Originally Posted by Motobecane
So i wanted experiment with wheelbuilding after having a couple of more spokes break on an old used wheel I bought. The rim was not in very good shape and probably shouldn't have been reused, but I figured "what the hecks, spokes aren't super expensive" I got both hubs serviced and in good working order and built the wheels up. I think I did a decent job getting them together considering they were pretty beat up rims but it got me wondering, just what happens when you ride on a rim that isn't true? What does more damage or is more dangerous, riding a rim that is out of true laterally (warped) or one that is out radially (has a hop in it)?
I think I learned enough building these wheels to successfully lace up and build my 2 new deep v's but I'm wondering about the durability and usefulness of these two that I rebuilt. I'm a clyde so obviously I will be seriously stressing them but I see sub 150lbs mexican delivery guys riding bikes with rims in all sorts of disrepair, seemingly without issue. Should I just throw these on my commuter for a bit and see how it goes? I know braking is compromised with a severly warped rim, but I feel like i got them true enough that it wont affect braking all tha tmuch
Both lateral and radial deviations from the true can bring their own hazards but if you can get it true enough to where it doesn't affect braking then it'll be true enough to ride safely. I'd start of your first ride real slow and apply the brakes gently and take it from there.
I'd say you'd be better off, if you wanted to experiment with wheelbuilding, spending a nominal fee for a new rim - doesn't have to be anything fancy but something that's round and not warped from the get go. It's tricky enough as it is and it's not just the rim being out of whack that's the only gotcha. If you're reusing an old rim, make sure than the inside of the eyelets are clean to stop the nipple heads from galling or being difficult to turn due to corrosion. A q-tip with a light covering of gear lube to apply a very thin smear of lube on the inside of the eyelet prior to building will help.
Jobst Brandt's "The Bicycle Wheel" is one of the best books on the subject. There's plenty of info on the net from Jobst on the subject - do a google search for "archives Jobst Brandt". If you see a results pointing to yarchive.net that'll be one of the places to go.
Jobst isn't shy about calling out people who are obviously wrong - his posts are as entertaining as they are informative.