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This is a wheel thread...

Old 07-19-13, 09:09 PM
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This is a wheel thread...

I searched the forum for touring wheels and didn't see anything. But I know I have seen a thread about wheels.

Here's my thing. I need some wheels to put on my new project bike. It's purpose is for small loaded tours, commute and next year ride my new youngun around. I have looked at wheels on the web and I have no idea what is a good rim, wheel or what. I am interested in building some wheels, just to do it, but is it worth it? Here's what I know...

I want double walled rims.
I want 36 spoke.

Here's what I don't know...

Hub sizes. (I'm sure I can guess, or just measure one of my other hubs?)
Hub quality.
Spoke size.
Is it cost effective to build my wheels?
Is it possible to find a good wheel set in my budget? (Around $200-$300)

Like I said, I kinda want to build the wheels, but not sure if I would be just spending more money doing so.

I know this might be a redundant thread, but thanks for any info.

Thanks in advance,
-j
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Old 07-19-13, 10:52 PM
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Mavic A719 rims, or Velocity Dyad rims in 700C size are always a good bet for touring and utility use.

I opt for Shimano hubs in most cases. I've got XT hubs on my touring bike at present, but there have been reported issues about them. LX hubs appear to be a nice option at present. I've also used Ultegra hubs on my randonnee bike... really, I see little difference between them and the MTB hubs.

I use DT Swiss spokes for all my wheelbuilding. I use the straight-gauge spokes. I've never seen the need to use the double butted Alpine spokes DT Swiss offers, despite them offering additional strength. Often it comes down to personal preference. Three-cross for threading the spokes is virtually the standard for touring wheels; it produces a stronger wheel than two-cross.

It can be cost effective to build you own wheels, simply because you get a hub-spoke-rim combination that suits you. Plus you have the knowledge to maintain or repair the wheel anytime you need to.

But you do need to be patient to pick up the best deals on the components. I got two pairs of DT Swiss rims due being a member of Audax Australia which got a ground-floor, knock-me-over-with-a-feather deal on them. Other than that, I use Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK to source components, including spokes (note that Mavic rims are not available through these i-retailers outside the European Union).

I build all my wheels these days, although a pair of Dyads were ready built with the Velocity/Formula hubs. They have been good for the limited use they've had, plus the spoke tension on them is a ready reference for any wheels I build.

As to calculating spoke length, Damon Rinnard has his Spocalc download:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/spocalc.htm

which also includes a database on rim and hub dimensions as well as a method to get the measurements from scratch. The method of getting ERD is very useful, too.

This is the Wheelpro site:

https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/spokecalc/

And one I've used a bit is this DT Swiss site:

https://spokes-calculator.dtswiss.com...px?language=en

This the portal page for the calculator, and you don't have to be a registered user to make use of most of the calculator's functions. I like this one because it is from the guys who make wheel components and they make sure you know about things like nipple length.

Don't get hung up on getting the exact length. Often you'll find the spokes in shops and on-line go in even-numbered mm increment. Using double-wall rims means going slightly too long isn't an issue; going way too short presents problems in getting enough meat on the threads into the nipple.

You won't be able to cut your own spokes to length yourself unless you have a spoke threading machine. The threads are rolled and not cut, so a die won't help you.

To get a good finish on the wheels (true and round and centred) you can get a wheelbuilding stand with gauges, or you can use the bike itself with zipties on the seat stays as guides. You do absolutely need a good quality spoke key/wrench so you don't end up rounding off the nipples when you start with the higher tensions.

Sheldon Brown's site has this wheel-building section:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

I got Jobst Brandt's book on wheel building, and the routine for threading spokes and finding the right holes to start with is handy for me. But you have to buy, beg, steal, or borrow the book. Franky, it's a bit dated now -- I don't know of any wheelbuilder who determines the right spoke tension by tightening them until the rim deforms, then backs them off and tries to get the rim true again. And the fancy patterns and spoke-tying just aren't needed.

Hope this helps. I think it's always useful discussing wheelbuilding irrespective of the threads that have gone before.

Last edited by Rowan; 07-19-13 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 07-20-13, 12:06 AM
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Another .. wheel Tread..

fail to see what rim size and weight range of parts you are thinking about performance light or utility sturdy..

you didn't say.


I like Phil Wood freewheel Rear hubs, Sturmey - Archer AW3 speeds; and Rohloff 14 speed IGH..

And have others..

Solidly made rims , there are various choices ..

state rim budgets [here]

spoke selection depends on purpose...




good luck..
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Old 07-20-13, 03:40 AM
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J, It is rarely less expensive to build your own wheels, but depending how well you do building them, the value is higher, if that makes sense. I used a set of inexpensive ready-made wheels and then tuned them. My wheel's are built with Alivio hubs, straight gauge spokes and Sun CR18 rims. This was my first touring bike build and I didn't want to spend too much if I decided that it wasn't for me and if I liked it I'd upgrade the wheel set. Well it seems like touring is something I like, but I don't feel a need to upgrade.

I don't know that butted spokes are actually stronger than non butted spokes, but on my roadies they seem to help keep the wheel true longer than non butted spokes. The larger lower pressure tires on the touring bike may help as I haven't had a wheel go out of true yet (I probably have cursed myself for writing that.) in two years of use.

Brad
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Old 07-20-13, 06:28 AM
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Thanks everyone, great info!

I'm using 26" wheels and I have no idea on the weight. I didn't even consider th weight??? But I am wanting a sturdy wheel.
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Old 07-20-13, 08:15 AM
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I built my own wheels on my tourer and a 29er I built for a ride on the Great Divide. Neither has broken a spoke. The tourer has been on about 6 tours and I carry a lot of weight. So it's possible for an amateur like me to build sturdy wheels.

I don't think I saved any money by building them myself. In fact, I probably spent more than I would have if I had searched for some deals. However, I have the satisfaction of knowing I built them myself, and confidence that if I ever have to replace one on the road I'll be able to. I also got the parts I wanted. I used Shimano XT hubs, Mavic 719 rims, and double-butted spokes. I used Sheldon Brown's pages for instruction.

I also bought tools, which really made the wheels expensive. I bought a Park truing stand and spoke tension meter, plus a dishing tool from another company.
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Old 07-20-13, 10:41 AM
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I have a Rohloff hub in my 26" wheel Touring bike .. 32 straight gage spokes .
works well..

people ride around the world on these set-ups.


I used a Derailleur 700c wheel bike , before , for that I went in for a 48spoke wheel ,

That was where the Phil Wood Free wheel hub was used.. 3 by 7 drivetrain

spare spoke , already in the wheel .. even breaking one was only a minor inconvenience ,

I too built my own wheels ..

Had but a tiny amount of truing on the roadside, as there were 47 spokes left..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-20-13 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 07-20-13, 11:20 AM
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I bought a nice set of wheels from Universal, hand built by Handspun. XM719, XT hubs.
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Old 07-20-13, 11:28 AM
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I use a variety of hubs based on the bike. Phil Wood are good, but expensive, Velo-Orange has some interesting hubs. I like the late 80's vintage Deore LX too. My go to rims are Sun-Ringle CR-18, Rhyno Lite or something similar. I use Saipim straight gauge spokes, I am sure there are plenty of other decent spokes out there, that is just what my source gives me for a decent price. A typical wheel build runs ~$48 plus the cost of the hub. Many of my bikes are IGH which means I HAVE to build my own wheels or pay someone too. I prefer to build my own, I know that they are done properly. Stress relieved and properly tensioned. If one fails, shame on ME.

Wheel building is not hard, 36 spoke wheels are solid and are what I use on all of my large wheeled bikes, and some of my small wheeled bikes.

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Old 07-20-13, 12:44 PM
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I was looking at the Rivendell site and saw that they are selling a new Velocity rim called the Atlas. It looks beefier than the Synergy and comes on 700 and . I don't know anything else about it, but it looks like a good rim for loaded touring. Perhaps someone has some experience with it.

The one big advantage of building your own touring wheels is that you will know how to fix a broken spoke and retrue the wheel if something should happen miles from the nearest Bike Shop.
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Old 07-20-13, 12:47 PM
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When deciding on hubs you need to know the spacing on the frame you are building the hubs for; 130mm or 135mm.

Like you I have decided to build my own wheels, but it is certainly not a cost savings, though I agree even a first timer can equal or exceed the quality of a machine built wheel if they take the time. I started building my own, because I wanted to use dyno hubs. In addition to the book mentioned above, I recommend the following DVD (I liked the visual approach); https://www.amazon.com/Master-Wheelbu...wheel+building

For rims; I have used Mavic A519 and Velocity Dyad's (which I prefer). For 130mm wheels I prefer the Shimano 105 hubs but my next wheel (135mm) I will be trying the Grand Cru touring hub and the Velocity Orange Diagonale (more tradition box look). For spokes I use DT swiss double butted 2.0/1.8/2.0 which are just as strong as straight. If you have trouble finding spokes (which I did) you can order them from Harris cyclery (they include one extra free).
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Old 07-20-13, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
The one big advantage of building your own touring wheels is that you will know how to fix a broken spoke and retrue the wheel if something should happen miles from the nearest Bike Shop.

+1, though you need a few extra 'tools' to fix a broken spoke, particularly on a rear wheel then the normal touring kit.

Another advantage is you will know the spoke sizes...
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Old 07-20-13, 01:24 PM
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I bought a nice set of wheels from Universal, hand built by Handspun. XM719, XT hubs.
NB: Handspun is a wheel assembly division of QBP, so any LBS with a QBP account,
can do the same , just call them up and tell them what you want.
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Old 07-21-13, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jbone78
I searched the forum for touring wheels and didn't see anything. But I know I have seen a thread about wheels.

Here's my thing. I need some wheels to put on my new project bike. It's purpose is for small loaded tours, commute and next year ride my new youngun around. I have looked at wheels on the web and I have no idea what is a good rim, wheel or what. I am interested in building some wheels, just to do it, but is it worth it? Here's what I know...

I want double walled rims.
I want 36 spoke.

Here's what I don't know...

Hub sizes. (I'm sure I can guess, or just measure one of my other hubs?)
Hub quality.
Spoke size.
Is it cost effective to build my wheels?
Is it possible to find a good wheel set in my budget? (Around $200-$300)

Like I said, I kinda want to build the wheels, but not sure if I would be just spending more money doing so.

I know this might be a redundant thread, but thanks for any info.

Thanks in advance,
-j
I have heard that MTB type rims, spokes and hubs are perfect for touring because they can take higher weight loads and stresses. You've definitely got the right idea with double walled rims and 36 spokes. For the spokes I'd recommend getting something double butted. DT Swiss is a popular choice for wheel builders and they also have a calc for spoke length as mentioned by Rowan.

I can't really suggest any specific rims but Mavic and Shimano are good, so I've heard.
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Old 07-21-13, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for all the help. I was/am thinking that I could start ordering stuff this coming week. I am still confused about the hub sizes. Am I measuring the horizontal width of the hub or the diameter of the spindle? But, I think I am goin to take the book recommendations...and put my project on hold until then.

Thanks all!
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Old 07-21-13, 09:39 PM
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What size are you trying to measure?

Look at Damon Rinnard's site. He has illustrations on how to measure the dimensions you need.
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Old 07-22-13, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
J, It is rarely less expensive to build your own wheels,
"The cheapest way to build your own wheels is to buy the wheel you want, take it apart, and put it back together."
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Old 07-22-13, 07:26 AM
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I just built amazing touring wheels for $375. Mavic 36 spoke rims, cartridge hubs, chrome cassette.
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Old 07-22-13, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Jbone78
Thanks for all the help. I was/am thinking that I could start ordering stuff this coming week. I am still confused about the hub sizes. Am I measuring the horizontal width of the hub or the diameter of the spindle? But, I think I am goin to take the book recommendations...and put my project on hold until then.

Thanks all!
While you can measure the dimensions and do the calculations on your own, it's usually easier just to go with a spoke calculator. These are data bases of wheel component measurements that are used to calculate the spoke length you need given the rim, hub and cross pattern you want to use.

I like Damon Rinnard's Spocalc but it's a bit dated. You can add to the data base on your own but the most recent versions of the spreadsheet I've seen are getting old. I also find that it gives values for the spoke length that are 1 to 2 mm longer than needed. URL="https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/spokelengthcalculator/"]Pro Wheel Builders[/URL] has a good calculator that is up to date but doesn't cover old stock like Rinnard's does.

If you are going to build a generic wheel with a Shimano hub, generic spokes and a generic rim, you won't save any money over just buying a wheel. I don't want to discourage you from building a wheel but just realize that you won't save any money doing it. On the other hand, if you want to build a wheel that you just can't buy anywhere like, for example, a Phil Wood hub, 13/15/14 spokes (actually 2.3/1.8/2.0mm) and Velocity Synergy OC rim, then you'll probably have to build it.
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Old 07-22-13, 08:23 AM
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may be simplest to measure the dropout inside width .. remove the wheel ..

120, 126, 130 and 135mm , have been common over the years, rear, 100mm for front..
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Old 07-22-13, 09:14 AM
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Jbone, don't bother spending lots of money for pricey parts if your goal is getting durable wheels and a learning experience in wheel building. In 26" wheels 32 spokes can suffice but if you are heavy or expect the wheels to take on utility bike duty a 36spoke rear wheel is good insurance.
There is no reason to make the front wheel the same build as the rear when it gets much more loading than the front in your expected application as kid carrier.

$.02 go ahead and order a good rear wheel, Handspun or PeterWhite, made with basic components then learn wheel building on the front wheel. Front wheels are easier and it'll be good starting off with a reliable rear wheel.

I built nearly all my 26" wheels with 32 spokes when I was lighter and a child on the rear rack. later I built up an extra set of 36spoke wheels for utility duty now that I'm heavier.

Last edited by LeeG; 07-22-13 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 07-22-13, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Jbone78
Thanks everyone, great info!

I'm using 26" wheels and I have no idea on the weight. I didn't even consider th weight??? But I am wanting a sturdy wheel.
Your weight and weight on the bicycle. If you weigh 150lbs pretty much any rim appropriate for the size of tire in 32 hole rim. If you weigh 250lbs carrying 50lbs and wider tire I'd go for a beefier wider rim in 36 spokes. Rhynolite or Velocity Cliffhanger. If you're in between there's a huge range of 22mm to 25mm wide rims available.

Last edited by LeeG; 07-22-13 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 07-22-13, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
I was looking at the Rivendell site and saw that they are selling a new Velocity rim called the Atlas. It looks beefier than the Synergy and comes on 700 and . I don't know anything else about it, but it looks like a good rim for loaded touring. Perhaps someone has some experience with it.

The one big advantage of building your own touring wheels is that you will know how to fix a broken spoke and retrue the wheel if something should happen miles from the nearest Bike Shop.
Indeed -- the Atlas is a rim we developed with Rivendell as a burlier all-purpose rim. It's wider than the Synergy and has a heavier spoke bed and thicker sidewalls. So far, Rivendell seems to be loving the rim and we're building them as fast as we can here at Velocity.

There is a 26" version called the "NoBS" (said "knobs"). Same extrusion, but not eyletted.
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Old 07-22-13, 03:02 PM
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Mavic EX 721 seems quite robust.. grommet/eyelets, double wall..
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Old 07-22-13, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seely
Indeed -- the Atlas is a rim we developed with Rivendell as a burlier all-purpose rim. It's wider than the Synergy and has a heavier spoke bed and thicker sidewalls. So far, Rivendell seems to be loving the rim and we're building them as fast as we can here at Velocity.

There is a 26" version called the "NoBS" (said "knobs"). Same extrusion, but not eyletted.
Great, where are the pics, price and specs.?
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