I'm planning to replace the hub on my front wheel, from a QR to a 20mm.

How much labor, skill, equipment, etc. does that need, and how much time should I expect a pro to charge for, to do the rebuild?

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    All mine have cost me nothing, other than a few hour of my time. Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 23:02
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    While we allow localized question in the sense of geography, what one would pay for a rebuild is an extremely localized question. Closing this question. @Cameron, welcome to the site; please take a look at this page and also our FAQ for more information on the types of questions that work well here. Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 1:56
  • @Cameron Bain: 2-3 hours of shop time. In Park City, I'd expect 100-150 US dollars. 150 would be on the high side.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 3:08
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    @zenbike - Up there below the OP, under the <wheel-building] tag, where it currently says, "reopen (1)": click on that, to vote to reopen.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 3:54
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    I agree with Neil Fein. This could go on and on. If this question is allowed one could then proceed to ask "...how long should it take..." or "...how much will it cost..." for every single bicycle repair or upgrade. If one intends to pay for a repair, it's easy enough to call around to a few local bike shops for price/time comparisons.
    – user313
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 4:16

4 Answers 4


I think if you are willing to spend a few hours, it's worth doing yourself. Depending on the flange size of the new hub, though, you may need to buy new spokes. You can determine the length of the spokes you will need using a spoke length calculator.

You will need a spoke wrench, a flat-head screwdriver, some vaseline, and the use of a truing stand. Here's what you'll have to do:

  1. Remove the tire, innertube, and rim tape from the wheel.
  2. Using a spoke wrench, loosen and remove the nipples.
  3. If you are using the same spokes, remove the spokes from the old hub.
  4. Lace the wheel, making ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the valve will be in the right place. Check out Sheldon Brown's step-by-step wheelbuilding page for the procedure of lacing a 3x (three-cross) wheel. You will want to use a little bit of vaseline on the threads of each spoke so you can tighten the nipples more easily.
  5. Go to a nearby bicycle cooperative (you can google bicycle co-op near nameofyourtown) to use a truing stand, and use the truing stand to adjust the wheel. Make sure the wheel is dished properly and that you have proper tension on the spokes.

Because spokes stretch a little and settle in after you start riding, be prepared to true the wheel after the first couple rides.

If you are not interested in making your own wheel, I recommend just buying a new wheel with the hub you want. It may be cheaper than getting your lbs to rebuild your wheel with your new hub.

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    I personally would never reuse the old spokes unless I couldn't get new ones (unless, perhaps, the wheel is nearly new and the reason for rebuilding is not related to stress on the wheel). Spokes fatigue over time, and one might as well start fresh. Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 20:15
  • Daniel: Thanks for pointing that out. I thought that the wheel was new but with the undesired hub, so I addressed it as I did. Now that I see that the question does not mention anything about the age or wear on the current wheel, I realize I should have included that reusing old, used spokes can lead to disaster and should be avoided.
    – raabidfun
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 21:06

I made a call around to 3 local reputable shops. The time for this job by a pro is estimated at 2 - 3 hours. The labor charges are estimated at $40 to $60. Any parts needed add to the cost. This is localized to Portland, OR where there are numerous bike shops. I'm sure the price will vary depending on the location; but the time involved should be about the same.

Now, if you do this yourself...the time it will take will depend on your experience...so anywhere from a couple of hours to several hours.

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    It should be noted that it's much, much faster to change out a rim than to completely build a new wheel (or rebuild an old one). The two rims can be clipped/taped together and the spokes transferred one at a time from one rim to the other. Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 18:38
  • @Daniel - I was only answering how much time a pro might estimate. Not shortcuts or technique since the question isn't asking for that.
    – user313
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 18:47
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    Yes, but I figured it was relevant to the overall discussion. Needing to replace a rim is a fairly frequent problem, and, without further info, readers might get the impression that it's as slow/expensive to replace a rim as to rebuild an entire wheel. Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 20:10

2-3 hours of shop time. In Park City, I'd expect 100-150 US dollars. 150 would be on the high side. – zenbike 15 hours ago

Of course it can be done faster, and likely will be, but this is a standard time to expect. Your shop rates may vary, but the time should be consistent around the globe.


OK not the question as stated but

  1. What hub?
    Most newer hubs have conversion kits.
  2. Is it cost effective?
    Like a Stans Crest that is a decent wheel the full wheel with hub is $600 and the rim is $100. Unless you have a high end rim it is probably not cost effective if you are paying a shop.

Don't mean to advertise Stan's and I am not associated with Stan's. Just using Stan's as an example.

I just now noticed this is an old question. I would not even have answered if I had realized that.

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