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Old 05-27-09, 08:57 AM
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mrrabbit 
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Bikes: 2001 Tommasini Sintesi w/ Campagnolo Daytona 10 Speed

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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
How much do wheel building machines cost, anyway? And do they lube the nipples or anything? If not, why not?

First for the OP:

Search for threads by me a few weeks back - I detail exactly how to turn a machine built wheel into a decent wheel. It was a thread in which the OP was looking to buy a front wheel online.


Regarding wheel building machines...

I've received catalogs in the past for machines that in US dollars run 20,000 bucks. They are computer controlled, use a combination driver and wrench - driver as a guide for placement of the wrench. And they utilized a built-in torque measurement system. (This way they don't have to use short spokes - most wheels you see nowadays use long nipples to hide the fact that the spokes are too short - those nipples will eventually break just like under-tensioned spokes will eventually break at the heads.)

So the question basically is, how come they can't put out a quality wheel? Actually they can....BUT...the owner just turns around and uses the improved wheel building machine technologies to build even more wheels in the same amount of time. Greed for quantity rules the day...sad but true.

If you were to lube the nipple seats before inserting the wheels...and replace the wheels several times to squeeze the spokes...and then do a final touch up and squeeze...you can get a pretty good wheel in 15 minutes.

The above actually does happen - but only for very high end wheels per the requesting companies request to the OEM. I.e, don't expect it for bikes under the $1500.00 - 2000.00 price tag range...not suggested retail...but what would be considered "normal" retail. Think a Cervelo with Dura Ace or a Tommasini with Chorus to get that benefit.

=8-)
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