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Old 06-22-15, 08:21 AM
  #1  
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Relatively new to wheelbuilding/truing/fettling

I've decided to learn to true and possibly rebuild a wheel.

I have noticed that some spokes on this wheel go under another and some go over another spoke. Should the pattern be uniform or have the spokes been laced incorrectly from stock?

I'd like to know as could this throw out truing slightly, or even significantly?

32 spoke front wheel - the J bend spokes are uniformly threaded outward - inward - outward - inward on the hub correctly, yet if I go around all the spokes, one by one some cross under and some cross over. What I'm trying to say is should all outward threaded spokes cross over or under and all inward threaded spokes cross over or under or vice versa, or doesn't it matter?

TIA

I'd rather rebuild the wheel correctly if it's not right.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:27 AM
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On each side-
Trailing spokes should all be the same.
Leading.......""

On a 3X, first 2 go over and the last 1 goes under.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:34 AM
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Every conventionally laced wheel is built with a multiple, repeating pattern of 4 spokes. 2 crossing on one flange, and a similar pair on the other one spoke hole away in the rim.

The 4 spoke motif is repeated a number of times depending on the number of holes, ie 8x for a 32h wheel. Everything should be uniform and repeat identically, usually with the spokes woven over/under at the last cross.

If your wheel has most, but not all, spokes woven over/under at the last cross, the non woven ones may have been replacements done by a sloppy mechanic.

In any case a whee is a model of repetition and uniformity, so either switch a few spokes if that'll solve the issue, or relace completely.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
On each side-
Trailing spokes should all be the same.
Leading.......""

On a 3X, first 2 go over and the last 1 goes under.
Cheers, Bill!
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Old 06-22-15, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Every conventionally laced wheel is built with a multiple, repeating pattern of 4 spokes. 2 crossing on one flange, and a similar pair on the other one spoke hole away in the rim.

The 4 spoke motif is repeated a number of times depending on the number of holes, ie 8x for a 32h wheel. Everything should be uniform and repeat identically, usually with the spokes woven over/under at the last cross.

If your wheel has most, but not all, spokes woven over/under at the last cross, the non woven ones may have been replacements done by a sloppy mechanic.

In any case a whee is a model of repetition and uniformity, so either switch a few spokes if that'll solve the issue, or relace completely.
Thanks, FB! I thought that was possibly the case. They're crappy wheels from a half decent old road bike. Thought I'd mess around with this one rather than my good wheels

Thanks for the info
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Old 06-22-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
On each side-
Trailing spokes should all be the same.
While that's the way that I build them, I don't think that statement is necessarily true.

Lots of wheels have been built with the left and right hub flanges the same rather than a mirror image of one another. I suspect that made it easier to insert the spokes into the flanges.
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Old 06-22-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
While that's the way that I build them, I don't think that statement is necessarily true.

Lots of wheels have been built with the left and right hub flanges the same rather than a mirror image of one another. I suspect that made it easier to insert the spokes into the flanges.
EXACTLY, what was wrong with my statement?
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Old 06-22-15, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
EXACTLY, what was wrong with my statement?
Because the wheel was laced as intended.
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Old 06-22-15, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Because the wheel was laced as intended.
That's beyond confusing
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Old 06-22-15, 09:50 AM
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Think about the person who laced the wheel. They did it the way that their boss told them to lace the wheel so they did it right.
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Old 06-22-15, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post

Lots of wheels have been built with the left and right hub flanges the same rather than a mirror image of one another. I suspect that made it easier to insert the spokes into the flanges.
Not quite, that's the same effort either way. The reason for non-mirrored wheels is the process of production buiding, wherein all the spokes are loaded into the hub, which is then mounted into a wheel lacing fixture or machine. The spokes are brought to the rim in crossed and the nipples attached.

There ar two ways to do this - lace the upper flange first, then flip the wheel and lace the other -- or -- lace the lower flange, then the upper. The second saves the time to flip the wheel and is faster by that amount, but it' hard to teach hands to work in the opposite (mirrored) direction, so both flanges are the same. To give you a sense of how important the few seconds to flip the wheel are, a decent worker can lace about 60 wheels per hour, so losing 6 seconds to flip the wheel is a lost 10% of production capacity.
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Old 06-22-15, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by fbinny View Post
a decent worker can lace about 60 wheels per hour,
60 wheels per hour!!!

I assume you're saying insert the spokes that come up from the bottom first, then insert the spokes that go down from the top.
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Old 06-22-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
60 wheels per hour!!!

I assume you're saying insert the spokes that come up from the bottom first, then insert the spokes that go down from the top.
Lacing 60 wheels per hour involves only attaching the spokes to the rim. The hubs are preloaded with spokes by another worker. This too, is a very fast production job, and can be done in under a minute, so a crew of 2 spoke loaders and 3 lacers can crank out something like 180 wheels per hour between them. The laced wheels are then passed to the tensioning/truing dept, where they're brought to final condition in time frames from under a minute (one particular machine tightens all the spokes simultaneously at about 8-10 wheels per minute total time).

When all is said and done, a production department like what Giant would have can turn out wheels in about 3-5 man minutes each depending on the final quality desired. That compares to high quality hand built wheels, which take a skilled builder about 30 minutes or so start to finish when done in small production batches.
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Old 06-22-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
60 wheels per hour!!!

I assume you're saying insert the spokes that come up from the bottom first, then insert the spokes that go down from the top.
Something tells me that even if I had the best tools in the world, I couldn't connect 2,160 nipples to 2,160 spokes in an hour.
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Old 06-22-15, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Something tells me that even if I had the best tools in the world, I couldn't connect 2,160 nipples to 2,160 spokes in an hour.
Then you'd starve to death doing piecework in a wheel production facility. Most wheel building facilities pay either straight piecework, or salary with production quotas and bonuses for beating the quota. Any worker or team not consistently beating the quota and earning bonuses usually doesn't last.
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Old 06-22-15, 10:25 AM
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Curious use of an old germanic-english word that is not used in the US, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fettle


BTW there are Machines that Build wheels those are what will be on a New bike from a Factory (all well known Brands )
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Old 06-22-15, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Then you'd starve to death doing piecework in a wheel production facility. Most wheel building facilities pay either straight piecework, or salary with production quotas and bonuses for beating the quota. Any worker or team not consistently beating the quota and earning bonuses usually doesn't last.
Reach for a spoke, grab it, bring it to the rim hole, insert it through the rim hole, or, insert nipple through the rim hole to meet the spoke, line it up to make sure not to cross thread, screw it on 2-3 rotations, in 1.6 seconds.

My (low) level of manual dexterity would for sure have me on food stamps.
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Old 06-22-15, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Then you'd starve to death doing piecework in a wheel production facility. Most wheel building facilities pay either straight piecework, or salary with production quotas and bonuses for beating the quota. Any worker or team not consistently beating the quota and earning bonuses usually doesn't last.
Just wondering... just how much a decent paced worker would actually make?

John
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Old 06-22-15, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Just wondering... just how much a decent paced worker would actually make?

John
I have no idea, since these are overseas where any prevailing wages are very different than in the USA. OTOH - it can't be that bad, since these jobs tend to stay filled, and the people (almost exclusively women) tend to stay a while. I can't know if that's because of good pay potential or poor alternative options.

Years ago, a friend ran a wheel production business in this area, and had an all women crew. They seemed satisfied because they all had friends and relatives looking for jobs whenever he had an opening. The women would lace wheels for about a 6 hour day, getting home in time to meet their children coming from school, then take hubs and spokes home to preload them at their leisure.

As factory work goes it's not bad, but it's still factory work.
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Old 06-23-15, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Curious use of an old germanic-english word that is not used in the US, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fettle
Use that word quite regularly on the Cyclechat site. It's predominantly UK folk, like me
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Old 06-23-15, 04:55 PM
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Just an addition to my OP.

How do I measure spokes and how does this relate to spoke gauge? For instance: 1.8mm = 14g and 2.0mm =13g or whatever. Secondly, I need to replace some spoke nipples. If I find the spoke gauge how does spoke nipple size relate?
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Old 06-23-15, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by migrantwing View Post
How do I measure spokes and how does this relate to spoke gauge? For instance: 1.8mm = 14g and 2.0mm =13g or whatever. Secondly, I need to replace some spoke nipples. If I find the spoke gauge how does spoke nipple size relate?
My understanding is that you need to match the spoke and nipple gauges, but that doesn't necessarily tell you which spoke wrench to use. So a 14 gauge and 15 gauge nipple may both have the same outer width and use the same wrench. Use the smallest wrench that will fit.

Someone correct me if I've got this wrong though.
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Old 06-24-15, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Chesterton View Post
My understanding is that you need to match the spoke and nipple gauges, but that doesn't necessarily tell you which spoke wrench to use. So a 14 gauge and 15 gauge nipple may both have the same outer width and use the same wrench. Use the smallest wrench that will fit.

Someone correct me if I've got this wrong though.
It's not the spoke wrench size that I require. I managed to find the correct size, the Red Spokey.

My question is for compatibility i.e. if you have a nut and a bolt, you need a certain size nut to fit
that specific size bolt, so, what spoke nipples fit what size spokes and how do I go about a) measuring a spoke to know what size or gauge it is and b) what corresponding nipple will fit that spoke.

I need to replace some spoke nipples but need to know what spokes they are to get replacements.

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Old 06-24-15, 01:19 AM
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Discounting vintage and now rare sizes, and the uncommon heavier spokes, spokes come in only 2 sizes as far as thread is concerned. 14g (0.80", 2mm) and 15g (0.72", 1.8mm). Both are threaded 56tpi. Likewise nipples only come in those two thread sizes. So it's no big deal to identify spokes by the diameter of the wire just beyond the thread, and to identify nipples using a 2mm spoke a a go/nogo gauge.
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Old 06-24-15, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Discounting vintage and now rare sizes, and the uncommon heavier spokes, spokes come in only 2 sizes as far as thread is concerned. 14g (0.80", 2mm) and 15g (0.72", 1.8mm). Both are threaded 56tpi. Likewise nipples only come in those two thread sizes. So it's no big deal to identify spokes by the diameter of the wire just beyond the thread, and to identify nipples using a 2mm spoke a a go/nogo gauge.
Perfect! Just the answer I required. Thanks again, FB.

BTW, you're either up very late or very early. I'm 5 hours ahead of you on GMT.
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