Sunday, March 31, 2013

650B (Part 3 - Front Wheel Build)

Finally!  The wheel building begins... I had a really good time with this, Mark at Belle View Spokes continues to be a great teacher.  I'm about 95% done with the front wheel and will have to start the rear wheel upon my return from San Diego (work trip for the next week and a half).  Rather than bore you with my words on how this process works I'll just throw up some pictures with captions.  If you have any questions leave a comment or shoot me an email.
Everything laid out, the Shimano Dyn-Hub (a generator for powering my lights), spokes, nipples, and of course the rim.

Spokes, read to go

And right into it.... what you see here are the 18 (9 per side) 'heads up spokes laced into the hub and rim.  Heads up means the smashed, curved head of the spoke is facing the outside of the hub flange as pictured here.  Other than knowing where to start lacing to this point is pretty uncomplicated.

Another view of the wheel with the first 18 'heads up' spokes laced on.

And boom... 36 spokes laced.  Not an easy process to photograph so you just get the 'completion' shot.  At this point  while the wheel is laced the spoke tension is very loose and it is not true or round.  The process of adding tension, checking true, checking round, and repeating is pretty much the whole remaining work in wheel building.

On-to the truing stand.

Aaaannddd.... SPIN!

Truing the wheel, at this point it was getting pretty good. It was only after that I realized the iterative process of tension-true-round, repeat.  Getting the spokes to proper tension is essential to wheel strength.

Rounding a wheel is something I hadn't done before, in general my tires and tubes have been on the wheel when I have it in the stand. However you can check for round on the truing stand as well.

According to Mark one of the aesthetic tests of wheel building is locating the hub labeling directly below the valve stem hole on the rim.... CHECK!

I think they pass the test.  The new brakes are long reach, and at least based on this dry fit in the front they appear long enough to make it work. I hope I don't loose too much breaking power with the nearly inch drop in pad height.

A preview of things to come!  I was so tempted to mount the tube and tire just to get the look but decided I could delay gratification.  

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