How to Build a Bicycle Wheel

How to Build a Bicycle Wheel
If you ride your bicycle a lot or hit rough patches, chances are your wheels will go out of true or get destroyed. The obvious answer is to buy a new wheel set, but that can be expensive. Often the parts to build the wheels are less expensive than prebuilt wheels, and with a little bit of practice you can build your own.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rims Truing stand Spoke wrench Spokes Nipples Rim tape Tires Tubes Tire levers
  • Rims
  • Truing stand
  • Spoke wrench
  • Spokes
  • Nipples
  • Rim tape
  • Tires
  • Tubes
  • Tire levers
Step 1
Purchase the materials from a reputable bicycle shop and have the technician check that he is giving you compatible components. Buy the strongest and lightest components available and you'll be happier with the finished project.
Step 2
Begin by pulling the spokes through every other hole along the rim of the hub body. Slide each of the spokes through a corresponding hole in the rim and thread a nipple onto it.
Step 3
Apply even tension to all of the spokes as you thread them with the spoke wrench. Mount the wheel in the truing stand and spin the wheel to see where the stand touches the side of the rim.
Step 4
Use the spoke wrench to loosen or tighten spokes to straighten out the rim and pull it closer to center (away from the truing stand arm). Spread the rim tape along the inside of the rim to guard your tube against punctures from the tops of the spokes. Slide the inner tube and then the tire onto the rim, using the tire levers if necessary, then pump the tire up.

Tips & Warnings

By skipping every other hole, you keep the strength of the wheel virtually the same, but reduce the spoke weight by half.

Article Written By Nathaniel Miller

Nathaniel Miller is a technical writer for an environmental division of Microbac Laboratories, Inc. He has a Master of Science from Ohio University. With over eight years of technical writing experience, Miller has a diverse skill-set and enjoys a wide-ranging client base. He is widely published on numerous writing websites and runs a small writing business out of his home in Marietta, Ohio.

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