wheel building / discussion thread

i couldnt find a thread for this so ill make one.

im going to build a new rear wheel for my tarck bike this spring.
im thinking Dura-ace track hub to Open-pro.

so my Qs are:
-should i do 32H or 36H
-should i use 1.8G spokes, 2.0G spokes, or 2.0/1.8G butted spokes? consider that its getting ridden on the street, and i want it to be pretty tough

In my limited experience, I’ve found that butted spokes build up considerably easier than straight gauge spokes. I’ve built two wheels with butted and two wheels with straight and the butted were so much nicer to work with. Go that route.
Also, here is a nice, easy to use, basic spoke calc that I’ve had success with:

I like 36 holes for 9 speed rear wheels but 32 holes should be tough enough on a wheel with no dish.

I always found butted spokes easier to wind up and therefore harder to build with, but as long as you’re keeping an eye on it and compensating as you go, it shouldn’t be a problem either way. Sheldon says that butted builds stronger wheels and who am i to argue with him.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason to build with straight gauge spokes. They’re not really any stronger or more durable.
For lacing, I have been satisfied with 32 hole three cross for all purposes, even on my mountain bike. I went up to 36 spokes on my touring bike just to make the wheels extra burly for cargo carrying. Since I only weigh about 130lbs, 32 spokes is usually more than enough. Based upon your wiry appearance, I would think 32 spokes would be fine.

32 spoke 2.0-1.8, has a baller wheel. Then do the same in the front, sell your Hed3, and thank me in 3 years :slight_smile:

edit: jk I’ve never ridden a hed3 and know you love crabon, just givin’ you shit.

every spoke i have ever broken has either been at the beginning of the threads from a frozen nipple or at the j-bend. get the butted spokes if you can afford them to save a teeny tiny bit of weight.

i have built many wheels with straight 2.0 and 1.8 spokes as well as butted 2.0/1.8 and the biggest difference i have noticed is the butted and straight 1.8 spokes are easier to work with then lacing the wheel up, usually that last cross on the last side. the main thing that makes wheel building easy from my experience is a good rim. something nice with double eyelets will be way easier to get true with even tension than some cheese ball weight weenie rim. open pro’s are the shit, i love them.

Great book just to have is The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt

Great book just to have is The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt

DT Revolution 3X 32 spoks aluminum nips

GEL280 or GEL330 rims

(clinchers=meh, atmo)

dunno why DA track for street use… but whatevs, bro

also, you don’t have to build 'em yourself

if you want strong street wheels, I’d go surly x 32h OP with the butted spokes.

Ugh, never buy Surly hubs ever.

I’ve got an old surly fix/fix that between its former owner and myself probably has 1000+ miles on it with no problems at all.

I ride 32H road wheels and I’m a clyde. Fixed wheels are going to be stronger in any case, because they’re not dished.

Straight gauge spokes are for wal-mart bikes. I use DT Comps 2.0/1.8 or Wheelsmith DB14 2.0/1.7. Spokes don’t break in the middle.

Freal. At least get something sealed.


They’re shiiite.

3x, 32h, DUBL BUTD.

this is me,

Front: 32h 1.5g 1cross
Rear, 32-36h 2.0g 3cross cos whip skids

and to add,
Yeah DA hubs are slick, but don’t. specially cos whip skids. phil-lowflange.


Formula hubs really do work fine for tarck bike, but greghebard wont settle for that.

I’ve got an old surly fix/fix that between its former owner and myself probably has 1000+ miles on it with no problems at all.[/quote]
Epic rofl at 1000 miles being a test of durability.

Surly hubs have known bearing problems.

I found DA hubs to have the worst seals of any loose ball bearing hub I’ve ever had. You truly need to repack them after every time they get ridden in the rain.

really doubting this

Some responses to things in this thread:

32 spokes will probably be enough. With nice hubs and nice rims like you are using, you’ll be able to get the tension very even, and they’ll probably stay that way, especially with a little spoke prep. Or you can use blue loctite.

I fucking hate aluminum nipples. They can’t be built up to good, high tension, and once they’ve been on the bike for a year or so, they strip as soon as you go to true your fucking wheel. I refuse to build wheels with aluminum nipples. Any time anyone asks me if they should build with aluminum nipples, I try to talk them out of it. Having a weaker wheel that will probably need several new nipples in a year and a half is not worth the 40g weight savings. I’m sure I would be less strict about this if I were getting paid to build wheels, though.

I honestly don’t think that straight-gauge spokes build up significantly weaker than double-butted. In theory, yes, but in practice, in the direction that they are stronger (compression, basically), wheels are really fucking strong anyway, if they’re built with even tension. Straight-gauge spokes are stiffer laterally, though. For a given tension, the spokes respond significantly less to side-loads. This is important when I’m riding with heavy panniers. This is really noticeable with 700c wheels, to me, at least.

I also like the way wheels feel when built to high tension with straight-gauge spokes. Bearing in mind that it’s been almost a year since I read his book, I recall Jobst Brandt saying that it’s an acoustical property. The rim and spokes resonate well, or something like that. I buy that, because that’s what it feels like, and to me, that’s what good wheels feel like. It’s hard to describe, but it’s there.

I’m not going to deny that butted spokes build theoretically stronger wheels, all other things being equal. But they almost never are. As far as I know, all of the wheels I’ve built for myself and for customers are still being ridden daily and are still reasonably true. Unless the customer made a special request, I generally used whichever spokes we had in stock in the right length that day, butted or straight.

Oh, and loose ball bearing hubs are the shit. Does Shimano use different seals on the track hubs than the other hubs? If so, tha’s too bad, because even their road hubs are sealed better than most cartridge bearing mtb hubs.