Blog: 2019

13 Oct 2019

Building as always

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Wheelbuilds continue to trickle through the shop. Here’s a few snaps of recent builds:

25 Jul 2019

Tension graphing news

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A couple of changes to the spoke tension visualizer went live recently. The first is the Print setup button. It allows you to enable or disable parts of the screen for printing purposes. This includes the title, deflection readings, legend and the graph itself. Now would be a good time to remind users you can edit the title. Click or tap on the title and change the text to describe the job at hand. If you see other headers or footers, they’re added by your browser and can be suppressed with browser settings. Printing or saving to PDF is the most foolproof method of storing your work.

The second change is the Snapshot button. This clones your work into a new tab as a readonly copy. Users might find this useful for charting tension balance as work progresses. A subtle impact of this change is, for the first time, inputs can be saved as a URL — the address bar of the snapshot has the ones and zeros. Loading this address brings you back to the viewer with settings, readings and graph intact. As usual hovering the mouse over points on the graph shows exact tension values. There’s no need to make an account, no need to store anything in the cloud or anything like that.

Users are invited to share bug reports and browser compatibility issues. I also appreciate feature requests. They may not see the light of day right away but it helps shape my priorities when there’s time for development. If you’d like support for another tensiometer, please see here.

04 Jul 2019

Paul track build

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For singlespeed wheels I like hubs from Paul Component Engineering and Phil Wood. I can suggest which are best for you and offer competitive pricing — please email.

This wheelset uses Paul Component track hubs laced to Stan’s Alpha 400 tubeless rims with Sapim Laser spokes and alloy nipples. Total weight is 1545g. Additionally this wheelset is getting tamper-proof torx bolts for a little extra lockup security. The bolts are a Paul upgrade option.

Easy rim, hard rim

This wheelset was an interesting study in the difference a rim makes. My runout target with machined rims is 0.25mm (with the expectation they’ll settle in to 0.33mm over the long haul). This wasn’t achievable on the rear rim, which finished at 0.26mm. I spent quite a lot of time getting it this good and the rim made it clear I could go no further. After improving the most extreme misalignment the rim would fold some other way for no net improvement. The distortion didn’t seem related to the weld area nor expressed in locations 180 degrees apart. Even so by industry quality thresholds of 0.50mm runout and ±20% tension variation, this is still a very good wheel. The penalty associated with less-than-perfect rims is mostly wheelbuilding benchtime. Indeed the front wheel was completed in half the time with better alignment and lower tension variance.

18 Jun 2019

Spoke rulers

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I own a few spoke rulers. You’d think they’re all the same and mostly they are.

My daily driver is the Sapim ruler (pictured far left) because I’m a Sapim dealer and that keeps everything in the family. It does its job very well. It also tries to be a spoke diameter gauge but isn’t as successful. The purple Pi ruler, next in line, is pretty novel with its center channel for aligning the spoke. This helps measuring used spokes, which are never straight. I like that it’s marked in half millimetre increments although the bright finish detracts from legibility. The Phil Wood ruler is heavy in a good way and pleasing to use. It has the best spoke diameter gauge although 2.2mm is conspicuously missing. The Cyclus and Park Tool rulers are similar, however Cyclus gets extra marks for putting its graduations on the spoke path. The VAR ruler is similar but adds nipple measurement, which is clever and useful. The DT Swiss ruler doesn’t feel like a real tool. The Unior ruler is on the same level as Park, which means good enough. The Filzer tool on the end is conspicuously similar to the Unior tool — since Filzer is a marketing company we can probably guess who made their tool.

Check my Instagram before Friday afternoon if you’d like to win a Pi spoke ruler!

09 Jun 2019

Recent DT Swiss builds

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In the last little while I’ve done a couple wheelsets using DT Swiss hubs and rims. In both cases the hubs and rims were ordered from www.bike24.com with delivery to SpokeService HQ, where I put them together using spokes from my inventory. The result is great wheels with global parts pricing. Both sets use DT 350 hubs; one rider selected R470db rims while the other chose RR521db rims. If you’re thinking about building a set of wheels yourself, I can testify these rims make the work painless.