It can work out to cost more to roll your own than to buy handbuilt wheels, but it will likely cost less than a 'system' wheel (like Crossmax or similar).Mel-UK said:Hi there,
I'm looking to lighten the wheelset on my Trance-3 and had mind buying Crossmax-SLs (standard with the top-of-the-range Trance 1). However, I was wondering about having a go at building my own wheels. So my question is; how hard is it? I am OK with most aspects of bike building and maintenence, but have not tried building wheels before.
Also any suggestions for rims/hubs lacing patterns etc that will give me a wheelset comparable/better than Crossmax's for (hopefully) a bit less cost than the Mavics would be greatly appreciated. (I'm 158lbs, by the way).
Depends on how rough of a rider you are, and what type of riding you're doing. What are your goals with a new wheels? Lighter? A race only wheelset? More durable? Both?
Building wheels does take patience, but isn't too difficult. Check Sheldon Brown's website, and search more MikeT's site (from the boards here) for some good instructions. There are also some good books out there. I've used Jobst Brandt's book. I built my first set of wheels several years ago. You will need a spoke wrench, some oil/grease, the parts to build the wheel. It would be nice, but not necessary to have a truing stand, tensionmeter, and a dishing guage.
For a quick breakdown on parts:
Hubs - Take your pick. Lots of good choices out there, and figure out your budget first. Popular choices currently are Shimano, Hope Pro II, King, Hügi (Sorry DT) 240 (or 340), and a few others.
Spokes - Standard are DT or Wheelsmith double butted 14/15's. 50-75 cents a spoke. About 180g or so for spokes per wheel. Other spokes spoken highly of around here are the Sapin X-Rays (Flat bladed spokes), and DT Supercomps. I've only used the standard double butted spokes and can't speak to the other ones, sorry.
Nips - Brass or Aluminum. Brass is a bit more durable, Aluminum is lighter in weight. (32 vs 10g per wheel)
Rims - Depends on your type of riding. For XC riding popular ones are the Mavic 517 (or whatever it's called currently), the DT 4.1, Velocity Synergy, and a few others.
Rim Tape - Velox, Rim Strip for Stans, or 3M strapping tape.