Public Portfolio Site & Various Posts.

Cycling: Wheel Building


I’m still working on getting the bike to peak perfection, this time with changing the front rim over. Never done this job before but I bagged a Sun Rims Singletrack for Β£5.00 on eBay and went for it. This wheel has been totally awesome it’s just so strong, the Sun Rims Mammoth has to be one of the best rims out there for strength, but still I got my other Singletrack now so finally matching wheels time !


One of the key things to do when building a wheel up is knowing exactly what spokes you need !

Edd, an easy to use spoke calculator

This was a bit of a challenge due to my M755 front hub which is rather ancient, so it was not on Edd’s hub database. I luckily found all the numbers on a forum post through Google and inputted them into the spoke calculator manually… at least my rim came up on the database search πŸ™‚ As you can see once you put in all the details it tells you what to get (263.9 / 262.9mm). I decided to go with 36x263mm Halo black spokes off eBay which only set me back Β£12.99. I only need 32 spokes for this build but a few spares might come in handy ! I also got an 8way spoke key for Β£1.90 which is a must have for later…


Next was stripping the wheel down, which was done using a flat blade screwdriver going around each spoke nipple and loosening them off two turns as you go round the wheel. It’s a slow process but if you loosen the spokes off progressively it’s much easier than doing one at a time, because of the pulling stresses from the alternate spokes on the other side of the rim.


Cleaned up the old XT HB-M755 hub and kept the old spokes just temporarily. Just waiting for the spokes in the post now…


Here is the new wheel after about 2 hours of using the spoke key which drove my crazy ! The wheel is still not perfectly true but it’s not like I’m entering the Tour De France or something ! For some reason the spoke key really was not the best of fit on the spokes and started chewing up the nipples real bad, so a word of advice perhaps go for one of the better “Park Tool” spoke keys which cost a bit more.Β  For putting the spokes back in I just copied my back wheel which is obviously the same but I also used these two videos which are pretty helpful:


It’s very important to watch the truing video because It’s important to understand how the spokes are pulling the rim from left to right as well as inwards to the hub ! So I’ve switched back to my IRC Mud-Mad tyres as you can see, though I hate mud they are good for summer off-road and loose surfaces for the places I got cycling. I hope this post is helpful to anyone considering building a wheel or two πŸ˜€


10 responses

  1. another lost art

    Liked by 1 person

    August 27, 2015 at 23:10

    • Cheers Mike, and yes when it comes to bikes this is probably the last thing people venture into. Hmm maybe I should be a bicycle mechanic instead πŸ˜€


      August 27, 2015 at 23:47

  2. Takes me back to my days working in a cycling shop (and ski shop) some of the best times ever had πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    September 1, 2015 at 00:03

    • I’m glad I’ve touched on a subject from your past. Indeed I like working on my bike although the wheel building has been the hardest thing I’ve come across.


      September 1, 2015 at 11:07

      • A funny story about wheel building. I was working on this one wheel which was giving me a huge headache when a couple famous skateboarders came in (Billy Ruff’s group). We start talking and Billy sits down in front of the wheel and while talking keeps tweaking, repairing and finally trued the wheel by the time our conversation ended. I couldn’t believe it, I was about to give up on it… πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        September 2, 2015 at 01:33

      • That’s awesome I totally agree I was truing the wheel on my bike without a truing stand which made it hard to keep track. I think some people have got a sixth sense for it haha. Had to look up Billy Ruff I have not heard of him but appears to be a very good skateboarder from the 80’s or what I like to call the “ramp era”. I grew up in the 00’s so I always did street skating and there is a lack of skate parks in the UK.


        September 2, 2015 at 17:25

      • I agree, people need a 6th sense for it and as much as I wanted it ~ I didn’t have it πŸ™‚ Yeah, Billy could skate ~ back in the day! Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 2, 2015 at 20:07

  3. nice black shoes… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    September 1, 2015 at 22:33

    • Haha only you would point out the shoes and they belong to my brother haha πŸ˜€ Thanks for that very funny !


      September 1, 2015 at 22:52

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