Handbuilt wheels... the big thread

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  • Why do my hand-builts keep failing?
    I'm talking about road wheels in the £300-£400 price range & I'm a 67 kg roadie.
    Over the years I've used a mix of DIY wheels & those built up by "renowned" wheel builders. My last 2 hand-builts were 28/28 Open Pros on Hope hubs & 20/24 H Plus Son Archetype on Bitex hubs built by two different pros. Both wheelsets lost NDS spoke tension in one spoke during the first ride, were sent back to be re-trued & then 1000 miles later broke a NDS spoke. Lack of faith & the cost of returning the wheels meant I did the rebuild myself using Sapim Race, Pro-lock nips & Loctite 290. I used 120 kg tension on the DS, all tensions were within 5% & the wheels were stressed properly (no tinkling on the first ride). These were more successful in that it was about 2000 miles before the first NDS spoke breakage. Replaced the spoke & then about 1000 miles later the breakage pattern repeats.
    I'd love to stick with hand-builts & would gladly pay to have them built properly but past history means I'm not so sure.
    Any ideas as to why I'm getting the failures? Any tips or recommendations?
    Many thanks.
    -- "I am but a spoke in the wheel of life" -- Ghandi
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    edited October 2018
    Your wheels fail because they are not stiff enough. 28 spoke old open pros are definitely in that catagory as are 20/24 archetypes.

    Those are wheels I would not do for anyone. I tried the 24 spoke archetype rear and learned very quickly is was a bad idea.

    Wheels have to stiff enough to stop spokes slackening off when riding.

    There is no way to rebuild those wheels with the same rims and make them reliable. The fact a spoke loosened off is the sign they are not stiff enough if built right.

    Reuse the hubs. Use the kinlin xr 31t for the bitex hubs and the xr22t for the hope hubs. Use Sapim race or force again for a nice reliable set if they are built right.

    Building reliable wheels is more than building to good and even tension. The wheel has to be stiff enough to minimise the tension changes in the spokes. That's why when someone asks me to build a particular spec I often say no as what I have been asked to build has a reasonable chance of providing disappointment.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Thanks for putting me straight. It's interesting that the so called "pro" builders built wheels that were so unsuitable. The 20/24's were originally built with D Lights & the 28/28's with CX rays so no wonder there were issues.
    So that I have a matching front & rear, would it be OK to use a 28 hole Archetype or would you steer clear altogether?
    Thanks again.
    -- "I am but a spoke in the wheel of life" -- Ghandi
  • Thanks for putting me straight. It's interesting that the so called "pro" builders built wheels that were so unsuitable. The 20/24's were originally built with D Lights & the 28/28's with CX rays so no wonder there were issues.
    So that I have a matching front & rear, would it be OK to use a 28 hole Archetype or would you steer clear altogether?
    Thanks again.

    when I used to build, 90% of the customers were obsessed about having light wheels. I put off many by basically saying that going under 1500 grams (and in many cases a lot more) was not a feasible option... not something I was interested to do. There might be the odd combination that works, but ultimately it's not worth it... it's never worth it.

    It seems to me 24 d-lights are not very many and 28 CX-Ray on an old Open PRO are very few as well.
    I weigh more or less like you, I have d-lights at the rear... but I have 32 of them... :wink:
    To this day, I still wonder the point in scrimping on spokes that weigh 6 grams each... from the builders perspective it becomes a beauty contest... "look at me, I am so clever that I can get away with 4 fewer spokes than you can..." when you are out in the middle of Wales and it rains and you have a broken spoke, you might regret your choice
  • oviovi Posts: 396
    BoBones don't get to excited about the price I am selling the open pro at. I am clearing stock. Once they are gone that's it no more. Wiggle etc Al have destroyed the price so there is no profit only a loss in selling them. I.e it is the most useless rim a retailer can buy. I am tempted to bin the lot of them. That's how offended I am selling at a loss. Mavic are not happy about it either. This is the problem with predatory pricing. It may seem like a deal but it isn't. It undermines businesses and that is not good for the industry long term. The problem is for me I am faced with binning the stock or selling at a loss. It's a Hobson's choice and not a happy one.

    So it not a deal you got at all.

    This kind of business is used in the construction industry and many others. Mavic would of looked at the short term for a quick profit then move on to it's next marketing ploy. If it wasn't the case they would of restricted the amount they sold to one buyer. Might have wanted to set up the machining for another product too.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    Ugo's point is kind of valid. There are sub 1500g wheels that are reliable but the are more prone to damage In holes. Light wheels are for the careful.

    28h archetypes will be fine but the kinlin xr22t is a better rim. The archetypes have a roundness issue again. The resulting wheel ends up round but it requires patience. It is difficult to recommend them given there profile and lack of tubeless compatibility, unless your over 120kg then they come into there own.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,808
    ovi wrote:
    BoBones don't get to excited about the price I am selling the open pro at. I am clearing stock. Once they are gone that's it no more. Wiggle etc Al have destroyed the price so there is no profit only a loss in selling them. I.e it is the most useless rim a retailer can buy. I am tempted to bin the lot of them. That's how offended I am selling at a loss. Mavic are not happy about it either. This is the problem with predatory pricing. It may seem like a deal but it isn't. It undermines businesses and that is not good for the industry long term. The problem is for me I am faced with binning the stock or selling at a loss. It's a Hobson's choice and not a happy one.

    So it not a deal you got at all.

    This kind of business is used in the construction industry and many others. Mavic would have looked at the short term for a quick profit then move on to it's next marketing ploy. If it wasn't the case they would have restricted the amount they sold to one buyer. Might have wanted to set up the machining for another product too.

    Or is it just a case of the price stabilising given the product is no longer new to the market? The OP UST rim at £40 is more or less in line with the previous OP rim is it not?

    FWIW I have spoken to a few people who run these rims and they think they are great.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    Well the wheel I built not interlaced was very stiff and there was no issue with tensions. The tensions of the spokes on the DS was the same. I still cant see why I need to interlace. Structurally there is no reason. The hub should not care if the spokes are interlaced or not.

    Ugo rebuild might have worked because the wheel was orginally under tensioned so side loads caused the spokes to slacken off.

    It is possible interlacing is done because that is the way it has always been done without anyone questioning why. So all sorts of psuedo reason appear to justify why. I just cant think of a structural reason why that is grounded in physics.

    Jobst Brand states that interleaving helps balance tension changes during radial loading. Makes sense I think. In the rear wheel under pedaling force, the trailing spokes are pulled 'straighter' under increased tension, at the same time the leading spokes are pushed further out from their resting position at the same time as their tension is (or would be?) relieved. Something about clearance for the rear deraileur too ie. having the wheel laced so that the trailing spokes pass on the outside of the wheel, pulling towards the centre plane under tension.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Hi,

    I have a quick truing question for you wheel-building gurus. The rear wheel of my nice bike (a Roval CL40, so forgive me, not a handbuilt!) has had a very slight wobble for a little while now; I don't recall any particular incident that might have caused it, I can't feel it as I'm riding along at all and it's not getting any noticeably worse, I just thought it might be a good idea to address it before it gets any worse.

    So this afternoon I took a closer look and it appears as though the rim deviates a tiny bit laterally (towards the drive-side) at opposite positions of the rim (let's say 12- and 6-o' clock) and a tiny bit vertically (i.e. out of "roundness") at 3- and 9-o' clock.

    So logically it sounds like the whole rim has a tiny bit of a pringle-shape going on. As I mentioned above, these are only really minor deviations, so I'm hoping it can be trued out fairly easily, I'm just wondering whether this is a textbook problem and how I might best go about correcting it? Should I just go about correcting the vertical hop first and then the lateral wobble, or is there a better way of doing this? Just for reference, it's a carbon rim, disc-hub with 24 spokes, 16 drive-side, 8 non-drive side.

    Many thanks!
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    Rd clearance is real the other reason is spurious. The Ds bracing angle is so low that difference it makes is so small it makes no difference.

    I checked rd clearance too with campagnolo 12 speed. With the rd set properly I could not create a problem.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    Rd clearance is real the other reason is spurious. The Ds bracing angle is so low that difference it makes is so small it makes no difference.

    I checked rd clearance too with campagnolo 12 speed. With the rd set properly I could not create a problem.

    Strange one then. Can't imagine it being an issue on older bikes with less dish and fewer gears.
  • solboy10 wrote:

    Or is it just a case of the price stabilising given the product is no longer new to the market? The OP UST rim at £40 is more or less in line with the previous OP rim is it not?

    FWIW I have spoken to a few people who run these rims and they think they are great.

    I am one of those happy owners of OP UST rim build wheels (build by Malcolm). 32/32 on Campy record hubs and yes, they are awesome. I'm not sure which rims will be used once the current ones have to be replaced :-/

    /Bjarne
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    open pro ust of course. i maybe clearing stock but they will still be availale.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    I have a quick truing question for you wheel-building gurus. The rear wheel of my nice bike (a Roval CL40, so forgive me, not a handbuilt!) has had a very slight wobble for a little while now; I don't recall any particular incident that might have caused it, I can't feel it as I'm riding along at all and it's not getting any noticeably worse, I just thought it might be a good idea to address it before it gets any worse.

    So this afternoon I took a closer look and it appears as though the rim deviates a tiny bit laterally (towards the drive-side) at opposite positions of the rim (let's say 12- and 6-o' clock) and a tiny bit vertically (i.e. out of "roundness") at 3- and 9-o' clock.

    So logically it sounds like the whole rim has a tiny bit of a pringle-shape going on. As I mentioned above, these are only really minor deviations, so I'm hoping it can be trued out fairly easily, I'm just wondering whether this is a textbook problem and how I might best go about correcting it? Should I just go about correcting the vertical hop first and then the lateral wobble, or is there a better way of doing this? Just for reference, it's a carbon rim, disc-hub with 24 spokes, 16 drive-side, 8 non-drive side.

    Hi,

    I was just wondering if anyone could shed any light on my earlier query (above)? Could this be an easy fix?

    Thanks! Adam
  • You can't correct the vertical hop... the lateral should be fixable if it's worth fixing it
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    Measure. There are tiny deviations in all wheels.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,903
    As it's a disc wheel you needn't worry about it being not 100% radially true - not that you could do much about it anyway. Rim braked wheels are slightly different in that you don't want the brake pads rubbing on the tyre sidewalls at the shortest radiused point so need accept the pads being set slightly low.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • Question for the wheel builders please. What's happening to my 32h Archetypes? The rim seems to be being pulled in around the spokes. Are they safe to ride or is it time to bin and rebuild?

    lWG2dk.jpg

    jnik0j.jpg
  • brake pad marks... what's the issue?
  • Thanks Ugo, the reason I'm checking is that I have another set of Archetypes built by Malcolm which are completely uniform wear wise albeit they have slightly lower mileage. So you think nothing to worry about?
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    nothing to worry about. its you brake pads setup that has done that. unless you wheel has the shape of Triacontadigon. I doubt that though.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Thanks Malcolm / Ugo. Will be in touch Malcolm when they finally do pack up.
  • -BJL--BJL- Posts: 3
    Thanks Ugo, the reason I'm checking is that I have another set of Archetypes built by Malcolm which are completely uniform wear wise albeit they have slightly lower mileage. So you think nothing to worry about?

    Going against the grain here but I'd be keeping a close eye on that wheel. I can't how brake pads could be setup to produce such a pattern. Only an uneven surface could do that and given it happens at the spokes, I think you're right to be concerned.

    I only say this as I had a Velocity Synergy rim that did the exact same thing. I wondered about it for a few months until It ended up developing cracks at all drive side spokes along the bottom edge of the brake track. Mind you, my rim was from 2012-13 and apparently Velocity had some issues around this time with plenty of cracked rims being reported.

    I hope yours doesn't end up the same way.

    Cheers.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,903
    I'm assuming that the photo shows small areas where the anodising hasn't yet been fully worn away by the brake pads? If so it does seem slightly strange that the rim at each nipple is being pulled inwards slightly. Is this a front or rear wheel and how high are the tensions??
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,478
    svetty wrote:
    I'm assuming that the photo shows small areas where the anodising hasn't yet been fully worn away by the brake pads? If so it does seem slightly strange that the rim at each nipple is being pulled inwards slightly. Is this a front or rear wheel and how high are the tensions??
    Well, it's sort of understandable that you would get a slight stretching of the rim where the spoke force is being applied - this would have the effect of making the rim very slightly narrower in those sections (and slightly taller).

    On a rim with a brake track you wouldn't be able to see the difference, because it would all be shiny.

    We're probably only talking a fraction of a mm in difference - wouldn't be noticeable without the black coating.

    Assuming the brake track isn't worn out it's perfectly safe (and sooner or later the pattern will disappear).
  • Thing is the wheels have done probably 4-5k. They have had all the original aluminium nipples replaced with brass about 1k ago as the alu nipples were breaking. It's happening front and back and thinking about it only since the rebuild.

    As stated I have a set from Malcolm with similar or just slightly lower mileage that are completely uniform wear wise.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,874
    The comments above dont make much sense. measure to be sure but I suspect theres nothing wrong.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,903
    timothyw wrote:
    Well, it's sort of understandable that you would get a slight stretching of the rim where the spoke force is being applied - this would have the effect of making the rim very slightly narrower in those sections (and slightly taller).
    Rims shouldn't stretch in the manner you describe. If the tensions were high enough to do this either the spokes would stretch first or the nipples would generate cracking at the holes - or the hub flange would break.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,478
    svetty wrote:
    timothyw wrote:
    Well, it's sort of understandable that you would get a slight stretching of the rim where the spoke force is being applied - this would have the effect of making the rim very slightly narrower in those sections (and slightly taller).
    Rims shouldn't stretch in the manner you describe. If the tensions were high enough to do this either the spokes would stretch first or the nipples would generate cracking at the holes - or the hub flange would break.
    I'm only talking about a fraction of a mm difference - how thick do you think the black coating is there?

    We know that just the force of an inflated tyre slightly shrinks the rim - because you get a measurable difference in spoke tension on a wheel with a tyre on it vs off (particularly tubeless as Malcolm has mentioned previously).

    So it seems logical that a very slight amount of deformation may also occur in the rim profile from the force where the spokes are attached.

    Certainly I don't think we can explain it by virtue of the spoke pulling the rim sideways, as the marks appear pretty much identical whether the spoke is going towards the photographer or away from them.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,478
    The comments above dont make much sense. measure to be sure but I suspect theres nothing wrong.
    To be clear, I don't think anything is wrong either - I think with another couple of rides brake wear the pattern will disappear as the last of the black coating is worn off.

    Certainly I don't think they're unsafe.
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