How to Build a Road Bike Wheel

How to Build a Road Bike Wheel
Building or working on your own bike instead of having to take it to the shop for repairs can be satisfying. If one or both of your wheels get damaged or destroyed, one solution is to buy a new wheelset, however, this can be quite expensive. An alternative solution is to build your own wheels. Oftentimes, the parts to build the wheels are less expensive than purchasing prebuilt wheels, and with a little know-how you can easily create your own road bike wheels from scratch.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Nipples
  • Truing stand
  • Hubs
  • Tires
  • Tubes
  • Screwdriver
  • Spokes
  • Rims
  • Rimtape
  • Spoke wrench
Step 1
Consult a bike shop technician or online representative prior to purchasing the materials listed to make sure you are purchasing compatible components. String spokes through all of the holes along the rim of the hub body.
Step 2
Slide each of the spokes through a corresponding hole in the wheel rim and thread a nipple down onto it. Use the spoke wrench to apply even tension to all of the spokes and then mount the wheel in the truing stand.
Step 3
Spin the wheel and wherever the truing arm touches, the rim has a bend in it and needs to be pulled back to center. Use the spoke wrench to loosen or tighten spokes in order to straighten out the rim and pull it to center. Once the rim is straight, wrap the rim tape around the inside of the rim so that the tops of the spoke nipples are covered, protecting your inner tubes from being punctured by the sharp edges of spokes or nipples when you are riding.
Step 4
Mount your tires by sliding first the inner tube and then the tire onto the rim. Use the pump to pump up the tire.

Tips & Warnings

When trying to fix a kick in the wheel, tighten spokes in the opposite direction of the kick and loose spokes that are in the same direction as the kick.


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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