Wheel Build Advice Thread

creaky

The obviative
Hi All,

I thought there would be a good wheel building thread in RB but can't find one. Created this for my question but can be added to by others needing / offering advice in the future.

(If my search skills suck and there is a good thread already then please link and I will delete this one)
 

creaky

The obviative
All right, to start off I am after a bit of advice from the experienced wheel builders. I am not a builder but have a Park tension meter for checking tensions. I try not to touch unless they need a decent tweak but like having the tool to confirm what I 'feel'.

Anyway, due to corroding aluminum nipples in carbon rims, I just had a local dealer for roval wheels rebuild some Roval Control Carbon 29er wheels with brass nipples. I said let me know if the spokes needed to be replaced and I might go with DT comps instead of the current revolutions. They reused the revs which is good $ wise for me obviously. When I picked them up I said the tensions were a bit loose but was reassured that the boys had checked them over and they were fine and 'treat them like a new wheel, any problems bring them in'.

Got home and ran the pluck test and tension meter over them. Results using the Park app are below (hopefully the screenshots are OK). Rear first then front.

Rear
Rebuilt Rear Roval 010416.JPG

Front
Rebuilt Front Roval 010416.JPG

They seem all over the place to me and a bit low on average tension. I read on the specialized help desk that spec recommended 1100N on the high tension side (approx. 112kgf), does this sound right?

I haven't mounted them up yet but assume they must be reasonably true and round if they checked them.

Any advice from the experienced builders ?

Thanks
 

The Duckmeister

Eats Squid
Yep, that build is a bit ornery.

For carbon rims spoke tension needs to be pretty high; the rims are that much stiffer than aluminium that you need to pull the tension up to stop the bike flopping around in the rims. 110-120kgf is where you want the tensions, so with Revs (1.5mm shaft) you want the right rear and left front to be up around 19 on the TM-1 scale. The left rear and right front spokes will be slightly lower-tensioned due to the dishing effect, but they should still be around 13-15 on the scale (75-90kgf). Tensions within each side of each wheel should be as close as possible to equal, or if anything the leading spokes (those angling forward off the hub), particularly on the rear, slightly higher than the trailing spokes, as they will slacken (and thus equalise) under drive load.

For reference, aluminium rims should be built to about 90-100kgf; too high & after a while you'll split the rim at the spoke holes.
 

creaky

The obviative
What results did you get with the tension meter ?
Don't know if you can read them from the images above but:

rear DS avg 93 with ranges from 60 to 122
Rear NDS avg 52 with ranges 41 to 96

Front DS avg 51 with ranges 43 to 63
Front NDS avg 88 with ranges 58 to 109
 

MARKL

Eats Squid
Following dubious service from some supposedly good shops I now do my own wheels. My experience is that unless you are building wheels all the time you need an external reference such as the TM-1 to get even and correct tension in a set of wheels. A lot of shops don't use one and rely on 'experience', however this 'experience' is impossible to measure and you have to have faith...or measure it with a tension meter and call BS on it. When you go back to the shop they will get defensive and tell you that you don't know what you are doing and they don't believe in those new fangled measuring tools...hold your line and ask them to show you how they measured the tension and made sure it was even? Tell them you are just trying to learn...maybe they can use the tool better? Remember you are about to crush a man/shops ego
 

creaky

The obviative
Following dubious service from some supposedly good shops I now do my own wheels. My experience is that unless you are building wheels all the time you need an external reference such as the TM-1 to get even and correct tension in a set of wheels. A lot of shops don't use one and rely on 'experience', however this 'experience' is impossible to measure and you have to have faith...or measure it with a tension meter and call BS on it. When you go back to the shop they will get defensive and tell you that you don't know what you are doing and they don't believe in those new fangled measuring tools...hold your line and ask them to show you how they measured the tension and made sure it was even? Tell them you are just trying to learn...maybe they can use the tool better? Remember you are about to crush a man/shops ego
To be honest I don't really want to have that conversation but guess I've got to raise it with them.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
Don't know if you can read them from the images above but:

rear DS avg 93 with ranges from 60 to 122
Rear NDS avg 52 with ranges 41 to 96

Front DS avg 51 with ranges 43 to 63
Front NDS avg 88 with ranges 58 to 109
Sorry, I meant figures tested with a hand held park tension meter also, not just with a phone APP. You can definitely tell by the dull noise when a spoke is really loose by plucking it. Sometimes I do a few circles of the wheel when I do the pluck test and make sure the same spokes turn up loose. The hand held gauge is a bit more accurate.

If you want a job done right best retention them yourself or go to an experienced guy that just does wheels only. I have retentioned every wheel set I have owned after 100kms of use.
 
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hifiandmtb

Sphincter beanie
My Roval Carbon DT Revs are the same...all over the place. And some spokes have stretched when I tensioned them (or the nipple has gone FUBAR like others here).

Don't trust the Revs...will move to Comps when something breaks.
 

MARKL

Eats Squid
To be honest I don't really want to have that conversation but guess I've got to raise it with them.
Remember the reason they build the wheels soft is cause is it is easy. Straight wheel low tension = super easy. Straight wheel, high tension = skill and time.
 

Alo661

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Reused fatigued spokes. Not surprised the tensions are like that and some of those spokes couldn't have been reused if the alloy nips where corroded.
 

creaky

The obviative
Reused fatigued spokes. Not surprised the tensions are like that and some of those spokes couldn't have been reused if the alloy nips where corroded.
I was prepared to trump up for new spokes (probably comps) but they reckon they were fine. TBH it must be harder to get even tension with reused spokes.

I just want them to be reliable really.

I dropped them off this morning and they have gone over them again. Hopefully a bit more even tension now.
 

creaky

The obviative
Well, the shop said to bring them back in on Saturday, which I did and they had finished with them by that afternoon. Wasn't expecting them to look at them that quickly. Guy said on the phone that he wound some more tension into them and that every second spoke was always a lower tension cause of leading vs trailing (?).

Anyway, ran the tension meter over them last night and the front hadn't been touched at all (i.e. all the same and came to within 0.5kgf of my first average measurement) with an average NDS tension of 86kgf. The rear was a lot better in terms of overall tension, with an average of 110kgf DS. The tension variations didn't seem much better though and looked like this (note that DS spoke #14 is actually a thicker spoke for some reason so the tension reading from the table/graph is wrong):

PC 2nd Go Rear Roval 020416.JPG

I wasn't super comfortable with the DS variation from 74 to 136kgf so I had a tweak myself over an hour. Managed to get the tensions much more even with no detriment to the roundness or lateral true and kept an average DS tension of 108kgf and the variations down to 96 to 128 kgf, as follows (DS spoke #14 adjusted manually to correct kgf):

BH_Adjust Rear 030416.JPG

Should I be happy enough with them as they stand or should I be working on the front as well to get higher tension ?
 

Fruitbat

Likes Dirt
What causes the head of the nipple to shear off?
I have build maybe 10 wheels from scratch with no issues but my last one is frustrating me no end, mainly cos I built it for a mate who is giving me no end of grief about it because the heads of the spoke nipples are breaking off where the head meets the barrel of the nipple after 1-2 rides. He has broken 3 in a couple of rides so far which means taking tyre off with associated mess, replace nipple, new rim tape, etc, etc ... Frustrating!
Stans Crest rims, DT competition spokes and alloy nipples (all supplied by him.... I always use brass for mine)
Wheel was built with new rim, spokes and nipples. The threads and heads were greased during assembly and tensioned really gently (a little at a time rather than cranking a few up tight then having to go back and loosen them). spokes were stress relieved several times and I used a Park tensiometer used to get the tension consistent at whatever the manufacturer recommended, which seems quite low when given the 'ping' test, but finished the build with the wheel dead true and tension nice and even.
Aside from the fact they are alloy nipples, any tips for what I should be looking for or doing to save my sanity on this one?

Thanks
 

Zaf

Gearbox Frother
What causes the head of the nipple to shear off?
Zelvy Quality Control?

But in seriousness, alloy nipples don't have as much tensile strength as brass for starters. Most commonly if the shoulder is breaking off, spokes are too short and the threads aren't getting deep enough into the spoke to give support to the head of the nipple. A spoke should, at tension, sit close to flush with the top of the nipple.

I have also been using DT Swiss and/or Newman nipple washers on my latest builds in order to allow the nipple to sit with a good contact patch against the rim. I imagine this helps offset any uneven loading on the nipple as well, and could benefit your build if you're having durability issues there.
 

TheAzza

Likes Bikes and Dirt
What causes the head of the nipple to shear off?
I have build maybe 10 wheels from scratch with no issues but my last one is frustrating me no end, mainly cos I built it for a mate who is giving me no end of grief about it because the heads of the spoke nipples are breaking off where the head meets the barrel of the nipple after 1-2 rides. He has broken 3 in a couple of rides so far which means taking tyre off with associated mess, replace nipple, new rim tape, etc, etc ... Frustrating!
Stans Crest rims, DT competition spokes and alloy nipples (all supplied by him.... I always use brass for mine)
Wheel was built with new rim, spokes and nipples. The threads and heads were greased during assembly and tensioned really gently (a little at a time rather than cranking a few up tight then having to go back and loosen them). spokes were stress relieved several times and I used a Park tensiometer used to get the tension consistent at whatever the manufacturer recommended, which seems quite low when given the 'ping' test, but finished the build with the wheel dead true and tension nice and even.
Aside from the fact they are alloy nipples, any tips for what I should be looking for or doing to save my sanity on this one?

Thanks
Is it possible the spokes are a couple of mm too short so not penetrating through the spoke bed into the head of the nipple?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Fruitbat

Likes Dirt
I'll check over the weekend but spokes too short sounds like a reasonable explanation as the failures are so premature and consistent.
Looks like there may be another wheel build in my future!
 
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