New life for an IGH commuter

This was a job to salvage nice hubs and rebuild with fresh rims and spokes. Normally I would lace the rear wheel in a mirror image pattern but I follow the previous builder’s decision for rebuilds. This extends hub life. With renewed rims and spokes, these hubs are ready to roll again.

Wheelbuilding gone digital

I’ve incorporated three digital tools in my process. First, I use a Park Tool truing stand with Mitutoyo digital gauges. The roller tip on the lateral truing gauge is made of teflon to prevent scratches. Second, I use a Park dishing tool with a digital gauge attached so dish is known quantitatively. The next best alternative is using feeler gauges but digital is much faster. Last, and just recently, I’ve been using the Wheel Fanatyk digital tensiometer.

Wheelbuilding bibliography

These are books I own about wheels and wheelbuilding. If you know of others, let me know.

For beginners

Brandt is canon but may be too scientific for introductory purposes. If you’re new to wheelbuilding, I recommend Musson as a first resource — inexpensive, approachable and remarkably complete. I built my first wheels using written guides so I think it’s practical and realistic.

The right amount of tension

Jobst Brandt addresses the topic succinctly:

It has often been suggested that looser spoking will improve the cushioning of a wheel, for instance one used on rough roads. Because the elasticity of spokes arises from the material properties of steel and is not affected by more or less tension, no change in ride quality can be achieved by loose spoking. Spoking with less than optimal tension only forfeits strength and durability. (Brandt 71)

My take is spoke tension should be as high as possible within reason. This is usually determined by rim strength but possibly by other components. A wheel built with high tension where the spokes are in balance and stress relieved is the strongest and most durable wheel. Instead of looking for cushion with lower tension consider whether it makes sense to build to higher tension with lighter spokes. Lighter spokes have greater elasticity, which absorbs road chatter.

Hello world

Is this thing on? Let’s see what happens.