Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Building a revolution!

A bike would be nothing without a nice set of wheels, but an air of mystique often surrounds the building and maintenance of this critical component.

In past times, Mountain Pedaler NZ's test bikes were fitted with wheels assembled by either ultra-intelligent robots or skilled wheel building masters. However, in an effort to further the understanding of the bicycle, the Mountain Pedaler embarked on a project to build a set of 29er hoops for a new Grinch Green El Pardino test bike dubbed 'Gringo'.

Starting with a set of Kore Durox hubs, complete with universal disc mount and oversized QR axles, the process began, and measurements of the hubs were taken to determine the required spoke lengths with a Spoke calculator. Rims chosen were Salsa Delgado Race 29ers in a classy brushed black finish.

While the task ahead at first appeared daunting, Sheldon Brown's guide put the process in a series of clear steps, and is surely a must read for any first time wheelsmith.
After lacing up the wheels with 32 double butted spokes in a 3 cross pattern, patience was required as wheel dish, hop, and true were carefully manipulated, with spoke tensions increased to the required level (as indicated by an F# tone when plucked!) A truing stand is essential for this stage, and a loaner will soon be available for any customers looking to give it a go.

All up it was a thoroughly rewarding experience, and time will tell whether these wheels will withstand abuse on trails around the country. The Mountain Pedaler wholeheartedly recommends wheel building to any amateur mechanics; a truly rewarding experience.

Mountain Pedaler out...

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