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Rebuilding or replacing a internally geared wheel - how big a job for a local shop?

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Rebuilding or replacing a internally geared wheel - how big a job for a local shop?

Old 07-05-20, 12:15 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
For the bikes we ride...

...there is no such thing as a no dish or zero dish wheel.

=8-|

As to the OP, this is not a big job. Wonder what else is going on...

=8-|
I'm not sure what you mean by " =8-| "... (EDIT: D'oh! I figured it out! )
I suppose there's a little dish in those IGH rear wheels... but all the spokes are the same length and their tensions are virtually the same, which was kind of what I meant.
Agree it's not a big job. Some folks are not at all mechanically inclined, though, and others just lack the confidence to try a DIY fix. Pity he couldn't find a shop that was willing to help out a little.

Last edited by sweeks; 07-05-20 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 07-05-20, 01:08 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by " =8-| "... (EDIT: D'oh! I figured it out! )
I suppose there's a little dish in those IGH rear wheels... but all the spokes are the same length and their tensions are virtually the same, which was kind of what I meant.
Agree it's not a big job. Some folks are not at all mechanically inclined, though, and others just lack the confidence to try a DIY fix. Pity he couldn't find a shop that was willing to help out a little.
2 Kinds of dish for 99.9999% of the bicycles we ride:

1. Adjective dish (appearance) caused by dual flanged hubs.
2. Verb dish (action) which is a TECHNICAL requirement for building ALL wheels.

Dual flanged hubs cause the spokes from each side to approach the rim at angle. Flipping the wheel in the horizontal will show each side having the "appearance" of what can roughly be construed as "dish" as in a shallow dish (plate) or deep dish (bowl).
Rigid center line spoked wheels and center line disc wheels do not have this. This form of dish I just described is NOT directly relevant to the technical process of building a bicycle wheel.

All wheels however, have to be properly dished in the "verb" sense - their rims placed directly over the center line between the ends of the locknuts of the hub. Doesn't matter if the hub is symmetrical or asymmetrical, the rim has to be centered on the center line that lies between the ends of the locknuts of the hub. Doing so insures that the entirety of the wheel when centered between the dropouts resides on the center line of the frame itself. It also insures that the gear set operates parallel to the frame's center line and on the drivetrain's own center line.

Placing the rim over the center line between the locknuts of the hub is the type of dish that is DIRECTLY relevant to the technical process of building a bicycle wheel.

The confusion that people have on this topic comes from using the SAME word for two different things.

=8-|
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Old 07-05-20, 03:24 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
The confusion that people have on this topic comes from using the SAME word for two different things.
Thanks for dishing out that clarification!
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Old 07-05-20, 03:59 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
...there is no such thing as a no dish or zero dish wheel.
This is true. However, a wheel that's symmetrical left to right is somewhat easier to build. I've found that if I get the tensions decent, then the amount of adjustment needed to get it dished correctly is pretty minimal. This is also true for front wheels.

Now, I've built coaster hub wheels with asymmetric dish, to get the chainline that I wanted. But that's a different story.
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Old 07-05-20, 04:53 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
This is also true for front wheels.
Except... those front wheels with a brake disc!
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Old 07-06-20, 03:07 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Rebuilding a wheel is not a big deal.
Rebuilding a wheel competently fast enough to turn a profit is.

The two viable options are
1. Learning wheel building. Use Jobst's Brandt's book and a tension meter app to reach correct absolute tension. The result will beat many shop built wheels but take much longer.
2. Delegating to a one person operation (e.g. pcad RIP, mrrabbit, Peter White, etc.) where the hands that earned the reputation build the wheel.

I started building wheels after folding an under tensioned front wheel from a formerly reputable shop with their rear never staying true although I only weighed 150 pounds.

I didn't feel like upgrading my wife's bike to an 8 speed IGH from a 3, and paid a shop. Although it barely had any dish they didn't put enough tension in many spokes to keep the wheel straight beneath a 5'4" woman. It took as long to fix than starting from scratch.

Any respectable shop can do that for you (don't know the going rate these days) and can recommend good spokes. Sounds like the shop you went to is not capable of working on bikes or selling parts. It's unfortunate that this job needs doing now when so much is going on to complicate the process.
Mechanics able to build wheels competently and profitably disappeared as boutique wheels became common.

You could also do it yourself. Un-build this one to measure the spokes, buy new ones and watch a tutorial on the Tubes of You or get coaching from someone. If you were nearby I'd coach you. It looks daunting but it's not. My first build was a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed wheel.
Assuming the spokes reach the screwdriver slot and don't protrude beyond the nipple top.

I vote for learning to do it yourself. Seriously, if you can spin a wrench you can build a wheel.
Right. Building wheels is no more difficult than setting up a front derailleur, but takes much longer with all the spokes.

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Old 07-06-20, 05:04 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Rebuilding a wheel competently fast enough to turn a profit is.

The two viable options are
1. Learning wheel building. Use Jobst's Brandt's book and a tension meter app to reach correct absolute tension. The result will beat many shop built wheels but take much longer.
2. Delegating to a one person operation (e.g. pcad RIP, mrrabbit, Peter White, etc.) where the hands that earned the reputation build the wheel.

I started building wheels after folding an under tensioned front wheel from a formerly reputable shop with their rear never staying true although I only weighed 150 pounds.

I didn't feel like upgrading my wife's bike to an 8 speed IGH from a 3, and paid a shop. Although it barely had any dish they didn't put enough tension in many spokes to keep the wheel straight beneath a 5'4" woman. It took as long to fix than starting from scratch.



Mechanics able to build wheels competently and profitably disappeared as boutique wheels became common.



Assuming the spokes reach the screwdriver slot and don't protrude beyond the nipple top.



Right. Building wheels is no more difficult than setting up a front derailleur, but takes much longer with all the spokes.
Most of my remarks were for the benefit of the OP who, presumably, still needs his wheel fixed. I was trying to tell him that building (or rebuilding) a wheel is not rocket science. It's a matter of assembling the right pieces correctly, and that with modest mechanical skills is something he can do himself. This is especially good for him to know since it appears there are no shops around these days who can, or want to, do it for him. Everybody has to start someplace and his current problem wheel could be the opportunity to expand his knowledge and abilities.

What, pray tell, is a "boutique wheel?" Remember that Sturmey wheel I mentioned as my first? It was a 40 hole hub built 3X to a tubular rim. Would that qualify as boutique and, if so, how many suppliers would have provided that on order? How many suppliers could do that today? That's what bike shops and the mechanics who work in them are for. If it's that big a challenge the shop should charge a little more to cover that or send the customer down the street to a real bike shop.

And I didn't see you offering to coach the OP on how to rebuild his wheel. I haven't been in a shop on industry business (repping) in almost 20 years and I have not worked as a paid mechanic in almost 35 but with the parts in hand I could rebuild his wheel right now, or teach him to do it, and would be willing to do so. Would you?
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Old 07-06-20, 05:56 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Most of my remarks were for the benefit of the OP who, presumably, still needs his wheel fixed


This is how internet discussion boards work. People reply with comments that may be useful to the Original Poster (e.g. use Jobst's book). People comment on answers (e.g. wheel building is dead at local bike shops).

What, pray tell, is a "boutique wheel?"
Expensive factory built wheels from Enve, Fulcrum. Lightweight Wheels, Zipp, or whatever the cool kids are into these days. Pretty much anything nice enough to have a recognizable brand name attached.

Remember that Sturmey wheel I mentioned as my first? It was a 40 hole hub built 3X to a tubular rim. Would that qualify as boutique and, if so, how many suppliers would have provided that on order? How many suppliers could do that today? That's what bike shops and the mechanics who work in them are for. If it's that big a challenge the shop should charge a little more to cover that or send the customer down the street to a real bike shop.
Regular shops no longer build wheels in appreciable volume because the market is nearly non-existent. People who want inexpensive wheels get $25 QBP or Amazon specials, and "nice" wheels come from factories with great marketing.

That means they don't get enough practice to do a good job fast. Too many compromise with fast bad jobs that don't even match machine built wheel quality. This even applies to "good" local bike shops.

A few people do for customers who want something odd like dynamo front hubs and PowerTap rear. I noted mrrabbit and Peter White who have no employees, good reputations, and will do a quality job on any new build. I would not trust anyone who is not a one person operation.

I'm genuinely curious about how many custom wheels are built to order versus assembled by their end user. You need to be intimate enough with mechanical details to want something different than the companies are selling in spite of it usually being heavier, but not enough to build it yourself.

And I didn't see you offering to coach the OP on how to rebuild his wheel.
I suggested using Jobst Brandt's book _The Bicycle Wheel_ which he tested by having his grade school sons each build a wheel set with no other assistance. It produces wheels which don't break spokes for 300,000 miles although rims and bearings need replacement sooner.

I also suggested using a tension meter app to achieve sufficient absolute tension because with contemporary 25mm+ deep rims spoke bed fatigue caps it not the rim's elastic limit which can be determined by Jobst's iterative tension, stress relieve method until the wheel goes out of true at which point you back off a half turn and touch up.

The Zac 19 is shallow enough it would probably be fine, but a $5 phone app converting plucked spoke sounds into the frequency domain via FFT, picking out the loudest, and converting to tension is accessible and more universally applicable.

We both agree that's the right choice given a little mechanical aptitude. Wheel building is not difficult. It just takes a while when you only do it periodically.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-06-20 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:04 PM
  #34  
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Unless the OP has no mechanical aptitude, he should fix it himself.

Start by removing one spoke only, marking or noting by some tape which spoke it went over or under and shop for spare spokes of that length, probably a common type.... You could use color tape or fix pens to mark the holes where the given spoke ends belong (you can easily get lost in it if you are new to it).

BTW question for experts - if a spoke is broken or you don't care if you bend it out of shape, it will be easy to remove but maybe hard or even impossible to insert the new spoke back if you don't want to destroy it in the process of inserting it? Do spokes need to be inserted in some sequence, meaning you may not be able to replace some spokes without having to bend them too much, in some cases not possible? Like roof clay tiles in Europe, to replace some of them, first you need to remove others before you can remove/replace the broken one, unless you are lucky and you can replace one without messing with any other. Is that the case with wheel spokes too?

I have only ever been 'fixing' a wheel when one or couple or several spokes were loose and that involved pre-tightening and then truing the wheel in place, using partially closed brake pads as a guide, plus common sense. Also picking with fingernails on the spokes to tell by the tone pitch how tight they are.

To have a bike shop tackle your job, I think you may need to find the right place for it. Those fancier ones may tackle only the more expensive wheels, otherwise it is not financially interesting to them and by the same token, to you (to have such job done by them). In bigger towns you should be able to find some little one man bike shops where the owner can cost wise tackle even ordinary wheel job since he doesn't have high overhead or profit expectation. Those bike shops are found in less fancy parts of towns and serve the population below middle class one but often they do better job than some shops on main avenue with bright showroom.

Last edited by vane171; 07-06-20 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 07-07-20, 03:04 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Rebuilding a wheel competently fast enough to turn a profit is.

The two viable options are
1. Learning wheel building. Use Jobst's Brandt's book and a tension meter app to reach correct absolute tension. The result will beat many shop built wheels but take much longer.
2. Delegating to a one person operation (e.g. pcad RIP, mrrabbit, Peter White, etc.) where the hands that earned the reputation build the wheel.

I started building wheels after folding an under tensioned front wheel from a formerly reputable shop with their rear never staying true although I only weighed 150 pounds.

I didn't feel like upgrading my wife's bike to an 8 speed IGH from a 3, and paid a shop. Although it barely had any dish they didn't put enough tension in many spokes to keep the wheel straight beneath a 5'4" woman. It took as long to fix than starting from scratch.



Mechanics able to build wheels competently and profitably disappeared as boutique wheels became common.



Assuming the spokes reach the screwdriver slot and don't protrude beyond the nipple top.



Right. Building wheels is no more difficult than setting up a front derailleur, but takes much longer with all the spokes.
Markets vary of course, but I'm a pro mechanic and at the shops I've worked any wheel build was always done by someone competent with appropriate spoke line setting, high even tension (with a tensiometer to set final tension at the minimum), no spoke twist, and appropriate stress relieving. I'm sorry to hear your experience has been otherwise, and it underscores the need for demonstrable certification of skills in the industry, which the Professional Bike Mechanics Association is working towards.
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Old 07-07-20, 07:22 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post

BTW question for experts - if a spoke is broken or you don't care if you bend it out of shape, it will be easy to remove but maybe hard or even impossible to insert the new spoke back if you don't want to destroy it in the process of inserting it? Do spokes need to be inserted in some sequence, meaning you may not be able to replace some spokes without having to bend them too much, in some cases not possible? Like roof clay tiles in Europe, to replace some of them, first you need to remove others before you can remove/replace the broken one, unless you are lucky and you can replace one without messing with any other. Is that the case with wheel spokes too?
I'm no expert and I've yet to build a wheel, but replacing a busted spoke isn't too hard. You do have to get the right length of spoke and I recommend at the very least having a long metric ruler to measure an existing spoke that is fully removed from the wheel. (Or buy a spoke ruler when you order spokes.) The broken spoke can be used to measure as long as just the head is broken off and the bend at the hub still exists.

The hardest part is probably removing the sprocket set if the broken spoke in question has to go into the hub from the sprocket side. I only have single speed and IGH hub bikes, so popping off the single rear sprocket is easy. Same may apply to disc braked wheels, but I don't have disc braked wheels to know.

To install a new spoke, you may have to put a slight curve into it, unless you remove the surrounding spokes. Getting the over/under pattern is not hard because you just look at the other spokes still in the wheel and replicate it. Also, you may have to remove the tire or maybe not. I've replaced spokes fairly easily by just partially deflating the tire enough so the nipple can go into the rim part way, and the partially inflated tube will prevent the nipple from falling in if you're careful.

You can uncurve the new spoke after you get it laced past the other spokes and get it started in the nipple.

Last edited by FiftySix; 07-07-20 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 07-07-20, 09:00 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
(Or buy a spoke ruler when you order spokes.)
Okay, I have to laugh at myself for writing that.
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Old 07-08-20, 10:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
The hardest part is probably removing the sprocket set if the broken spoke in question has to go into the hub from the sprocket side. ... Same may apply to disc braked wheels, but I don't have disc braked wheels to know.
Ha, you just hit on an argument against disc brakes, even if a minor one only, I suppose. Thing is, broken spokes mean the bike was abused pretty badly, in terrain, or long neglect. Road bike can at most have loose spoke(s) unless maybe we are talking some fine wheels with gossamer spokes and serious biking, road or otherwise.

Wonder how classic wheel compares to those more modern ones that have much fewer spokes in terms of how easy they are to rebuild spokes. My new bike has 20/24 spokes front and rear respectively and the weave looks much simpler than the classic old one of mine (who knows how many spokes that one has). It may well be that a beginner wheel maker might have easier job with one of those old wheels with many more spokes, even if the intuition might tell otherwise? Truing the wheel with fewer spokes may be much less forgiving.

Last edited by vane171; 07-08-20 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 07-08-20, 11:47 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
Ha, you just hit on an argument against disc brakes, even if a minor one only, I suppose. Thing is, broken spokes mean the bike was abused pretty badly, in terrain, or long neglect. Road bike can at most have loose spoke(s) unless maybe we are talking some fine wheels with gossamer spokes and serious biking, road or otherwise.

Wonder how classic wheel compares to those more modern ones that have much fewer spokes in terms of how easy they are to rebuild spokes. My new bike has 20/24 spokes front and rear respectively and the weave looks much simpler than the classic old one of mine (who knows how many spokes that one has). It may well be that a beginner wheel maker might have easier job with one of those old wheels with many more spokes, even if the intuition might tell otherwise? Truing the wheel with fewer spokes may be much less forgiving.
Low spoke count wheels are slightly easier to lace and aren't harder to get true, but they're often operating closer to failure than a conventionally spoked wheel and thus need to have even, high tension and proper spoke line and stress relief. A conventionally spoked wheel is much more tolerant to poor assembly.
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