Wheel Build

Building you own wheels is not as complicated as you think. This page has two videos that step you through the process. The first video covers the lacing of the spokes and details each step necessary for the initial build of the wheel. The second video discusses how to perform the final tightening and truing of the wheel.

Choosing the correct components (rim, hub, spokes and nipples) can be guided by your local bicycle shop. They can guide you to components that can carry the heavier load. Additionally, they can assist you in calculating the correct length spokes for your rim/ hub combination. These videos show a cross three spoke patttern with 36 spokes which is typical for most loaded bicycles. If by chance you intend on carrying a really heavy load (or you are the heavy load) you may want to consider a cross four lacing pattern with 40 or more spokes (typical for tandem wheels carrying excessive loads). However, you will find 40 spoke hole hubs come with a hefty price tag as well ($300 and up).

The wheel components for the project bike can be found on the components page. I used Velocity Aeroheat 26″ rims, Wheelsmith spokes, SP dyno hub for the front and a Deore XT hub for the rear.

One point I want to mention is when you buy these components you’ll need to have your Bike shop calculate the spoke sizes unless you use the same components that I have specified in which I will list the spokes lengths below:

Front Non-drive side (left): 255mm, Front Drive side (right): 256mm

Rear Non-drive side (left): 255mm, Rear Drive side (right): 254mm

In the lacing video I call out threading spokes into the drive and non-drive side. This is where you’ll need to keep track of which length spoke goes through which side of the hub.

Wheel building does take a degree of patience and some specialized tools, but it is incredible rewarding to ride on wheels that you made from components. Take a look at the videos below and see how easy it is to build your own set.

Below is a step by step video to tighten and true a new wheel.

Proceed to Wheel cassette and disc brake rotor install

One comment

  • Chris,

    Great content about wheel building! You’ve definitely inspired me to give it a try. What do you recommend for a touring rig 700c or 26″?

    I would also like to see more simple ‘how to’ videos if you have the time. Maybe like….. correctly adjusting a derailleur or the fitting / shortening of the hydraulic brake lines as necessary.



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