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Swapping rims the lazy way

Old 04-17-20, 04:16 PM
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Swapping rims the lazy way

I hate lacing rims, I just needed to swap rims so I could have a matching pair, so I cheated a little.










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Old 04-17-20, 04:25 PM
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That works. Nothing wrong with that. I think this is similar to how Seth from "Seth's Bike Hacks" did it. I have loosened all the spokes, taped the two rims together and then moved the spokes to the new rim one at a time.

It looks good. Did you true the wheel yet?
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Old 04-17-20, 04:30 PM
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Another method is to de-tension the spokes on the original wheel, fix the new rim to the old rim (masking tape, zip tie) side to side, and then transfer one spoke over at a time to the new rim. Edit: Velo Mule beat me to it while I was typing.
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Old 04-17-20, 04:56 PM
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Neat idea.
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Old 04-17-20, 05:34 PM
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I just bookmarked my first Bike Forums page; what a fantastic idea!

DD
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Old 04-17-20, 06:46 PM
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I tape the spokes near the hub on both sides--same idea as zip ties but to me it holds things in the correct place more easily. Whichever way, I don't consider it cheating and guess what? I'm going to be doing it again in about a week! Did it at least once several years ago and it worked well. As much as building wheels up from zero is neat, swapping rims is much preferred.
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Old 04-17-20, 06:54 PM
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Yep this works well. I'm somewhat surprised some people hadn't heard of this. It was pretty much SOP for replacing a rim if the wheel still had relatively new spokes. Like if you just hit a curb and cracked the rim on a wheel that was built fairly recently. I've always done it with tape, cuz that's how I learned it. Zip ties weren't something that used to be around, at least not in large quantities.
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Old 04-17-20, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
I tape the spokes near the hub on both sides ... and guess what? I'm going to be doing it again in about a week!
Show your work (here please) or zero credit.
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Old 04-17-20, 09:11 PM
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This may have just moved me closer to building my first rim...still panicked about dishing and calculating needed dish.

Might be less stressful to me than gluing my first set of tubulars...
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Old 04-17-20, 09:18 PM
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Taping 'em together is what I prefer to do. A lot harder to mess something up when only one spoke is free at a time.

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Old 04-17-20, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Yep this works well. I'm somewhat surprised some people hadn't heard of this. It was pretty much SOP for replacing a rim if the wheel still had relatively new spokes. Like if you just hit a curb and cracked the rim on a wheel that was built fairly recently. I've always done it with tape, cuz that's how I learned it. Zip ties weren't something that used to be around, at least not in large quantities.
Yep, standard LBS protocol from BITD.
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Old 04-17-20, 11:36 PM
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Yeah fond memories. I learned the tape thing when I was 14, my dad did it on tour after I cracked my first Mavic MA3 in France. Little did I know at that juncture, I'd be cracking another two MA3s and replacing them myself before the 6-month tour was over!

When I laced my first wheel I messed up where I put the valve hole, so you couldn't get a pump in there, so I taped the spokes themselves together and undid everything and moved the rim a few spokes over. I still have that wheel.
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Old 04-18-20, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Taping 'em together is what I prefer to do. A lot harder to mess something up when only one spoke is free at a time.

If you're replacing the same size rim this is the best and quickest way.
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Old 04-18-20, 07:59 AM
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Another benefit of the tape-them-together style is that it's almost impossible to misalign the tire stem hole or have the graphics facing the wrong direction.
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Old 04-18-20, 08:27 AM
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Taping is sensible and efficient but you miss out on the "Zen of Lacing"
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Old 04-18-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Taping is sensible and efficient but you miss out on the "Zen of Lacing"
Zen'ed there, zen'ed that.

At my age I don't need any more character building experiences, I'm looking for shortcuts.

;-)
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Old 04-18-20, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Zen'ed there, zen'ed that.

At my age I don't need any more character building experiences, I'm looking for shortcuts.

;-)

I’ll second that!
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Old 04-18-20, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
This may have just moved me closer to building my first rim...still panicked about dishing and calculating needed dish.

Might be less stressful to me than gluing my first set of tubulars...
If your spoke lengths are correct, dishing mostly takes care of itself
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Old 04-18-20, 02:20 PM
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Rather than zip ties, I usu tape the spokes at the third cross.

jdawginsc , centering the rim isn't a big deal. I use a centering gauge I bought decades ago, but RJ has a simple trick using two stacks of books (or whatever). You set the wheel on one side of the rim on the two stacks, then slide some spacer (another book, for example) under the axle in between. Get a sense of the distance from the axle to the spacer, then flip the wheel over. If there's a difference, loosen one side and tighten the other to compensate. Lather rinse repeat. At that point, it becomes a three-way dance between lateral true, radial true and centering. RJ's video will explain it better than anything written.
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Old 04-18-20, 04:22 PM
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I might have used tape once, back in the '60s, but since then I never bothered with tape, having figured out that it's unnecessary. Loosen (but do not disconnect) all the spokes in the old rim, and then, starting at the valve hole, move over the spokes on the side facing the new rim and then the spokes on the other side.
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Old 04-18-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Centering the rim isn't a big deal. I use a centering gauge I bought decades ago, but RJ has a simple trick using two stacks of books (or whatever). You set the wheel on one side of the rim on the two stacks, then slide some spacer (another book, for example) under the axle in between. Get a sense of the distance from the axle to the spacer, then flip the wheel over. If there's a difference, loosen one side and tighten the other to compensate. Lather rinse repeat. At that point, it becomes a three-way dance between lateral true, radial true and centering. RJ's video will explain it better than anything written.
I do a variation of that: I place two chairs such that the rim can rest on the tops of the chairs, adjust a camera tripod until the top just touches the face of the axle nut, and then flip the wheel over.
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Old 04-19-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Rather than zip ties, I usu tape the spokes at the third cross.

jdawginsc , centering the rim isn't a big deal. I use a centering gauge I bought decades ago, but RJ has a simple trick using two stacks of books (or whatever). You set the wheel on one side of the rim on the two stacks, then slide some spacer (another book, for example) under the axle in between. Get a sense of the distance from the axle to the spacer, then flip the wheel over. If there's a difference, loosen one side and tighten the other to compensate. Lather rinse repeat. At that point, it becomes a three-way dance between lateral true, radial true and centering. RJ's video will explain it better than anything written.
If I decide to expand my skill set, I need to expand my tool set a bit. Feedback sports truing stand is awesome, but not for building rims.

I might try my hand at in the nearish future.
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Old 04-19-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Taping 'em together is what I prefer to do. A lot harder to mess something up when only one spoke is free at a time.

This is the way I was taught to do it working in a bike shop at 12 or 13 years of age.
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Old 04-19-20, 10:26 AM
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Dunno - I've done it both ways, and I think I prefer taking the spokes out and starting fresh. You can replace stripped nipples, swap out bad spokes, adjust crossing patterns for better tension, etc. The disadvantage is that the rear wheel has to settle in again after dishing and truing.

Helps if you have a truing stand and a dishing tool, though.
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Old 04-19-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
Dunno - I've done it both ways, and I think I prefer taking the spokes out and starting fresh. You can replace stripped nipples, swap out bad spokes, adjust crossing patterns for better tension, etc.
FWIW the traditional view on this was that generally speaking, by the time the rim is trashed enough that the wheel has to be rebuilt, the spokes should always be replaced at the same time. IME this was generally good advice. Most mechanics would have told you the same thing BITD. By the time my rims were too beat up to keep true, the spokes were generally starting to break, and usually they were notched at the crossings. Nipples could be starting to seize, or actually stripped, as you mention.

The tape and swap over thing was, like I said, for relatively new wheels that got damaged, or for when you just wanted a different rim for some reason (assuming it used the same spoke lengths).

I realize this goes against the advice in "The Bicycle Wheel", but while I understand the logic of that argument, I don't really agree, at least I didn't BITD. Nowadays it holds more true. Spokes are better and less likely to break, especially if you spring for DB. I"m on my second rim with the same spokes on my main road wheels.
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