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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wanted to learn to build wheels. I took a course at the local shop last month and with some ebay parts I built up a low end front wheel that I can use as a backup. Ended up with a 105 hub ($10 ebay), Sun CR18 rim ($15 ebay) and basic 14g spokes. After about 4 hours of alternatively tensioning and reading my Jobst Brandt book I think I ended up with a decent wheel. I know this is no big deal for many of you, but I viewed it as some kind of bike mechanic milestone. Anyway its raining so what else am I to do?
 

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What the Hell is going on
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Congrats

Welcome to the mystical and magical realm of wheel building (please don't tell everyone how easy it really is). I've been building my own wheels for over 15 years. I first started bulding my wheels when I broke my first spoke. My LBS charged me 50 cent for a spoke and 5 dollars for labor. After that I've flirted with lightweight and exotic wheels but I've come to the conclusion that building stout, dependable wheels (like yours) leads to more bike riding time.
 

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That's the way...

Good Man.
As a hard-ridin' clyde I just got fed up with ham-fisted bike shop vandals screwing up my wheels. The final straw? - I had a wheel rebuilt by a local "top" wheelbuilder - it came back dished the wrong way (I kid you not!!). I aked another how he "stress relieves" his wheels - he asked "what's that??".
I bought the Jobst Brandt and Gerd Schraner books, got hold of the relevant chapter from Barnetts (ingenious get-started lacing methodology BTW), and have not looked back. I ride hard and my wheels stand.
Riding your own wheels...like catching a trout on a fly you tied yourself, but that's for another forum...
 

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"Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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Way to go Dave G.....

I have also been contemplating building my own wheels, especially with the new "Ambrosio" "Excellence" rims I got.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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I'd

croswell1 said:
I have also been contemplating building my own wheels, especially with the new "Ambrosio" "Excellence" rims I got.
Love to learn how to do it, was it difficult, or not too bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
not difficult

physasst said:
Love to learn how to do it, was it difficult, or not too bad?
mainly slow and tedius. I had a tensionmeter so I am pretty confident in my tension but that added to the time spent. I am sure the next one won't take 4 hours
 

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Not rocket science

physasst said:
Love to learn how to do it, was it difficult, or not too bad?
There's plenty of sound advice on the Wheels etc forum but a few thoughts from me, a self-taught hobby wheelbuilder. Just takes care, time, patience, and a few good tools. Find a set of instructions you understand. Reading a few books on the subject helped me a lot, but I'm into that. If you can get hold of a Barnett's manual (ch 16 I think, but don't quote me) there's a hole & spoke numbering procedure in there that simplifies lacing enormously.
Old hands will tell you fancy tools aren't necessary, and they're right. Personally, I use a truing stand and a tension meter, but I don't build wheels every day and I like gadgets.
A few tips from me:
Don't be afraid to flex a spoke to get it to fit, especially toward the end of lacing (but put your thumb over the end so you don't scratch your rim);
Use brass nipples (I also use an anti-sieze on the spoke threads, or dip them in a light oil before lacing);
Stress relieve, true, stress relieve, true, stress relieve, true...then repeat...
 

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not like you would forget but throw it on the truing stand and fine tune after your first few rides. I've built 5 wheels and all are doing well. Though the last one I built hasn't yet been ridden. I found a wheelset in the trash, front the hub was trashed (some hub holes pulled out), rear a bunch of rim eyelets were pulled thru, but bw the two I built one wheel. Wheel see...:D
 

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Larry Lackapants
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Way to go!

I guess it's just a matter of (short)time for you to find out how fun it is to try out different spoking patterns and so on.
Personally, I like to test my wheels on the worst pavement I can find. It's just fun to know YOUR wheels have survived bad roads :)

Have fun building up some more,
br
 

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yeah man ! that sounds awesome...

my problem is cost... i would love to build up a set of veloces on OP, but the lowest price i can figure is about $100 hubs / $150 hoops / $50 spokes. Kinda bad economics when i can grab a set of ventos which are probably lighter for about $200 AUD. Of course that doesn't include the cost of a stand and tension-meter which is extra $$$. Still would liek to learn tho... Where did you get the meter? The only one i've seen locally is a park tools one that kinda gave me a mild heart attack..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cost

wankski said:
yeah man ! that sounds awesome...

my problem is cost... i would love to build up a set of veloces on OP, but the lowest price i can figure is about $100 hubs / $150 hoops / $50 spokes. Kinda bad economics when i can grab a set of ventos which are probably lighter for about $200 AUD. Of course that doesn't include the cost of a stand and tension-meter which is extra $$$. Still would liek to learn tho... Where did you get the meter? The only one i've seen locally is a park tools one that kinda gave me a mild heart attack..
The Park tool is what I have; it can be had for 50 USD on ebay. I think $100 is about right for a Veloce hubset. However, I just picked up a NOS 1994 Chorus front hub for $22. I doubt you can find that kind of deal on a rear 9/10s hub though. Cheapest rear hub I've seen is 65 USD. I assume that Velocity rims are cheap in your neck of the woods. They are lighter than OP and have a decent reputation. You can get a pair in the US for ~$90, perhaps less down under. Give it a try!
 

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Just remember to go slow at the beginning and get the wheel true at the lower
tension levels. As you approach the higher tensioning, the wheel will have a
harder time getting out of true.:)
 

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Good work! The first wheel is something to be proud of.

I'll echo the comments here about it not being rocket science. My first wheel build was back in 73ish, at 15 years old. I built that first set of wheels for my old black Raleigh Competiton by matching the drillings on a set of new tubular rims to my old rims and then lacing the hubs and matching each spoke's position. I used the dropouts and fork to mount the wheels to tune for trueness and hop. It took a little time, but came out great for a first wheel. It ended up helping out big time for my first bike shop job. The owner had a bunch of kids looking for a job at the shop come in on a Saturday morning to see if any of us had "it". He sat us in front of the coolest tool I'd ever seen ( a wheel jig), handed each of us a front hub, a handful of nipples, spokes and a rim, and asked each of us to build a wheel. I finished up in about 45 minutes. The only wheel in the group that ended up getting fully built. Got the job.
 

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JaeP said:
Welcome to the mystical and magical realm of wheel building (please don't tell everyone how easy it really is). I've been building my own wheels for over 15 years. I first started bulding my wheels when I broke my first spoke. My LBS charged me 50 cent for a spoke and 5 dollars for labor. After that I've flirted with lightweight and exotic wheels but I've come to the conclusion that building stout, dependable wheels (like yours) leads to more bike riding time.
What he said.

Had a mechanic working for me that could whip out a good wheel in ~30-45min start to finish. Takes me somewhat longer than that (~60-75min on average) 'cause I don't do it as often as I used to.

The progression I went thru was build a wheel, build a wheel well, experiment with raidial/funky patterns, go very lightweight, and finally back to build a good + basic wheel that'll last.

Its not rocket science, but it IS somewhat of an art.

M
 

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DaveG said:
The Park tool is what I have; it can be had for 50 USD on ebay. I think $100 is about right for a Veloce hubset. However, I just picked up a NOS 1994 Chorus front hub for $22. I doubt you can find that kind of deal on a rear 9/10s hub though. Cheapest rear hub I've seen is 65 USD. I assume that Velocity rims are cheap in your neck of the woods. They are lighter than OP and have a decent reputation. You can get a pair in the US for ~$90, perhaps less down under. Give it a try!
yeah thanks for that, i did trawl ebay and found me a park meter - i'll grab one while i can !

as for velocity - one of my pet hates... you'ld think it'll be cheaper but no... at the lbs, DT 1.1/Mavic OP/Velocity AH all the same price !! damn price fixing, i dunno how we can get top quailty swiss parts shipped here and sell them for the same as what another rim sells for, even tho they're made here ! USD90 would be a good price here... instead they're about $100 each (about 150USD for the pair)

oh well...i've got me some cheap MTB wheels to practice on, they need some fixing ! :cool:

cheers !
 
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