27 votes
Accepted

Purpose of 'bore' on spoke nipples - why are spoke nipples not threaded through their entire length?

Adding threads to any sort of bolt under tension doesn't actually make it much stronger, beyond the first ≈5 threads. Adding more basically just adds dead mass; either way the whole thing will ...
18 votes
Accepted

What are the benefits of hand built wheels over automated ones?

The parts of this topic that usually get glossed over in written sources and hearsay are: Not all wheel production machinery and processes are the same. It's kind of the opposite, actually. It's a ...
16 votes
Accepted

Is it worth rebuilding a wheel myself to save money?

For most applications, most of the time, in the global north, if you're trying to save money then just buying a new wheel is the most economical. The main exception that comes up is if you have a ...
15 votes
Accepted

What kind of wheels use spoke washers/nipple washers?

Spoke washers are used at the hub end, between the flared out cap and the hub itself. The intention is to take up extra length between the bend and the end, to help prevent the spoke from breaking. ...
  • 103k
15 votes

Could I use a front rim to build a rear wheel?

In the days before factory built wheelset, rims where produced without being specifically for front or rear wheels. On most general-use standard bicycles it is still that way. The only difference was ...
  • 8,175
15 votes
Accepted

Broken 26'' wheel

That kind of rim damage indicates over-worn brake surfaces. Whether you should replace the whole wheel is a strictly economical question which is hard to answer in general. Wheel building services and ...
13 votes

Purpose of 'bore' on spoke nipples - why are spoke nipples not threaded through their entire length?

The bore guides the thread of the spoke to the threading of the nipple allowing easier spoking with less risk of cross-threading. The bore also allows the spoke to be threaded deeper w/o adding more ...
13 votes
Accepted

Should I seriously consider radial lacing?

I just happened to have recently written a little paper on the spoke length formula, so with my knowledge about wheels refreshed, I think I'll take a shot at answering this question. Let me approach ...
  • 11.8k
13 votes
Accepted

Spokes bow out from the hub flange

Bowing as the outer spokes exit the flange is normal. The angle when the spoke is made is set arbitrarily, and it's the job of the wheelbuilder to cold set it best as possible to match what the ...
12 votes
Accepted

Is the 'shark wheel' a good idea for a bicycle?

On a skate board type application it is effective On a bicycle it is not effective and impractical to implement On a skate board you want a wide contact patch. On a skate board you absolutely don't ...
  • 15.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Is this wheel built incorrectly?

It's a little bit wrong in that it has zero upside and one potential downside, but that downside is unlikely to ever be relevant. Trailing spokes straighten a little temporarily under drive load, and ...
11 votes
Accepted

How much is too much - spokes protruding into the rim

That is poorly built and unacceptable (in my book) as a paid for product. If all of the spokes are protruding some, and several more than others, it means that the wrong length spokes were used. ...
  • 9,878
11 votes

Is the 'shark wheel' a good idea for a bicycle?

Unless it's actually circular then it's going to be a very bumpy ride. If it's a circular wheel that weaves laterally it could work as described, to some extent, but the float advantages of a fat tyre ...
  • 23.1k
11 votes

Should I seriously consider radial lacing?

I think your detailed question shows one flaw, a lack of understanding why radial spoking is used and what circumstances tangental spoking must be used. Radial lacing is used almost exclusively with ...
  • 11.4k
10 votes
Accepted

Do Carbon Wheels Stay True Longer Than Aluminum Wheels?

I give you the following, that you can read here: Talking to Jason Marsh the mechanic of Greg Minaar 2012 DH World Cup Champion about ENVE DH rims (which are carbon), he said that, ”Once you ...
  • 1,290
10 votes
Accepted

How long between spoke adjustments on a mountain bike?

A well built wheel should go years without needed truing. If you are truing the wheel every 2 months something is wrong with the build. There's no way to know via the internet, but my guess is that ...
10 votes

Problems with spoke threads, and stressing the wheel

There is one major cause of this problem and it is putting a 1.8mm aka 15ga spoke in a 2.0mm/14ga nipple. This mismatch will screw together and hold under some tension, but then slip. It is easy to ...
10 votes

Is it ok to use one odd spoke for a wheel build?

You don't need to mis-match, but if you choose carefully, you should be able to. D-light come in both black and silver (links are to my local supplier/wheel builder, but demonstrate that they exist). ...
  • 48k
9 votes
Accepted

Truing an 'out of round' wheel

Whenever I get stuck wheelbuilding, I loosen every spoke one turn, walk away and come back in a few hours or the next day. The worst thing you can do is keep doing something that is not providing ...
9 votes
Accepted

Wheel going badly out of true on final tightening

From the lack of detail in your question I'm going to assume you don't have a tensiometer. If you do, please tell us what tension you're actually using and what the limits for your rim are. edit The "...
  • 23.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Is there a benefit of lacing trailer wheel spokes radially instead of crossed?

Crossed spoke lacing is primarily necessary to transmit torque from the hub to the rim, rather than for increased strength, although I suspect hub flanges have more strength when loaded by a crossed ...
8 votes
Accepted

Wheel size for heavier rider, larger vs smaller

I've heard before that a smaller wheel is actually stronger, and this site states the following. Because a 26-inch wheel has a smaller circumference than a larger 700c wheel, the rim is ...
  • 21.5k
8 votes
Accepted

How to remove spoke twist

There are two things I generally do to help eliminate most of the twist. When tightening spokes, get in the habit of slightly overturning and then turning back. (i.e. If I want to tighten a spoke 1/...
8 votes
Accepted

Can you change the rear hub on a tubular cyclo cross wheelset with out riping the tubular tyre off?

It is almost impossible to rebuild a wheel (i.e., new hub and new spokes) without removing the tire. Leaving the tire on, would mean leaving the spoke nipples in place. (It is a good idea to replace ...
  • 30k
8 votes

Can hubs last forever?

If the shell is aluminum and we're talking about the whole thing and not just the bearing races, the literal answer is flat out no, because aluminum doesn't have a fatigue limit. It will crack ...
8 votes

Best way to strengthen a wheel?

When the spokes break, do they snap at the J bend? Or elsewhere? If the little mushroomed cap is gone at the hub end and there's a spikey "claw" then your spoke tension is low which is stressing ...
  • 103k
8 votes
Accepted

How to avoid damaging spoke nipples when wheel building

Using a high quality spoke key that engages on 4 sides (and fits properly) usually avoids this problem, even with coloured alu nipples.
  • 11.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I build a wheel with two different spoke types?

In Roger Musson's book Professional Guide to Wheel Building 7th Edition, https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php this is covered in brief (for a dished rear wheel): The wheel can support ...
  • 12.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I use a 272mm spoke in place of a 275mm?

I personally would be uncomfortable with spokes that are that far out. In a pinch, one shorter spoke with less thread engagement might be fine, but you're talking about all spokes on both wheels. If ...
  • 103k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible