The Wheel Building Thread

So we have a thread about hats but no thread dedicated to wheel building.

Post you rim, spoke, hub, lacing questions here. It would also be nice to hear from other people who build their own wheels and tips and tricks you use.

I’ve built and number of track wheelsets but its time for me to embark on my first road wheelset. Im going all in as it will be my racing wheelset for road, clims and crits. Here are my component choices so far.

My rims will be 38mm 3k carbon tubulars from 20h front and 24h rear as I’ve heard good things about them, they’re well price at $260 for the pair including postage and they weigh 320g each.

Hub wise I’ve gone with Circus Monkeys as again I’ve only heard good things about them, they’re cheap ($142 including postage) and only weigh 302g for the pair.

Spoke wise I’m torn a little. Still can’t decide wether to go with the more expensive Sapsim CX Rays or DT Revolutions. I’m leaning more towards the Sapims due to them being stronger and aero bladed but they are more than double the price. Any recommendations welcome. Regardless I know I will be lacing the front radial and the rear radial NDS and 2x DS.

Overall I’m hoping to have the build come in at under 1200 grams which would make them awesome all rounders. Stay tuned for build pics, weights, ect.

PS. Sorry for all the words

Nice thread…

Where are you going to order spokes from? I need some too so maybe we can combine shipping to save cash? I was looking at do you know of anything better?

nice idea for a thread , i have a question, the rear rim on my mtb needs 4 new spokes , do i need to loosen the other spokes before i tension the 4 replacement spokes ?

Idk bout roadie spokes, but I’ve heard horror stories of DT spokes snapping easier than the twigs jammed through them during mtb XC races.
What’s the brand that starts with a P? or another letter like P.

I’ve got some wheelbuilding tips in an older thread here:

I’ve used Wheelbuilder before and will again for this build, from memory their postage is pretty steep though so combining the shipping is fine by me. I’ll hopefully be ordering mid next week so i’ll let you know before i do.

Watch oot for weak dts man

Nothing wroung with Dt’s Dylan they are the market leaders in highend spoke production, having said that Sapim make great spokes. I would lean toward the CX Ray spokes just because the high tension needed to build a reliable low spoke count wheel is hard to acheive with triple butted spokes. When you are building them they wind up heaps and are hard to detension completely, whereas as bladed spokes can be held easily when you are racking up the tension in the final phase of the build. I built a set of 28 hole triple butted spoke wheels DA on Open Pro and they constanly were going out of true my two cents.

Starbike are pretty good.

Thanks slinky i was thinking the same, i guess i’ll have to dig a little deeper for the CX Rays.

That was well worth the read too Dave, nice job indeed.

i’m thinking about a set of carbon tubbies too
i’m interested to hear what those chinese rims are like a few guys over at weightweenies have built wheel-sets using the same kind of parts and been pretty happy with them…

go the cx-rays or dt aerolights they are pretty much the same spoke, the black anodizing on the dt’s a a bit darker and more consistent in color
there is a guy on ebay who sells the spokes in 20 pack and mixed lengths a plus added singles
his ebay name is ‘orioncycles’
he has nothing listed right now but i’d email him if i was looking for spokes…

i have my hubs picked out… Extralite UltraHubs SP/SPM.

i have a set on my clincher climbing wheels they are crazy light and very fast

rims are going to be the closer on this build… so far my options are enve 1.45’s, Reynolds Assault T 46’s and Corima 45’s
the corima’s been the cheapest option by nearly $250 each and the enves been the lightest…
hmmm if i could get the guys at extralite to ship em declared as a warranty or some thing and avoid the $400-500 in gst and import duties then i would consider just buying the wheels from them…

Good thread.

I’ll sticky it in the HELP section so it doesn’t get lost amongst the booze, coffee, my music and hats.


That’s pretty serious stuff sugarkane. Those Extralite hubs are amazing but a bit much for me at the moment. I’m hoping i can complete my build for around $600.

Built my first set of wheels a few months back for my McBain.

36H Maillard hubs - new bearings, polished.
Mavic Module E rims - polished…never again.
DT Swiss Competition double butted spokes. Purchased at Commuter Cycles who also confirmed my length calcs.
Zefal rim tape.

Three cross pattern up front, three leading three trailing for the rear. Took way too long and tested my patience, but gained so much knowledge on how a wheel works. Always had the thought that they wouldn’t hold up on the street, but so far they’ve been great.

It’s often said that 3L3T shouldn’t be used on a rear wheel. Have you noticed any issues while riding it?

I’d predict that it could cause vibrations in the drivetrain as the wheel moves, but I don’t know if these would be significant enough to be noticeable. (The reason being that as the wheel rotates, the load on the bottom spokes is reduced. In a 3L3T wheel, this means you are constantly going from having a group of leading spokes unloaded, to a group of trailing spokes unloaded, and back, causing the hub to oscillate back and forth during movement.)

^ Now you tell me… ;]

P!N20, I’m assuming the above photo was taken during construction and before final tensioning? Please tell me it is so. Pretty interesting build, I’d like to hear your further thoughts on whether its good to ride. Tension stable? Spoke issues unwinding, untensioning? Particularly, lateral stability based on whether there’s undue flex from one side or the other?

It is so. Looks more like this now…

There’s a nice writeup from Commuter Cycles here:
Wheel Building | Commuter Cycles

They also have a sweet jig for speeding lacing:
Wheel Building Jig by Commuter Cycles, on Flickr[/img]

There’s a nice writeup from Commuter Cycles here:
Wheel Building | Commuter Cycles

They also have a sweet jig for speeding lacing:

Wheel Building Jig by Commuter Cycles, on Flickr