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How much should a wheel build cost?

Old 09-03-18, 02:51 PM
  #1  
GromitDog
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How much should a wheel build cost?

Want to re-use the hub, was quoted $1.00 per spoke 14ga straight ss, .15 per nipple, $60 build labor plus cost of rim. Seem fair?
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Old 09-03-18, 03:04 PM
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yes. i would also overhaul the hub to make sure it is worth building
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Old 09-03-18, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GromitDog View Post
Want to re-use the hub, was quoted $1.00 per spoke 14ga straight ss, .15 per nipple, $60 build labor plus cost of rim. Seem fair?
Those prices seem reasonable for a rebuild but have you priced a complete new wheel with similar quality components? Unless your current hub is a very expensive boutique model, you might get an entire wheel for less than or equal to just the cost of the rebuild.
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Old 09-03-18, 05:38 PM
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Orrr lace it yourself and give it to them for a truing job
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Old 09-03-18, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Reeses View Post
Orrr lace it yourself and give it to them for a truing job
once you laced the wheel inc. calculating spoke length etc., you sure can tackle wheel truing.
Spend $12 on the book and even I can build one (source, I could)

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 09-03-18 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-03-18, 06:54 PM
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95 can usually net a new wheel only needing tape tube tire & rotor. 150 seems the break point of fair to good for quality.
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Old 09-03-18, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
once you laced the wheel inc. calculating spoke length etc., you sure can tackle wheel truing.
Spend $12 on the book and even I can build one (source, I could)
The thing about that is the cost. All the specialty tools involved in truing a wheel would add up to 2-3 sets of wheels trued at a shop.
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Old 09-03-18, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Reeses View Post
The thing about that is the cost. All the specialty tools involved in truing a wheel would add up to 2-3 sets of wheels trued at a shop.
True if you only ever build one wheel. but truing is somewhat regular maintenance and it is time and cost effective to do that at home.
That book also contains a manual to DIY a truing stand and dishing tool.

As far as cost compared to a factory wheel, the advantage of hand-built wheels is you can buy the exact hardware you want and can re-use parts, like a good hub. I built a wheel (135mm rear with Deore hub and 32 DT Swiss double-butted spokes and rim) and wouldn't have been able to get the same type. Many factory wheels (even shimano) come in 28-spoke only and with no-name hub (even if shimano, it wouldn't have been Deore with all the seals). If you go to wheel builders, they often only offer Hope, CK, DT hubs etc. Probably not bad hubs, but the hubs alone cost more than my entire wheel.
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Old 09-04-18, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
True if you only ever build one wheel. but truing is somewhat regular maintenance and it is time and cost effective to do that at home.
That book also contains a manual to DIY a truing stand and dishing tool....
Absolutely. I've built several sets of wheels at home with tools made from an old bed frame and an old bike frame. Nice thing is if you ever have to pick up and move, recycle the metal and start again somewhere else.
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Old 09-04-18, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GromitDog View Post
Want to re-use the hub, was quoted $1.00 per spoke 14ga straight ss, .15 per nipple, $60 build labor plus cost of rim. Seem fair?
As mentioned above, first make sure the hub you have is good-to-go. Also, you didn't mention what spokes were being used. I'd make sure these guys are using quality,brand-name spokes, not some no-name generic stuff.
But, that being said, I've read numerous times here from guys that build their own wheels, that they can often buy new wheels as cheap, if not cheaper than it costs them to build their own. While I respect the skill, and wish i had it, I've learned that hard way, too many times, not to be my own guinea pig !!!
BTW,what hub do you have, and what rim are you looking to lace it to?
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Old 09-04-18, 08:29 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
As mentioned above, first make sure the hub you have is good-to-go. Also, you didn't mention what spokes were being used. I'd make sure these guys are using quality,brand-name spokes, not some no-name generic stuff.
But, that being said, I've read numerous times here from guys that build their own wheels, that they can often buy new wheels as cheap, if not cheaper than it costs them to build their own. While I respect the skill, and wish i had it, I've learned that hard way, too many times, not to be my own guinea pig !!!
BTW,what hub do you have, and what rim are you looking to lace it to?
The hub is a Shimano Nexus 7 speed coaster hub, 7C18 specifically, in good condition (although the coaster brake could use some grease as its squealing and grabbing.). Haven't decided on a rim yet as i am heavy 250lbs and carry usually another 20-30 lbs in my pannier and the bike weighs 40lbs i would like to get a stronger rim this time. I would like to upgrade to 8 speed nexus but the frame spacing is 127mm with no provisions for disc brakes or cantilevers.
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Old 09-04-18, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GromitDog View Post
Want to re-use the hub, was quoted $1.00 per spoke 14ga straight ss, .15 per nipple, $60 build labor plus cost of rim. Seem fair?
for Canada... Cambodia would cost less but you don't live there.


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Old 09-04-18, 01:18 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Reeses View Post
The thing about that is the cost. All the specialty tools involved in truing a wheel would add up to 2-3 sets of wheels trued at a shop.
I true my wheels mounted in the frame. Tool cost is the spoke wrench.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by GromitDog View Post
I would like to upgrade to 8 speed nexus but the frame spacing is 127mm with no provisions for disc brakes or cantilevers.
If it's a steel frame, 127mm rear spacing can be easily spaced to 130mm by simply using a 130mm or 135mm rear hub and squeezing it in the frame. I've gone up and down rear hub sizing with steel frames no problem. You may have to re set-up the brakes.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by seattle29er View Post
If it's a steel frame, 127mm rear spacing can be easily spaced to 130mm by simply using a 130mm or 135mm rear hub and squeezing it in the frame. I've gone up and down rear hub sizing with steel frames no problem. You may have to re set-up the brakes.
Sorry should have specified It's aluminum.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GromitDog View Post
Sorry should have specified It's aluminum.
then it is what it is..
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Old 01-15-19, 12:01 AM
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...you can do it yourself cheaper, but it still takes time and parts.

That's not a bad price for a decent build from someone who 1.knows what he's doing, and 2. is willing to do all the extras like pulling everything up pretty tight and balancing the spoke tensions at the end. All that stuff that makes a wheel very good as opposed to adequate takes some time.
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Old 01-15-19, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Reeses View Post
The thing about that is the cost. All the specialty tools involved in truing a wheel would add up to 2-3 sets of wheels trued at a shop.
Spoke wrench I already had. As for truing stand, have put the wheel in the frame, put on a couple zip ties and tried it up. Donít always need the fancy stuff though it is nice to have.
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Old 01-15-19, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sal Bandini View Post
I true my wheels mounted in the frame. Tool cost is the spoke wrench.
Don't forget the rubber band and extra spoke for the vertical truing.

... and the cost of 14 compact discs, a metric ruler, and table to measure the dish!

Seriously ... OP, do it yourself! And save some $$ by buying Sapim Race spokes from danscomp.com.
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Old 01-15-19, 09:26 AM
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I would go with double butted spokes for a more reliable wheel.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:44 AM
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If you go to a bike shop and ask, they have wholesaler built wheels they can order , built with parts at the wholesale cost , and shipped to them

And so can come in at less cost than retail for the parts + local shop time labor..
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Old 01-15-19, 11:40 AM
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His hub is a Nexus 7. Probably between $150 & $200 of the build is already in his hand. I can see why he wants it built into a rim. Being that he already has it, his cost is easily cut in half over anything a bikeshop could order in. Plus he has the option of any double wall rim he wants. An ordered wheel from the bike shop is likely to be the cheapest straight gauge single wall nothing wheel they can find.

Double butted spokes on a Velocity Chuckker or similar would be a tough combination to beat. A Zac19 at 1/5th the cost would be worth considering if budget were a serious concern, as well.

OP: Don't waste your money on "upgrading" to a Nexus/Alfine 8 speed if you already have a 7 speed hub in your posession. The gear step in between 7&8 will drive you nuts. The space is just too wide. What you can do is remove the coaster brake mechanism. Put the cover on it. Having done that, use rim brakes, and a short cage derailleur as a chain tensioner. You can then expand the range of the hub with a double crankset way wider than the 8 speed hub would ever be.

On IGH'S you can not shift while pedaling...you probably already knew that. But some people don't and their hubs live short sad lives. The other thing is your small cog can not (well, should not) be amy bigger than 1/2 the number of teeth on your crankset. Else you risk over torquing the hub. 2:1 on a Nexus is as low as you can go. 16/32, 17/34, 18/36, etc...So that limits your hill climbing ability. I built one into a 26 inch wheel for that very reason...Needed less gear inches = smaller wheel. But I didn't like the absence of top end, so followed the short cage derailleur & double crankset option above. After much consideration, a 52/36 crankset & 18 tooth cog yields a range of 31 to 110 gear inches. That's similar to a 50/34 crankset & 11/32 cassette on a 700c wheel. 14 speeds, all evenly spaced, & no duplicate gears. Works great.

Food for thought.

Last edited by base2; 01-15-19 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 01-15-19, 01:14 PM
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As I said, Overhead in Canada is higher than in , say Cambodia.. so the labor in a bike shop reflects the overhead..

but advantage , its winter the work queue is very short to 0 this time of year so they will get right on it.

then you pay them when they're done , you can ask how much when you drop it off , and they will tell you.
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Old 01-15-19, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
If you go to a bike shop and ask, they have wholesaler built wheels they can order , built with parts at the wholesale cost , and shipped to them

And so can come in at less cost than retail for the parts + local shop time labor..
This. Ask them to check the QBP Wheelhouse for the wheel you want. The full price is generally less than the sum of the parts' retail prices.
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Old 01-15-19, 05:03 PM
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QBP is just one, J&B and several others will build a wheel from anything in their inventory...
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