wheel building / discussion thread

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GRHebard
GRHebard's picture
wheel building / discussion thread

i couldnt find a thread for this so ill make one.

im going to build a new rear wheel for my tarck bike this spring.
im thinking Dura-ace track hub to Open-pro.

so my Qs are:
-should i do 32H or 36H
-should i use 1.8G spokes, 2.0G spokes, or 2.0/1.8G butted spokes? consider that its getting ridden on the street, and i want it to be pretty tough

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 13:15
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

In my limited experience, I've found that butted spokes build up considerably easier than straight gauge spokes. I've built two wheels with butted and two wheels with straight and the butted were so much nicer to work with. Go that route.
Also, here is a nice, easy to use, basic spoke calc that I've had success with:
http://houseof3d.com/pete/applets/wheel/appwheel.html

emor wrote:
Bicycle commuting is the worst way to get anywhere except for all the other ways.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 13:18
mander
mander's picture

I like 36 holes for 9 speed rear wheels but 32 holes should be tough enough on a wheel with no dish.

I always found butted spokes easier to wind up and therefore harder to build with, but as long as you're keeping an eye on it and compensating as you go, it shouldn't be a problem either way. Sheldon says that butted builds stronger wheels and who am i to argue with him.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 13:35
daedelus
daedelus's picture

As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to build with straight gauge spokes. They're not really any stronger or more durable.
For lacing, I have been satisfied with 32 hole three cross for all purposes, even on my mountain bike. I went up to 36 spokes on my touring bike just to make the wheels extra burly for cargo carrying. Since I only weigh about 130lbs, 32 spokes is usually more than enough. Based upon your wiry appearance, I would think 32 spokes would be fine.

totallynotsol wrote:
"free love feminist vegan bicyclist"

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 13:36
DBR
DBR's picture

32 spoke 2.0-1.8, has a baller wheel. Then do the same in the front, sell your Hed3, and thank me in 3 years :)

edit: jk I've never ridden a hed3 and know you love crabon, just givin' you shit.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 13:40
Face
Face's picture

every spoke i have ever broken has either been at the beginning of the threads from a frozen nipple or at the j-bend. get the butted spokes if you can afford them to save a teeny tiny bit of weight.

i have built many wheels with straight 2.0 and 1.8 spokes as well as butted 2.0/1.8 and the biggest difference i have noticed is the butted and straight 1.8 spokes are easier to work with then lacing the wheel up, usually that last cross on the last side. the main thing that makes wheel building easy from my experience is a good rim. something nice with double eyelets will be way easier to get true with even tension than some cheese ball weight weenie rim. open pro's are the shit, i love them.

Mr. Pubes wrote:
i fear that you are so lost in your own asshole that you may never be found again. do you have a flare gun? send for help.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 15:06
Yves
Yves's picture

Great book just to have is The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 19:01
DDYTDY
DDYTDY's picture

Great book just to have is The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt

DT Revolution 3X 32 spoks aluminum nips

GEL280 or GEL330 rims

(clinchers=meh, atmo)

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 20:28
Sneaky Viking
Sneaky Viking's picture

dunno why DA track for street use... but whatevs, bro

also, you don't have to build 'em yourself
http://www.velomine.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=87_89&products_id=349&zenid=p2q6jufcuoctb0q2v3k3b0kup4

ckd wrote:
I mean, seriously. We're just a bunch of washed up bicycle burnout dipshits.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 20:38
frankstoneline
frankstoneline's picture

if you want strong street wheels, I'd go surly x 32h OP with the butted spokes.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 22:07
dmg
dmg's picture

Ugh, never buy Surly hubs ever.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 23:40
frankstoneline
frankstoneline's picture

dmg wrote:
Ugh, never buy Surly hubs ever.

...justification?
I've got an old surly fix/fix that between its former owner and myself probably has 1000+ miles on it with no problems at all.

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 23:59
halbritt
halbritt's picture

I ride 32H road wheels and I'm a clyde. Fixed wheels are going to be stronger in any case, because they're not dished.

Straight gauge spokes are for wal-mart bikes. I use DT Comps 2.0/1.8 or Wheelsmith DB14 2.0/1.7. Spokes don't break in the middle.

...shift like jesus making one set of footprints in the sand in your time of need

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 23:59
RJ
RJ's picture

Scheezler wrote:
dunno why DA track for street use... but whatevs, bro

Freal. At least get something sealed.

frankstoneline wrote:
dmg wrote:
Ugh, never buy Surly hubs ever.

...justification?

They're shiiite.

3x, 32h, DUBL BUTD.

truckdoug wrote:
go fuck yourself, fun hating motherfucker

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:09
Sandbagbear
Sandbagbear's picture

this is me,

Front: 32h 1.5g 1cross
Rear, 32-36h 2.0g 3cross cos whip skids

and to add,
Yeah DA hubs are slick, but don't. specially cos whip skids. phil-lowflange.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:25
halbritt
halbritt's picture

Formula.

...shift like jesus making one set of footprints in the sand in your time of need

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:26
Sandbagbear
Sandbagbear's picture

Formula hubs really do work fine for tarck bike, but greghebard wont settle for that.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:27
anomaly

frankstoneline wrote:
dmg wrote:
Ugh, never buy Surly hubs ever.

...justification?
I've got an old surly fix/fix that between its former owner and myself probably has 1000+ miles on it with no problems at all.

Epic rofl at 1000 miles being a test of durability.

Surly hubs have known bearing problems.

I found DA hubs to have the worst seals of any loose ball bearing hub I've ever had. You truly need to repack them after every time they get ridden in the rain.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:36
wickedwagon
wickedwagon's picture

Mr. Bear wrote:
You truly need to repack them after every time they get ridden in the rain.

really doubting this

jordanpattern wrote:
BRING ME THE BINDERS OF WOMEN!

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:43
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

Some responses to things in this thread:

32 spokes will probably be enough. With nice hubs and nice rims like you are using, you'll be able to get the tension very even, and they'll probably stay that way, especially with a little spoke prep. Or you can use blue loctite.

I fucking hate aluminum nipples. They can't be built up to good, high tension, and once they've been on the bike for a year or so, they strip as soon as you go to true your fucking wheel. I refuse to build wheels with aluminum nipples. Any time anyone asks me if they should build with aluminum nipples, I try to talk them out of it. Having a weaker wheel that will probably need several new nipples in a year and a half is not worth the 40g weight savings. I'm sure I would be less strict about this if I were getting paid to build wheels, though.

I honestly don't think that straight-gauge spokes build up significantly weaker than double-butted. In theory, yes, but in practice, in the direction that they are stronger (compression, basically), wheels are really fucking strong anyway, if they're built with even tension. Straight-gauge spokes are stiffer laterally, though. For a given tension, the spokes respond significantly less to side-loads. This is important when I'm riding with heavy panniers. This is really noticeable with 700c wheels, to me, at least.

I also like the way wheels feel when built to high tension with straight-gauge spokes. Bearing in mind that it's been almost a year since I read his book, I recall Jobst Brandt saying that it's an acoustical property. The rim and spokes resonate well, or something like that. I buy that, because that's what it feels like, and to me, that's what good wheels feel like. It's hard to describe, but it's there.

I'm not going to deny that butted spokes build theoretically stronger wheels, all other things being equal. But they almost never are. As far as I know, all of the wheels I've built for myself and for customers are still being ridden daily and are still reasonably true. Unless the customer made a special request, I generally used whichever spokes we had in stock in the right length that day, butted or straight.

Oh, and loose ball bearing hubs are the shit. Does Shimano use different seals on the track hubs than the other hubs? If so, tha's too bad, because even their road hubs are sealed better than most cartridge bearing mtb hubs.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:50
Sandbagbear
Sandbagbear's picture

Ranger Bear wrote:
Mr. Bear wrote:
You truly need to repack them after every time they get ridden in the rain.

really doubting this

Yeah, but he's mostly right. I raced on DA road hubs/ Opros last year and had to repack them several times. BUT those were the fastest and strongest wheels i've ever owned. Remember the first time racing them after switching from my 22h bladed spokes and recognizing way more road vibration and cornering felt like rails.

built with the same specs I recommended.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 00:59
anomaly

Ranger Bear wrote:
Mr. Bear wrote:
You truly need to repack them after every time they get ridden in the rain.

really doubting this

Go ahead, I road them on a commuter wheelset for 18 months. Each time there was a decent rain they would get crunchy as hell afterwards and water would come out when I took the lock nuts off. Hell even 500 miles of good weather riding would leave them feeling rough. I've never had the same problem with Superbe or Campy track hubs.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 01:01
Sandbagbear
Sandbagbear's picture

Sandbagbear wrote:
Ranger Bear wrote:
Mr. Bear wrote:
You truly need to repack them after every time they get ridden in the rain.

really doubting this

Yeah, but he's mostly right. I raced on DA road hubs/ Opros last year and repacked them several times, probably didn't need to so often. BUT those were the fastest and strongest wheels i've ever owned. Remember the first time racing them after switching from my 22h bladed spokes and recognizing way more road vibration and cornering felt like rails.

built with the same specs I recommended.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 01:02
anomaly

deadforkinglast wrote:
Oh, and loose ball bearing hubs are the shit. Does Shimano use different seals on the track hubs than the other hubs? If so, tha's too bad, because even their road hubs are sealed better than most cartridge bearing mtb hubs.

Yes, their road hubs have a double seal which the track hubs do not.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 01:03
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

Mr. Bear wrote:
deadforkinglast wrote:
Oh, and loose ball bearing hubs are the shit. Does Shimano use different seals on the track hubs than the other hubs? If so, tha's too bad, because even their road hubs are sealed better than most cartridge bearing mtb hubs.

Yes, their road hubs have a double seal which the track hubs do not.

Makes sense, I guess.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 01:09
Cadence
Cadence's picture

Are the seals from durachi road hubs adaptable to the track hubs? This seems like an ideal solution, if possible, for riding nice track hubs on the street. Someone should try this.

As for the original topic, unless you're obese or doing loaded touring, you don't need 36 spokes.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 03:37
kaido_k
kaido_k's picture

One thing to consider about DA track hubs 32 vs 36, 36 are NJS so solid axles and 32 are not NJS so they come with hollow axles. You can order the hollow axles seperately also but $. I went with the 32s because of the axle and easier to find rims. I recommend your combo and I ride the same except for CX Rays.
I don't see the big deal about riding these hubs in the street. Plenty of us do over here. Nice, affordable, and readily available.
Mr Bear I agree also that Sanshin Pro, Suntour Superbe Pro, and Suzue Promax track hubs seem to go longer than Dura Ace in between tear downs.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 04:52
mander
mander's picture

Cadence wrote:
Are the seals from durachi road hubs adaptable to the track hubs? This seems like an ideal solution, if possible, for riding nice track hubs on the street. Someone should try this.

As for the original topic, unless you're obese or doing loaded touring, you don't need 36 spokes.

Fuck off cadence

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 10:25
dougtruck
dougtruck's picture

32 hole, dt revs, miche lo flange

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 16:21
halbritt
halbritt's picture

mander wrote:
Cadence wrote:
Are the seals from durachi road hubs adaptable to the track hubs? This seems like an ideal solution, if possible, for riding nice track hubs on the street. Someone should try this.

As for the original topic, unless you're obese or doing loaded touring, you don't need 36 spokes.

Fuck off cadence

I'm backing cadence on this.

Again, for the OP or anyone under 200Lbs, 32 spokes is plenty.

  • There's no reason other than irony to use 36 spokes or "track" hubs.
  • Pragmatically speaking 32h is preferably, cheap sealed cartridge bearings are preferable.
  • Never use thread locker on spoke nipples, ever How are you going to re-true a wheel that's got cured thread locker on it?
  • Never use aluminum nipples unless you really, seriously need the lightest possible wheels, ever.
  • Straight-gauge spokes are junk.

...shift like jesus making one set of footprints in the sand in your time of need

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:06
NKOTB
NKOTB's picture

What's the verdict on 3x vs. 4x? Got the cheapo alu frame from ebay and thinking I need some give from the wheels to make the ride more comfortable. So I'm thinking 36 x4 on open sport or pro.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:17
halbritt
halbritt's picture

NKOTB wrote:
What's the verdict on 3x vs. 4x? Got the cheapo alu frame from ebay and thinking I need some give from the wheels to make the ride more comfortable. So I'm thinking 36 x4 on open sport or pro.

4x is pointlessly complex. Wheels don't make a bike more comfortable.

...shift like jesus making one set of footprints in the sand in your time of need

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:19
crabbi
crabbi's picture

36x4 would be stiffer, me thinks. you'd have more luck using bigger tire.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
if you're here, you probably fucked up somewhere along the line.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:21
crabbi
crabbi's picture

i used 36x4 on my bmx bike exclusively.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
if you're here, you probably fucked up somewhere along the line.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:22
mander
mander's picture

I disagree with your first point heath. 36 spokes in the back is a good choice if you need a lot of dish on an old "soft" rim that doesn't like high spoke tension (MA2s come to mind); you are building a 29er wheel or you just plan on doing dumbass stuff that necessitates an overbuilt wheel; you like the idea of easy field fixes for broken spokes, you use your bike to carry heavy stuff every once in awhile; and I'm sure there's more.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 17:31
NKOTB
NKOTB's picture

rabbi wrote:
36x4 would be stiffer, me thinks. you'd have more luck using bigger tire.

I'm looking if I can squeeze a 25mm in there, but certainly, rims and spokes have an effect on the quality of the ride to some extent. Why would the pros bother changing their setups for paris-roubaix otherwise?

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 18:14
crabbi
crabbi's picture

because they need stronger wheels to deal with the cobblestones. nothing is really gonna soften up that ride besides tires, seat, and bartape. i believe 700x24-25c is pretty standard for the roubaix.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
if you're here, you probably fucked up somewhere along the line.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 18:20
timberland boots
timberland boots's picture

NKOTB wrote:
rabbi wrote:
36x4 would be stiffer, me thinks. you'd have more luck using bigger tire.

I'm looking if I can squeeze a 25mm in there, but certainly, rims and spokes have an effect on the quality of the ride to some extent. Why would the pros bother changing their setups for paris-roubaix otherwise?

Because a lot of your typical road wheels wouldn't survive paris-roubaix

rabbi wrote:
because they need stronger wheels to deal with the cobblestones. nothing is really gonna soften up that ride besides tires, seat, and bartape. i believe 700x24-25c is pretty standard for the roubaix.

I think 27mm is typical

Anal Beads Al-Qaeda Ball Gag NAMBLA

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 18:52
tzusing
tzusing's picture

24h or 28h is enough for Greg. I don't think he is interested in trick track.
36h is a relic of the past when rims were shallow and or single walled.

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 19:00
DDYTDY
DDYTDY's picture

(warning, weight weenie justification)

For all weather all purpose wheels or rims without eyelets I use brass. (Accept on some Sun M14As there I use aluminum nips and copper based anti seize grease on the nipp/rim interface.)

With proper lube on the nipple bearing surface, a good spoke wrench and some care putting the wrench to the nip I have no problems bringing wheels up to max tension.

I do get some cracked nipples on older wheels when retruing but its a price I'm willing to bay for 40 grams!

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 20:26
DDYTDY
DDYTDY's picture

Rich wrote:
NKOTB wrote:
rabbi wrote:
36x4 would be stiffer, me thinks. you'd have more luck using bigger tire.

I'm looking if I can squeeze a 25mm in there, but certainly, rims and spokes have an effect on the quality of the ride to some extent. Why would the pros bother changing their setups for paris-roubaix otherwise?

Because a lot of your typical road wheels wouldn't survive paris-roubaix

rabbi wrote:
because they need stronger wheels to deal with the cobblestones. nothing is really gonna soften up that ride besides tires, seat, and bartape. i believe 700x24-25c is pretty standard for the roubaix.

I think 27mm is typical

Tubulars babby! More volume, better ride!

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 20:29
Petr5
Petr5's picture

halbritt wrote:
NKOTB wrote:
What's the verdict on 3x vs. 4x? Got the cheapo alu frame from ebay and thinking I need some give from the wheels to make the ride more comfortable. So I'm thinking 36 x4 on open sport or pro.

4x is pointlessly complex. Wheels don't make a bike more comfortable.

It also doesn't produce a more laterally or radially stiff wheel. It does tangentially, but who cares.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
"Your bike sucks and we have a team of biased experts to pseudo-scientifically test that hypothesis, all in blue shirts."

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 20:49
Petr5
Petr5's picture

Petr5 wrote:
halbritt wrote:
NKOTB wrote:
...

...

Edit, Also a 200lb guy riding 18h front 32h rear. Both homemade, never broke a spoke.

actual edit: testing if that was my mistake... it was

Sneaky Viking wrote:
"Your bike sucks and we have a team of biased experts to pseudo-scientifically test that hypothesis, all in blue shirts."

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 20:52
halbritt
halbritt's picture

mander wrote:
I disagree with your first point heath. 36 spokes in the back is a good choice if you need a lot of dish on an old "soft" rim that doesn't like high spoke tension (MA2s come to mind); you are building a 29er wheel or you just plan on doing dumbass stuff that necessitates an overbuilt wheel; you like the idea of easy field fixes for broken spokes, you use your bike to carry heavy stuff every once in awhile; and I'm sure there's more.

Agreed, for those unique circumstances. 36h have a place for heavy loads and burly, overbuilt wheels, but still that's a stretch. With modern components and a rider weight under 200lbs I can't imagine a need. Further, a non-dished fixed wheel is going to be hella strong with 32 spokes compared to a dished road wheel with 32 spokes. Even still, those 4 more spokes are going to be about 30 grams, not a big price to pay for a little more strength if that's desired.

...shift like jesus making one set of footprints in the sand in your time of need

Sun, 02/21/2010 - 21:04
frankstoneline
frankstoneline's picture

Mr. Bear wrote:
frankstoneline wrote:
dmg wrote:
Ugh, never buy Surly hubs ever.

...justification?
I've got an old surly fix/fix that between its former owner and myself probably has 1000+ miles on it with no problems at all.

Epic rofl at 1000 miles being a test of durability.

Surly hubs have known bearing problems.

point wasnt that i've run the fuckers into the ground, just that they still spin fine after 1000 miles, and for like, 1/3 the price of dura ace hubs why the hate?

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 00:12
Face
Face's picture

im 225lbs and hard on my wheels and i would never ride a 36 spoke wheel on the road, its pointless. i run 20 up front and 24 in the back on my road bike and its acceptable. i would like to go with something a little stiffer though, 28 or 32 is in my future if i build up a wheelset for it some day.

that said, i ride mtb with 32 or 36 spokes and the only difference i notice in wheel strength is the actual rim. cheeseball 36hole rim is cheeseball while a nice 32hole rim will stay true till i move on to the next bike/wheelset.

Mr. Pubes wrote:
i fear that you are so lost in your own asshole that you may never be found again. do you have a flare gun? send for help.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 00:18
EivlEvo
EivlEvo's picture

2 questions:

1. When building, how imperative would you say using a tension gauge is? (Aside from the obvious answers (I'm not an idiot))
and
2. Is it still even cost effective to build wheels?

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 15:42
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

1. I don't really think one is necessary, but I've never used one so...
2. No. I priced the parts for a wheelset at $100 more than the pre-built set with the same parts.

emor wrote:
Bicycle commuting is the worst way to get anywhere except for all the other ways.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 15:54
Petr5
Petr5's picture

EivlEvo wrote:
2 questions:

1. When building, how imperative would you say using a tension gauge is? (Aside from the obvious answers (I'm not an idiot))
and
2. Is it still even cost effective to build wheels?

1. I hit about +/-10% variance before busting the gauge out. Most people want less than 5% when done.
2. I haven't found it to be, but I don't want to ride on wheels I didn't build.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
"Your bike sucks and we have a team of biased experts to pseudo-scientifically test that hypothesis, all in blue shirts."

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 15:56
halbritt
halbritt's picture

1. A tension gauge isn't necessary, but it's helpful especially if you want to build the strongest wheels.
2. It's not cost effective to build wheels that one can commonly buy machine built. I could buy CXP33 on Ultegra 6600 for $320 from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse or I could build it myself for $350. CXP33 isn't even as common as an Open Pro and is often a "custom" build.

...shift like jesus making one set of footprints in the sand in your time of need

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 16:07
DDYTDY
DDYTDY's picture

I build wheels because I like too, Ebay hubs and rims helps keep the costs down. Box of 75 spokes X 3 for some builds makes me cry.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 17:31

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