New wheel build and a few personal firsts

The firsts:

first mismatched wheelbuild
first build with a steel rim
first tension taco
first experiment with lace twisting

The story (long and boring unless you are really into wheelbuilding:))

So I am in to process of moving and brought home my 26" road wheel so the fastest uni I have at the moment is my 26X3 Muni with 160s. I had a couple bike wheels laying around with broken hubs from my new BC plates, a 48h Suzue hub and a set of 125mm cranks I bought for another project.

I took apart the front wheel almost exclusively with my fingers. I don’t think I have ever seen such a loose wheel build. I guess what do you expect form a dumpster bike?

I grabbed the hub did some quick mental calculations and put in all the trailing spokes, every third hole. Got almost all the trailing spokes into their holes when I realized that there were too many spoke holes left on the rim. Turns out the old bike had 36 spoke wheels not 32. That is fine but not as nice to lace onto a 48h hub.

I adjusted the spoke pattern accordingly and laced up all the trailing spokes. Then started on the leading spokes and quickly realized that my spokes were now too long with the huge flange on the Suzue hub compared to the low flange bike hub they were originally laced to.

They were too short to go 4X so I decided that this is my opportunity to try twist lacing. I twisted only the last (third) cross on the first side but it still looked to loose. I tried twisting the second cross instead of the third on the other side and it looked about right.

Undid the first side and re-laced to match the other side. Started to bring things up to tension I was going around the wheel doing preliminary tightening just getting everything snug and looked down to see my rim resembling a potato chip. I put the wheel on the floor and pushed on the two high sides… REEK-WHOM… the taco just swapped sides.

Apparently I had over tensioned the wheel to instability. it seemed really loose to me but I like my wheels fairly tight. Pulled out my Park Tool tensometer and checked the tension in the tight areas. They were still so loose that they had no conversion factor on the chart. Under 50N.

Took the wheel apart and the rear wheel from the bike to swap rims. The tacoed rim went back into perfect true. I have never worked with a steel rim before. Amazing how it could be almost 10 cm (4") out in each direction then resume its proper shape, but crappy it could not handle even 50N of tension in the spokes.

The rear rim was a cheep single walled aluminum rim built up and tensioned fine. The twisted spokes got more and more uniform during the tensioning and relieving stages of the build. Brought the wheel up to a uniform 90N tension and now I have a light weight road wheel with mismatched hub/rim and twisted spokes.

The twisted spokes actually seemed to help even out the different effective lengths of spokes formed by the goofy spoke spacing in the hub. I think I will torture test this thing tomorrow and see how the twisted spoke pattern holds out. If nothing else it does look cool.

And like always I still don’t own a camera :o

I didn’t quite understand the twist lacing so I did a quick google to have a look at some examples sort of like chain wire fencing.A very complex way to build a wheel but must look pretty cool.You really do need a camera, it would be nice to see your handywork.

I guess it is something like this

Yah it looks a bit like the picture but the twists are only at the cross close to the hub and a full twist instead of a half twist.

I put the wheel in my frame today and was disappointed to see that the bearings did not match up with the holders. I pushed the legs in and popped the wheel in place. The bearings were binding from the side pressure and I don’t want to have to bother with bending my frame every time I switch wheels so I think I am going to return the hub and order a UDC or Nimbus hub instead.

It was just a temporary wheel but I would have liked to get a few rides out of it before taking it back apart.

Oh well, it was time well wasted. :slight_smile: