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Wheelbuilding Instruction?

Old 04-24-05, 12:11 AM
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Wheelbuilding Instruction?

Can anyone guide me to any good websites about wheelbuilding??

I'd like to learn but can't manage to move to another state and attend one of those professional mechanic schools!
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Old 04-24-05, 12:48 AM
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I never went to a school either, this is how I do it, I also use spoke prep, that is not in the instructions. Also, get a truing stand, even a cheap one makes the job easier and improves odds of a good outcome, look at the Minoura stands, good for the $$, and they have a dish indicator. Get the books to. The Bicycle Wheel, Brandt The Art of Wheel Building, Schraner

THE CHUCK METHOD:
I set the hub and rim so the labels read how I want them to, then I insert my first inside spoke to the right of the valve hole. I recheck that all the labels are how I want them then lace the rest of the inside spoke for that side.
Turn the wheel over. Now I am working to the left of the spoke hole, next to the first inserted spoke. I look down through the hub and insert my next inside spoke in the hole just to the left (opposite flange) of the first inserted spoke. Then do the rest.
Leaving the wheel in the same postion, drop the outside spokes through the lower flange and twist the hub clockwise (looking from above) Do your cross, looping under the last spoke and insert the spoke into the next hole to the left of the two already inserted. Don't worry about starting next to the valve hole now, just cross three, or two, or whatever and insert into the next hole to the left.
Flip the wheel over, you are now on the side you started on. Drop the outside spokes through the lower flange and then cross them going to the last open hole in the rim.
Set all of the nipples so they are level with the top of the threads. I just rest my finger nail against the threads and spin the nipple in until it touches. Sometimes this requires a little leeway. If they start getting tight before you get halfway around the rim, loosen all the tightened ones a full turn, then continue around leaving a little thread showing. The idea is to get the starting position as equal as possible.
Take your nipple driver or a round screwdriver and go between each crossing pair pulling down towards the hub. This helps align the spokes and takes out some of the spring making the truing easier.
Starting at the valve hole, tighten each nipple a half to a full turn, depending on how tight the spokes are to start with. Do this as many times as you need to get some (not a lot) tension in the wheel. When you turn the nipples keep them square to the rim, it makes it a lot easier to keep track of the amount you have turned them rather than having them all askew.
Now the wheel should be pretty round and true, unless you are using a beat rim(In which case you need to slap yourself and go get a new rim)
Check for true, adjust(working in pairs) and check a couple of times. Then go all the way around the wheel turning each nipple a quarter turn. (The square to the rim thing comes in real handy now) Check true again. Do this a couple of times to build a little tension into the wheel.
Now check for round, hopefully the wheel is not finish tension yet (That means don't get carried away with the previous step) If the wheel is out(It will be) pull the hop in by tightening spokes in pairs. If it is a long hop you can tighten up to four spokes. You will need to tighten them between a half and a full turn to make a noticeable change (Unless the hop is very minor) Spin the wheel, check and repeat. You may have a little hop at the seam, don't worry about it to much, this is a real stiff point and often you cannot get it perfect here.
Now you start stress relieving. I do it by holding the wheel like a steering wheel, pulling it up against my forearms and bracing it against my stomach. Once in this position pull towards your head with your hands. You are flexing the part of the rim you are holding against you forearms and stomach. Do this every couple of spokes all the way around the wheel. NOT TO HARD You will hear/feel the spokes ping.
Now go back to trueing for a turn or two continuing to up your tension a quarter turn all the way around, then back to checking round.
Soon you should be up to finish tension and the wheel should be round and pretty true. At this point you can turn the nipples less than a quarter turn or even turn only one (GASP) if you need to nudge the rim just a tiny little bit. Don't forget to stress relieve a bunch at this point, do it every couple of corrections

This the way of doing wheels I have developed, the books say a little different, but I find this method to build a good solid wheel with out a bunch of time screwing around. The only problem is that it is very easy to make a mistake when lacing if you do not pay attention. It won't show until you start getting the wheel tight. So be careful
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Old 04-24-05, 01:40 PM
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I do it the same way Rev Chuck does it. Sheldon Brown has a good article too. I'd suggest starting with a basic three cross 36 spoke wheel and use straight guage spokes. More spokes make it easier to true, and straight guage spokes are WAY easier to tension properly than butted spokes. Butted spokes twist with the nipples very easily and every time you stress relieve they untwist and undo your truing efforts.
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Old 04-24-05, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed
Butted spokes twist with the nipples very easily and every time you stress relieve they untwist and undo your truing efforts.
really? I've never built with straight gauges, only butted. maybe that's why it takes me 2+ hours fore even a dishless wheel...
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Old 04-24-05, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
really? I've never built with straight gauges, only butted. maybe that's why it takes me 2+ hours fore even a dishless wheel...
Try a set of straight guage spokes on a project bike and see. Butted spokes always seem to "ping" more when I'm stress relieving. Here's what Brandt has to say: "[Straight guage spokes'] resistance to twist makes them easier to adjust than swaged spokes, and their greater stiffness reduces elastic interactions between spokes simplifying truing."
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Old 04-25-05, 05:41 AM
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Purchase "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt. Its the book that will teach you how to do it. www.sheldonbrown.com is great too.
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Old 04-30-05, 12:00 AM
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I just ordered 2 books from Nashbar, the Jobst Brandt book "The Bicycle Wheel" and the other book "The Art of Wheelbuilding".

I still need to save up money to get everything before I can build my first set though. I read somewhere that DT Swiss spokes are the best on the market... are they? (I saw your reply to the other thread about wheelbuilding)...

Anyway... will it be necessary to buy a spoke tension meter and the wheel dishing gauge?

And should I buy a good set of spoke wrenches?

What other equipment will I need to build my first set of wheels?

I'm hoping to set myself up with a good knowledge of wheelbuilding so I won't have to go to a bike shop every time my wheels get out of true (I'm a heavy dude).




Originally Posted by NJWheelBuilder
Do something real simple for the first wheel. The 105 hub is good. Go for a 32 spoke count. Consider DT Swiss Competition (double butted) or DT Swiss Champion spokes. The Champions will be slightly easier to build (and cheaper) but you'll be happier with the Competition's. For a rim, I suggest going with a Mavic Open Pro rim. They aren't the cheapest, but they are a piece of cake to build with.


Originally Posted by NJWheelBuilder
Purchase "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt. Its the book that will teach you how to do it. www.sheldonbrown.com is great too.
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Old 04-30-05, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ultra-g
I just ordered 2 books from Nashbar, the Jobst Brandt book "The Bicycle Wheel" and the other book "The Art of Wheelbuilding".

I still need to save up money to get everything before I can build my first set though. I read somewhere that DT Swiss spokes are the best on the market... are they? (I saw your reply to the other thread about wheelbuilding)...
If you can tell the difference between equivalent DT and Sapim while riding, you're more discerning than I.

Originally Posted by ultra-g
Anyway... will it be necessary to buy a spoke tension meter and the wheel dishing gauge?
No, but if you were to choose one get the dishing guage.
Originally Posted by ultra-g
And should I buy a good set of spoke wrenches?
Yes.

Originally Posted by ultra-g
What other equipment will I need to build my first set of wheels?
A truing stand, while not absolutely necessary is very useful.
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Old 04-30-05, 09:26 AM
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see if you can find the Pedros spoke wrench, best one out there imo. you dont need a tensiometer, its only worth it if your really going to pursue. Truing stands i would say are almost necessary, they make life so much easier and for 30 bucks you can pick up a spin doctor. This can act as a dishing guage too
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