Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-26-10, 10:06 AM   #1
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wheel building

I've been tinkering more than usual with my Dahon bike and enjoying the process. I have a 28 hole Kinetix Pro rim that would match my sturmey archer hub and I'm debating whether now's the time to learn to do this. . . I've watched youtube videos on the subject and it doesn't strike me as particularly complex. . . but there's always the worry that somehow I'll goof something and cause some damage to the parts. What ought I be wary of? . . obviously there's the whole spoke length thing to figure out. . . and given that the hub is currently attached to a different rim it's not straight-forward to measure. But that's no big deal. . . should I just jump in there and do it?

Oh, forgot to add, I was thinking of buying this which looks primitive but adequate as far as I can tell:
http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=T3175

Edit: on second thoughts that doesn't look appropriate for a 74mm hub so whilst it'd be OK for the wheel I want to build it'd require the use of spacers of some sort/might not work for a Dahon front hub.

Last edited by chagzuki; 09-26-10 at 10:11 AM.
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 10:18 AM   #2
SesameCrunch
Eschew Obfuscation
 
SesameCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: 2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I learned to build wheels by following the online videos. Have built at least 6 or 7 wheels now. I'm still alive to tell about it. Really, it's all logic and common sense, not rocket science. With a little patience and time, you'll get there, I'm sure. It's fun, too.

I have not built wheels for my go-fast roadie bikes yet, though. Those super-light wheels are ridden under more strenuous conditions, and I don't want to take any chances with them...
__________________
SesameCrunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 10:21 AM   #3
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you think it's realistic to expect to get it right 'enough' (whatever that is) first time, or perhaps a practice run is recommended?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 10:54 AM   #4
SesameCrunch
Eschew Obfuscation
 
SesameCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: 2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
IMHO, it depends on what your first application is. if it's for a high spoke count small diameter wheel, for low speed riding, then our margin for error is higher. That would be a good candidate for a first build.
__________________
SesameCrunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 11:11 AM   #5
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was reading on the Sheldon Brown website that he'd filed a cross head screwdriver down to make a flat screwdriver with a point in the center. . . I was hoping I could buy something like this ready made but I can't see any such product. . . ?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 12:03 PM   #6
Abneycat
Hooligan
 
Abneycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Base of the Rocky Mountains, Canada. Wonderous things!
Bikes: 2010 Cannondale Hooligan 3
Posts: 1,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is the professional equivalent of what you are looking for, its an offset driver where the handle and head spin independent of each other:

http://www.bicycletool.com/nippledrivershort.aspx

This tool is extremely useful. As opposed to constantly twisting and twisting with a regular screwdriver, moving your hand in a circular fashion allows this tool to thread a nipple onto a spoke very quickly, and while neither this tool nor the modded screwdriver are really appropriate for building a wheel up to tension, it will do an extremely good job of getting the spoke nipples on and threaded down to the point where your regular spoke wrenches will take over.

I highly recommend having this tool if you are planning on building wheels more than once or twice. It isn't a necessary purchase if you're only planning on trying this out casually, but it saves a lot of time per build.

I also highly recommend purchasing a short one like the above tool, unless you are working with very deep section rims. The short version is easier to guide a nipple in with, you can hold the driver with one hand and one finger on the spoke nipple easily, whereas the longer version is more awkward. Purchase a longer one only if you are looking to work with deep, deep rims. I have a short one by bicycle research, and a long one by Park Tool, and the short one gets 95% of my attention.

Wheel building isn't the easiest task you'll ever undertake, but it can be completed on your first try if you are attentive and properly prepared. Take the time to carefully measure everything, ensure you have 100% properly fitting spoke wrenches, and double - triple check everything.

Sheldon Brown's resources are pretty good. I've usually given people a printout of it along with some one on one instruction, and their first wheels usually come out alright. Don't expect to make a perfectly smooth, perfectly even wheel on the first tries, but decent wheels can be attained.

Last edited by Abneycat; 09-26-10 at 12:09 PM.
Abneycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 01:03 PM   #7
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was hoping I could get more done from the screw side of the nipple as in my limited experience it's too easy to round nipples off. Maybe that's as a result of fiddling with wheels where parts have seized over a long time. I was under the impression that once the spoke tension is high enough it takes a fair amount of force to tighten. . . is there a way to avoid nipples rounding (I've used a regular cheap spoke tool in the past)?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 02:24 PM   #8
Abneycat
Hooligan
 
Abneycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Base of the Rocky Mountains, Canada. Wonderous things!
Bikes: 2010 Cannondale Hooligan 3
Posts: 1,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Use the most precise fitting spoke wrench you can find. An extremely small difference in precision actually means an extremely large difference in how easy it is to strip a spoke nipple. Make sure the tool seats firmly against the spoke nipple entirely before making any adjustments, and press the spoke wrench into the nipple as you turn it to keep the tool from sliding or only supporting the nipple partially. If you have a seized up wheel, you can try using a loosening compound to get things going again.

Also, when building, some types of wheels should be built using a light grease or heavier oil on the threads and spoke holes in the rim (general wheel building, this is fine), whereas other types of wheels come out better using some form of agent to prevent loosening like DT Swiss prolock nipples, Wheelsmith spoke prep, etc. (better for radial wheels, lower spoke count wheels, etc. You don't want radially laced wheels built with lubricant in the threads) - Actually, I prefer having good stuff like the aforementioned goods with any wheel, but it is with wheels that demand particularly high quality that you should really consider these kinds of things in particular.

It all depends on the application. Look at what kind of wheel you want to build, and consider your needs. But whatever the circumstances, trust me on finding the most precision spoke wrenches you can possibly get - again, a seemingly minuscule improvement in fit drastically improves how likely a spoke nipple will stay in shape when being turned.
Abneycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 03:17 PM   #9
chucky
It's got electrolytes!
 
chucky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes: Self-designed carbon fiber highracer, BikesDirect Kilo WT5, Pacific Cycles Carryme, Dahon Boardwalk with custom Sturmey Archer wheelset
Posts: 1,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
is there a way to avoid nipples rounding (I've used a regular cheap spoke tool in the past)?
Get a better spoke wrench. Two things to look for:
1. Good quality material/construction. It must be exactly the right size and it must be manufactured with precision.
2. Design. The best designs have a diamond shaped hole with a slot in one corner of the diamond. The spoke slips through the slot and then you slide the diamond up where it touches ALL FOUR sides of the nipple. This works 100x better than the cheap 2 or 3 sided designs.

I recommend the "Spokey" nipple wrench from DT swiss:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...le+Wrench.aspx
chucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 04:34 PM   #10
chagzuki
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes: Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
Posts: 1,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Aha, that makes sense.

As for type of wheel, well, it's a 20" rear wheel with 28H rim and hub, don't know what else to say. I'm a casual rider so my needs are fairly basic, I just happened to pick up a kinetix pro rim for a cheap price and it'd be nice to shed a bit of weight from my rear wheel and learn something in the process. Really, wheel building is the final piece of the puzzle for me in terms of feeling like I'm really in command of my means of transport; it'd be reassuring to know that should any problem come up I'd have the know-how to fix it myself.

So I guess the thing to do would be to ask the exact nipple size when ordering spokes and get a corresponding key?
chagzuki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 04:43 PM   #11
jur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,792
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use a Crank Brother Mini-19's spoke key - it has 4 sizes spoke slots and seems to fit very well, such that I have to push firmly to get the tool on.

Also, just get a few extra nipples in case you do round the odd one.

I started building with Sheldon Brown's guide.

There is also a free downloadable chapter from Barnett's Manual, the one on wheel building. Fanatics only.

I have lost count - between 10 and 20 wheels built, the latest one just last night in fact.
jur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 08:13 PM   #12
EM42
smallwheelsonly
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ca.
Bikes: SmallWheelOnly
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wheel building can be intimidating at first but go for it !.. like most i learned online via sheldon browns and youtube videos lol
don't forget check your local bike co-op they might already have all the necessary tools that you might need
and get some help as well from the volunteer mechanics the run them.

i snagged up a folder this thursday and relaced the steel rims with bmx alloy wheels and was riding it by friday


Last edited by EM42; 09-26-10 at 09:06 PM.
EM42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-10, 08:38 PM   #13
SesameCrunch
Eschew Obfuscation
 
SesameCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: 2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^^^^
stunningly beautiful bike!
__________________
SesameCrunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-10, 07:58 AM   #14
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 1972 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age. Also a 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer for indoor exercise.
Posts: 2,912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have built several wheels. I don't have any of the special tools to start the nipple threading, I just use my fingers and a good spoke wrench. Sheldon Brown site is exceptional for good instructions.

The last four wheels I built, I trued them on a stand that a friend owns, took 3.5 hours for all four. But otherwise I usually true them in the frame and use the brake pads as my truing guide. Takes longer in the frame to get it done well but it works out in the end.

I bring the rim and hub to the local bike shop where I buy the spokes and ask them to measure for and calculate spoke length. I currently am buying spokes for $30 for a 36 spoke wheel that are cut and threaded to length, it is hard to find a better price than that. But price varies a lot, I have seen $0.60 to $1.29 per spoke in the local stores.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 09-27-10 at 08:02 AM.
Tourist in MSN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-10, 01:35 PM   #15
yangmusa
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco, California
Bikes: Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada, Cruzbike Sofrider. Used to own: ICE B1, 2 F-frame Moultons, Koga Myata Elevation 2000 mtb, Challenge Hurricane, Riese & Mueller Birdy Silver, Actionbent Tidalwave 3
Posts: 534
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first wheel build was unusual - building a 36-hole Capreo hub into a 355 (18") rim with only 28-holes... My Birdy came with that weird setup, and I kept breaking spokes when using the bike for touring. I wanted to find a 36-hole rim to match the hub, but couldn't find anyone in the USA with such a rim in stock. Anyway, I followed Sheldon Brown's instructions and took my time - the wheel has been completely reliable. I've done more than 500 miles of fully loaded touring on that wheel now, and it's still completely true.
yangmusa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-10, 03:52 PM   #16
brakemeister 
New usename ThorUSA
 
brakemeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Southern Illinois USA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
chag send me your mailing address and I will send you a nice write up
about that screwdriver ..its good for lacing the wheel up but by all means not strong enough to tighten the spokes
I like the spokey ... but if you really spend that much for it make sure its the PRO model ... the Pro has 3 layers of steel in the bottom pretty close tolerances the regular spokey has ONE bigger piece which is ok as well for the occasional built but the PRO is much better.
I am out of stock at this time but will get the Pro version back in a month or so
Thor
__________________
www.thorusa.com
Dahon : Freedom Unfolds
Tern : all about the ride
brakemeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:22 PM.