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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 04-22-14, 01:25 PM   #26
cycle_maven
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Mechanic says: "I would never rebuild a wheel, even a new one".

I say: "I would never ride a new machine-built wheel without rebuilding it".

Fundamental difference in attitude. I agree that the OP should pony up the extra $30 for a new rim, since he'll need new spokes with his new hub anyway. Then he'll have a spare wheel for essentially $30. But I wouldn't go to that mechanic to get it built. And I wouldn't use an Alex rim, but that's just me. CR-18's are on sale at Niagara Cycle for $19.
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Old 04-22-14, 01:30 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I would never disassemble a decent wheel. Not because rebuilding on a slightly used rim would be a problem, but because the built wheel is worth more that what you'd save.

Also consider the shop's issues. If they disassemble the wheel, it's a time consuming process to do so without risking distorting the rim. If you do it, they are relying on you to do it right (though they can tell you how), then is the question of sorting the spokes for reuse (sort 4 piles by flange and direction), and then the nipples may be in less than perfect condition, but that's a small cost.

Save the wheel and build fresh.
No. 1. It takes time to disassemble a wheel properly which will cost you money. Labor is a large part of the total expense.

You could and should consider alternatives like a good quality bottle generator like this, Dymotec
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Old 04-22-14, 01:34 PM   #28
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As a do-it-yourself project it's no big deal. The shop has liability issues to deal with as part of the equation.
You are going to need new spokes and a new hub, so very little savings reusing the rim.
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Old 04-22-14, 02:01 PM   #29
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One thing to consider , the Bike build list for QBP, product manager was making a series of decisions

as to what was good enough Without costing too much , and then raising the whole bike cost .. too much ..

they put the money in the frame builders contract.

the rest of the parts are adequate for most riders , if damaged , you get new stuff then .. on the road ..


you have an opportunity to build with premium parts , now, and start from scratch, Or ..

get another prebuilt wheel with the Dyno hub in it already, at a reasonable price, and the LBS

can check the tension and truing before the tire gets swapped over .
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Old 04-22-14, 02:14 PM   #30
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Yeah, but this is a pretty new rim on a bike the OP just bought.
But pretty new doesn't mean unridden. The OP MAY have hit a curb or a pothole on the 1st ride.
Or not. We don't know.
From a shop perspective, turning down a job where they see a an obvious risk for a dissatisfied customer makes sense.
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Old 04-22-14, 02:16 PM   #31
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I just bought a Surly Disc Trucker. It's fitted with Alex Adventurer, 36h black rims (which I can't find on the Alex website). I have decided to fit a generator hub to the bike, and figured I would leverage the shops 30-day discount for accessories and labor. The rim looks to cost around $30 (assuming the shop can find one with a black side wall). I can't seem to wrap my head around the need to buy a new rim for my build. The mechanic explained that it is just too risky, even with the new rim on my bike -- it will likely be very difficult to true. "Just keep the current wheel as a spare, or give it to a friend."

Does this sound rational to everyone here? I have no experience with this!
Having folded an under-tensioned front wheel I would not trust any one to build a wheel for me except for a reputable on-man operation. A reputable shop (like the one which built that wheel and the rear which never stayed true due to tension problems) isn't good enough because you can get someone not so competent during their first and last week.

When I let a LBS build an IGH wheel for my wife (nearly dishless) it took me more work to make it almost right (they used spokes which are too long, and one ran out of threads getting to full tension) than to build it myself.

Do the work yourself (wheel building is about as hard as adjusting front derailleurs, although with 12-40 nipples and spokes there are a lot more moving parts so it's much more time consuming), buy from a reputable one-person shop, or get a machine built wheel which won't be ideal but has practical limits to how bad it can be.
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Old 04-22-14, 02:38 PM   #32
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What's sad about this thread is that the bike shop mechanic couldn't have explained his reasoning, and ended up sounding like he was too arrogant or proud to do the job he was asked.

Had he explained that it would be a shame (and cost something in added labor) to cut up the existing wheel and salvage the rim, and since the OP was spending X for the hub, spokes (maybe not), and labor and would end up with one wheel, when by buying a new rim for $xx more he could end up with a spare, or one he could sell to recoup some of the expense.

I often wonder how much of anti bike shop sentiment is simply the result of poor communication.

Story (don't rad if you don't like my stories). Many decades ago I needed to replace my car's timing belt at 60k miles. My mechanic explained that it would make sense to replace my perfectly good water pump at the same time, because it was an opportune time to do it while the front cover was off, and the pump bearings tended to give out at 80k miles or so. So on his advice I paid $50 or so for the part and did it, as I continue to do whenever I replace a timing belt.

Sometime later a friend had his timing belt replaced, and complained that his SOB, crook of a mechanic also replaced his perfectly good water pump and padded the bill by the $50.00. Of course, if he didn't replace the pump and it failed in short order, he'd be blamed for that too. So apparently the only difference between a trusted good mechanic, is 3 minutes of explanation.
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Old 04-22-14, 02:59 PM   #33
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funny story about the water pump, I always replace them whenever someone is in the area.

I would never use a rim out of a perfectly good wheel. If nothing else, sell it on ebay/craigslist.

I have swapped many rims in my day, almost always to re-use the spokes back when rims were almost all the same ERD. I could do it in 30 minutes, which made sense to me since I doubled my hourly rate doing it. It's not a good practice, and it's enough work to build a wheel that I'd rather have all new spokes. In the case of the OP, re-using a rim makes no sense when you can just buy a new one.
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Old 04-22-14, 05:19 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Story (don't rad if you don't like my stories). Many decades ago I needed to replace my car's timing belt at 60k miles. My mechanic explained that it would make sense to replace my perfectly good water pump at the same time, because it was an opportune time to do it while the front cover was off, and the pump bearings tended to give out at 80k miles or so. So on his advice I paid $50 or so for the part and did it, as I continue to do whenever I replace a timing belt.

Sometime later a friend had his timing belt replaced, and complained that his SOB, crook of a mechanic also replaced his perfectly good water pump and padded the bill by the $50.00. Of course, if he didn't replace the pump and it failed in short order, he'd be blamed for that too. So apparently the only difference between a trusted good mechanic, is 3 minutes of explanation.
Replacing the water pump when replacing the cam drive belt has been the obviously intelligent decision for so long I never even thought to question the reasoning when I first heard about it. Sort of like replacing the cassette when you replace a high mileage chain.
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Old 04-22-14, 05:39 PM   #35
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1. Building a matching spare w/ generator hub isn't a bad idea.

Some of my customers have two of the same rear wheel from me. Makes swaps super quick - minimal or no derailleur adjustments needed.


2. Many mechanics are not wheel builders per se. Sure most know how - but it's not their regular cup of tea.


3. Many shops now are run be "MBA" mentality folks where if a single task takes two hours and only one charge is accrued - it's a waste of time in most cases....

They're looking for a package deal with a little more money to be made...shop parts sale added in, etc.

=8-)
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Old 04-22-14, 08:59 PM   #36
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After reading through this, it is tempting to just buy one of these QBP pre-built Handspun wheels for $200 (and then use an SM-RTAD10?). Of course, I will still need to source the rotor.

What I really want is a front wheel with the SON28 and Velocity Dyad, though. I can get the hub for $290 from Starbike. Then, add the LBS-discounted items: $55 (spokes/nips) + $62 (Dyad) + $30 labor = $437.

Add another $100 for my lights. Who knows how much for the rotor.

Well, this is getting expensive!
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Old 04-22-14, 11:50 PM   #37
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OP- (jpatkinson)- A lot of comments here were worthy. Since you'll most likely need new spokes (length considerations) the only reusable parts are the rims, and maybe the nipples, given their usage thus far. However, your rim is a lost cost item- you need to replace the spokes anyway, and the nipples don't cost squat. I wouldn't worry about the "30 day discount." it would probably cost you more in the long run.

Based on your location, I suggest you get ahold of Mr. Rabbit. He's on this forum, and local to you.

Didn't get to the second page before I posted this comment- and mrrabbit appears.

Last edited by reddog3; 04-23-14 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 04-23-14, 12:11 AM   #38
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OP- (jpatkinson)- A lot of comments here were worthy. Since you'll most likely need new spokes (length considerations) the only reusable parts are the rims, and maybe the nipples, given their usage thus far. However, your rim is a lost cost item- you need to replace the spokes anyway, and the nipples don't cost squat. I wouldn't worry about the "30 day discount." it would probably cost you more in the long run.

Based on your location, I suggest you get ahold of Mr. Rabbit. He's on this forum, and local to you.
Thanks! NO matter what, I am keeping the current wheel. I think the LBS new purchase "discount" isn't worth the rush to save a few bucks on a rim/spokes when -- I don't need this until autumn. I am not sure how to find Mr Rabbit, but I think I am going to get a pre-built wheel. I just can't justify a $300 premium for a custom wheel.
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Old 04-23-14, 12:34 AM   #39
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Thanks! NO matter what, I am keeping the current wheel. I think the LBS new purchase "discount" isn't worth the rush to save a few bucks on a rim/spokes when -- I don't need this until autumn. I am not sure how to find Mr Rabbit, but I think I am going to get a pre-built wheel. I just can't justify a $300 premium for a custom wheel.
mrrabbit appeared in post #35 .
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Old 04-23-14, 04:00 AM   #40
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Kind of on topic, I think that generator accessories made a lot more sense back in the days when batteries were really expensive and shortlived, and lights weighed a ton and needed metal brackets to hold them on, a la Raleigh.

Now rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are so cheap and plentiful, and LEDs are so bright and efficient, I think that generators are a bit more irrelevant these days. This may all be different for someone who is doing a 2 week cycle tour around distant areas, though.

Edit - Although, these days, I can pretty much rely on the rechargeable AAAs (mainly) in my lights to last the whole winter season for the most part.
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Old 04-23-14, 05:22 AM   #41
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I just did this very thing myself, replaced the hub of an already built wheel. The difference though is that I built the original myself on an old hub. Also I knew that the spokes would be the same size.

So yes, disassembly took some time. But I found no issue with reusing the rim and spokes as they were both nearly new. I also found that the original build was under tensioned which made disassembly a little easier. But I took each spoke down half a turn at a time for a few rotations and once loose enough I took off one set of leading spokes, then the other. I transferred the trailing spokes in place, at that pont the hubs both hung loose.

But would I do it in the ops case? No, I'd just buy a decent rim and start over.
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Old 04-23-14, 08:13 AM   #42
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I just did this very thing myself, replaced the hub of an already built wheel......But would I do it in the ops case? No, I'd just buy a decent rim and start over.
I've also done this. I replaced an old Maillard freewheel hub with a newer Shimano freehub salvaged from a trashed wheel. It was a relatively straight forward swap as the flange dimensions were almost identical and the old spokes and rim worked perfectly. That said, the labor cost alone would have been prohibitive if I had to pay a professional to do the work.
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Old 04-23-14, 09:00 AM   #43
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After labor, the OP would be saving zero over a new rim, so refusing to reuse the rim is actually forcing him to be ahead by the value of the spare wheel he is going to end up with.

I think having a rule of not reusing a rim is perfectly reasonable one for a bike shop to have, and it's the general rule at my LBS. What if the original builder did a bad job putting the wheel together and now the rim is a pain in the butt to true? Very difficult to tell from the built wheel. After rebuilding it, the shop is on the hook. At my peak as a mechanic, I trued some wheels that should have been replaced, but the people were too cheap/broke to do that. I still wonder if that was the right thing to do.
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Old 04-23-14, 09:15 AM   #44
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I concur with everyone who indicated that it would be preferable to retain the existing wheel as a potential spare in the event the unforeseen should occur. Having a spare set of wheels around has come to the rescue for many bicyclists.
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Old 04-23-14, 09:19 AM   #45
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In the end, it simply boils down to-
does the OP want to spend the extra money to disassemble the wheel and end up with a new wheel plus a almost new hub & loose spokes
OR
buy a rim and end up with a new wheel AND a spare wheel for nearly the same money.
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Old 04-23-14, 11:01 AM   #46
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In the end, it simply boils down to-
does the OP want to spend the extra money to disassemble the wheel and end up with a new wheel plus a almost new hub & loose spokes
OR
buy a rim and end up with a new wheel AND a spare wheel for nearly the same money.
I think this pretty much sums it up! Thanks.
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