Wheelbuilding (again)

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Mick F
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Wheelbuilding (again)

Postby Mick F » 4 Sep 2008, 3:54pm

My rims and spokes arrived from Spa Cycles yesterday, and today I put it all together. Front is easy. Rear takes the time - loads of 'dish' with Campag hubs.

Any road up, they're just about done - I never like to rush things especially when truing up.

For the uninitiated, take a read at SB on http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html to see how it's done.

It's easy really, just take your time and do it slowly. The rewards are high: you've made some wheels, and can ride them! They are unique in the world because you chose the hubs, you chose the rims, and you built them!

I'll be out on mine tomorrow or the day after.

For the record:
Rigida Chrina rims in anodised silver, 32h front and 36h rear.
Campagnolo Chorus hubs.
ACI Stainless Double Butted spokes but with Plain Gauge on the drive-side rear.

All shiny and new!
Mick F. Cornwall

pigman
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Postby pigman » 4 Sep 2008, 4:18pm

as a by-the-way mick, hope youre fully recovered. i missed your original posts of the accident - too busy at work. did you get the frame checked over to make sure it was ok?

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 4 Sep 2008, 4:39pm

I checked and checked and checked again, and could see no reason to go to the expense of a frame-builder.

As a final check, I reassembled Bike with my spare wheels and went for a ride. True as true could be, I even went "no hands" for a few yards to see if the tracking may have been out.

There wasn't a scratch on the frame. Actually, there was a little paint chip on the front left mudguard securing hole on the drop out, where the front mudguard pulled at its bolt. But other than that, my precious frame came out unscathed.

Me? My last scab fell off at the end of last week! Still scarred though.

Thanks so much for asking. I know people care.

For the full story, read:
http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t ... sc&start=0
Mick F. Cornwall

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Dean
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Re: Wheelbuilding (again)

Postby Dean » 4 Sep 2008, 11:39pm

Mick F wrote:Rigida Chrina rims in anodised silver, 32h front and 36h rear.
Campagnolo Chorus hubs.
ACI Stainless Double Butted spokes but with Plain Gauge on the drive-side rear.

All shiny and new!


since you bring it up...

I've seen this mentioned a few times - what's the advantage?

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 5 Sep 2008, 7:11am

Good question.

Stronger spokes on the drive side are required as they are under a great deal more tension than the non-drive side. This is because of the severe 'dish' of a road wheel - especially with a Campag hub.

The drive-side hub flange is not far from the centre-line of the wheel, making the spokes appear almost vertical.

I haven't seen the maths behind it, but a spoke that is thinner must be stretchier and weaker than a thicker one.

Look at the links to Spa and read the descriptions:
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s156p494 Plain Gauge - Ideal for drive sides for lighter wheelsets.
http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... b0s156p533 Double Butted - Ideal for front wheels and non drive sides of wheels.
The DB spokes are 2mm thick at each end, but only 1.7mm thick for the majority of their length. The Plain spokes are 2mm throughout.

Please don't think I'm any great expert, I'm very much in the learning stage. I'm good with my hands and enjoy tinkering and learning new skills. I started out by pulling apart a old set of wheels and re-building a couple of times until I got the hang of it. All you really need is a good spoke key and your bike frame as a jig.

Oh, and a good eye!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby pigman » 5 Sep 2008, 8:27am

interesting re the plain gauge spokes on one side, but I cant see the point of having the excess meat in the centre of the spoke. My experience of breakages has been at the hub end, where DB or not, there is 14gauge metal. (im not disagreeing, just dont understand)

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 5 Sep 2008, 8:47am

Maybe someone more experienced could enlighten us!

I know that the thicker the spoke, the stronger the wheel. Also, the higher the spoke count, the stronger the wheel.

As for breakages at the hook-end, I agree that that is where they usually break. I understand that you can buy spokes with very thick hooks.

What causes a spoke to break?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Dean
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Postby Dean » 5 Sep 2008, 9:24am

I was of the understanding that double-butted spokes are stronger than plain gauge, since the thinner middle section allows them to compress and spring back into shape more easily.

I'm relatively new to wheelbuilding too, so I don't pretend to be an expert. And until recently I've built exclusively front wheels or fixed wheels, which require zero dishing - hence my asking the question.

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Postby rogerzilla » 5 Sep 2008, 9:31am

I always use d/b on both sides, and have never broken (or even loosened) a spoke, except in a major prang.

Plain gauge spokes have no advantages except cheapness. There are, however, single-butted spokes which may have an advantage on the drive side, because they have a thicker elbow (the same as the major diameter of the thread, which is about 2.3 mm and only just fits through the hub spoke hole), which is where you need the extra metal.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 5 Sep 2008, 9:33am

We await an expert!
Mick F. Cornwall

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lauriematt
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Postby lauriematt » 5 Sep 2008, 10:40am

i was just curious mick....is it cheaper to build your own wheels???

or is there only a minor difference in the price to buying a complete set???






.....though obviously you cant put a price on a sense of accomplishment :D
WHAT DOESNT KILL YOU .... CAN ONLY MAKE YOU STRONGER

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Dean
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Postby Dean » 5 Sep 2008, 10:51am

Laurie, if you're time-rich and cash-poor, it will work out cheaper. I tend to build them while half-watching DVDs/listening to the radio. It's very enjoyable.

It's independence, as well - you know the limits of your bike, and you can true wheels on the road if you know how to build them. Which could save you a long trip to a bike shop with a nackered wheel.

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lauriematt
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Postby lauriematt » 5 Sep 2008, 10:56am

Dean wrote:Laurie, if you're time-rich and cash-poor, it will work out cheaper. I tend to build them while half-watching DVDs/listening to the radio. It's very enjoyable.

It's independence, as well - you know the limits of your bike, and you can true wheels on the road if you know how to build them. Which could save you a long trip to a bike shop with a nackered wheel.


how long does it take YOU to set the wheels up?? i suppose the rear takes longer???

do you have a professional jig....or just a set of old forks with nails & tac to check the trueness of the wheel???

its something ive always avoided doing....because of the complexity of b*ggering it up. but id love to have a go
WHAT DOESNT KILL YOU .... CAN ONLY MAKE YOU STRONGER

bailout
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Postby bailout » 5 Sep 2008, 11:51am

I have vaguely thought about this. I did consider whether just assembling the hub/rim/spokes and then taking it to a pro to tightn and true would be a reasonable middle route. However, I was recently looking at a site offerring wheels built to order and they seemed to be charging £20 above costs of parts. Hence taking a £10 trueing charge would only save £20 on a pair.

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Dean
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Postby Dean » 5 Sep 2008, 12:14pm

My distinctly unprofessional approach to wheelbuilding:

Buy hubs and rims. *This is important*: Measure them carefully. Correct measurement determines the spoke length, which I have found to be the most critical factor in wheelbuilding. Using the wrong length of spokes is frustrating at best.

Lace the wheels (Sheldon Brown's site, as linked to in MickF's OP, is excellent).

Use the frame and forks as truing jigs. Blu-tack and a bit of old spoke can be used for lateral truing (making sure it runs straight), as the spoke makes a "Ping" when it catches the rim. Or you can use the brake blocks.

For roundness, you can put a tie-wrap around the frame/forks. This helps you gauge the height of the rim at any given point.

For dishing (making sure the wheel sits centrally), the cheapest way is to flip the wheel over.

Unless you're building wheels professionally, as in daily and for a living - I don't think you *really* need a truing jig or a dishing tool - all you need is the frame and a spoke key (make sure that it fits the nipples correctly).

As well as Sheldon's site, I found the Park Tools website useful on building wheels. Just ignore the bits where it says you need a truing jig, spoke tensioner etc:

Park Tools US

Roger Musson's website allows you to download his book on wheelbuilding ( I haven't yet, but I am assured that it is excellent). and it also has a free-to-use spoke calculator, and a good description of how to measure hubs and rims:

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

Is it cheaper overall? I'd say it probably is, but mostly it's more satisfying to build my own, and I'm not relying on some spotty yoof in a bike shop nwhom I wouldn't trust to hold a spanner correctly (having been that spotty yoof, I know whereof I speak).

DIY. It's usually the best way to go.