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Wheel building question.

Old 08-22-19, 08:15 PM
  #1  
harshbarj
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Wheel building question.

I have been having a rash of broken spokes and have decided it's time to learn wheel building. I have noticed that I have the most problems with broken spokes on larger IGH hubs where the spokes take a noticeable bend coming out of the spoke nipple. Do they make rims that the nipple will turn to be in the same direction as the spoke or are there rims built for larger hubs? I'd be building a 700c wheel with either a schrader valve or dunlop(Woods) valve and a sturmey archer RXL-RD5.
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Old 08-22-19, 10:41 PM
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Many rims have their spoke holes offset, alternating sides. But few have rim spoke holes angled for cross pattern. (Wood and foam filled sew ups from the 1970s come to mind). What rim diameter are you using?

I take it that your breakage spots are at the nipple? While the #2 location a spoke breaks at, the elbow/head is #1 , it's not anywhere near as common as #1 is.

Building your own wheels is the best way to get that feed back one needs to progress with. Andy
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Old 08-22-19, 10:57 PM
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How many spokes & crosses?
Large flange hubs frequently/usually have 1 less cross than "standard".
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Old 08-22-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Many rims have their spoke holes offset, alternating sides. But few have rim spoke holes angled for cross pattern. (Wood and foam filled sew ups from the 1970s come to mind). What rim diameter are you using?

I take it that your breakage spots are at the nipple? While the #2 location a spoke breaks at, the elbow/head is #1 , it's not anywhere near as common as #1 is.

Building your own wheels is the best way to get that feed back one needs to progress with. Andy
Thus far over 90% of the breaks have been at the nipple, most within a week or two of the build. Prior to me switching to larger IGH hubs I never broke a spoke at the nipple. They always broke at the head. When I ran a shimano nexus 3 speed I would go years between breaks.

Every bike shop I go to ends up using the sunringle cr18. So it's a 622mm rim.
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Old 08-22-19, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
How many spokes & crosses?
Large flange hubs frequently/usually have 1 less cross than "standard".
36 spokes and I think 3 crosses.
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Old 08-23-19, 10:46 AM
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I've been following your thread in the Clyde forum, but don't usually post there since I don't "belong"... so first off, good luck with this project and it sucks that all of your local wheelbuilders haven't been up to the job so far.

With 109mm flanges, it might be wise to go with one less cross. (I'd also get my hands on a decent tensiometer, you deserve it. )
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Old 08-23-19, 11:17 AM
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I've run into breaking spokes at the nipples, though never enough to not warrant a lot of concern. But I did just now have a thought. Suppose you take the new rim, lay it on a table, hold the hub in the middle, note the planned spoke angle at the rim, then put a nipple in and see if it takes the angle "nicely". If not, note the angles for all four incoming spokes (each side and one forward, one back for each side). Then take a small round metal file and take perhaps two quick strokes at that angle and see if the nipple will take the angle better. (Obviously you have to look at each rim's details to see if this can be done and done safely.)

I am a big fan of many cross wheels, even with large flange hubs. I think nothing of 4X with Campy Tipos. I may have to start trying this trick.

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Old 08-23-19, 12:39 PM
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If a spoke is bending where it exits the nipple, it's going to fail pretty quickly -- as you've seen. This is a problem particular to some rims and some builds. When the spoke is tensioned, the nipple head gets pulled against the inside of the rim. Some nipple/rim combinations allow for more misalignment than others. Some rims' spoke holes don't have enough clearance for the nipple to point toward the hub. Essentially, the spoke hole is too small to allow the nipple to point straight toward the hole in the hub.

There are some tricks to making this combination work. They'll help the spokes last a bit longer, but I wouldn't expect a 5X increase in spoke life: prebend the spoke with pliers where it exits the nipple; use thin-butted spokes; use bladed spokes. Use these tricks at your own risk on the parts already in your possession.

For your next build, get a vertically stiffer rim than the CR18. I'd recommend Velocity Dyad or Cliffhanger if you're using rim brakes. Velocity Chukker would be great, but it's not a beginner-friendly rim. Use Sapim Polyax nipples. Use butted spokes (i.e. Sapim Race, DT Competition, Wheelsmith DB14). Tension the spokes evenly. If the spokes are bending at the nipple (which would surprise me), you can chamfer the spoke holes in those rims.
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Old 08-24-19, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
Some rims' spoke holes don't have enough clearance for the nipple to point toward the hub. Essentially, the spoke hole is too small to allow the nipple to point straight toward the hole in the hub..
This is what is happening. It's clear the rim was made with a standard width hub in mind. If I could draw a line from the center of the spoke nipple straight out, it would land between the flange and the center of the hub (about where the flange on a Derailleur hub would be). I have the same rim and spokes on my front hub which is a Sturmey archer X-FDD (3w dynohub + 70 mm drum brake). Built at the same time and not one broken spoke (and I have a front crate which gets loaded up a lot). It also does not have much, if any, bend in the spokes. But it's also nearly the same width as a "normal" front hub. I likely will be bringing this wheel back and trying to talk with the guy and point out what I feel the problem is. He is actually very nice and clearly with standard gear knows what he is doing (he built a shimano 3 speed wheel for me that lasted years). I'm just asking him to build a wheel he rarely has to deal with. As I said in another thread, most riders hear are of the sporty type, so heavy and solid utility parts are rare here.
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Old 08-24-19, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
36 spokes and I think 3 crosses.
IF you would have no issue with radial (cross 0) spoking, it seems the problem would get worse as you add crosses?
If you have a spare spoke (rod, stick..) place it against the wheel in the 1 & 2 cross positions and observe the angle at the nipple. (you already have 3X)
Maybe 2X is the way to go.
For a rear, you really don't want less.

I've never built a large flange wheel, but 12 years on this forum and one "observes" a lot IF you pay attention.
The general gist I get is to use 1 less cross than "normal".
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Old 08-24-19, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
I have been having a rash of broken spokes and have decided it's time to learn wheel building. I have noticed that I have the most problems with broken spokes on larger IGH hubs where the spokes take a noticeable bend coming out of the spoke nipple. Do they make rims that the nipple will turn to be in the same direction as the spoke or are there rims built for larger hubs?
You're selecting the cross-count to get spokes tangent to the hub, where the common rules of thumb (cross 3 for 32 hole, 3-4 for 36) are only appropriate for small flange hubs in ISO 622 rims.

Subtract a cross for bigger flanges on IGH hubs and you'll improve the angle at the rim too.

Otherwise, bend leading and trailing spokes towards each other so you don't have stress there leading to broken spokes where the spokes enter the nipples. That's covered in Jobst Brandt's book.

Also note Andrew's comment on rim handedness. It can be subtle.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-24-19 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-24-19, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
IF you would have no issue with radial (cross 0) spoking, it seems the problem would get worse as you add crosses?
If you have a spare spoke (rod, stick..) place it against the wheel in the 1 & 2 cross positions and observe the angle at the nipple. (you already have 3X)
Maybe 2X is the way to go.
For a rear, you really don't want less.

I've never built a large flange wheel, but 12 years on this forum and one "observes" a lot IF you pay attention.
The general gist I get is to use 1 less cross than "normal".
Radial really is not appropriate for a utility bike. The wheel would be far weaker. You really only use radial on high spoke count hubs or on bikes that will not see heavy use.

I do have a "spare" spoke, one of the broken ones. I'll be removing the wheel from the bike on sunday and replacing it with a single speed for now. Not idea for such a hilly city, but I have to get to work somehow. I'll check a 2x cross pattern then.
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Old 08-24-19, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
Radial really is not appropriate for a utility bike. The wheel would be far weaker. You really only use radial on high spoke count hubs or on bikes that will not see heavy use.

I do have a "spare" spoke, one of the broken ones. I'll be removing the wheel from the bike on sunday and replacing it with a single speed for now. Not idea for such a hilly city, but I have to get to work somehow. I'll check a 2x cross pattern then.
DUH!
My point was for you to observe the nipple angles, but I guess that went over your head.
I mean if I said less than 2 wasn't good.......
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Old 08-24-19, 09:53 PM
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Going back to my post above re: filing the holes - see if you can find metal file small enough to fit inside. Tape your new rim to the old. File the new rims spoke holes just enough at the exact angle of the old rim's spokes to get teh nipples to almost lie in line with the spoke angle. Take careful note of the file strokes to get there, Then file each spoke hole those exact strokes. (I'd do every 4th just like the first one of that spoke orientation, then start from scratch with the nipple on the next spoke orientation. It might well be that you can do half, the will want to tape the rim to the other side. Be careful not to lose the orientation when you do this!)

Yes a lot of work. Yes, you do wreck the warranty. But you will get a rim that can be built properly and should be a happy wheel for a long time. Two cautions - look to make sure there is nothing on the tire side of the rim what will either hanper your filing of be damaged and err on the side of not enough filing. You don't want to start pulling spokes through the rim. A rim like a Mavic Open Pro with its brass ferule might be a challenge. A rim like a Velocity Aero wit nothing besides a deep, thick center portion for the spoke holes should file nicely. (And I think it is the Aeros Ilve had spoke breakage issues. Next build, maybe I'll try this.)

Ben
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Old 08-25-19, 08:52 AM
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Ryde Andra rims are another good candidate for high loads and large flange hubs.
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Old 08-25-19, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
Ryde Andra rims are another good candidate for high loads and large flange hubs.
Thanks. Those look to be what I need. A bit expensive, but cheaper than having to rebuild every month.
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Old 08-25-19, 03:36 PM
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Whew, found it, I think.

36h, 20" Drum Brake Wheel

Anyway, that thread asked a similar question about using a large drum brake hub with a small rim, and 36h.

Typically one does 3x with a 36h rim. One should have pairs of spokes on opposite sides of the flange going roughly parallel (every other spoke, parallel spokes around valve).

But, with the large flanges, one ends up with the spoke pairs being pinched in a lot.

Decreasing the number of crosses, the pairs of spokes to opposite spoke flanges go more parallel.

Anyway, in that case, I think the person built a 2x wheel, although looking at the ultimate build, I might have considered 1x.

For your build (and a larger 700c wheel), try the 2x. If it still is problematic, then try 1x. The 1x or 2x should still be able to transmit torque from the hub to the rim.

BTW: Is this motorized, or pedal powered?
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Old 08-25-19, 04:07 PM
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One other thing to consider, you can get larger spokes.

A couple of brands offer 2.3mm straight gauge spokes. Sapim & Pillar. Others?

I thought there were 2.3/2.0 double butted spokes, but they appear to be single butted (thick at the J-bend, thin at the threads).

Make sure you buy name brand spokes. DT, Sapin, Maybe Pillar.

You might have to touch up some of the holes in the rims & hubs.
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Old 08-25-19, 04:19 PM
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Typically 4X pattern on large flange 36 hole hubs, i haven't experienced any problems, even 3X on some bikes fitted with 3 speed Nexus hubs that's done a lot of work. 32 hole?! i think shouldn't be much different untill you're a fat ******* . But seriously.. It really boils down to whomever built the wheel, spokes should be tensioned correctly, checking up and down and left and right ensuring it's strong & runing perfectly true.

So yup, build ya own!
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Old 08-25-19, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
One other thing to consider, you can get larger spokes.

A couple of brands offer 2.3mm straight gauge spokes. Sapim & Pillar. Others?

I thought there were 2.3/2.0 double butted spokes, but they appear to be single butted (thick at the J-bend, thin at the threads).

Make sure you buy name brand spokes. DT, Sapin, Maybe Pillar.

You might have to touch up some of the holes in the rims & hubs.
I have a 27" aluminum front wheel, Wobler Super Champion made in France.. double walled stainless steel eyelets, the stainless steel spokes are thicker at the nipple ends, nice stuff. it proudly rolls on my Le Mans.
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Old 08-26-19, 06:38 AM
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Ran into this exact problem when building SA 90mm XL-FD wheel on ISO 584 rim.
Originally laced cross-3; spoke angle was too acute resulting in bend at spoke-nipple
junction. Re-laced cross-2, no problems over the past three years and thousands of
miles. Worked out so well that I did the same on a ISO 559 winter beater and an ISO 584
tandem front wheel. All have held up well at cross-2.
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Old 08-26-19, 09:14 AM
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I build 700c Alfine hub wheels 2x because of hub flange diameter. Itís better that way.
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Old 08-27-19, 08:07 PM
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Well, brought it back and mentioned it broke 2 spokes after just 11 days and all he did was replace the broken spokes (free of charge, but really?). Don't see any point in spending two hours swapping wheels when I know it will fail again in a few days. I'll just bring it back this weekend and ask he re-lace it 2x, the same as my old SA 3-speed. For now it's set aside just in case I need it over the next two days.

Sad part was he agreed the spokes have a lot of bend in them an insisted they had to have that because of the way it's threaded. I'll just have to point out I'll not pay for a wheel that has that much bend in the spokes again and will demand a rebuild if it still has bent spokes. All I need is two trouble free months and I can buy what I need to do it myself.
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Old 08-27-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
Hang on...

Put the brakes on this....



Can you post another photo of the direct side view of the wheel & spokes?

Are the spokes bending side-to-side, or bending inline with the wheel?

The 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x issue primarily has to deal with bends inline with the wheel (front and back).

From your photo, it looks like the bends are side-to-side with a rim with either eyelets or sockets.

That is a completely different issue.

Your IGH hub may have wide flanges as there is less of a need to deal with dishing (and more gears inside).

I can't see an assembly problem from the photo. The eyelets appear to be centered. However, with some wheels, there is an assymetry to the spoke hole drilling. So, if one puts a spoke in the spoke hole loosely and lets it hang, it will have a preference for one side or the other. And every other spoke should have a preference to hang in the opposite direction.

So, a few possibilities:
  • Wheel assembled backwards, and right spoke holes going to left spokes.
  • Eyeletted spoke holes are straight and don't let nipples go to the side enough.
  • Oversized nipples exacerbating the problem above.

Some wheel builders apparently have gently reamed spoke holes in the rims with a drill to get the spokes going in the right direction. But, I'm not sure if that is as effective with the eyelets or sockets.

I'm not sure you'd know if the wheel was built backwards without taking 2 or 3 spokes out and doing the hang test (above)

Those Ryde Andra rims mentioned by @OneIsAllYouNeed really sound HOT.

Here are the 40's on E-Bay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-neue-28-z...m/153270529146

They're pretty wide rims, 25mm inside, 31mm outside.

I'm not sure why the narrower Ryde Andra rims aren't popping up on E-Bay, but perhaps the wide ones are good for your cargo bike.

Anyway, if you're rebuilding the wheel, I'd very much consider those Ryde Andra rims (I haven't used them myself, but I like the description on the website).

https://www.ryde.nl/-andra-rims
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Old 08-29-19, 01:02 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
Well, brought it back and mentioned it broke 2 spokes after just 11 days and all he did was replace the broken spokes (free of charge, but really?). Don't see any point in spending two hours swapping wheels when I know it will fail again in a few days. I'll just bring it back this weekend and ask he re-lace it 2x, the same as my old SA 3-speed. For now it's set aside just in case I need it over the next two days.

Sad part was he agreed the spokes have a lot of bend in them an insisted they had to have that because of the way it's threaded. I'll just have to point out I'll not pay for a wheel that has that much bend in the spokes again and will demand a rebuild if it still has bent spokes. All I need is two trouble free months and I can buy what I need to do it myself.
you have to make sure the rim surface is treated with something to inhibit corrosion. i won't get into details as to what would work best, i'm just warning you that rims crack because of that.
it's called stress corrosion. get rid of the chemical factor and you can have higher spoke tension.

the trick is to do a proper radial true first of all and balance it with spoke tension variance.
think uniform tension the spokes would have if you straighten out the rim and the drive side niples remain all in the same positions.
it's best to have two collumns for input data - spoke tension variance and radial runout for each spoke - but at least do it in principle.

do stress relieving when the wheel is balanced out this way at every stage of raising NDS spoke tension and adjusting only lateral true. DS spokes should never be touched after you adjust as accurately as you can radial true taking into account the spokes individual tension.

read my post(s) here:
Breaking spokes.

wax lube the nipples and take care as to figure out at which tension brass nipples make the spokes permanently twist. avoid this thing. go by feel and/or do some calculations.

for 0.1 friction coefficient (and it may be lower than that if you are meticulous about lubricating with the right stuff) the limit would be about 171kgf. that is for a 2mm bolt with the highest grade available as quality spokes are. the spokes have a slightly larger than 2mm thread so this is only an estimation. it's a starting point as to have yourself some data as it's better than nothing. this low friction will not be available with aluminum nipples that are to be avoided for galvanic corrosion issues as well.
http://www.tribology-abc.com/calculators/e3_6a.htm

proper wheels have a large uniform tension and that can only be achieved by balancing out tension with radial true so that in the end you straighen out the rim by raising the tension after tuning at medium tension. you lower the tension to at least 120kgf DS tension in case you have butted NDS spokes but if you have straight gauge you should go higher than that if you are able to fine tune all this radial and tension variance.

remember to prevent stress corrosion of the rim, the hub, the flanges, the spokes.
spokes break because of fatigue and there's also the chemical factor present if you don't insure the surfaces are coated in a thin film that you don't pressure wash like crazy.

your rim does not look nice and i suggest you take immediate care of all this.

try some wax and see if you can mix some lanolin in.
at least use shoe stuff.

avoid using oils (solvent etc.) that damage plastic and rubber when treating the rim, especially around the nipples where you can't see.
lanolin and flaxseed oil should be readily available. talcum powder is also a corrosion inhibitor and it works best with long chain paraffin.

and take notice that the spokes should be stress relieved and under higher tension to not readily break.
insure that they are fully threaded in the nipples (not at least shorter than needed) and that they are bedded in at the hub flange.

insure that DS spokes are not under residual torsional stress (twist) as well. NDS spokes break because someone didn't know or care to do the proper job from start to finish.
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