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built my first wheel(4 posts)

built my first wheelDougSloan
Feb 15, 2003 11:37 AM
Well, it took a week just doing a little here and there, but got it done.

Built a simple, cheap front wheel, Campy Veloce hub, 32 3x 14 guage spokes, Mavic MA3 clincher rim. Invested a total of about $80 in the wheel. Going to use this one on the fixed gear, as I don't want to mess with the axle nuts on the front of the stock wheels.

Had two wheel books in front of me, just to be safe -- Brandt's and Shraner's. Had Zinn handy, too. Over all, I think Shraner's is the clearest and most straightforward. Brandt spends far too much time defending his pet theories.

Used the Park TS2 and the new Park tensiometer. I had no idea what tension was correct in absolute terms, but being a newbie, I at least wanted to check relative tension, which was within 2 whatevers on the scale, and it was also similar to a professionally built 14 g spoke wheel I had. It gave me more confidence that tension was good.

I was surprised how easy it was. After putting a few spokes in the wrong holes, I finally figured out the pattern. The wheel came out amazingly true and round after a couple rounds of tensioning, but even before checking for trueness. I pulled it off several times and stress relieved, and by the end it stayed true after yanking on spokes and pressing down on the rim with the axle against the bench.

I suppose a rear assymetrical wheel will be harder, but seems fairly doable after this one.

Thanks for advice over last 6 months while preparing. Based on this, I think anyone is capable of doing it.

Doug
Congradulations.Spoke Wrench
Feb 15, 2003 1:00 PM
Honestly, I doubt you will find a rear wheel to be any more difficult to build. You've got good tools, decent components, and a sensible design. As long as you don't rush through the process, it's a piece of cake.
GREAT! Fantastic projectibhim
Feb 15, 2003 3:29 PM
I recently built from scratch my first set of wheels. The first time didn't count as it was a re-spoke and straightening rim after crash; but it gave me the confidence for the front and rear project.

Sites I found helpful were sheldonbrown.com and a link in there to Daimmons excel spreadsheet of hubs, rims database for spoke calculator. I built Chorus hubs with Open Pro rims, and upgraded from a 6 to 9 rear sprocket. Cost for the set was less that the least expensive Mavic Cosmos! It is an older 531 steel british (Falcon) bike with friction shifters.

Only problem I had on the rear was after lacing and when first placed in trueing stand. It was way off center. Had to adjust all spokes to pull the rim right approx 1/2". Once centered and tentioned the spokes, could continue with standard trueing.

Good luck, and just be patient.

The REAL problem is it builds your confidence too much and you start looking at Colnago frames, Record componnents, etc. I wonder how to break that news to the spouse!
Congrats Dougmadstork
Feb 18, 2003 7:19 AM
I haven't checked the board lately, so belated congratulations to you! I've built a few so I appreciate your efforts. Try a rear wheel, you'll knock it out no problem.

I agree with your comments on Shraner's book. I especially like his spoking procedure. Very clear, easy to follow. And getting the Park tensionometer was a good idea. I don't have one, but it's at the top of my wish list. I tension by feel and relative tone of plucked spokes now, but being an accountant, I'd like some numbers for proof!