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DIY - Do It Yourself

WHEEL LACING, QUICK AND DIRTY

THE QUICK AND EASY WAY TO STRAIGHTEN

By Rick Sieman

Isn’t it a helpless feeling? You walk into a shop with a crunched wheel in your hand and ask the guy how much it’ll cost for a lacing job?

 

He looks at you, winces, then says. "Oh, about fifty bucks for the lacing, another $75 for the rim and ten dollars for remounting the tire."

You gasp! And why not? You’re talking about a nice piece of change. Want to save more than half of that cost on your next ruined wheel?

Then read this article on quick and dirty wheel lacing and be happy ever after. It’s not that hard.

Remove the front wheel from the bike and take off the tire. Before loosening any of the spokes, place a strip of tape around the crossing sections of all the spokes.
   
Snug the axle down in a vise and slip the wheel on the axle. Then loosen all of the spoke nipples, remove them, and set them off to one side.
   
Remove the damaged rim from the spoke cluster and throw it in your neighbor’s swimming pool.
   
Put the new rim over the spoke cluster and feed all the spokes into the spoke nipple holes.
   
Make your own spoke nipple-tightening tool by notching a straight slot screwdriver like this, with grinder, or a file.
   
Install all of the nipples over the threaded part of the spokes. DO NOT TIGHTEN THEM DOWN! Just get them finger tight, and make sure you do this in a criss-cross pattern.
   
Start tightening the spoke nipples gradually, working in a criss-cross pattern around the rim. Don’t tighten any single spoke, or group of spokes, snugly at this point.
   
Spin the wheel and start tightening the nipples down. Refer to the Wheel Truing article in last issue (November 2000) to do the final adjustments. By spinning the wheel, you can true out any up and down before starting on the side to side movement. Take your time when truing and you’ll be happier the long run. You have just saved a bunch of money and should send me some out of sheer gratitude.