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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-10-12, 06:23 PM   #1
sixteenornumber
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wheel building - noob

I'm considering diving into building a set of wheels. I know the theory behind it but I haven't actually done it in practice. Any thought on building the first set? What do you wish you knew before you built your first set that you didn't.
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Old 07-10-12, 08:00 PM   #2
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tension meter, take your time, stress relieve
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Old 07-10-12, 08:32 PM   #3
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Read tutorials until you feel comfortable with the process.
Be patient and work by small degrees.
The key to ending up with even tension is to not cause uneven tension in the first place.
Stay focused, set the time and place aside so you're 100% free of distractions, and stop only at logical breaks where you can pick up where you left off.

One trick not covered in most tutorials, build the wheel too far to the right (overly dished) and keep it there until near the end. Then you can move it to center during the last round of tensioning, using only the left spokes. It's much easier to move a rim left than right, and this will keep you from needing to turn the very heavily loaded right nipples.

Good luck
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Old 07-10-12, 09:04 PM   #4
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+1 for FBinNy's suggestion of over dishing the rear wheel. I'll go through cycles of truing (both radial and laterial) and tension equalizing with the overall tension still low. I like to say that you have to "learn" the rim's natural shape this way before ramping up tension. Lube the nipples, both threads and rim seats. Spoke Prep only gets the threads... It's ok to have some run out if the spoke tension is better distributed. Remember that a more long term stable wheel is the goal, the tire is likely to be more uneven then the rim's trueness. Andy.
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Old 07-10-12, 10:14 PM   #5
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Go slowly, turn nipples by a fraction of a turn once they make contact.
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Old 07-11-12, 06:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The key to ending up with even tension is to not cause uneven tension in the first place.
+1. Once you get the wheel loosely laced, don't be in too much of a hurry to bring it up to tension. Whatever time you spend bringing it to tension in little equal sized steps will be paid back with interest during the trueing process.
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Old 07-11-12, 08:58 AM   #7
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If I'd know it was to become a regular thing, I'd have started buying spokes by the box, or maybe started hunting for a spoke threading machine years ago. I also wish I'd stumbled on to a 2.3 mm gauge spoke supplier earlier.
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