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  1. #1
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Wheelbuilding wierdness (or blues)

    Long story.......

    I started building my first wheel. Was going to reuse my old and use a new (slightyl used) Ultegra 6500.

    After starting and with help from the forum realized I needed to use new rims (old ones suspect..small cracks).

    I got velocity Aerohead rims and spokes from LBS. I started the build (using sheldon's instructions). I got the lacing almost done, but couldn't get some of the spokes to connect.

    I was pondering this situation when a spoke broke on my other commuter bike. I went to fix the spoke and before you know it multiple spokes break. OK I will rebuild this wheel to. So off to the LBS for spokes (they did the calc) This build went pretty well (Sun CR 18 rim, shimano deore 530 hub)...some little imperfections that I will fiddle with after I put a few miles on the wheel.

    So now emboldened by success, I attach the first wheel again. I took all the spokes off, except for the drive side leading spokes (which i loosened until there were a few Threads in the nipple. I relace the wheel...leading spokes on the left side and then do the trailins spokes altenating between sides (trying to keep things even)

    At this point I have suspicions that I am going to have problems again. Some of the spokes seem more curved than others, almost like they are too long.

    I think/hope that getting all tightened to 1 or 2 threads will even this out, but I find that some spokes start getting tension before the threads are all even, and others are still very loose. I fiddle some more and some spokes end up needing 4-5 mm behone the top of the nipple to get any tension.

    On the whole it feels really uneven.

    I am thinking that a) I am worrying too much and should just try to true it up and see what happens b) the LBS make an error on spoke length and I should recalc and start over with new spokes c) the rim is seriously out of round from my first efforts. or d) my lacing pattern is goofed up...but I can't see it if it is

    I am leaning to getting new spokes and starting over.

    Any thoughts/suggestion on what is causing this?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    This MIGHT sound silly, but did you buy a whole UNOPENED BOX of spokes in each size that you needed? Yes, you land up with extras from your build, but you KNOW for a fact you have enough and you have extra if you break one also. It only takes one inattentive mechanic to put some spokes away in the wrong box or holder to mess you up. I've seen it before and it has happened to me.
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  3. #3
    Soma Lover
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    Quote Originally Posted by ang1sgt View Post
    I've seen it before and it has happened to me.
    Me too. I've also gotten one or two drive side spokes mixed up with the non-drive side spokes and received a 15/16 spoke in a bunch of 14/15's. All in all though, the LBS has been OK.

  4. #4
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    It just sounds like some of your spokes are not seated. Hold onto the rim with one hand and your lap and push the hub hard back and fourth. This will seat the spokes correctly, releasing the tension that was built up prematurely.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  5. #5
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    Just my guess, but if every other spoke is too tight/too loose, then you didn't lace it properly. You are off by one hole. That happened to me once. You laced either in front of or behind the correct hole when you started lacing from the 2nd side.

    joel

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    Any thoughts/suggestion on what is causing this?
    One possibility is that you're a hole off on the hub flanges from side-to-side. If that's the case, you'll have two adjacent tight spokes followed by two adjacent loose spokes.

  7. #7
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    One possibility is that you're a hole off on the hub flanges from side-to-side. If that's the case, you'll have two adjacent tight spokes followed by two adjacent loose spokes.
    +1

    Sounds pretty likely. If you misplace a single spoke relative to the ones around it, that will be easy to spot by eye. But if you lace up one side of the hub and then start at the wrong place on the other side, it will be hard to see. So do double-check that, paying careful attention to the diagrams on Sheldon's page again... I had to look back and forth between the hub and the pictures five or ten times when building my first wheel!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    One possibility is that you're a hole off on the hub flanges from side-to-side. If that's the case, you'll have two adjacent tight spokes followed by two adjacent loose spokes.
    That's most likely the case. When you're lacing through the "key spoke", you'll find that the holes on the hub ARE NOT directly across from each other, but are staggered by 1/2. So the hole on one side aims at the solid flange directly between two holes on the other side. This means there's actually two holes on the hub that the key spoke can go into and appear to reach the rim correctly. However, there's only ONE that's the right one. If you get the key spoke off by one hole, then ALL of the spokes on that side will be off by one hole and you'll end up with every other spoke being too long or two short.

  9. #9
    Midwest Rider CsHoSi's Avatar
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    First off, I'm building my first wheel and it's going well. I laced them up 3x for a front disc. I'm tensioning them now. My lbs has the phil woods machine and cuts/threads the spokes to order.

    This all may be irrelevant to you, but maybe let you see something from another angle too. With threads just disappearing in nipples, I have loose spokes and tight ones. But wiggling the hub kind of changes things so I'm continuing with tensioning, evenly all the way around!

    While lacing them up I only gave them 4 turns each. I followed my zinn mountain bike repair book for lacing the wheels as I found the sheldon brown page confusing.

    For tensioning and truing I'm following this miketechinfo.com wheel page. It's a simple approach that makes the most sense to me and doesn't require any special tools (if you already have a handy vernier caliper and spoke wrench). Basically just turning each spoke nipple an equal amount of turns each time around (gradually smaller increments) for tensioning. After starting with the last spoke threads just disappearing into the nipples equal number of turns is your only reference. So you must be even until final truing. I'm using the suggestion to squeeze a pair of parallel spokes on a known good wheel for reference to the amount of tension they need.


    Good luck. So far I've been able to follow the directions easy enough so I hope in these coming stages of judgment my wheel continues to come along nicely.
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  10. #10
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    One step which I've not noticed anyone mention yet is to pre-align the spokes; this is done after the lacing but before truing begins, and it makes sure that the spokes are as straight as possible between the hub and the rim. I use a nipple-driver but a regular screwdriver will do, and I've even seen mention of a spare crank being used. There's a picture and description on p. 75 of Gerd Schraner's book "The Art of Wheelbuilding".

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  11. #11
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys,

    I relaced the wheel last night and I was off by a hole. I am using a used hub and was following the indentations that indicated how it was previously laced for leading/trailing.....

    I followed sheldon's guide very carefully and looked...not assumed. Tonight is tension and true.

    squirtdad

  12. #12
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I followed sheldon's guide very carefully and looked...not assumed. Tonight is tension and true.
    Great work! Enjoy the immensely satisfying feeling of riding on a wheel you built yourself
    My bikes | Linux and Python stuff | Photo gallery

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