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I am getting ready to try my hand at wheelbuilding. I've had the misfortune of breaking 3 rims in the past due to spokes pulling through. These have all been on the rear with single gauge 14 spokes, and have included rims from Mavic, Ambrosio, Matrix. I weigh about 180. My question is what is the best way to prevent this - larger spoke counts (I've been using 32); DB spokes that give more; or a tougher rim? Thoughts?
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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DaveG said:
I am getting ready to try my hand at wheelbuilding. I've had the misfortune of breaking 3 rims in the past due to spokes pulling through. These have all been on the rear with single gauge 14 spokes, and have included rims from Mavic, Ambrosio, Matrix. I weigh about 180. My question is what is the best way to prevent this - larger spoke counts (I've been using 32); DB spokes that give more; or a tougher rim? Thoughts?
Never had that problem, but I would guess it would be from uneven spoke tension - i.e. over tension on some spokes. Maybe you are truing them without evening the tension?? Possibly, if it is a deep profile rim, they could all be over-tensioned - don't know (never built one). Build a standard 32 hole with a low profile rim (such as Open Pro), keep the tension even and you shoudn't have any problems. - TF
 

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First don't use 14 straight gauge spokes. Double butted is much more durable. Buy a tensiometer!!! Most wheels only need 100-110kgf of tension, this is on the drive side. Is there spoke play in the hub? Do a "tactile test." If there is spoke play use spoke washers.. This is very important on the non-drive side.. You will break spokes on the non-drive side if there is spoke play.. Read Gerd Schraner "The art of wheel building" great tips. The problem you have these days is spokes and rims are so good you can have crappy builders and you will end up with a good wheel. In a couple of years this start to go bad and this is where you will see the difference. Some will disagree with these statements. I have 15 year old wheels that i have never touched!! bulilt by gerd schraner method and Im 200 pounds. I dont ride nice road either.
 

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Larry Lackapants
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I always try to see if the crossed spokes move if pressed against each other. 5 mm movement of the contact point alongside of one of the spokes would be fine for me.I weigh about 72 kg. I've also noticed that at about the same spoke tension, high profile rims tend to deliver a stiffer wheel with a very harsh ride compared to a box section rim - in completion of what was stated earlier about box section rims.
I've successfully used cheap rims to build quite durable weels and never needed a tension measuring device. But I guess I'd use one if building a wheel using some more expensive parts.

Edit: I'm talking about a 32 spoke wheel, and I can't be very exact about the force I am applying on the spokes when pressing them against each other. Press hard but soft enough for your fingers not to hurt :)
 

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Pull through problems

DaveG said:
I've had the misfortune of breaking 3 rims in the past due to spokes pulling through. These have all been on the rear with single gauge 14 spokes, and have included rims from Mavic, Ambrosio, Matrix. I weigh about 180. My question is what is the best way to prevent this - larger spoke counts (I've been using 32); DB spokes that give more; or a tougher rim?
Use butted spokes to better distribute the load. There's no reason to have spoke pull through with the wheel you describe. Your wheels had too high/uneven tension. For any given wheel, once you have the NDS spokes under sufficient tension, there's no point in adding more tension and it pushes you toward spoke pull-through.
 
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