Author Topic: How To Lace Your Own Wheels  (Read 25539 times)

Offline DesmoDog

  • Posts: 272
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #10 on: Dec 10, 2014, 10:09:58 »
One at a time? I find it easier to load all the spokes in the hub first (both sides, inner and outer). Lay that on the bench and orient the spokes in the correct direction (outers go one direction, inners go the other) then angle them further than they will be when in place, drop that into the rim, and proceed to load the rim with all the spokes. It sounds more complicated than it is. On used parts you can see how the spokes should load into the hub by looking at the wear patterns in the hub. I have been caught out on this once though with an old hub that had been laced a couple times, in different ways, so it had multiple wear pattterns... but that's pretty rare.

If you are simply putting new rims on you can match the hole pattern on the new rim to the old one, tape the new rim in place on the old on, then move spokes from old to new one by one.

Disclaimer: I'm an ex-bicycle mechanic and have laced maybe 100 wheels over the years?
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2014, 10:13:39 by DesmoDog »

Offline spurlock

  • Posts: 43
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #11 on: Dec 10, 2014, 10:28:24 »
One suggestion: Before teardown of the old wheel it's worth measuring the side-to-side offset of the rim in relation to the hub. Lay a straightedge across the brake drum or other hub surface and measure down to the rim on each end, then re-position the straightedge 90 degrees and remeasure. Then take an average of the measurements and use that to set the offset the same when lacing back up. It's a good bet that alignment will be fine if you just leave the same amount of thread exposed on all the spokes during the initial tightening, but just in case the factory did something strange it's nice to know you are matching the original side/side alignment of rim and hub.

Second suggestion, always make sure the spoke threads and rim dimples are clean, and lubricate the threads and the nipple heads. That way they rotate freely during truing and you get a better sense of tightening torque instead of feeling thread friction. I like to use a bit of anti sieze compound as lubricant.

Third, after getting the spokes up to tension and the wheel basically trued tap all spokes several times with a plastic mallet to settle them. This will straighten out small bends in the spokes and help them conform to the hub at the angle bends for a more stable final tensioning. Then do the final tension/truing check and as each nipple is turned always give them a slight reverse twist to equalize torque in the spokes. The nipples should feel neutral, not like a twisted spring.  Hope this helps.

1975 Honda CB125S
1975 Honda XL250K2
1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500
1990 Honda GB500

Offline DesmoBro

  • Posts: 2398
  • Busted Nut
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #12 on: Dec 10, 2014, 19:40:22 »
Nice write up
"I desire the things that will destroy me in the end"

Offline James Hart

  • Posts: 50
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #13 on: Dec 10, 2014, 21:40:11 »
Agreed!  I've read and reread this thread (and a couple others on this topic)... I should be ready to get mine started soon.

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Offline edelweiss

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  • Posts: 534
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #14 on: Jan 26, 2015, 21:07:57 »
This is what I have used for lacing. Very explicit instructions:

And for trueing:

« Last Edit: Jan 26, 2015, 22:09:32 by edelweiss »
74 Yamaha DT360 Enduro
79 Yamaha YZ125

Offline yorkie350

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  • Posts: 1054
  • If it runs ride it if it dont polish it & dream !
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #15 on: Mar 27, 2015, 21:29:54 »
Great topic at last got my head round the black art of wheel lacing n trueing  8) thanks mate  :P
Life's too short to go slow at anything !  unless your re-building ya ride !!

 cb350f '72 café racer 
 cb550f '78 Hailwood race rep

Offline BiellaBound

  • Posts: 96
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #16 on: Mar 27, 2015, 22:22:59 »
+1 great info for a rookie like me

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Offline ZachM

  • Posts: 14
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #17 on: Jun 01, 2016, 23:54:12 »
Thanks for the write up! Definitely would have screwed this up without a little direction.

Offline teazer

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Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #18 on: Jun 02, 2016, 01:51:45 »
Nice write up.  That's basically what I do but I do tend to load all one side of inners in using the old wear marks as a reference.

I find it easier to true the wheel pretty closely using just the inners and when it's close to right but not fully tight I add the outer spokes.  problem with that approach is that it is harder to get the outers in place with a rim that isn't free to move a little and it's easy to scratch the rim.

So a compromise is to fit all inners and leave them loose.  Fit all outers and leave them loose.  Start to tighten the inners and true the wheel, then tighten the outers and final tweaks to get it true should be pretty easy. 


Offline SoyBoySigh

  • Posts: 185
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #19 on: Oct 15, 2017, 20:58:48 »

Just thought I'd add something to any of the wire wheel rebuild threads I come across - People often ignore one detail, and that's the CONVENTION that the stamped lettering of a rim (if it's got any) should be along the right-hand-side of the bike. You'll notice it on the Japanese bikes, and any of the British Italian German & American bikes which I'VE come across thus far. There are probably a few notable examples out there, but in any case you'll often be able to find original pics of an OEM wheel for your model - just follow the Convention is all I'm saying. It's not going to affect anything functionally (unless that is, your hub & rim are laced with a "DISH" to it and thus your holes won't have the perfect alignment though it probably wouldn't be visually obvious.

Now IF there's something particular about the lettering orientation of your OEM wheel and you're getting a custom rim drilled, and you WANT to follow the convention for your given model, then specify when ordering 'cause the wheel shops will likely follow the prevailing convention - IF it's a dished or conical wheel that is! (((In a CONICAL HUB pattern drilled rim, you won't have any choice of reversing it after the fact. )))

More to the point IF you're using a hub from another model especially if it's from another marque and especially especially so if that marque is from the other side of an ocean, be sure to clarify which way you want it drilled or laced. With a lot of hub swaps especially rear wheels, the new application might have the chain-line on the opposite side - even a 2LS drum might be reversed so long as you use an alternative shoe-plate, and so too with a caliper as a top-side caliper might be flipped around in an under-slung position. It's all very confusing when somebody doesn't have your bike sitting in front of 'em. As such, figure it out for yourself where you want the rim stamping relative to the hub's chain side or brake side. Well, or BOTH in many instances where the brake & chain-line coexist on the same side of the wheel - as with the Harley "Juice-Drum" or Norton Commando rear wheels. And with disc brakes even, when you're talking about an SSSA rear end OR the "Sprotor" combination sprocket-rotor brake/drive ... madness!

Either which way, take CONTROL of this small detail when it's in your hands whether that's when you're ordering a rim drilling / wheel building service AND/OR when the parts are on the bench and you're assembling 'em with your own meat-hooks!

'Cause it might annoy the shit out of you, how everybody at the "bike night" or show judges or the twit who changes your tires or your friends or that voice at the back of your head - how they feel compelled to point it out to you all of the time. Only one solution for THAT, is to keep the wheel SPINNING so the rim's stamped lettering blurs out.

OR, one might suppose, you could cover it over with colourful rim tape? Powder-coat the whole damn wheel in one fell swoop? Splash through the mud? Distract from the wheels altogether? Wrap 'em up in pizza plates? Ha-ha. People DO shit like that, so laugh but don't laugh at me for "suggesting" it - Usually assholes who have no respect for the COMSTAR wheels. I could understand how they might prefer a wire wheel, sure. But a CAST wheel, let alone a solid disc wheel? How's THAT better? Comstar wheels are 'F-riggin AWESOME. 'Nuff said.

Oh - and when it comes to swapping hubs left hand & right or marque-to-marque or model-to-model? Don't get hung up over the speedometer drive! You can make 'em fit and work wherever the hell you want: just gut 'em like a fish, yank the mechanical worm drive & replace it with a "Hall Effect" sensor for a modern electronic speedometer, run the wire up a hollow sheath from your old speedo cable keeping the full exterior 'cladding' of your mechanical system with all modern GUTS stuffed up inside - You can even get 'em with an analog dial and with differing rim sizes all you've gotta do is run calculations through your PC's PIE GRAPH program (((or for that matter your old "Scientific Calculator" should have RAD & GRAD functions for Radian/Gradian trigonometry!))) Just slap a new dial face on the thing & mark new increments for the critical speed limit #'s - so long as you've got the school zones and playground zone speeds marked on there, the freeway shouldn't give you too much trouble not unless they're catching fishies en masse with a photo-radar dragnet....

No, really though - I've seen some build threads where people went to truly ridiculous lengths for their new wheel or new fork new brake etc, wherein they felt they had to take the whole front end as a package deal even if that included mounting a Honda VF speedometer to the engine's output sprocket - You could mount your magnetic speedometer sensor anywhere you WANT whether that's up front or in the rear. Heck these days you could even use a smart-phone "app" with GPS calculations keeping 'perfect' time - But I'd only use that as an interim measure 'cause it's lame as hell to plaster modern electronic shite all over your classic bike - ennit? That's why I suggest using the old speedo housing, is so you can keep everything LOOKING original! But when it boils down to it you could use a speedo housing off a more modern bike as a rear axle spacer in much the same style as early '70s Triumph/BSA/Norton practice just be sure it's the right axle diameter - heck they don't even have to run the correct side with the sensor above or below the axle 'cause with the "Worm" gear removed there's no mechanical disadvantage or impediment, nothing's going to DRAG at that sensor other than the magnetic field itself &  as such the housing could conceivably flipped 'round left to right. Kinda defeats the whole purpose of keeping an OEM period-correct LOOK but the point being it would still FUNCTION correctly. Of course by the same token that sensor could be strapped alongside the fork leg or speedometer, it could be screwed to a caliper hanger - there's more of a limitation on where you could place the magnet TRIGGER than where you could place the sensor - but there's always SOMEPLACE to put it!

But whatever you do with the hub and the brake and axle, fork fender blah-blah-blah, just be sure what you're doing with the RIM LETTERING, yeah?

It just looks like such a bone-headed oversight when people get it wrong aka BACKWARDS......

Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day.