Here's a question -- what size spoke wrench am I going to need, assuming that this bike has its original spokes/nipples?
I just built up my first wheel, so I guess we'll find out if this can be tackled by a n00b or not. I just laced an old, Sachs Torpedo hub into a new rim. I'll either finally have 3 speeds back on my Tote/Cycle, or I'll have a moderately expensive mess.
I'm probably going to build a new front wheel but I'm having trouble finding suitable rims in the UK with low spoke counts, plus I'm not sure what hub to use. . . there's the Shimano Capreo with 24 spoke holes, but it appears to be quite heavy at 245g.
I'm too lazy to look it up, but I do seem to recall Sheldon Brown discussing spoke count and saying that when you tried to go to a lower spoke count, you often did not get to reduce the actual weight of your tire by much, if anything, because the low spoke hubs had to be a little beefier to support the additional stress you get at the spoke holes when all the stress of the wheel is spread around fewer parts of the hub flange. Or something like that. The idea being that low spoke hubs may indeed run a little heavier than higher spoke hubs. Sheldon's conclusion was that you might as well go for a sturdier, higher spoked wheel. For my part, my newly built, 3 speed wheel has taken its first, short ride and seems to be doing fine. I hope to take a tensionometer to it tomorrow and see how that looks (I just did it by feel and by trying to turn all the spokes evenly as I put it together), but first impression is that it rides very well, and it seemed to true up fine, too, so we'll see. This is my first wheel, and if it goes well, I have several more I'd like to build -- an 8-speed hub for my other bike and a generator hub for both bikes.
The thing about replacing the hub is that there's nothing wrong with my hub. Since it's a Sturmey-Archer internal gear hub I'd like to just move a new rim onto the old hub if I can, instead of trying to find a replacement.
Or I would probably pick up a bag of spoke nipples because in my experience, it's hard to keep track of every single nipple. Then you'll know what size nipples you have. What I would actually do, if it were me, is, once I had the rim, get a whole new set of spokes and nipples sized for that rim. Not all rims take the same size spoke on the same size hub, so you either need to plan on getting new spokes or you need to make sure your new rim is close enough to the size of your old rim.