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Relacing wheels, which is the easiest way?

Old 08-30-10, 03:03 PM
  #1  
constant mesh
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Relacing wheels, which is the easiest way?

Hi all, new member here. Sorry to bombard you right away, but I think I have a minor problem. I broke a non-drive side spoke on the rear wheel and this lead me to buy all new spokes, because no one carries plain 1.8mm spokes with thread area of 2.0mm which is some sort of exotic I believe. I know about dishing and I bought 2mm shorter spokes for the drive side.

I already tried it once from scratch on an old but driveable front wheel and it ended up with spokes still sticking out with nipples fully on. I am sure my pattern was correct, I also had an identical wheel for a reference.

So back to the initial problem ...
Is it best to collapse the wheel entirely then start it from scratch? Or can I go spoke by spoke without taking it apart interily? I guess I should loosen all of the spokes completely, beforehand?

I am in serious need of guidelines, not because I don't want to learn proper lacing, but to save time, because my schedule is tight for next two months so I just want to ride when it's still warm. I'll re-learn over winter.

Thanks!

T
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Old 08-30-10, 03:21 PM
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Shouldn't be a problem buying 2.0-1.6-2.0 spokes, they are really common.
I think it is easier to start from the beginning. You haven't said what your lacing pattern is, 3-cross seems to be the most common.
I like to use the instructions found in Jobst Brandt's book "The Bicycle Wheel". Instructions for 3-cross are also available at the Sheldon Brown web site. If you can lace 3-cross it's not much different lacing 1, 2, or 4-cross. But different spoke crossings require different length spokes.
Spoke lacing is actually easier than truing when you consider that radial truing, lateral truing, dishing, and tensioning are all inter-reactive.
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Old 08-30-10, 03:23 PM
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+1 I really like the Sheldon Brown tutorial on this topic. I print it out every time, and follow his step by step process (I don't do it enough to have the procedure memorized).
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Old 08-30-10, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by constant mesh View Post
So back to the initial problem ...
Is it best to collapse the wheel entirely then start it from scratch? Or can I go spoke by spoke without taking it apart interily? I guess I should loosen all of the spokes completely, beforehand?T
While you can replace old spokes one-by-one with new spokes, it would take an impossibly long time and you risk damaging the new spokes by bending it too much to weave it through the other ones. Best to remove all the old spokes first by loosening all the nipples so there's no tension. Then cut them out with pliers and discard.

Then build up the wheel from scratch. Good on-line guide at Sheldon Brown's wheel building site. Be especially careful with the initial spokes, specfically the "key spoke". Also note that the holes in the hub are not opposite each other, but are offset by 50%. This makes a huge difference in how the 2nd spoke is laced after the key-spoke.

The Brandt book is also a great resource with some technical background as well.
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Old 08-30-10, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Best to remove all the old spokes first by loosening all the nipples so there's no tension. Then cut them out with pliers
Detensioning before cutting spokes is one of those things that I wonder about all the time. I'm sure that I've disassembled over 100 wheels by pointing the nipple in a trash can so it can't shoot across the room and cutting the spoke while it was still under tension. Am I missing something?
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Old 08-30-10, 08:44 PM
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Jeff Wills
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Detensioning before cutting spokes is one of those things that I wonder about all the time. I'm sure that I've disassembled over 100 wheels by pointing the nipple in a trash can so it can't shoot across the room and cutting the spoke while it was still under tension. Am I missing something?
Well, if you're trying to preserve the rim, cutting a couple spokes while leaving the rest under tension can warp rim the rim. However, if the rim's toast, it's great fun to shoot spokes across the room with a quick snip. Warning: not OSHA approved.
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Old 08-31-10, 06:09 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to add it's a 3-cross pattern. I will start from scratch as all of you suggested.
I have read Sheldon's article numerous times, but still got it wrong on my learning wheel.

Thanks anyone.
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Old 09-01-10, 06:02 AM
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I found that this web site outlines the whole process even better than sheldownbrown.com: https://www.troubleshooters.com/bicyc...ding/index.htm
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