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Old 07-04-05, 01:02 PM   #1
AMERinMTL
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lacing your owns wheels

I've got a bunch of free time and never made a wheel, mountain bike or bmx. I've found it to be cheaper where i am (canada) to order all of the pieces and then when my parents come in two weeks to have them bring up the parts rather than ordering them here. i'm planning on building a set of wheels on my own, still not posative on parts though. Is building a 48 spoke BMX wheel a wise idea for someone who's never done it before or should I just bite the bullet and get a prefab job or pay someone else to do it.

I've just noticed i can save tremendous money doing it on my own, but of course i won't if i f-it up. And yes I know how to do it, i've watched it done, i've just never even attempted on my own!
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Old 07-04-05, 01:08 PM   #2
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i have no experience on the matter but i suggest using the wheel you'd have replaced with the one you built and buying new spokes for that and seeing if you can do it. if not get an already made one and if you can than do it yourself and save the money
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Old 07-04-05, 03:51 PM   #3
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It's a pain in the ass without proper tools, but it can be done. First, read this site carefully. Also, used hubs and usually rims are safe, NEVER build a wheel with used spokes or nipples.

If your head doesn't explode reading Sheldon Brown's site and you still want to go through with it, take your rim and hub down to your LBS and have them measured. You'll need rim inside diameter, hub flange diameter and hub center to flange at LEAST (to the nearest millimeter) for any given spoke length calculator. There are several online, check out Sheldon Brown's site for a couple links or have your LBS do it for you. Unless you're a a flatlander going radial in the front (or a ******) you'll want 3x lacing. It's the simplest lacing pattern that will make a wheel strong enough for BMX.

Next, I would recommend printing the instructions off Sheldon Brown's page (or better yet, buy a wheel building book) and following them step by step when you actually start building your wheel. Do not skip any steps. Do not do more than one step at a time. There's nothing more frustrating than getting 3 sets laced and then realizing you screwed up and you gotta pull all the nipples and start over (especially on a 48h setup).

Tips and pitfalls:

I strongly recommend Tri-Flow on the spoke threads initially, then 243 Loc-Tite once you've stressed and trued the wheel again.

Make sure you line the key spoke up properly with the tube stem hole and that the holes in the rim correspond with the correct side of the hub. You'll notice on most BMX rims the spoke holes are staggered, left and right...don't lace 'em backwards.

When tensioning a wheel I'll typically go for smaller increments over larger ones, quarter to no more than a half turn until I'm ready to start initial truing. I've found this saves time overall.

Rubber rim strips are for single-wall rims, use Velox rim tape for double and triple-wall rims (especially if you plan on running high pressure).

Once you're done, go out and ride the wheel for a week or so, then true it up again, then fix the spokes with 243 (medium strength) Loc-Tite.

Good luck!
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Old 07-04-05, 05:13 PM   #4
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my friend you do seem to know your stuff! I'm regretting not taking notes when I saw this done in person. . . .atleast i have plenty of free time with no job this summer looks like i'll be needing it! thanks again, the site is great!
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Old 07-04-05, 05:36 PM   #5
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I've built a couple wheels in my time, usually for specific applications where a pre-fab doesn't offer what I want (like a specific hub / rim combination, cool colored spokes, etc). Unless you get a really sick deal on parts, it's usually not much cheaper to build than buy. But it looks great on a resume if you ever want to become a mechanic and rolling around on wheels YOU built is pretty satisfying.

My next project is a new set of wheels for my flatland bike...Duralectra black ano rims laced radially to a Vandero up front and 3 leading 3 trailing to a Reloader freecoaster in the rear, both with blue spokes.
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Old 07-04-05, 05:50 PM   #6
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Oh, one thing I forgot to add...you can use your frame / forks in lieu of a truing stand and a dish stick. Fix a paperclip to one fork leg or chainstay. Revenge brakes actually come with hardware for turning them into a truing stand.

To dish the wheel, put the wheel in your fork and set your paperclip so it's touching the rim (once you've trued it up to a degree). Pull the wheel out and flip it around. If the paperclip touches, that means your wheel is centered on the hub (or dished) properly.

Always dish (center rim on hub), round (up & down) then true (side to side), in that order. Repeat this maybe 3 or 4 times until tolerances are within 1mm or so.
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Old 07-04-05, 06:02 PM   #7
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yes, i must agree that half of my want to build my own wheels is because it just seems liek such a satisfying feeling to role aroudn on wheels i put together my self, and of course they coudl be whatever combination i want. . . and thats some sick lacing there in that link
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Old 07-04-05, 06:22 PM   #8
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Up to this day, I've rebuilt my wheels like 4 times in a row trying to get them right. Yet, the spokes still stick up like 1/4 inch off of the rim (probably a lil more, I dunno) Point being that they pop the tube that way. So yeah, I'm starting to think it was 4x, but I don't care because I put pencil erasers on the tops to make it not pop! Anyways, not sure why I put this in here, but if you wanna help me out, go ahead, AND never give up, it feels good when you get it done (even if the spokes stick out!)
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Old 07-04-05, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edmej123
Up to this day, I've rebuilt my wheels like 4 times in a row trying to get them right. Yet, the spokes still stick up like 1/4 inch off of the rim (probably a lil more, I dunno) Point being that they pop the tube that way. So yeah, I'm starting to think it was 4x, but I don't care because I put pencil erasers on the tops to make it not pop! Anyways, not sure why I put this in here, but if you wanna help me out, go ahead, AND never give up, it feels good when you get it done (even if the spokes stick out!)
This is why it's a good idea to have your LBS accurately measure your rim and hub with the proper tools, then have them crunch the numbers to give you correct spoke length for the appropriate lacing pattern.

Since you should never rebuild a wheel with used spokes or nipples, take the wheel apart, first by loosening the nipples and then cutting the spokes with an old pair of Felco cutters (cutting spokes really munches a set of cutters, so don't do it with dad's brand new ones). Never cut spokes under tension...that's a great way to destroy what might otherwise be a perfectly good rim and hub. Inspect the hub flanges to make sure they're not munched themselves and check the rim straightness by setting it flat on a table and see if it rocks back and forth...more than a couple millimeters is unacceptable; you'll wind up breaking spokes or tearing out hub flanges if you rebuild with a warped rim or seriously chewed up hubs. Then have a shop accurately measure and calculate spoke length for the correct lacing pattern. You can go 4x but I think it's overkill, harder to lace and you wind up with a slightly heavier wheel.

Then, rebuild the wheel properly.
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Old 07-04-05, 07:20 PM   #10
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I actually have a question pertaining to this. On my rear wheel, I kept on hearing a clicking sound and found a loose spoke. I tightend it, yet theres still a clicking sound should I go around and tighten every spoke?
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Old 07-04-05, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireTeamCharlie
I actually have a question pertaining to this. On my rear wheel, I kept on hearing a clicking sound and found a loose spoke. I tightend it, yet theres still a clicking sound should I go around and tighten every spoke?
The easiest way to find loose spokes is by grabbing them 2 at a time and flexing. Of course, any time you tighten up spokes you should be checking to make sure the wheel remains true.
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Old 07-04-05, 09:37 PM   #12
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Im gonna tighten up the spoke, then take it to a bike shop and have 'em straighten it out.
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Old 07-05-05, 12:41 AM   #13
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go to the empire website and ask bonnie what spoke length you need for your rim+hub.

I lace all my 48's 4x.
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Old 07-05-05, 01:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queensrider86
go to the empire website and ask bonnie what spoke length you need for your rim+hub.

I lace all my 48's 4x.
Ran into a couple cases where the listed dimensions in Bike-A-Log don't match the product in my hands. Before you beat your brains out ordering 48 spokes in the wrong size, it's a good idea to measure twice and order once.

I've already addressed 4x. Unless you're a total ****** with a fetish for flat landings (or doing something equally unnecessary to your wheels) it's just extra weight on an already overbuilt wheel.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:15 AM   #15
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Good book to get is Jobst Brandt's "the bicycle wheel". I got mine on Ebay for $10.

You need a truing stand, spoke wrench. Road wheels (not sure about BMX) need a "dish tool" also for the rear wheel becasue of the cassette gears.

I'm buying a tensiometer (measures spoke tension) too, but that's becasue I have never done this before.

Good luck.
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Old 07-05-05, 06:46 AM   #16
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building wheels isn't difficult, this is the best guide for building BMX wheels http://www.gsportbmx.co.uk/custom/wh...ld/wheels.html
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Old 07-05-05, 09:28 AM   #17
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thank you all so much for your help i'm really looking forward to doing this, in a few weeks or who knows months maybe i'll have a set of shiny new home made rims to show everyone.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:55 PM   #18
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It's an awesome skill to have, building your own wheels and it most definitely is very common for freestyle bmx to run 48 spoke 4x wheels.

You can definitely look at some of the tutorials online (bmxtrix.com has the same as G-Sports) and you can just ask the bmx shop you buy from what length you need.

Determining length is something THEY need to get right, not you. So, if you give the shop your rim brand, your hub brand and how many crosses you want your wheels (0, 1, 2, 3, 4) then they should give you the correct spokes.

When I built my first wheel, no Internet, so it took me about 12 hours or more. Now it takes me just a couple of hours to do a good job. Never had a truing stand and I most likely never will. But, a spoke wrench is an absolute must. They are inexpensive and will take care of your building needs.

Most of all - Give it time and be prepared for it to take all day. Don't just do it the day before a big event if that is your only wheelset. Make sure you have the time for it, and make sure you can live with having to redo it several times if you don't follow the instructions precisely.

I have never used Loctite on spokes, and never plan to. Rims are constnatly being tweaked and it has very little to do with spokes loosening. The 4x pattern will also help to hold everything in place. 3x isn't bad - but neither is 2x or 1x. It just isn't as stable as a 4x pattern overall.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:59 PM   #19
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Anything less than 3x and you're getting into that sketchy realm where torque forces start to rip apart hub flanges, especially on low-flange hubs.

Now, the *real* reason you run 4x isn't to keep your rims from tweaking...4x actually has *less* lateral and torsional stiffness than a 3x wheel. The biggest benefit of 4x over 3x is the way the hub flanges are stressed...the stress is applied across the flange instead of straight up, where there is less material (a radial wheel is the stiffest wheel you could build, laterally and under torque, but your hubs will explode).

Most people build 4x 'cause they're misinformed and think it'll save their rims, when 3x is actually stiffer. So unless you're tearing apart hubs at the flange (and I'd venture to say very few of us are) you're not getting any benefit from 4x.
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Old 07-06-05, 12:12 PM   #20
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I hate building and truing wheels; replacing broken spokes is one thing, but doing an entire wheel bores the hell out of me.

And that's why I have a crack squad of friends that love to build wheels.
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Old 07-06-05, 01:23 PM   #21
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lacing wheels is not as hard as people say. the hard part is getting the correct size spokes. the lacing itself is not that bad. truing a wheel can be a pain and it takes alot of time. i once trued a wheel so nice that before it was trued it wobbled like an inch and a half each way and after i trued it it was completly straight.
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Old 07-06-05, 05:38 PM   #22
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well, i just picked up some old stock 4x4 XS schwinn hubs with 14mm axles for 10 dollars for both so i'm psyched, oh they are the "v2" right before schwinn went to hell, suppose dot be super good for the price. now time to pick out some trusty rims
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Old 07-07-05, 10:05 AM   #23
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go straight to http://www.gsportbmx.co.uk/custom/wh...ld/wheels.html
for step by step process with pictures
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