Wheel Lacing - Newb

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pardee, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Pardee

    Pardee n00b

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    So, I thought I could dive into lacing my own wheels with the help of the internet and threads.

    Apparently, I should have read up before tearing into the wheels.
    I had not made any marks, measurements, or taken any pictures before disassembling.
    I know, tough luck, suck it up and get it done.

    Working with a 36 spoke rear wheel from a TX750, I'm pretty sure it's similar or the same as the XS650 rear wheel.

    I've watched hours of the same videos, and read endless hours on this.

    When lacing the inners, I can get one side of the hub done, then having an issue with the other side falling short of the holes.
    I've compared and double-checked several times, but not getting anywhere.

    Any suggestions? I know I have not given much detail.
    Any tricks to this?

    I have attemped at least 6-8 times, and have not moved into lacing the outer spokes yet.

    I am working off of this guide:
    http://www.xs650chopper.com/2009/12/how-to-lace-a-wheel-from-scratch/

    Any help or words of wisdom would be helpful.

    I'm one to do it, until I learn it.

    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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  3. freetors

    freetors Been here awhile

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    This site is dedicated to bicyclists, but if you can't build a wheel from the TONS of info on this page, than you probably shouldn't :rofl

    http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

    The only tip I would say that isn't said in that link is to lace all of the spokes onto the hub first and then feed the spokes into the rim. Motorcycle spokes are not flexible enough to lace one at a time like they suggest.
    #3
  4. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Welcome. What meaurements do you need?
    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    Subscribed, I've never laced wheels before and just yesterday ordered a 19" Excel hoop and spokes to lace to my XR-R stock hub. I too thought ill just watch a couple Utube videos and git er dun.
    #5
  6. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    When lacing a wheel, usually lay the hub on the bench, put the rim around it and start lacing.

    IMHO: Get several shim boards that hold the rim up level with the center hub. Makes it a lot easier.
    #6
  7. Garbln

    Garbln Been here awhile

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    Is the rim offset to one side of the hub?
    #7
  8. Pardee

    Pardee n00b

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    Any detailed pictures of the rear wheel would help.
    If you need to email them, please let me know, and Ill pass you my email address.

    I thought by the motorcycle threads I had found on this site, that it was for motorcycles.

    Thanks for any help.
    #8
  9. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    I just e-mailed my buddy where it's stored, asked him for the images. Stay tuned. :freaky
    #9
  10. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ENJOY!
    #10
  11. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Just in case you're missing the obvious, you realize there are two different spoke lengths, right?

    - Mark
    #11
  12. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Lots of good info on this thread but it is not well organized. Let's see if a bunch of us can clean it up.

    1- you have a pic of the wheel that you want to duplicate. That's helpful.
    2- you need to know if the rim is off-set from the hub.
    a- which way
    b- by how much
    c- the short spokes if any go on the flange to the off-set side
    3- assuming that you have the right spokes, the ones with the most hook pass on the outside of the hub flange.

    4- place the hub on its side on your work surface. I like to use the dinning room table for good light amd plenty of room to lay stuff out. And it is suitable for sitting or standing.
    a- mark the sides of the hub, left & right so that you know which side gets the off-set if any
    b- look at the hub flanges very closely for spoke scratches. It might help you to decide which way the spokes run.

    5- look at the rim and mark the valve hole with some nice blue painter's tape like in the pix/video above.
    a- do the same for any rim/bead locks if needed
    6- carefully examine the nipple holes to see if some are more off-set to one side. If so, your rim is drilled for a left-right orientation. If you can't tell on side from the other, it probably won't make any difference. Of it does seem to make a difference later in the project, don't spaz out. Just un-lace the wheel and turn it around. Happens to all of us and is part of the learning curve and fun.

    7- Use some magazines, blocks of wood, whatever, and space the rim up off the table as high as your best guess/measurements need to be.

    8- Look very carefully at your pix and decide:
    a- inner spokes all run the same way from both side of the hub or one side runs one way and the other side runs the opposit way.
    b- do the same for the outer spokes on the hub

    9- Look at the pix where the spokes come to each side of the valve stem. Usually:
    a- the spoke on each side of the valve comes from the outer side of the hub flange. One spoke from each side of the hub.
    b- the next nipple hole to each spoke gets a spoke from the inside of the hub flange
    Thus, spokes will not cross over the valve and make it hard to inflate the tire. And you have set a pattern.

    10- Lace the inside spokes for one flange, usually the side closest to the table. Every fourth nipple hole should get a spoke starting with the second hole over from the valve. Thus, nine spokes will get used up and they will all point the same way. If there is an off-set, I like to do the short spokes first. Put nipples on the spokes so that you do not lose your work.
    DO NOT TURN ANY NIPPLES ONTO THE SPOKES MORE THAN 3-4 TURNS. You need everything very loose to begin with. But not so loose that it inadvertantly comes apart on you. Oil the threads and wipe with the barest bit of oil the nipple flange where it will meet the rim. You don't need a drippy mess but you will want the nipple ti turn w/o sticking.

    11- Lace the inside spokes for the other flange. Start from the second nipple hole on the other side of the valve. Every 4th hole. Spokes running opposite to the first set

    12- Lace all the outside spokes for one flange starting at the nipple hole closest to the valve. Usually, the upper flange closest to your face.

    13- You can flip the wheel over and lace the outside flange starting from the valve.

    14- If everything has gone well, your wheel is now laced correctly. The spokes enter the rim's nipple holes at what looks to be the correct angle. The valve and any rim locks have spoke clearence. It all looks good and only needs to be TRUE'D and tightened. Step back and yell, "Ta Dah!"

    True-ing
    1- Re-set your newly laced wheel on the table and space up the rim to your desired off-set.
    2- Do your best to measure the off the rim to center your hub. A little extra care here pays big dividens later.

    3- WITH YOUR FINGERS, run the nipples up on one set of inner spokes on one flange till they barely contact the rim. You can take a nipple off a spoke and count the number of turns to contact if you want. Do a spoke at each quarter and figure the same number of turns just to make things fairly even all the way around.

    4- again with the FINGERS, do the same for the inner spokes on the other hub flange. your wheel should be fairly stable at this point.

    5- FINGER tighten the outside spokes for one flange. then do the other flange's spokes. Pick the wheel up and shake it. It shouldn't move much as almost all of the clearence will be gone but nothing will be torqued up.

    6- Mount the wheel in the bike and see how well the wheel aligns in the frame. If you have some significant off-set spec, this will let you know that it is on the correct side and that you are still good to proceed. Remove the wheel from the bike, and put it in whatever you intend to use for a truing stand. If you are going to true it in the bike, leave it in the bike.

    There are a lot of good vids on wheel truing. Pick one that seems to speak to you and go with that. I prefer to true any "hop" out of the wheel first. Once the hop is gone, side-to-side truing goes pretty e-z for me. Once the wheel is damn near perfectly true, then I start torquing spokes incrementally (gently all over) checking that I am not pulling the wheel out of true till I am satisfied that every thing is tight. Grind an old screwdriver to fit the nipples well and grind off exposed spoke ends only after everything is proved good and the tire/tube is to be mounted. Rim strap or duct tape is your choice. Buy a spoke wrench if you like for the last bit?

    I defer to any posters who do this for a living, have better info, and can clear up my misunderstandings of the process. It is not that hard. But it is time consuming and can be very frustrating when it goes sideways for no apparent reason. A good job will hold its truing pretty well and not break spokes.

    Because my steps are numbered, others can insert their steps as they like to cover my omissions and correct my errors. Let us know how this works out. Worst case: you have to take it to a pro. But why do that before you take a shot for yourself?
    #12
  13. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    Good thread... be sure to read the MCNews link in total, all 11 pages.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=669131

    Read what Woody has to say on page 2. Look at pic in post 2 also.

    I have built many bicycle wheels using stainless spokes and brass nipples.
    Stainless spokes and nipples in combo need special lube or they will gall and bined-up.

    When the wheel starts to stand(spokes getting tight) I will set the heads in the hub with a soft punch.
    May not be a big deal on a m/c hub however.

    My first bicycle wheel took me 3 quite evening hours to build and it came out perfecto, less than .005" run-out.

    The danger area is over-tightening spokes.
    Good spokes will not break but cause aluminum rims to crack at the nipple hole.
    Steel rims will just distort at the hole.
    #13
  14. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Good stuff, Oldpete. I am a long time subscriber to MCN and didn't remember that article. Read the linx just to refresh myself.

    ALL: Here's a few thoughts regarding the MCN article which was pretty accurate. But I had done the work successfully prior to reading that article. So I know what the intent of the writing was aimed at.

    I found the 'lacing' part of the job to be the most fun. It is fast and big strides in work are obvious. The 'truing' part is always the worst for me as the graduations are small and seem to be as fun as watching paint dry. To each, his own.

    As noted in my list, I think that the inner spokes need to be laced first. Spoke patterns are often described as "cross-#", like cross-2, cross-3, and cross-4. A given spoke can be described as crossing a number of other spokes before it gets to its nipple. MC wheels often have a cross-4 when the hub flanges are equal in size. A conical hub may have a cross-2 on one flange and a cross-3 on the other flange? Now, this is the important part for me. The cross patterns often make lacing the inner spokes really difficult when the outer spokes are in the way. Thus, my advice to lace the inner spokes first unless the mechanic has specific info/experience that differs. If the wheel can be laced either way, then it won't make any difference to a first timer.

    I failed to note that a good fitting spoke wrench is an absolute essential for the last bit of tightening. That said. Grinding a large cheap screwdriver tip to exactly match the nipple size for the job and cutting a little notch for any protruding spoke threads is really handy and speedy for truing up 90% of the wheel before the nipples get hard to turn without roughing them up with the blade bit.

    Sometimes having bits of painters blue/masking tape or post-it notes to stick to the wheel to mark opposing arcs of spokes for truing can be a godsend for keeping one's mind focused and nearly sane thru the progressions of truing. Those dry-board erasable markers can be helpful too. Such stuff allows you to walk-away from the work without losing one's place, too. Wooden spring-loaded clothes pins/pegs can make good rim markers/place holders.

    Like being able to fix flats, bikers should have a go at lacing&truing spokes for that special momentary 'master of the universe' feeling that comes with a bit of hard won success.
    #14
  15. sama3033

    sama3033 Been here awhile

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    #15
  16. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    I'm going to tackle the front wheel of my XR-R this weekend, going from a 21 to a 19. So, my brain must not work in 3D, I looked at the hub all night and I kinda see the pattern, and I've taken pictures and tried to draw it out but I've got this horrible feeling I'll never get it all back together LOL, let alone true and straight.
    #16
  17. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    Crap, my Rad spokes are 4.1 mm and the Honda spokes were 3.4 mm. Nobody said anything about drilling the stinkin hub out. 36 times, sheez..... OK here goes.
    #17
  18. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Nice find. Not exactly the 'last word' but probably good enough to get a first timer thru the ordeal. For the first-timers when you start, the inner spokes go to the second nipple away from valve stem hole, one to each side.. The outer spokes go to the nipples right next to the valve stem, one to each side. The video isn't real clear on exactly where to get started. It is possible to start lacing and not catch a mistake in pattern until much later. If a pattern is discovered to be mis-laced, chalk it up to the fun of it all when you re-lace.

    If the nipple holes need to be drilled larger, de-burr them with a round file or moto-tool of your choice. It makes the truing part go smoother if the nipple isn't friction sticky. Remember that the nipple holes are drilled at an angle. Try to maintain that angle as best as you can. Chrome rims might best be drilled from the spoke side so as not to chip/peal any cheap chrome?
    #18
  19. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    OK, so I set aside Saturday afternoon to do this deal here.

    definately past the point of no return.
    [​IMG]
    *
    drilled the OEM hub for the new spokes and have all the inners in, had to bend 1 spoke on each side to get the last one in.
    [​IMG]
    *
    and now how is this gonna work, have I already fooked this up or are these the wrong spokes? I bought a 19" Excel with the spokes from RAD to mate to my Honda hub. Are these spokes for a 17, or am I totally out in left field?
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    hmm, that does not look promising....but for a rough check of what length you need maybe try an online bicycle spoke length calculator, should be pretty close if you measure the parts carefully....there are quite a few out there, one is at http://www.prowheelbuilder.com/spokelengthcalculator/
    bicycle wheel building pages in general would probably be quite helpful with MC wheel building
    #20