wheelbuilding help - spokes

finally got my hands on some 32h araya super aero rims and want to get them built up to some old suntour superbe pro custom hubs or new dura ace hb-7600 hubs. probably lace them up 3x rear and radial front. other suggestions? where is the best place online to buy spokes and what lengths will i need? thinking hoshi bladed or dt comp or sapim laser. wouldn’t mind trying to build them up myself but if all else fails, where’s the best place to get them built in brisbane or the sunshine coast? sorry for all the q’s. am a noob at wheelbuilding but keen to learn.

Those aren’t going to be your average old kickaround wheels, so it’s worth getting an experienced wheelbuilder to build them. Let them source the spokes - that way they can use their judgement to get the right lengths and build them perfectly true and evenly tensioned from the start. No point buying nice parts and skimping on the build.

So I wouldn’t recommend building them yourself if you just want to save some money.

On the other hand, if you want to build them yourself for the reason of learning how to do it/learning some kind of art form, then I say go for it. That would mean doing it all properly/slowly/carefully though, and for one thing, you’re going to want a good truing stand, or at least a friend with a good truing stand.

I’ve built a few sets now, with old hubs I wanted to keep - bought spokes and rims online, worked out the lengths from online calculators, etc etc, and it all worked out fine. Wheelbuilder.com has a good range of spokes, available individually too, though the postage is expensive. Obviously you want to be 100% sure that you’ve got the lengths correct. If in any doubt, leave the whole operation to a real wheelbuilder and let them do it from start to finish.

I don’t see why you can’t build them yourself.

You can do a lot worse than reading Sheldon’s article on wheelbuilding, and to quote the great man, spoke length isn’t super-critical. I used the Bike School online calculator - it’s a lot simpler than a few others I encountered.

When I bought my spokes, I did my calculations and the shop did theirs to make sure we landed at the same figure - I think we had 1mm difference, but DT spokes only come in 2mm increments anyway.

There are heaps of books on wheelbuilding, try The Art Of Wheelbuilding, although it gets a bit technical for your backyard wheelbuilder, there’s some good advice and an insight into the theory of wheelbuilding.

You also don’t need a truing stand, I used the frame, cable ties and a ruler - see Sheldon.

As far as spoke patterns, by building them yourself you have the opportunity to do something unique, take a look at Rowland Cook’s website for inspiration.

Wheel building is something that I would personally leave to the pros. Unless you know someone with the tools and who is prepared to give you some guidance, I wouldn’t risk it. Too pricey and easy to botch up.

3 cross back and radial front sounds perfect.

Wheelbuilding isn’t some mysterious black art.

Lots of folks here and elsewhere have learned themselves to build good wheels that stand, me included. A few of the right tools or access to them and a couple of good references (eg Brandt, Schraner). Add bit of patience and care and you’ll be riding your own wheels in a couple of hours. Mistakes aren’t that hard to undo either (and they’re a good way to learn some stuff).

The search function will find you many threads on the topic.

Even I’ve built wheels so it can’t be that hard. It just takes ages when you’re a noob.

wheelbuilding is a skill that every amateur bike mechanic should dabble in, and spirito is right on with the advice of good references and patience.
though in saying that, for your first wheelset attempt, araya super aero’s to superbe/dura ace is a little ambitious. building wheels that stay true for a couple of months is easy, building wheels that stay true for a few years is a different kettle of fish

I didn’t say anything … (confused), that was Capn’ Commuter (I think)

oh wait >>> http://www.fixed.org.au/forums/t12385/

I’d say that Brandt and Schraner make up one good reference. :wink:

(Wasn’t too impressed with Schraner, especially his claims about tying and soldering.)

I say do it!

I like the Jobst Brandt book but the Sheldon page and Schraner’s book are also good. Take your time, keep a completed wheel nearby to compare and contrast. My first wheel took about 14 hours over the space of a week (mostly due to a shitty seam on a Velocity rim).

  • Get a good spoke wrench so you don’t round-off the nipples.
  • I highly recommend buying the Park Tensionmeter. The only real possibility of fucking something up is if you went way overboard with spoke tension so this is a good safety net to have.
  • Good truing stands definitely make it easier but using a fork can work pretty well. There’s loads of how-to’s on the net.