My Spoking Attempt Failed

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Carrera, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    To cut a long long story short, my attempt to rebuild a very badly buckled rear MTB wheel failed. Initially the entire rim was knackered so I got hold of a front wheel rim as a replacement. My idea was to respoke the rear hub onto the new rim. I had real problems with the lacing of spokes as my book I found was definitely obscure. Very badly explained in some parts so I tried to use another wheel to help me through the tricky bits. Finally after many hours and attempts I felt I had the correct lacing pattern. I had gaps of nine spoke holes between "In and immediate neighbouring "outgoing" spokes and gaps of 3 between the outs. Same as on other wheels.
    However, here is where I'm foxed. On lacing up the final side and down to the last 6 or so spokes, they were falling short of the holes. I was going 2 over and one under to the corresponding hole but it wouldn't reach. Plus the central hub wasn't centred.
    I can only conclude that maybe there is a difference between rear and front wheel rims so maybe my idea to substitute a front rim to make a back wheel was doomed from the onset. Or maybe my old spokes were distorted?
    By the way, I was careful to use short spokes for the drive side and the long spokes for the non drive side. I did get foxed when the instructions said to tension the hub when lacing the final set of spokes each side. I did that but it took 3 attempts to spoke right around.
    Delta patterns match each side from the hub and out but one side is falling short.
    Any ideas as to how I got this so wrong?
     
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  2. Strelok

    Strelok New Member

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    were you using the same brand and type of rim as the original? it sounds like the spokes were too short for the new rim.

    I would think the other potential problem was the you screwed the spokes in too far or didn't dish the wheel properly.
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    In some cases the rear rim is different and can have offset holes (to help balance L/R spoke tension a bit better). If that were the case with your bike and assuming that you used the same spoke lengths as the spokes on the original rear wheel, you would likely have spokes that came up short. However, it's unclear from your post what spokes and what spoke lengths you actually used. Did you replicate the lacing patttern of the original wheel, including in that pattern the correct orientation of spoke heads (in or out....and this assumes that your wheel doesn't have a straight pull hub)? How did you come up with the spoke lengths needed?

    Note that when you initially lace the wheel, you need to first thread the nipple onto the spokes just to engage the threads..just a couple of turns will do. Tightening spokes and dishing come later.

    You might want to PM [email protected] I don't think there's anyone on this forum that has laced more wheels than him.

    Also, you might check Sheldon's Wheelbuilding page. It's directions are quite clear: http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
     
  4. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    It was a bnit hit and miss. The spokes came from the original rear wheel hub but the rim was one lifted from a front wheel. I had to use a different rim because the former rim had been twisted by some unknown rider in the past.
    To be honest, I partly blame the book Mountain Bike Maintenance. True, it's a very thorough book and worth reading but some of the explanations fall way short. Too much is left unsaid. In the end, the way I did it was spoking anticlockwise from the side of the valve hole with gaps of three. I eventually winded up with one side spoked perfectly. I also used short spokes for the drive side and long spokes for the non drive side. They were the old spokes but the rim was different. It was actually very close.
    I had to buy a new wheel yesterday and I could see the new wheel was spoked identical to my own, yet my own fell short of perfection on one side. Too much pull from the other side and the hub not central.
    For now I bought the new wheel but will definitely follow up and try and find where I went wrong. Either my front rim is a little different from the original, I made a small simple mist)?ake or my spokes were distorted.
    Also please correct me on what the book says (unclearly). Do all my drive side spokes need to be short and all the non drive side spokes need to be long (both under and over the hub flange?
     
  5. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    It may well be the case the front wheel had been laced differently and I didn't notice when I took the rim off. It could well be the case I was doing a standard two over one under lacing pattern using a rim that may have been laced in a different way.
    What happened specifically was I had laced one side and all seemed well. All I had to do was spoke two over one under all the way around on the reverse side. I did the first two spokes and then found as I was going two over, one under the spoke wasn't connecting with the rim close enough. It got worse further along. In one case I had a spoke that was miles out. Seems as if I needed longer spokes all around.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes, all of the spokes on the driveside should be the same (there ARE rare exceptions) & all of the spokes on the non-driveside should be the same (again, there ARE exceptions ... exceptions which YOU don't need to be concerned with).

    FWIW. If you don't already have one, you need to buy a Metric tape measure ...

    Then, measure the Effectve Rim Diameter of your recalcitrant rim ...

    • you also want to measure the diameter of the spoke holes in the flange
    • and, the flange offset

    Then, using one of the on-line spoke calculators (I used to use Dan Halem's excellent Spoke Calculator, but it is no longer available, so I've been reduced to using the limited-but-good-enough SPOKULATOR on-line spoke calculator ... there are OTHER on-line calculators which others seem to prefer), determine the IDEAL spoke length for each side of the rear wheel using various lacings ... e.g, 32x3, or whatever is suitable for your specific rim & rear hub ...

    • round down ... e.g., for 259.6mm choose a 259mm spoke
    • a variance of up to 2mm will "work" ... so, a 258mm spoke would work in the hypothetical exampe ... a 262mm spoke would work, too.

    Measure your spokes ...

    Now that you know the combination of rim, hub & spokes will-or-won't work, unlace the rest of the spokes and relace the wheel.

    • This may be stating the obvious, but DON'T TENSION THE SPOKES UNTIL THEY HAVE ALL BEEN LACED.

    PROBLEMS? Unlace the hub & do it again ...

    REPEAT until you manage to successfully lace all of the spokes.

    Tension & true.

    GOOD LUCK!

    ---​

    BTW. Posting a picture-or-two of the failed attempt(s) at re-lacing your rear wheel may help to reveal what has gone wrong.
     
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