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I'm buying a Cannondale CAADX 105 Disc and I'm planning on installing a hub dynamo, perhaps an SP PD-8.

1.) I haven't done this before, but judging by what I have seen on YouTube: Get the new spoke length right, make sure spokes are "woven" in the proper order and then true the wheel. Are there any pitfalls where a newbie like me would think that everything was in order to leave me with an unpleasant surprise on the test ride or on my bicycle vacation?

2.) Since the nipples are brand new, is it sufficient to only buy new spokes?

3.) Would it be possible to buy a new wheel with the dynamo installed already? I have looked around but not managed to find anything other than very, very basic wheels with dynamos online.

  • You should be able to find the pre-built wheel somewhere, if you're not real particular about the specific dynamo and the rim used. Though disk is probably a little harder to find. Building a wheel is certainly doable, but use a good book for a reference, and take your time. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 9 '14 at 2:10
  • It came with some nice hubs. It would be nice to keep the current wheel in case you wanted to race some day. Or put wheel back on when you sell it and keep the dynamo. – paparazzo Nov 9 '14 at 13:18
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1) Wheel building is non-trivial and takes practice but there are some good references (and J. Brandst, The Bicycle Wheel). I don't know if a dynamo hub will be harder than a normal hub, but the first order of business is finding a decent dynamo hub which takes a disc rotor.

2) On reusing nipples: Given how cheap nipples are, why would you bother? Though you can probably get away with it safely.

3) A built wheel is probably your best bet (along with selling the old wheel to get some of the money you're going to have to put into even getting a decent hub dynamo). Some people like Peter White Cycles (no affiliation) do wheel building for many compatible decent hub+rim combination.

Note that you'll need access to a few pieces of special equipment for wheel building on top of the components - a truing stand, a spoke wrench, a dish stick and a spoke tensiometer. [Well, you don't really need the last two but they'll make your life easier]. So if you're looking to just save money (and it sounds like you are with question 2), you might find that in net, getting the wheel built by someone whose good at wheel building and stands by their work saves you money in net (and time too).

  • You are right on the money-saving point, I spent quite some time searching the net and found SpaCycles, which can likely send me another wheel with the dynamo installed, for less than it would cost to rebuild the stock wheel. Thanks! – Jay Nov 10 '14 at 1:18

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