Calling all wheel building experts!

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking' started by GrizzlyBear67, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    I've been doing most of my own wrenching for a long time now. I just don't have the patience and I'm too picky to leave my bike in the shop for several days. The exception is wheel building...even I know my limits.

    I have replaced broken spokes and trued wheels with a lot of success though. That got me thinking-what if I just replaced one spoke and nipple at a time making sure the wheel is true as I go a long? I know it's not as good as an expert artisan wheel builder but what are the negative effects of doing it this way?

    FYI, I'll be working with Sun Rhino Lite rims, 14G ssdb spokes and XT hubs. They're are the typical 32 hole tripple cross pattern.
    I'm not interested in light weight, only strength.
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Are you just replacing the spokes and nipples on an existing wheel? If so, you'll still need to tension and true when done.

    And I'm no expert.
     

  3. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    I'm about to have a 36 spoke XT hub built into a RhynoLite rim. Completely irrelevant to your question but great minds think [build?] alike.

    Hub is sitting on the floor next to me, rim should be delivered this afternoon.
     
  4. bear-hunter-ninja

    bear-hunter-ninja New Member

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    Building Bicycle Wheels by Sheldon Brown

    My advice if you are going to transfer spokes from an existing wheel to your new wheel is to have the same number of threads exposed from your nipples before you begin to tension them. That'll give you a good base to start from, usually about 1-2 turns on each spoke for the first round of tensioning.
     
  5. Nigal

    Nigal YAY BAIKS! Tavern Member

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    This is pretty cool. A bit incomplete but cool. I don't even true my own wheels yet.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5EDB9FBB717ABA41&search_query=wheel+building]YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.[/ame]
     
  6. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    I am by no means an expert, but I have built a couple of wheels and trued many. My recommendation would be to start from scratch rather than try to replace spokes one by one. If the wheel is so bad that all of the spokes need replacement, the rim is at least suspect and should also be replaced.

    It sounds like you have the basic skills to try your hand at wheel building. It does take patience. Take your time and don't try to do it all in one evening. Wheel building is an advanced, but invaluable skill.

    The Sheldon Brown article posted earlier is excellent and was the primary reference that I used for my first build. Read through it a couple of times and if you have any questions, post them up here.
     
  7. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    Thanks for posting this article. No, not going to transfer spokes, just replace one at a time with a brand new spoke and nipple. The Rhyno Lite wheel is so strong it hardly goes out of true even with a spoke missing. The reason this comes to mind is that I recently broke a spoke in the front wheel. I got the correct spoke length and new nipple and plugged it in no problem. The current spokes are old and will probably continue to break. So I figured why not replace them like I described in the original post?

    Why do it this way? One bike shop I spoke with said they would not rebuild an old wheel because of the potential problems that could arise. I love the rims because they are so strong and since the brake surface is low changing tires is a breeze. Plus I'd cut the cost in half. Thanks for all the input so far.
     
  8. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    Sometimes I wish I'd gone with 36 spoke rims. I had a guy talk me out of 36 hole a long time ago. Said he could build a 32 hole set on Mavic 261's as strong as I'd ever need. Well, he was right, that was the best wheel set I've ever had and they held up for years without even needing an adjustment. That's partly because of the build but also the strength of that wide rim.

    But your wheel sounds like it's going to be indestructable. Why such a tough combo? Are you using it for DH or XC? Or are you a big rider like me?
     
  9. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    I am a big guy but this wheel is actually for the rear of my tandem. The stock wheel is 48 spoked but it uses a thread-on freewheel rather than a freehub and cassette. The previous owner of the tandem managed to bend the rear axle due to the inboard nature of the bearing on a freewheel hub. I replaced the axle but I'm afraid it will bend again so I wanted to swap to a freehub which moves the bearings much further outboard. My tandem is 135mm spaced so I'm hoping that this MTB stuff will be strong enough and a _LOT_ less expensive than 135mm spaced tandem specific hubs.

    I assume you are building a 26" wheel. What spoke lengths are you using? I've used several calculators and each one is throwing me different numbers. I know the 32 holes may use different spokes than the 36 holes but I'd like to see if I'm even in the correct neighborhood length-wise.
     
  10. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    I guess I should post the info I'm using...

    Right now I'm looking at spoke lengths of 259 and 260mm

    Based on this calculator.

    The hub is a Deore XT Disc (36 hole) hub.

    Spokes = 18 [each side]
    Cross = 3
    Width Center-to-Left = 32mm
    Width Center-to-Right = 18.5mm
    Left Flange = 61mm
    Right Flange = 61mm
    Spoke holes = 2.6mm

    The rim is a Sun Rhyno Lite 26" 36 hole

    ERD = 547 (although it is hard to measure accurately and the numbers people post online vary by as much as 5mm.)
     
  11. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Ryan, I think I mentioned that we abused the exact same rim/hub combo on our MTB tandem, and we're not exactly lightweights either.

    Just thinking about it, I really miss our loop - a quick shot across town, then a long slow climb on a quiet MUP. Near the top, we'd turn off into the bush and navigate pedal-bashing rocks the size of basketballs, then some great single track, water crossings, and technical stuff. All that was to get us to a wide path that looped around a mountain and opened up to an incredible view of the beach. More narrow, technical riding brought us to a steep and twisty paved road good for about 60Km/hour before we got to the beach path that mostly meandered along for 10k back to the house. We usually stopped for breakfast along the beach too. Poisonous snakes, kanagaroos, and girls in bikinis. What more could you ask for on a morning ride?
     
  12. GrizzlyBear67

    GrizzlyBear67 Member

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    Oh where we could go with that question!