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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-07-08, 07:53 PM   #1
Askel
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Mr. Beanz, tell me about the art of wheel building...

Any suggested reading on the matter? You're one of the few people on this forum who seem to be extremely happy with their wheels.

I replaced the wheels on my Kona Hoss this week, so I've got some wheels to take apart and practice with now. Once I start to get the hang of it, I'd like to build a nice set of wheels for my "fast" road bike.
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Old 06-07-08, 08:05 PM   #2
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I read Sheldon Brown's site on building. He says everyting I needed to know. But then again, I don't care to build liteweight ti/carbon wheels with fancy blades for speed and superfast uphill TT racing!

It's all about even tension, retensioning at 200/300 miles after the spokes settle and break in. Trail spokes on the inside of the hub flange (drive side) for reinforcement. 32 spoke 3X pattern. While building, make sure the spokes don't bind! Pretty easy with common sense and patience

I was scared to death when I first tried. First one lasted, since then a bit more confidence and evenmore TLC, not a single problem. But I watche every move and every turn of the spoke very carefully. Sheldon has it right, start the wheel, then for the final touches, return the next day to avoid frustration.

Trailing spokes, inside flange for extra support. Same pic in BDinger's thread!
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Old 06-07-08, 08:08 PM   #3
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Sheldon has good stuff. Like placing the label so that it is visible thru the valve stem hole. He says attention to detail, so that's what I do and that's what I did!
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Old 06-07-08, 08:09 PM   #4
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Cool, do you use a spoke tension meter at all or do you do it by feel?
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Old 06-07-08, 08:21 PM   #5
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My bud that built the first lasting set of wheels for me let's me check the tension after the build. I do it by feel then take it in for the check. I've been right so far with 5 out of 6. He said the 6th was close but didn't matter, it would be ok. Being the way I am, I added more tension to ease my mind, re-check and good, no problems with the wheel.

You can feel a new wheel at the shop. flick it with a finger nail and set your build to match the feel and sound. Should put one in the ballpark after some experience. I like to check them to ease the brain!

He's an excellent mechanic and builder. I followed him around from city to city. He provides on the spot service and I tip him well when he does. But I don't need much anymore. Once I walked in with thrashed bearings in my tandem wheel. He dropped everything then rebuilt it on the spot, charged me $12! How's that for service, I tipped him $20!
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Old 06-07-08, 08:25 PM   #6
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I do have a dishing tool. Even if I true the front, I make sure the dishis cool. I like to have everything balanced and correct. Thinking that a wheel is true but out of dish runs my brain ragged!

I've seen shop dudes true wheels and not check the dish. One friend and his wife told me that she feels like she's riding unbalanced. I looked a the rear wheel and noticed it close to the chainstays. The wear on the tire was stange, off to the side. I checked the dish, way out!

They took it back and kicked some butt! I was right!
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Old 06-09-08, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
You can feel a new wheel at the shop. flick it with a finger nail and set your build to match the feel and sound. Should put one in the ballpark after some experience. I like to check them to ease the brain!
Funny the LBS in Halifax I would take my bike to would always "let be play the spokes" when I would bring my wheel in.
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Old 06-09-08, 01:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Askel View Post
Any suggested reading on the matter? You're one of the few people on this forum who seem to be extremely happy with their wheels.

I replaced the wheels on my Kona Hoss this week, so I've got some wheels to take apart and practice with now. Once I start to get the hang of it, I'd like to build a nice set of wheels for my "fast" road bike.
If you want the best series of articles on wheel building I've ever seen, look at the 1986 series that Bicycling Magazine did...back when Bicycling Magazine was actually worth the trees that died for it. The page I linked to has the other three articles listed on the left hand side.

The first article is the most dated of them. It's about selecting rims and hubs. We've come a very long way since that article was published. The second article, while a bit poorly written, is the most important of the 4. It's about lacing and doing the prep work before tensioning. I refer to it every time I lace a wheel. The last two articles, while useful, are mostly unnecessary once you've actually built a wheel.
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