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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 12-16-06, 06:58 PM   #1
BRUCELEESDAD
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building wheels

im considering building wheels. anyone have any resourcces about that? is it hard/ expensive? will my wheels be better than ones i buy complete?
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Old 12-16-06, 07:02 PM   #2
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sheldonbrown.com

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Old 12-16-06, 07:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BRUCELEESDAD
will my wheels be better than ones i buy complete?

If you've never done it before, probably not.
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Old 12-16-06, 07:10 PM   #4
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my first wheel came out as good as any store bought one. when youre done take it to a shop and have them check the tension and true and it should be fine.
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Old 12-17-06, 05:13 PM   #5
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Take your time, and follow Sheldon's advice on www.sheldonbrown.com and you should be able to build one better than a machine built wheel. After building it you'll be a hell of a lot better at truing wheels. You'll feel like a bicycle mechanic ninja.
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Old 12-17-06, 06:24 PM   #6
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It ain't black magic. I've seen some really crappily built wheels hold up quite well. Suberbly built wheels will hold true through almost anything. Do it. Do it.
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Old 12-17-06, 06:29 PM   #7
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For me, the hardest part is figuring out which hole to start with so the spokes don't cross over the valve hole. After that its just a test of patience.
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Old 12-17-06, 06:34 PM   #8
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For me, the hardest part is figuring out which hole to start with so the spokes don't cross over the valve hole. After that its just a test of patience.
Same with me.....that's why I always reference Brandt's wheelbuilding book every time I build wheels which only happens once or twice a year at most ....
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Old 12-17-06, 06:51 PM   #9
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I built my first wheelset last winter and it isn't the big deal some make it out to be. Whatever resource you use make sure it has clear directions that make sense to you. I used Bicycling Magazine's maintenance book (you can get it at amazon). Take your time with it and they should come out fine. Mine are just under a year old and I just noticed that the front might need a slight adjustment. I consider that pretty good for my first shot. I highly recommend building your own. Even if you totally muck it up the experience is worthwhile. You just can't love store bought wheels like you do the ones you've built yourself.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:13 PM   #10
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everyone starts somewhere
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Old 12-17-06, 08:02 PM   #11
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I have built eight now, and even the first one is much better than a cheap machine-built wheel. I used Gerd Schraner's book to help me along for the first few, and I also used an existing wheel as a reference. The only thing I still have a problem with is getting the spoke lengths correct. The DT-Swiss spoke calculator has led me astray several times.
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Old 12-17-06, 10:10 PM   #12
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I built one up last march for my fixie...I was pretty amateur when I started and certainly coul have done with some more reading or teaching on the subject, but I'd still call it a resounding success. The wheel's still in pretty much perfect shape, and I'm a hell of a lot better at truing wheels. The one big piece of advice I'd have, though, is to learn which order to put the spokes on...it has something to do with opposite sides (cue: somebody else). I just put them on going clockwise around the rim, and it made the eventual tensioning a big pain.

If you're lucky, though, you can save a pile of cash over getting the store to build it for you (or buying it from a factory). Plus you get to custom-pick the rim, hub and spokes. And saving money equates to better hubs, rims and spokes.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:57 AM   #13
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I recommend building a rattlesnake wheel... drop an extra nipple in the rim so that it rattles constantly until you get up to speed.
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Old 12-18-06, 09:45 AM   #14
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Go for it. I promise that you can build a better wheel than any machine-built one. Not better than really outstanding handbuilt ones, but perfectly serviceable. The good thing is, you can true your wheel if it ever goes out of true.
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Old 12-18-06, 10:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmseattle
The DT-Swiss spoke calculator has led me astray several times.
I recommend spocalc. It has a much greater range of hubs and rims, and works very well.
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Old 12-18-06, 10:13 AM   #16
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"3 leading, 3 trailing" spoke pattern....do it
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Old 12-18-06, 10:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
I recommend building a rattlesnake wheel... drop an extra nipple in the rim so that it rattles constantly until you get up to speed.
sounds exotic...
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Old 12-19-06, 07:51 AM   #18
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If you can follow directions and have a modicum of patience and spatial relations skills, then all you really need is Sheldon Brown's page on building. It's a lot of fun and hyper-satisfying. Get your supplies from the LBS and ask for any pointers and you're golden. Have fun!
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Old 12-19-06, 01:08 PM   #19
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I recommend building a rattlesnake wheel... drop an extra nipple in the rim so that it rattles constantly until you get up to speed.
sounds erotic.
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