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  1. #1
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Good wheelbuilding book?

    What are the top 2 or 3 wheelbuilding books out there? Is there one that is far better than any other? Trying to take a shot at building up some wheels and I would like a bit more guidance than is generally available in the normal bike repair manuals. Would like something focused on wheelbuilding.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

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  2. #2
    Don't call me sir cmdr's Avatar
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    The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt
    The Art of Wheelbuilding by Gerd Schraner
    1969 Bob Jackson, 1989 Schwinn Paramount, 2004 Santa Cruz Blur, 2011 Specialized P-3, 2013 Salsa Colossal Ti

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    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Gerd Schraner's book + Sheldon's site and you're g2g

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    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    "The Art of Wheelbuilding" (Gerd Schraner)

    Roger Musson has a great book in .PDF format which is available from the web

    There's also "The Bicycle Wheel" (Jobst Brandt)

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  5. #5
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    +1 to the above. Sheldon's focuses on the "how," the other two are good for the "how" and the "why."

  6. #6
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    I read Sheldons material and it does provide the "how" to do a 3x but does not go beyond the very basics. I also noted that the other books exist but I am concerned about how old they are. Most have not been revised in 5 or more years and there have been substantial changes to the design of wheel components since then...especially rims. I was hoping to find a book that include some discussion on current production components.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

  7. #7
    Scooby Snax
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldokie
    What are the top 2 or 3 wheelbuilding books out there? Is there one that is far better than any other? Trying to take a shot at building up some wheels and I would like a bit more guidance than is generally available in the normal bike repair manuals. Would like something focused on wheelbuilding.
    I found this usefull after the wheel is laced, it helps simplify the truing process. It may be a bit more difficult to follow the lacing instructions than using the bicycle wheel, or the art of wheelbuilding. but the tensioning and truing are quite good.

    Wheelbuilding Instruction?

  8. #8
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    The engineering mechanics of traditional spoked bicycle wheels have not changed, and on this count Brandt's book (and probably the others as well) is still good.
    Brandt actually thinks that he figured out understanding bicycle wheels a lot better because he learned to build wheels back when spokes were much less well-made (and more likely to break) than they are nowadays.

  9. #9
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    The engineering mechanics of traditional spoked bicycle wheels have not changed, and on this count Brandt's book (and probably the others as well) is still good.
    Brandt actually thinks that he figured out understanding bicycle wheels a lot better because he learned to build wheels back when spokes were much less well-made (and more likely to break) than they are nowadays.
    Tim, Brandt's book is good. I have a copy from about 1990. Nothing has changed in newer editions. The only problem is that you need to be an engineer to figure it out. He spends way too much time on the physics of wheels and way too little time on building the wheel. He should have titled the book, "How a wheel works."

    There are much better choices on building wheels than Brandt. OTH, there are no better choices on the physics of wheels than Brandt.

    Tim
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  10. #10
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    Brandt's book is good...The only problem is that you need to be an engineer to figure it out. He spends way too much time on the physics of wheels and way too little time on building the wheel.
    I have to say, though, that Brandt's lacing method was by far the easiest and most intuitive one I found in any of the above-named sources (and I have them ALL). It's not elaborate or overly complicated. That's what made it work so well for me.

  11. #11
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    As Tim noted, the basic physics and mechanics of the spoked bicycle wheel haven't changed in well over 100 years.

    What has changed are the materials of construction such as much better, stronger Al alloys for hubs and rims and better made spokes of better materials.

    For example, Brandt strongly recommends against radial lacing because he says the direct pull can break hub flanges. There are now hubs designed to specifically handle radial lacing. New materials also allow low spoke count wheels with adequate strength.

    Odd-ball lacing patterns, such as Crow's Foot, have been around for decades but current hubs, rims and spokes make them useable.

    There are plenty of boutique wheels now available with novel hub, spoke and rim designs but these parts are mostly proprietary and you can't buy them to build (or even repair) these wheels anyway.

    As long as you stick to "standard" spoked wheels, Brandt's or Schraner's books or Sheldon's article still give valid, useful advice and techniques.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    I have to say, though, that Brandt's lacing method was by far the easiest and most intuitive one I found in any of the above-named sources (and I have them ALL). It's not elaborate or overly complicated. That's what made it work so well for me.
    +1

  13. #13
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawkd
    I have to say, though, that Brandt's lacing method was by far the easiest and most intuitive one I found in any of the above-named sources (and I have them ALL). It's not elaborate or overly complicated. That's what made it work so well for me.
    Wow, that's amazing! I was going to say exactly the same about Gerd Schraner's book! Even the bit about his lacing method being most intuitive one I found in any of the above-named etc. etc.

    Incredible! I wonder what the chances of that happening were? I'm speechless…

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  14. #14
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    As Tim noted, the basic physics and mechanics of the spoked bicycle wheel haven't changed in well over 100 years.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    As long as you stick to "standard" spoked wheels, Brandt's or Schraner's books or Sheldon's article still give valid, useful advice and techniques.
    Still agree. All I said is that Brandt's book was obviously written by an engineer. He doesn't write like a layman, which I am. I believe in KISS, keep it super simple.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
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  15. #15
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    Agreed.



    Still agree. All I said is that Brandt's book was obviously written by an engineer. He doesn't write like a layman, which I am. I believe in KISS, keep it super simple.

    Tim
    I still think that Schraner's lacing method beats the others hands-down for simplicity, and lack of "cockupability"; after placing the first two spokes there's very little which can go wrong if you follow the pattern.

    Also, I've been building some wheels laced with a Crow's Foot pattern recently, and found much very useful information on Robert Torre's pages. No one has mentioned him so far; his information is good, and he's very responsive to questions.

    FWIW -

    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

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