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  1. #1
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    I have heard people talking about countless hours they have spent building their first wheels and some mere minutes. Im planning on building a wheel this winter when i have some more time available, but i want to do it right the first time. I already true my own wheels, so i understand that much.

    Ive read over most of the stuff out on the web (including sheldons)

    I would appreciate any good general tips, stories, things to look out for like, crappy spokes, nipples etc...

    what books/resources did you use?

  2. #2
    Iguana Subsystem dolface's Avatar
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    i used the guide on sheldon's site (i have the jobst brandt book, read parts of it, and ended up not using it while i was building).

    the one thing that i had a hard time with on my first build was a rim that wasn't even close to round; it took a long time (and having to un-tighten every spoke when the tension got to high, and then start working on getting it round again) to get it dialed in.

    also, i bought a tensionometer, which was a HUGE help. lemme know if you want to borrow it.

  3. #3
    Shiftless bum cavit8's Avatar
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    I'd recommend a tensiometer as well. I like Gerd Schraner's book. There's a few physics related errors, but it provides a solid schema for building. It also includes a section on tying which I'm going to try as soon as I have some time to do it. Something I find a big help is a jeweller's screwdriver. I like them for threading on the nipples.
    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    truneo that tuned park internal nipple wrench work ??

  4. #4
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Use brass nipples. You'll have trouble finding different colors, but they'll just last a helluva lot longer. Don't forget to use spoke prep (I dipped them in a tuna can that I poured some motor oil in). Take your time, and check your work as you go along. When you're first putting it together, just get the nipples itght enough to hold the spokes. When it's all together, tighten them up until you can't see threads anymore. Then start truing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  5. #5
    hang up your boots ostro's Avatar
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    I will be buying a tensionmeter, i am sure you know the feeling. (gotta have all the tools)

    arent your supposed to use linseed oil?

  6. #6
    Senior Member alcahueteria's Avatar
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    stress the spokes as you go...true, bring up tension, stress then true again, and on and on.
    I definitely agree on the brass nipples. I have seen aluminum crap out WAY too much. I have torn a couple when truing wheels, and I have seen a wheel with half aluminum and half brass because the ****ty aluminum ones keep having to be replaced.

  7. #7
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    Here's another vote for the tensiometer. It let's you see how much difference a quarter or half turn makes and it is easy to get the tension even throughout the wheel... I got the Parks. There is good background info in both Brandt's book and Schraner's. I used Schraners method for lacing the spokes on the first wheel and Sheldon Brown's on the second. I will use the Brown method from now on... it's a lot easier. Brandt's explanation of stress relieving was easier for me to understand. The best advice was to SET IT DOWN when you get frustrated and try it again later.

    Dogbait

  8. #8
    Spawn of Satan
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    This forum convinced me to build my own wheels. I learned from the Barnetts manual you used to be able to download from the Maintenence forum (why did that go away??). I have a hard copy but I have lost the pdf files. I don't think it is the best reference for wheel building but it was free!!

    I have only built 8-10 sets and, I am no expert, but building your own wheels is the only way to go. I don't think I will by another set, ever!

    I use a Park tesionometer and I also use the free computer software for tension balancing. I think this is the part that takes some time but is well worth the effort.

    I usually set aside a boring Saturday/Sunday and get it done . For one rear fixed wheel, I usually get it done in two sittings and it takes me about 4-5 hours total. I am not fast but I am very happy with my results.

    When I get to a point where I can' t seem to get it just right no matter what I do, I let the wheel sit for an hour or two then come back to it. I usaully come up with new solution and things work out.

    Get a dry erase pen (the kind for those white boards). These work great for writing tensions and other reference markings. They also come off the rim easy!

  9. #9
    legalize bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    I will be buying a tensionmeter, i am sure you know the feeling. (gotta have all the tools)

    arent your supposed to use linseed oil?
    linseed oil is just one of many methods of preparing spokes. heres a few others:

    wheelsmith spokeprep (essentially synthetic linseed)
    DT spokefreeze (actually a threadlocker used after the wheel is built, used in conjunction with triflow)
    phil wood tenacious oil
    motor oil
    bearing grease

    any others i missed?

    a couple notes for the building process, i like to put a drop of triflow between the rim and nipple, makes the final tensioning much smoother. also, stress relieving and unwinding are very important, as is a tensiometer and equal spoke tensions (+/-)

    and beware that after you build your first wheel you WILL be looking for reasons to build more!

  10. #10
    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostro
    I will be buying a tensionmeter, i am sure you know the feeling. (gotta have all the tools)

    arent your supposed to use linseed oil?
    Schraner's book is great!
    Go with Sapim spokes! Freewheel has them and they swear by them..
    Wheelsmith are okay too I hear.
    Supposedly DTs are sucking now because they started making the elbow section longer to make it easier for machines to build, this causes failure at the elbows. Not sure if it is true, but better safe than sorry.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

  11. #11
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I used *** oil on the threads and the nipple base. One more vote for stressing the spokes everytime you tension.

    This may be a little off topic but I have a pdf version of the Brandt book that was up on thier site for a while. If anyone wants it I'll put it up on the ftp.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  12. #12
    Obeying Gravity
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    I just built my first wheel last night for my conversion. I used Sheldon's instructions are they were pretty good. It probable took me 2 hours and I still have a little truing to do after school. I thought it was going to be a lot harder, but it was pretty easy. It's easy if you know how to true a wheel, if not I assume it would be a bit harder.

    Matt

  13. #13
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal
    I used *** oil on the threads and the nipple base. One more vote for stressing the spokes everytime you tension.

    This may be a little off topic but I have a pdf version of the Brandt book that was up on thier site for a while. If anyone wants it I'll put it up on the ftp.

    Correction. I have the Barnetts manual fifth ed.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  14. #14
    Shiftless bum cavit8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captsven
    This forum convinced me to build my own wheels. I learned from the Barnetts manual you used to be able to download from the Maintenence forum (why did that go away??). I have a hard copy but I have lost the pdf files. I don't think it is the best reference for wheel building but it was free!!
    This one? http://www.bbinstitute.com/BM5%20chap%2017.pdf
    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    truneo that tuned park internal nipple wrench work ??

  15. #15
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Yup but the one I have is all the chapters in one file. Around 850 pages.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  16. #16
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    I use a q-tip with grease on it to grease the eyelets where they meet the nipple. Butted spokes will give you a stronger wheel, but they're also pretty seriously prone to spoke wind-up which can make that final touch-up truing difficult. If you go that route, you can make it easier on yourself by holding the spoke wire between you fingertips to get a feel for how much you need to overshoot and back off.

  17. #17
    dead mileage techone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize_it
    linseed oil is just one of many methods of preparing spokes. heres a few others:

    wheelsmith spokeprep (essentially synthetic linseed)
    DT spokefreeze (actually a threadlocker used after the wheel is built, used in conjunction with triflow)
    phil wood tenacious oil
    motor oil
    bearing grease

    any others i missed?
    Beeswax is great for spoke prep as well.
    un por ciento...

  18. #18
    Iguana Subsystem dolface's Avatar
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    oh, also, i was very happy to have a dishing guage

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