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#1 2010-08-26 01:55:37

CharlesDuffy
Member
Registered: 2009-07-03
Posts: 56

Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder?

My commuter these days is a Bike Friday Tikit -- that's a folding bike with 16" wheels -- fitted with a SRAM iMotion 9 hub.

It's a huge hub in a tiny wheel, and the spoke layout is a bit... let's say peculiar. More to the point, it broke its third spoke yesterday (as I was arriving at work; I went "hmm, that's funny" -- but didn't actually track down what was wrong until I was getting ready to leave at 1am this morning and found the wheel far enough out of true that I ended up releasing the rear brake to get home).

Three broken spokes is the magic number where Bike Friday's warranty support is willing to pay for a full wheel rebuild. The two broken spokes thus far have been replaced (and the wheel retrued) by two different shops... this time, I'm opening up the floor to the wisdom of the Internets. Any of y'all have a suggestion?

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#2 2010-08-26 16:42:53

CharlesDuffy
Member
Registered: 2009-07-03
Posts: 56

Re: Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder?

Followup: I'm shipping the wheel back to Bike Friday; they'll be not only rebuilding it, but using a rim which can make use of all 36 spoke holes in the hub.

I'd still be interested to hear folks' advice for future purposes.

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#3 2010-08-28 11:33:07

Sam Placette
Member
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 12

Re: Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder?

Mike Librik at Easy Street Recumbents has extensive experience building small wheels. Recumbents, folding bikes, electric hub motors, internally geared hubs, even a string of pedicabs lately. He has a machine to cut custom length spokes, and can true laterally and radially to 0.1 mm. You can reach him at 512-453-0438.

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#4 2010-08-28 19:47:03

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 548

Re: Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder?

Custom length spoke machine?  Wouldn't a dremel tool with a cutting attachment and a die set suffice? :)

(I imagine a machine could do it faster, but would it be significantly better?)

(Not to say that I've ever heard that his work is anything but top-notch.)

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#5 2010-08-30 09:06:06

timdiller
Member
Registered: 2008-09-28
Posts: 14

Re: Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder?

I've bought spokes at several LBS's. Sometimes they have a stock of standard length spokes in a drawer, but I've seen an employee cut the spoke by hand, square the end, and run a die around the end to add the threads. I don't know what the thread spec is, but I'm pretty sure I've done this myself before.
The important tools to have are a spoke tension meter and a truing stand. Then it's a matter of experience and patience.

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#6 2015-07-23 08:43:50

badgnome
Member
Registered: 2012-01-26
Posts: 50

Re: Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder?

Old thread but still relevant topic.  Looking for someone to build a set of 700c 32/36 spoke wheels for commuting. East side is preferential but will go anywhere.

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