Rim swapping – Tapping rims together and swapping over spokes – worth doing?

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  • Rim swapping – Tapping rims together and swapping over spokes – worth doing?
  • trail_rat
    Member

    are arches and 521s even the same profile (and ergo the same spoke length) iirc my arches are much lower profile than the 521s and will be wanting longer spokes ?

    clubber
    Member

    why not build them yourself? there are good guides online and it’s a useful skill to have not to mention saving you money

    Keef
    Member

    ERD’s need to be the same….

    andymac
    Member

    I’ve had good results rim swapping like this. However, worth trying to check on a spoke calculation site if the lengths are ok. You might be able to use longer nipples to make up for shorter spokes if this proves an issue.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    Will you notice the difference in pitch when you tap them?

    danjthomas
    Member

    I would but haven’t got the kit. I also would like to have confidence that its well built so that I don’t come a cropper on the trails.

    According to a calculator I found the spoke lengths should be the same. Although I did look at 321’s instead as 521’s weren’t on the drop down box.

    eulach
    Member

    ^ What Clubber said.
    Start here.
    Roger Musson also gives good advice (Google is your friend)
    Spoke length calculator that has always worked for me.
    Have fun, don’t rush even if you make a mistake.

    trail_rat
    Member

    ERD for a 26″ flow is 536 and for a 521 its 535.

    So taping and swapping over will work.

    danjthomas
    Member

    Ive bought some Stans Arch Ex rims to swap from my 521’s. Im keeping my hope hubs and thinking of tapping the new to the side of the old and slowly swapping them all over. I will then get the shop to tension and true.

    Evans do a £30.99 for a build which will include new wheels. Is it worth bothering with the rim swapping?

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    Taping and swapping just leaves you with a wheel with old spokes that still needs dishing and trying.

    bikeneil
    Member

    Evans do a £30.99 for a build which will include new wheels.

    Really?

    TimCotic
    Member

    There’s a wheel builder in Southampton who re-rimmed a set of wheels for me. He charged £30 per wheel, and was able to recycle the old spokes. It would have cost a lot more if I’d needed new spokes.

    pjm84
    Member

    There’s a wheel builder in Southampton who re-rimmed a set of wheels for me. He charged £30 per wheel, and was able to recycle the old spokes. It would have cost a lot more if I’d needed new spokes.

    Geoff?

    bigbadbob
    Member

    I was thinking of doing the same thing, swapping rims over, I was quoted at least £60 per wheel for new spokes and labour. I would not try lacing a wheel myself using old bits.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’ve re-rimmed several sets of wheels with old spokes. Even swapped nipple lengths using same spokes to make up a few mm difference. They’ve all been fine.

    I’d do the tension/true yourself, it’s really not a difficult task if you take your time.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It’s how I did it, when I still trusted the spokes but the rim was dead. Lacing is monkey work, tensioning is skilled work, I don’t like paying pros to do something so simple.

    Lots of people say “build it yourself”, I could learn but I take mine to the best wheelbuilder I know, even if I do an adequate job first time it won’t be as good as his (and neither will most pro builds). It’s a lot of effort to expend on an inferior job tbh when £10 gets a superior one.

    (unless you believe the first wheel or even the 10th wheel you build will be absolutely perfect, in which case, good luck!)

    If the wheel’s generally clapped out then it probably makes sense to replace spokes, though, on general principles- always a balancing act, you might be wasting money replacing spokes that would have lasted for years, or you might be wasting a new build on spokes that won’t last.

    Keef – Member

    ERD’s need to be the same….

    Or close, anyway.

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    Taping and swapping just leaves you with a wheel with old spokes that still needs dishing and trying.

    Nothing wrong with reusing spokes – only issues will be if they’re black they might be a bit scuffed.

    chilled76
    Member

    If you are worried about lacing a wheel this is a really long winded way of going about it.

    I personally wouldn’t re-use spokes but if you are insistant on doing so then gradually detension the whole wheel together by going a few turns on each spoke until it is wobbly.

    Just de-lace and re-lace the new rim if the spoke lengths are indeed ideal.

    There’s some wheel building talk through’s on youtube that anyone could follow. Much easier than what you are proposing.

    See belwo video… there’s one that follows it to do the other side too. Can’t go wrong!

    Paul

    andymac
    Member

    Swapped 2 rims like this, not broken a spoke in 3 years and only tensioned to what seemed about right. Both still relatively true.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    chilled76 – Member

    If you are worried about lacing a wheel this is a really long winded way of going about it.

    It’s the simplest and easiest way to do it and no slower than any other 😕 Why would you think it’s longwinded? It’s just a wee trick to copy the lacing across.

    pdw
    Member

    I’m not sure that lacing a wheel this way would be any easier than just starting from scratch, but I’ve never tried it.

    One trick when wheel building is using a spoke driver (a screwdriver witha point on it) to get the nipples screwed on evenly to start with, then tighten all nipples equally, and you’ll begin the truing process with a wheel that was more-or-less true start with. If you give a wheelbuilder a wheel that’s laced, but with all the spokes unevenly tightened then they’re pretty much starting from scratch anyway.

    On my first attempt at wheel building the spokes on the rear wheel went slack after 3 miles riding. I re-did that wheel, and those wheels have now done over 10,000 miles, are still true and haven’t broken any spokes. I’m sure a pro would do a better job, but I’m not sure how I’d know the difference.

    sugdenr
    Member

    I relace my wheels then take them to be tensioned for £10 or £15, in fact I always slack off any wheel I take in so that they do a proper job. I tried it myself, there is a knack to it esp. as you are dishing and centering at the same time and it takes a while to learn. This more so when using old rims that are not a true as new ones. I didnt get it – so dont agree with the anyone can do it easy suggestion.

    If you watch the vids online IMO its easier to lace a wheel doing each set of spokes on their own than swapping over because of all the fiddling around the other spokes.

    I made a nipple driver by grinding the centre out of a small screwdriver bit and use it in a bosch power screwdriver, plus use a spare spoke threaded in the top to get the nipples into the holes.

    Replace any nipples that are even a bit knarled on the flats.

    I dont understand the not reusing steel spokes business, unless they are knarled or have been abused?

    yes its worth doing and Ive done it on a few sets of wheels with dead rims, as long as the ERD is the same it’s fine, and I’d second suggestions you try finish them yourself. My hardtail currently has DT 430s after an ancient Sun XC1 died, and my full sus has a pair of Sun Equalizer 31s after I flat-spotted one DT 5.1, and the other got warped in a bizarre trapped-between-gondola-and-lift-station incident in the alps.

    Wheel building is not the black art its made out to be, I find it very therapeutic as long as youre methodical and take your time. I’m an amateur (used the guide from http://www.sheldonbrown.com) but all my wheels are finished to the sort of tolerances factory wheels are built to and I’ve never had one go out of true or fail.

    clubber
    Member

    I’ll add to the debate about spokes. So long as they’re not borked (eg cracked/gouged/badly bent/etc) then it’s silly to bin them. I’ve built hundreds of wheels and except in the past if a customer insisted, I’d never fit new spokes if the rim was sized to allow a straight swap. Sometimes it’s worth replacing nipples but even they usually last several builds.

    Spokes will go on for years unless they’re run loose or damaged directly (eg chain, etc in spokes).

    jonxmack
    Member

    I built then trued my first ever wheel build using my frame, some elastic bands and pencils. Despite being about an inch out of true because I didn’t pay enough attention to the build (as I was watching TV), it all trued up nicely and worked fine for a number of months until I decided to build it onto a lighter rim.

    Wasn’t the easiest build though, CK BMX rear hub to an Alex 19″ trials rim, laced 4x. Pain. In. The. Ass.

    I did a number of other builds using the exact same technique and they all worked fine. Now I have a truing stand and haven’t used it once…

    What i’m trying to say is that you should just build it all the way through yourself. If you get really stuck then take it to the LBS, but there is a sense of accomplishment when you finish your first wheel build and it’s ridable.

    pjm84
    Member

    Wheel building is not the black art its made out to be, I find it very therapeutic as long as youre methodical and take your time

    Agree…. I had no choice and had to build my own after trying two different LBS (reputable) wheel builds with numerous rebuilds without success.

    TimCotic
    Member

    pjm84 – Member
    Geoff?

    Yes Paul – Geoff Sher…. 🙂

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    sugdenr – Member

    If you watch the vids online IMO its easier to lace a wheel doing each set of spokes on their own than swapping over because of all the fiddling around the other spokes.

    There isn’t any fiddling around with the other spokes, you do it one at a time. Not trying to be argumentative but I do wonder how many folks commenting have actually done it?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    it really is easy swapping them over when taped as long as you do the side nearest the new rim first there’s no wrestling involved.

    you don’t have all that worry about getting the spokes right near the valve hole or the logo on the hub matching the one on the rim etc.

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Subscriber

    Been re-rimming wheels with the tape and spoke swap method since 1996 with no problems whatsoever – gritty riding and rim brakes made it an annual event BITD 🙂

    It is also the easiest way to ensure that the spokes run in the same direction as original wheelbuild on old hubs. I’ve no categoric proof, but personally think this can be quite important. We once had a hub flange failure within a couple of rides after a rebuild. This was a new rim and spokes built onto an old rear hub. It had been laced (not by me) so that the spokes were pulling in differect directions to the original wheelbuild. I wondered if the new direction of spoke force plus marking of flange from old spoke position (i.e. wear grooves in flange roughly perpendicular to the new pull direction) contributed to the very rapid failure.

    So if I ever do a full rebuild with old hubs, I try to lace them so spokes run in the original positions (which makes my brain ache if not in the mood).

    chilled76
    Member

    Northwind – Member

    chilled76 – Member

    If you are worried about lacing a wheel this is a really long winded way of going about it.

    It’s the simplest and easiest way to do it and no slower than any other Why would you think it’s longwinded? It’s just a wee trick to copy the lacing across.

    Probably because I’ve done lots of wheel builds so it would be quicker for me to just start from scratch… although now you’ve said that I can see from a persons perspective who hasn’t built wheels before that this might not be the case… so good point.

    But then I’d also encourage the OP to consider the merit of using the oppurtunity to learn to lace as you get exponentially quicker through your first 4 or 5. builds, its a useful skill to learn…. but granted might not be easier for someone who’s new to it.

    clubber
    Member

    er… I’ve built a lot of wheels. I’d still tape them…

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