Holiday update

Happy holidays from Islandix.

A big thank you to everyone who pre-ordered Wheel Analytics tools. The next production batch has completely sold out. Parts to manufacture and fulfill these orders are now on hand or underway, which is great since we live in times of challenging supply chains. More Wheel Analytics tools will be available for shipping by April 2021.

A bit less black

Here’s few shots of a wheelset built earlier this month. This theme of black hubs, black rims, silver spokes and silver nipples is becoming more common. Looks pretty good from here.

Truing stand beta

I’ve been developing my truing stand for quite a while now. The software has been stable for more than a year but recent changes make it sing. After a few hardware revisions, that part is solid too. For a peek at both check out the video below.

(For communication purposes the “wheels” in the screencast part of the video are simulated. I have a simulation driver for testing the user interface, which lets me try wheels far worse than I encounter in the workshop. No wheels were harmed in the design of this system.)

Checking rims

I have a prebuild ritual that involves quite a lot of inspection. It’s a simple process — I look over everything deliberately and see if anything stands out. I’ll pay attention to the rim stickers and hub branding so their orientations can be chosen deliberately.

On alloy rims I like to visit every spoke hole with a chamfer tool or a handheld drill bit. This puts a subtle profile in the hole where the head of the nipple rests. Sometimes there can be a coil of drilling chaff attached to a spoke hole — a chamfering pass breaks them off and smooths any burrs. When I visit the joint I look at the internal sleeve, if any. Does it interfere with nipple fit?

Measuring is inspection

Measuring your own ERD can indicate a lot. Use the measuring step to dry fit washers if using them. Do the washers sit nicely in the rim? Measuring will tell you if your rim is round or oval. All else being equal the rounder the rim, the better the result in terms of alignment and tension balance. If your rim is oval, expect to spend a little longer at the bench to reach perfection. Have you ever found a job difficult and doubted your skills? It could be the rim.