Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 40 total)
  • Long shot: Can I borrow your wheel-building stuff? (in Berkshire)
  • appltn
    Full Member

    I’m going to give wheel building a try for the first time and I’m a bit daunted by the cost of a truing stand and tension gauge given that if it goes horribly I might never try again. Of course it’s less likely to go horribly if I have a decent stand and gauge so you can see my predicament. I can’t find anything for sale second hand but I bet there’s loads of them sitting in sheds and garages not being used.

    If I send a few quid/beers/charity donations your way would you lend them to me for a few days? I’m in Berkshire near Maidenhead and would gladly drive to collect and return them.

    rootes1
    Full Member

    apols as this suggestion is spending money, but this is £9 very well spent:

    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php

    and include ways to build low (very) cost tools etc. (i modified one and Roger included it in an updated version – cardboard dishing tool mod), and even way to build not using specific tools.

    5lab
    Full Member

    you can use zip ties in your frame as a truing stand, and true wheels pretty well without a tension gauge – so the only thing you really need is an inexpensive spoke wrench. If you do want a tension gauge, there’s offbrand ones for about £15 on amazon/ebay – they’re unlikely to display the correct number, but consistency is more important than the actual value

    rootes1
    Full Member

    oh and if you buy a buy a nipple wench  (for flats) the Spokeys are the best:

    https://www.spokesfromryan.com/product/m-part-spokey-pro-euro-us-3-25mm-spoke-key/

    the Roger Musson book is great as it shows you all the tools you can make/improvise and all the ones you don’t really need to get you going

    morgans
    Free Member

    You should see your dentist as soon as possible to have them adjusted or relined.

    appltn
    Full Member

    apols as this suggestion is spending money, but this is £9 very well spent:
    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php
    and include ways to build low (very) cost tools etc. (i modified one and Roger included it in an updated version – cardboard dishing tool mod), and even way to build not using specific tools.

    £9 I can stretch to, thanks for the recommendation!

    you can use zip ties in your frame as a truing stand, and true wheels pretty well without a tension gauge – so the only thing you really need is an inexpensive spoke wrench. If you do want a tension gauge, there’s offbrand ones for about £15 on amazon/ebay – they’re unlikely to display the correct number, but consistency is more important than the actual value

    Thanks, this is my fallback plan assuming nobody comes thorough with a lend.

    oh and if you buy a buy a nipple wench (for flats) the Spokeys are the best:

    Thanks! I was thinking to get the DT Proline because of the diamond shape but actually it looks like the spokey has that too so I can use the saving to buy the book.

    You should see your dentist as soon as possible to have them adjusted or relined.

    I just checked and my dentist said “get that bike wheel out of here”?

    phil56
    Full Member

    How far are you willing to drive? I’m 90 miles/ 1hr 50 mins away from Maidenhead – but I can lend you all you need including the Wheelpro book. Also happy to offer any advice if you get stuck – I was trained by Roger Musson back in the day when he ran courses

    rootes1
    Full Member

    £9 I can stretch to, thanks for the recommendation!

    no worries – it is the best £9 you will spend when it comes to wheels – and you get to download it straightaway.

    appltn
    Full Member

    Very kind of you @phil56! I expect that’ll be too far but I’ve DMed you just in case you’re somewhere that I have another reason to visit.

    crossed
    Full Member

    I’m not too far from you, about 10 miles or so.
    I’ve got a truing stand, spoke tension gauge and some spoke keys you’d be able to borrow.

    Not sure what other bits you’d need as I’ve not actually built any wheels!

    phil56
    Full Member

    If you follow the Wheelpro book you shouldn’t need a tension gauge – essential items apart from the truing stand are a nipple driver (the book tells you how to make one from an old screwdriver) and a dishing tool and a roll of masking tape – after that it’s patience and practice!

    appltn
    Full Member

    @crossed that’s wonderful, thank you! I’ll DM you now.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I’m in Reading if Crossed is too far, although my stand only does QR wheels unless you can convince someone to 3D print some adapters.

    Might even have some wheels in bits that need building if you need the practice 😂

    There’s a free guide on the Sheldon Brown site, it’s worth reading even if you follow the wheelpro book as there’s frequently more than one way to do things, but you’ll find some work better (or better for you) than others.

    appltn
    Full Member

    Thank you so much for the offer @thisisnotaspoon. I think @crossed has me sorted but I’ll give you a shout if anything changes.

    tthew
    Full Member

    Good luck applyn,  it’s an enjoyable process and if you’re methodical and follow the instructions you’ll make some really nice, reliable wheels.

    All of my current bikes, (gravel, MTB and commuter) have home built wheels on them and they’ve all stayed true and tight, (although I do have to re-dish the commuter rear, don’t have a gauge for that).

    jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    It’s not an enjoyable process ..it’s the devil’s work!

    straightish,

    straighter,

    almost perfect,

    just one more tweak

    ….complete taco

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    In the right hands, a couple of cable ties and a spoke key will produce a near perfect wheel, whereas you can still build a pile of poo with all the chi-chi kit.  The Sheldon Brown guide is really good for an absolute novice. Wheel building is a process, learning to get the sequence right and knowing how much tweaking to give at each stage and how it affects the wheel, as you get further through, it’s down to a higher numbers of small adjustments. Don’t expect to get it perfect first time and winding it all-off to start again isn’t a problem.

    sirromj
    Full Member

    I started with the wheelpro book too, read the book, built the stand from MDF, took my time, painted it with white emulsion. Read the relevant sections of book again. Also definitely check out Ali Clarksons’s wheel lacing and spoke tensioning videos, it’s ask broken down and made easy to follow.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    I’ve got the Wheelpro book but the only bit I ever actually use is the lacing guide, and you get get that easily enough for free elsewhere. For me it’s always do it in the frame with zip ties, works a charm. I’m a firm believer in buying the right tool for the job but I just don’t think a wheel stand is really even that useful, not for a diyer.

    But, one tool that I would recommend, is one of these or something like it.

    BSC Tools SB-1 Adjustable Spoke Nipple Driver

    I’m sure I saw a cheaper version recently but can’t find a link now, I have a Cyclus one which was a wee bit more expensive but does the exact same job. Absolutely love it, will never build another wheel without it if I can avoid it. It’s depth-setting-you can spin the nipple on with a drill or screwdriver, and it cams out when you reach the preset depth. Means that every spoke and nipple starts out exactly the same. You can actually use just this to build a usable wheel- not a good wheel, but usable, and better than many.

    But mostly what it does is get you pretty close as your start point, and then it’s really just finetuning.

    (oh yeah, note that you can’t use them with squorx or similar. But pretty much all alternative spoke nipples were designed to work better with wheel building machines, not for the actual wheel owner’s benefit, so I just don’t use ’em)

    Northwind
    Full Member

    (too late for edit, you can get a squorx specific equivalent but inevitably, it’s expensive. I really like DT’s wheels but as it turns out squorx nipples have pretty much the same profile as the cheap sapim brass nipples I have a million of, and so I use those)

    mrauer
    Full Member

    Squorx brass nipples are just awesome – I build wheels professionally and I won’t use anything else anymore. The DT tool for Squorx nipples is also not expensive – https://www.bike-components.de/en/DT-Swiss/Torx-Spoke-Wrench-for-Squorx-Pro-Head-Nipples-p40736/

    The best regular nipple wrenches imo are https://uniortools.com/eng/product/1630-2A-spoke-wrench?fromcat=940568#44695

    Very firm fit, will not round nipples and can be used to build BMX wheels or high spoke count wheels where a regular nipple wrench will not fit between spokes. Park tool nipple wrenches round nipples really easily and should not be used when the tension is high.

    nicko74
    Full Member

    FWIW, I’ve rebuilt wheels and replaced rims – so not from scratch, but unlacing the whole wheel and lacing back up again – with nothing more than a pair of forks, Roger’s book above and a cardboard dishing tool. It’s not the best way to do it, but works OK for quite cheap!

    appltn
    Full Member

    This thread is just the absolute best of this place. I’ve had multiple offers to loan me what I’ve asked for, loads of great advice about what I do and don’t need and enough encouragement to feel confident that I can do it. Huge thanks everyone, I really appreciate it and please do keep it coming!

    In the right hands, a couple of cable ties and a spoke key will produce a near perfect wheel, whereas you can still build a pile of poo with all the chi-chi kit.

    I had planned to tackle it with just the frame and cable ties if that’s all I could get hold of but now I’m happy to say that I don’t have to.

    But, one tool that I would recommend, is one of these or something like it.

    Ah yes, that’s one thing I’ve already purchased actually although I went for a non-adjustable one from Unior.

    Squorx brass nipples are just awesome – I build wheels professionally and I won’t use anything else anymore.

    I’ve heard the same from others but I’ve gone with regular Sapim alloy nipples purely because I want them in rainbow colours – in fact that was the whole reason I started down this path 😆. I’ll let you know when I round them all off so you can say I told you so. There’s another thread on this but here they are:

    IMG_0537

    Northwind
    Full Member

    appltn
    Full Member

    Ah yes, that’s one thing I’ve already purchased actually although I went for a non-adjustable one from Unior.

    Heh, that’s the exact cheaper one i mentioned that I couldn’t remember the name of 🙂 Thanks!

    retrorick
    Full Member

    I swapped a rear hub using the bike frame. I watched the park tools video a few times whilst re lacing the spokes.

    mrauer
    Full Member

    appltn – my main reason for only using brass nipples is that I live in a Nordic country where they use road salt in the winter. Riding in salty wet conditions absolutely destroys alloy nipples. I also put some aluminum anti-seize (Park Tool ASC-1) on the spoke threads when assembling, even if the nipples have thread lock already, so they won’t seize over time and can be trued later.

    I have a couple boxes of coloured alloy nipples that I would like to use one day, but that would have to be a strictly summer wheel build then!

    If you are using fork / frame for truing, remember to keep an eye on vertical trueness especially, and check that already when tension is not yet very high. It is easy to get a wheel laterally true, but you can end up with a lot of up-and-down bumps if you do not keep it in check all the time when tensioning. Of course this is equally important when using a truing stand, but a stand makes it easier to see vertical trueness.

    And when mid-way in tension, tap the bends of the spokes against the hub body so the bend straightens to rest on the hub body – use a rubber or soft plastic mallet on the outside bends, and a wooden / plastic / aluminum rod to tap the inside-hub bends as well. If you do not do this properly, the bends witll straighten while riding and spokes will loosen, and also that would stress the bends and possibly cause some spokes to break at the bend (much) later on.

    nicko74
    Full Member

    Oooh, final thing to add: I’ve found it’s an activity that works best with a couple of hours and (crucially) a beer or other beverage close at hand. Genuinely, something about taking it slowly, being meditative with it, seems to work better for me that trying to be really focused and efficient

    appltn
    Full Member

    Thanks for the extra tips @mrauer – I’ll be riding in wet but not salty UK conditions so I expect I’ll be fine. Other wheels with alloy nipples have held up well for me over the years.

    Oooh, final thing to add: I’ve found it’s an activity that works best with a couple of hours and (crucially) a beer or other beverage close at hand. Genuinely, something about taking it slowly, being meditative with it, seems to work better for me that trying to be really focused and efficient

    Excellent, I plan to do exactly this over however many evenings it takes!

    joebristol
    Full Member

    Just to add I’ve built quite a few wheels now – using just the Sheldon Brown online guide. Takes you through lacing / tensioning / truing / de-stressing etc.

    My first wheelset I used a cheap truing stand I got off gumtree or Facebook classifieds with about £25. It designed for qr but I’ve picked up various cheap eBay adapters and I’ve managed to build boost 148 wheels on it. I think superboost would be a stretch too far though for the metal arms (stupid standard anyway).

    I quite enjoy the lacing process – it’s very satisfying. Truing is less satisfying but it’s nice when you get to the end and you have your handbuilt wheel.

    Just to really emphasise the vertical true element mentioned about – do this early and get it properly round – if you try and do it later I find that doesn’t work well and I’ve had to loosen off all the spokes and start again on a couple of occasions. Mostly that’s where I’ve been trying to do it quickly and haven’t been methodical enough.

    I think all my mtb wheels are dt Swiss rims with alloy squorx nipples – never had an issue with those alloy nipples. I believe they have some kind of threadlock on them and I usually dip the end of the spokes in wet lube before screwing then I’m for good measure. So far I’ve not had any seized spokes and my oldest wheels were built in 2018.

    rootes1
    Full Member

    Just to really emphasise the vertical true element mentioned about

    it is one of the benefits of using the correct length spokes and one of these tools that jump out at the same point:

    For std nipples:

    cyclus

    For end drive like  DT Swiss Squorx

    dtswisstorx

    have to say using end drive Squorx nipple is a dream, especially with the jump out bit and a electric screwdriver, then bit to full tension with a t handle.

    the correct length spokes and the jump outs get you to ballpark so quickly.

    always use brass nipples – annoying as DT Swiss rims come with washers and nipples, but the included nipples are the aluminum alloy variety for the rims have bought so far.

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    Now with “proper”tyres, Rekon 2.6 Maxterra front and 2.4 Ardent rear.
    175mm fox post slammed.
    800mm carbon bars and 50mm e*13 stem.
    Got rid of the shock lock remote thing.
    Pedals are provisional…





    tthew
    Full Member

    I just stuck with the aluminium Squorx nipples that came with the DT Swiss rims. I reckon DT Swiss know what they’re about. Well I hope they do because they’re on my commuter/everyday bike, so if any are seeing salt, this is the one! Not really been built long enough to comment yet.

    el_boufador
    Full Member

    @appltn – have fun!

    I love building wheels. Definitely one of the most rewarding maintenance jobs, and enjoyable to learn.

    Regarding DT swiss alloy nipples – I was also skeptical, but they came with some rims I bought so I used them. Been on the singlespeed, used in winter the past couple of years. I just re-dished the front tonight – all moved freely, perfect condition.

    I use a DT swiss spoke key (grips on 4 sides and is nice and red and shiny). Definitely dont scrimp on spoke key.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Re alu nipples, all too often I’ve come to fix a wheel and it’s gone from a 2 minute job into an absolute bastard because of these, and I’ve absolutely cursed the idiot that chose alu nipples, and what’s worse that idiot was me. Hate them, can’t say no to them. “But they save entire grams!” “But they came with the rims and brass ones cost entire pounds!”

    rootes1
    Full Member

    the correct length spokes and the jump outs get you to ballpark so quickly.

    Yep, when you first see one it looks like it’s just a labour saver or corner cut but it’s really not, it’s a whole better starting point and it makes everything after come easier. Love ’em. I said it earlier but it bears repeating, with the right parts spokes you could genuinely build a usable (probably bad, but usable) wheel using nothing but one of these and literally not adjust it a turn. I mean, equally it might turn out terrible 🙂 I set it too aggressively once and decided just to carry on out of curiosity, and ended up assembling the wheel directly from loose into a part-tensioned, 80% finished wheel in a single pass, you could have ridden on it. For several minutes anyway.

    Without one, you spend half of the early stage of the build basically fighting the fact that every spoke started out at a different point, and you’ve got no datum so it doesn’t become obvious how right or wrong it all is, til you’ve got actual tension in it.

    tthew
    Full Member

    …you’ve got no datum…

    Right, heres what i do as i don’t have a nipple driver. I probably should, but I don’t make many wheels. This tip was probably Sheldon Brown’s.

    Screw the nipples down until there are 2 threads showing. Always worked for me, if you have the correct length spokes it even gets the dish close.

    el_boufador
    Full Member

    Screw the nipples down until there are 2 threads showing

    Yeah, that’s what I do. Works well.

    appltn
    Full Member

    I finished my wheels this evening! It’s extremely satisfying and I’ll definitely be doing it again next time. So nice to know that they’re perfectly true and tensioned and that I did it for myself.

    Thanks for all the tips and especially thanks for the loan of the tools @crossed!

    Behold

    IMG_0679IMG_0678IMG_0676IMG_0675

    sirromj
    Full Member

    Did you stress them Ali-Clarkson style – laying the wheels on the floor and standing on all the spokes (jigging up and down lightly), then flip them over to stress the other side? Also his method for de-twisting the spokes? Once you’ve stressed them put them back in the jig for a final true. It’s quite fun too. The idea being to stress them before you go out and ride rather than when you do go out and ride.

    tthew
    Full Member

    Very nice, and silver spokes too! Definitely better than black, (IMHO)

    appltn
    Full Member

    Did you stress them Ali-Clarkson style – laying the wheels on the floor and standing on all the spokes (jigging up and down lightly)

    Hah, no but I did de-stress following the instructions in Roger Musson – thick gloves and squeeze pairs of parallel spokes all around the wheel after pretty much every addition of tension.

    I started off de-twisting with a bit of masking tape on the spoke and watching it move but that was so time consuming that I ended up doing it by feel – hold the spoke between my thumb and forefinger and then notice when it stops moving, then roll back by an equivalent amount. I think it might be a little less precise but saved a lot of time. We’ll see how well it worked when I ride them!

    Very nice, and silver spokes too! Definitely better than black, (IMHO)

    Thanks! I think seeing them finished that black spokes would make the colourful nipples stand out more but I quite like that it’s slightly more subtle. Plus they’re going on a raw stainless frame so they’ll match.

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