axle/tire questions

so i broke my axle, it was just a cold weather snap, i was just hopping UP a curb and it snapped, i was amazed.

the problem is im nearly broke

anyway, in the market for a new axle, probably just get another suzue axle… but what im wondering about is making the new wheel myself, what tools should i have, or is it just not worth the trouble. if i make the wheel reasonably enuf, i will get it trued at a bike shop–is it worth it?

other question, my gazz 24X3 is running bare, it has become a better trials tire, but has definitely lost its umpf when off-roading and snow-uni’ing. i was wondering if it would be worth it to get the arrox $20 24X3… what are some of the differences between it and the wonderful gazz that i have? mostly i am wondering about impact from a hop, if i bottom it out will something go wrong? i would keep the nokian DH tube what i have now

i hate being broke
happy new year!

Re: axle/tire questions


I had never rebuilt a wheel before and just recently rebuilt a Coker wheel with the Aero rim. I am somewhat mechanically inclined and it didn’t take too much. About the only problem is that I laced it up as 3-cross and the Coker Deluxe wheel is designed with a 4-cross pattern, so I had to redo it.

I would bet you could true the wheel easily enough to be more than rideable. If you’re a perfectionist or need closer to absolute true for some reason, you might want to have a bike shop finish it up for you. Only thing is, the guy at the LBS here said he would have to true wheel while installed on the uni as his equipment wasn’t set up to true unicycle wheels. So I asked myself, “Self, what would he do that I could do at home?” So Self convinced me that I could do it myself with some extra time and effort. It worked well.


Re: axle/tire questions

In article <>,
RancidFlannel <> wrote:
)anyway, in the market for a new axle, probably just get another suzue
)axle… but what im wondering about is making the new wheel myself, what
)tools should i have, or is it just not worth the trouble. if i make the
)wheel reasonably enuf, i will get it trued at a bike shop–is it worth

You can true the wheel better than the bike shop will; getting it
straight isn’t hard, getting it straight and stress-relieved with the
tension balanced takes more effort than bike shop employees are
willing to put in. (And if you don’t balance the tension, it will come
right out of true).

The only absolutely required tool is a spoke wrench. I would consider
Jobst Brandt’s “The Bicycle Wheel” nearly required, but there is also
good information on how to build a wheel on

You’ll also need a way to hold the wheel, and indicate how true it is.
Your unicycle can serve as an adequate truing stand; you just need to
find a way to hold it securely. Seat off, frame clamped upside down
in a vise is one way, but anything will do as long as you can spin the
wheel. Trueness indicators can be as simple as popsicle sticks taped
to the frame–unless you have a rim brake on your uni, the tolerance
for trueness is pretty loose, so you just need to be able to eyeball it
and get it reasonably straight.

The other thing that might be a little challenging without the proper
tool is dishing the wheel (making sure the rim is centered). For
a symmetric wheel like a unicycle wheel, dish doesn’t tend to be a big
problem as long as you build the wheel evenly; again, you can probably just
eyeball the rim in your unicycle frame, or measure the gap with a ruler.
This won’t be 100% accurate, as the frame and the bearings may not be
perfectly even, but it’ll probably be fine. Or you could buy a dishing
tool, or see if you can borrow one from a bike shop (some bike shops have
a loaner tools area).

mmmm, loaner tools…yummy!

i see some positive advice for doing it myself(i am also pretty technically inclined) so i probably with go for this thing

onto the other question…i think i wore out my gazz pretty quick, my friends bought some at the same time and are nowhere NEAR the amount of wear i have…so is it worth it to get a arrow for when i really need some grip, and change bock to the old gazz for trials stuff? what im really wondering is, does the arrow just lack the durability of the gazz(better vs weaker rubber) or is there some fundamental differences that i will not like about an arrow

If you’re going to get serious about it then a wheel-building jig is a handy tool - you’re not likely to find one big enough for a coker. (I use a penny fathing jig for cokers and a 30’s jig for up to 29).
They are quite cheap (a portable one will cost you about 30 quid) and make the process of truing the wheel much easier. The truer the wheel the longer it’ll stay true and you can DEFINITELY do a better job than most bike shops.

The only other thing that I think the Sheldon brown site misses is to plan out the wheel first - especially if you try advanced patterns. I’ve done a couple that I’ve had to un-build because i miss placed an early spoke.

Re: Re: axle/tire questions

Your average random bike shop will usually not do a spectacular job of building a wheel. However, there are a select few that do take great pride in their wheel building and do a spectacular job. Certainly a much much better job than I would ever be able to do without lots and lots of practice.

There are about 3 or 4 shops in the Seattle area that do a great job of building a wheel. There is one shop where I always bring my muni wheels when they need rebuilding or an overdue truing. It’s a small shop and the owner is a freerider and he builds wheels like he was going to use them himself.

The trick is finding the local shop in your area where there is someone who takes that much care in building a wheel. I found this shop by asking the freeriders in a local MTB club what local shop builds the best freeride wheels. If you don’t have a local freeride/DH scene then ask the local tandem bike riders.

I do need to learn to properly build and true a wheel, but I have not taken the time and I know that my first dozen or so attempts will be very poor wheels.