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Old 05-26-09, 09:51 PM
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Bikes: '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '98 Fuji Touring w/ Shimano Nexus premium, '06 Jamis Nova 853 cross frame set up as commuter, '03 Fuji Roubaix Pro 853 back up training bike

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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
Hi all,

I keep reading threads where people have wheels that keep true for many thousands of miles. I was wondering if I can get the same effect if I true a stock wheel to within 0.5mm and properly stress test etc. or does this phenomenon only occur on hand built wheels?

Also how much of a jump is it to go from truing wheels to building them?


There's nothing magical about hand-built wheels. If they invented a cheap machine that would lube nipples, lace a hub and install nipples, I'm sure many builders would buy it. It's the steps builders take following this that often lead to a hand-built wheel lasting a long time.
In some ways, it's easier to build a wheel than to properly true an existing wheel. When you build a wheel from scratch, you know its history, you know the steps that have gone into it, you know how the components were measured, etc. When you true an existing wheel of unknown build, it's like trying to understand a movie when you walk into it half-way through.
The jump from truing to building mostly involves measuring and choosing components, lacing is very minor. The main steps in building integrate the three processes of creating lateral true, creating radial true, and gradually building correct and even tension. Weaving these three together present the main challenge in building. None of these is accomplished in one step, or one single round. When you are working on one factor, you have to keep in mind how it will change the other two.
If you can true a wheel, and you have paid attention and learned what really happened when you turned the wrench, then you can build a wheel.
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