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Rebuild wheel without removing tire?

Old 03-01-21, 11:05 AM
  #1  
rosefarts
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Rebuild wheel without removing tire?

Absurd? Yes.

Due to XD vs HG and a hub I have not being able to change between bodies, I want to rebuild onto a new hub.

I think I can do it using needle nose pliers and hemostats.

Not asking how to build a wheel, I'm good there.

Will detensioning a wheel with a tire on it cause any funny business? I can drop it to 20psi before starting.

OF course if I lose a nipple inside, I'll have to take the tire, stripper, and tape off to chase it down.
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Old 03-01-21, 11:15 AM
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It might be difficult because before you start threading the nipples on the spoke, the spoke will be pushing the nipple up into the rim where it is difficult to access. and tighten - generally you tighten all the spokes down part way from above the rim with a nipple driver or screw driver

What advantage do you hope for by not removing the tire? It is a trivial step compared to the rest of wheel building.
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Old 03-01-21, 11:40 AM
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Possible? yes. Unless it's a tubular, I wouldn't consider doing an entire wheel that way, but I routinely do individual spoke replacements with the tire on. You would need to thread a loose spoke into every nipple as you go to avoid losing them inside the rim, but it could be done.
Like I said, unless the tire is glued on, removing and replacing it would be far less aggravation.
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Old 03-01-21, 12:19 PM
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rosefarts
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The rim is currently tubeless with a skinny stripper on it. Since this is a waste item ($2.50) on a tightly fitting tire/rim combo, I was hoping to save it.

Tubeless is easier than tubulars but not by much.

The new hub will show up today, I'll do the work on Thursday. I'll think about it until then.
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Old 03-01-21, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post

OF course if I lose a nipple inside, I'll have to take the tire, stripper, and tape off to chase it down.
If you manage to accomplish your goal without losing a nipple, I'd be really impressed. Be sure to come back and tell us about it.
I can't build a wheel the normal way without dropping a few.
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Old 03-01-21, 06:34 PM
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I think OP nailed it with the first line....good luck
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Old 03-01-21, 06:57 PM
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rosefarts
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I've heard rumors of removing a tubeless tire plus skinny stripper in one clean unit without spilling a drop or breaking the seal. I'm tempted to try.

Some mavic rims have an enclosed pocket for spokes. It might be easier with them. Of course, that's not what I have.

Last edited by rosefarts; 03-01-21 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 03-01-21, 09:55 PM
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Non starter for me. I love my bike's wheels, and wheel building and repair to me is something like a Zen experience, a structured practice through which I realize great joy in the doing and the outcome.
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Old 03-01-21, 10:13 PM
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rosefarts
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Non starter for me. I love my bike's wheels, and wheel building and repair to me is something like a Zen experience, a structured practice through which I realize great joy in the doing and the outcome.
But wouldn't a Buddhist understand that life is suffering?
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Old 03-01-21, 10:18 PM
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To quote something I saw on this forum:
Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Absurd? Yes.
I am sorry but that is just terrible. I would not want to build a wheel an entire wheel without taking off the tire. That just sounds miserable. I get it you don't want to replace $10-$20 in parts but it is $10-$20 in parts (maybe a little more depending on what you use or how much). That is the height of absurdity. Even if the tire is slightly hard to get off there are tools for that and it would be way easier to build a wheel properly with no junk on top. However some people have limitless time to waste doing something the hard way.
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Old 03-01-21, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Non starter for me. I love my bike's wheels, and wheel building and repair to me is something like a Zen experience, a structured practice through which I realize great joy in the doing and the outcome.
I'm somewhat the same way. I have plenty of time, so I can pretty much get a wheel as evenly tensioned as it's going to get.
When I started slowing down to extend the experience, I started getting done much sooner.
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Old 03-02-21, 01:08 AM
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I think the whole idea is crazy.

But I love the fact that you are willing to try it!

If there were no people like you then we would have no bikes to ride today.
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Old 03-02-21, 04:32 AM
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When it comes to tensioning the wheel and then getting the flat spots out will be a nightmare with the tyre on. Is your time cheaper than $2.50 and some sealant?
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Old 03-02-21, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirk de Chablis View Post
When it comes to tensioning the wheel and then getting the flat spots out will be a nightmare with the tyre on. Is your time cheaper than $2.50 and some sealant?
Yeah, this. There are so many hassles and possible failure modes for this, from being hard to get the old hub out, to bending spokes, and losing nipples, and if you happen to unscrew the nipple and let the nipple be pushed into the tape, possibly tearing up or getting the tape displaced, so you have to take the tire off anyway.

This is one of those "the repair was both time-consuming and expensive, because I tried to save time and money" type of misadventures. IMHO.

Good luck whichever way you choose to go.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:40 AM
  #15  
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I think the OP needs to do this just to stick it to all the haters.
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Old 03-02-21, 09:09 AM
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Well, the actual lacing of the wheel would not be much more difficult than lacing a rim that has no nipple holes in the inner wall of the rim such as some models of Fulcrum and some others. On those, each individual nipple has to have a steel insert threaded into it and led into place with a magnet. Yeah, it's tricky getting the nipple started on the spoke and great care has to be taken not to lose it in the rim. It's time consuming, and requires a level of dexterity that my old hands struggle with, but I have done it, so it's possible.
Straight pull spokes make it a bit easier as the spoke can be led straight to the nipple rather than contorted as a J bend has to be.
The real challenge with a tire mounted comes in the truing stage, particularly with radial truing. You could get it close enough to be functional, but not within what I would consider to be acceptable parameters.
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Old 03-04-21, 04:39 PM
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rosefarts
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I hate to report that I chickened out.

​Before I started, I tried to remove the tire with the skinny stripper in place. Sometimes it binds so well that it can be done. I broke the seal. Once I had a leak, I immediately caved and just removed the tire and time strip and all that jazz.

The new hub is on the wheel now, it's actually a better circle than the original build. I even managed to choose a hub close enough that I was able reuse all of the old spokes. Literally .2 mm different when I ran it through the calculator.

Sorry guys. I should have tried for your entertainment. I did manage nearly the whole thing during my kiddo's nap, so that's something.
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Old 03-04-21, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Sorry guys. I should have tried for your entertainment. I did manage nearly the whole thing during my kiddo's nap, so that's something.
Sounds like taking the tire off didn't take any extra time on the rebuild, then.

Still entertaining, like staring at some of those Mensa geometry questions!
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