a Cross Country Rider
from Austin TX
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2007
Strengths: Interesting thoughts, history, and various technical information. Great mechanical background on bicycle wheels; fun for a mech engineer.
Weaknesses: (1)Has an extremely poor discussion on Spoke Tension. Contains lots of Useless graphs and tables (unless you are an mech Engineer and rider and are curious...) -but- does not have any charts or reference data on tension. Make too many any assumptions (like what adequate tension is... or what too much tension is) which *if the reader knew the information already they certainly would Not have bought/referenced this book*. Suggests use of a Tensionmeter but provides poor information on how to use it, and provides no conversion tables to translate tension readings to Ft/Lbs, Newtons, etc. Has no reference to wheel manufacturer's web-sites or other references.
An interesting book that should Not be used as the primary reference for wheel maintenance, wheel building, etc. Jobst proves that he "...is smart..." but the book is Not as useful a reference book for mechanics or home-wrenches as it is advertised to be. Start with Sheldon Browns info, 'The Art of Wheel Building' - Gerd Schraner, or a professional repair book from one of the bike mechanic schools (Barletts et al.) Supplement the theory with that from 'Bicycle Science'.
Favorite Trail: Austin Greenbelt, St Edwards, virgin trails
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: LBS (bike shop)
Similar Products Used: 'The Art of Wheel Building' - Gerd Schraner (a more complete book.. although it too only has some general numerical guidelines on spoke tension). 'Bicycle Maintenance Manual' - Gene Sloan. 'Bicycle Science - 3ed'.
Bike Setup: Aluminum hardtail XC MTB. Aluminum Singlespeed MTB. CROMO CX Bike. Aluminum road bikes.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2001
Strengths: Tells you everything you eed to know.
Weaknesses: You can get all of the info. in this book Online for free.
Handbuilt wheels are a great way to get low weight and high quality. After reading about building wheels online, when I finally saw the book, I already knew everything that was printed inside.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 3, 2000
Strengths: Detailed step by step instruction for building a wheel. The book also discusses wheel theory, and the reasons for almost all combinations of wheel builds, with pros and cons for each.
Weaknesses: None, I felt that the book really fulfilled it's purpose.
The best wheels are handbuilt. In my opinion, there will be no better quality control than that of the person who has to entrust their life to the wheel that they are building. This book tells you everything that you need to know, from how to figure out spoke length, to how to finish your build. If you have the ambition to build the best wheelsets possible, I recommend this book.
Bike Setup: I have built quite a few wheels including shimano, white, and bontrager wheelsets.
from Brooklyn, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2000
Strengths: A goldilocks read, not too easy not too hard.
Weaknesses: Information is somwhat dated.
Worth buying, I built my own wheels with it and got it right the first time around. He goes into the engineering behind building a spoked wheel but in the section that shows you how to build them he doesnt review it. So its sorta works like this, the first half of the book is meant to be read and understood. The next half of the book is meant to be used as guide in building your own wheels. There are appendix's with formulas in them to calculate your spoke length, tension requirements and other stuff. Even though the information is dated physics dont change over the years. If your looking to build your own wheels with spokes ranging from 24 to 36 this the book to own. It can be read in a weekend or two, reviewed over the week and you can start building your wheels the next weekend provided you have the required tools for the job. It was the only book I needed to buy to build my wheels, my LBS is jelous and everytime I had brought my own wheels to put some rim tape on them they were impressed with the build. But they would use a caveat and say that they'll wait and see how long they last. I had to retighten my rear wheel because initially I wasnt able to build it right on my road bike and had my LBS do it. The spokes had loosened and retightened them based on the principles outlined in this book. So, so far I have 800 miles on my front rim which I built myself and 200 miles on my rear rim with I had retightened from an LBS build. BTW my front rim hasnt loosened and has been straight and true for those 800 miles. Just because it was the only book I needed to buy to help me build my wheels, I'll give it 5 stars.
a Cross-Country Rider
from New York, NY
Date Reviewed: August 24, 1999
Strengths: You'll learn more about wheels than you ever thought possible.
Weaknesses: Very very dry, much of the book is uselesss to someone without an engineering background. More concerned with durability than today's trend towards ultralight wheels.
The theoretical stuff is interesting, but if you just want to build your own wheels you'd be well served to supplement your knowledge by reading Sheldon Brown's web site thouroughly (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html). He addresses many more issues here, such as whether or not to grease certain spoke threads, half radial rear wheels, how to lace left hand drilled rims vs. right hand drilled rims, etc. The majority of this book will not help you build better wheels, but then again, it's called 'The Bicycle Wheel', not 'How to Build a Wheel'.As stated earlier, the section on spoke tension is pretty minimal. For a quick reference, check out (http://www.bikexprt.com/users/jsallen/bicycle/tension.htm) to check spoke tension with musical pitch. It's a good compromise to buying a tensionometer.
Similar Products Used: Various wheelbuilding websites.
a Cross-Country Rider
from State College PA
Date Reviewed: March 16, 1999
Strengths: Lots of information good building instructions useful data
Weaknesses: dry presentation theories countered by later technologies
This is an excellent book for those interested in the theory behind wheelbuilding, lacing patterns, etc. Some of the early theories have pretty much been negated by new technologies, but Jobst admits this where applicable, and a knowledge of these theories helps build stronger wheels nonetheless. I got my University library to buy this, and have been happy ever since.
Similar Products Used: Barnett's manual Glenn's New Complete Manual
Bike Setup: cr-mo hardtail
from New York, NY
Date Reviewed: January 13, 1999
Great book. I have built two sets of wheels following the instructions in this book and they have been extraordinarily durable. Although I partially agree with one of the reviews below that criticized the lack of detail on spoke tension, in practice it was not much of a problem as I simply kept increasing the tension on my wheels until they went out of true during stress relieving. I then backed off and retrued/tensioned the wheels. This procedure is well-described in the book and has given me good results. In any case, you don't have much an alternative unless you want to fork over lots of cash for a good tensiometer.Bottom line: good investment that will save you a lot of money (not having to pay others to build wheels for you plus not having to repair/replace wheels nearly as often). Plus building your own wheels is oddly gratifying.
from Cleveland, OH
Date Reviewed: November 18, 1997
After reading this book, I have built several wheels. It is a solid book. I used the spoke length equations in the back in a computer program, and now I have my own spoke calculator. Like someone else who wrote a review, I wish there was a section on spoke tension. But, there isn't an accurate way to measure it without a spoke tensiometer anyway. So, if you are really concerned about spoke tension, you have to compare the tone to a similar wheel, or get a tensiometer (expensive, but wheelsmith tensiometer comes with a tension chart). good informative book about wheel building and maintaining for anybody interested in wheels.
a cross-country rider
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: May 14, 1997
All in all, _The Bicycle Wheel_ is a comprehensive treatment of the issues surrounding wheel building, maintenance and repair. It's aimed at someone who has little or no engineering or wheelbuilding background, so expect large chunks of the book to be somewhat boring if you have either, but this does mean it ought to be accessible to anyone but the most mechanically disinclined. Jobst does a very good job of presenting issues and covering details and, as best I can tell, _The Bicycle Wheel_ is the definitive reference for spoked wheels, though Sheldon Brown's articles come close in some particular areas and provide some useful additional information. I certainly wouldn't want to build a wheel without having read it first.I do have two problems with the book, however. First, the information on spoke tension ranges from inadequate to grossly inadequate depending on your purpose---Jobst essentially assumes that you have a properly tensioned wheel with the same rim and spoke pattern handy to compare the wheel you're building to. While this is reasonably good starting point, I've had enough problems with inadequate spoke tension, especially on rear wheel drive sides, to want a much more thorough description, even if it does seem most wheelbuilding is done by feel. Second, I had a heck of a time finding the book; I ultimately wound up pulling Jobst's email address out of rec.bicycles.tech, asking him where I could get a copy, and then mail ordering it from Colorado Cyclist, who took their own good time in getting it to me. I've included Jobst's stock locator information below to save others some time._The Bicycle Wheel's_ solid presentation is worth four stars, but I'm taking one off for the lack of detail regarding spoke tension, even if it is the only real flaw in the book.> --------------------------------------------------------------------- > the Bicycle Wheel is available in most bicycle shops in the US. > > ISBN 0-9607236-6-8) English > ISBN 0-9607236-4-1) German > > Author: Jobst Brandt, Publisher: Avocet. > > Avocet www: http://184.108.40.206/index.htm > > It is available through several USA mailorder houses, such as Colorado > Cyclist whose number is (1) 800 688 8600. Velo News Books also lists > it (1) 800 234 8356 ext 6. They accept MASTER & VISA cards. > > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0960723668/7189-4610480-161544 > > The best UK source of books on cycling is 'Bicycling Books' in London, > 0181 993 3484, who have in stock most everything available on bicycles > in the English language. > > Das Buch wird in Deutschland von GROFA verteilt. > > GROFA > Grosshandel fuer Fahrradteile GmbH > Otto-Hahn Strasse > D 65520 Bad Camberg > Tel 0 64 34 / 20 08 - 0 > Fax 0 64 34 / > > GROFA www: http://www.grofa.com/
a weekend warrior
from Albuquerque, NM
Date Reviewed: March 18, 1997
Great book. I've built 2 sets of wheels armed with this book. I haven't had any problems despite trying to destroy my creations.
a weekend warrior
from California, USA
Date Reviewed: December 21, 1996
Jobst Brandt's The Bicycle Wheel book, published by Avocet.This book takes the mystery out of building bicycle wheels. Even those who do not build their own wheels can benefit from the theory discussions which can aid in selecting wheel components and in truing wheels that one already has. It can be found at many bike shops for about $17 to $20.
Please help me, I can't for the life of me figure out how to remove my rear wheel for repairs. I've never seen drop outs before and don't know the correct way to go about removing the wheel.
So far I tried to unscrew the center bolt which then allows me to pull the long bolt from the wheel, ... Read More »
I assume this is a common question asked by newbies to wheel building so here I am no doubt asking the same.
I used a spoke calculator and it told me i needed the following spoke lengths
Left side = 261.6mm
right Side = 263.7mm
Left side = 262.8mm
Right side = 262. ... Read More »
I'm 6'3" and 205. Ride an XL Trek HiFi 29er, 4 inch travel FS (same as current superfly 100 AL). Has Bontrager SSR wheels. Seems heavy and I am looking for a good wheel upgrade that will drop some weight but not break my bank. Also, want to go tubeless.
Would like to hear from those out there a ... Read More »