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Author Topic: How To Lace Your Own Wheels  (Read 22705 times)

Offline SaltCityCafe

  • Posts: 388
How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« on: Mar 31, 2014, 23:06:29 »
Ok so I really no expert at this. In fact this is the first set of wheels I have ever laced. What I have noticed though is that there are a ton of instructions and videos on how to do it but that they are missing information. I had questions that nothing I found was able to answer. It seemed that they took a lot of stuff for granted and didn't spell it out like the moron I am. So here is a guide I came up with that answers the questions I had and made it so that I was able to be successful in respoking my own wheels.

A few rules to start.
1: If you have to force it then stop! this doesn't take any force anywhere along the way.
2: You may have to flex a few spokes in a few places but DON'T BEND THEM!
3: Have beer and patience

First things first, there are two different types of spokes. Inner and Outer. I will refer to them this way throughout. The inners have a shorter bend and its a little less than 90 degrees. The Outer ones are longer and are a full 90 degrees.


On the rim locate the valve stem hole. It will be a reference point for just about everything. After that you will notice there are an upper line of holes and a lower line of holes. These holes are also at 4 different angles. 2 angles on the upper line that face eachother and 2 on the lower line that face eachother. The hole to the right of the valve stem on the upper line angled to your right is the one you are concerned with right now. Remember it mark it. Do it! Yeah its important. If you start right you can't fuck this up


Now pay close attention here. This is the most important part of the whole thing.  Remember the hole on the rim I told you to mark. You need to run your first spoke from one of the holes on the hub on a tangent line to the rim. Seriously if you get it started here you are pretty much home free its hard to mess it up from here. That being said mark the rim the spoke and the hub you started with. Trust me on this I will show you later how marking will help you if you happen to screw up.


The next spoke skips 1 hole on the hub and 3 holes on the rim. The angles should all line up and be pretty self explanatory as to where they go. The important thing here is that all the spokes are on that tangent line and are going counter clockwise. As you put each spoke in and go around put a nipple on just a few turns to hold it in place.



Now flip that sucker over. You should be able to see the tape of where you started on the other side (told ya marking was important) Now notice that the holes on this side are offset from the ones on the side you started on. You wanna move one to your right if your looking down on the hub for your next reference point (that's right mark it). This pic is from a different angle for clarity sake but you can see what I mean.


This is going to be the most confusing part of the whole process but if you follow along with the picture I should be able to explain it and make it clear as mud. For the sake of making things easy in my head I wanted to start at the valve stem again. In order to do that I needed to find the hole on the hub that would be the tangent line for the rim hole next to the valve stem.
With your new reference start point marked and skipping every other hole count 2 holes to the right and put a spoke in the 3rd hole you count. One more time. Every other hole count 3 and drop a spoke in. This is the hole that will correspond with the hole in the rim next to the valve stem on the tangent line. Continue on around just as you did on the other side every other hole on the hub and skipping 3 on the rim putting a nipple on a few turns on each spoke. The angles should fall right into place. Also note that these spokes are also going counter clockwise and opposite the ones on the other side. That's it for the inners. Pat yourself on the back.


Now for the outers. They lace through the hub the opposite way, going up as opposed to dropping down in. These you can really start anywhere. Lace it through the hub and then rotate it in the opposite direction of the spokes already in on that same side. This means that the outers will be running clockwise and the inners counter. Also they will cross the innerspokes at 3 points. Once on the hub, next just outside the hub and a third time about halfway up a spoke. Not really useful just a good reference.


Once you have put the outers in on both sides you should have something like this.


Now at this point its easy to see if you screwed up. I actually did screw up on my rear wheel after finishing my front one. Basically if you had to force anything or if  you have one particular set of spokes that stick out way to far into your rim and its obvious they will never tighten down. Like in the pic then you messed up. Basically you need to move all your spokes one hole around on the hub.. See that marking coming into play again. In the pic you can see how moving the spokes one hole will shorten them up in the rim and get things right.



If all looks to be going to plan then its time tighten everything  and get ready for truing. Tighten all the nipples down until there is just a little thread showing on each spoke, try to get them all even and equal. They should tighten down tight but still not have to really crank on them.


Here is the finished product. Sit back and and admire your handiwork you handsome bastard!.I hope that all makes sense and answers a lot of questions. Its really not that hard and no need to be intimidated.


I know this may not be totally clear or answer everything so feel free to ask questions and comment. I will update and answer the best I can. Thanks folks
« Last Edit: Apr 01, 2014, 17:12:24 by SaltCityCafe »

Offline Djfob

  • Posts: 324
How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #1 on: Apr 01, 2014, 00:20:48 »
Awesome bookmarking for future reference. Thanks
78 Honda CB750k

Offline Tim

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Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #2 on: Apr 01, 2014, 01:28:40 »
Made the topic 'sticky' - others feel free to chime in with your tutorials and hints.  Thanks for the write-up!
"Quality . . . you know what it is, yet you don't know what it is. But that's self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There's nothing to talk about. But if you can't say what Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn't exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist."

Offline SaltCityCafe

  • Posts: 388
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #3 on: Apr 01, 2014, 10:57:53 »
Wow a sticky! I feel honored lol. Thanks Tim. Yes others chime in I am interested in feedback and questions

Offline combustioncafe

  • Posts: 52
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #4 on: Apr 01, 2014, 12:16:34 »
With one wheel done and one wheel to go, I'd like to thank you for posting. This would've been a great guide to follow for my front wheel, instead of starting over a couple times. At least I can still use it for the rear wheel.  ;)
1988 Honda Shadow - Daily
1971 Honda CL350 - Current Project
1972 Norton Commando - Next Project

Offline Tim

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Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #5 on: Apr 01, 2014, 12:27:48 »
Now, there are difference lacing patterns to be aware of, so don't take this as a be-all-end-all instruction set.  But the principles are common in terms of which spokes to start with etc. to make it easier.
"Quality . . . you know what it is, yet you don't know what it is. But that's self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! There's nothing to talk about. But if you can't say what Quality is, how do you know what it is, or how do you know that it even exists? If no one knows what it is, then for all practical purposes it doesn't exist at all. But for all practical purposes it really does exist."

Offline Flugtechnik

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Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #6 on: Apr 01, 2014, 13:30:15 »
We could have used this 2 years ago at Barber.

4 guys scratching their heads:



Big Rich to the rescue:

Offline combustioncafe

  • Posts: 52
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #7 on: Apr 01, 2014, 13:32:20 »
Now, there are difference lacing patterns to be aware of, so don't take this as a be-all-end-all instruction set.  But the principles are common in terms of which spokes to start with etc. to make it easier.

Understood, and yes, take lots of reference pictures of your wheel(s) before disassembly and do one wheel at a time.
1988 Honda Shadow - Daily
1971 Honda CL350 - Current Project
1972 Norton Commando - Next Project

Offline SaltCityCafe

  • Posts: 388
Re: Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #8 on: Apr 01, 2014, 17:09:04 »
Now, there are difference lacing patterns to be aware of, so don't take this as a be-all-end-all instruction set.  But the principles are common in terms of which spokes to start with etc. to make it easier.

Exactly.  Like I said this is the first set of whels I have ever laced so its probably more of a primer than a definitive guide. Number of spokes and possibly manufacturer could change the pattern some. I do think that this will get you started though and I know that the skip one on the hub and 3 on the rim is pretty universal.

Offline KICKRacing

  • Posts: 178
Re: How To Lace Your Own Wheels
« Reply #9 on: Dec 10, 2014, 04:59:38 »
Very nice how to, props! I think I talked to you SCB at Miller raceway several weeks ago?
Reguarding the spokes, for a begginer it might seem overwhelming at first. But for a first timer, its like a puzzle game, if you sit there and work on it long enough you will figure it out, and In the end theres only one way the spokes will fit.