roger Musson. It's a $9.00 e-book you download from Musson's website as a pdf file, and can pay for with PayPal.
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Old 12-31-06, 12:02 PM   #8
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The one thing that made me really question Jobst's T&S research is that his static test showed no movement at the spoke crossings.
I've just read that section and can't see where you are coming from. He didn't even attempt to measure movement at spoke crossings. He just held the hub in a vise and deflected the rim laterally and torsionally and measured the amount it deflected.
There may or may not have been movement at the spoke crossings but as it was not measured or noted how can you say it showed no movement?
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Old 01-02-07, 06:45 PM   #9
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I've just read that section and can't see where you are coming from. He didn't even attempt to measure movement at spoke crossings. He just held the hub in a vise and deflected the rim laterally and torsionally and measured the amount it deflected.
There may or may not have been movement at the spoke crossings but as it was not measured or noted how can you say it showed no movement?
I agree, I dont think he was trying to demonstrate if spokes wear on each other or not, but if tying and soldering make the wheel stronger.

FWIW, I think the Brandt book is great. there are probably others out there that are up to task, but I thought he did a great job of clearly and concisely explaining how to build wheels, and how to choose certain components/design aspects and why, and explaining why a lot of common techniques and knowledge dont hold up to technical scrutiny.
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Old 01-02-07, 07:09 PM   #10
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Both are good for reference material but NOTHING can replace building a wheel with someone who knows how.
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Old 01-02-07, 07:52 PM   #11
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Brandt's wheel-building instructions are the easiest to remember. The rest of the book is indulgent engineer stuff that most people would find dry, boring and irrelevant.

And I agree with BikeWise1 on Brandt's ability to make sweeping conclusions based on his premises.
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Old 01-02-07, 08:09 PM   #12
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Brandt: no heart, no soul, no love, dated, and basically about as interesting as a coffee table book about coffee tables....

Schraner: simply a better method, and if you have to ask why, then you need to _re-read_ the book. a bit more love for the wheel on a level that VERY few can understand......
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Old 01-02-07, 08:58 PM   #13
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Aw, he** ... get 'em both. Seriously. Why not? Or library one, if possible.

Incidentally, people have made Brandt-hating something of a fashionable art. I think most of those people have valid points, but ... the guy's pretty darned knowledgeable....
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Old 01-02-07, 09:40 PM   #14
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And I agree with BikeWise1 on Brandt's ability to make sweeping conclusions based on his premises.
Yes, agreed. Brandt has a lot to offer, but he is often very casual about the line between real science and what's just his unproven opinion. In many hours of reading r.b.t, I've never read any case where he actually admitted he might be wrong about anything.
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Old 01-02-07, 09:44 PM   #15
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Schraner: simply a better method, and if you have to ask why, then you need to _re-read_ the book. a bit more love for the wheel on a level that VERY few can understand......
Excellent observations. The thing that endears me the most about Schraner is that he actually shows the quality of humility on several occasions. A prominent example of this is his comment on his initial usage of tensiometers. He admits that his own work was not as good as he thought it was when he actually got to measuring. This is a lesson that Brandt would do well to learn.
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Old 01-02-07, 09:46 PM   #16
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Yes, agreed. Brandt has a lot to offer, but he is often very casual about the line between real science and what's just his unproven opinion. In many hours of reading r.b.t, I've never read any case where he actually admitted he might be wrong about anything.
Oh, ain't that the truth. The trouble is, he sells his point is such a way that even some of the most respected people in cycling have adopted his mantra on some aspects so that it is universal "truth", rather than opinion. It's only when you delve deeply into his discussions that certain... let's say... loopholes... start to appear in what he says.

Still, that's not a reason for dismissing his how-to on wheel-building. I use it and am happy with the routine. Now if you want complicated for no reason at all, try Barnett (but then Barnett does tend to over-complicate a few things, like bearing adjustment, as well as wheel-building)!!
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Old 01-02-07, 09:49 PM   #17
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Excellent observations. The thing that endears me the most about Schraner is that he actually shows the quality of humility on several occasions. A prominent example of this is his comment on his initial usage of tensiometers. He admits that his own work was not as good as he thought it was when he actually got to measuring. This is a lesson that Brandt would do well to learn.
Not to derail too much but do most of you at home builders use these? I recently got a gift cert. to the LBS and was thinking of picking one up. Is it worth it?
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Old 01-02-07, 09:58 PM   #18
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My list of wheelbuilding references:

1. "The Art of Wheelbuilding", by Gerd Schraner.

2. "The Bicycle Wheel", by Jobst Brandt.

3. Sheldon Brown's wheelbuilding page.

4. Roger Musson's e-book. Just got this a few months ago and it's a nice reference.

and, best of any I have found ...

5. Barnett's Manual: Chapter 16 - Wheel Building and Rim Replacement, and
Chapter 17 - Wheel Truing and Repair

Barnett's covers so much that is left out of the other proceedures. Barnett's describes everything you need to build wheels, such as how to do all of the rim, hub, and spoke measurements. The best thing about the Barnett's method is that he pays a tremendous amount of attention to checking your work at each step and correcting mistakes as they occur, rather than finding out at the end that "something's wrong". It's too bad that John Barnett does not publish these two chapters as an affordable standalone book. FWIW, the "Wheel Truing" chapter is available as a free download from the Barnett's site:

http://bbinstitute.com/manual.htm - see the bottom of this page
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Old 01-02-07, 10:02 PM   #19
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Oh, ain't that the truth. The trouble is, he sells his point is such a way that even some of the most respected people in cycling have adopted his mantra on some aspects so that it is universal "truth", rather than opinion. It's only when you delve deeply into his discussions that certain... let's say... loopholes... start to appear in what he says.

Still, that's not a reason for dismissing his how-to on wheel-building. I use it and am happy with the routine. Now if you want complicated for no reason at all, try Barnett (but then Barnett does tend to over-complicate a few things, like bearing adjustment, as well as wheel-building)!!
So, as all can see, while we mostly agree, I find Barnett's tome on wheelbuilding was the best for me when I started out. Now, I pretty much use Damon Rinard's SpoCalc to get the spoke lenghts and do the rest from memory.
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Old 01-02-07, 10:05 PM   #20
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Not to derail too much but do most of you at home builders use these? I recently got a gift cert. to the LBS and was thinking of picking one up. Is it worth it?
All of the references listed will teach you something. I got the most from Barnett's. Others will swear by one of the others. Many, many people get by just fine with Sheldon's free stuff.

If you are like me, and you like to collect the references, then they are all worth buying.
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Old 01-02-07, 10:26 PM   #21
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All of the references listed will teach you something. I got the most from Barnett's. Others will swear by one of the others. Many, many people get by just fine with Sheldon's free stuff.

If you are like me, and you like to collect the references, then they are all worth buying.
Oops I wasn't specific enough I meant tension meters.
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Old 01-02-07, 11:09 PM   #22
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Oops I wasn't specific enough I meant tension meters.
Tensiometers are an excellent investment. Plenty of people, including Sheldon Brown, will tell you that you can build good wheels without them, and they are - after a fashion - correct. An experienced wheelbuilder can probably do without. The musically inclined can use plucking and tell if the pitch is correct. This is claimed to be an indicator of correct tension. I suppose you need a very good ear (or a good microphone and a frequency counter), for this method to work. But, even a pro like Gerd Schraner admitted that he learned something by using one. For a beginner, a tensiometer like the very affordable Park TM-1 has got to be a good investment.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:21 AM   #23
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Excellent observations. The thing that endears me the most about Schraner is that he actually shows the quality of humility on several occasions. A prominent example of this is his comment on his initial usage of tensiometers. He admits that his own work was not as good as he thought it was when he actually got to measuring. This is a lesson that Brandt would do well to learn.

the other thing that's nice is that his method is easy to learn and allows for mechanics to keep track of their steps and the pattern all the way through using a variety of counting or spacing methods.

i've taught several people how to build with this method and they all had a great time and no problems constantly checking tension and pattern.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:33 AM   #24
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For a beginner, a tensiometer like the very affordable Park TM-1 has got to be a good investment.
+1
Park TM-1
Just be careful to release it onto the spokes gently. A quick release will cause elastic rebound and an incorrect measurement.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:35 AM   #25
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the other thing that's nice is that his method is easy to learn and allows for mechanics to keep track of their steps and the pattern all the way through using a variety of counting or spacing methods.

i've taught several people how to build with this method and they all had a great time and no problems constantly checking tension and pattern.
I'm sure that seasoned pros can build very high quality without the tenson meter and just going by "feel" or sound. I just started this year and like to be a bit of a perfectionist. I like checking my work with the Park tensionmeter and even graph it using the spreadsheet on thier web site. It gives me the ability to bring all spokes into a very close range and clearly illustrate it for friends when i do their wheels.
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