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Building rear moutain bike wheel advice needed?

Old 02-28-22, 05:32 AM
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winfred0000
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Building rear moutain bike wheel advice needed?

Hi!

I have a 7 speed cassette, 26 x 1.95, 36 spoke, rear mountain bike wheel with double walled rim. I learned the hard way that when you buy a used wheel (paid $150 for it) you don't know it's history, so after several months I broke a spoke, replaced it, broke one again, and now after a year it's so out of alignment the bike shop said I need a new wheel. Labor alone is $80 for them to build one… so I have to build my own, but the shop, doing an estimate for the job, said my present rear wheel hub is "nothing short of awesome", a Shimano Deore XT FH-M770. Is it that great? My bent rim is an "Alex Rims Adventurer 2", Presta valve, and it has those little stainless steel collars in every spoke hole in the rim which I understand means it is a lot stronger. I weigh 285lbs and at times carry 60lbs of groceries, plus I hope to do some camping/biking.

Can I with only 36 spokes use that same hub and still be able to build a much stronger wheel than I had by maybe buying an even stronger rim than the Alex Rims brand?

Can I also re-use all the same stainless steel spokes?

The mechanic said he could build it stronger and use the same hub. I asked, "How can it be stronger if it's the same hub and number of spokes, is it you'll use a stronger rim, thicker spokes?” He just said, "Because I'm building it." Is there a pro trick that I should try if I use the same hub to make it stronger?

I also remember a year ago, back when I had my original single walled rim and was breaking spokes, I was going to have them build the wheel. l later foolishly bought the used one. I'm now limping along with the old wheel and with rear V brakes undone or opened ... I said with the rebuild I wanted to still have a double walled rim for better strength. He forgot but the same mechanic originally responded, “All rims are double walled.”

My bike is a Diamond Back from 1998. Is it where nowadays all rims are double walled?

Since I decided I better save a lot of money and buy a new but stronger rim, I also might try to build maybe a 40 or 44 spoke rear wheel and buy another axle. Wouldn’t that be a lot stronger than what I have at 36 spokes? Would an equivalent brand of hub cost a lot? Am I better off going with the old hub since it’s such a good brand?

Either way I go, what brand of rim is stronger than the 26 x 1.95 mountain bike Alex Rims Adventurer 2 I had (have)? Is using the old spokes a bad idea? I’m thinking of doing all the building and just have a good pro mechanic do the truing, save a lot of money, and know what I’m getting.

Thanks!

Winfred

Last edited by winfred0000; 02-28-22 at 11:47 AM. Reason: clearer and more concise wording
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Old 02-28-22, 01:32 PM
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Building strong wheels is as much about the building process as it is about the quality of the components used. Very strong wheels can be built with 36 spokes if they are properly tensioned and stress relieved. Re using spokes from a wheel that has been breaking them is a very poor idea, they will have been exposed to stresses from uneven spoke tension and untrue rims. You won't save money by building the wheel yourself and then taking it in to a shop for final tensioning, you would have to first buy all the parts at full retail and then pay for the final build while hoping that you laced the wheel properly. Wheel parts for 40 and 44 spoke wheels will be very difficult to find and more expensive than the much more common 36 spoke rims and hubs. You can reuse a hub if it is in good shape which you should verify by doing a complete hub overhaul before committing to that route. Another point to re using spokes is that the new rim may possibly have a different effective rim diameter which may require different lengths.
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Old 02-28-22, 02:49 PM
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I agree with your trying to build a wheel yourself. I have to say that you and whatever you are carrying will be a big load on any rear wheel. I would expect to find a few years from now that you have gone through more spokes and rims. Learning how to do this stuff will save future money. However for many first timers the wheel isn't as long lasting as it might be. My usual advise is to take apart a known wheel, that doesn't mater to you, then relace it. BtW if as you are about to take the spokes and rim off the hub first just slightly loosen all the spokes only a few turns each. With nearly zero tension from the spokes the rim will return to whatever condition (radial/lateral) it has. I find this used rim check to give insight as to how nice a wheel (as in true enough but with good and even spoke tensions) you can hope for.

I strongly suggest a new rim and new spokes laced onto the hub in the same pattern the shell had before when you get around to doing the long time one. Andy
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Old 02-28-22, 03:02 PM
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If you have experienced multiple broken spokes on the same wheel then you should assume all the spokes are also close to failure - the spokes in a wheel act like links in a chain - if one has seen enough stress cycles to reach the end of its life then all the others have seen enough stress cycles to reach the end of their lives.

So you definitely need to replace your spokes. I would bet that once you get the spokes all removed or de-tensioned, the rim will be straight again - a single broken or de-tensioned spoke will often cause a wheel to be wildly out of true, and unless you have been riding this down rocky paths at full speed with underinflated tires. or doing lots of sweet jumps and practising your crooked landings, spokes are the most likely cause of it being out of true.
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Old 02-28-22, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
If you have experienced multiple broken spokes on the same wheel then you should assume all the spokes are also close to failure - the spokes in a wheel act like links in a chain - if one has seen enough stress cycles to reach the end of its life then all the others have seen enough stress cycles to reach the end of their lives.

So you definitely need to replace your spokes. I would bet that once you get the spokes all removed or de-tensioned, the rim will be straight again - a single broken or de-tensioned spoke will often cause a wheel to be wildly out of true, and unless you have been riding this down rocky paths at full speed with underinflated tires. or doing lots of sweet jumps and practising your crooked landings, spokes are the most likely cause of it being out of true.
No. Assuming they are stainless steel spokes, they have infinite stress cycles. Unless they are bent or corroded, there is absolutely no reason to replace perfectly good spokes.

The reason the OP is breaking spokes is because of uneven spoke tension. Find a qualified wheelbuilder - someone that actually has a tensiometer and knows how to use it - and replace just the spokes that are broken. That's literally the single biggest factor in wheel strength, not the rim or the number of spokes. A properly built wheel always includes spoke tensioning. If you insist on doing your own wheel work, you need one of these or something similar.

https://www.parktool.com/product/spo...ion-meter-tm-1

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Old 02-28-22, 04:56 PM
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semantics = all rims have a INNER wall ....and an OUTER wall ...hence, 2 walls !
'
'What most people mean when they somewhat casually refer to a rim as 'double wall' is actually a 'box modular' constructed rim ....'box modular' is the proper term
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Old 02-28-22, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
No. Assuming they are stainless steel spokes, they have infinite stress cycles. Unless they are bent or corroded, there is absolutely no reason to replace perfectly good spokes.
This is not true and is likely based on a (regularly repeated) misunderstanding of fatigue limits.

1. Fatigue occurs when stress is applied cyclically; ie. low stress -> high stress -> low stress etc
2. Fatigue failure occurs when stress cycles introduce microscopic flaws that grow with repeated stress cycles and the flaws grow big enough that the part fails
3. There is such a thing as a 'fatigue limit' - cycles below a certain amount of stress that can theoretically be withstood by some materials (like stainless) infinitely without a fatigue failure
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatigue_limit

HOWEVER

Just because a material has a fatigue limit does not mean that the stress cycles the material sees are necessarily below that limit.*

Furthermore,
the absolute stress is not the only factor in determining whether something might experience fatigue failure - the amplitude of the cycle, that is, the total change from lowest stress to highest stress is also a factor, even if the maximum stress (compression or tension) might be much lower than the stress required to deform or break the part, it can still cause fatigue failure.

And unless there were gouges in the broken spokes from the chain falling off the cassette, those spokes broke due to fatigue, and since no one spoke acts alone, we must assume the remaining spokes have seen similar stress cycles, and they should be replaced.


*this same misunderstanding is often applied to steel bikes, and people say steel bikes will last forever, but if you remember the days when steel was by far the main material for bike frames, those frames - especially very lightweight frames - would often break after several seasons (or less) of hard use - YES steel has a fatigue limit, but there is no guarantee that the stress the steel sees is below that limit, which it would have to be for the frame to last an infinite number of fatigue cycles. The lighter and thinner the tubes and lugs/joints the higher the stress the material would experience under any load.

And, yes, an evenly tensioned wheel is much less likely for this type of failure to happen, but OP's spokes have already started breaking, so likely weren't evenly tensioned, and so have been pushed up to (some past) the point of fatigue failure. If spokes were unevenly tensioned then the amplitude (size of the excursion from minimum tension to maximum tension) of the stress cycles was enough to cause failure. ANd if some of the spokes saw these stress cycles, it's extremely likely that all of the spokes saw these stress cycles. The microscopic flaws that resulted in the first few broken spokes should be assumed to be in every spoke because they all saw the same conditions that caused the first few to break.
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Old 02-28-22, 06:13 PM
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Haiku

Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
This is not true and is likely based on a (regularly repeated) misunderstanding of fatigue limits.

1. Fatigue occurs when stress is applied cyclically; ie. low stress -> high stress -> low stress etc
2. Fatigue failure occurs when stress cycles introduce microscopic flaws that grow with repeated stress cycles and the flaws grow big enough that the part fails
3. There is such a thing as a 'fatigue limit' - cycles below a certain amount of stress that can theoretically be withstood by some materials (like stainless) infinitely without a fatigue failure
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatigue_limit

HOWEVER

Just because a material has a fatigue limit does not mean that the stress cycles the material sees are necessarily below that limit.*

Furthermore,
the absolute stress is not the only factor in determining whether something might experience fatigue failure - the amplitude of the cycle, that is, the total change from lowest stress to highest stress is also a factor, even if the maximum stress (compression or tension) might be much lower than the stress required to deform or break the part, it can still cause fatigue failure.

And unless there were gouges in the broken spokes from the chain falling off the cassette, those spokes broke due to fatigue, and since no one spoke acts alone, we must assume the remaining spokes have seen similar stress cycles, and they should be replaced.


*this same misunderstanding is often applied to steel bikes, and people say steel bikes will last forever, but if you remember the days when steel was by far the main material for bike frames, those frames - especially very lightweight frames - would often break after several seasons (or less) of hard use - YES steel has a fatigue limit, but there is no guarantee that the stress the steel sees is below that limit, which it would have to be for the frame to last an infinite number of fatigue cycles. The lighter and thinner the tubes and lugs/joints the higher the stress the material would experience under any load.

And, yes, an evenly tensioned wheel is much less likely for this type of failure to happen, but OP's spokes have already started breaking, so likely weren't evenly tensioned, and so have been pushed up to (some past) the point of fatigue failure. If spokes were unevenly tensioned then the amplitude (size of the excursion from minimum tension to maximum tension) of the stress cycles was enough to cause failure. ANd if some of the spokes saw these stress cycles, it's extremely likely that all of the spokes saw these stress cycles. The microscopic flaws that resulted in the first few broken spokes should be assumed to be in every spoke because they all saw the same conditions that caused the first few to break.

this agrees with my
understanding of fatigue
limits and failures

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Old 02-28-22, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
No. Assuming they are stainless steel spokes, they have infinite stress cycles. Unless they are bent or corroded, there is absolutely no reason to replace perfectly good spokes.

The reason the OP is breaking spokes is because of uneven spoke tension. Find a qualified wheelbuilder - someone that actually has a tensiometer and knows how to use it - and replace just the spokes that are broken. That's literally the single biggest factor in wheel strength, not the rim or the number of spokes. A properly built wheel always includes spoke tensioning. If you insist on doing your own wheel work, you need one of these or something similar.

https://www.parktool.com/product/spo...ion-meter-tm-1
I sure hope that any build wheel had the spokes tensioned... I think that what was meant to be said is that better wheels have had a process that seats the spokes into the hub shell and rim holes under higher tension than what the final tensions will be. Besides the better seating (and reduction of future tension loss as the spokes attain this seating after many cycles of use) some builders also place lateral pressure on the spokes a short distance away from the elbows. This lets the spoke better take a straight line from hub flange to rim hole further reducing later tension loss (as the spoke straightens out with those cycles of use.) The last bit of building technique that might be meant is to end up with the spokes not having any "wind up" when done. That's when the spoke has twisted a bit with the nipple's turning. If the spoke is left still twisted after the final tensioning then these spokes will want to unwind as they go through their tightening and relaxing with each wheel revolution.

As to the need for a tension meter I will say that some need a gage to follow in a "paint by numbers" building style. This perception really only began long after many millions of wheels were made, over many decades, with no such tool. Only the budding builder's ability to look at a good wheel of known grade and transfer that wheel's spoke tensions to the first one they built was needed, or a mentor's watchful eye. As wheels lost spoke count and the rims became, stiffer and stronger, the need for higher spoke tensions grew. (And the effect of a broken spoke got worse BTW).

But the OP's wheel is not what I would call a low count spoke one, or the double wall/box rim mentioned as being a high strength/stiffness one so for the many possible choices that the Op might use the current wheel is a pretty mid grade one with a lot of spokes. Is spoke tension important? Yes but what's not is whether the average tension is 100 or 105, That the spokes are of about the same tension (per flange) is more the point and this can be confirmed by that so crude method used by so many wheel builders for those may decades, pluck tone.

To tension meter or not to reminds me of painting your home. Some feel the need to buy edging tape and spend the tine applying it (and sometimes still suffer from bleed over) when doing the trim color. Others just focus and produce a straight cut in line of paint (and risk spill over). In the end both methods can be great or poor depending on the person holding that spoke wrench (or paint brush). Andy
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Old 02-28-22, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
This is not true and is likely based on a (regularly repeated) misunderstanding of fatigue limits.

1. Fatigue occurs when stress is applied cyclically; ie. low stress -> high stress -> low stress etc
2. Fatigue failure occurs when stress cycles introduce microscopic flaws that grow with repeated stress cycles and the flaws grow big enough that the part fails
3. There is such a thing as a 'fatigue limit' - cycles below a certain amount of stress that can theoretically be withstood by some materials (like stainless) infinitely without a fatigue failure
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatigue_limit

HOWEVER

Just because a material has a fatigue limit does not mean that the stress cycles the material sees are necessarily below that limit.*

Furthermore,
the absolute stress is not the only factor in determining whether something might experience fatigue failure - the amplitude of the cycle, that is, the total change from lowest stress to highest stress is also a factor, even if the maximum stress (compression or tension) might be much lower than the stress required to deform or break the part, it can still cause fatigue failure.

And unless there were gouges in the broken spokes from the chain falling off the cassette, those spokes broke due to fatigue, and since no one spoke acts alone, we must assume the remaining spokes have seen similar stress cycles, and they should be replaced.


*this same misunderstanding is often applied to steel bikes, and people say steel bikes will last forever, but if you remember the days when steel was by far the main material for bike frames, those frames - especially very lightweight frames - would often break after several seasons (or less) of hard use - YES steel has a fatigue limit, but there is no guarantee that the stress the steel sees is below that limit, which it would have to be for the frame to last an infinite number of fatigue cycles. The lighter and thinner the tubes and lugs/joints the higher the stress the material would experience under any load.

And, yes, an evenly tensioned wheel is much less likely for this type of failure to happen, but OP's spokes have already started breaking, so likely weren't evenly tensioned, and so have been pushed up to (some past) the point of fatigue failure. If spokes were unevenly tensioned then the amplitude (size of the excursion from minimum tension to maximum tension) of the stress cycles was enough to cause failure. ANd if some of the spokes saw these stress cycles, it's extremely likely that all of the spokes saw these stress cycles. The microscopic flaws that resulted in the first few broken spokes should be assumed to be in every spoke because they all saw the same conditions that caused the first few to break.
The spokes did not break because they reached their stress cycles, they broke because the forces acting on them exceeded their yield strength. And that was due to uneven spoke tension.

Under normal use stainless spokes do not even come close to their fatigue limit. Spokes do not "wear out". Same as with a steel spring. Properly designed so as not to exceed its fatique limit, a steel spring can bend an infinite number of times. That's why we don't see aluminum springs. And that is also why it's true that under normal use, a steel bike frame also has an infinite theoretical lifespan.

If a wheel were to flex enough to exceed the spoke's fatigue limit, the aluminum rim would break WAY before the spokes did.
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Old 02-28-22, 07:30 PM
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[QUOTE=
....
As to the need for a tension meter I will say that some need a gage to follow in a "paint by numbers" building style. This perception really only began long after many millions of wheels were made, over many decades, with no such tool. ...

...That the spokes are of about the same tension (per flange) is more the point and this can be confirmed by that so crude method used by so many wheel builders for those may decades, pluck tone...
[/QUOTE]

I agree that many experienced wheelbuilders can get it pretty close by plucking, and I'm sure you're aware that a reasonable degree of accuracy can be produced with a guitar tuning app. And there is surprisingly wide tolerance - it's a case of "close enough is close enough" and they're never perfect. A tensiometer is not a "paint by numbers" approach - it's a specialized tool that provides greater accuracy than plucking, makes the job go faster, and reduces human error and variation. Everyone's degree of pitch accuracy is different, which is why a guitar tuner is an improvement over human hearing. I agree that it's not as important how you do it, as it is that it is done, and it turns out close enough. In cases where people start breaking spokes, it's due to wildly different spoke tension, usually caused by someone just bringing a wheel into true without regard for spoke tension all around. I've worked on some wheels where they looked true, but some of the spokes were actually loose (which meant of course that others were way too tight). A hack with a spoke wrench can do more harm than good.

Plus, would you ever trust a bike shop that didn't have a spoke tensiometer? They're not expensive and even the cheapest ones are more accurate than plucking.
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Old 02-28-22, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I agree that many experienced wheelbuilders can get it pretty close by plucking, and I'm sure you're aware that a reasonable degree of accuracy can be produced with a guitar tuning app. And there is surprisingly wide tolerance - it's a case of "close enough is close enough" and they're never perfect. A tensiometer is not a "paint by numbers" approach - it's a specialized tool that provides greater accuracy than plucking, makes the job go faster, and reduces human error and variation. Everyone's degree of pitch accuracy is different, which is why a guitar tuner is an improvement over human hearing. I agree that it's not as important how you do it, as it is that it is done, and it turns out close enough. In cases where people start breaking spokes, it's due to wildly different spoke tension, usually caused by someone just bringing a wheel into true without regard for spoke tension all around. I've worked on some wheels where they looked true, but some of the spokes were actually loose (which meant of course that others were way too tight). A hack with a spoke wrench can do more harm than good.

Plus, would you ever trust a bike shop that didn't have a spoke tensiometer? They're not expensive and even the cheapest ones are more accurate than plucking.
having worked in such shops till the late 1980s (mostly because tension meters were not widely available till around then) I would not want to judger a shop's skill level by whether they have a specific tool. But I know customers do and that is why those 30+ years ago I got one of Park's first gen meters. These days I use it to double check the final tensions but the comparative tension work during the build up I do by plucking. I don't get offended when others use the tools they can buy. I do take issue with advice that sounds rather absolute though. Andy
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Old 03-01-22, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Building strong wheels is as much about the building process as it is about the quality of the components used. Very strong wheels can be built with 36 spokes if they are properly tensioned and stress relieved. Re using spokes from a wheel that has been breaking them is a very poor idea, they will have been exposed to stresses from uneven spoke tension and untrue rims. You won't save money by building the wheel yourself and then taking it in to a shop for final tensioning, you would have to first buy all the parts at full retail and then pay for the final build while hoping that you laced the wheel properly. Wheel parts for 40 and 44 spoke wheels will be very difficult to find and more expensive than the much more common 36 spoke rims and hubs. You can reuse a hub if it is in good shape which you should verify by doing a complete hub overhaul before committing to that route. Another point to re using spokes is that the new rim may possibly have a different effective rim diameter which may require different lengths.
i alcjphil!

Very kind of you to take the time to reply. I'm sorry as my first and only notice that someone replied came to my Gmail box 17 hours ago. I just assumed no one was answering because my thread or post (?) was probably too verbose. The problem I have I don't know how to really effectively shorten because it's a complex problem. I was out quite a few hours yesterday going to two different shops that do free estimates for rebuilding a wheel for me. I was limping along with rear V brakes open because the rear wheel wobbles quite badly.

I was mainly, as in my initial post here, looking at price and shop's level of experience as the used wheel I paid $150 for 17 months ago is so bad one of the two shops said I need a new wheel. I was foolish buying a used wheel as advice I perceived is that when you buy a used wheel you don't know the wheel's history. The first shop estimated $185. The 2nd shop said the first shop only gave me a partial bid description. I remember the first shop kept the second page of the printout and he said it was the "spoke information" like he didn't want to give it out treating it like it was their private in-shop information only. Also the first shop mechanic seemed to take it personal that I was going to go to another shop for a bid and pressured me into having him do the build -- professional pride I guess.

The second shop "SS" said in an instant, looking at the first shop's "FS" bid of $185, that in a year I'd be returning with the same problem, that (sadly) the FS wheel wasn't stronger than the wheel I had. The SS said in my case I really need a "touring wheel" and 40 spokes not 36 which would exclude the maybe best thing on my whole bike that the FS said was a "nothing short of awesome hub". It's a Shimano Deore XT FH-M770. Is that worth holding onto? I didn't tell the SS but I'd read if with a 36 hole wheel you use either double butted or triple butted spokes it's like equivalent in strength to adding 4 to 8 more spokes. That way I could save the cost of buying a 40 hole hub. Is that proper logic? The SS guy knew I'm low budget and with a 1998 Diamond Back with "4130 Cro-Mo" frame... but he showed online a hub made by "White" that would be ideal... but it was a $385 hub.

My price range for the entire wheel is about $200, and to hopefully use my Deore XT hub. My goal was to have a stronger wheel than what I had (see above). I always say, as in my thread here, that I weigh 285lbs and at times carry 60lbs of groceries. I don't trail ride my mountain bike. I commute in urban settings on streets and paved bike paths. I combine commuting with exercise always achieving the goal of getting exercise. I also plan to do short 150 mile max bike camping trips where I pull maybe like a CoHo X one wheeled trailer. The SS also said when they are very busy they take their wheel build jobs to a world renowned wheel builder near them in Bloomington, Minnesota. Have you heard of them? I can't find them with an internet search. He said they will build a wheel within 48 hours for $60. It's what their shop charges for labor. If you were me, and it's my choice, would you go the route of having that company do the build but the SS order the parts? Also what would your solution be for parts in my case? Thanks for your input!

Carpe Diem!
Winfred

Last edited by winfred0000; 03-01-22 at 09:07 AM. Reason: Divided one paragraph into two, clarified some.
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Old 03-01-22, 09:18 AM
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Assuming your current hub is in good shape, I would have that built by a good wheel builder with a strong rim (I’d probably use something by velocity or mavic but there are lots of options) and quality butted spokes (like dt Swiss). A decent shop should have the ability to do this in house, probably for around $200 total, depending on labor cost. Might be worth going a bit over that for the strongest rim you can afford. But the build itself should be well worth the labor and make a huge difference in strength and longevity if done by an experienced builder. Ideally it should include a check over/tensioning after being ridden some.

The first shop probably didn’t want to give you their spoke length calculation, considering this part of the labor cost of the wheel build.
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Old 03-01-22, 02:22 PM
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[QUOTE=bboy314;22424960]Assuming your current hub is in good shape, I would have that built by a good wheel builder with a strong rim (I’d probably use something by velocity or mavic but there are lots of options) and quality butted spokes (like dt Swiss). A decent shop should have the ability to do this in house, probably for around $200 total, depending on labor cost. Might be worth going a bit over that for the strongest rim you can afford. But the build itself should be well worth the labor and make a huge difference in strength and longevity if done by an experienced builder. Ideally it should include a check over/tensioning after being ridden some.

Hi bboy314 and Anyone Else Here!

Thank you very much for taking the time, and so many here I haven't responded to yet, great and very informed people here! I just located the estimate from the first shop "FS" I went to yesterday. The second shop "SS" the mechanic late yesterday evening when I finally got there one hour before closing said today he and the repair department manager were going to figure out their estimate. He said if they are very busy at times they take a wheel build job to a specialty wheel builder that is also in Bloomington, Minnesota very close to them where for $60 they build a wheel within 48 hours. He said that builder has become so renowned they have orders nationally and internationally. If I go with the SS if you were me would you just say to have that specialty builder do it and the SS bring them the parts? It seemed I could make that decision and just wondering what you would do in my case. I did a key word search and can't find that wheel build shop anywhere. They're so renowned... have you maybe heard of them? If so I'd like to try to find their website. Maybe they fill orders for other bike shops only or something like that. Also I have gone to the SS for several years and they are a COOP. I'm not sure, but I think any bike parts I buy I get a dividend rebate at the end of the year, or they count it at any time toward anything I buy from them which maybe sets them apart price-wise from any other shop.

The FS said the rim he chose was "RM8366 Sun Ringle CR-18 Rim - 26", Black/Silver, 36H Clincher" The SS said that rim was not any stronger than what I now have an "ALEX RIMS Adventurer 2". The FS mechanic said the Adventurer 2 was a flop, had too many problems, and Shimano discontinued it. Maybe that's why I had problems with it plus it, being a used wheel and possibly having a bad history. The FS guy then did a cross section drawing showing the rim he chose is a triple walled rim. The SS said that rim had an extra feature that in cross section he showed from the company diagram is stronger but he said it's not a triple walled rim. The FS guy didn't say anything to me about his including a different hub as he'd said my existing hub was "nothing short of awesome". The "rear hub in his bid: HU9751 Shimano FH-TX500 rear hub threaded x 135mm, rim brake, HG10, Black 36H". FS said he was going to use regular straight (no double or triple butted) stainless steel spokes and that it would be stronger than what I now have simply because he was the builder and using stronger parts. He said if I wanted like double butted spokes then the spokes would be around $72, but not to use double butted. That's as much as I know from the FS bid at $185 parts and labor (parts at $120 and labor $60, and $5 for something I forgot).

I'm still wondering because of all I'm going through whether or not I should go with the SS and spend more even though my bike is a 1998 Diamond Back with the "Cro-Mo 4130" frame. When I bought the frame in 2017 because that particular shop said my original frame was rusted so much around the bottom bracket they couldn't get it out to exchange. So for $341 they switched all parts over to the frame I now have. The frame I now have still has the original bike store quite fragile sticker on the frame and seemed not used very much. Do you maybe think I'm spending too much on my older bike getting this wheel? The SS said the wheel with the FS's bid was of the same strength as my present wheel and that a year from now I'd be back to where I am now> Do you perceive it the same way? The FS guy said my front wheel Mustang Front E.R.D. 542 with a Surly bolt-on hub is very good. I also about in 2016 at a shop that is now closed that had a community open shop free bench converted my brake system, with help from volunteers, from regular brakes to V brakes. For $12 I bought the used V brake Shimano shifters. I also bought the more expensive Kool Stop insert style of brake pad housing. I bought last October a new Shimano Acera derailleur. The front derailleur is Shimano Decore DX. I also have an Avion luggage rack, the heavier duty one I use with my Ortlieb clip-on side bags to haul my groceries etc. So overall I have some nice things I modified it with... but still wondering what you think as far as how much one should spend on a bike like that. Thanks very much for your time! I am grateful to you!

Cheers!
Winfred
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Old 03-01-22, 02:52 PM
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I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money on a quality wheel for this bike, as it sounds like it fits you and has been pretty well maintained and upgraded. If you were to buy a new bike, you’d probably end up wanting to upgrade the rear wheel anyway.

The Sun Cr18 is a good rim, especially for the price but in your case I might try to find something more heavy duty. The Sun Rhyno Lite is similar but wider, maybe a bit stronger. Velocity Dyad is another good rim, though more expensive. Your options may be pretty limited right now with the 26” size.

IMO $60 is very reasonable for a build from an experienced wheel builder. Not sure why one shop recommended against butted spokes, maybe they’re thinking more material = more strength? But in reality the extra flex of butted spokes helps them avoid breaking from stress.
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Old 03-01-22, 04:14 PM
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I'll second the recommendation of Sun CR18s. I have them on three wheelsets. They're double-walled with grommets and are very strong. Use your existing hubs and let a GOOD wheelbuilder build you a set of wheels. I don't like the sound of either of these two shops you're dealing with, frankly.

But is there reason to believe the current rims are not strong enough? The symptoms you're having - broken spokes and wheel out of true - have almost nothing to do with the rims. If the guy says he can build you a wheel for $60, you could hand him the wheel as is and tell him to build it. The wheels may end up being just fine once they've passed through the hands of someone that knows what they're doing. Just a thought.

I'll also second the observation that it's a good idea to have the spokes retensioned after some miles, after the first full season of riding at least. They're usually good after that for a long time.

Last edited by Jeff Neese; 03-01-22 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 03-01-22, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bboy314 View Post
I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money on a quality wheel for this bike, as it sounds like it fits you and has been pretty well maintained and upgraded. If you were to buy a new bike, you’d probably end up wanting to upgrade the rear wheel anyway.

The Sun Cr18 is a good rim, especially for the price but in your case I might try to find something more heavy duty. The Sun Rhyno Lite is similar but wider, maybe a bit stronger. Velocity Dyad is another good rim, though more expensive. Your options may be pretty limited right now with the 26” size.

IMO $60 is very reasonable for a build from an experienced wheel builder. Not sure why one shop recommended against butted spokes, maybe they’re thinking more material = more strength? But in reality the extra flex of butted spokes helps them avoid breaking from stress.
Hi bboy314 and Anyone Else!

Thanks very much for reading my reply and giving such helpful feedback! It’s very nice from an independent perspective! More answers coming in but I’m first, to keep myself organized, focusing on your last post. I haven’t received the estimate from the SS yet, although they are open until 9PM CST. Their mechanic last evening said they would send it as an email.

So you think spending $200 is about right, or should I spend more?

You would then go with the option of having that specialty builder do it for $60? It sounds like a stupid question as that builder is I guess world renowned and fortunate to be just minutes from the SS ("SS" for others means "Second Shop" that I saw yesterday.)

I wonder if that specialty builder charges a special price to that SS since they maybe bring a lot of direct local business to them.

When the SS mechanic presented the $385 “White” brand hub possibility I said that was out of my price range. What do you think of my existing hub, the Shimano Decore XT FH M770? Do you think it is a “nothing short of awesome” hub as the FS ("First Shop") said? It is for 36 spokes. Is the M770 hub at least somewhat like the White brand hubs and you get thousands of miles out of them?

Is what I read accurate, that if you use double butted spokes with a 36 hole hub it is like having 4 more spokes and with triple butted like 4 to 8 more spokes in strength? Which of the two butted spokes, double or triple, would you get? Would it then with butted spokes and the better rims you mention be where I could save on the hub price and use the M770 hub, or not?

Really though whatever you think is best. How much would you, if you were me, or in my case... spend on a rear wheel?

Also… my rear end is so sore I was in such pain I was very glad to finally get to the SS last night. It’s so bad I’m not riding today at all. I didn’t ride during long below zero days here, so maybe that’s part of it, but I am 68 yrs old now. That SS sales person suggested a Bontrager tie-on or pull-cord type silicon seat cover for $31 to put over my Serfas Cruiser silicon seat. Do those covers start causing problems at my amount of usage?

Thanks for everything!!

Winfred
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Old 03-01-22, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I'll second the recommendation of Sun CR18s. I have them on three wheelsets. They're double-walled with grommets and are very strong. Use your existing hubs and let a GOOD wheelbuilder build you a set of wheels. I don't like the sound of either of these two shops you're dealing with, frankly.

But is there reason to believe the current rims are not strong enough? The symptoms you're having - broken spokes and wheel out of true - have almost nothing to do with the rims. If the guy says he can build you a wheel for $60, you could hand him the wheel as is and tell him to build it. The wheels may end up being just fine once they've passed through the hands of someone that knows what they're doing. Just a thought.

I'll also second the observation that it's a good idea to have the spokes retensioned after some miles, after the first full season of riding at least. They're usually good after that for a long time.
Hi Jeff!

Thanks very much for your response. Maybe I'm a fool, but have you heard like the First Shop "FS" I saw yesterday said that the Alex Rims Adventurer 2 were flops, a design failure and discontinued. I wondered too if that was the reason I broke 2 spokes. I also learned through the school of hard knocks that when you buy a used wheel you don't know the history of that wheel. I broke 2 spokes in time but not sure if whoever owned it before had broken spokes too. You said neither shops gave good advice but thought I'd ask about the Alex Rims just in case. The SS (Second Shop) I went to is a bike coop and I can get a dividend refund (maybe not sure for bike parts) on things I buy. They really messed up my Portland Design Works fender installation... but had to put it behind me as that coop has dividend refund and I think it's with bike parts too. It seems they have connections to that world renowned wheel builder that is near them that they have brought a lot of the quick turn around jobs to, or jobs they need help with in times they are too busy. I think I'll just ask if they send the wheel to that builder as it is the same $60 labor price either way. I'm very grateful for your response!!

Cheers!
Winfred
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Old 03-01-22, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by winfred0000 View Post
Hi Jeff!

Thanks very much for your response. Maybe I'm a fool, but have you heard like the First Shop "FS" I saw yesterday said that the Alex Rims Adventurer 2 were flops, a design failure and discontinued. I wondered too if that was the reason I broke 2 spokes. I also learned through the school of hard knocks that when you buy a used wheel you don't know the history of that wheel. I broke 2 spokes in time but not sure if whoever owned it before had broken spokes too. You said neither shops gave good advice but thought I'd ask about the Alex Rims just in case. The SS (Second Shop) I went to is a bike coop and I can get a dividend refund (maybe not sure for bike parts) on things I buy. They really messed up my Portland Design Works fender installation... but had to put it behind me as that coop has dividend refund and I think it's with bike parts too. It seems they have connections to that world renowned wheel builder that is near them that they have brought a lot of the quick turn around jobs to, or jobs they need help with in times they are too busy. I think I'll just ask if they send the wheel to that builder as it is the same $60 labor price either way. I'm very grateful for your response!!

Cheers!
Winfred
Alex Rims Adventurers have a very good reputation. They're made for loaded touring bikes and other places where strength is needed. They weren't discontinued but there is an Adventurer 2 out now.

I apologize that I didn't look to see what rims you had. I'm doubling down on my recommendation to hand the wheel to a skilled wheelbuilder and tell him to build it back from scratch. He'll loosen all the spokes, replace the few that are broken, build it back up the right way, and it will be like a new wheel. Those Alex rims are more than just fine - they're an excellent rim especially where strength is needed. If there is any damage to the rim (bent or dented) or the braking surfaces severely worn, that's a different story. And if you had to buy a new rim, an Alex Adventurer would be a worthy alternative to the Sun CR18 (plus it would match the front). It sounds to me like you in fact already own all of the parts (minus a couple of spokes) to build an excellent and very strong wheel.

I seriously wouldn't do business with that shop ever again. They don't know what they're talking about, and are desperate to sell you something that you don't need. They certainly don't have your best interests in mind.
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Old 03-01-22, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by winfred0000 View Post
Hi bboy314 and Anyone Else!

Thanks very much for reading my reply and giving such helpful feedback! It’s very nice from an independent perspective! More answers coming in but I’m first, to keep myself organized, focusing on your last post. I haven’t received the estimate from the SS yet, although they are open until 9PM CST. Their mechanic last evening said they would send it as an email.

So you think spending $200 is about right, or should I spend more?

You would then go with the option of having that specialty builder do it for $60? It sounds like a stupid question as that builder is I guess world renowned and fortunate to be just minutes from the SS ("SS" for others means "Second Shop" that I saw yesterday.)

I wonder if that specialty builder charges a special price to that SS since they maybe bring a lot of direct local business to them.

When the SS mechanic presented the $385 “White” brand hub possibility I said that was out of my price range. What do you think of my existing hub, the Shimano Decore XT FH M770? Do you think it is a “nothing short of awesome” hub as the FS ("First Shop") said? It is for 36 spokes. Is the M770 hub at least somewhat like the White brand hubs and you get thousands of miles out of them?

Is what I read accurate, that if you use double butted spokes with a 36 hole hub it is like having 4 more spokes and with triple butted like 4 to 8 more spokes in strength? Which of the two butted spokes, double or triple, would you get? Would it then with butted spokes and the better rims you mention be where I could save on the hub price and use the M770 hub, or not?

Really though whatever you think is best. How much would you, if you were me, or in my case... spend on a rear wheel?

Also… my rear end is so sore I was in such pain I was very glad to finally get to the SS last night. It’s so bad I’m not riding today at all. I didn’t ride during long below zero days here, so maybe that’s part of it, but I am 68 yrs old now. That SS sales person suggested a Bontrager tie-on or pull-cord type silicon seat cover for $31 to put over my Serfas Cruiser silicon seat. Do those covers start causing problems at my amount of usage?

Thanks for everything!!

Winfred
If your Deore XT hub is still in great shape, that is indeed an awesome hub and I would reuse it. It sounds like SS was trying to sell you a wheel with a White Industries hub which is awesome in its own way but not what I’d pick for your application.

I believe a CR18 rim retails for around $40? With that, good quality double butted spokes and $60 labor, plus new rim tape you should come in just under $200. Make sure you have a good tire and keep it up to pressure when riding.

As far as gel seat covers, I personally don’t like them but that’s a very subjective thing. I find they squish around and cause me to chafe. Finding the right saddle is key but can be expensive to try out different ones. Some shops will let you demo a variety of saddles before buying. I personally like brooks and Terry saddles a lot but that’s also very subjective.
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Old 03-01-22, 06:36 PM
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I would inspect the XT hub very carefully before investing any time in rebuilding it. That generation is somewhat notorious for cone/axle issues.
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Old 03-01-22, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
I would inspect the XT hub very carefully before investing any time in rebuilding it. That generation is somewhat notorious for cone/axle issues.
Agree with this suggestion. A lot of Surlys were sold with this XT/Adventurer wheel, I don’t recall seeing issues with the rim but I did come across several with pitted cones and collapsing hub shells. And in general this is good advice for rebuilding with any used hub.
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Old 03-01-22, 10:03 PM
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Old 03-02-22, 08:42 AM
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Sometimes buying new pre-made wheels are more cost effective then building building wheels then again in money is no object build on.
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