Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wheel building adventures

Yeah, the title of this post is actually a little misleading.

So, I got parts to build a new rear wheel for Bi, since the hub in the old wheel wasn't the best to begin with, and since bending the axle a while ago, it's been having little niggling issues keeping the bearings in adjustment. So I sprang for a Surly fixed/free mountain hub, a WTB Dual Duty FR rim, and spokes and nipples, to build the wheel from the ground up myself.

That does not look like a bike wheel.

But first, I needed a truing stand. So I went to Home Depot, after designing my stand at work.
That does not look like a truing stand.

I successfully constructed my truing stand yesterday, and then took off on a bike ride with TC, where we encountered a big pile of snow about 15 feet tall where we usually stop for a break at the very end of Butler Avenue.

We were not deterred, and climbed to the top to take our break.


After catching some Z's, I woke up this morning and set about building my new wheel. With Sheldon Brown's wheel building guide open on my laptop, I went to town. Amazingly, I got everything right on the first try, and after a total of 3 hours, this was the finished result:
Wheel stand and wheel!

I was surprised at how quickly it went, how close to true the wheel stayed the entire time, and how much fun it was overall. I think I'll be building my own wheels from now on. It takes a little more time than just buying a pre-built wheel, but it's stronger than a wheel built on a machine, it'll likely last longer, and it's a part on my bike (among many) that I can point at and say "I built that."

Mileage: None today.

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