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What about these wheels ? (wheel-building question)(5 posts)

What about these wheels ? (wheel-building question)PeterRider
Jun 20, 2002 7:06 PM
I want to try building a set of wheels. After some reading here and there, checking prices and dimensions, I am considering:

- front : chorus hub, Mavic CXP-33 rim, Wheelsmith 14-16-14 spokes, cross-2.
- rear : dura-ace older 7400 hub (that is now on a wheel with Mavic Reflex and sitting in my closet), same rim same spokes, cross-3.

I am 175 pounds trying to be 170 :-), the roads are southern California's... and I've never built wheels so far.

Is this a good/bad set of wheels ?

Thanks for your opinion and advice,

Probably Not Worth Itjose_Tex_mex
Jun 20, 2002 8:55 PM
It's probably not worth purely wrt money. By the time you buy all of the pieces, a stand, and tools you'll spend more money than necessary AND have to ride, perhaps, questionable rims.
With that said, I have built my own but now find it cheaper to let a pro do it.
Once you buy all of the parts from someone like Performance don't they normally throw in the building free?
As for you choices, they sound fine. I am a true believer in American Classic hubs and mavic rims. The problem is that if you find a set of built rims close to what you described on-line, the sum of their parts will probably be more than the set - then you have to build them. Trust me, master wheel builders are just that. Also, will you trust the rims at 40 or 50 mph. Granted it would be hard to screw them up to the point of catastrophic failure, but why take any chances?
Finally, how much is this endeavour going to cost you in cash - we'll consider your time a labor of love. I purchased Shimano 535's for both my road bikes - I see the set for $300 everywhere. I have 3K on one set and have never had to true them once.
It is fun to learn though...
is it for wheels or experience?jw25
Jun 21, 2002 4:34 AM
Like jose says, if you just want wheels, you're usually better off with a prebuilt set. Most online places will sell Ultegra/open pro or CXP-33's for little more than the cost of hubs and rims.
If you want to learn how to build wheels, though, then you've picked some good parts. I'm riding CXP-33's right now, laced to American Classic hubs, and love them. I went 32 hole, with Wheelsmith XL-14 spokes (sane as DT Revos), radial front, 2x rear. I'm around 150 lbs, and everything's still true and smooth.
I'd recommend picking up Jobst Brandt's The Bicycle Wheel, for good explanations of how to lace, tension, and true. I've used Spocalc (a Google search should turn it up) for lots of spoke lengths, and they've been spot-on. I'd recommend rounding DOWN to the nearest mm, though - the program gives you the exact length needed to completely fill the nipple, so going longer can limit your tensioning room.
Above all, take it slowly, and check your work often. The first ride on a set of self-built wheels is magic.
re: What about these wheels ? (wheel-building question)off roadie
Jun 21, 2002 6:51 AM
Sounds good to me. I'm also 175 lbs, and I'd feel good with such a setup if I wasn't so abusive to my wheels. I'd suggest you avoid going lower than 32 spokes, and use 14/15 spokes on the drive side rear. More spokes means each is at less tension, which would avoid stressing the spoke bed, which may help avoid cracking around the eyelets down the road. It also handles higher loads better, especially with light rims. Thicker spokes on the drive side will make the wheel stiffer under acceleration, somewhat laterally stiffer, and also helps distribute stress more evenly on both sides.

I can see how people figure wheelbuilding doesn't save you money, but having built a half dozen, I'd say its paid off in that I have better, more personalized, and just plain more wheels than I otherwise would. Plus I find it fun to do. As a MTB rider, knowing how strong my wheels are, and how to fix them, is a big benefit. When I bought my road bike, the rims needed replacing (to thin, and dinged up), and a new (stronger) set that let me use the old hubs and spokes was only $50. That's less than the LABOR would have been if I didn't do it myself!
OK, about the costPeterRider
Jun 21, 2002 7:14 AM
- 41$ for front chorus hub on ebay (new).
- 70$ for the rims same place (new).
- .45$/spoke, or so I've read, on bikepro on the net.
- rear hub is sitting in my closet
- stand and tools: bike club at school has them or can buy them.

So this brings me at around 200$. Most annoying in this is shipping costs, that's like almost 30$ in shipping costs. What would be the cost of buying that set ? Wouldn't it be around 300$ ?

Anyways, I don't want to build to save money, but just to learn how to do it.

Thanks for the advice,