Mike T.'s Wheelbuilding.
Questions and Answers. Start - March 7th 2015. Latest Update -
On this page I will try to answer some of the more common and important questions that I get. Check back often. New questions will be at the top.
Q - What's the most importand thing in wheelbuilding?
A - That's a question that's not easy to answer. If I had to reduce it to one word it would be "patience". Patience to read and re-read instructions and to follow them to the letter without hurrying and missing anything. If it takes a week to build a wheel, you will learn far more than if you hurried, did a sloppy job but got it finished in two hours. Have the patience to aim for perfection before any thoughts are given to speed, no matter how many wheelsets that takes. Never be too afraid or lazy to sloosen all the spokes off an start again.
Q - How hard is it to build a wheel?
A - This is the toughest question I get and the one that's the most common. There is no real answer as we can't measure "how hard". But - I have yet to find anyone who can't build a wheel. I can't think of anyone, during my fifteen years of helping people build wheels, who couldn't build a wheel. Yes, some were more frustrated than others but they all succeeded. Your don't have to be very mechanically inclined as all the information you need is neatly packaged and readily available and help is available everywhere. Back in the day, when I started, there was no Internet, no written information; just gurus who might give you tips if they liked you or, you did what most of us did - copy a known good wheel.
Q - What equipment do I need?
A - This is another very common question and the answer is on my main site. You only really need a spoke wrench. Everything else is optional and none of it makes for "better" wheels in itself.
Q - What's the most important thing for a good wheel to have?
A - Heck, that's easy! A hub! But seriously, if it has to be reduced to one thing, then that's got to be "even tensions". This equalizes the work between all of the spokes and therefore, because they all share the work equally, they fatigue slower and last longer. But this answer really needs a qualifyer - "even tensions" are the most important thing if they're very closely followed by "parts suitable for the intended job" and "sufficient spoke tension" and "proper stress relief" - probably all in equal portions. This all adds up to two words - "Build Quality".
Q - What's the best way to get into wheelbuilding?
A - First of all, get a good resource. Start with my site (heck it's free so why not!). It won't tell you everything so then download Roger Musson's e-book for about $15 or 9GBP. Print Roger's e-book and get it spiral bound at somewhere like Staples for just a few dollars. Curl up on the couch and read my site and Roger's e-book 2-3x. Now you know everything you need to know for you to begin. Next buy a spoke wrench. Then choose realistic parts for your wheels.
More to come....................