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  1. #1
    Norđwegr
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    Contemplating building my first set of wheels

    Contemplating building my first set of wheels so I got a couple of questions.

    Which are easier to build with for a firsttimer, j-bend or straightpull?

    Any spoke suggestions for a trailrider? I'm around 92kg/200lbs all kitted out.

    Rim, hub, nipples, spokes, tensionmeter, nipple tool, anything else I need?

  2. #2
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    Everything about j bend is better. I wouldn't consider anything else, and not just because it's a first build.

    2.0/1.8 spokes are great for everything. They build easy too. DT Swiss or sapim are nearly identical quality wise, both great. I'd use either, but do stick to butted.

  3. #3
    That Sleestak
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    This would be a good place to start.

    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php
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    Is that German or Polish sausage?

  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Sheldon Brown wheelbuilding. Google it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    Start with the basics. Your first wheel will be a reasonably slow steady process.

    J-bend every time. There are lots of problems with straight pull, there are only advantages to j-bend

    32 spokes - this is like a magic number. Only reason manufacturers go with less spokes is its an easy way to save weight that also saves money. Lower spoke count wheels are a lot less reliable, stiff, strong and robust.

    DT or Sapim 2.0-1.8-2.0 spokes. Great spokes that are easy to build with. Less wind up that thinner gauge spokes.

    Brass nipples - ease of use, reliability. Aluminium nipples are more prone to corrosion and softer so more challenging to build with.

    Hope hubs are always a good investment. If you are going to start building wheels they will last you lots of bikes. Plenty of adaptors available for different axle standards.

    Rim - what ever suits your needs

    Roger Munson book is definitely worth a few bucks. It’s a buy once thing too. You get an updates for free.




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  6. #6
    Barely in control
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    Straight pull are much easier to lace. Use bladed spokes so they're easy to hold.

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    No need for bladed spokes, unless you like how they look.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    No need for bladed spokes, unless you like how they look when the bike is going less than 0.001mph.
    There, fixed it for ya.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  9. #9
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    Bladed spokes are ridiculous on anything that's not a time trial bike being used competitively. Even then, it's hardly useful unless you're finishing on the podium. Good for seconds per hour.

  10. #10
    Barely in control
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    Bladed spokes are easy to hold so I use them exclusively. Poor people don't like them though. Round 1.5mm spokes are basically poverty spokes for people who can't afford cxray, aerolite, 424, etc....discipline and speed are not relevant.

  11. #11
    meow, meow.
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    The recent straight pull spoke boom is I think because such wheels are much easier to automate the building of. In contrast, j-bend spokes are a highly evolved solution for manual building.

    Note that most straight pull MTB hubs are intended for 28 spokes. This is because it's much easier to make a hub shell for 28 SP spokes than for 32 (and 36 SP spoked wheels are out of the question). Again, cost savings for mass production. With j-bend spokes, it makes very little difference in manufacturing hub shells for whatever number of spoke holes fits safely on the flange.


    For nipples, get the ones that have spherical heads (such as Sapim Polyax, DT Pro head), not conical (such DT standard). They allow for smaller angles between the spoke and the nipple with some rims (and don't hurt in either case).
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  12. #12
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Bladed spokes.......Good for seconds per hour.
    At my age I take all the help I can get and maybe you will too
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  13. #13
    meow, meow.
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    Wait, bladed spokes (namely CX-Ray, Aerolite; not just any spoke that's rolled flat) in MTB aren't for "more aero". Just a convenient, practical way to have the equivalent of 2.0-1.5-2.0 mm round cross section spokes as far as wheel structure is concerned. Easy to build with, and they handle an occasional stick better.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  14. #14
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Bladed spokes are easy to hold so I use them exclusively. Poor people don't like them though. Round 1.5mm spokes are basically poverty spokes for people who can't afford cxray, aerolite, 424, etc....discipline and speed are not relevant.
    Yep.

    I’m an amateur wheelbuilder. Anything that makes building a wheel easier and faster, for a relatively minor upcharge, is great.


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  15. #15
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    For revs, if you want half a turn, do a full turn and twist back 1/2. Then you can skip the extra step of having to hold the spoke at all.

    I dont think revs are that much harder to build with. Everyone will have a different tolerance for "worth it". I think theres a stigma of being a goober attached to having cx rays on a mountain bike. Its like wearing a skin suit for the casual sunday beginner trail ride.

  16. #16
    Barely in control
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    Well if you're examining other people's rides to the extent you can point out they are a goober for having bladed spokes, who is the goober really? When tension gets above 100kgf, even with lubed threads, there is going to be a lot of windup especially on 29er. With bladed spokes, I don't hear a single ping when stress relieving or riding.

  17. #17
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    Its usually that im building/rebuilding the wheels for my riding friends, not so much checking them out on the trail (pretty hard to identify a moving spoke!). Mountain wheels with bladed spokes are just awfully silly to me.

    There is a lot of windup, yes definitely. Do the full turn and back off half a turn to solve it.

    Once you have the fundamentals of building down, its not as bad as people make it out to be to lace up revs. Give yourself a couple more hours your first time building with them, but for a wheelset that can last you many years it feels like a wash to me.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Bladed spokes are easy to hold so I use them exclusively. Poor people don't like them though. Round 1.5mm spokes are basically poverty spokes for people who can't afford cxray, aerolite, 424, etc....discipline and speed are not relevant.
    If they help build reliable, twist free wheels, then by all means use these bladed spokes. I use 1.5mm spokes without any issues, but I've had lots of experience building with them, however, once you understand how to monitor and compensate for spoke twist, building with them becomes straight forward.
    Last edited by roger-m; 06-19-2018 at 02:29 AM. Reason: Better reply.

  19. #19
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    Follow the link in Mike T's signature. It's one of the best resources out there.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  20. #20
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Follow the link in Mike T's signature. It's one of the best resources out there.
    But it's far from being a "one stop" resource. If he got Roger Musson's e-book with its forever free updates as well he'd be golden.

    https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  21. #21
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    Don't forget Sheldon brown!

    Also.. check out how shimano recommends lacing, and how King does.

  22. #22
    Barely in control
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    Of course I am having a little fun here, roger-m. If some guys are biased against bladed spokes because of where they think they "belong" then I can call round spokes poverty spokes without irony. I'm only an amateur builder so I really don't care if I'm not skilled in guessing how much to un-twist, I'll just slide on the slot and tension perfectly every time and not apologize for it. Besides, there's a satisfaction in the little things, like the cross of two bladed spokes, which is quite nice and unlike a round spoke cross where two cylinders are smashed together.

  23. #23
    meow, meow.
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    Fair points, Schulze. Besides, when small cross section bladed spokes do fail from fatigue (without a history of taking contact damage), it happens at the bend or at the thread, just like with common spokes.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Of course I am having a little fun here, roger-m. If some guys are biased against bladed spokes because of where they think they "belong" then I can call round spokes poverty spokes without irony. I'm only an amateur builder so I really don't care if I'm not skilled in guessing how much to un-twist, I'll just slide on the slot and tension perfectly every time and not apologize for it. Besides, there's a satisfaction in the little things, like the cross of two bladed spokes, which is quite nice and unlike a round spoke cross where two cylinders are smashed together.
    Thanks for this, completely misinterpreted your other post. I'll go and edit my reply

  25. #25
    Flappity flappity flap
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Besides, there's a satisfaction in the little things, like the cross of two bladed spokes, which is quite nice and unlike a round spoke cross where two cylinders are smashed together.
    Reminds me of tying and soldering.

  26. #26
    Norđwegr
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    Thank you for all the tips and tricks, got the hubs and ordered parts for the front wheel today.

    P321 hub for $137 on ebay and a sensibly priced DT350 for the front.

    Contemplating building my first set of wheels-20180808_173012_hdr_2.jpg

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegard View Post
    Contemplating building my first set of wheels so I got a couple of questions.

    Which are easier to build with for a firsttimer, j-bend or straightpull?

    Any spoke suggestions for a trailrider? I'm around 92kg/200lbs all kitted out.

    Rim, hub, nipples, spokes, tensionmeter, nipple tool, anything else I need?
    Anti-seize/spoke prep, small flatblade screwdriver for tightening spoke from inside rim. Truing stand and dishing tool make life easier, but ive lived without both. Most importantly a nice low abv stout, something relaxing but not high enough to make you do stupid things, and a dark that gets better as it warms so you can take your time.
    Take your time, make sure your putting it together right, it sucks to have a wheel half built then realize your a hole off and the valve is in a cross. Tension gradually and evenly.
    I say go j bend. My current wheelset is straight and its fine, but i made a spoke holder from a third hand brake tool to assist in preventing twist. One of few advantages of straight is if you bust a spoke, you can pull it out without dissembling, maybe.
    Straight youre locked into one pattern. J bend if you become curious you can experiment with different crosses and even do weird combos.

  28. #28
    All fat, all the time.
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    Get Rogers book and have fun.
    I built my first one and it's holding up perfectly.

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