Hand Built Wheels

-are more serviceable, better quality, stronger and lighter at the rim where it matters most.

There are 4 dimensions to wheelbuilding. Side-to-side, up-and-down, spoke tension, & dish. While they are slowly being reached, the spokes are continually stressed and stressed and stressed some more before they are locked into place creating a wheel that will last without further truing or broken spokes. In wheel builders’ lingo this is a wheel that stands.

 

Besides being round, straight, dished and evenly tensioned, here is an idea of what I think about when building wheels.

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Rim and hub orientation is to the right as the rider sits on the bike. Some hub manufacturers build wheels so as a rider is approaching the camera their name is right-side up. Since you bought a pair of my wheels, I build them so as you sit on your trusted steed you can look down and read the hub manufacturer’s name right-side up.  I also position the hub so the name is facing the valve hole.

nipple drawingPrecise spoke length is pretty important so in most cases they come in millimeter increments. Too long and they bottom out before the wheel is up to tension.  Too short and the spoke threads are left exposed at the nipple. This difference is about 4mm.  I want as much thread contact between the spoke and nipple as possible to securely hold that connection exactly in place without being too long. I like my spokes to come out somewhere in the 1mm slot at the outside of the nipple.

Arch DTOn a traditionally laced wheel spokes are in groups of four: two from each side that cross and alternate left and right at the rim. Each group has a pulling spoke for each side of the wheel. I lace wheels so the valve hole is between two groups of spokes, allowing a bit more room for inflation rather than being between crossed spokes. I also position pulling spokes on the outside as they cross at the outermost intersection. This puts the pulling spoke in the forward rotation drive direction. In the case of the rear wheel, when torque is applied by the engine (you) the pulling spokes accelerate the bike along without flexing into the rear der.

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