Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Need To Lace Something Up For Myself

I think this is the last set of wheels I built for myself.
 Well, as I have been on the down-low as far as riding lately, I have been doing some assessments and looking at what needs to be done around my home shop that I call "The Lab", although "Dank Dungeon of Doom and Some Bike Stuff" might be more appropriate for a hundred-plus year old basement. But I've always been one to be a bit goofy about my humble abode and whatnot.

Anywho...... As I was contemplating what I need to do to clear up the wheel madness going on down there, I realized that I don't have any current wheels that I built. Not that I am some maestro of spoke weaving, but I can build a pretty mean wheel when I have a mind to.  So, I do like to have a set or two that I built that I can use for bikes that I use often. 

Let's see...... Now there is one 29"er set around here I built. That's been on the Fargo off and on. But otherwise I have no current wheels I built for any of my gravel bikes. I did have a set that was nice but I was talked into selling them to a then co-worker of mine back at the old shop. I guess those are still being used too, ironically on another Tamland! (See the image here of those wheels on my Tamland)

So, I figured it is high time that I built up some wheels for myself again. I'll be looking at hubs to start out with. Last time I used White Industries hubs, and those were sweet. I don't have to go that way again, but you know, those are high on my list. Of course, the stalwart DT Swiss choices are there, along with the boutique stuff from Chris King, or Onyx, or Industry 9. Big bucks, those hubs, but pretty cool too. 

I also need rims, obviously, and I have had great luck with WTB and Velocity, but in these times it may come down to what I can actually get my hands on. Spokes would be my regular Wheelsmith choice, with an outside chance I might use DT Swiss or Sapim. I've built with all three, but Wheelsmith has been my go-to spoke for years. 

So stay tuned for the slow search to grind away here as I get to looking at hubs first. I have no idea how long this might take as supply may affect choices. But the goal will be to get something built by Spring to ride on and I will document the process here as I go along.


DT said...

I'd love to hear your opinion on the new EXP line of DT Swiss hubs (if they are actually available, that is)

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - I took a look at this model at DT Swiss' site and it looks like they made some smart moves to improve this design. Not that there was anything wrong with the older design, but what they did do makes sense. How it works in the real world is another thing altogether.

Most impressive to me was the integration of the inner ratchet into the hub and that this allowed for a wider bearing stance, which is important for long hub life.

But $433.00 for a rear hub? Ouch! That's getting into boutique hub territory and I could have color options, spoke drilling options higher than 28 hole, etc. (Note- I did find this hub at sub-400 bucks on Amazon and they claimed to have them, so....)

MG said...

I love building wheels and it is definitely a source of pride to ride and race on wheels I've built. I'm actually relacing an old XTR rear hub to a Velocity Dually rim for SS duty on my Singular Rooster prototype. That'll be a nice wheel, even if the nipples are the only 'new' parts in the wheel.

I'll be interested to see what parts you choose.

S.Fuller said...

In the process of building up a set of "new" wheels for an old bike that I have sitting here as well. A fine set of lightly used/NOS Dura-Ace hubs and a pair of TB14 rims. Need to get spokes and nipples in and then I'm set. Will be cool to see what you end up with.

Blain said...

Would like to hear your experience with Onyx hubs, if that sways you at all. I’m not usually one for boutique hubs, but the silence of the onyx hubs intrigues me.

Guitar Ted said...

@Blain - I have only built up a wheel set using Onyx hubs. The mechanism is absolutely bonkers. You cannot feel any play in the clutch mechanism- it connects immediately. The silent coasting is spooky.

But I was severely disappointed in the pair I handled because they were powder coated- not anodized- and the powder coating was allowed to coat the inside of every spoke hole making lacing the wheel a real chore. You'd think for what those hubs cost they could manage a way to clean that up so the wheel could be built without time consuming care not to destroy the spokes when you insert them in the spoke hole.

I would not recommend the powder coated Onyx hubs as a result.

Exhausted_Auk said...

I've had good luck with Novatec hubs for gravel. Light, relatively inexpensive, and available in a wide variety of axle configurations and drillings.