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Wheelbuilding for a beginner

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Wheelbuilding for a beginner

Old 07-25-22, 10:22 AM
  #26  
KerryIrons
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
You will need a truing stand, spoke tension gauge, and spoke wrench And a cheap digital caliper.
Really? I built a set of wheels in a campground in Rapid City, SD and rode them for roughly 8,000 miles of fully loaded touring. I admit I did use a spoke wrench. But that other stuff, no. I've build well over 100 wheels without a spoke tension gauge or digital calipers. Funny how that works.
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Old 07-25-22, 11:11 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Arthur Peabody View Post
I made a dish tool with 2 4-inch wood screws and a flat 1x1 from a discarded TV tray.
I use two equal stacks of cd jewel cases, my kitchen table and a metric ruler just like Sheldon taught me.
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Old 07-25-22, 11:22 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I think there's value in learning to build your own wheels, in that you'll be able to maintain your own wheels. Break a spoke? $2 (or euros) instead of $20 labor. Plus you can get back on the road this evening instead of whenever you land in your bike shop repair queue.

As dedhed noted you can buy a machine built wheel for less that the cost of parts. Buy one of those; detension the spokes if you want (but they're usually not up to tension anyway), then develop and practice your tensioning, truing, and stress relieving skills.
Yes. I have two wheels that were purchased for around $100 15 years ago, very decent Shimano Ulterga and Campy Chorus hubs, straight gauge spokes and Open Pro rims. I wanted the hubs and rims. Rode the wheels "as is" a while until I had time, then removed the heavy spokes and re-built with much lighter butted spokes. I have replaced the rims once or twice. (Several tens of thousands of miles and the PNW lava dust that wears rim braked sidewalls so fast.) Those butted spokes are going strong.

I have built all my wheels from scratch since the early '70s except those that came on bikes and the few I've purchased for hubs and rims.

My parts importance priorities go - spoke wrench; get a good one! The colored Park wrenches are excellent. (The colors - red: Japanese spokes, green: French spokes, Black: Swiss and the current high end spokes (DT, Sapim, Wheelsmith - if they are still in business). A tension meter. The Park ones are decent and all most of us will ever need. Good wheels with similar spoke gauges and spoking patterns plus an ear (or musical tuner) for pitch work as well but you do need a means to get the overall tension in the ballpark. Too little and you have a wheel that will require work to keep true, Too much and you may break hub flanges or crack the rim at the eyelets. Truing stand. Last because it is absolutely not needed, just a nice labor saver. (And the best ones, especially on permanent mounts are like trophy animal heads, big, heavy and take up a lot of space but impress visitors.) Mine's a bent flatbar stand that cost me $30 and folds to fit in small spaces. Crude. I've built many wheels that have been trouble-free for years/decades with it.

Welcome to wheel building! I'm back in the game. It had died down to just replacing rims when worn but now I am changing my wheels over to a different rim types so I get to do many from scratch! Happy camper here.
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Old 07-25-22, 03:11 PM
  #29  
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A 105 hub, Wheelsmith or DT double-butted spokes and a Mavic rim designed of a touring bike like the A319.
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Old 07-26-22, 07:48 PM
  #30  
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Porkchop BMX has custom length USA made stainless steel 14ga spokes for 38 cents a pop.

I just ordered from them to build up a 20" 48h wheelset for a BMX build I'm working on.

They just added custom length 14ga colored spokes, they run anywhere from 32 cents to 65 cents each.

Nipples sold separately.
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Old 07-26-22, 08:39 PM
  #31  
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Good book recommendations already. But since this is 2022, youtube, which actually shows how it's done rather than describing it is the way to go. Park Tool has a series of videos from building to truing to centering, etc. The Park Tool videos are always produced very well as opposed to the great majority of half-assed amateur videos with poor descriptions and awful camera work. Park have good narrative, as if they actually thought of it before hand, great camera work and learning aids that really help. They reference their own tools of course, but once you have an idea of the tools that are needed, you can find your own if necessary.

I won't disagree with the comments about the tools you need and the fact you can probably find a wheel ready made for less $. However, it's fun and worth doing just to learn something new or give it a try, even if it's the only time you do it. I was lucky to borrow a truing stand and only bought the materials and a spoke wrench. I guessed at spoke tension by comparing the feel to other good wheels. I got the spokes by bringing the hub and rim to my local guy and he ordered the type of spokes I wanted. I didn't bother trying to figure out the spoke length and the hubs and rims I had were NOS from the 90s so not in any calculator I found.

You can easily make a dishing tool, Youtube abounds with examples.

I now have a truing stand (a friend gave me his old one), a tension gauge and two dishing tools (one home made, and later, a Park on the "free" table at a bike swap). I really never have a need for this stuff because my wheels never go out of true (I'm light and weak!), but I will give re-dishing a try soon as I noticed a rear wheel I have is a few mm off center.

Last edited by Camilo; 07-26-22 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 07-26-22, 10:26 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Good book recommendations already. But since this is 2022, youtube, which actually shows how it's done rather than describing it is the way to go. Park Tool has a series of videos from building to truing to centering, etc. The Park Tool videos are always produced very well as opposed to the great majority of half-assed amateur videos with poor descriptions and awful camera work. Park have good narrative, as if they actually thought of it before hand, great camera work and learning aids that really help. They reference their own tools of course, but once you have an idea of the tools that are needed, you can find your own if necessary.

I won't disagree with the comments about the tools you need and the fact you can probably find a wheel ready made for less $. However, it's fun and worth doing just to learn something new or give it a try, even if it's the only time you do it. I was lucky to borrow a truing stand and only bought the materials and a spoke wrench. I guessed at spoke tension by comparing the feel to other good wheels. I got the spokes by bringing the hub and rim to my local guy and he ordered the type of spokes I wanted. I didn't bother trying to figure out the spoke length and the hubs and rims I had were NOS from the 90s so not in any calculator I found.

You can easily make a dishing tool, Youtube abounds with examples.

I now have a truing stand (a friend gave me his old one), a tension gauge and two dishing tools (one home made, and later, a Park on the "free" table at a bike swap). I really never have a need for this stuff because my wheels never go out of true (I'm light and weak!), but I will give re-dishing a try soon as I noticed a rear wheel I have is a few mm off center.
Good points.
Though, for me at least, learning from books is faster and somehow more "comprehensive" compared to using videos.

Some prefer seeing it shown (videos). Park Tool is as good as it gets when it comes to videos.
Another important aspect of their videos is practically zero nonsense - i.e. they do it all as it should be done (don't teach you the "wrong way" of doing stuff).
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