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well,

i highly recommend the sheldon brown site. it has very nicely detailed instructions and helpful images to get started.

if you decide it is not for you, the LBS can usually hook you up with wheels, but handbuilt wheels are decidedly more expensive than machine built wheels. i think the usual charge to build them is 20-25. just to measure the correct spokes and then cut them and lace them for you would probably be about 15 on top of the spokes. but then you need to be very patient and diligent with the rest of the process.

i greatly urge everyone to build at least one wheel and ride it, too. all the college kids working at the shops tend to ignore it, but it adds greatly to your understanding of wheels which can be applied throughout your riding in the future.

good luck either way you choose.
 

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I agree. I've been building my own wheels, and some for others, for a few years now and it really does give you a better understanding of the equipment. And a greater sense of pride when you ride a bike with wheels taht you've taken the time to build yourself.

As for building, lacing isn't difficult. Just take your time, read the info on Sheldon Brown's site and use another wheel with similar build as a guide if you need to. The Bicycle Wheel, by Jobst Brandt is also a good reference.

Good luck with getting the wheel true though. That took a little longer to master.
 

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It's not that hard but it can take some time to get it right the first couple of tries. The keyword is patience. As long as you have a workable truing stand, and a dishing tool if you're stand doesn't automatically center like the TS-2, and a couple of good spoke wrenches. It can be done.

Just takes time. With wheelbuilding the only way I've found to get it right is to work at it. And take the first wheel to the shop when it's done (or if you get frustrated) have them go over it and give you any tips, explain anything you may have done wrong. My first wheel was straight, no hops, good dish, but was horribly loose and needed to be tightened a good deal before the first ride.

No harm in trying.
 

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if you can get away with it, use that fork in the vise, just be careful not to damage it when you clamp it.

does the fork have brake bosses for rim brakes? if so, rig up a piece of wire and mount it on one side when you're ready to do the dishing, then find where the wire touches the rim and flip the wheel and see how far off you are. when you can flip the wheel and it is the same on both sides, you're dish is correct.
 

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rim replacement

If you're replacing the rim with one that takes the same spoke length, you tape the new rim securely alongside the old one (make sure the spoke hole angles and valve hole align the same as the old), move one spoke at a time to the new rim and tighten each spoke the same number of turns. Start with ... maybe five turns to get all the spokes moved over then go around the wheel tightening with one or two turns each time using the valve hole as a reference. When the spokes start to get start to get some tension on them, pay attention to the wobble and hop. If you can true your own wheels I think you can do this. I did this for the first time a couple of weeks ago using my fork (frame for the back wheel) to true the wheels by flipping them over now and then to check for the rim centering by measuring from the rim to the fork/frame tube. True them up as usual and try to get the spokes the same tension by listening to the sound when you tap them.. compare the sound to a good wheel to use as a reference. Good luck, don't be afraid to try something new but you might want to have a good mechanic check it out when your done if you aren't sure if you did it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
moving the rim is not the important part, its replaceing the hum with a 20mm. im not sure about replacing the rim (AlexRims DH-20, as i landed a 3ft to flat jump with the front wheel sideways, and i didnt snap any spokes , or taco the wheel, its still perfectly true. the only problem is, its really really narrow (about an inch)
 

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ANdRewLIu6294 said:
yeah, the only problem with lacing my own wheels is the dishing, im guessing its really hard, and time consuming.
Dishing? "really hard, and time consuming"? Not even. Usually the correct sized spokes (shorter one side than the other), if all spokes are taken down evenly, ( as said in my W/B, FAQ ) take care of 90% of the dishing. Just assembling the wheel does most of the dishing. The rest is a two minute job at most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
what length spokes should i use for the shorter side? i used a spoke calculator and got 285.9mm, but im guessing thats for the longer side. what should i use for the shorter side? im probably gonna be using the Marzocchi QR20 20mm Hub, and a Sun Rhynolite.
 

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ANdRewLIu6294 said:
what length spokes should i use for the shorter side? i used a spoke calculator and got 285.9mm, but im guessing thats for the longer side. what should i use for the shorter side? im probably gonna be using the Marzocchi QR20 20mm Hub, and a Sun Rhynolite.
If you use a good spoke calc properly it will GIVE you two spoke lengths. If the hub is assymetric (all rear cassette type hubs, disc brake or not and all disc brake front hubs) then the different flange spacing from the locknut dimensions will produce two spoke lengths.

Use Spocalc or DT-Swiss. Google "spoke calculator" and see which are the top two. Average their answers and round up to the nearest even # length and you're good to go.
 
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