Unbuilt MUni on the way, and still no wheelbuilding capability...

Well, I’ve done it, i bought a Muni on tuesday (a bunch of parts not one brand of uni) and as it’s being shipped, i’m still not sure about the wheelbuilding. I bought it unassembled for the very purpose of saving money, but i’m not sure where to find a certain book that was recommended so that i can build it on my own. The guys at the bike shop haven’t ever let me down (well, sort of), it’s just that i don’t want to have to keep taking it back to get fixed along with getting new spokes. . . Well they did offer to let me use their truing stand but I’m still kind of in the dark. I beleive the book recommended was " The Art of Wheelbuilding: A Bench Reference for Neophytes, Pros & Wheelaholics" but I’m not totally sure (even if it’s not the one that was recommended, it looks like a good book anyway.) I beleive ‘dan’ was going to let me borrow his copy, since he lives close by in Salt lake City, but i haven’t heard from him for a while. Basically, the whole reason for my concern is that i’ve got a profile hub/cranks and Alex dx32 rim on the way and i don’t want them to get messed up by a fairly true wheel that would jsut have to be re-trued if i couldn’t build a wheel myself. Anyhow, any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. (especially before the 19th, when it is supposed to arrive.)


Here’s what I do (for 36 spoke - 3 cross)

  1. Get 9 spokes ready

  2. Drop them through every other hole in the top of the hub(spoke heads will
    be on the outside)

  3. Lace the 1st spoke next to the valve hole (top/bottom etc…) put the
    nipple on so some thread is still showing

  4. Lace the other 8 spokes (every 4th hole in rim)

  5. Turn hub and rim the other way up

  6. Take another 9 spokes

  7. Find the key hole :
    You’re going to drop a spoke them through every other hole again -
    but you have a choice of 2 sets
    Choosing is difficult to describe without a picture …
    Drop one through anyway
    It should match up with a hole in the rim adjacent to one of the
    spokes you’ve already threaded
    Rotate the wheel in the direction that avoids any spokes crossing
    the valve hole
    Now visualise whether you’ve picked the correct flange hole - or
    would the adjacent one be better

  8. Once you’ve picked the hole drop in the other 8 spokes and nipple them to
    every 4th hole again

  9. Rotate the wheel in the direction that avoids any spokes crossing the
    valve hole

  10. Now drop a spoke through a flange hole leaving the spoke head inside the

  11. Point that spoke (the first locking spoke) in the opposite direction to
    the other spokes

  12. Go over, over, and under the next 3 spokes (on that flange) and nipple
    it to the correct hole (top/bottom) in the rim.

  13. Do the next 8 spokes on that side

  14. Turn over and do the last and (most awkward 9 spokes)

  15. The wheel should be loosely laced

  16. hand-tighten the nipples to the same amount on each spoke e.g. down to
    where the thread disappears from view

  17. now you’re HALFWAY there! Its laced

  18. build up tension gradually e.g. 36 full turns 36 3/4 turns 36 1/2 turns

  19. You can use a screwdriver at this stage

  20. When there appears to be a bit of tightness about the spokes put the
    wheel into some unicycle forks - it wont fit a bick wheel trueing stand.

  21. compensate for left/right dishing e.g. 18 (every other) 1/2 turns

  22. add a little more tension on each spoke

  23. now true the wheel to within about a millimetre

Almost finished

Once it’s true I’d add a little more tension then go for ride or two on it
to stretch the spokes and then retention

There are other methods of pretensioning e.g. standing on the spokes
twisting them against each other but I’m not that hot on them yet.

Tips :

Dip the spoke threads in Linseed oil.

When doing tinal tightening wind back the nipple slightly each time. eg. Tighten half turn loosen a quarter turn. This prevents the spokes winding up.

Have fun - Leo

Oops - I wrote most of that sometime ago I had to get better at pre-stressing spokes when building wheels for other people that I couldn’t pre-ride.

Now I pre-stress by hand once - this ensures the spoke heads are flush against the flange.

Add a little tension + check trueness.

Now I put the hub on something to protect the floor and stand on the rim, rotating gradually to pull on ALL the spokes. Turn the wheel over and repeat.

Add a little tension + check trueness (again).

Stand on wheel again.

Add a little tension + check trueness (again).

Have more fun,

Leo White