Factory/machine built wheels

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Anonymous, May 28, 2003.

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Just out of curiosity...

    How much of a "factory" or "machine-built" wheel is made by a machine, how is this done and how much
    is touched by human hands?

    John Sergeant
     
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  2. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    John Sergeant writes:

    > How much of a "factory" or "machine-built" wheel is made by a machine, how is this done and how
    > much is touched by human hands?

    Think of it as you would a sewing machine that requires human interaction while the sewing is done
    entirely by the machine, the fabric being guided by hand. The same is essentially what a wheel
    lacing machine does. There are two machines, a spoke lacing machine and a tensioning and truing
    machine. The latter operates without human intervention.

    The tensioning and truing machine is the culprit in the so-called machine built wheels. The
    tighter the spokes are made the dumber the machine gets, as adjustments begins to enter spoke
    twist magnitude. Ultimately the machine turns spoke nipples with no thread motion at all, only
    spoke twist. To avoid arriving at this time wasting tension, the process is often stopped at
    lower tension.

    I have talked to the Dutch companies BMD and Holland Mechanics, the major manufacturers of wheel
    building machines. Neither was willing to discuss a solution to this and stress relieving
    problems because they can't imagine anyone understanding anything that they don't know about
    wheel truing machines.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > I have talked to the Dutch companies BMD and Holland
    Mechanics, the
    > major manufacturers of wheel building machines. Neither
    was willing
    > to discuss a solution to this and stress relieving
    problems because
    > they can't imagine anyone understanding anything that they
    don't know
    > about wheel truing machines.

    Did you really expect to be greeted with open arms? That would be like admitting they'd been doing
    it wrong all these years. I'd expect to be stonewalled too.

    Matt O.
     
  4. Gary Young

    Gary Young Guest

    > Just out of curiosity...
    >
    > How much of a "factory" or "machine-built" wheel is made by a machine, how is this done and how
    > much is touched by human hands?

    Either Cycle Sport or ProCycling (can't remember which) had an article in a recent issue about
    Mavic's wheelbuilding operation, complete with pictures. I meant to write up a summary and ask some
    questions here based on that article, but never got around to it.

    The article might be of interest to those engaged in the cartridge vs. cup-and-cone debate:
    Mavic favors cartridge bearings because they cut down on manufacturing time. A cone has to be
    threaded onto the axle and then adjusted. Mavic's cartridge bearings are pressed into the hub in
    a single step.
     
  5. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    news:[email protected]...
    > Just out of curiosity...
    >
    > How much of a "factory" or "machine-built" wheel is made by a machine, how is this done and how
    > much is touched by human hands?

    In the common setup, the hub is loaded with spokes by hand, an operator feeds each spoke to the rim
    and the nipple is automatically fed and threaded onto it. The built wheel is tensioned and trued on
    an automatic fixture and usually finished by hand. There's no reason these wheels could not be every
    bit as good as mine but for the lack of lubrication, time and attention and the lack of stress
    relief and to some extent deficient materials. None of those are inherent to a machine-trued wheel,
    as a human operator is already doing a lot of the work. Time literally is money, however, and since
    these wheels are saleable without any care there's no impetus to change.

    There are only a few of manufacturers of automated wheelbuilding equipment in the world, Holland
    Mechanics being well known here.

    Interestingly, when I was young, mass-produced bicycle wheels were frequently built by the blind ( I
    grew up near a school for the blind). Since much better opportunities are available to the blind
    today, this job is now given over to the mentally deficient. In the local case, the operator is paid
    to take care of the laborers for the day! Any work they produce is just gravy on top of that!

    And just to put all that in perspective, the typical wheel they produce sells to distributors for
    about $9 in steel, $13 in aluminum. The sort of thing r.b.t. readers ride (OK, exceptions, you know
    who you are) is so small as to be nearly unnoticeable in the prebuilt-wheel market which is geared
    to a high-volume low quality product.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  6. Better manufacturers may build the wheel on a machine, to save time over the more tedious hand
    lacing, but they will always tension, true and stress the wheels by hand.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  7. <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I have talked to the Dutch companies BMD and Holland Mechanics, the major manufacturers of wheel
    > building machines. Neither was willing to discuss a solution to this and stress relieving problems
    > because they can't imagine anyone understanding anything that they don't know about wheel truing
    > machines.

    If I was a well known company that was the leader in the industry, I wouldn't want to talk to anyone
    about _technical_ matters - regardless of who they were. I would make an exception, though, if the
    person I was talking to had signed a confidentiality waiver.

    The benefit/risk ratio is diminishingly small for the company involved to be discussing these issues
    with anyone (I imagine this is why Jobst sees so much "resistance" from the industry). From the mfr
    perspective, I see the potential for a lawsuit - and the (US) courts have indeed seen them.

    I wouldn't look at it as being snubbed by a bunch of "idiots" - I would look at this situation as a
    company looking out (rightly so) for its best business interests. Next time you would like to
    discuss something technical with them, Jobst, I would suggest mentioning that you would be willing
    to sign a confidentiality waiver.

    If you were to sign that document, I imagine you might be treated differently.

    The company that I work for strictly forbids technically related/"idea" discussions with anyone
    until the confidentiality waiver/NDA's (if it proceeds that far) are taken care of.

    --
    ==================
    Kraig Willett www.biketechreview.com
    ==================
     
  8. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Kraig Willett writes:

    >> I have talked to the Dutch companies BMD and Holland Mechanics, the major manufacturers of wheel
    >> building machines. Neither was willing to discuss a solution to this and stress relieving
    >> problems because they can't imagine anyone understanding anything that they don't know about
    >> wheel truing machines.

    > If I was a well known company that was the leader in the industry, I wouldn't want to talk to
    > anyone about _technical_ matters - regardless of who they were. I would make an exception, though,
    > if the person I was talking to had signed a confidentiality waiver.

    > The benefit/risk ratio is diminishingly small for the company involved to be discussing these
    > issues with anyone (I imagine this is why Jobst sees so much "resistance" from the industry).
    > From the mfr perspective, I see the potential for a lawsuit - and the (US) courts have indeed
    > seen them.

    That is a scenario I have met with when talking to Shimano whose response was different than that of
    the spoking machine people who, even though they claim to have read my book, did not understand
    stress relieving and therefore did not understand how to incorporate it into their tensioning
    machine. It's not that they didn't talk about it but rather that their lack of understanding became
    apparent. Spoke twist, their main enemy, is easily solved but talking about it brought out such a
    strong defense of the superiority of their machine that the concept went right by them.

    > I wouldn't look at it as being snubbed by a bunch of "idiots" - I would look at this situation as
    > a company looking out (rightly so) for its best business interests. Next time you would like to
    > discuss something technical with them, Jobst, I would suggest mentioning that you would be willing
    > to sign a confidentiality waiver.

    The tone makes the melody and the tome was not intelligent discussion.

    > If you were to sign that document, I imagine you might be treated differently.

    That was not their concern. The owner and chief engineer of BMD, who came from Holland Mechanics,
    did not seem even slightly interested in having me sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). He didn't
    want to know because it was something he didn't understand.

    > The company that I work for strictly forbids technically related/"idea" discussions with anyone
    > until the confidentiality waiver/NDA's (if it proceeds that far) are taken care of.

    So do they all. It is the same at Hewlett Packard and after first contact with a purveyor of an
    interesting technical concept, it is evaluated and an NDA is signed. I have been in on these
    many times.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  9. Thanks for the clarification, Jobst.

    The additional details of the conversation help to put it in context.

    --
    ==================
    Kraig Willett www.biketechreview.com
    ==================
     
  10. [email protected] wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Kraig Willett writes:
    >
    > >> I have talked to the Dutch companies BMD and Holland Mechanics, the major manufacturers of
    > >> wheel building machines. Neither was willing to discuss a solution to this and stress relieving
    > >> problems because they can't imagine anyone understanding anything that they don't know about
    > >> wheel truing machines.
    >
    > > If I was a well known company that was the leader in the industry, I wouldn't want to talk to
    > > anyone about _technical_ matters - regardless of who they were. I would make an exception,
    > > though, if the person I was talking to had signed a confidentiality waiver.
    >
    > > The benefit/risk ratio is diminishingly small for the company involved to be discussing these
    > > issues with anyone (I imagine this is why Jobst sees so much "resistance" from the industry).
    > > From the mfr perspective, I see the potential for a lawsuit - and the (US) courts have indeed
    > > seen them.
    >
    > That is a scenario I have met with when talking to Shimano whose response was different than that
    > of the spoking machine people who, even though they claim to have read my book, did not understand
    > stress relieving and therefore did not understand how to incorporate it into their tensioning
    > machine. It's not that they didn't talk about it but rather that their lack of understanding
    > became apparent. Spoke twist, their main enemy, is easily solved but talking about it brought out
    > such a strong defense of the superiority of their machine that the concept went right by them.
    >
    > > I wouldn't look at it as being snubbed by a bunch of "idiots" - I would look at this situation
    > > as a company looking out (rightly so) for its best business interests. Next time you would like
    > > to discuss something technical with them, Jobst, I would suggest mentioning that you would be
    > > willing to sign a confidentiality waiver.
    >
    > The tone makes the melody and the tome was not intelligent discussion.
    >
    > > If you were to sign that document, I imagine you might be treated differently.
    >
    > That was not their concern. The owner and chief engineer of BMD, who came from Holland Mechanics,
    > did not seem even slightly interested in having me sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). He
    > didn't want to know because it was something he didn't understand.
    >
    > > The company that I work for strictly forbids technically related/"idea" discussions with anyone
    > > until the confidentiality waiver/NDA's (if it proceeds that far) are taken care of.
    >
    > So do they all. It is the same at Hewlett Packard and after first contact with a purveyor of an
    > interesting technical concept, it is evaluated and an NDA is signed. I have been in on these
    > many times.
    >
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA

    The need for stress relief is largly a myth no matter who wrote the book. "In the book" doesn't
    make it true.
     
  11. John-<< How much of a "factory" or "machine-built" wheel is made by a machine, how is this done and
    how much is touched by human hands?

    The only time a human touches most machine built wheels is to put them in the box.

    But machine built wheels can be good wheels if a good wheelbuilder tensions, trues, rounds, dishes
    and stress relieves them.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  12. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Michael
    Pearlman) wrote:

    > The need for stress relief is largly a myth no matter who wrote the book. "In the book" doesn't
    > make it true.

    Ah, yes. You're welcome to keep replacing broken spokes- no need for you to stress relieve your
    wheels. I see that you remain an unrepenitant idiot, fresh off your triumphal bleating about how
    badly you were done over by a mail order company who shall remain nameless.

    Personally, though, I follow the stress relieving procedures and haven't replaced a spoke in tens of
    thousands of miles. I'd rather ride my bike than fix it.
     
  13. On 29 May 2003 12:42:21 GMT, [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote:

    >But machine built wheels can be good wheels if a good wheelbuilder tensions, trues, rounds, dishes
    >and stress relieves them.

    Wouldn't that same good wheelbuilder spend at best an extra 20 or 25% more time if he did them from
    scratch, especially with a form of electric screwdriver to get the nipples to approximately right?

    Jasper
     
  14. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > On 29 May 2003 12:42:21 GMT, [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote:
    > >But machine built wheels can be good wheels if a good wheelbuilder
    tensions,
    > >trues, rounds, dishes and stress relieves them.

    "Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > Wouldn't that same good wheelbuilder spend at best an extra 20 or 25% more time if he did them
    > from scratch, especially with a form of electric screwdriver to get the nipples to
    > approximately right?

    I can just imagine a factory manager wrangling with that problem - should I get 25% more output from
    the same resources . . . or not?

    You've got to be kidding

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  15. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Michael
    > Pearlman) wrote:
    >
    > > The need for stress relief is largly a myth no matter who wrote the book. "In the book" doesn't
    > > make it true.
    >
    <snip>
    >
    > Personally, though, I follow the stress relieving procedures and haven't replaced a spoke in tens
    > of thousands of miles. I'd rather ride my bike than fix it.

    Same here. I've built my own wheels for many years. Before I started using the methods detailed in
    Jobst's book, I broke many spokes. After, I think I've broken one spoke in ten years. I've also
    rebuilt wheels, reusing the same spokes per his instructions without issue.

    Jeff
     
  16. On Thu, 29 May 2003 21:56:39 -0500, "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Jasper Janssen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:p[email protected]...
    >> Wouldn't that same good wheelbuilder spend at best an extra 20 or 25% more time if he did them
    >> from scratch, especially with a form of electric screwdriver to get the nipples to
    >> approximately right?
    >
    >I can just imagine a factory manager wrangling with that problem - should I get 25% more output
    >from the same resources . . . or not?

    Those machiens aren't exactly un-resources..

    Jasper
     
  17. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    A Muzi wrote:

    > Interestingly, when I was young, mass-produced bicycle wheels were frequently built by the blind (
    > I grew up near a school for the blind). Since much better opportunities are available to the blind
    > today, this job is now given over to the mentally deficient. In the local case, the operator is
    > paid to take care of the laborers for the day! Any work they produce is just gravy on top of that!

    When I was teenager I had a part time job lacing wheels at home, I used to do 50 a week and get paid
    20p per wheel, used to be able to lace 5 or 6 n hour.

    Thats was a decent wage for a teen ager back then.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this: Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
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