Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

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Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby asianflava » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:25 pm

I'm considering a wheel lacing for a winter project. I've started by buying "THE BICYCLE WHEEL"-Jobst Brandt but it hasn't come in yet. I was wondering if anyone had any good resources for parts.

I've asked around on a cycling forum and got some good suggestions. One is to start with some training wheels to get my feet wet. Though I don't think I'd benefit from cool carbon wheels, I like the idea of doing those because they'd be different from the training wheels that are on my bike.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby mikeschn » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:38 pm

I've done a set. It wasn't that hard. You just need a good book, and a truing stand.

I also had one other crutch, but don't tell the experts. I used a spoke tension meter!

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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby GuitarPhotog » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:35 pm

I laced up a few wheels years ago, using the Brandt book as a guide. Tension meters weren't available yet so you had to listen to the tone to tension the spokes. Being tone deaf, I took mine to a shop for final tensioning.

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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Fenlason » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:27 pm

I have some experience building wheels. I like Jobst Brandt's book. As has been said, a truing stand, and the correct size spoke wrench is needed. I use a tension gage, although I use it to let me know what the overall tension is, and use the spoke plucking method to make sure that the spokes are of equal equal tension as I am working. I also also prefer to use a dishing tool to measure dish.. vs "trusting' the truing stand for this.

As far as parts suppliers. I can't help you. I am a shop rat, and my suppliers are different than what you will be able to use.

I must also say.. as a shop, we don't build nearly as many wheels as we used to years ago. There are so many nice built wheel systems out there, unless someone is looking for something very specific.. our customers can get a better value with a wheel already built.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Bogo » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:13 am

I've laced up dozens of bike wheels over the decades. Never owned a truing stand. I always did them on the bike they were going to be used on. A piece of cardboard taped to the fork or rear triangle tubes worked as my guide.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby asianflava » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:54 pm

Got the book and read thru it already, I must have an old first print (1981) because there is no mention of any carbon fiber parts.

I bought a pair of Shimano 105 32 spoke hubs. They are new, but not the newest model, the 5501 not the 5700 (I have no idea what the difference is). I also decided to go with the Kinlin XR-300 rim though I probably won't buy them till after Thanksgiving. I've read that their taller cross section makes them durable enough for Clydesdale use. As for spokes, the Wheelsmith 14ga butted spokes with brass nipples seem to be the most price friendly. I'm still a little unclear about spoke length. The book says to choose a spoke within a millimeter of the prescribed length, but I've read elsewhere that you are OK if you are within 2mm. I really don't want to get into having to cut and roll threads.

I have a rigid fork from another bike. I'll probably chuck it into a workmate style bench and use that as my truing stand. If I need to have a dishing tool, I figure that it wouldn't be too hard to make one out of plywood or MDF and all-thread. I haven't decided if I'm going to get a spoke tension meter.

It won't be the lightest or strongest build, I'm trying to build them strong enough for my bulk, but make the a little lighter than the OEM wheels that came on my bike.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Bogo » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:05 pm

The fork will work for the front wheel, but the back wheel hub will have a different width. You may not be able to get the fork to spread wide enough to get the hub in.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:42 am

Our MTB tandem came with 32 spoke wheels and almost every ride I would hear a ping from the right rear. I carried a kevlar temporary spoke and could do a quick repair to get us home. That got old fast so had new wheels built 48 spoke Rhino rims, took them to the only place in Toledo using a tensometer and 20 years later they are still true.
One guy at one shop used to tension by tune, nice idea and should sort of work but Wheels done by him were never more than a couple of weeks true.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby asianflava » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:06 pm

Well I never got around to doing this project. The 105 hubs I ordered never came in so I was refunded the money. I got a Nashbar sale paper in the mail last week and saw a set of Heavy Duty wheels that cost less than it would have cost me to build a pair. They are kinda heavy but with a 30mm depth they are kinda aero (too bad I'm not). I'm not too concerned about their weight so I went ahead and got sealing tubes. Even with the tires and tubes, it still cost considerably less than building a set.

Putting on the new tires was a royal pain in the hands. My fingertips and palms are sore from doing it. The last 3 or 4 times I did a tube change on both the road and mtn bikes, the tire popped right on with plenty of room. These were super tight! To the point where I double checked to see if I indeed got 700 rims and tires. I'm going to attribute my difficulty to the fact that they were brand new tires. I thought I had pinched the tube with my wrangling, but after pumping 120psi into them I was happy to find that I did not

I have a 105 10spd cassette (somewhere) that I bought used on ebay. I put it "in a special place" so that I knew where it was when I needed it. Problem is, I can't remember where that "special place" is. It's not the exact same gearing as the one that came on the bike, but I probably won't be able to tell the difference. I'll probably have a shop install it when I find it so I won't have to buy a chain whip and freewheel remover.

Now if this weather decides to cooperate, I can do some riding without fear of taco-ing my wheels on a pothole.

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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby GuitarPhotog » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:24 pm

The ease with which the tire goes on the rim is totally dependent on the make and model of the tire. For a long time I used Specialized tires and had trouble getting them on and off the rim. When I got 'bent' (i.e., changed to a recumbent) I changed to Schwalbe Stelvios both front and rear, and have had no trouble getting them on and off with out benefit of tire levers.

You can try carrying a small bar of soap in your repair kit to help lubricate the bead to make it easier on and off. Of course a good set of tire levers helps.

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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Fenlason » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:12 am

asianflava wrote:Well I never got around to doing this project. The 105 hubs I ordered never came in so I was refunded the money. I got a Nashbar sale paper in the mail last week and saw a set of Heavy Duty wheels that cost less than it would have cost me to build a pair. They are kinda heavy but with a 30mm depth they are kinda aero (too bad I'm not). I'm not too concerned about their weight so I went ahead and got sealing tubes. Even with the tires and tubes, it still cost considerably less than building a set.

Putting on the new tires was a royal pain in the hands. My fingertips and palms are sore from doing it. The last 3 or 4 times I did a tube change on both the road and mtn bikes, the tire popped right on with plenty of room. These were super tight! To the point where I double checked to see if I indeed got 700 rims and tires. I'm going to attribute my difficulty to the fact that they were brand new tires. I thought I had pinched the tube with my wrangling, but after pumping 120psi into them I was happy to find that I did not

I have a 105 10spd cassette (somewhere) that I bought used on ebay. I put it "in a special place" so that I knew where it was when I needed it. Problem is, I can't remember where that "special place" is. It's not the exact same gearing as the one that came on the bike, but I probably won't be able to tell the difference. I'll probably have a shop install it when I find it so I won't have to buy a chain whip and freewheel remover.

Now if this weather decides to cooperate, I can do some riding without fear of taco-ing my wheels on a pothole.

Image



nice.. those will look real nice on your bike also. :thumbsup:

In the business, we really don't build as many wheels as we used to. It is more often things like, If someone trashes a wheel and has a real nice hub, we will often rebuild it. Or odd things like building a fat bike wheel to fit a Cannondale lefty.
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Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Bogo » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:51 pm

Let me guess, Kevlar beads on the tires? They don't stretch. I haven't laced a wheel in in ages. When a place will sell me a wheel for less than I can buy the parts...
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Re: Does anyone have experience with lacing wheels?

Postby Noob » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:02 am

Your handbuilt wheels may cost more, but have the potential ( if done right ) to be better than a machine built set. Also you get exactly what you want ... sure you can find a as set of 105 hubs laced to some open pros... but will they have silver double butted pokes, or just straight ga. black ones ?

Tou wont need a chain whip, to install a cass on a new wheel with out a cas on it already ...

New tires are some times a pain to install, but they losen up after a couple of tube changes/flats ... german tires seem to be notorious for this, in my exp.
The good news is, kool-stop makes a "bead jack" that makes this easy-er ...

Image

... and try not to store/leave your bike in that gear combo. ( big/big )

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