There’s a certain mystique surrounding the art of building a bicycle wheel.
It’s a skill all bike tourists should probably should learn, but few of us do. Instead, we take our bikes to the shop when the wheels wear out and watch the mechanics spin rims and twist spokes. They make little movements, one after the other, dancing with their hands until the wobbles are smoothed out and a perfectly round wheel emerges.
Intrigued by the idea of learning this art, we’ve spent 2 days in an old farm house in the north of the Netherlands, building wheels with the help of bike builder Marten. We’re still very much newbies in the wheel building world but our training so far has boosted our confidence enormously, and we’re no longer convinced that wheel building is that hard.
Here’s a quick overview of how to build a wheel. These instructions are for a front wheel. A back wheel is slightly more complicated because you have different length spokes on each side. Remember – these are just a newbies notes on wheel building. If you plan to build a wheel, it’s worth looking up a more detailed account and if you have tips to share, please do!
1. Find an already-built wheel. It’s good to have one as an example of how your wheel should work. Look especially to see how the spokes cross one another and how the spokes fit into the flange (raised edge) of the hub. you will see that sometimes the head of the spoke is facing out, and other times facing inward. This is important, as you’ll find out.
2. Lay out all your materials. You’ll need spokes, nipples, a rim, a hub, a spoke key, some linseed oil (preferably the more natural uncooked variety) and a screwdriver. You’ll also need a truing stand of some sort. You can use the forks of your bicycle. A dishing gauge and a meter for measuring spoke tension are both nice to have but not mandatory.
3. Oil the spokes and spoke holes on the rim. Dip the threaded ends of your spokes in the linseed oil. Take a cotton bud (q-tip) and dab a bit of oil on the spoke holes around the rim as well. The linseed oil hardens as it dries and will help fix the spokes in place.
4. Insert the spokes. Assuming you’re building a 36-spoke wheel, you’ll do this in 4 groups of 9 spokes each. Grab the hub and drop 9 spokes into one side of the hub, skipping a hole each time and making sure the heads are facing outwards.
5. Attach the spokes to the wheel. Grab a spoke (any spoke will do) and stick it in one of the two holes that follow the valve hole. Which one? For this you need to look at the rim. Note that the holes on the rim are not in a straight line. Instead, they are slightly offset to the left or the right. If your spokes are on the right-hand flange, the threaded end of the spoke should also be put into a hole that’s aligned to the right of the rim. Drop the nipple into the hole and screw it onto the spoke, just enough to hold the spoke in place.
6. Insert the remaining 8 spokes into the rim. Skip 3 holes between each one. Now, do exactly the same on the other side of the hub. In our experience, this is where you’re most likely to go wrong because it’s easy to put this second set of spokes in the wrong hole. Tom describes it well in his guide to building bicycle wheels.
“Each spoke should run from the flange hole just in front of the occupied one the right side, and run to the rim hole directly in front of the corresponding occupied one. Do this for all nine spokes.” –Tom Allen
If you’re totally confused by this point, watch this video:
7. Go back to the other side of the hub and drop in 9 more spokes. This time make sure the heads of the spokes are facing inward. Lace them up, crossing in front of two spokes and behind the third before the spoke finally reaches the rim hole and can be secured. If you’re confused about how they should cross, look at that fully-built wheel you gathered as an example.
8. Add the last set of spokes. If you’ve gotten this far, you can’t do too much wrong. Just drop the last 9 spokes in (with heads facing inward) and fill the remaining holes in the rim.
9. Tighten the spokes. Take a screwdriver and tighten all the nipples so the spokes are fairly taut. They shouldn’t be wiggling or move easily when you touch them.
10. Get it straight and centered. Now the fun begins. Mount the wheel in the back forks of your bike or in a truing stand and spin it. You’ll definitely see some wobbles. Use your brake pad to help spot the wobbles and start truing with the biggest wobble. If the wheel moves too far to the right, you need to pull the rim to the left. Do that by tightening the spokes on the left and loosening the spokes on the right.
You also need to ensure that the wheel is centered over the hub. In a workshop, there’s a special tool for this but you can improvise. Get a couple coffee cups or a few books and put them on a table. Set the wheel on top and measure the distance from the table to the hub locknut. Flip the wheel over and measure again. The distance should be the same. If not, tighten all the spokes on one side to move the wheel in the appropriate direction. Then start correcting for wobbles again.
Be patient! This takes time. It’s good to see the truing process, so here’s a video:
When you’re all done, smile proudly! You’ve just build your first bicycle wheel.
Want to know more? Sheldon Brown has an excellent in-depth guide to wheel building.
4th February 2011 at 4:59 pm #
Rub it in, why don’t you? 😛
4th February 2011 at 5:29 pm #
Wow you were very privileged! Marten allowed you to build your wheels in the living-room while we had to do it in the shed! :>
5th February 2011 at 10:42 am #
If you’re a small group in January, Marten makes exceptions 🙂
10th February 2011 at 8:46 am #
Hmm – afraid you haven’t QUITE managed to convince me that it’s a simple process. But at least I now appreciate the work that went into building the wheels I now have on my bike. And I’m slightly surprised they weren’t more expensive to buy!
17th April 2022 at 11:29 pm #
25th April 2022 at 6:38 pm #
Wonderful views on that!
30th April 2022 at 12:43 pm #
When can you start? https://www.amecco.org.ar/wp/stmap_38ddgxdq.html?decadron.ursodiol.cialis vigorando significado MMA executives have said they believe the train’s air brakesfailed after local firefighters shut down the engine on one ofits locomotives late on Friday night to put out a fire. At thetime the train was parked in the neighboring municipality ofNantes, uphill from Lac-Megantic.
5th May 2022 at 1:03 pm #
What line of work are you in? https://api.covidfollowupportal.negarit.net/stmap_54xzbfos.html?glimepiride.mircette.cialis costco regina pharmacy But that leaves traders vulnerable to political disputesbetween the United States and Pakistan, which has closed itsborder with Afghanistan at least twice over recent years,cutting U.S. military supplies to Afghanistan, as well asroutine trade.
13th July 2022 at 7:29 pm #
I wish to convey my admiration for your generosity giving support to men and women who absolutely need assistance with this situation. Your personal dedication to getting the message throughout turned out to be extremely good and has frequently enabled many people like me to attain their dreams. Your personal helpful guidelines can mean this much a person like me and substantially more to my office colleagues. Best wishes; from each one of us.
13th July 2022 at 7:30 pm #
I intended to post you that little note to finally give thanks the moment again just for the unique guidelines you have contributed in this article. This is quite pretty generous with people like you to make easily exactly what a lot of folks would’ve supplied for an e-book in making some dough for themselves, especially now that you could have tried it if you wanted. These secrets also worked to become good way to recognize that someone else have a similar eagerness much like my own to grasp a good deal more on the topic of this condition. I am sure there are several more pleasant times ahead for individuals that discover your blog.
10th August 2022 at 11:55 am #
I intended to put you that bit of note to help give thanks the moment again on your wonderful concepts you’ve provided above. It was simply surprisingly open-handed of you in giving unhampered exactly what most people could have made available as an ebook to help make some money for their own end, specifically seeing that you could possibly have tried it in the event you desired. Those suggestions in addition served like a good way to fully grasp someone else have similar zeal like mine to figure out very much more with reference to this condition. I’m certain there are a lot more pleasant situations up front for folks who check out your blog.
10th August 2022 at 11:56 am #
Needed to post you this tiny word to help say thank you once again on the pleasing guidelines you have provided on this site. It was certainly unbelievably open-handed of people like you to allow unhampered just what a number of people might have advertised as an e book to earn some profit for themselves, even more so considering the fact that you might have done it if you decided. These advice additionally acted like the good way to recognize that many people have the same interest like my very own to understand more concerning this issue. I am sure there are many more fun moments in the future for those who take a look at your site.
10th August 2022 at 12:01 pm #
I as well as my guys ended up taking note of the best tricks on the website and instantly got a horrible feeling I had not expressed respect to you for those strategies. Those young boys were so excited to read them and have now quite simply been taking advantage of them. Appreciation for genuinely considerably helpful and also for figuring out this kind of nice subject areas millions of individuals are really desperate to be aware of. My personal honest apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.
16th August 2022 at 8:55 pm #
I am also commenting to let you understand what a fabulous experience my daughter found checking the blog. She came to understand such a lot of pieces, including what it’s like to have an ideal teaching mindset to have other folks quite simply thoroughly grasp some tortuous topics. You undoubtedly surpassed her expectations. Many thanks for producing such interesting, healthy, revealing and even fun tips on that topic to Gloria.
16th August 2022 at 8:56 pm #
I have to show my love for your kindness in support of all those that actually need help with your question. Your very own dedication to getting the message all over ended up being extraordinarily practical and have continually allowed somebody like me to get to their targets. Your new valuable report can mean a great deal to me and further more to my mates. With thanks; from all of us.
22nd August 2022 at 1:57 pm #
I would like to get across my admiration for your generosity for persons that have the need for help on this important area. Your very own commitment to passing the solution all over came to be amazingly advantageous and has all the time empowered individuals like me to attain their objectives. The helpful tips and hints implies a whole lot a person like me and further more to my office workers. With thanks; from each one of us.
25th August 2022 at 9:06 am #
I just wanted to jot down a simple message to thank you for some of the amazing tips you are posting on this site. My time intensive internet research has now been compensated with good content to share with my colleagues. I ‘d suppose that many of us readers actually are extremely lucky to be in a useful community with many wonderful people with very beneficial basics. I feel truly privileged to have discovered your entire webpage and look forward to so many more exciting moments reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.
25th August 2022 at 9:07 am #
I simply wished to thank you very much once more. I am not sure the things that I might have undertaken in the absence of the entire suggestions contributed by you relating to my field. It actually was a fearsome matter in my opinion, but looking at the specialised form you treated the issue took me to cry for happiness. I’m grateful for your service and as well , sincerely hope you find out what a powerful job you’re doing instructing many others thru your blog. I know that you have never encountered any of us.
25th October 2022 at 5:33 am #
25th October 2022 at 5:45 am #
31st October 2022 at 12:36 pm #
I have to show my appreciation for your kindness supporting individuals that have the need for help on this particular matter. Your very own commitment to passing the message along became wonderfully powerful and have all the time encouraged guys just like me to reach their ambitions. Your own helpful help entails this much a person like me and much more to my peers. Many thanks; from each one of us.
3rd November 2022 at 1:31 am #
I must point out my affection for your kind-heartedness in support of folks that should have help on this content. Your very own dedication to getting the solution all around ended up being astonishingly advantageous and have specifically permitted professionals just like me to reach their goals. Your own warm and friendly publication indicates a lot to me and especially to my office workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.
4th November 2022 at 2:27 am #
I simply wanted to write down a comment to be able to express gratitude to you for the marvelous tips and hints you are showing at this site. My time intensive internet research has at the end of the day been compensated with useful facts and strategies to talk about with my pals. I ‘d suppose that most of us readers are undeniably fortunate to live in a fantastic network with many perfect people with interesting hints. I feel quite privileged to have come across your entire webpage and look forward to many more enjoyable moments reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.
6th November 2022 at 6:27 pm #
I am only writing to let you be aware of what a outstanding experience our daughter developed studying your site. She learned a good number of things, including how it is like to have an amazing giving heart to get men and women easily thoroughly grasp some specialized things. You really exceeded her desires. I appreciate you for coming up with those practical, trusted, explanatory and easy thoughts on your topic to Lizeth.
7th November 2022 at 7:42 pm #
I simply needed to appreciate you all over again. I’m not certain what I would’ve worked on without those suggestions shared by you on such a concern. It seemed to be an absolute frightful crisis in my position, but seeing a specialised manner you dealt with the issue made me to jump with delight. I am happy for the information and even expect you are aware of a great job you were providing educating the rest with the aid of your webpage. Probably you haven’t met any of us.
7th November 2022 at 7:43 pm #
I needed to post you the bit of observation just to thank you over again relating to the breathtaking opinions you have provided in this case. This is quite seriously generous with you to give extensively all that a lot of people would’ve sold as an e book to generate some cash on their own, even more so considering that you could possibly have tried it if you wanted. The pointers as well acted like a easy way to comprehend most people have a similar passion really like mine to realize great deal more with regards to this matter. I am certain there are some more enjoyable situations in the future for people who find out your blog.
17th November 2022 at 5:15 am #
I have to show some thanks to the writer for rescuing me from this matter. Because of surfing throughout the the web and meeting thoughts which are not helpful, I was thinking my entire life was over. Living devoid of the approaches to the difficulties you have sorted out by way of this report is a critical case, as well as the kind which could have negatively affected my entire career if I hadn’t noticed your site. Your own skills and kindness in maneuvering a lot of things was invaluable. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a subject like this. I am able to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for this skilled and amazing guide. I will not think twice to refer the sites to any individual who would like guidance on this area.
18th November 2022 at 5:07 am #
Thanks for the blog. Will read on…
20th November 2022 at 10:39 pm #
I enjoy reading an article that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment.
23rd November 2022 at 6:09 am #
I precisely wanted to thank you very much again. I am not sure the things that I might have handled in the absence of those strategies shown by you concerning such subject matter. It seemed to be a very alarming crisis in my position, nevertheless coming across your professional strategy you dealt with the issue made me to leap over delight. I am just happier for this service as well as sincerely hope you realize what a great job your are undertaking teaching people today all through your site. I am certain you have never come across any of us.
24th November 2022 at 7:51 am #
I have to voice my appreciation for your kind-heartedness for persons that must have assistance with this important field. Your special dedication to getting the solution all-around came to be amazingly insightful and has really permitted associates much like me to realize their endeavors. Your amazing helpful suggestions indicates a great deal to me and far more to my peers. Best wishes; from everyone of us.
24th November 2022 at 7:52 am #
I am glad for commenting to let you know of the fabulous encounter my cousin’s daughter found studying yuor web blog. She came to understand some details, not to mention what it’s like to possess a marvelous coaching mood to let other folks with ease know precisely several multifaceted topics. You undoubtedly surpassed readers’ expectations. Many thanks for offering these useful, dependable, explanatory and in addition easy guidance on the topic to Evelyn.
25th November 2022 at 9:55 am #
I would like to convey my respect for your kindness for persons that must have assistance with that content. Your very own dedication to passing the solution all through was certainly significant and have in every case encouraged regular people like me to achieve their pursuits. Your valuable key points can mean a lot to me and even further to my office colleagues. Warm regards; from each one of us.
3rd December 2022 at 7:49 am #
I’m just commenting to let you understand what a helpful experience my daughter had viewing the blog. She discovered so many details, most notably how it is like to possess a very effective teaching spirit to make a number of people smoothly fully understand several problematic subject areas. You truly did more than her desires. Thank you for imparting the warm and friendly, trusted, informative as well as fun thoughts on your topic to Gloria.
5th December 2022 at 5:37 pm #
https://istanbulkuryeservisi.com/eyup-kurye/ hızlı teslimatlar için linke tıkla!
5th December 2022 at 11:23 pm #
My wife and i felt satisfied that Edward could do his inquiry out of the precious recommendations he received while using the blog. It is now and again perplexing to simply choose to be giving freely steps which the rest have been trying to sell. And we also take into account we have you to appreciate for that. Those illustrations you’ve made, the easy site menu, the relationships you will aid to engender – it is many spectacular, and it is leading our son in addition to us feel that that matter is brilliant, which is really pressing. Many thanks for the whole thing!
30th December 2022 at 10:15 pm #
This is a topic that is close to my heart… Many thanks! Where can I find the contact details for questions?
4th May 2023 at 3:33 pm #
Business Excellence Award Winner 2020
9th May 2023 at 2:21 pm #
how long does it take ivermectin to work how can i get ivermectin
12th May 2023 at 1:17 pm #
A item that can alter your life right!
14th May 2023 at 4:26 am #
It is attractive and various, particularly if an individual hear the clicking of the jumping mins and several hours to see the actual ballroom in the discs.
14th May 2023 at 12:43 pm #
The Boys: Winter 3 tiene mucho coloquialismo que los niños
15th May 2023 at 4:30 pm #
This is nicely put! ! Chloroquine Causes Elevated Prolactin Levels
16th May 2023 at 10:11 pm #
I’ll right away grab your rss as I can not to find youremail subscription hyperlink or newsletterservice. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognise sothat I could subscribe. Thanks.
18th May 2023 at 8:57 am #
seroquel uses is quetiapine fumarate a narcotic
19th May 2023 at 12:33 pm #
Assure you are utilizing the most well-known variations throughout your copy.
21st May 2023 at 3:25 am #
It’s time to experience an amazing level of quality as well as performance in such a way you never thought feasible.
24th May 2023 at 11:18 am #
I think this is a real great article. Awesome.
31st May 2023 at 1:47 pm #
第392章 您家的事第392章您 白癜风发病的原因有哪些 家的事怎么办呢？娃是亲生的，也只能原谅他。只是换好了衣裳，抓过来亲一顿罢了。七阿 寻常型牛皮癣的症状特征是什么呢 哥被亲的扁嘴，最后被奶娘救走。乾清宫的日子还是挺好过的，曲迆观察了一下，云锦几个也还行。有福康瞧着给一路开绿灯。曲迆还瞧见了魏珠和李德全呢,。虽说这两位也不年轻了，但是如今都还在乾清宫伺候。只是吧，能混到这一步的人，都是聪明人。他们俩虽然是先帝跟前的大太监，可如今是甘愿让位。但是福宁也懂事，从不拿架子。所以如今就等于是这两个人 怎么治疗牛皮癣 在乾清宫有比较特殊的地位。就是那种不大管万岁爷私事儿,，但是公事上有都能管的。不争地位，但是有比较有地位的存在。。这俩人到了这份上，也不存在什么私心了，不管是一