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Thread: Relacing costs?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yogurt's Avatar
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    Relacing costs?

    What should I expect to pay for relacing a standard 700C rim? I've been quoted at $50 labor at my usual LBS, does that seem about right? Sounds like for a set I'm going to end up paying about $150 in labor/spoke costs.

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    That is the right ballpark. There are places that may do lacing $10-20 cheaper, but it may not be worth the hassle of finding one and getting your parts to them.

    In any case, insist on a competent wheelbuild; make sure the builder knows what he's doing. Check his work when he's done; it should be at least as good as your old wheel.

    Another option is to relace it yourself, which is fairly easy and a good skill to have. The main barrier is getting the right tools, which might cost you about $100-150 in total.

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronspoker View Post
    make sure the builder knows what he's doing. Check his work when he's done; it should be at least as good as your old wheel.
    If he knew how to do this, he wouldn't be taking his wheel to the LBS to have the rim replaced.

    1) What kind of wheel is it?
    2) Are you just replacing the rim with an identical rim?
    3) Are any of the spokes damaged on your current wheel?
    4) You are replacing one rim on the rear or front? Or both?
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    Senior Member Yogurt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    If he knew how to do this, he wouldn't be taking his wheel to the LBS to have the rim replaced.

    1) What kind of wheel is it?
    2) Are you just replacing the rim with an identical rim?
    3) Are any of the spokes damaged on your current wheel?
    4) You are replacing one rim on the rear or front? Or both?

    I'd honestly like to learn to relace, I just don't want to do it on this particular bike, as it's my "nice" bike.

    1.) The wheels are 700c Araya alloy rims on Shimano 600 hubs, all original since the early '80s.
    2.) I'm only replacing spokes.
    3.) Rear has two broken spokes, result of a truing attempt by the former owner. (Not me, swear it.) Front is fairly true, spokes are rusty and I don't have a lot of faith in them holding up to truing.
    4.) See #2

    And I think by the "builder" he meant the person at the LBS. The guy's been doing wheels on road bikes for 30 years, so I trust him.

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    Your starting to get into the ball park of new wheels. How many miles do you have on those hubs and rims? Have you taken the hubs apart to make sure the races and cones are in good shape?

    Are you replacing the spokes because it is a 126 rear spacing? If the frame is steel it can be spread to the modern 130mm spacing or a decently priced 126mm wheel set can be had at Harris Cyclery. A new casset for a 6-8 are a steal these days.

    If you do replace the spokes make sure to get double butted.

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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Why are you relacing them?
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogurt View Post
    And I think by the "builder" he meant the person at the LBS. The guy's been doing wheels on road bikes for 30 years, so I trust him.
    Yeah, this is a good deal then. Knowing the basis for someone's experience before they do work is the best defense, and a guy with 30 years of experience is probably a master.

    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    If he knew how to do this, he wouldn't be taking his wheel to the LBS to have the rim replaced.
    Good point; I should have been more specific.

    The main thing to check is tension. If the new wheel is using the same components as the old, the tension on the new one should be at least as high as the tension on the old one; undertensioned wheels seem to be the #1 cause of failure I've seen so far on BikeForums. Adjacent spokes should be about the same tension.. not exactly the same, but somewhat close.

    The way to check this is to pluck each spoke near the rim, and just compare the tones. It's a very rough measure, but a poorly tensioned wheel will sound very different from a good one. Use your existing wheels as a guide.

    There should be absolutely no 'pinging' the first time the wheel is ridden. The main way to trigger this on a poor wheel is to ride the bike at a 45 degree angle from the ground, standing on one pedal, on each side. If you hear a ping, take the wheel back; if he's good, he'll check the true. If he's not, he'll stare at you blankly and/or tell you that was supposed to happen.

    Other than that, just check the wheel (without tire) for radial hops, lateral hops, and dish. With a decent quality rim, and a good build, these should be extremely small, no more than 1-3 mm.

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    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Paying $150 to have one wheel relaced sounds like too much. I just had a wheelset built on my hubs using 72 DT Competition spokes and Sun CR-18 rims for $168 total, including tax.

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