Wheel building machines

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14558
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Wheel building machines

Postby Cyril Haearn » 3 Jun 2020, 4:33pm

One understands that many wheels are built by machines, I looked for info, did not find much. I rebuilt a wheel myself once (new hub, same type as before), not too difficult, but I am afraid of trying to get the right spoke length when building from scratch
How do wheel building machines work, are they very complicated?
What product volume is needed to justify a machine? Can a machine be adjusted to make different types of wheel? Can a machine be better than a person?
Where may I buy one?
Entertainer, idealist, intellectual, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 3804
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: ...at a cricket ground

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby simonineaston » 3 Jun 2020, 4:37pm

I got one of them! It wasn't very dear, although it is a bit slow. It's infinitely programmable, but can take a while to learn new lacing patterns and wotnot - it's not cheap to run tho' insisting as it does on regular trips to Waitrose and beer...
byyeee,
SiE

gxaustin
Posts: 619
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby gxaustin » 3 Jun 2020, 5:00pm

I've used both the DT Swiss spoke calculator and the Edd one. Both worked well.
You input the rim and hub dimensions together with spoke count and number of crosses, if any. Some common rim dimensions are held on the Edd system (e.g. Open Pro).
I should imagine that wheel building machines are large and very expensive and the spokes still have to be loaded into the hubs.

rualexander
Posts: 2440
Joined: 2 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Contact:

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby rualexander » 3 Jun 2020, 7:18pm

A few videos on youtube, just search for "wheel building machines"

e.g. https://youtu.be/EITEQLn8SUE

Brucey
Posts: 41420
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby Brucey » 3 Jun 2020, 7:28pm

the leading supplier of wheelbuilding machines is 'Holland Mechanics'. Searching the web for that produces many useful hits.

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

Jamesh
Posts: 1553
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby Jamesh » 3 Jun 2020, 10:52pm

I've used the dt spoke calc

It's been reliable and easy to use even for me!!

Apparently it even accounts for spoke stretch.

Cheers James

Brucey
Posts: 41420
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby Brucey » 3 Jun 2020, 10:57pm

In reply to the OP, the manufacturers of wheelbuilding machines suggest that you should have a requirement for ~10000 wheels per year in order to utilise one of their machines.

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

User avatar
CJ
Posts: 3076
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby CJ » 4 Jun 2020, 6:00pm

I had a bit to do with them when I worked for Raleigh, but that was back in the 80s. As I recall 'Holland Mechanics' was the leading maker of these machines. I'm sure they must be much more sophiticated now.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

Manc33
Posts: 1712
Joined: 25 Apr 2015, 9:37pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby Manc33 » 4 Jun 2020, 6:36pm

Humans beat machines hands down when it comes to wheel building.

The last machine built wheels I used (Triban 3 stock), after less than 1,000 miles the non-drive side rear spokes were so loose you could almost undo them by hand, totally unsafe! They need checking after so many miles, but how many people know to or would think they need to.

Compare that to my own hand built wheels that I check every now and then for trueness and they just never go out of true, but then they are old Mavics and built like a tank. :mrgreen:
When two cyclists get married, they should throw anodized cable crimps instead of confetti.

mercalia
Posts: 14465
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby mercalia » 4 Jun 2020, 7:13pm

The YouTube videos of them doing their thing are wonders to behold?

I understand they can build high quality wheels but it takes time so defeats the object of using a machine?

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14558
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby Cyril Haearn » 4 Jun 2020, 8:24pm

A machine can work much faster than a person but it just can not be quite as good, I think
Entertainer, idealist, intellectual, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

scottg
Posts: 845
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby scottg » 4 Jun 2020, 8:38pm

Jobst Brandt on machine built wheels....

Discuss limits of machine built wheels.


https://yarchive.net/bike/machine_built_wheels.html
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

markjohnobrien
Posts: 321
Joined: 4 Oct 2007, 8:15pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby markjohnobrien » 5 Jun 2020, 9:11am

CJ wrote:I had a bit to do with them when I worked for Raleigh, but that was back in the 80s. As I recall 'Holland Mechanics' was the leading maker of these machines. I'm sure they must be much more sophiticated now.



See the link from Bikebiz where Raleigh invested in further machines in 2019 and made clear that all machine built wheels are hand finished as well (maybe stress relieved?)

https://www.bikebiz.com/raleigh-uk-to-i ... -machines/

fastpedaller
Posts: 2675
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby fastpedaller » 5 Jun 2020, 10:46am

I wanted a pair of 26" mTB wheels for the Rudge folder I rebuilt 18 months ago. For 40 years I've built my own wheels, and went searching for parts on Ebay. It became apparent that I could buy complete wheels a lot cheaper than the parts, so I selected some wheels with shimano freehub, Q/R and stainless spokes (expecting them to be plain gauge spokes) with a view to stress-relieving them and trueing when they arrived. Eventually (wrong hubs) the product arrived and the seller was good about the return. Anyway, I examined them (db spokes :D ) put them in jig and they looked really true. No amount of stress-relieving produced any 'pinging'. I did put a bit more tension in them. I emailed the seller and expressed my delight and he confirmed 'a guy been building wheels for 40 years dos them for me'. He must have a cheap supply of rims/hubs if he's paying the guy - at the price I paid they were a steal.

Steve O'C
Posts: 88
Joined: 3 Mar 2013, 1:32pm

Re: Wheel building machines

Postby Steve O'C » 5 Jun 2020, 11:04am

Jobst Brandt on machine built wheels....

Discuss limits of machine built wheels.


Thanks for posting this link. In the post when discussing how to reduce spoke twisting he says:

I found that unloading the spoke to be adjusted a better method, and
with a rigid truing stand this is easily done. Since one usually
holds the wheel in position with the other hand, that hand can be used
to displace the rim toward the side from which the spoke approaches.


Seems sensible and I do not think I have ever seen this mentioned before. Is that what the experts here do?

Steve