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Poll: how did you learn to build a wheel?

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Poll: how did you learn to build a wheel?

Old 03-07-16, 01:08 PM
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Poll: how did you learn to build a wheel?

Please limit to those who have actually built a wheel.
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:11 PM
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Went online and looked for a spoke calculator and plugged in my hub and rims and ordered my spokes and nips. Then just read a how to online. They've been holding up fine ever since. I've only built a couple sets so I'm no master but they've held up.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:19 PM
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From Sheldon.

You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
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Old 03-07-16, 01:21 PM
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^^^ Me too.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:22 PM
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I looked at the old hubs, and they looked to be the same size, same with the old rims.
I took one apart and put another one together, re-using spokes and nipples.
I snugged up everything and made sure they looked the same.
Then I took them to LBS to be trued and tensioned. That's it.

Recently, I bought some wheel-building tools, a truing stand, spoke tension meter, and multiple Park tool spoke wrenches, etc.
It looks like all I'll ever do, though, is true the ones I have, so I'll be putting all that stuff on the FS thread.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:25 PM
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I read the Sheldon Brown page, which convinced me I could do it, then I bought Jobst Brandt's book to work through my first pair of wheels. When the Jobst Brandt book got destroyed by a leaky freezer in my garage, I got Roger Musson's e-book. Any one of these would have been sufficient. I like the Roger Musson book best.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:29 PM
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The shop I'd just begun working at back in the '70s had a spendy customer who was a tanker captain and he wanted something built up for his "deck bike," the one he rode around aboard ship to keep in shape. Sturmey 40H hub laced 3X to a sew-up rim to go on one of his many bikes. Shop owner coached me on the build and I did many others thereafter.

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Old 03-07-16, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by top506
From Sheldon.
Me too, from the site. Tried 3x cross first, 2x, then radial, crow, then for fun some perverse stuff.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:30 PM
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I was 16 and working in a shop here in St. Paul.

The owner walked up to me with a bottle of Coca Cola and said he needed help with wheel building.

He built the first one and watched me building the next three.

After that I got pretty good at it and built them until my RA got the best of me.

I've likely built several hundred wheels at this point and still have 3-4 wheelsets that I built bitd.

Don't build anymore though......
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Old 03-07-16, 01:31 PM
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I think Sheldon might need his own option on the poll. His tutorial is where I learned, too.

Well, for the most part, that is. I'm applying some transferable skills as well. The art of achieving even spoke tension isn't too dissimilar from tuning a drum, and I've been doing that for years.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by riva
...then for fun some perverse stuff.
ha ha ha
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Old 03-07-16, 01:32 PM
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The Jobst Brandt book.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:34 PM
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I took a coaster brake wheel apart, rebuilt with a 3 speed hub using the spokes and rim from the coaster brake wheel, and followed directions in a not very comprehensive book I checked out of the library. This was back in about 1972... Fortunately the spokes were the right length, or at least close enough.

Motivation, I needed a 26" wheel with more than 1 gear for the hills I rode on, and had access to a 24" wheeled bike as a donor with a 3 speed hub.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:42 PM
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Book by Jobst Brandt. Tried Gerd Shraner a bit later & couldn't understand it. After several wheels took a 3 day class at a professional wheel shop - Sugar Wheel Works, Portland, OR.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:45 PM
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I built my first wheel by the monkey see, monkey do method, copying an existing wheel's spoke pattern. It was a slow inefficient process, but I got there in the end. Then over the years, building plenty of wheels, I got smarter, figuring out techniques that saved time and effort. I also benefited from many conversations with 1st class builders over the years, exchanging knowledge and "trade secrets" which helped refine things that much further.

Lastly, visiting bike factories and seeing how production builders could lace over 60 wheels per hour helped shave lacing time by more than half.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:51 PM
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I couldn't find the wheel I wanted, so I took a class at the local co-op and built it myself. I admire you guys who can do it from the written word; I would have been lost without the hands on training.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:57 PM
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With pointers from the LBS owner, then on my own with referencing back to Sheldon.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:58 PM
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Initially hands on training and copy a good one when I worked in a bike shop when I was 16.

Later I got the Brandt book to understand the engineering details more completely.

The Bill Mould videos also had a few tidbits that were useful to come up to speed on modern methods with the tensiometer.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:58 PM
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It's slightly complicated for me. While I built my first pair with the help of Sloane's book, I went with 1:1 training, since the way that I was taught is still the method I use. It was the classic apprentice thing. I was a 15 year old minimum wage LBS worker, and got trained by an experienced mechanic with an engineering degree...
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Old 03-07-16, 02:01 PM
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Learned in a shop; there were some really great mechanics in the shop I worked in in New Orleans, The Bikesmith. That place looked like it belonged back in the 60s.
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Old 03-07-16, 02:13 PM
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Osmosis, I just touch a wheel set once.....there you have it.....
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Old 03-07-16, 02:16 PM
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Sheldon, youtube, and looking at an already built wheel.

Sheldon's site was good for referencing, but for some reason I couldnt envision what I was reading. Youtube and the current wheel built up in front of me made it a lot easier.
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Old 03-07-16, 02:22 PM
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No "Trial and Error" as an option? Yeah, it falls under "Other" but it is a specific method thousands have used.

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Old 03-07-16, 02:25 PM
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Pre internet 30 plus years ago got small booklet cover was yellow. It was home made printed from pablo alto bicycle shop got rims ans spokes there also and built the wheel on my cuevas frame. Still have bike.
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Old 03-07-16, 02:39 PM
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Another cyclist ran into the back of my bike from the side resulting in the rear wheel being severely bent. Carried the bike home and took out all the spokes so I could bend the rim roughly back into shape. Put the spokes back in by copying another wheel and got it back in true mainly through trial and error. That seemed to go well enough so I've always built my own wheels from then on.
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