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My own wheel build (?)

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Old 06-20-05, 02:41 PM
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rmont
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My own wheel build (?)

Has anyone built his or her own wheels? What is your experience and would you do it again, and shortly after would you build a second set? I post this here because these are wheels for my first fixed a free mid 70's Schwinn Varsity, that I am not sure that I going to want to keep for a very long time.

I am thinking of building my own set, using some basic goods - Mavic MA3 and some the alum hubs from the old Schwinn, but I am not sure that it is going to be worth it maybe I should find the frame that I ultimately want, and build for that set-up. I am intrigued by wheel building, it seems a good challenge and want to give it a shot, but at what cost, I am not sure yet. I guess I will not know until I get started.

Also, anyone on a Scwinn Varsity? Impressions?

thx
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Old 06-20-05, 02:59 PM
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dolface
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do it! it's easier than you think, and you'll be SUPER-stoked to be riding on wheels you built.

plus, you'll have more experience when it comes time to build a set for your ultimate frame.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:13 PM
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Cynikal
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I say go for it. Everyone should build at least one set. If I understand correctly you want to lace a MA3 to the stock varsity hub? I would strongly urge against this. Get a better hub, you can put it on your next bike. I think nashbar has a fixed/fixed hub for $30 right now.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:21 PM
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dolface
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Originally Posted by Cynikal
I say go for it. Everyone should build at least one set. If I understand correctly you want to lace a MA3 to the stock varsity hub? I would strongly urge against this. Get a better hub, you can put it on your next bike. I think nashbar has a fixed/fixed hub for $30 right now.
yeah, get that hub. i built the nashbar/ma3 as my first wheel too, it was fun.
(now that wheel is languishing in my pile o' wheels 'cause i don't have a bike to put it on; it's up for grabs if anyone wants it).
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Old 06-20-05, 03:32 PM
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dolface, I might want it. PM me with the details. Been looking for an excuse to get into SF for a while.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:36 PM
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Yes, build a wheel!

I wouldn't bother lacing to the old hub, its just not a good enough hub to spend that time on. Just keep the current wheels as 'backups', and then build a whole new set. Then if you get a new bike, you can put the old wheels back on the schwinn, and put the new wheels on the new frame.

I'd recommend the nashbar track hub as well, they are pretty darn cheap right now (45$ if you buy the matching front and rear), and seem to be good basic hubs. The MA3 is a good rim too. Add some cheap spokes from oddsandendos.com and you've got a wheel.

There are many resources for wheel building out there, and you should do a lot of reading, but this will be your main source: http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

You'll need a flat head screwdriver, a spoke wrench of the correct size, and thats it. A truing stand and tensiometer are nice, but you can get those later, if you find yourself building a lot of wheels. In the meantime you can use the frame of your bike as a truing stand. Just rubber-band a few pencils (erasers in) onto the fork or seatstays, pointing at the rim. Then you can just ease them in bit by bit as you get the wheels more and more true.

You'll enjoy riding wheels you built yourself, and its a great skill to have. If you've built a wheel, then truing and spoke replacement will be much easier in the future, and you'll have a lot more options for utilizing all the weird and wonderful rims and hubs out there that aren't available in a prebuilt combination.

peace,
sam
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Old 06-20-05, 04:11 PM
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Thanks everyone - time spent on an old hub was a major concern - Plus, the Schwinn hubs were narrow and built for a 125, which would create a different problem down the line with another frame. I will go with new hubs.
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Old 06-20-05, 05:13 PM
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If you feel like getting a book, THE ART OF WHEELBUILDING by Gerd Shraner is a fantastic step by step book on building and truing wheels as well.

It is a lot of fun to ride on your own wheels!
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Old 06-20-05, 08:45 PM
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ryan_c
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If it is financially a good option given the rims and hubs you want to use, then go for it.

Also, looping something around the hub before lacing the wheel to the rim (like a rubber band or some other continuous loop) is major cool points, plus it shines the hub.
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Old 06-20-05, 08:55 PM
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Build your own wheels. Everybody should know how to take their bike apart and know what to do if something happens. My first one was a pain but it well worth it.


S/F<
CEYA!
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Old 06-20-05, 11:58 PM
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I am building my first wheelset right now, as well. I bought the MA3 rims with IRO hubs and DT Swiss spokes. It cost 220. Figuring out how to pattern the spokes was the most difficult. I should have read up on it. But building them was fun. Truing the wheel is like setting up a lathe, if anyone is familiar with that. You can use a micrometer to measure the wobble in the rim, and make it perfect. I think from here on I will build all of my wheels. It's interesting and impressive, these guys that creates exotic spoke patterns, braiding them and such. Atleast from my experience, it was easier than I thought.
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Old 06-21-05, 12:41 PM
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SirrusPackage
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Do it. I finished my first wheel around 1 am this morning and was so pleased with the results I could hardly go to bed. Results can be seen at the link below.
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Old 06-21-05, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rmont
Plus, the Schwinn hubs were narrow and built for a 125, which would create a different problem down the line with another frame. I will go with new hubs.
Does this mean 126 spacing for the rear wheel? If you were going to transfer these wheels to another old bike at some point in the future I'd say go with hubs spaced at 120, which is pretty much the standard for older frames, as well as for newer track. You can make these fit on a 126 bike without much effort.
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Old 06-21-05, 01:50 PM
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rmont
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yeah that is a good idea. I ordered the Nashbar hubs for the MA3s, but will eventually build another set of wheels using the Schwinn hubs - they looked like garbage when I got them, but with a little elbow grease and even more aluminum dip, they came out pretty clean. When finished I'll have to post some photos.
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Old 06-21-05, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rmont
Has anyone built his or her own wheels? What is your experience and would you do it again, and shortly after would you build a second set? I post this here because these are wheels for my first fixed a free mid 70's Schwinn Varsity, that I am not sure that I going to want to keep for a very long time.

I am thinking of building my own set, using some basic goods - Mavic MA3 and some the alum hubs from the old Schwinn, but I am not sure that it is going to be worth it maybe I should find the frame that I ultimately want, and build for that set-up. I am intrigued by wheel building, it seems a good challenge and want to give it a shot, but at what cost, I am not sure yet. I guess I will not know until I get started.

Also, anyone on a Scwinn Varsity? Impressions?

thx
Yeah, I built the rear wheel for my first fixed. 36H IRO flip flop hub on an ollllld 27" Araya rim, with new DT Swiss spokes. It works awesome. Has held its true for months. It was fun and I learned a lot and I love looking at the wheel and thinking "I built that "

I just bought a new pair of Nashbar hubs as well. $45 for a pair of nice looking flip flop hubs INCLUDING two lockrings is a ridiculously good deal. I'm planning to yoink the rims and spokes from my old road wheelset and build up these Nashbar hubs into my second fixie wheelset...

Unfortunately the Nashbar hubs only come in 32H, does anybody know why this is????
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Old 06-21-05, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rmont
yeah that is a good idea. I ordered the Nashbar hubs for the MA3s, but will eventually build another set of wheels using the Schwinn hubs - they looked like garbage when I got them, but with a little elbow grease and even more aluminum dip, they came out pretty clean. When finished I'll have to post some photos.
.....and we'll see you at the Rose Bowl.
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Old 06-21-05, 02:09 PM
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deadly downtube
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i built my own wheels, it was fun, rewarding, and a learning experience... don't you want to learn about bikes?
i spent more on building the wheels than i would have spent if i just bought some wheels, but not too much more...
remember, once you build the wheel, remove tension and retension, repeat that process twice, the wheel should last longer that way! and don't forget to gunk the spoke threads with plumbers grease so they don't get locked up when you go to do some maintenance on them in a year.
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Old 06-21-05, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by deadly downtube
i built my own wheels, it was fun, rewarding, and a learning experience... don't you want to learn about bikes?
i spent more on building the wheels than i would have spent if i just bought some wheels, but not too much more...
remember, once you build the wheel, remove tension and retension, repeat that process twice, the wheel should last longer that way! and don't forget to gunk the spoke threads with plumbers grease so they don't get locked up when you go to do some maintenance on them in a year.
I heard that it isn't necessary nowadays to grease your spoke threads. It was the type of metal back then that could use it the most. they thread on pretty nice, but the spoke nipples strip easy. I think I read this on SheldonBrown.com
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Old 06-22-05, 12:16 AM
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_The Art of Wheelbuilding_ is an excellent book, I can attest to that. Take your time, double and triple check everything...nothing more frustrating that getting 3/4 of the way through lacing and realizing you screwed something up and gotta take it all apart and start over.
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