Here we go again. Scored new clearance WTB Dual Duty XC rims from Wheel and Sprocket in Wisconson via Ebay to go along with some New Old Stock LX hubs laying in the parts drawer. Starting from the bottom up with new clothes for Dormouse's frame. I'm not sure where this one is going yet but the aim is to build a general purpose around town bike based on an MTB chassis. This will be a rim brake bike (no disc's) and will probably get the 26/36/48 touring gears. This might be the bike to take on vacations this year. I may try to score an On One Midge bar for this setup so that I can use a new set of Sora 9 speed brifters that are laying around the shop. If so I will use this as a test bed for my first use of "Travel Mates" to convert the STI brake pull to MTB linear pull and possibly a "Shiftmate" for the front derailleur. If something else comes along at a good price, all of that could change. This is the direction Dormouse was headed in last year when it got sidetracked into being my favorite trail ride.
I have a couple of wheels to build, but this weather in SoCal has been so nice lately I haven't had any "project" time. I've built hundreds of wheels, but none lately (probably been two years or more).
That's what I miss about living in St. Louis (knew there had to be something), i.e. all that cold winter down time when projects got done!
I generally use the DT spoke calculator (online at DT swiss) but in the case of these wheels, the data is not in the tables.............ok, use manual input. The ERD is printed on the rim and my experience is that the older LX hubs follow the Shimano standard model for 100mm fronts and 135mm rears. (this latter is changing at a faster and faster rate as new style hubs are entering the market)
The spokes will be either DT or Wheelsmith. Where to buy is always a good question. Different shops seem to have different spokes available at certain times of the season. Again, experience tells me that spokes of the exact length, color and style that I want are more likely to be available from now to late spring as the new stock comes in. Later in the season, availability becomes more spotty as inventories are depleated. The second part of spoke buying is......can I get them in the quantities that I want. It is unlikely that I will want to buy a box of 100 253mm spokes when I will probably be using them for one radially spoked front MTB wheel with no forseeable follow on in that size. Ideally I'd like to be able to buy 34 spokes at the best price possible. Life is a balancing act...... At the present time, JensonUSA, Alfred E Bike, Cambraia and Excel sports are all selling some spokes of different flavors. Performance has none but that sometimes changes in the spring. There may be odd lots on Ebay and if all else fails, they can probably be ordered (that is far from the least expensive option).
I will probably build a radially spokes front wheel and a 3 cross rear using double butted spokes. Depending on what is available I can be moved up to straight guage or over to DT revolutions. I would prefer that the whole wheel be black this time (OCP strikes again). Maxx's madd wheels tend to be a compromise between performance and the necessary strength for a largeish sort of rider (bows head and stares at floor for a while here). They are built of lightweight components but with 32 spokes, spoke washers and as much tension as I believe the rim can withstand. What I can build for myself may be different from what could be sold as if I suffer a rim failure, there is no liability.............I just learn a lesson and do it differently next time.
I'll post pictures at various stages of the wheel build for their entertainment value. (there are things that happen during a build that no wheelbuilder would ever want you to see......spokes that look like spaghetti untill tension is applied)
For Louis and others, ordered the spokes today from Cambraia Bikes. Calculated from the DT Swiss Spoke calculator using Shimano standard hub dimensions (careful here, a lot of modern hubs are deviating from what were the old standards) and the ERD printed on the rim.
32 252mm 2.0/1.8 double butted spokes for a radial spoked front wheel. (yes I know that the hub isn't rated for that by Shimano)
16 each 262 and 263 mm 2.0/1.8 double butted spokes for a 3 cross rear.
50 2.0/12mm nipples for the front and non drive side of the rear. ( I have more than enough brass nipples in the spoke kit box for the drive side rear)
I also have enough spoke washers for one more pair of wheels, then I have to restock.
So there we have it, the Dormouse (White) will get its black wheels to start the project back up.
These will be 25" light weight rim brake wheels for what is still destined to be a light weight dirt road "roadie" even though the frame is MTB. The mating tires will be Kenda Kosmic Light II with minimal semislick tread. Down the road I may try some inverted tread slick "road" style tires.
Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
Originally Posted by maddmaxx
Where to buy is always a good question.
The last few times that I had to buy spokes I got them from Wheelbuilder.com. I have contacts that make it possible for me to buy spokes at wholesale prices but then I also have to buy in wholesale quantities. He has always sold me the exact number of spokes that I needed which usually turns out to be cheaper. Service has been prompt too.
It was the best of times...........it was the worst of times, a tale of two wheels.
Bottom of the barrel budget wheels can be a real pain. This is the first set of wheels ever that I did not use Mavic rims. The Mavics that I normally use cost almost as much per rim as all of the materials for this wheel set. The front wheel was a radial, it trued up beautifully and the average tension between the 2 sides was measured in less than 1Kgf. All spokes within 6% of the average.
3 days later, the rear wheel (a 3 cross standard wheel) is finally within the specs recomended by Park Tools for tension and is barely true. It still has about a 1mm hop although it is true from side to side. The hop is obviously in the rim as the tensions on the non drive side spokes are getting dangerously low in that area. Nothing more to be done for it. This wheel is old before its time.
For novice wheelbuilders, this would be the wheel from the hot place..........without a tension guage and some educated guess work on where to tighten (someplace other than the obvious) this wheel probably would not be buildable (or would just be awful).
I guess that the moral is........buy quality, buy quality, buy quality or at least don't be surprised if a wheel that looks like it might have been dropped behaves as if it's been dropped.