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Old 04-04-14, 07:44 AM   #1
tsappenfield
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Wheel rebuilding question

I want to replace the galvanized spokes on the rear wheel of a 94 Peugeot road bike I purchased with stainless steel spokes. It's a cross three pattern on a MIche hub. I've done this on two other bikes by just removing all of the spokes and starting anew. So I was thinking about if it would be easier and less time consuming to replace them one at a time? (The wheel has a free wheel rather than a cassette if that has any bearing on the project.)

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Old 04-04-14, 08:13 AM   #2
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Freewheel or cassette doesn't make a difference as long as you can remove it. I suppose it might be easier to do 1 at a time so you can easily see where each spoke goes. Eliminates the chance of making mistakes during the lacing process.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:38 AM   #3
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Depends on your lacing skills. My first wheel would probably have gone faster that way, but as soon as you begin to get the hang of it you lose more time to when spokes gets tangled up with each other than what you save from not having to figure out the pattern.
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Old 04-04-14, 09:12 AM   #4
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Depends on your lacing skills. My first wheel would probably have gone faster that way, but as soon as you begin to get the hang of it you lose more time to when spokes gets tangled up with each other than what you save from not having to figure out the pattern.
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That would be the slow way for me now, but the faster/accurate way a bunch of wheels ago.
You do want the spokes in the same orientation to the hub.

One advantage to a complete disassemble is easier cleaning of the hub in the nooks & crannies that the laced spokes provide.
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Old 04-04-14, 09:28 AM   #5
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Yes, laced spokes need to be added in a certain order (heads-out first, heads-in last) so that you can properly manipulate each spoke coming in. Once they are all in place, it is hard to do a head-out spoke. Sure you can replace one or two in a pinch, but you wouldn't want to do a whole rebuild that way. You can remove all the heads-out spokes then do the heads-in spokes one at a time. Then put the heads-out spokes back in. That will help simplify things by preserving the lacing pattern without getting the spokes all tangled up.
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Old 04-04-14, 10:02 AM   #6
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First of all, more out of curiosity than anything. WHY? If the wheel is OK and reasonably true, it can be trued and serve until either rust or a crash finishes it off properly. Consider that rim life is a limiting factor, and rim condition may mean the newly laced wheel, with time and expense built in, will not be any better than what you have now.

However, if you decide to go ahead, one idea is to compromise between all and one at a time. Cut out all the heads out spokes. This will eliminate the crosses, so replacements can be dropped in (replace all at once, and let them flop). Bring the spokes to the respective spoke holes (count crosses, and there's not much chance of going to the wrong hole), and attach nipples one at a time until finished. Tighten to just enough tension to take up slack. Don't bother lacing over/under since you're going to cut out the other spokes. Now, cut out all the other spokes one flange at a time, and replace.

Finish as you would any other wheel.

IMO this will be much easier than one at a time, but slower than rebuilding fresh. However it might make it easier if you're not comfortable lacing from scratch.
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Old 04-04-14, 01:51 PM   #7
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The "why?" is because I've broken two of the spokes on this wheel in the last two months. I think it's time for a rebuild and besides, I like to do it!
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Old 04-04-14, 01:58 PM   #8
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The "why?" is because I've broken two of the spokes on this wheel in the last two months. I think it's time for a rebuild and besides, I like to do it!
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That makes sense. I 'm happy to hear you're not cutting up a good wheel just to go stainless.
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Old 04-04-14, 02:02 PM   #9
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I did my first spoke replacement one at a time, and now will never do that - the spoke cutters (heavy duty cable cutters) come out, and spokes go flying. Then it is just another hub and rim.
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Old 04-04-14, 02:17 PM   #10
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From my experiences it has been easier and quicker to completely re-lace the wheel using a good set of instructions like those found in the Jobst Brandt book "The Bicycle Wheel" instead of trying to transfer or replace spokes one at a time. Similar instructions can be found in other books or on line including SheldonBrown.com.
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Old 04-05-14, 05:58 AM   #11
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Okay, I'm convinced. Based on the majority opinion, I'll remove all spokes and the freewheel and rebuild from scratch. Thanks to all who contributed. It's always an education when I post.
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