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Old 12-29-07, 07:08 PM   #1
rykoala
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Built my first wheel, have a question

I just got done going for about a one mile ride on my newly rebuilt wheel. Its a 32 spoke 8spd MTB wheel. I had wrecked the wheel when the chain went between the cassette and spokes once. Every spoke outside the flange was messed up or broken. I finally got everything together to rebuild it. I pulled it apart and replaced every drive side spoke. I built it over the last two evenings and finished truing it and what not last night. I took it for a ride this evening, for about 15 minutes. It is still true and didn't make any weird sounds.

So, does that mean I did it right? Or is there still a possibility of it self destructing?
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Old 12-29-07, 07:16 PM   #2
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If the wheels is round and true AND all of the spokes feel like they have about the same tension AND you didn't hear any "pinging" noises AND the dish is right AND you have parallel spokes adjacent to the valve stem then you did it right. I might have missed a couple of ANDs but you get my point. I don't think that you should lose any sleep over the possibility of your wheel self-destructing.
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Old 12-29-07, 07:17 PM   #3
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It does sound like you got it done right. Congrats!

I would make sure the tension is even on the spokes by plucking them and checking that tone is similar for all of them. I would also stress-relieve the wheel (I use work gloves and squeeze adjacent pairs of spokes together as hard as I can).
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Old 12-29-07, 07:21 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice. I did stress relieve the spokes with a 1/2" ratchet handle, the Sheldon Brown way. For the first 5 feet it made a few pinging sounds, and that was it. The wheel is reasonably true and round (better than the wheel its replacing) and I plucked the spokes and made sure the tension was as even as I could get it.

Thanks VERY much. I'm going to enjoy riding my bike even more, now that I am going from 7 to 8 speed, and its a much stronger wheel
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Old 12-29-07, 07:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rykoala View Post
The wheel is reasonably true and round (better than the wheel its replacing)
That doesn't surprise me. People almost always get better results, even on their very first try, than what is typically found on a factory built wheel.
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Old 12-29-07, 08:06 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice. I did stress relieve the spokes with a 1/2" ratchet handle, the Sheldon Brown way. For the first 5 feet it made a few pinging sounds, and that was it. The wheel is reasonably true and round (better than the wheel its replacing) and I plucked the spokes and made sure the tension was as even as I could get it.

Thanks VERY much. I'm going to enjoy riding my bike even more, now that I am going from 7 to 8 speed, and its a much stronger wheel
Sounds good then! BTW: the popping is because you didn't unwind your spokes after adjusting them. You have to back the nipple off to unwind the spoke, but not enough to start unscrewing it. If you hold the spoke with the other hand, you can feel when it stops and starts twisting, which will tell you how much to back it off, and you should.
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Old 12-29-07, 08:11 PM   #7
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Sounds good then! BTW: the popping is because you didn't unwind your spokes after adjusting them. You have to back the nipple off to unwind the spoke, but not enough to start unscrewing it. If you hold the spoke with the other hand, you can feel when it stops and starts twisting, which will tell you how much to back it off, and you should.
Sheldon Brown puts some store in this suggestion, but there are others who believe that just stress relieving the spokes does the job adequately. I suppose it depends on whether you lube the spoke threads and heads before building, and how confident you are of your skills. I've never bothered even with the slight back-off after tensioning each spoke to the required limit. I've just relied on the stress relief and while I get a few pings like rykoala has, it really hasn't affected the wheel's trueness nor the spoke tension.
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Old 12-29-07, 09:14 PM   #8
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Sheldon Brown puts some store in this suggestion, but there are others who believe that just stress relieving the spokes does the job adequately. I suppose it depends on whether you lube the spoke threads and heads before building, and how confident you are of your skills. I've never bothered even with the slight back-off after tensioning each spoke to the required limit. I've just relied on the stress relief and while I get a few pings like rykoala has, it really hasn't affected the wheel's trueness nor the spoke tension.
The problem is that wind-up impacts tension. When some spokes unwind, they lose a little bit of tension, and the wheel is no longer in the state you think it is. It's minor though.
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