How to Build a Mountain Bike Wheel

How to Build a Mountain Bike Wheel
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to build or work on your own mountain bike. Sometimes there is an unfortunate incident in which one or both of your wheels get damaged or destroyed. Buying a new wheelset can be quite an expensive venture as new wheel sets can range from $300 to $1,000. Often the parts needed to build the wheels are much less expensive than purchasing prebuilt wheels, and with a little bit of know-how you can easily build your own mountain bike wheels from scratch.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spokes
  • Rims
  • Rimtape
  • Spoke wrench
  • Nipples
  • Truing stand
  • Hubs
  • Tires
  • Tubes
Step 1
Purchase the necessary materials from your local bike shop or from an online retailer, being sure to consult a bike shop technician or online representative to make sure you are purchasing compatible components. Pull spokes through all of the holes along the rim of the hub body.
Step 2
Slide each spoke through a corresponding hole in the wheel rim and thread a nipple down onto it. Mount the wheel in the truing stand.
Step 3
Spin the wheel and watch where the truing arm on the stand touches the side of the rim. Use the spoke wrench to loosen or tighten spokes in order to straighten out the rim and pull it to center, away from the truing arm. Once the rim is straight, wrap the rim tape around the inner portion of the rim so that the tops of the nipples are covered.
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

Do not overtighten the spokes as you risk stripping out the spoke and having to rethread a new one.


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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