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To build, or not to build (a wheel)

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To build, or not to build (a wheel)

Old 07-17-09, 04:00 PM
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jekyl
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To build, or not to build (a wheel)

My back wheel looks like a potato chip. It was bent slight before causing my brakes to make some awful demonoid screeching noise, but now it can't even roll. I had this tire "trued" as best as they could do before, but it still wasn't perfect.

I was thinking about just buying a new rim, cause the old one, aside from being bent has some heavy grooves in the side from the brakes. How tricky is something like that to replace for a noob? Can I use the same spokes, or do I have to buy more of those? I'm finding that it's hard to figure out what type/size of spoke to use. I'm also not sure what tools are required vs. what tools are just "nice" for doing the job.

Complete wheels are really expensive, so I'm trying to save some money. My rear hub is in great shape. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-17-09, 04:12 PM
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First things first. You can reuse your hub unless the flanges are bent or damaged. You shouldn't reuse the spokes from a significantly bent wheel. They're likely to be very unevenly stressed from riding it, and will probably break or at least come out of true quickly in a new wheel.

You'll need spoke wrenches at a bare minimum. A truing stand is really good to have, but not utterly essential (use the bike and brake pads if not). Nashbar always used to always be the cheapest place to get 20-packs of good-quality spokes and nipples (two for a 32/36-spoke rear wheel with some spares)... but they have nothing right now. And sometimes they have good deals on rims.

So if you can get a good price on spokes and rims and tools, learning to build a wheel will be worth it, and quite a learning experience. But otherwise I'd go for a new wheel.

Also, Google "spocalc" which is the spreadsheet everyone uses to calculate the correct length of spokes needed.
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Old 07-17-09, 04:29 PM
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You can also perform the "Poor man's wheelbuild" by purchasing a matching rim.

Stomp that potato chip as flat as you can, then line up the valve hole on the new rim with the old one and tape them together. One spoke at a time, swap them over to the new rim, then bring it up to tension and true.

While the advice to never reuse spokes and nipples is a valid one, still, there are times we gotta do what we gotta do to keep riding. If more spokes break, you can just replace them as it comes.
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Old 07-17-09, 05:32 PM
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yeah, it's really weird that nashbar is out of everything I need right now. I need 36-hole rims, and they are discontinuing those.

Are there any other reputable bike parts websites?
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Old 07-17-09, 05:41 PM
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You can likely buy a new wheel for less than the sum of the parts. Try Performance (they're having a sale) and ColoradoCylist. What type of bicycle and wheel are we looking at here?
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Old 07-17-09, 05:50 PM
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How about telling us what wheel you have? if it's a nice hub + spokes then it may be worth rebuilding with a rim with the same ERD. If it's some generic cheapass piece of **** rear wheel then it's not worth the time just thinking about it.
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Old 07-17-09, 06:25 PM
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Old 07-17-09, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jekyl View Post
yeah, it's really weird that nashbar is out of everything I need right now. I need 36-hole rims, and they are discontinuing those.

Are there any other reputable bike parts websites?
Discontinuing?? As in... Nashbar is never going to sell 36H hubs again? Where'd you hear that?

There are plenty of others but none have decent selection combined with prices and discounts as good as Nashbar's.
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Old 07-17-09, 06:40 PM
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I beg to differ, mox - there are many places with good prices and decent selection. Just maybe not all in one place. For instance - for a wide selection - try Niagara Cycle Works in New York state:

https://www.niagaracycle.com/index.php

And Cambria of California:

https://www.cambriabike.com/default.asp

And many more. Besides - Nashbar is deep in the doo-doo now for failing to inform they're customers that their computer had been hacked and our credit-cards stolen - until 7 months after they knew it!!

Well rid of 'em in my opinion.
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Old 07-17-09, 08:47 PM
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Of all the sites I checked, only Harris cyclery sells individual spokes, for $1 apiece.

Some sites have 18-packs, but only in a few sizes. Others have them in boxes of fifty or 144.

I would NOT reuse the spokes if you taco'd the wheel. They are surely stretched and you can't get the wheel straight without a fair bit of skill because you can't just use the number of turns you tightened each nipple as a reference.
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Old 07-18-09, 12:30 PM
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Ok, my back hub is a shimano something. It looks pretty solid. I got this bike second hand, so that's all I can really tell. The front hub says 'Sun tour.' The back spokes are galvanized steel.

I talked to one of the reps at nashbar and they said "Sorry but that item is discontinued and will not restock." Referring to the Sun 26" 36-hole rims, which are the only ones they have on there (currently) that have 36 holes.
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Old 07-18-09, 12:46 PM
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Check out biketoolsetc.com --- Use the menu to the left (scroll down for the "wheel parts" sub-menu). They have excellent customer service and are happy to answer questions.

https://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...=Wheel-and-Rim
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Old 07-18-09, 01:27 PM
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36 hole rims and hubs aren't as popular as they were but they will be very common for many years to come. Sun still makes 26X1-3/8 40-hole cr18s for those full fendered English roadsters (It's a different 26" size than mtbs) and rims for 27X1-1/4 tenspeeds from the 70's and 80's. Get on Amazon and find another shop. Nashbar specializes in a lot of closeouts, so I think they mean there just aren't any good deals on wholesale 36 hole rims NOW, and no plans to seek out new ones at the regular price.

I still hope you add up the cost of getting 36 spokes IN TWO DIFFERENT LENGTHS before you undertake this, though.

As for the building, it's easy as pie with sheldonbrown.com's instructions.
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