Wheelbuilding / Wheel Building / Wheel build help

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  • Surely the interlacing is at approximately the same place for constant flange diameter/rim depth? On 20h/2-cross you've got an angle of 3π/10 between interlacing spokes on the flange - on 32h/3-cross you've got 5π/16 which is pretty close. 8h or 12h/1-cross, 40h/4-cross, 72h/6-cross, etc. result in similar interlacing as well

  • I've had a rather odd wheelbuilding experience recently, so looking for advice/reassurance.

    I'm building a new set of wheels for my better half's tandem (AKA Our Tandem). Velocity Chukker rims, DT Swiss Alpine III spokes, Hope RS4 36h hubs. Should be pretty bloody sturdy - the front wheel alone is over 1kg.

    However, I've been using Sapim brass nipples. Shouldn't be a problem, as the spokes are 2mm at the threaded end, and the Sapim brass nipps are 2mm. However, on a few of the spokes, when I've been tensioning them, there's been a loud bang and the spoke has gone loose. As far as I can tell, the threaded part of the spoke has just slipped through the threaded part of the nipple, almost as if the threads on the spokes are only just engaging with the spokes on the nipples.

    Anyone had this before? I'm tempted to rebuild with DT Swiss nipples, but I'm not sure this is actually the underlying issue.

  • Spoke wind up can release itself with a bang

  • Hmmm, possible. That would be a fuck of a lot of wind-up, as the spokes were totally slack after the bang and wouldn't retension though. Ended up having to replace the nipples in order to get tension back into them.

  • wouldn't retension

    I think I'd probably replace the spoke too if the threads jumped, there is bound to be thread damage.

  • Thank you, sound advice.

    As a side note, mildly related:
    Has anyone experience bringing sapim lasers with secure lock nipples up to tension, how much harder does controlling the windup get?

  • If I’ve got 16mm rim tape fitted does that mean my rim is 16mm inner width? Not sure I have anything to measure it accurately enough

  • I seem to be easily confused with the spoke calculators online and was wondering if any knowledgeable vintage buffs could help, I am attempting to build a Harden large flange front hub onto a Super Champion Medaille d'Or sprint rim (616mm ERD) but I'm stumped on trying to find the correct spoke length, the hub flange diameter is 85mm with a 32 hole drilling, 3 x cross spokes is preferential, can anyone help? cheers

  • If I’ve got 16mm rim tape fitted does that mean my rim is 16mm inner width?

    If it is, then you have the wrong tape.

    Rim inner width is seldom something you need to know to any more accuracy than +/- 1mm

  • I’m just curious about how wide my rims are- I didn’t build the wheels. When I saw the rim tape had a width I thought that was an easy answer but I guess not!

  • Easy enough to measure with a ruler, or with digital/vernier calipers if you want a precise result and have the necessary devices to hand.

  • Wheelbuilding newbie here and I really need some help. I'm following Roger Musson's book and am starting on a rim brake front wheel so in theory should be simple. In reality its taken me about 5 attempts to get a decent shape! I adjusted the radial and lateral trueness as well as I can, it was pretty good at this point.

    Then, as advised by Roger I tried to balance the tension of all the spokes before attempting the stress relieving and final tension stages. I have a Park TM-1 tension meter and used the online Park app to balance the tension of the spokes to within 0.5 (on the tool scale) of each other and its completely thrown out the trueness. I’ve gone round both sides of the wheel twice and re-adjusted them and noticed 2 things:

    1. the Park tension meter will take a different reading immediately after the previous reading on the same spoke. The reading also varies along the length of the spoke so I'm trying to take the reading in the middle of the butted spokes (close to where they cross) for consistency. Is this normal?

    2. As I go around adjusting the tension on one side, it seems to affect tension of the spokes on the other side. I’ve tried adjusting the spokes two ways: Firstly, adjusting the left then right sides. I also tried adjusting all 32 spokes in sequence. For either method the spokes don’t seem to stay at the adjusted tension when rechecked. For example I started out with most of the spokes getting a '19' (85 kgf) reading on the tool scale with a few between 19.5-21. After trying to adjust them all to 19 the wheel is now quite wobbly. Retaking the measurements, half of them are no longer 19. Why is this happening? Does adjusting certain spokes affect the tension of other spokes?

    Can anyone advise what I'm doing wrong? Is it because the spokes aren't fully tensioned? I'm currently at about 85 kgf and think I need to be at about 90-100 kgf on an open pro rim.

    I’m going around in circles (no pun intended) !

    thanks

  • I've done a few wheels and never used a tension meter. they've stayed pretty true - not as good as an artisan, but better than i'd ever hoped.

    If I had a tension meter, I'd use it at the end of the process, to get up to the right level, particularly for a wheel with no dish.

    I'd concentrate on getting it straight, then, as you wind on the tension, use the meter to make sure you're in the right ballpark.

    Also, winding tension on or off one spoke will always effect the tension of the other spokes around it. It's how spokes work, by pulling the rim towards different sides of the hub.

  • Thanks, maybe I used it too early, though I not sure how to check then tension is the same on all spokes without it - my ear isnt that good to hear it. I'm really not sure what to do now, slacken them all off and start again? The dish is now also off, which took me ages to get right yesterday :(

  • Maybe start again, or at least wind the spokes out till they're loose.

    Do you have a nipple driver as seen in Musson's book? A flat head screwdriver with a point in the middle to disengage the nipple at the same point?

    I find that this is key to my wheel building - as most of my wheels have been fixed / front wheels, they are zero dish with identical spokes both sides.

    I just wind the spokes on with the driver, and am then careful about adding exactly the same amount of turns on each spoke as the tensions comes up. When they are pretty tight, I true the wheel, stress relieve, then go round adding a bit more tension, quarter turn at a time. When they feel tight like other wheels, I stop, stress relive again and give it a final true.

  • the Park tension meter will take a different reading immediately after the previous reading on the same spoke. The reading also varies along the length of the spoke so I'm trying to take the reading in the middle of the butted spokes (close to where they cross) for consistency. Is this normal?

    The Park tension meter isn't the best in the world (I've got one though and it's OK) and there's quite a bit of stiction in the mechanism, so the results can vary depending on how quickly you release the handle. The trick to consistent readings in my experience is to be consistent on how quickly you release the handle. You don't want it to ping shut, and for obvious reasons you don't want to spend a few minutes graaaaaaadually releasing it. Go for a smooth, slowish release and the quality of the readings improves.

    As I go around adjusting the tension on one side, it seems to affect tension of the spokes on the other side. I’ve tried adjusting the spokes two ways: Firstly, adjusting the left then right sides. I also tried adjusting all 32 spokes in sequence. For either method the spokes don’t seem to stay at the adjusted tension when rechecked. For example I started out with most of the spokes getting a '19' (85 kgf) reading on the tool scale with a few between 19.5-21. After trying to adjust them all to 19 the wheel is now quite wobbly. Retaking the measurements, half of them are no longer 19. Why is this happening? Does adjusting certain spokes affect the tension of other spokes?

    I think the problem you're facing is that you're aiming for perfection on one of the three variables without regard to the others. There are three things you have to balance - hop, run-out and spoke tension. If you go straight to your end target on any one of them, then at least one of the others is going to go way out of spec. I find the best thing to do is to try and improve one of the three, not getting it absolutely right, but just getting it better, and then cycle between the three. You need to creep up gradually on your ultimate target rather than trying to get there in one go.

    As with most things though, practice makes perfect, not that I'm there yet or even close. After a while though you will get a feel for it. I'd say keep at it - there's no real point starting from scratch once it's laced and tensioned. Just try to improve each of the three factors a little at a time.

    I'd also say that balancing the three different factors gets easier the closer you get to your target tension. As a starting point I'd suggest getting ride of the hop, and then wind the tensions up so they're closer to 100kgf. Then cycle between run-out, spoke tension and hop.

  • I used a Unior drill bir attachment that does the same thing, supposedly quicker but I do wonder if this is the problem, theoretically it should thread the nipple on the same length but hard to be sure

  • Thanks, I'll try alternating, though I'm confused how to apply this to Musson's method, as he sttes working on the lateral and radial true first , before checking the tension ?

    I've just gone back and corrected the lateral and radial true , both are now down to about .5 mm and rechecked the tension and it's all over the place. I might start again and be more careful with initial threading of the nipples

  • If your rim isn't perfectly round you will never get the tensions perfectly even. I just get them as round and true as possible and then do what I can with the tension

    (disclaimer: barely know what I'm doing, but never had any major problems with any of the wheels I've built)

  • Main difference is smaller bearings, less sealing on rear non drive and less grease in the bearings.

  • You can get a novatec hub that's convertible to thru axles in 20h. No issues with 20 spokes, especially on carbon rims. Just use heavier gauge.

  • Yeah this. I cycle round checking lateral true, radial true and even tensions till the wheel seems 'good enough'. Even some of my shoddy first wheel builds are still going strong

  • I'm normally tighten all carefully, then make it true radially and laterally, check dish and finally tension. If the rim is not damaged the tension in a true wheel comes pretty even, then it's just a matter of tighten a quarter of turn every spoke until it's tensioned

  • If you're trying to even the tensions and it's already pretty straight then you need to move the tension from one spoke to another, so 1/4 or 1/8 of a turn on one and off the other or opposite until they're more even, usually the one it crosses, but definitely to one next to it from the same side of the wheel. I do all that by ear, tension gauge for final tension readings. Go round one side of the wheel, get them pretty even, then the other side, then true it, then back to tension check and even again. It'll all end up pretty good by the end but might not be perfect if the rim isn't.

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