Well, I had an XTR rear hub laying around from a wheel that came on my frame (bought frame as a complete bike, put my full LX group onto it) and the rim off that XTR hub was pretty beat, the braking surface was worn concave. I have always wanted to try my hand at wheel building, so I ordered a Alex Adventurer 26" mtb rim a few months back when I ordered tires for my moms old Schwinn. I finally bought spokes this week, Wheelsmith double butted 14/15ga silver, with (Wheelsmith) nickel plated brass nipples.
I ran into a slight delay building the wheel yesterday, one spoke was far too short. Turns out it was a whole 13mm short! And, it was straight gauge as well. Took that spoke back to the shop today and the nice lady there went in back and got me the correct spoke! So, this afternoon since it was hot out, I decided my cool basement was a good place to hang out, and finish the wheel.
I am surprised at just how easy this whole process was! I have watched a few videos on eHow.com, read sheldon's site, and read the wheel building section of the bicycling magazine's "Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" book I have. I felt well prepared with all that info in my head over the past few months. After initial lacing, the wheel moved around like a drunken sailor in the truing stand, but after initial tensioning (bringing the nipple to JUST cover the last thread on the spoke) the wheel was at most 1/8" out of true, and stayed that way through the rest of the process... Nice I released the stress in the wheel a total of about 5 times, using 3 different methods (one was Sheldon's method of gently bending the spokes around eachother at the final crossing). After the last two times, the wheel stayed true...good! Dishing was a PITA, well not really but took a bit of time. Tighten one side, loosen the other...fun. The wheel might have a little runout right now, but short of mounting a dial indicator It will do fine for my uses (going to be a backup wheel anyway).
Ok, I made that lengthy, so, time for a few quick pictures!
and one to show the XTR badge...
I think if/when I decide to upgrade the wheels on my Sirrus, I will build them. I had a lot of fun doing this (I work in high-precision optics, this was almost zero stress compared to work) and it kinda gives me a sense of pride. Might slap my old slicks on this spare wheelset (other wheel is a LX front hub laced to a Mavic X221 rim-machine made...) just to try it out.
And, yea...I know the XTR label isnt perfectly matched up to the valve hole...I wanted to keep the spokes where they had been previously.