Lace Spoke Wheels

Building your own wheels gives you complete control over the entire manufacturing process.

Lacing your own spoke wheels is something every aspiring bicycle mechanic should learn. Building your own spoke wheels gives you complete control over the parts of the wheel that are used, such as hub, rim and type of spoke, meaning what you build is purely yours. Lace a set of one-of-a-kind bicycle wheels, and go riding on the product of your own hard work and effort.

Instructions

1. Insert a spoke into every other hole on the right side of the hub from the outside. You should be able to see the butt of the spoke from the outside of the hub flange, and should have an empty hole between each one.

2. Insert the end of one of the attached spokes through a right-side spoke hole on the rim. Attach a spoke nipple to the end of the spoke by twisting it on clockwise. This will hold the spoke in place. Skip three holes on the rim and attach the next spoke to the rim in the same fashion. Continue until each spoke is attached to the rim and there are three empty holes in the rim between each one.

3. Insert a spoke into every other spoke hole in the left side of the hub from the outside. You should be able to see the butt of the spoke from the outside of the flange and should have an empty spoke hole between each one.

4. Insert one of the left side spokes into the spoke hole in the rim next to the right side spoke attached across from it. Use a spoke nipple to secure it in place. Repeat this procedure until each of the left side spokes is attached to the rim next to a right side spoke, and there are two empty holes in the rim between every two spokes.

5. Insert a spoke into each empty spoke hole in the right side of the hub from the inside. You should be able to see the bend of the spoke on the outside of the hub flange. Attach each of these spokes to an empty right-side spoke hole on the rim using a spoke nipple. You shouldn’t have any empty holes left in the right hub flange, and should have one empty hole in the rim between every three spokes.

6. Insert a spoke into each empty spoke hole in the left side of the hub from the inside. You should be able to see the bend of the spoke on the outside of the hub flange. Attach each of these spokes to an empty left-side spoke hole on the rim using a spoke nipple. You shouldn’t have any empty holes left in the right hub flange or the rim when you are done, and your wheel should be starting to look like a wheel.

7. Choose a spoke and mark it with a permanent marker. Using a spoke wrench, tighten the spoke nipple of this spoke one full turn. Tighten the spoke next to that one the same amount. Continue in this fashion until each of the spokes has been tightened the same amount. Squeeze the spokes to check their tension. If they are still loose, repeat this step again. You may need to do this many times before the spokes begin to tighten significantly.

8. Set the wheel in a truing stand and give it a spin. Watch the rim’s placement in regards to the calipers on the truing stand as it spins. If at any point during its spin the rim is closer to one side of the caliper than the other, tighten a spoke from the opposite side hub flange until the rim is centered. As an example, if the rim is closer to the right side of the caliper, tighten a spoke that runs to the left side of the hub to straighten the rim.

9. Spin the wheel again to find the next out-of-true spot. Tighten the necessary spoke to bring the rim in line. Continue this procedure until there is no visible “wobble” in the rim as it spins.