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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-23-09, 03:44 PM   #1
Mr. Beanz
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You guys should really start building your own wheels

Well after spending hudreds at the shops, apying pros to build wheels it always ended up in early failure. One Deep V didn't last thru the first 40 miles. Then the guy didn't want to fix it till after 300 miles!

Every guy at the shops said loctite this, loctite that is the trick, won't move for years! Yeah whatever! I built my rear Deep V as an experiment after reading Sheldon's site on buiding. He says the threads are so prcise nowadays that they dont need prep. I built the wheels on my Lemond without any prep but used it on others. Not sure about the prepped wheels cause I ride the Lemond the most.

So some of the high end shop built wheels lasted 10 months (4000 miles). Some didn't last 40 miles! The wheel I built to Sheldon's suggestion now has 17000 miles on it and finally I had to true it slightly. I was thinking it's over as most the time a wheel goes out, it's trued then it goes immediately after. Well pro built wheels in my experience.

I trued my wheel last week then put about 100 miles on it this weekend. Broght it home, checked it out and still PERFECT! Heck, Hope to get another 17 k out of it! If not, I'll use the hub to rebuild another and still have far better performance out of it than any wheels I've had from a pro shop!

Best thing is that it's much cheaper. Ihave a $2 spoke wrench, a $30 stand and a $12 dish tool. Pros use the highend stuff but I've got better results with my cheapo stuff! Leads me to believe it's the TLC more than anythgin else. Plus it's actually kind of easy once you read and understand. Maybe find a friend to help you out the first time.

Pro shop price. Supply hub, buy rim $70, pay $100 for labor and spokes!

My price, $25 V on clearance. had the hub and $25 spokes...$50!

Another wheel. $60 V, $100 Dura Ace hub, $20 spokes. Not bad for a DA wheel!

I've also had buds throw away damaged wheels then go low spokecount. If I had known betteer back then, I would have asked for it then stripped the hub. Could have built wheels halfprice.

Uletra hub (friend's giveaway) rim, $60-$70 and $20 spokes. For 80 or 90 bucks, I could have had an Ultegra built Deep V!
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Old 02-23-09, 04:42 PM   #2
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sounds good, I have thought about doing this. how long did it take you?
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Old 02-23-09, 04:54 PM   #3
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I built some wheels for myself for my hopefully busy season. Phil Wood, OpenPro, DT Competition. They're my first wheels, so I have to true them every now and then, but they're holding out great. Though they only have almost 100 miles on them (weather sucks around here lately, WINDY and cold). I'm hoping to have atleast 2,000 miles on them this year, preferably 5,000. If they last that, I'll be pretty freaking proud of myself.
Building wheels is also pretty relaxing. It's tedious, but there's a sense of form and pride you have in building them, knowing you'll be riding them, that you want them to be right.
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Old 02-23-09, 05:01 PM   #4
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sounds good, I have thought about doing this. how long did it take you?

First time took me about 2 hours, walked away then returned the next day to finish. Another 15 minutes for the final touch. The mind gets boggled if you think too much so relaxing is the key.

Like Armanis says, it's pride. Nothing more beautiful than looking down at some sparkling wheels and saying "Did I do that?"

Sometimes I'll get behind my wife and watch how true the wheel spins next to the brakpads. It's amazing but simple!..But then again, when I ride behind her, I'm always amazed!
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Old 02-23-09, 05:21 PM   #5
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this is very interesting. i've ben thinking of doing this since the last time i had new spokes put in by the shop it went out of true after 100 miles...but only slightly and i trued it up with a few turns of the spokes.

i know virtually nothing about wheels since i always left that work to the shop but i'm wondering if i could do it better if i put more care into it and took my time.


do you always use shimano hubs? apart from shimano wheels, do other wheels come with shimano hubs or their own hubs and can you get these other hubs for building?
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Old 02-23-09, 05:22 PM   #6
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you didn't mention using a tension measuring thingy...is that necessary?
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Old 02-23-09, 05:34 PM   #7
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Beanz,
Thanks for the encouragement. My last attempt at wheel building was 20 years ago, when I did not have the patience for it. I've been relying on pro's since. Although, I've had much better luck with them than you have. I've become very selective about who I let touch my wheels. I'll usually find an excuse to go into a new shop and chat with the mechanics while getting a cable or other minor item. I've also found that the best wheelsmiths are usually independent mechanics with a bench in their garage or basement. They seem to take their time, have pride in their work/reputation and are thrilled to have a client that appreciates their skill and talent. However, I've just relocated to a new city (Auckland) and have had to repeat the whole process of finding an experienced mechanic/wheelsmith all over again.

You've convinced me. Next wheel, I'm building it myself. No more relying on others.
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Old 02-23-09, 05:41 PM   #8
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you didn't mention using a tension measuring thingy...is that necessary?

I have a bud that is an excellent mechanic and builder. The ONLY guy that has built wheels that lasted. I fogot that part in the OP. He lets me use his tensionmeter. He said he could seel me one but why when I am welcomed to his. I build them thatn he checks it for me. But so far, I haven't been wrong when it comes to plucking good wheels then comapring with the pluck method. I buy the spokes from him too!

I use Shimano only cuase that's all I've eer had or needed. Others use fancy aftermarket stuff. But I've seen several complaints with them. I have no issues with Shimano so I use it. You can buy different makes and models online, Campy, White Industries, and lots of otherstuff online. I just never had the need.
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Old 02-23-09, 07:35 PM   #9
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Yep, you've convinced me, too. Now I'm on the lookout for a rear hub and some deep v's.
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Old 02-23-09, 08:18 PM   #10
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If things really get bad, you loosen every spoke evenly in order to keep the rim from getting to far out, then start over. As long as you don't taco the rim, it will be ok.

The 40 mile failure the shopdude built for me, I disassembled it evenly and rebuilt it. Now 16,000 mile no issues. If you talk to the shop guys, they will say, "Oh dude, don't reuse it, it'll explode". Yeah, buy another one spend more money!
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Old 02-24-09, 11:45 AM   #11
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I am really tempted to build me up some nice generator hub wheels next year when I have some time
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Old 02-24-09, 02:17 PM   #12
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I'd love to build my own wheels, but right now financially its just not an option. I priced the same set of wheels from Universal Cycles and the parts alone where more than the total cost to have the wheels built by the shop using the same parts. Guess down the road when I can afford it I will work on doing my own wheel work.
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Old 02-24-09, 02:38 PM   #13
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I'd love to build my own wheels, but right now financially its just not an option. I priced the same set of wheels from Universal Cycles and the parts alone where more than the total cost to have the wheels built by the shop using the same parts. Guess down the road when I can afford it I will work on doing my own wheel work.
This has been my problem. I've got the majority of the tools needed to build wheels, but whenever I think about building a set the parts always end up costing 1.5-2X more than it would to buy the same wheels from BWW...
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Old 02-24-09, 02:44 PM   #14
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i think i've been convinced to build my next wheels when the current ones go.

I'm thinking ultegra hubs, open pro rims. Would double butted spokes be the way for heavier riders or bladed aero spokes. 32 or 36 spokes?
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Old 02-24-09, 03:16 PM   #15
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This is on my list of things I want to learn how to do this year. I also want to build a generator hub wheel for my Trek 620 and a set of wheels for my Viscount. Any recommendations for a low cost truing stand and dishing tool?
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Old 02-24-09, 03:31 PM   #16
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I took a Park Tools Advanced class this past weekend at my LBS. It was tons of fun. When we got to the wheels the local pro mentioned that you can have discussions regarding wheels till the cows come home, and we certainly didn't have time. He was impressed with the nice wheel Peter White had built for me with the generator hub. After 3000 miles, not the slightest bit of adjustment has been needed...never.

He did mention that building your own wheel can be lots of fun learning and very rewarding. He mentioned day the garbage pickup comes so that we'd be welcome to stop by the day before and pick out some wheels to practice on. Apparently they throw out anywhere from a few to dozens of wheels a week.

This Summer I'll have to get a stand and start to practice. I really need a better rear wheel than the marginal OEM bontrager wheel. I'd like to build a matching wheel to the front (Velocity Dyad).

Thanks for again encouraging us to go build it ourselved.

Happy riding,
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Old 02-24-09, 03:36 PM   #17
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I've been studying the art of wheel building but I don't see a lot of info on determining spoke length either on front or rear wheels.
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Old 02-24-09, 03:42 PM   #18
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This is on my list of things I want to learn how to do this year. I also want to build a generator hub wheel for my Trek 620 and a set of wheels for my Viscount. Any recommendations for a low cost truing stand and dishing tool?
The Minoura Pro stand is often on sale at the online retailers for $50 - $60. I've used it to build a few wheels and already it's paid for itself.
It has a centering/alignment tool it comes with. Maybe it's just me, but I've found a dishing tool to be unnecessary with a well aligned truing stand and good calculations on spoke length. You'll know right off the bat if your rim is way off-center.
Whatever stand you get, one essential thing to watch when initially tensioning a wheel is the hub centering/wheel roundness. There's a 3rd caliper that many new builders forget about; it sticks out like a paint scraper, flat against the bead surface of the rim. The 2 side calipers tell you if the rim is straight. The flat caliper tells you if the hub is centered and the wheel is perfectly round.
A tensiometer is unnecessary (IMO) if you have a good wheel with the same spokes to compare against. Pluck a spoke on the good one and compare that pitch to the spokes on the new wheel.

My first wheel took about 3 hours straight through to finish. My second and third ones were significantly faster (closer to 2h 15m total).
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Old 02-24-09, 03:45 PM   #19
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I've been studying the art of wheel building but I don't see a lot of info on determining spoke length either on front or rear wheels.
Use either the Excel spreadsheet "spocalc" (search online and you'll find it) or sign up (free) at the DT Swiss website and use their calculator. Both are excellent.


spocalc will work on Excel Mobile, if you're a PDA phone geek who gets sudden urges to stop at the LBS and build a wheel, so you need to calculate spoke lengths on-the-go. (Yeah, I've done this).
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Old 02-24-09, 07:23 PM   #20
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Guys start checking bonktown, they had Velocity Deep V's rims on sale for 30 bucks. Only gold and caramel colors but a great wheel for clydes and cheap enough to try a new build with.
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Old 02-24-09, 07:31 PM   #21
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Here is the link;

http://www.backcountry.com/store/VEL...-Bike-Rim.html

Not the ideal colors but if we are trying to build a first set who cares.
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Old 02-24-09, 07:59 PM   #22
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Here is the link;

http://www.backcountry.com/store/VEL...-Bike-Rim.html

Not the ideal colors but if we are trying to build a first set who cares.

28 hole... but I see that hey are non machined sidewall rims. I blieve that means the braking surface isn't machined for standard brake systems. I think these are fixie rims cause they don't require brakes or a machined sidewall.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:14 PM   #23
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28 hole... but I see that hey are non machined sidewall rims. I blieve that means the braking surface isn't machined for standard brake systems. I think these are fixie rims cause they don't require brakes or a machined sidewall.
They're showing the track rim, but have both machined or unmachined available if you read the print.
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Old 02-24-09, 08:22 PM   #24
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They're showing the track rim, but have both machined or unmachined available if you read the print.
Ah, I was going by what the dropdown on the right side stated. I saw the print at the bottom but they all say that. What's in stock is usually different from what they claim!
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Old 02-25-09, 01:17 AM   #25
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You convinced me to have a go! Just ordered up my stand and dish tool should be here in a few days. I have had two Mavic a719 rims sitting here waiting for me to take them to the shop with my alfine and dynamo to have them built up. I have sold my old commuter which I now need to build up a 26 wheel for as well. So, I figure I can save on 3 builds that more than pays for the tools. Now I just need the knowledge

Any recommnedation on spokes for the a719 rims? I am a clyde and people are always talking about double butted DT swiss something or other.

Thanks....
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