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  1. #1
    Senior Member powitte's Avatar
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    First wheel build -- problem?

    Just finished my first wheel build--haven't ridden it yet, but it's true and evenly tensioned. I was looking at it again today, and became concerned by the seemingly sharp angle between the spoke and the nipple. I was conscious to put it in the appropriately-sided hole when lacing, but certainly I could have bungled this. Any way to tell? I can't, just based on looking at the hub side of the rim. Pics are the area of my concern.
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    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Never saw that before. Did it happen to all the spokes, just the spokes on one side, or just one spoke?

    Perhaps the nipples are just not seating well in the rim. Try tensioning the wheel to see if that changes anything.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Agreeing with the above comment, have you brought the spokes up to tension yet? I've seen that before, but only before the spokes are brought up to tension. The tension straightens it out a bit.

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    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Did you pre-stress the spokes?
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    A little North of Hell
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    do a search for left or right rim drilling, that could be the problem.
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    You need to seat and stress relieve those spokes bad

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

    scroll down to seat and stress relieving.

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    Senior Member powitte's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what *pre* stressing is, but I did stress relieve as best I know. That is, grabbing parallel spoke pairs and giving a moderate squeeze at midspoke. It's well tensioned also. It looks like this to different degrees all the way around.

    Here's a thought: because I couldn't tell which side the hole was drilled to from the hub side, I used the more obvious tire side as a guide. I assumed a hole on the left on this side meant the spoke was to go to the left flange, but it is a double-walled rim, and I assumed suppose it could be drilled at an angle?? Hole on the left actually angles to the right flange??

    Edit: Rim is a Velocity Aero, in case that matters. Not what I would have chosen after thinking about it some more, but what the LBS had in stock. I put another wheel together last night on a Mavic rim, without this problem.
    Last edited by powitte; 05-30-08 at 06:26 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    This actually looks OK to me, is the thing. If you stress relieved the spokes (same thing as pre-stressing), then it should be cool.

    I don't think you want to use "moderate" pressure to stress-relieve, though. Squeeze hard. You're actually deforming the steel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    Here's a thought: because I couldn't tell which side the hole was drilled to from the hub side, I used the more obvious tire side as a guide. I assumed a hole on the left on this side meant the spoke was to go to the left flange, but it is a double-walled rim, and I assumed suppose it could be drilled at an angle?? Hole on the left actually angles to the right flange??
    I think you nailed it right there, a hole on the left side as seen from the tire side would be for a spoke going to the right flange.
    You can try it by disassembling one spoke and just laying it in position against the other flange while threaded on to the nipple and see how things line up then.

    Or you just ignore the whole thing and say that you always intended to lace it in lateral cross

  10. #10
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    I"ve seen this happen to before. to me. at the start of tightening the first nipple, I noticed the angle. I had laced all the left spokes in the right holes, and vice versa. I just wasn't paying attention. If you can't tell if the hole is left or right, you can put a spoke through the hold and see which irection it points.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    a hole on the left side as seen from the tire side would be for a spoke going to the right flange. :
    u mean that a left hole in the rim gets a spoke comming from right side hub flange? is that what u mean??

    Just in case with some velocity rims u cant tell if a spoke is at the left or right side of the rim

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member powitte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    I think you nailed it right there, a hole on the left side as seen from the tire side would be for a spoke going to the right flange.
    You can try it by disassembling one spoke and just laying it in position against the other flange while threaded on to the nipple and see how things line up then.

    Or you just ignore the whole thing and say that you always intended to lace it in lateral cross
    So, most likely scenario, each and every spoke in this wheel is in the wrong place... *sigh* Is that the general consensus here? Follow up question: To what degree with this affect my wheel's strength or longevity? Follow up question: If, as I expect, the answer is "lots", is a rebuild using all the existing parts ill-advised for any reason?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
    Just in case with some velocity rims u cant tell if a spoke is at the left or right side of the rim
    A hole hasn't only got a position, it's got an angle too. Even if a rim has all the holes centered doesn't mean they're all pointing in the same direction. You could "easily" drill holes pointing at either the right or the left flange and still have them all coming out dead center.



    Quote Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
    u mean that a left hole in the rim gets a spoke comming from right side hub flange? is that what u mean??
    For a double-walled rim there are two holes to consider, the hole in the hub-facing wall and the hole in the tire-facing wall. The hole in the tire-facing wall would be aligned as an extension to the spoke with the centered hole in the hub-facing side acting as the pivot point for a seesaw.
    So a spoke going center-to-right would have a tire side hole to the left ASO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    So, most likely scenario, each and every spoke in this wheel is in the wrong place... *sigh*
    Remove one spoke and try the other alignment first, see how it works out.

    If you have to redo it, stick the spokes together at the cross with a bit of tape, undo the rim, shift one notch and hook it all up again. For me that's faster that total disassembly.
    Mind where the valve hole ends up.

    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    To what degree with this affect my wheel's strength or longevity?
    I've put plenty of miles into two wheels deliberately built lateral cross, and they're still doing just fine. YMMV though. Potential risks: increased load on nipple seat in rim, more wind-up, harder to tension properly, spoke angle at nipple might act as spring with hard-to-predict results.

    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    is a rebuild using all the existing parts ill-advised for any reason?
    IMO:
    All other things being equal(average weight rider, average riding style, average riding conditions, a decent spoke count..) a wheel is such a excessively strong part that they just about "never" fail catastrophically while JRA. So if I see a lot of those averages ahead of me I wouldn't hesitate at all about reusing the current parts.
    Most likely "cause of destruction" for my bikes are violent random events anyhow, and I don't think a few percent of lost strength in the build phase would mean a thing for those.

  15. #15
    Senior Member powitte's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your input. Dabac, this will have to be an experiment in the structural soundness of unintentional lateral cross. I unlaced one spoke, with great difficulty. There is spoke prep on this wheel, and I nearly rounded out the nipple so much I couldn't get the spoke off. Once off, I tried threading back onto the spoke and laying it across the opposite flange. I don't know--I'm not sure if I could see a difference or not. Regardless, it's apples to oranges unless it's tensioned, I guess.

    All things considered, I think my risk of causing some part to fail will be greatly increased if I try to fix it at this point. And, if my alternative is to use new parts (spokes, at least), I might as well just ride it until something comical happens and then try again, the right way. Maybe I'll ride with a camera for a while, just in case the whole wheel implodes when I'm going off a curb or something like that.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    .. this will have to be an experiment in the structural soundness of unintentional lateral cross.
    If there's more material in the rim where the nipple goes through your lateral cross may be worse off than mine, as the nipple will be more "determined" to point in the wrong direction. My rims had a more traditional profile, so maybe my nipples were bit more free to swivel.

    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    .. ..I might as well just ride it until something comical happens
    That's what I'd do.

    Quote Originally Posted by powitte View Post
    .. Maybe I'll ride with a camera for a while, just in case the whole wheel implodes when I'm going off a curb or something like that.
    I don't think that's gonna happen.
    If I were to guess I'd say you might get a shorter life out of this wheel, but no sudden catastrophic failures.
    I've put together several wheels using techniques some other guys on this forum(you might want to search for a thread about un-tacoing a wheel..) considers to be absolute no-nos. But with a decent build and a lot of averages sudden and disastrous failures just aren't happening.

  17. #17
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    It would be easier to diagnose if you had at least two spokes in focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    I think you nailed it right there, a hole on the left side as seen from the tire side would be for a spoke going to the right flange.
    You can try it by disassembling one spoke and just laying it in position against the other flange while threaded on to the nipple and see how things line up then.

    Or you just ignore the whole thing and say that you always intended to lace it in lateral cross

    This is a little confusing to me are you saying tire side as in you are looking down at the wheel from above? I always go by sheldon's synopsis that "the spoke holes do not run down the middle of the rim, but are offset alternately from side to side. The holes on the left side of the rim are for spokes that run to the left flange of the hub." And the holes on the right side of the rim run to the right side of the flange.

  19. #19
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    Sheldon is talking about an average/generic type of rim with a (more or less) concave side facing the hub. Seen from the hub you then get the best nipple/rim alignment if a spoke from the left flange goes to to a hole drilled to the left of the center.

    But remember that this hole is drilled at an angle. It's like if you would draw a diagonal line across a square, if you start at the top left you would come out at the bottom right.
    With a double-walled rim and the angled line started pretty close to the center what's a "left" on the hub side can very well become a "right" on the tire side, just as a diagonal crosses over.
    Move the holes just a little more apart and the tire side holes would end up in the middle whether they're a "left" or a "right" on the hub side.
    Move them a bit more apart and a hub side "left" would also be a tire side "left".

    And for a single-walled rim it doesn't matter, there a "left" will always be a "left", independent on which side you're looking at it from.

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