This week I built a wheel for the second time in my life. It had been long enough that I couldn't remember how to do it but with the trusty Internet there to give me some step by step instructions, I was able to go from what you see in the picture to a trued wheel mounted on my bike in about three hours.
Specifically, I was putting a new Sun-Ringle MTX 33 rim and DT champion spokes on my trusty old Wheel Tech single speed hub. The wheel came off my DJ bike, which had seen a few to many sideways landings. The rim was bent to the point that getting it even a little bit true required spokes on one side so tight (and so loose on the other side) that I didn't feel safe jumping it anymore. So I picked up a new rim with a little more width, some new spokes, and went to town.
If you've never done it, I wouldn't exactly call it easy. There are a lot of little things that need to be done just right and the instructions can be a bit confusing. But once you catch onto the gist of how the hub, spokes, and rim go together, actually putting it together isn't very hard. Finishing a wheel comes with a nice sense of accomplishment and I recommend everybody taking an opportunity to build a wheel sometime.
Besides the parts, all you need is a screwdriver, but it helps to have a drill and helps a lot to have a truing stand when it comes time to dial the wheel in. A simple Google search will provide a handful of instructional articles or videos. Take your pick. Now it's time to go ride my bike and see if my build holds up!
- Grab some liquid refreshment and throw on a movie or some music.
- Sit down.
- Be patient, get it right the first time.
- Don't drop spoke nipples into a recessed rim.