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Wheelbuilding for a beginner

Old 07-24-22, 10:23 AM
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Wheelbuilding for a beginner

Hi,

I want to try my hand on wheelbuilding for the first time. While it seems daunting, i feel like lacing it up and giving it basic tention should be doable, if I'll be dilligent about it.
My biggest issue atm, is getting the correct spoke length for a rim/hub combination.

I want to use a 130 mm hub with a 36 spoke count in silver to fit my touring bike aestehtic - something cheap basically with 10speed cassette compatibiltiy. And the corresponding spokes and rims to build it up.
Same for the front wheel (100 mm hub, silver 32/36 spoke count).

Can someone reccomend a hub/spoke/rim combination i can get started with? 100 USD/ per wheel in total, if possible

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-22, 11:18 AM
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There is something called E.R.D. (short for effective rim diameter). Different rims have different ERD's. You need to look up the ERD for the rims that you plan to use. Next, go to an on line spoke calculator and plug in your rim and hub numbers. Assuming you are talking basic clincher (700c) rims and three cross spoke pattern, it should come out about 292 -294mmish size.
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Old 07-24-22, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by headwind15
There is something called E.R.D. (short for effective rim diameter). Different rims have different ERD's. You need to look up the ERD for the rims that you plan to use. Next, go to an on line spoke calculator and plug in your rim and hub numbers. Assuming you are talking basic clincher (700c) rims and three cross spoke pattern, it should come out about 292 -294mmish size.
Oh yea, sorry - I was meant to add that I was planning on going for a basic clincher in 700C (or tubeless, if that makes a difference). Rim brakes too.
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Old 07-24-22, 03:14 PM
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I would also recommend reading Sheldon Brown's page on Wheel BuIlding. The devil is in the details.
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Old 07-24-22, 03:20 PM
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$100.00 for hub/rim/spokes? Good luck.
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Old 07-24-22, 03:24 PM
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Don't know your experience but a good start would be with an old wheel. Take the old wheel and loosen everything up then get it back trued and ready ta go. In doing this you will develop e skills with the tools you have and exponentially increase your change of a successful from scratch wheel build. Fun Fun FUN!!!
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Old 07-24-22, 03:32 PM
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Honestly you can buy wheels cheaper than the parts.

​​​​​​https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=6527
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Old 07-24-22, 05:57 PM
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Musson's book is good. It's totally doable. But really see above. Think why you want to do it. To get a 4.5 lb wheel set that came from the nineties? Nah. Shouldn't you be doing it on something special you couldn't find or afford otherwise?
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Old 07-24-22, 06:57 PM
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Parts alone will be be about 150 per wheel. You will need a truing stand, spoke tension gauge, and spoke wrench And a cheap digital caliper. So..... there is no payback in doing this for one wheel set. It will take a few builds for you to be "par" with just buying a set of wheels. But where is the fun in that? I borrowed a friend's gear and built my first set 10 years ago. This year was the first year I had to retension the wheel, so that is pretty good for a first try.
For a first build, consider a Deore hub. there are loads of those on eBay. Deore is bomb proof. People scoff at old stuff but the Sun CR-18 rim has been around forever. Durable, relatively cheap, but not always the most round out of the box. And lastly, butted spokes. Unless you are really heavy ( I am 200 lbs) a butted spoke will give you a really resilient wheel.
Its good to learn a skill and have a measure of pride in doing something on your own. Go for it, its fun.
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Old 07-24-22, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Musson's book is good.
I've been using this book for years. It's inexpensive and easy to read; it's nicely detailed.
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Old 07-24-22, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer
You will need a truing stand, spoke tension gauge, and spoke wrench.
Really? I use my upside down bike frame as a stand and find a tension gauge also unnecessary.
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Old 07-24-22, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Really? I use my upside down bike frame as a stand and find a tension gauge also unnecessary.
To each his own. Of course you can use a frame as a stand. I just find that good tools make the job more relaxing. I have trued a wheel on the fly after a broken spoke, the brakes acted as lateral guides. And of course you can tune/tension by ear by plucking spokes like a harp. I have been down the road of doing things without good tools and just prefer the ease of a stand, and the knowledge that a tension gauge gives me a known reading. I would hate to see a beginner have a bad outcome or build and then decide it was a poor choice to try this. Tools last a lifetime. The runout dial gauge for my disc brakes on my cars has paid me back many times. Same for my micrometer. And tools are relatively speaking far less than when I was young. We can scoff at Asian build stuff from China, but lots of stuff is still made in Taiwan and really good quality. And besides, if I don't spend money on a tool, the wife will spend it on curtains or paint or some other pointless item!
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Old 07-24-22, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer
I would hate to see a beginner have a bad outcome or build and then decide it was a poor choice to try this. Tools last a lifetime.
If you start with new rims, it's super easy to build a wheel. Sheldon Brown lays it out all out simply and clearly. The problem I have is folks making it sound like it's rocket science, and it's not. The first time, it might take a long time. But so what. Personally, I'd rather spend money on tires than a truing stand that sits in the closet.
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Old 07-24-22, 10:31 PM
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I found his videos very informative
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Old 07-24-22, 10:32 PM
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My truing stand is mounted to a table in my bedroom. I use dial indicators and check the tension of the spokes by plucking them and adjust the tension according to how they sound.
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Old 07-24-22, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for all the input! I will be trying my hands on wheelbuilding, and will not get a truing stand/tensiometer right off the bat. A frame will do, from what I can tell initially. From what I can tell,100 $/€ should be within the ballpark for a rear wheel (50 for a hub, 20 for a rim, 20 for spokes and nipples)
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Old 07-24-22, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Musson's book is good. It's totally doable. But really see above. Think why you want to do it. To get a 4.5 lb wheel set that came from the nineties? Nah. Shouldn't you be doing it on something special you couldn't find or afford otherwise?
I want to develop a new skill, not just buy new parts Wheelbuilding should help me truing rims and the like. Also further down the line I wanna build a 10speed 26 inch rim brake tubeless wheel, and they are terribly hard to come by..
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Old 07-24-22, 11:59 PM
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My 2c - not saying it's the best option for everyone:

Shimano mid-range hubs offer a good bang-for-the-buck and are of a decent quality and durability.
Aluminium double-walled rims - whichever you find locally available.
Spokes - for starting, you could go with some cheaper ("Chinese") ones - they will reveal any wheel building defficiency, by breaking.
High-quality swagged spokes can compensate for poor building (even design for that matter), because they are really tough and durable.

Roger Musson's book, mentioned above, is a great idea.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:46 AM
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I've built all my wheels for the past 40 years. I use a spoke wrench, hold the wheel in my lap, check the true in the frame. I made a dish tool with 2 4-inch wood screws and a flat 1x1 from a discarded TV stand (a stand for eating meals in front of the TV). It's hardwood and perfectly flat, just long enough for a 700c wheel. The hole in the center for the axle fits my hub's.
If I billed for my labor at minimum wage I'd be better off buying made wheels but I like knowing I built them.
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Old 07-25-22, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Arthur Peabody
If I billed for my labor at minimum wage I'd be better off buying made wheels but I like knowing I built them.
Yep, totally agree. I am willing to put the time into building them wheels, since it's time spent on a hobby.
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Old 07-25-22, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
From what I can tell,100 $/ should be within the ballpark for a rear wheel (50 for a hub, 20 for a rim, 20 for spokes and nipples)
I think those of us that build wheels would be interested in photos and/or specs on the components you source and use for your build(s).

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Old 07-25-22, 07:57 AM
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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.
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Old 07-25-22, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
I think those of use that build wheels would be interested in photos and/or specs on the components you source and use for your build(s).
This is what i could find quickly (below 100 €)

Admittedly, its a hub for rim brakes and the rim is for dics brakes, but i think the argument holds true - found a disc brake hub, which also works out to below 100 €



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Old 07-25-22, 09:11 AM
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BRAKES. Not breaks.
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Old 07-25-22, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench
BRAKES. Not breaks.
whatever are you on about I wouldn't make such a foolish mistake, especially since English is not my native language.
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