wheel building / discussion thread

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Sandbagbear
Sandbagbear's picture

halbritt wrote:
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.

It's cost effective when you have QBP or some other parts hookup. otherwise I agree it's about the same cost or worse. Having built many of my wheelsets, I think there's a lot of mental benefits to riding on stuff I assembled.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 18:14
Whippin Skidz
Whippin Skidz's picture

I'm going to build my next wheels. I'm looking for a truing stand for my new apartment.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 18:15
Sandbagbear
Sandbagbear's picture

Also, I'm Pro-tension gauge at least 1-2 rotations on every build. I wait until I'm close to the mid twenties on the tensiometer before checking.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 18:29
Sneaky Viking
Sneaky Viking's picture

DaddyBear wrote:
Ebay hubs

+1

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

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 18:42
bigmatt

frankstoneline wrote:
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?

Surly track hubs are absolute shit. I know many people running them (friends and/or customers), and they are constantly replacing bearings and fucking with the hub adjustment. They need constant hub adjustment because they never stay in adjustment. I have seen a properly adjusted/tightened Surly rear hub leave and come back in 30 mins. and be loose. Formula hubs are cheaper and WAY better. The stock bearings aren't anything special in the Dimension/Formula/whatever name brand track hubs. Ride it until the stock bearings need replaced and then buy NICE bearings for it. A poor mans Phil if you will? Paul hubs are shit too!

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 19:30
bigmatt

Building wheels can be cost effective sometimes, but most of the time it really isn't. Almost all of my own personal wheel builds were using used hubs, used rims, both, or new parts I bought at a discount because I work at a bike shop. Even with that I have bought many prebuilts (mostly from QBP) for my own personal use.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 19:32
Cadence
Cadence's picture

bigmatt wrote:
Ride it until the stock bearings need replaced and then buy NICE bearings for it. A poor mans Phil if you will? Paul hubs are shit too!

I'm about ready to overhaul my formulas. Get me into some "NICE" bearings.

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 19:44
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

Pre-built wheels will get you the same components, but components are only half of what makes a good wheel a good wheel. I've seen some really shitty prebuilts with nice components (Ultegra/OP/DT DB) and built and seen others build some really fucking good wheels with cheap components (Formula/Deore hubs and CR-18/Rhynolite/Alex Adventurer/Salsa Delgado rims). Definitely have a kick ass set of wheels I built with Delgados and sub-tiagra road hubs (taken off of some shitty Alex prebuilts) that I expect to be using as my go-to beater/utility 700c wheelset for years. Still hella true, even though that rear wheel as seen many, many miles of sloppy singletrack and fire road riding with two loaded Ortliebs.

Not all pre-built wheels are bad, but some are terrible. I feel like it's not just a matter of what company you buy from, but also who was running the machines that day and who was checking the wheels before putting them in the boxes. Too much luck involved. If I build a wheel, I'll know that it's good. Plus, I like building with spoke washers at the hub. Machine built wheels don't have those.

Plus I fucking love building wheels.

Cadence wrote:
bigmatt wrote:
Ride it until the stock bearings need replaced and then buy NICE bearings for it. A poor mans Phil if you will? Paul hubs are shit too!

I'm about ready to overhaul my formulas. Get me into some "NICE" bearings.

Phil Wood.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 01:25
EivlEvo
EivlEvo's picture

Thats mildly what I suspected.

I have a truing stand (Jim if you're looking bikeisland has the absolute best price for new aside from ebay that I found, not endorsing... just stating the truth) but have yet to build my own set though I want to. Primary reason I got it was because the shop here in ND looks at me funny sometimes when I need wheel stuff. They don't stock parts for most of the high perf wheels I roll (like my reynold carbon tubs and such).

I wish spoke tension gauges weren't so expensive. I have a great ear for tune, but I'm pretty nervous about going the Sheldon route.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 01:31
halbritt
halbritt's picture

I buy pre-builts and re-tension them myself. It's cheaper that way.

For spoke tension without a gauge, adjust by pitch, use a chromatic tuner if you've got one, then have an LBS double-check the tension.

Jim, if you can afford it, the Park TS-2 is really nice to build wheels on.

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

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 01:42
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

EivlEvo wrote:
Thats mildly what I suspected.

I have a truing stand (Jim if you're looking bikeisland has the absolute best price for new aside from ebay that I found, not endorsing... just stating the truth) but have yet to build my own set though I want to. Primary reason I got it was because the shop here in ND looks at me funny sometimes when I need wheel stuff. They don't stock parts for most of the high perf wheels I roll (like my reynold carbon tubs and such).

I wish spoke tension gauges weren't so expensive. I have a great ear for tune, but I'm pretty nervous about going the Sheldon route.

Park TM-1.

Totally worth the money.

I suspect that Sheldon's ears were just OK. Good, true, evenly tensioned wheels sound really dissonant to me because all of the spokes (especially on front or track wheels) are so evenly tensioned that they produce pitches within a half step. Then, when the tension starts to get really high, the pitch changes drastically for really small tension changes. You can get in the ball park, but a tensiometer its hell of worth the money, especially if you are building carbon tubulars. You could probably end up with good wheels, but good components make it worth your time to do it right. They really reward you for it.

Edit: chromatic tuner does work well, as Heath suggests. But tensiometer works beter.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 01:55
DDYTDY
DDYTDY's picture

halbritt wrote:
. Jim, if you can afford it, the Park TS-2 is really nice to build wheels on.

I've had mine 20+ years. It owes me nothing

Bikeisland has them with free shipping.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:25
SUPERVEEPS
SUPERVEEPS's picture

I'm about to build my first set of wheels since I needed a 126mm road hub and found a Suntour Superbe with brand new Enduro bearings for cheap, a set of SL42s on closeout, and picked up a Surly front hub to convert to QR. This thread is giving some good tips.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 14:37
EivlEvo
EivlEvo's picture

Yeah... I had to have a spoke replaced on my reynolds and I had my shop back home (NY) do the install, so detension, install, retension.

So far I've used my truing stand primarily for re-dishing and truing my retro direct wheel and for my beaters.

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:50
tzusing
tzusing's picture

deadforkinglast wrote:

Cadence wrote:
bigmatt wrote:
Ride it until the stock bearings need replaced and then buy NICE bearings for it. A poor mans Phil if you will? Paul hubs are shit too!

I'm about ready to overhaul my formulas. Get me into some "NICE" bearings.

Phil Wood.

I think those are NSK bearings? Why do people call them phil wood bearings?

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 06:29
tzusing
tzusing's picture

Also about buying wheel sets.
Any respectable brand that cares about quality will hand build their wheels.
I don't believe you can build a good wheel with a machine.
So my point is that the decent wheel sets you buy off the shelf are actually hand built, not machine built.
There are lots of little factories all over Taiwan/China that hand build wheels. Some build to a pretty high spec as well.

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 06:42
halbritt
halbritt's picture

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

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 18:36
tzusing
tzusing's picture

Yes, hahaha that last one is the one you want your wheels to be built on.

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 20:17
cycology
cycology's picture

halbritt wrote:

"The HT60-014 NIPPLE FEEDING DRIVING MACHINE..."

heath, didn't you just have one of those?

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 22:36
halbritt
halbritt's picture

Yup.

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

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 22:45
dougtruck
dougtruck's picture

halbritt wrote:
For spoke tension without a gauge, adjust by pitch, use a chromatic tuner if you've got one, then have an LBS double-check the tension.

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 23:45
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

tzusing wrote:
deadforkinglast wrote:

Cadence wrote:
bigmatt wrote:
Ride it until the stock bearings need replaced and then buy NICE bearings for it. A poor mans Phil if you will? Paul hubs are shit too!

I'm about ready to overhaul my formulas. Get me into some "NICE" bearings.

Phil Wood.

I think those are NSK bearings? Why do people call them phil wood bearings?

Because they come in Phil Wood packaging and are sold as Phil Wood bearings?

They cost about the same as generic bearings, so I would assume that that's what they are. When I can get the old bearings out of my hubs, I can tell you how they are, but I'm sure that they're fine.

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 02:11
biek

lbs just quoted me $290 for a 36h ultegra/open pro/butted spokes rear wheel
probs gonna go for it

pappaheugwang wrote:
u mad bro?

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 20:59
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

i had njs DA hubs that i rode in the rain for a few years and rebuilt only once. they were fine.
they did come with a little oring to slide in the plastic dustcover....i didn't use it though.
this tx though so rain season aint too long.

i'd get some 36h low flange DA hubs and lace them to open pro with 2.0/1.8 spokes...well actually i'd buy an old NOS set of GP4 for cheap off ebay but i imagine you don't care for tubs on your fixie.

straight 2.0 would build a little bit stiffer wheel but would probably be a little less durable than 2.0/1.8

like halbritt is saying though...32h will be plenty strong with such little dish...shit i ride with atleast 15lbs daily on my rear rack with a 32h open pro on a high dish hub. i retensioned shortly after i got it (used for $50 off craigslist) coz too fast through a turn hit water and got hella tire chatter...didn't fall but the wheel was sad after.
then had to retension again after bulldogging a big ol' speed bump with lotsa groceries in rear pannier...since then it's been fine.

32h open pro is plenty strong...but i wouldn't afraid of the 36h if that's what happens to come around.

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 22:22
Neil_240
Neil_240's picture

Cookietruck you like the GP4 rims? I have two nos 32h and have been wondering what to do with them.

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 13:21
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

yeah they are good rims.
some brakes seem to want to squeal and chatter with them though.

Fri, 02/26/2010 - 13:56
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

First wheel build evar:

hplusson SL42's / Gran Compe / dt competitions
32h 2x

still no tension, truing stand gets here tomorrow :)

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 02:17
halbritt
halbritt's picture

Hmm.

Just this week I built a 32H CR18 to an old Shimano 600 hub with straight gauge spokes. Reminds me how much I hate straight gauge spokes. I plan to use this as a trainer wheel, but it looks so nice, I think I'm gon' build up a matching front. Also just finished a 36h VO 650b rim to Ultegra front. Going to build the matching rear tomorrow and then post pics.

My truing stand toppled over a month of so ago. I replace a few parts on it, but the arm is bent all to shit, which makes truing wheels kinda fun. Going to get a new arm now, I guess.

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

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 02:25
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

Edit: @dmotobear:

looks fun. Was it a bitch keeping the nipples from falling into the rim? And why 2x?

Some gold spoke washers would have looked baller/pro, but that's in the past at this point. Post pics when you finish. It's easy to underestimate how impressive it's going to look until after you've got it all built up.

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 02:30
halbritt
halbritt's picture

TC I saw a DT Swiss RR1.2 laced with red ano nipples and black spokes to a red ano formula hub. Looked baller, now I want to build a set.

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

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 02:36
deadforkinglast
deadforkinglast's picture

halbritt wrote:
TC I saw a DT Swiss RR1.2 laced with red ano nipples and black spokes to a red ano formula hub. Looked baller, now I want to build a set.

I would too except fuck aluminum nipples.

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 02:45
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

deadforkinglast wrote:
Edit: @dmotobear:

looks fun. Was it a bitch keeping the nipples from falling into the rim? And why 2x?

It was a bitch, I had quite a few fall into the rim that I had to shake out.

2x because of the high flange on the hub plus the deeper wheel.

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 10:45
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

Use a spare spoke to pull the nipples through the holes on deep rims rather than trying to drop em through.

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

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 11:52
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

Rusty Piton wrote:
Use a spare spoke to pull the nipples through the holes on deep rims rather than trying to drop em through.

I did this, I had a problem at first with not threading the nipple on enough.. I would get a few spokes down and the spoke would come out of the nipple and the nipple would fall into the wheel.. I figured out I could thread it on quite a bit more than I was and not have it be too tight.. (first wheel learning curve was a fun trip.. but I got through it and it seems 1000x more clear and easier now).

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 12:14
Rusty Piton
Rusty Piton's picture

Pull nipple through with spare spoke.
Hold nipple in place with flat head screw driver.
Remove spare spoke.
Attach spoke that's connected to hub.
Profit.

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

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 12:27
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

you can also just thread a spoke on the opposite end of the nipple.
insert through eyelet and thread onto the spoke that's attached to the hub flange...

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 13:47
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

CHZtruck wrote:
you can also just thread a spoke on the opposite end of the nipple.
insert through eyelet and thread onto the spoke that's attached to the hub flange...

I did this.

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 13:55
NKOTB
NKOTB's picture

This thread is relevant to my interests.

Just got a set of cxp30s for my sweet fixie. Want something low flange. Miche would be okay, but the lockring is a bit of an issue. Campa record is a bit steep for my budget, so is there anything else?

Also, got a set of Monthlerys that I want to build up for the 70s sport touring bike. Have a set of used high flange Ofmega hubs that I could use, but the bearings are a bit iffy. Should I get a set of NOS Suntour Superbes for 50 euros?

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 15:48
dougtruck
dougtruck's picture

if 50 gyros is under a hundred dollhairs then yes

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 21:36
dougtruck
dougtruck's picture

also fancy shit like sapim lazers aint worth the money according to doug

im trying to sell my wheel and people are like sapim wat? IRD who?

shits not even gonna get me street cred :(

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 21:38
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

i got some sapim spokes on a few my wheels.
just 2.0/1.8 though...coz on ebay for a while...72 spokes fr something like $36...that shit actually made building own wheels cost effective.

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 23:02
Sneaky Viking
Sneaky Viking's picture

that sapim guy disappeared tho, right?

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

Tue, 04/13/2010 - 23:20
halbritt
halbritt's picture

CHZtruck wrote:
i got some sapim spokes on a few my wheels.
just 2.0/1.8 though...coz on ebay for a while...72 spokes fr something like $36...that shit actually made building own wheels cost effective.

Wow. I just bought 72 spokes... bit painful.

CX-Rays are worthwhile on a low spoke count aero front wheel. How many of those do people build?

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

Wed, 04/14/2010 - 01:43
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

sN3Aky2d0p3 wrote:
that sapim guy disappeared tho, right?

yeha i went to search so could build moar wheels and found nothing.
i was like smiley

had to pay the regular price, fuckn hurt.

Wed, 04/14/2010 - 13:44
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

I finished up the rear wheel..

Is this true enough? I put my brand new mavic aksium in the stand and it wasn't as true as this:..

I tensioned the wheel to roughly 110kgf all the way around and then adjusted as needed.. there is a slight dip at the rim's seam that I can't get out.. but its tiny.

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:37
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

maybe i'm real picky but i would've worked on that little hop in the wheel before i got the tension up real high.
doing it now will probably be a bitch so i'd just ride it like that. if you can't feel the hop while riding then i guess it's fine...

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:58
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

I'm pretty picky..So I'll re-do it again if I have to.

I did have the hop out once, checked tension and it was like 140-150kgf right at the seam.. i took the whole wheel down and started over. I read somewhere that riding it for a few days/weeks and then checking it again could solve the problem as well..

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 13:25
cookietruck
cookietruck's picture

dmotobear wrote:
I'm pretty picky..So I'll re-do it again if I have to.

I did have the hop out once, checked tension and it was like 140-150kgf right at the seam.. i took the whole wheel down and started over. I read somewhere that riding it for a few days/weeks and then checking it again could solve the problem as well..

what i do after i get the wheel real nice is take it out stand
take skewer out
lay wheel down so axle is on the ground (carpet).
get on knees
put hands on rim 180* opposite each other
lean weight on hands
hear spokes ping usually coz nipples seating
do this around the wheel on both sides
put wheel back in stand
true some more

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 13:31
dmotobear
dmotobear's picture

I'll try that tonight, thanks.

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 13:34
NKOTB
NKOTB's picture

CHZtruck wrote:
dmotobear wrote:
I'm pretty picky..So I'll re-do it again if I have to.

I did have the hop out once, checked tension and it was like 140-150kgf right at the seam.. i took the whole wheel down and started over. I read somewhere that riding it for a few days/weeks and then checking it again could solve the problem as well..

what i do after i get the wheel real nice is take it out stand
take skewer out
lay wheel down so axle is on the ground (carpet).
get on knees
put hands on rim 180* opposite each other
lean weight on hands
hear spokes ping usually coz nipples seating
do this around the wheel on both sides
put wheel back in stand
true some more

Jobst would snub your stress releasing methods. You grab the spokes, like four at a time, and squeeze 'em to release the tension.

Thu, 04/22/2010 - 16:53

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