Having LBS build my KH 29" uni wheel

I have a 29" KH rim and UDC wide hub that I plan on having my LBS build for me (I’ll have them calculate and buy the spokes and build the wheel for me). Any one out there have any advice on anything special that I should ask about/look for when I talk to them about my 29" uni wheel project?
Spoke type?
Nipple type?
Special lube/thread compounds for the spoke threads or nipples?
Spoke tension?
Spoke lacing pattern?
Techniques I should ask them to use like using a sharpie pen to mark the length of the spokes to “see” if spokes are twisting as they are tightened?
Also, is there a left or right to the UDC hub as there is for crank arms and pedals??
I know there are really talented wheel builders out there that enjoy a challenge, any one know of one in Portland, OR?
Any help is appreciated.

Unicycle wheels like to be built with higher tensions than bike wheels because they are subjected to more lateral forces due to the pedalling, so it’s probably worth mentioning to them that you want it built with tighter than normal spokes.

I’d suggest that if you’re thinking about it this much, you could give it a go building it yourself. A 29" wheel isn’t that hard a wheel to build, it’s not scary like a coker wheel. Just get yourself some DT / Sapim double butted spokes, normal brass nipples (not the expensive lightweight aluminium ones as they’re rubbish), and follow the instructions on http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

The magic of this is that you learn how to fix the wheel if you bang it out of true too.

If you really want it built, best to ask on a bike website for good wheelbuilders (or google, there’s probably some recommendations for them on other forums, or just ask the next cycle courier you see). The only thing I’d say to the wheel builder is that it’d be good to build it tight like Rob says. If they’re good they won’t need to know about spoke wind-up or lubing nipples or whatever, because that’s common to bicycle wheels. I built 4 cross on my 29er with 48 spokes, on my 36 spoke 29er I think it’s 3 cross. I think 3 cross is pretty standard for a 36 spoke 700c wheel.

For spokes, standard DT or Sapim double butted spokes are fine, with brass nipples. Hubs don’t usually have a direction, it just depends which way round you fit the cranks after the wheel has been built.



For the ideas and advice Joe and Rob.
I’ll consider doing it myself and if I do go to a wheel builder, I’ll know what to ask for.

I built my own 29" wheel a few months ago and it came out great. I just got the 14 ga. stainless steel spokes from UDC. I also used the same rim and hub that you’ve got. Tell 'em which rim and hub you’ve got and the spoke pattern you want to use (I used 3 cross) and they’ll calculate the right length for you. I used a book that a friend of mine had to help me figure out how to lace it but the link that joemarshall just posted is every bit as good. It was a really fun and satisfying project. You’ll need to buy a spoke wrench from your LBS but they can be had for just a few $$. If you’re going to have your LBS do it, all the advice already given is good.

You can calculate the spoke length easily by just using the spoke calculator, you don’t even have to measure the rim or hub they are all built in. Just retrieve the size you want, pick your number of crosses and calculate.



I can also confirm the calculator is spot on for your intended wheel combination as this is what I built 5 days ago. The bits arrived Monday, the test ride was Tuesday evening :smiley:

I originally used Sheldon Brown’s website, very useful for the first couple of wheels.