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Finally Got Around To Trying This Out.......My First Wheel Build!!

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Finally Got Around To Trying This Out.......My First Wheel Build!!

Old 06-23-13, 03:32 AM
  #1  
Wino Ryder
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Finally Got Around To Trying This Out.......My First Wheel Build!!

Actually built this up last November. Black 'Open Pro' laced up to my Shimano FH-6402 rear hub. Build went quite smooth really, as long as you pay attention to the minute details early on. Had a blast building it up. Was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot. Built 3X with DT Swiss 'competition' spokes.

Lateral and Radial runout is less than .025 mm, so its pretty darn true. Didnt use any kind of dishing tool, just squared it in the drop outs and dished the rim center in the chain stays. Turned out pretty good. Took it for a 5-mile ride and within the first 300 ft I could hear it popping and pinging as the spokes relieved tension and settled down. Popped it back into the stand and only required minor tweaking to true it up. Got several hundred miles on it now without any problems, so I must've done something right.

Built the stand from pictures on-line and modified it to suit my needs. Still gotta build the front one up, so thats coming real soon. This wheel is on my '85 Centurion upgraded to 8-speed.







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Old 06-23-13, 03:42 AM
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Congrats !

Nothing like riding on your own laced wheels to make you feel like the man, lol.
If you don't hafta true them again after the 1st ride you done great.
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Old 06-23-13, 05:37 AM
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Very nice, I did my first set a year ago and still loving them to bits, Campy Daytona hubs and Mavic open sport rims. Now I'm looking for an excuse to string up another set
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Old 06-23-13, 05:56 AM
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Zinger said it, there's nothing like riding on your own wheels!

The pinging and popping is worth thinking about though. Did you remember to "stretch" the spokes at some point before final truing? The heads need to seat into the flanges and the elbow bends need to be "set" into their stressed state. At least that's the theory.

Ride them a while then re-check for tension and trueness.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:10 AM
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Way to go. Building your first set of wheels, and having them come out right, is very rewarding, eh? As Jim mentioned, it is a good step to seat the spoke heads, and remove twist and stresses, before final truing.
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Old 06-23-13, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
The pinging and popping is worth thinking about though. Did you remember to "stretch" the spokes at some point before final truing? The heads need to seat into the flanges and the elbow bends need to be "set" into their stressed state. At least that's the theory.
Also any extra twisting of the spoke as tension is increased will correct itself either as you de-stress or on your first ride.
One technique to de-stress is to place the wheel on a round bucket. Gently push down on the rim to flex the spoke. Do this in several positions on the rim. Flip the wheel and do the other side. Then back to the truing stand.
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Old 06-23-13, 07:36 AM
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I am VERY impressed. After these many years, by now, I should have built my own wheels.

Although I am a virgin in regards to wheel building, I have observed the process a number of times. One local racing mechanic here uses a section of 8x8 timber. After lacing and tensioning the wheel, he lays the spokes section by section on the timber and presses down on the rim to relieve stress and stuff.

A check-back on the stand for tension as true does not usually seem to involve a radical procedure. Perhaps one exception: despite his skill, I saw him struggle with a modern, minimally-spoked, rear wheel with radical dishing.

Congrats ... and thx for posting!
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Old 06-23-13, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Also any extra twisting of the spoke as tension is increased will correct itself either as you de-stress or on your first ride.
One technique to de-stress is to place the wheel on a round bucket. Gently push down on the rim to flex the spoke. Do this in several positions on the rim. Flip the wheel and do the other side. Then back to the truing stand.
Thanks 'gerv'. Appreciate all you guys comments. All the de-stressing I did was grab pairs of spokes and squeeze the hell out of them, all around the rim several times and on both sides. I had heard of the bucket method and others but figured what I did was good enough. There's a certain 'fear factor' in those other methods and was afraid of damaging something. Did my homework on this though. Researched the hell out of it, drawing material from all over the web for several months. I do admit to sacrificing my son's bike as a guinea pig, LOL. i completely tore his rear wheel down and rebuilt it before I attempted this. His bike had several 'hops' in it that didnt want to come out. When I was through with it, it was like a new wheel, which inspired me to think "Oh Yeah, I can do this!"

Sorry about the small pics. Dont know what happened. They were supposed to be twice that size.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:25 AM
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The bucket idea is interesting. I lay the wheel on a carpeted floor, no skewer of course, and press down on the rim on opposite sides, a couple of times around the rim. Then I flip it over and do it on the other side. Takes out all the spoke twist and stress. I do this twice during the tensioning and truing.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:42 AM
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Here's a better pic of my '85 Centurian parked outside the gate where I work. Converted to 8-speed and sporting a brand new 'Open Pro'.

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Old 06-23-13, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Wino Ryder View Post
Here's a better pic of my '85 Centurian parked outside the gate where I work. Converted to 8-speed and sporting a brand new 'Open Pro'.

You should be proud of that nice Centurion.

It gleams!

Should be a fun rider.
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Old 06-23-13, 10:00 AM
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Congratulations - nice choices!
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Old 06-23-13, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
The bucket idea is interesting. I lay the wheel on a carpeted floor, no skewer of course, and press down on the rim on opposite sides, a couple of times around the rim. Then I flip it over and do it on the other side. Takes out all the spoke twist and stress. I do this twice during the tensioning and truing.
Me too - actually the last wheel build I did (IGH on 700C rim) was by far the easiest because for the first time I had new rim, new spokes/nipples. It practically trued itself. I always tell myself that in the factory they built wheels really fast with only a bit of help from special tools - wheel building is all in the mind!
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Old 06-23-13, 12:58 PM
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It is not uncommon to get a little ping from a newly built wheel... if the spokes have been properly tensioned and de-stressed they are going to settle in after a few rotations of the wheel while it is under load and then all should be quiet. If it sounds like someone is running their hands across a harp or the wheel makes continual noise this usually indicates that there was some massive wind up.

Wheels I built yesterday were Campy Victory hubs laced 36/3 to Mavic MA40 rims that had been gently used and they came out 8 by 8 which means they were within 8/1000 laterally and vertically (10/000 is what I consider to be acceptable). Reason they were 36 front and rear is because I used the hubs that came with the original tubulars and although the front is a little overbuilt the bike that belongs to the wheels will see a lot of hard core, high speed commuting and not a lot of racing.

The little details make for a better built wheel.

Spoke threads were lubed as were the eyelets on the rim to allow the nipple to turn as smoothly as possible and spoke heads were seated... these wheels nearly built themselves which always makes me happy, there was not a lot of drama as these are very good rims and very nice hubs.

In using parts that have been pre-built (but hardly used) I had to lace the hubs as they had been originally and this is another thing to pay attention to... stress risers can be formed where a spoke crosses back in the opposite direction from a previous build. The tubulars had been laced symmetrically so the new clinchers also have the same lacing.

One of the best ways to make sure there is no spoke wind up is to overclock the spoke nipple when you are at working tension and by this you turn it a 1/4 turn past where it should be and then back it off to where it belongs.

Pressing the wheel also serves to do this and using an old pedal arm to seat the spokes against each other is also very effective... what you are doing is really beating up on the wheel and simulating stresses that it experiences while the wheel is under load.

It is important to know that you aren't going to be done building that wheel until the tyre goes on and is brought to pressure as this also adds compressive force to the rim... I have seen off the peg wheels completely de-tension themselves when the tyre was installed because there was so much spoke wind up.

Building a wheel with new, high quality parts is usually much easier but these were very nice parts but parts and the essence of this build was also that the clinchers were as visually close to the tubular rims as possible and period correct... the dark grey MA40s look good really with the Celeste Bianchi.
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Old 06-23-13, 01:00 PM
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Congrats! I did my first pair a couple of years ago. I actually took an existing set of professionally built tubular wheels and tore them down and built them up with clinchers that were the same inside diameter so I could reuse the same spokes. Didn't have any issues with stress relief because of that. The one scary point was during the initial tensioning - I was going around the wheel tightening about a 1/4 turn each time and suddenly I realized rim was looking pretty warped. I backed off and it straightened out. It happened again on the other wheel even though I was aware of it and watching for it. My big concern was in getting the tension right on a single walled no eyelet rim. I wanted to get it as tight as I could without risking damaging the rim. I put a couple hundred miles on them and they are really smooth and true.
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Old 06-23-13, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
It is not uncommon to get a little ping from a newly built wheel... if the spokes have been properly tensioned and de-stressed they are going to settle in after a few rotations of the wheel while it is under load and then all should be quiet.
Thanks 'Sixty Fiver', thats exactly what happened. Like I said in my original post, I did my homework on this. When I took it out for a ride it only 'pinged' three or four times and then it settled down. Put it back in the stand and was only 'off' a little bit laterally. Radially it was still near perfect. Since then I have not had a peep of a problem ever since, and thats after around 300 miles. I'm no expert on wheel building, but I did a good job on this one. Lot of fun too. Started about 0400 in the morning, while all the kids were asleep and went at it.
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Old 06-23-13, 03:06 PM
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i built my first set a couple weeks ago. i was tightening some loose spokes on a wheel i bought second hand and noticed that the spokes were poking through the rim tape. they were way too long. so i bit the bullet and bought some sapim db spokes from danscomp, opened sheldon's wheelbuilding page on my smartphone and went after it. it was much easier than i thought, but it took me a while as i used the bike frame (its calipers and a vertical truing spoke) to true and tighten them.

i've already built a third wheel. it's kind of addictive.
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Old 06-23-13, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
In using parts that have been pre-built (but hardly used) I had to lace the hubs as they had been originally and this is another thing to pay attention to... stress risers can be formed where a spoke crosses back in the opposite direction from a previous build. The tubulars had been laced symmetrically so the new clinchers also have the same lacing.
How do you determine the original direction of the spoke out of the hub. I know sometime you can see a minor gouge where a spoke crossed the hub. Are you saying in a new build, the spokes should follow that gouge? If so, I'm wondering how you would calculate it during the build...
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Old 06-24-13, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Spoke threads were lubed as were the eyelets on the rim to allow the nipple to turn as smoothly as possible and spoke heads were seated... these wheels nearly built themselves which always makes me happy, there was not a lot of drama as these are very good rims and very nice hubs.
Thanks for the tips, what kind of lube do you use on the spoke threads?
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Old 06-24-13, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
Thanks for the tips, what kind of lube do you use on the spoke threads?
I use Wheelsmith Spoke Prep. It's expensive, but it'll likely last a lifetime. (I've built 8 wheels with the last jar and haven't put a dent in it.)

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Old 06-24-13, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
How do you determine the original direction of the spoke out of the hub. I know sometime you can see a minor gouge where a spoke crossed the hub. Are you saying in a new build, the spokes should follow that gouge? If so, I'm wondering how you would calculate it during the build...
I'm not sure I see the problem here. On all the pre-strung hubs I've ever re-used the gouge from pervious spokes was pretty obvious, perhaps equally not on all the holes but enough to be sure how the spokes went. So when you lay out the spoke pattern for the new build you just choose the inner or outer flange to go the same way. The hard part is when the previous wheel was strung "incorrectly" so you have to be clever or build the new wheel the same way.
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Old 06-24-13, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
How do you determine the original direction of the spoke out of the hub. I know sometime you can see a minor gouge where a spoke crossed the hub. Are you saying in a new build, the spokes should follow that gouge? If so, I'm wondering how you would calculate it during the build...
You should be able to see the marks the old spokes made so if you are rebuilding with a used hub you need to follow that lacing pattern which actually makes things pretty easy as you can see where all the spokes are supposed to go.

On spoke prep... modern spokes tend to be very well made and thread up very smoothly so lubrication is not nearly as essential as it used to be. I just use a little all purpose light oil and with the double walled rims I was using put a little drop of oil at the inside of the eyelet to reduce friction where the nipple head seats. Linseed oil is the classic spoke prep and is still a great choice but anything that is slippery and greasy works.

I don't often build wheels with used parts (rims)... they have to be in really good condition before I will consider it as I have to be able to guarantee the work.

Someone mentioned building with single walled rims and these can be some of the most challenging rims to deal with as they are so very light and very responsive to changes in spoke tension... just built up some Formula hubs to some single walled / eyeletted Weinmann rims where one was NOS and the other was salvaged because the second NOS rim I had had a bad twist in it.

Good quality single walled rims can handle an immense amount of use and abuse if they are built up right and they are also really light... pulled the wheels off a Super Grand Prix (Normandy hubs laced to Weinman hoops with single butted spokes) and compared them to a modern low spoke wheel and it felt like they were half the weight.

Those wheels have been serving me well for over 10,000 miles but are only suitable for lighter riders since they are so stupidly lightweight... they live on my '51 CCM.
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Old 06-24-13, 03:18 PM
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Congrats Wino! I'm next on the list, and when I take the plunge I'm sure y'all will be seeing my pleas for help right here on BF.
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