Not sure I got wheel build right

I did a dry run of building a 3x 36 spoke wheel.

I followed Roger Mussons E-Book to what I thoght was the letter but i’ve never seen this mentioned. I like the musson book because the told how to account for if the hole by the valve stem is the high to the right or low on the right.

On the drive side all the spokes that come from the inside to the insde (the one that goes cross cross under stick out pretty far from the rim. Where the spokes that come from inside out are about even with the inner rim.

On the non drive side the spokes come from inside out are the short ones, and the ones that come from the outside to inside are the long one.

Going around the rim on the drive side it goes short, long, short , long.

On the other side it does the same thing.

If I count both sides it goes short, short, long, long

Seems like I have the spoke right around the valve hole an all spokes from each side goes to the correct side of the rim

On the drive side the spokes that come from inside out go, over, over under and are the trailers. Lead spokes going from outside in go under, under over.

On the non drive side its the same the inside out spoke is over, over under and is a trailer.

It looks right I have parallel spokes, crossed spoke with spoke from other side.

Is the short, long pattern normal. If not any idea what I did wrong? Doesn’t seem like it should be like that.

The key spoke comes from inside out and went to the left of the valve stem hole. Then next hole went to in 4th and landed next to first 9 spokes. 3rd round of spokes went from inside to out side and became the cross, cross, under spoket

Thanks for any help.

Maybe I’ll try the sheldon brown site but they way the describe it I i think the spoke would be on wrong side of rip, I wonder if that is correct by going to the 2nd hole like is mentioned in a couple of places.

A picture might help?

It sounds to me like you have them laced to the wrong holes in the rim. If you lace one side correctly, and then start the other side with the wrong spoke it puts a twist in the hub which will effectively make some of the spokes more radial than they should be, and other spokes more tangential than they should be. The twist

To check it you can pick a spoke from one flange and eyeball where it would hit the opposite flange. The crossed pair on the other side should have a spoke exactly to the right or left of this spoke depending on whether you have a right or left handed rim. The crossing spoke for that one should be to the right or left of the corresponding spoke from the flange with your key spoke.

I hope this makes a little sense. It would be much easier to talk you through it.

Yes that makes sense. I aimed for one hole to the left. I dropped a spoke though and then started one whole to the left. But now that I think about it that might have put me under a spoke on the near side. I should have pulled the spoke and used THAT hole. I can’t recall which way I did it. But sounds like I got it goofed up.

No harm no foul, but this want time I want to try the SB site now that few things are clearer to me.

I’m really glad I did a dry run. Learned a lot doing it the first time.

here are a couple of pictures



Yup, I did that once

You are off by one spoke hole on the hub. To fix that I would just leave the spokes in the hub and re-lace one side (on a bike it would be the left side but it doesen’t matter with a unicycle) using your current trailing spokes as your leading spokes and vice versa.

'bout the only thing it can be but glad to have an agreeing consensus on it.

This was a dry run through build and I did not lube nipple or rim, so it needs to come down anyway. I want to build it once following Rogers E-book and onece following Sheldon Browns. I’ll learn by doing it both ways and hopefully I’ll see how they both come together in the end.

My wheel building version of measure twice cut once.

I already learned a lot like not putting the nipples on more than a couple turns and while the wheel is still loose not to do a 4x by accident.

All in all its as fun as I thought it would be.

Using SB’s page I’m getting all confused about the first spoke on the 2nd side. The way this wheel is setup I had to skip a hole to the right of the valve hole to ‘reach’ a hole on the correct side of the rim. The SB instructions have you turn the wheel over and all the left & right is getting me all confused and not sure if the spoke should go to the left of the right of the key spoke. I did get the part about not crossing the valve stem. Maybe I’m just over thinking it.

Ok, deep cleansing breath and read it one more time . . .

Well that didn’t come out right.

Im going back to Roger .M’s E-Book.

It accounts of the key spoke being to the left of the spoke hole, what he calls a type-1 rim. I think I know where I went wrong with first hole on the 2nd side on my first trial build. And he tells how to get the label lined up with the valve hole so I can feel like a real man.

Now it’s right

Should go nice an easy tomorrow.

You guys are the best. Much thanks for helping me over the learning curve.

I found this book to be much easier to follow than the SB site:

Only thing about the Wheelpro book is you have to make the adjustment for a 36 wheel instead of the 32 used as an example in the E-book. But that was easy enough to do with one read of the the SB site.

All built but I only have the spokes tightened to where the threads just disappear in the nipples and the rim already has a big ‘wave’ in it. It has at least a 1/2" excursion, may 3/4". It’s almost like the wheel it tilted.

At this point the nipples are not yet bedded to the eyelets on the inside of the rim.

Don’t worry about it and just keep taking it down evenly? Or loosen it up and start over? I was a little loosey goosey with Jtrops pattern. But I did skip spokes and sides as I tightened and I went in increments.

I took up the slack like this:

Nipple on spoke with 3 twists of fingers (lacing)
Tighten to 1/8" of thread showing
Tighten to threads just disappearing in nipple.

That’s where I am now and calling it a day.

Nice work on the wheel build.

If your nipples aren’t seated against the eyelets don’t worry about the wobble. At this stage the wobble is really just a loose wheel that’s flopping around. I don’t usually start with the 3x3 tensioning until I have all of the nipples seated evenly around the rim.

A good start is to bring the nipple down to where the thread begins. The next go around I usually give it a full turn, or maybe two depending on how far the nipples are from seating against the rim.

Once all of the nipples are seated against the rim I start with the 3x3 tensioning, and as you bring it up to tension it should stay relatively straight.

I bring up the tension to just under full tension then dish and true it. Once the dishing and truing are good, then I bring it up to final tension. It may need a little fine truing after the final tensioning, but shouldn’t need much.

Always lube the nipples, you don’t want the threads to be dry.

I lubed the eyelets with a good grease (left over from my motorcycle days) and did the spoke threads with Phil Woods Tenacious Oil and I wasn’t stingy with either.

Thanks Jtrops. Going to start bringing it down now. Should be done in a couple of hours.

I’m going to back the spokes out to just one thread showing. Then start counting turns.

Important tip to other new builders:

When you switch from using a screwdriver to using a spoke wrench, make SURE you are actually using it to tighten the spokes and not loosening them turn by turn.

Ask me how I know . . .

So im going around turn by turn, over and over and thinking to myself, ‘nobody can say you didn’t take this wheel down evenly’. After way too many times around I thought to myself, there is still a lot of play in this wheel. So i went up to two turns of the spoke wrench. 4 times around still don’t seem to be tightening up much, so I go up to three. Somewhere in the 2nd round of 3 I happen to notice about 3/8" or thread showing . . . wait for it . . .DOH!!!

I had even marked my spoke wrench red and greet with red for tighten and green for loosening. I know when i started with the spoke wrench I double checked I was tightening. So not sure where I got switched up.

Good thing I don’t make my living building wheels.

Kerist just last week I finished truing 3 sets of wheels . . . you would think by now I would know which was tight.

Think how proud of myself I’ll be when my finger tips are bleeding from turning a spoke wrench.

Speaking of which Im going to get a different one. I’m using the three sided metal one from Park and it really is tearing up my fingers.

Good thing I have patience and like this kind of tedious work.

On your 1st picture I see clearly you put them in the wrong direction, like saskatchewanian said.
Take a look if your valve is reachable the way you laced it now.
Take the one next to valve-hole off and place every single spoke into the next hole, untill you reached the valve again.
But before you start; keep in mind you want the valve such that it is easy to reach (in other words: not between spokes that cross. -well, I think you understand what I’m trieng to say, right?-).

Wheel built and I checked all the crosses both leaders and trailers. All spokes to correct side of rim and no crossing spokes over the valve stem hole.

I know eaxctly where I went wrong. When setting up the 1st spoke 2nd side I dropped a spoke through as a guide but I had brain fade and forgot the holes are off-set so I let this ‘guide’ spoke go through a hole on the other side of the hub and that threw that side off by one spoke hole. Since it was only one hole it was not enough (for me) to notice that the left and right were not lined up the way they should be.

If I’d looked at it more carefully I would have seen that the ‘guide’ spoke was not parallel to the hub and perhaps realized my error. The instructions I was working from was plenty clear but I was doing this step from memory.

I’m impressed with your patience and perseverance. It’s nice when it all comes together.


Thanks for the compliment (I think)

Lets see:

Unemployed = plenty of time
3 working unicycles = plenty to ride
‘broke’ knees = taking time off riding to let them heal
Slightly OCD = no such thing as ‘good enough’ or ‘close enough’
Weird = I like this kind of fiddly work.

No sense worrying or hurrying. As long as it comes out right the last time I do it.

Where I got goofed up on the tightening was when I true I always work the bottom of the wheel. So righty is always tighty. Since I wasn’t using a stand I was working at more like 9 -10 o’clock on the wheel and somewhere I got goofed up. No harm, no foul. This time I will either work the bottom of the wheel or check my markers on the spoke wrench more often (like on ever spoke)