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First wheel build- Which used rim: Mavic or Alex?

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First wheel build- Which used rim: Mavic or Alex?

Old 06-01-21, 05:12 PM
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First wheel build- Which used rim: Mavic or Alex?

I'm thinking about building a wheel around a dyno hub, using one of the rims from a donor 'set' from a friend.

Rim choices are Mavic A319 622x19 or AlexRims - label is faded but inside rim width is 18mm approximately.

i know next to nothing about wheels, but to my eye the Mavic rims look better.
Mavic A319


AlexRims:



I'd appreciate comments and input. Thanks.

I know it wuld be better to buy a new rim but this plan is for just a cheap experiment.
If it doesn't work out I can re-sell the dyno and chalk it up to experience.
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Old 06-01-21, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
I'm thinking about building a wheel around a dyno hub, using one of the rims from a donor 'set' from a friend.

Rim choices are Mavic A319 622x19 or AlexRims - label is faded but inside rim width is 18mm approximately.

i know next to nothing about wheels, but to my eye the Mavic rims look better.
Mavic A319


AlexRims:



I'd appreciate comments and input. Thanks.

I know it wuld be better to buy a new rim but this plan is for just a cheap experiment.
If it doesn't work out I can re-sell the dyno and chalk it up to experience.
It won’t make much difference. I’d probably use the Mavic over the Alex but either would do the job. My concern with the Mavic you’ve shown is that it appears to have holes in it. If they are just scrapes, it will probably be okay. If they holes are actual holes, go with the Alex.
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Old 06-01-21, 05:35 PM
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Take a micrometer and measure the brake track thickness.

I'd probably disassemble both wheels and compare the bare rims for trueness.
The straighter the rim, the easier the build.
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Old 06-01-21, 07:25 PM
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Two good replies! My initial preference is the Mavic rim. If nothing but due to the machined brake track. Andy
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Old 06-01-21, 07:43 PM
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both rims are of good quality, but i think mr. stewart nailed it with the mavic machined sidewall. it really does make a difference
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Old 06-02-21, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I'd probably disassemble both wheels and compare the bare rims for trueness.
The straighter the rim, the easier the build.
If you have access to a glass table top, you can lay the rims down on it to see how true they are.
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Old 06-02-21, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
If you have access to a glass table top, you can lay the rims down on it to see how true they are.
And it has to be a glass table top because???
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Old 06-02-21, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
And it has to be a glass table top because???
Glass table tops are either flat or shattered. Other materials can have imperfections or warpage, although granite/marble/etc. would probably be close enough... or a surface plate if you have one.
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Old 06-02-21, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
If you have access to a glass table top, you can lay the rims down on it to see how true they are.
Yeah, all else being equal, build up the straightest one.
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Old 06-02-21, 02:12 PM
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I've built wheels using both Mavic and Alex rims. My opinion is based on using new rims. The Mavic rims definitely were easier to build. After bringing the spokes up to equal tension, the Mavic rims were needed a lot less truing on the stand than the Alex rims.
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Old 06-02-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
My concern with the Mavic youíve shown is that it appears to have holes in it. If they are just scrapes, it will probably be okay. If they holes are actual holes, go with the Alex.
Thanks.
I hadn't even noticed those marks in the label area. I just checked - one mark was just a wrinkle in the label and the other is a slight scuff in the rim with the label wrinkled up around it.
So I think it will be OK.
I think using the Mavic with the full eyelets might be easier for me as a rookie? No chance of dropping a nipple into the rim?
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Old 06-02-21, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for all the replies.
I've ordered the hub and once I have that here, I'll do some measurements and order spokes and nipples.
I guess I can 'unbuild' the wheel(s) while I'm waiting.

Any recommendatins for a spoke supplier? (I'm in Canada so shipping can be an issue but a spoke supplier local to me is charging twice to three times the US prices I've seen...so I'm wide open to alternatives.)
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Old 06-02-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
I think using the Mavic with the full eyelets might be easier for me as a rookie? No chance of dropping a nipple into the rim?
An old trick is to just thread an old spoke into the nipple head from the head side several turns and use the spoke to feed the nipple into the hole.
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Old 06-02-21, 03:47 PM
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Iíve only built 3 or 4 wheels, but getting ready to do a few more. Itís easier than you might think and can be very rewarding.

My advice is to take your time. Read through Sheldon Brownís online instructions completely before getting started, and then have them ready to consult once youíre underway. If you can have a complete wheel to look at as you go, with the same spoke count and cross pattern as your new build, that helps.

i donít have anything to offer that wasnít already stated regarding your two rim choices.

Modern Bike has a good selection of spokes. Harris Cycles does too, and I like supporting them. Retrogression is my favorite source for fixed gear and single speed parts, and of course spokes donít care how many gears you have, so this shop is another good source.

Though they they cost a little more, butted spokes are recommended, because they make a more durable wheel. If you use deeply butted spokesólike Sapim Laser (2.0 / 1.5 / 2.0)óyou must be careful to not wind them up. I just twist 1/8 or 1/4 of a turn when truing and tensioning, and then back off again half that far each time.

If your first wheel is a front, that will give you an easy introduction, and then you can move to a rear next.
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Old 06-02-21, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
......Though they they cost a little more, butted spokes are recommended, because they make a more durable wheel. If you use deeply butted spokesólike Sapim Laser (2.0 / 1.5 / 2.0)óyou must be careful to not wind them up. I just twist 1/8 or 1/4 of a turn when truing and tensioning, and then back off again half that far each time.

If your first wheel is a front, that will give you an easy introduction, and then you can move to a rear next.
Although I prefer butted spokes, these are USED RIMS.

I would NOT use 1.5mm spoke on the DS. The DS tension is getting mighty close to the point that you can't add more tension. The spoke will just stretch & stretch and.....
Remember, this is a newbie assembling this wheel. A little "cushion" for mistakes is a good idea.
My typical choice is 14/15ga. DS and a thinner spoke on the NDS. 1.6-1.7mm in the "thin" section.

I find a rear wheel MUCH easier. You basically build the DS and just tension the NDS for proper dish.
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Old 06-02-21, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for all the info; I appreciate it.
I've bought Musson's book, and it seems good. Well-written and clear.
https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php

This wheel will be a front with disk brake hub, so some of the same asymmetry as a rear wheel. Looking forward to it!
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Old 06-02-21, 04:49 PM
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For spokes and nipples you might want to take a look at BIKE24 from Germany. They have DT Swiss and Sapim available at reasonable prices.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Although I prefer butted spokes, these are USED RIMS.

I would NOT use 1.5mm spoke on the DS. The DS tension is getting mighty close to the point that you can't add more tension. The spoke will just stretch & stretch and.....
Remember, this is a newbie assembling this wheel. A little "cushion" for mistakes is a good idea.
My typical choice is 14/15ga. DS and a thinner spoke on the NDS. 1.6-1.7mm in the "thin" section.

I find a rear wheel MUCH easier. You basically build the DS and just tension the NDS for proper dish.
All good pointers, for both the OP and me, also a newbie wheelsmith. Iíve used DT 2 / 1.8 / 2 in the past and got wheels that stayed true and strong. My next front will have the Sapim Lasers, but the rear to go with it is getting Sapim Race. Itís a fixed gear, double threaded hub, so dishing is not an issue and the left & right side will have equal length and equal tension spokes, like a front.
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Old 06-02-21, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
Thanks.
I hadn't even noticed those marks in the label area. I just checked - one mark was just a wrinkle in the label and the other is a slight scuff in the rim with the label wrinkled up around it.
So I think it will be OK.
I think using the Mavic with the full eyelets might be easier for me as a rookie? No chance of dropping a nipple into the rim?
Yes, the eyelets prevent dropping a nipple into the rim but thatís not a huge problem in general. A dropped nipple will come out but you have to do a bit of shaking to get it out. They tend to rattle around if you forget to get them out...I know from experience.

Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
Thanks for all the replies.
I've ordered the hub and once I have that here, I'll do some measurements and order spokes and nipples.
I guess I can 'unbuild' the wheel(s) while I'm waiting.

Any recommendatins for a spoke supplier? (I'm in Canada so shipping can be an issue but a spoke supplier local to me is charging twice to three times the US prices I've seen...so I'm wide open to alternatives.)
Others have suggested Rose Bikes out of Germany. Rose sells spokes for less then you can get them wholesale in the US. Shipping is reasonable and quick. I would suggest double butted (or triple if you are a heavier rider or are planning on heavier loads). The rim is secondary to the life of a wheel. Spokes are more important. Spend money on them.
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Old 06-03-21, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by VicBC_Biker View Post
I'm thinking about building a wheel around a dyno hub, using one of the rims from a donor 'set' from a friend.

Rim choices are Mavic A319 622x19 or AlexRims - label is faded but inside rim width is 18mm approximately.

i know next to nothing about wheels, but to my eye the Mavic rims look better.
Mavic A319


AlexRims:


I'd appreciate comments and input. Thanks.

I know it wuld be better to buy a new rim but this plan is for just a cheap experiment.
If it doesn't work out I can re-sell the dyno and chalk it up to experience.
budget wheel
front wheel
dynamo hub

Unless you have a history of trashing well built wheels, save your money and use straight gauge spokes. Budget build - butted spokes are considerably more expensive. Dynamo hub - this isn't a weight weenie build. Front wheel - how many people have broken spokes on their front wheel? I use straight gauge without any issues on rear wheels. I'm not arguing that butted aren't stronger and all that, just that straight gauge is perfectly adequate unless you are experiencing a lot of spoke failures. Even then, my guess is poor builds not straight gauge spokes.
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Old 06-03-21, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Budget build - butted spokes are considerably more expensive.

Dynamo hub - this isn't a weight weenie build.
1. You call 30 or 40 cents apiece considerable? On a 32 spoke wheel, itís like ten bucks more.

2. The point of butted spokes isnít just to save a few grams. Itís about making the wheel more durable.

I mean, youíre not wrong in your comments. I canít speak for the OP, but for my money butted spokes are a worthwhile upgrade.
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Old 06-03-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
1. You call 30 or 40 cents apiece considerable? On a 32 spoke wheel, itís like ten bucks more.

2. The point of butted spokes isnít just to save a few grams. Itís about making the wheel more durable.

I mean, youíre not wrong in your comments. I canít speak for the OP, but for my money butted spokes are a worthwhile upgrade.
I understand but I see used rim, experimental build, front wheel - why spend the $10? Iím an accountant, 30-40% more expensive is something if it is for overkill. But for the parameters mentioned, I wouldnít have commented.
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Old 06-03-21, 09:24 AM
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About double-butted vs plain spokes...thanks for those ideas and thoughts; I appreciate them.
I think I read somewhere that it's as easy (or easier) to build with the DB spokes.
The basic spoke cost isn't such a big issue. If you check my other thread on 'Spoke Source' you can see that (since I'm in Canada) the shipping cost can be as much as the cost for the spokes themselves.

All 'food for thought'.

If I really want to practice, I can just unlace and rebuild one of the rims, re-using the spokes. If I get bored, I may well do that!
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Old 06-03-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
I understand but I see used rim, experimental build, front wheel - why spend the $10? Iím an accountant, 30-40% more expensive is something if it is for overkill. But for the parameters mentioned, I wouldnít have commented.
Your strategy is certainly valid. Iíve contemplated the question myself when planning a wheel build. I tend to default to the nicer components anytime the cost difference is low to moderate (from the perspective of someone living in the first world and making a decent income). Iím sure Iíve spent hundredsóprobably thousandsóof dollars over the years, 20 to 50 dollars at a time, on bike stuff that offered little real benefit.
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Old 06-03-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
I understand but I see used rim, experimental build, front wheel - why spend the $10? Iím an accountant, 30-40% more expensive is something if it is for overkill. But for the parameters mentioned, I wouldnít have commented.
Look at it this way: If the wheel build works, and you end up keeping it, the double butted spokes will give a better return in the long run. If you build the wheel with straight gauge spokes, you might end up rebuilding in the future and end up spending money twice. Nothing is more expensive then the tool you have to buy twice.
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