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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-06-05, 07:01 PM   #1
ostro
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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?
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Old 11-06-05, 07:12 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-06-05, 07:26 PM   #3
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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.
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truneo that tuned park internal nipple wrench work ??
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Old 11-06-05, 07:36 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-06-05, 08:30 PM   #5
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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?
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Old 11-06-05, 09:06 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 11-06-05, 09:07 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 11-07-05, 07:16 AM   #8
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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!
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Old 11-07-05, 07:41 AM   #9
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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!
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Old 11-07-05, 08:44 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 11-07-05, 08:59 AM   #11
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I used gun 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.
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Old 11-07-05, 09:28 AM   #12
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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.

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Old 11-07-05, 10:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynikal
I used gun 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.
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Old 11-07-05, 01:28 PM   #14
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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
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Old 11-07-05, 01:40 PM   #15
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Yup but the one I have is all the chapters in one file. Around 850 pages.
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Old 11-07-05, 01:51 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 11-07-05, 02:03 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 11-07-05, 02:12 PM   #18
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oh, also, i was very happy to have a dishing guage
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