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Old 05-27-09, 06:57 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

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Originally Posted by Garthr View Post
It depends on the all the components of the wheel really. Can you go back properly stress a machine built wheel that wasn't built well to start with? I don't know ..... but it sounds like a can of worms for a novice.
For the novice, every thing about wheel building is a can of worms but it can be learned. Jobst Brandt's or another good book on wheelbuilding is a very good starting point.

One way to get hands-on experience is to buy cheap machine built wheels or, better, get them off of a thrift-shop bike. Take them apart and rebuild them as that will take you through all of the assembly, truing and tensioning steps at low cost and with little liability. You could use your bike frame and brake pads as a makeshift truing stand so your only investment would be a spoke wrench. The knowledge you gain will allow you to properly maintain your good wheels if they need attention.

As Retro Grouch, I and others have stated repeatedly, you can buy good quality, preassembled, complete wheels for less money than you can buy the components, even if you already have the hubs. And "machine made" wheels from a good source like Colorado Cyclist will be hand finished and properly trued and tensioned needing no further work. I have over 10,000 miles on a set of CC's wheels and they have needed no truing attention whatsoever.

So, the only reason for building wheels from scratch is the love of the process and the satisfaction it can bring. The pure economics don't support it.
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