How to Lace a Mountain Bike Wheel

How to Lace a Mountain Bike Wheel
Lacing a wheel is not an easy piece of maintenance for the casual mountain biker, but for a serious rider, learning how to lace your own wheels can save you a lot of money that would be spent at the repair shop. Success in lacing a wheel will hinge largely on having patience and attention to detail through the entire process. Making sure that you place the pushing and pulling spokes in the right places will ensure you have a strong wheel for your riding needs. The most reliable pattern is the three cross pattern used here.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

Placing the Inboard Spokes

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rear Wheel Hub
  • Spokes Cut to Length
  • Rear Rim
  • Teflon Oil
  • Spoke Key
  • Flat Head Screw driver
 
Step 1
Place a little oil on your spokes and insert the inboard spokes into alternating holes on the drive side of the hub.
Step 2
Place the first spoke through the hole adjacent to the valve hole on the rim. Then place spokes in every fourth hole on the rim.
Step 3
Place the inboard spokes in the opposite side of the hub, starting with the first hole to the left side of the opposite flange. Alternate the same way you did on the drive side, then turn the hub so the spokes are angles away from the valve hole. The spokes will go through the hole on the rim that is to the left of the hole that their opposite went through.

Placing the Outboard Spokes

Step 1
Place the outboard spokes into the unoccupied holes on the drive side of the hub first.
Step 2
Move the first outboard spoke under the inboard spoke serving that side of the hub and insert it into the rim two places to the left serving that side of the hub. Complete all disc side spokes in this manner.
Step 3
Complete all of the other spokes on the other side of the hub in the same crossover manner. Your holes should line up perfectly if you place them all two to the left of the corresponding spoke servicing the same side of the hub. If not, you need to work backwards to find the spoke that is laced incorrectly.
Step 4
Turn all of the nipples so that the spokes are under light tension and held in place.
Step 5
Take your new wheel to a cycle mechanic and have it trued or continue with the truing process on your own.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Make sure to have your spokes professionally cut to length. Doing it yourself is nearly impossible. Oil each spoke before you insert it into the hub to ensure it will slide through easily.
 
Make sure to have your spokes professionally cut to length. Doing it yourself is nearly impossible.
 
Oil each spoke before you insert it into the hub to ensure it will slide through easily.

Article Written By Mati Bishop

Mati Bishop has been a freelance writer since 1999. He has been published in "Hawaii Skin Diver Magazine," the "Hawaii Wellness Directory," "Kailua-Kaneohe Sunpress" and a collection of Web sites. Bishop studied journalism at Windward Community College on Oahu, Hawaii.

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