Used all 184mm spokes, nipples screwed in equally just to cover the spoke thread, wheel is almost true, however some spokes go inside rim further than others!

Already tried to tighten them its same story they do not tighten at equal lengths (equal number of turns some spokes not tighten at all while others turn all the way).

Used same spoke length as this wheel was built with before i taken it apart and i put new hub that is exactly the same as old one.

This rim is very bad design - it has sharp inner wall and nipple hole is about 4mm thick so nipple fixed at 90 degree angle from the rim.

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EDIT: I made it over and same issue, rim is trued and all spoke nipples are screwed just to cover the spoke thread.

Heads out spokes go inside rim too far.

I put all the heads out spokes first on both sides, then added heads in spokes on both sides.

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  • 1
    Assuming you’ve laced them correctly I think you just haven’t put enough tension on the spokes yet. I also think you might find out that your spokes are too long.
    – Michael
    May 8, 2021 at 7:02
  • I used same spoke length as this wheel was built with before i taken it apart and i put new hub that is exactly the same as old one. I tried to tighten the spokes however some hardly turn at all and others obviously turn almost all the way, this is not normal.
    – LilBro
    May 8, 2021 at 7:06
  • 2
    3rd picture, empty hole in hub. Is the hub drilled for more spokes than the rim? That would do it.
    – Noise
    May 8, 2021 at 7:19
  • 2
    i removed one spoke to measure, its 36 hub and rim.
    – LilBro
    May 8, 2021 at 7:43
  • 2
    I think you're doing fine. Keep working at it. Wheelbuilding is like cooking... it can look quite unappetising until it is almost done.
    – Criggie
    May 8, 2021 at 8:30

3 Answers 3


As alluded to in juhist's answer, I believe this wheel is mislaced. On each side of the hub the spokes going in opposite directions are at different angles to the hub.

I have marked up a pair of representative spokes on your image; the same analysis applies to other pairs: Identified a pair of spokes that should be parallel, showing they make different angles to the hub and that contributes to the apparent difference in their lengths

I have selected one spoke that is "too long" (in green) and the corresponding spoke on the opposite flange of the hub that is "correct length" (in red in the upper left). By drawing a line between two holes in the hub (the one it threads through, and the one 2 ahead) we create a baseline that is the same for any spoke. By highlighting the angle the spoke makes to the baseline, we can see that the spokes are not parallel; the spoke on the far hub makes a much steeper angle to the baseline.

At a steeper (closer to 90°) angle, the distance from the hub to the rim is shorter, and hence this spoke appears to be "too long."

I have done the same with another spoke on the same side in the same direction (red, right side) and the opposite direction (cyan) and again you can see that the cyan spoke is at a much steeper angle than the red one. (And also appears "too long.") Since the spacing looks right otherwise, you must have an inconsistency between the 2 sides of the hub.

What I suspect this means is that the first spoke laced on the far side of the hub (magenta) should have been on the inside of the hub, not the outside.

  • Curiously, OP deleted an answer (9months ago) where they state the problem was a mistake in lacing affecting two spokes. Which suggests you're spot on.
    – Swifty
    Feb 3, 2022 at 7:52
  • @Swifty Ah, I can't see deleted posts else I might not have bothered. Oh well.
    – DavidW
    Feb 3, 2022 at 14:12
  • No, it's good that you bothered, as it would otherwise be unanswered to other readers. I was hoping my comment would give your answer some added support but hasn't translated into upvotes just yet
    – Swifty
    Feb 3, 2022 at 16:59
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    Also, just looking at the wheel it should be obvious it's mislaced. Look at the spoke pattern on the right side of the image - groups of four spokes somewhat parallel to each other. On the left side of the image it's groups of four spokes all crossing each other close to the hub. Feb 5, 2022 at 13:00

On every single wheel I have built (and I have built 6 of them), the wheel looks mis-laced before the spokes have been tightened to the final tension, even though it was correctly laced. You tighten the spokes to the final tension and it starts to look like a real bicycle wheel.

One possibility is that you're seeing just this effect. Tighten the spokes more. If you cannot tighten the spokes enough, you have too long spokes.

Edit: on second thoughts, there is actually a possible issue you may have caused during the lacing. When lacing the first set of 9 spokes, it doesn't matter which hole you choose. When lacing the second set of 9 spokes, the first spoke must go to the correct hole. If you push a spoke through the test hole, you see that all holes in the left flange are inbetween the holes of the right flange. You need to select the correct hole: if the first spoke in the second set goes to the right side of the first spoke in the first set at the rim, the spoke hole at the hub needs to be just barely on the right side too. Not choosing this hole properly could perhaps lead to an issue where the spokes are regularly too tight, too loose.

  • 1
    Concur - OP's lacing pattern looks fine in the photos. I often use a small flatblade screwdriver to get the spokes all to the same position, where the tip of the spoke is about flush with the slot base. There are even special screwdrivers with this grind, to help all the spokes start at the same effective length.
    – Criggie
    May 8, 2021 at 8:26

I managed to do this the other day - turns out I'd put the first spoke of the second set of 9 (and all subsequent spokes on that side) in the wrong hub hole, and didn't notice until I finished the lacing and started to tension. Even after I noticed it took me a couple of tries to get it right - I've built plenty of wheels, but not for a couple of years ...

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