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  1. #1
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    Put 32 Spokes on to a 36 holes 3 Speed hub

    I want to convert my single speed Raleigh Rush Hour FB to a 3 Speed internal hub.

    The stock rim is 32H, and the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub are all 36H.
    Instead spend another $80 on a new rim, can I put 32 spokes on that SA 3 speed hub ?
    By skipping 4 spokes, I will do 8 spokes then leave one hole space then another 8 spokes ......so on. Will that work? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    All evidence says no.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm always surprised at how often this question comes up.

    I've no doubt it can be done but I don't know how to calculate the spoke lengths. Why don't you do it right the first time and be done with it? That's what I would do.

    Have you given any thought to how you're going to run the shift cable?

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    Thanks for the reply, spoke lengths has nothing to do with the 32H or 36H, right? Shift cable will go under the top tube.

    Sounds like someone has done that, since this topic has came up before, the wheel aren't gonna collapsed on me, right? I am only 170lb.

    I will lace up the wheel later this week.

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    Oh, I see what you mean, when you cross one hole, the lengths of the spoke needs to be longer, can I get a longer spoke and cut it down?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolmingli View Post
    Shift cable will go under the top tube.
    What are you using for cable stops?

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    I don't even know I need cable stops, I was told to hook the shift cable to the little chain coming out of the right end of the hub axle then I am good to go.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolmingli View Post
    I don't even know I need cable stops, I was told to hook the shift cable to the little chain coming out of the right end of the hub axle then I am good to go.
    The devil is in the details. You have to have a stable place for the cable to pull from. That's usually done by running a cable housing from the shifter on the handlebar to a cable stop somewhere in a straight line from the axle end.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolmingli View Post
    Oh, I see what you mean, when you cross one hole, the lengths of the spoke needs to be longer, can I get a longer spoke and cut it down?
    You can, but you will need to re-thread the spoke after you cut it down. IIRC the last time someone did an odd hub to rim combo it took 3 different sizes of spokes.

    Here is an article with the required math formulas for calculating spoke length. While you are at it I would read the primer on wheel building.

    I have built many wheels over the years, never bothered to use an unequal rim and hub combo, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should...

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  10. #10
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    Instead spend another $80 on a new rim, can I put 32 spokes on that SA 3 speed hub ?
    this including $32 for spokes?, and labor? sounds like a deal..

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I have built many wheels over the years, never bothered to use an unequal rim and hub combo, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should...
    That's what I think too.

    Building a wheel is a fair amount of work. Going through the gymnastics to lace a mismatched hub and rim would be even more so. If I'm going through that much effort, I want to produce a reliable end product that I can be proud of.

  12. #12
    Sputnik - beep beep beep Wake's Avatar
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    The rim's spoke holes are not centered - they alternate left and right of center. When you "skip" a spoke, you'll mess this up so spokes will be pulling to the left from a hole that's aimed to the right. This is just a bad idea all around, so to speak.

  13. #13
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    I ordered a blue Velocity MSW wheel 36H for $133, that is a built wheel, I have to ship them the SA 3 speed hub, I think it is a very good deal.
    After I get the wheel back, I will ask my LBS to install it for me, I think this project is too much for a novice, I will report back after it's all done, maybe upload some pictures.
    Now, will I have problems running a 32H wheel in the front and 36H wheel in the rear?
    Thanks guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    The rim's spoke holes are not centered - they alternate left and right of center.
    Depends on the rim. Some aerodynamic rims (Kinlin XR-300) are center drilled.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolmingli View Post
    Now, will I have problems running a 32H wheel in the front and 36H wheel in the rear?
    Absolutely not.

    Frankly, I think that's a good decision. I'm still wondering about the shift cable routing.

  16. #16
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolmingli View Post
    Now, will I have problems running a 32H wheel in the front and 36H wheel in the rear?
    Thanks guys!
    Let me know if you do...my 39 year old Raleigh Superbe has 40h rear and 32h in the front...came from the factory that way Running lower count wheels in the front is commonplace, the rear wheel takes the most weight as well a sizable amount of abuse being the drive wheel.

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    This should come out very nice. The Rush Hour is a very nice bike. I hope the OP post pictures of the completed project.

  18. #18
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    This is redundant now, but cutting down spoke lengths is not that simple. The threads are not created with a die, but have to be rolled in a special spoke threading machine. Usually, it's easier and cheaper for occasional wheelbuilds to get the correct spokes from an LBS.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  19. #19
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    "Shift cable will go under the top tube."

    You may have better luck by running cable housing under the down tube and securing it with zip ties.

  20. #20
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolmingli View Post
    I want to convert my single speed Raleigh Rush Hour FB to a 3 Speed internal hub.

    The stock rim is 32H, and the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub are all 36H.
    Instead spend another $80 on a new rim, can I put 32 spokes on that SA 3 speed hub ?
    By skipping 4 spokes, I will do 8 spokes then leave one hole space then another 8 spokes ......so on. Will that work? Thanks
    Do it right. Get a 36 hole rim.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  21. #21
    Vietnamtreker victorphung's Avatar
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    _DSC0905.jpg
    I did it some time and it works fine. You have to have three deferent length of spoke
    16 standard spokes
    8 longer spokes. Usualy 2mm longer than the standard one. These spokes will be lay next to the "keeping hole".
    8 shorter spokes. about 2mm shorter than the standard spokes. and these spokes will be lay next to the longer ones.

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