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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-23-06, 12:38 AM   #1
thelazywon
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building some kick a$$ wheel$

I just got finished reading Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance. I am completely stoked about building some wheels. I have a few buddies that want me to build them 32 spoke 3 cross wheels, and they are going to buy the parts. So I think I'm well on my way. I want to build myself a set of carbon fiber wheels, with aero spokes and radial lacing... After building 12 "regular wheels", do you think I'll be ready for something like this?
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Old 06-23-06, 06:04 AM   #2
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Just build a training set first before you start on the high zoot set. Hate to see you destroy a hub or something.
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Old 06-23-06, 07:21 AM   #3
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radial lacing is only good for the front wheel. read up on what zinn says about that.

i know realtively little about wheelbuilding except that it ain't super easy to do really well. i will eventually try my hand at it as well.

you got a nice truing stand and tensionometer?? let us know how you do!
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Old 06-23-06, 07:25 AM   #4
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yes, practive with traditional (and inexpensive) parts before you go to the elaborate stuff.

I think that once you build a half dozen wheels, you will probably be ready to try fancier or more complicated things as long as you have a mechanical mindset.

I've built four wheels now so far and it was a blast. With the first one, I took it extra slow and double checked everything. It took me 4 to 6 hours I think. Now I am to the point that I can probably string and partially tension a wheel in a half hour if I wanted to. Wheelbuilding really isn't that hard; it's the truing that takes some patience and time. The actual stringing and rough tensioning is fast, methodical work once you learn how to do it and get the techniques down.

You'll need a truing stand, nipple driver, and a spoke wrench at the very least. Some people will tell you to get a dish stick, but they are easy enough to manufacture from plywood or even cardboard that it's not really worth buying one unless you plan to build a lot of wheels.

I've been using the ebook by Roger Musson for reference. It has a ton of information and explains pretty much all aspects of the process, including how to build your own tools (including a truing stand). Highly recommended. http://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php
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Old 06-23-06, 08:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelazywon
After building 12 "regular wheels", do you think I'll be ready for something like this?
Well, if the 12 regular wheels you've previously built were all true and round, then I'd think you're ready to play w/ the expensive stuff. You might want to invest in a tensionometer if you don't have one. Sounds like you probably have the truing stand and spoke wrench.
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Old 06-23-06, 08:56 AM   #6
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If you've built 12 wheels, then you're ready for the big time. The big thing to remember - get the right spoke length. I built a 2x/radial rear one time, and I went with too long a spoke on the non-drive side. In six months of riding and racing, it developed a pinwheel-effect and got a little soft. Still it lasted for two years of training and racing before I broke the hub and rebuilt it 3x/3x. A truing stand is great to have,and makes things really easy, but you can do a pretty good job by just lacing the rim and setting it into your bike frame. More awkward? Yes, but you can use the brake pads or the frame as reference points. Tensionometer? - feel the tension, brah...
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Old 06-23-06, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-a-mill
radial lacing is only good for the front wheel. read up on what zinn says about that.

i know realtively little about wheelbuilding except that it ain't super easy to do really well. i will eventually try my hand at it as well.

you got a nice truing stand and tensionometer?? let us know how you do!
Like most things, it just takes practice. It's not really as hard as people make out. Read a little, try to do what the books tell you and then try to do it some more. Eventually it becomes second nature. Start with a cheap set of components first, however.
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Old 06-23-06, 10:42 AM   #8
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It sounds to me like you have all the experience needed so have fun. I personally would not commute on carbon wheels but I would like to have the where$$$withall to do so.
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Old 06-23-06, 05:04 PM   #9
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You just have to be careful and patient and its not that difficult....definately use a tensiometer and follow all of the instructions/advice that you read in whatever manual you are using. The tensiometer definately makes you more confident that you are doing a good job, and I think its well worth getting one. After building the wheel, monitor spoke tension carefully for a while.
I just built up my first pair and they are the best wheels I've ever owned. If you have a friendly LBS that you are buying the parts from, ask them if they have an old junker wheel destined for the trash that they can give you for practice.
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