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Brass Nipples!
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Jobst Brandt's book is technical, but good. Sheldon Brown's website has a lot of good info on wheelbuilding, also. The Schraner (sp?) book was less useful, but still had some pretty good stuff in it.

I built my first couple of wheelsets under the watchful eye of my local wrench. There is certainly a learning curve, but it can be a lot of fun. The key to a good, longlasting wheel is high, even tension. Be sure to lube the spoke threads and the rim eyelets. Stress relieve the spokes frequently, and don't let the spokes "wind up" when the tension gets high.

I'd suggest you find someone who can check your work the first time, but have at it.
 

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Bob the Wheelbuilder said:
Jobst Brandt's book is technical, but good. Sheldon Brown's website has a lot of good info on wheelbuilding, also. The Schraner (sp?) book was less useful, but still had some pretty good stuff in it.

I built my first couple of wheelsets under the watchful eye of my local wrench. There is certainly a learning curve, but it can be a lot of fun. The key to a good, longlasting wheel is high, even tension. Be sure to lube the spoke threads and the rim eyelets. Stress relieve the spokes frequently, and don't let the spokes "wind up" when the tension gets high.

I'd suggest you find someone who can check your work the first time, but have at it.
Good advice. I bought Jobst Brandt's book in the early '80s and have never broken a spoke on a wheel I've built. In fact, good spokes can be used through the life of several rims.

Resist the urge to do anything stupid, especially on your first wheels. Use butted (swaged) spokes, brass nipples, 3x pattern, and new rims. Get a decent spoke wrench (like Park) and a stiff truing stand. Have some patience. I've never used a dishing tool, I just flip the wheel over in the stand. I like the Spocalc spreadsheet spoke length calculator, which will handle any hub/rim combination in the database.

I just wish I had the opportunity to build more wheels! I'm heavy and use light rims, but barring a major crash, I still get at least a couple of years out of them. I don't have a tensiometer, but I start pretty tight, then true the wheels while increasing tension after the first few rides. I use Brandt's squeezing method for stress-relieving. After a couple of cycles, they'll be tight enough that they'll seldom need tweaking unless the rim gets bent. I call that optimal tension. I think going tighter than that can result in more rapid cracking between the eyelets.
 

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Bear in mind

It is much more expensive to build your own wheels than buy a machine made set. The main advantages are, you can get the components you want on that wheel. You can have a truly unique wheelset, and it is a really enjoyable way to kill a couple of hours.
I still build mine with the computer on J. Brandts web site. Slick honey on a Q-tip in the eyelets, and never sieze on the spoke threads, then follow Brandts instructions exactly. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very good info, thanks a million!

FB

(Coldsteele -- I decided to post it here first, because I like the ellsoworth forum and many of the people on here, trolls excluded, can and do post very helpful info.:D )
 

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Unchained Freewheel
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FatB said:
Very good info, thanks a million!

FB

(Coldsteele -- I decided to post it here first, because I like the ellsoworth forum and many of the people on here, trolls excluded, can and do post very helpful info.:D )
You are the adventurous type no doubt,I dont think I have the guts to do it,I have a few old sets of Ringle anodized hubs and some older mavic rims from the mid to late
90's.A couple of things I dont have,are the patience or a decent wheel stand.
 

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It really isnt' that hard if you have good instructions. I built my first wheels from a 2-page article published in Bicycling magazine.

You need to figure out the correct spoke length, which depends on the rim and hub used, as well as the cross pattern. Usually the bike shop can figure out the spoke length for you or websites such as DT Swiss have calculators.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yea, its kind of one of those things that I have always thought about doing.. I'm not sure I will have the patience either :)eek: ) but I have always wanted to try it. I hope it will work out well, as i don't have a local shop to fall back on, but sooner or later I will get those wheels laced up...whether they will still be round after I finish... that remains to be seen! :D

FB
 

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FatB said:
Yea, its kind of one of those things that I have always thought about doing.. I'm not sure I will have the patience either :)eek: ) but I have always wanted to try it. I hope it will work out well, as i don't have a local shop to fall back on, but sooner or later I will get those wheels laced up...whether they will still be round after I finish... that remains to be seen! :D

FB
Where you'll need the patience is in tensioning and truing it. Take your time with that. I like to build wheels in the evening while having a nice microbrew or two. You'll also want a good light source and a white background (I lay a sheet of paper under the stand) so you can see the hops/wobbles in the rim.
 

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FatB said:
I've never done this before, but I think I'd like to try. Anyone else out there build their own wheels? Any advice on good books, etc. to look at in order to get started?

FB
How good are you at truing wheels? If you haven't or can't get a wheel true to within .5mm in both lateral and vertical true you may want to hold off on building your own wheels and just practice truing wheels up first.

If you can true a wheel straight then you have more than enough skillz to build a wheel.

The proper tools make any task easier but are not necessary. In theory alls you need is a spoke wrench and a bike frame to build a wheel up but a nice truing standing makes things much more convenient. A tensiometer will take all the guess work out of tensioning your wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ratt said:
How good are you at truing wheels? If you haven't or can't get a wheel true to within .5mm in both lateral and vertical true you may want to hold off on building your own wheels and just practice truing wheels up first.

If you can true a wheel straight then you have more than enough skillz to build a wheel.

The proper tools make any task easier but are not necessary. In theory alls you need is a spoke wrench and a bike frame to build a wheel up but a nice truing standing makes things much more convenient. A tensiometer will take all the guess work out of tensioning your wheels.
I feel like I can true a wheel ok...I've never had one massivley out of true except for a wheel built by my local shop...on that particular wheel, all of the spokes seemed to loosen up at the same time and their was no tension at all on like half the spokes. I should have taken that opportunity to rebuild it, but I wanted to let them know what was going on so they could correct whatever it was they did wrong, especially since the wheel was less than a month old when it happened. I'll look for a good tensionometer as well...thanks for the info!

FB
 
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