Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

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David9694
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Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby David9694 » 9 Nov 2019, 9:38am

I’ve just done my third set, which makes the first set over two years old and still running. With the winter nights now coming on, here’s a few thoughts from me if anyone is thinking of having a go. If you think it would be easier to just buy from a shop, I suggest you go up to the next fisherman you see down at the river and point him to the nearest supermarket.

In the moments where you start bringing on the tension in your spokes as you near completion. You may have some reverses along the way as there’s loads to go wrong - and as a self-builder if any of mine do pack it in, there’s no-one else to blame!

You need a set of instructions, which I’m not going to rehearse here - I find this guy a bit easier to follow than Sheldon Brown. This is a very three dimensional task, so translating from 2D instructions is a challenge.
http://www.troubleshooters.com/bicycles ... /index.htm

As he says, the main part of the battle in assembling your wheel is getting the first two spokes right. All else follows from them. Selecting your materials also needs a lot of thought. A decent truing stand is nice to have and I think a dishing gauge is essential.

You also need a spoke length calculator - my pick is Edd - https://leonard.io/edd/

I’ve stuck with Miche RG2 hubs in my builds. I haven’t found an easy way of getting 32 and 36 holes front and back respectively in matching hubs. I’ve gone with 32s and I build three cross. I’ve only built for rim brakes. I have chosen rims and hubs that are (i) listed on Edd (ii) silver (iii) mid price and available. I’ve used Sapim Race spokes and Strong for the rear drive side (EBay).

As rehearsed at length on Troubleshooters, there are lots of ways to go with spoking and your components may force you into one of them. Spoke holes on the hubs are counter-sunk, and on some (not my Miche) it seems, this is only done on alternate holes. front and more obviously rear hubs have a drive side and a non-drive side. spokes can be inserted inbound or outbound, can be pulling or trailing; most rims also have polarity in that the holes point left or right Alternating. Oh, and don’t forget to box the valve hole - mixed results for me on this refinement. All these things matter in combination.

I’ve stuck with the standard where the inbound spokes on both flanges are pulling. So that’s my way of navigating the many options.

The most subjective bit I’ve found is after the first two spokes have gone in - how much ”twist” should there be? this remains a question until you start adding those outbound trailing spokes.

I did buy a Park spoke tension meter but rapidly found I didn’t use it. In theory on a front wheel, exact same spoke tension should mean happy days, right? I’ve not found anything concrete about rear wheel spoke tension - the priority seems to be getting the rim to sit at the mid point between the hub flanges, as measured by the dishing gauge. Don’t spare the front wheel the dishing gauge - I accidentally dished my most recent front wheel.

mercalia
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby mercalia » 9 Nov 2019, 11:40am

I am surprised you didnt use the Park spoke tension meter much unless your 3 builds were the same componants, in which case after the first set you would know when you are there. I found the tension meter in valuable partly to see how rubbish the original factory wheels were. tension all over the place, and partly to get consistancy
Last edited by Graham on 9 Nov 2019, 8:20pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: completely wasted quote deleted

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531colin
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby 531colin » 9 Nov 2019, 12:19pm

If you are going to build your own wheels, it makes sense to stress-relieve them. Then the spokes will outlast at least 2 rims with rim brakes.
Conventionally, "pulling" spokes are outbound, ie. "heads in" so that the bend is well-supported by the hub flange.
If you have a tension gauge, it makes sense to use it.
Firstly, its much quicker to work to a tension. For reasonably robust rims, an average of 100Kgf seems about right, on the rear that will be about 120Kgf for the driveside and 80Kgf for the non driveside for 8/9/10 speed. For 11 speed or light narrow rims you might need to look to asymmetric rims or threadlock on the nds spokes, otherwise the driveside tension is too high for the rim.
Secondly, its all too easy to get a wheel that's round and true but the tensions are all over the place. With a good rim join, you can get a wheel that's round and true with even tensions. With a less-than-good rim joint, you should aim for a wheel with an acceptable compromise between trueness, roundness, and evenness of tension.
Jobst Brandt's book will tell you most of what you need to know.

Brucey
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby Brucey » 9 Nov 2019, 12:25pm

531colin wrote:Jobst Brandt's book will tell you most of what you need to know.


yep.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Mick F
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby Mick F » 9 Nov 2019, 2:35pm

I like this YouTube video irrespective of the wheel size or even the number of holes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIU6mi0K4Y4

I find the lacing - or mainly the initial start of it - the head-scratching bit.
The truing up etc is easy.
Stress relieving is easy too.
Mick F. Cornwall

Jamesh
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby Jamesh » 9 Nov 2019, 5:06pm

Anyone have an opinion on these wheels as a training wheel both in building and riding terms?

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3062560479

Cheers James

Stradageek
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Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby Stradageek » 9 Nov 2019, 6:16pm

Wouldn't be without my tensiometer but never used a dishing gauge, always done it by eye - but I've always built rear wheels, never a front yet.

Would I likely have trouble with front wheel?

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby Mike Sales » 9 Nov 2019, 6:36pm

Stradageek wrote:Wouldn't be without my tensiometer but never used a dishing gauge, always done it by eye - but I've always built rear wheels, never a front yet.

Would I likely have trouble with front wheel?


Front is easier, I find.
I learned without a tensiometer, built hundreds, never used one. Find dishing gauge handy but dished by reversing the wheel for years.
The proof is in use. Does the wheel stay true? Is the rear rim equidistant from stays?
Prestressing saves it being done on the bike and a return to the truing stand.

MikeF
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby MikeF » 9 Nov 2019, 7:08pm

Mick F wrote:I like this YouTube video irrespective of the wheel size or even the number of holes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIU6mi0K4Y4

I find the lacing - or mainly the initial start of it - the head-scratching bit.
The truing up etc is easy.
Stress relieving is easy too.
Most things are easy when you know what you are doing or have done it before. It's doing things the first time that's not easy.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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andrew_s
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby andrew_s » 9 Nov 2019, 7:54pm

mercalia wrote:As he says, the main part of the battle in assembling your wheel is getting the first two spokes right. All else follows from them.

I’ve stuck with the standard where the inbound spokes on both flanges are pulling. So that’s my way of navigating the many options.

The most subjective bit I’ve found is after the first two spokes have gone in - how much ”twist” should there be? this remains a question until you start adding those outbound trailing spokes.

Like 531colin says, normally it's the outbound, heads in, spokes that are the pulling ones.

I'd start with the rim vertical, fore and aft in front of me, valve hole at the top, and the hub so that the freehub is on my right (or the disc mounts for a disc front wheel), and put the first inbound spoke in the first rim hole on my side of the valve hole, to the left or right hub flange according to the rim hole stagger (if any)
The second spoke goes inbound into the rim hole on the other flange that's half a hole closer (i.e. hits the other flange there when parallel to the axle), and to the second rim hole from the spoke hole.

Put in the rest of the inbound spokes, which is simple as there's no twist yet, then twist the hub, top towards you if the wheel is still the same way round, or if the wheel has been turned round, so that the spoke next to the valve hole angles away from it, and start adding the outbound spokes.
There won't be any question of how much to twist the hub - the spoke length won't let you twist too far, and you've only to count crosses with the first outbound spoke if you aren't sure. The outbound lacing is relatively simple as there's only the one spoke to put the spoke you're adding round the back of.

gxaustin
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby gxaustin » 10 Nov 2019, 12:01am

I never use a dishing tool either, but I do like the reassurance of a tension meter for consistency. I always stress relieve quite carefully to avoid having to tweek the spokes in use. There is a You Tube video by GCN where they visit the DT Swiss factory. This shows how they hand build wheels and how they stress relieve them, which is interesting, because they really exert a lot of force to do so. I have used Edd and DT Swiss apps to work out the spoke lengths. There isn't a lot to chose between them.
I have successfully built 11 speed wheels but offset rims would be a good idea (if available), as Colin says. I find that taking one's time pays off with small increments of spoke tightening. Building wheels is quite satisfying, or so I find.
I generally use Sapim or DT Swiss spokes from whoever has the best deal. All my wheels have been 32 or 36 spoke but I'd quite like to rebuild a lower spoke count wheel now I've had a few wheels under my belt.

gxaustin
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Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby gxaustin » 10 Nov 2019, 12:01am

I never use a dishing tool either, but I do like the reassurance of a tension meter for consistency. I always stress relieve quite carefully to avoid having to tweek the spokes in use. There is a You Tube video by GCN where they visit the DT Swiss factory. This shows how they hand build wheels and how they stress relieve them, which is interesting, because they really exert a lot of force to do so. I have used Edd and DT Swiss apps to work out the spoke lengths. There isn't a lot to chose between them.
I have successfully built 11 speed wheels but offset rims would be a good idea (if available), as Colin says. I find that taking one's time pays off with small increments of spoke tightening. Building wheels is quite satisfying, or so I find.
I generally use Sapim or DT Swiss spokes from whoever has the best deal. All my wheels have been 32 or 36 spoke but I'd quite like to rebuild a lower spoke count wheel now I've had a few wheels under my belt.

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iow
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby iow » 10 Nov 2019, 8:21am

David9694 wrote:I’ve stuck with Miche RG2 hubs in my builds. I haven’t found an easy way of getting 32 and 36 holes front and back respectively in matching hubs...

The Cycle Clinic sell unmatched drillings on those hubs for a small premium.
mark

David9694
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby David9694 » 10 Nov 2019, 10:48am

iow wrote:
David9694 wrote:I’ve stuck with Miche RG2 hubs in my builds. I haven’t found an easy way of getting 32 and 36 holes front and back respectively in matching hubs...

The Cycle Clinic sell unmatched drillings on those hubs for a small premium.


Thanks - maybe next time I’ll swallow hard and do a black “stealth” wheel set. It’s quite a modest premium - I had to wait a month to get hold of my RG2s this year.

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Mick F
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Re: Wheel building - my foray into the science and the art

Postby Mick F » 10 Nov 2019, 10:59am

My Moulton came with Miche RG2 hubs. 28h front and rear.

I liked them so much, I bought a pair of 36h ones and fitted the rear on Mercian in replacement of the Campag Chorus which I've had a series of issues with the freewheel body cracking over the years. I got to the point of not wanting to spend any more time, money and effort keeping it going. I gave it up as a bad job and went to Miche Racing Box.

The two 28h on Moulton have now been replaced by a dyno hub on the front, and a SA3sp on the rear.
This leaves me with a pair of used 28h and a brand new spare 36h front.

The 28h rear is Shimano bodied and the 36h rear on Mercian is Campag bodied.
This gives me the ability to change from Campag cassettes to Shimano .............. something I may do to get a wider selection of cassettes. By that time, I'l ditch the Ergos, and go back to friction DT levers and I can have whatever cassette I like in whatever speeds I like. Shimano gives a much better selection of sprocket sizes that Campag ever did.
Mick F. Cornwall