how much does it cost in your area to have a wheel re-spoked??

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Sven

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
The Bike Doctor in Waldorf (MD) cost $80, labor..

Now...if this ain't country.......resoking a wheel isn't hard at all. There are really good videos on YouTube. As far as truing it..take your time. This is my temp truing stand. I've gotten this S-7 with in 2mm lateral / radial about the same .Not the .o5mm racers use. But close enough for me. MY PRICE IS A CASE OF BREW , ILL MAKE IT TRUE, A 12 PaACK OF ICE, ILL MAKE IT NICE....I had to throw that in there
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49autocycledeluxe

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
^^^^ that's way better than my truing stand using an old fork, two magnets and two allen wrenches. I have a buddy with a real one he says he doesn't want anymore, so I'm going to get it soon.
 

bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
I am retired but work in a small city bike shop in NC. I charge $40 minimum labor plus parts to rebuild a wheel. Spokes are usually $30 for 36) Sapim 2.0mm stainless spokes with nipples. Customer gets a free tension/wheel true if they bring it back to me within 60 days.

If you don't want or need a hand built wheel, generic alloy wheels in our shop are about $50+.

The custom rebuilds I do are usually for vintage Raleighs, Schwinns, with an occasional newer mountain or road bike in the mix.

Although I can do the work and I bought a number of specialized tools early on, I rarely perform esoteric wheel work involving straight pull aero spokes, alloy nipples, splined nipples and other weird configurations. I did several rebuilds repairs of these type wheels (Mavic Kyseriums, etc.) but the time, tools, and materials are not worth the hassle. Generally the fussier the bike the fussier the customer ("Oh, I can mail order the spokes a lot cheaper online and bring them to you") so I just send them to big city shops in the region.

I have worked in bike shops since 1972, and after my first year or so I learned the basic principles of relacing and tensioning wheels from a retired engineer who said he would teach me as long as our shop would keep sending him our wheel rebuild work (nobody at the small shop knew how). I kept my word and he kept his.

Although his method was a good start, he could not figure out how to make the cross come out correctly at the valve stem hole every time - he got lucky or had to keep rebuilding it or just give up. He also did not know how to fill the hub so the builder could have inside spokes pulling in symmetry (an esoteric desire of wheel builders back in the day).

So, after a coupe of months of tearing wheels down and looking at hub spoke holes, right and left handed rims, cross 3, cross 4 patterns, until I was cross-eyed...I figured it out. When I showed him my method it was one of those moments of the student teaching the master and it felt so good. He still got wheels to rebuild until I left that shop and I perfected my art building wheels for my riding buddies.

I can lace a wheel in about 20 minutes and if the rim is quality can have it built in about 45 minutes.

There are several tips that are crucial for an efficient and quality build such as spoke and nipple thread prep, proper spoke head seating in the hub shell and pre-bending the spoke angle leading to the rim if necessary. Of course, quality spoke wrenches, a dishing tool, and decent truing stand are the best route unless you only plan on building one wheel or doing a repair every year or so. Cheap tools are extravagance. I have used a fork (or bike frame) in place of a truing stand and I can dish rear wheels by sight and get pretty close but it takes a lot longer.
If proper spoke lube is used, straining the wheel after tensioning is probably not necessary but I always check.

I am not a wheel snob, or tool snob - of course, given time and experience, one can adequately build or repair wheels with just a spoke wrench and a bicycle frame. But if there was not a determinable and appreciable difference in efficiency and quality, then the tools and techniques would not stand the test of time, and I think they have.

I never used a tensionmeter until about three years ago when I bought a Park TM-1. I only use it for building in the final stage but it's best value is in assisting with diagnosis and repair. If I can immediately show a customer why his wheel is out of whack it saves a lot of speculation and discussion. I can also be more definitive in knowing when the rim is actually cooked or if it is just spoke tension (without dropping the tension on all the spokes). I can also show them when they pick up the repair how it is now in spec and it gives new customers immediate confidence in my work.

So, to me it is an indispensable shop tool for quickly diagnosing spoke issues and for replacing a few spokes to perform a quality repair. There is no way you can readily feel the difference of a spoke loaded at 70 kgf vs one tensioned at 90kgf, either by plucking spokes of squeezing them (or by how hard you have to turn the wrench). Many wheels use interlaced spokes and plucking them is pretty much useless due to spokes touching at the pattern cross. 2.0mm stainless spokes ate very difficult to hand gauge due to the material and thickness as opposed to butted galvanized spokes. Force to turn the wrench becomes less and less a reliable method of adequate tension once the wheel gets close to optimal tension due to many factors over which you little to no control.

Any methods that do not use filling the hub with spokes completely and then lacing them to the rim seems to be inefficient. If the proper technique is used you will never bend a spoke or scratch a mirror finished rim and build that wheel a lot quicker.

I am tempted to share what I have learned in a YT video but have never taken the time. I have taught several other mechanics over the years and as far as I know the method is still the best and easiest once mastered.
 
Last edited:

Sven

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I am retired but work in a small city bike shop in NC. I charge $40 minimum labor plus parts to rebuild a wheel. Spokes are usually $30 for 36) Sapim 2.0mm stainless spokes with nipples. Customer gets a free tension/wheel true if they bring it back to me within 60 days.

If you don't want or need a hand built wheel, generic alloy wheels in our shop are about $50+.

The custom rebuilds I do are usually for vintage Raleighs, Schwinns, with an occasional newer mountain or road bike in the mix.

Although I can do the work and I bought a number of specialized tools early on, I rarely perform esoteric wheel work involving straight pull aero spokes, alloy nipples, splined nipples and other weird configurations. I did several rebuilds repairs of these type wheels (Mavic Kyseriums, etc.) but the time, tools, and materials are not worth the hassle. Generally the fussier the bike the fussier the customer ("Oh, I can mail order the spokes a lot cheaper online and bring them to you") so I just send them to big city shops in the region.

I have worked in bike shops since 1972, and after my first year or so I learned the basic principles of relacing and tensioning wheels from a retired engineer who said he would teach me as long as our shop would keep sending him our wheel rebuild work (nobody at the small shop knew how). I kept my word and he kept his.

Although his method was a good start, he could not figure out how to make the cross come out correctly at the valve stem hole every time - he got lucky or had to keep rebuilding it or just give up. He also did not know how to fill the hub so the builder could have inside spokes pulling in symmetry (an esoteric desire of wheel builders back in the day).

So, after a coupe of months of tearing wheels down and looking at hub spoke holes, right and left handed rims, cross 3, cross 4 patterns, until I was cross-eyed...I figured it out. When I showed him my method it was one of those moments of the student teaching the master and it felt so good. He still got wheels to rebuild until I left that shop and I perfected my art building wheels for my riding buddies.

I can lace a wheel in about 20 minutes and if the rim is quality can have it built in about 45 minutes.

There are several tips that are crucial for an efficient and quality build such as spoke and nipple thread prep, proper spoke head seating in the hub shell and pre-bending the spoke angle leading to the rim if necessary. Of course, quality spoke wrenches, a dishing tool, and decent truing stand are the best route unless you only plan on building one wheel or doing a repair every year or so. Cheap tools are extravagance. I have used a fork (or bike frame) in place of a truing stand and I can dish rear wheels by sight and get pretty close but it takes a lot longer.
If proper spoke lube is used, straining the wheel after tensioning is probably not necessary but I always check.

I am not a wheel snob, or tool snob - of course, given time and experience, one can adequately build or repair wheels with just a spoke wrench and a bicycle frame. But if there was not a determinable and appreciable difference in efficiency and quality, then the tools and techniques would not stand the test of time, and I think they have.

I never used a tensionmeter until about three years ago when I bought a Park TM-1. I only use it for building in the final stage but it's best value is in assisting with diagnosis and repair. If I can immediately show a customer why his wheel is out of whack it saves a lot of speculation and discussion. I can also be more definitive in knowing when the rim is actually cooked or if it is just spoke tension (without dropping the tension on all the spokes). I can also show them when they pick up the repair how it is now in spec and it gives new customers immediate confidence in my work.

So, to me it is an indispensable shop tool for quickly diagnosing spoke issues and for replacing a few spokes to perform a quality repair. There is no way you can readily feel the difference of a spoke loaded at 70 kgf vs one tensioned at 90kgf, either by plucking spokes of squeezing them (or by how hard you have to turn the wrench). Many wheels use interlaced spokes and plucking them is pretty much useless due to spokes touching at the pattern cross. 2.0mm stainless spokes ate very difficult to hand gauge due to the material and thickness as opposed to butted galvanized spokes. Force to turn the wrench becomes less and less a reliable method of adequate tension once the wheel gets close to optimal tension due to many factors over which you little to no control.

Any methods that do not use filling the hub with spokes completely and then lacing them to the rim seems to be inefficient. If the proper technique is used you will never bend a spoke or scratch a mirror finished rim and build that wheel a lot quicker.

I am tempted to share what I have learned in a YT video but have never taken the time. I have taught several other mechanics over the years and as far as I know the method is still the best and easiest once mastered.


Please do share your talents on the Youtube! Also, I have a question....Do you have any recommendations for a truing stand , other than Park Tool? Nothing against Park Tool , they are the Kent More of the bicycle trade .... a little pricey. Thanks
 

Thurman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I am retired but work in a small city bike shop in NC. I charge $40 minimum labor plus parts to rebuild a wheel. Spokes are usually $30 for 36) Sapim 2.0mm stainless spokes with nipples. Customer gets a free tension/wheel true if they bring it back to me within 60 days.

If you don't want or need a hand built wheel, generic alloy wheels in our shop are about $50+.

The custom rebuilds I do are usually for vintage Raleighs, Schwinns, with an occasional newer mountain or road bike in the mix.

Although I can do the work and I bought a number of specialized tools early on, I rarely perform esoteric wheel work involving straight pull aero spokes, alloy nipples, splined nipples and other weird configurations. I did several rebuilds repairs of these type wheels (Mavic Kyseriums, etc.) but the time, tools, and materials are not worth the hassle. Generally the fussier the bike the fussier the customer ("Oh, I can mail order the spokes a lot cheaper online and bring them to you") so I just send them to big city shops in the region.

I have worked in bike shops since 1972, and after my first year or so I learned the basic principles of relacing and tensioning wheels from a retired engineer who said he would teach me as long as our shop would keep sending him our wheel rebuild work (nobody at the small shop knew how). I kept my word and he kept his.

Although his method was a good start, he could not figure out how to make the cross come out correctly at the valve stem hole every time - he got lucky or had to keep rebuilding it or just give up. He also did not know how to fill the hub so the builder could have inside spokes pulling in symmetry (an esoteric desire of wheel builders back in the day).

So, after a coupe of months of tearing wheels down and looking at hub spoke holes, right and left handed rims, cross 3, cross 4 patterns, until I was cross-eyed...I figured it out. When I showed him my method it was one of those moments of the student teaching the master and it felt so good. He still got wheels to rebuild until I left that shop and I perfected my art building wheels for my riding buddies.

I can lace a wheel in about 20 minutes and if the rim is quality can have it built in about 45 minutes.

There are several tips that are crucial for an efficient and quality build such as spoke and nipple thread prep, proper spoke head seating in the hub shell and pre-bending the spoke angle leading to the rim if necessary. Of course, quality spoke wrenches, a dishing tool, and decent truing stand are the best route unless you only plan on building one wheel or doing a repair every year or so. Cheap tools are extravagance. I have used a fork (or bike frame) in place of a truing stand and I can dish rear wheels by sight and get pretty close but it takes a lot longer.
If proper spoke lube is used, straining the wheel after tensioning is probably not necessary but I always check.

I am not a wheel snob, or tool snob - of course, given time and experience, one can adequately build or repair wheels with just a spoke wrench and a bicycle frame. But if there was not a determinable and appreciable difference in efficiency and quality, then the tools and techniques would not stand the test of time, and I think they have.

I never used a tensionmeter until about three years ago when I bought a Park TM-1. I only use it for building in the final stage but it's best value is in assisting with diagnosis and repair. If I can immediately show a customer why his wheel is out of whack it saves a lot of speculation and discussion. I can also be more definitive in knowing when the rim is actually cooked or if it is just spoke tension (without dropping the tension on all the spokes). I can also show them when they pick up the repair how it is now in spec and it gives new customers immediate confidence in my work.

So, to me it is an indispensable shop tool for quickly diagnosing spoke issues and for replacing a few spokes to perform a quality repair. There is no way you can readily feel the difference of a spoke loaded at 70 kgf vs one tensioned at 90kgf, either by plucking spokes of squeezing them (or by how hard you have to turn the wrench). Many wheels use interlaced spokes and plucking them is pretty much useless due to spokes touching at the pattern cross. 2.0mm stainless spokes ate very difficult to hand gauge due to the material and thickness as opposed to butted galvanized spokes. Force to turn the wrench becomes less and less a reliable method of adequate tension once the wheel gets close to optimal tension due to many factors over which you little to no control.

Any methods that do not use filling the hub with spokes completely and then lacing them to the rim seems to be inefficient. If the proper technique is used you will never bend a spoke or scratch a mirror finished rim and build that wheel a lot quicker.

I am tempted to share what I have learned in a YT video but have never taken the time. I have taught several other mechanics over the years and as far as I know the method is still the best and easiest once mastered.
Nice informative post, bikemonkey. I'm inteested in purchasing a spoke tensioner and was wondering how well it works on 12, 11 and 10 gauge spokes.
 

Kstone

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Taking baby steps at lacing. This had one side of the laces sheared off at the heads. It was good practice for a harder job cause there was still tension and I had most of a pattern to follow. Yet I had to back other spokes out to fit the new ones in snuggly.
We'll see what happens when I have to do an entire lacing job! Hah. It won't be this easy

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bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Nice informative post, bikemonkey. I'm interested in purchasing a spoke tensioner and was wondering how well it works on 12, 11 and 10 gauge spokes.
It is a strain gauge and should work on any gauge spoke. Check the Park site as they have charts to convert the gauge readings to KGF for different spokes and maybe they list your gauges.

The only issue is that on some small diameter wheels limited access to the spokes prevents using it.
 

bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Please do share your talents on the Youtube! Also, I have a question....Do you have any recommendations for a truing stand , other than Park Tool? Nothing against Park Tool , they are the Kent More of the bicycle trade .... a little pricey. Thanks
I had only used Park shop quality stands until the past few years - you can't beat them for hard repeated use over many years. However, I inherited this Spin Doctor stand 3 years ago and I love it -I would use it over the old Parks any day. Looks like it's $69 shipped...

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49autocycledeluxe

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
when I told my buddy I was going to build a wheel he gave me his truing stand.

I had to do one restart, had one new spoke with no threads and lost 2 spoke nipples in the process so I had to go back to the bike shop. got it pretty close to true, think I'm going to put it together and ride it and see if I can get it better later.

my first wheel.:) I think I should get a badge or some kind of sticker to put on my car so everyone knows..... maybe even a jacket.

IMG_6458.JPG
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
when I told my buddy I was going to build a wheel he gave me his truing stand.

I had to do one restart, had one new spoke with no threads and lost 2 spoke nipples in the process so I had to go back to the bike shop. got it pretty close to true, think I'm going to put it together and ride it and see if I can get it better later.

my first wheel.:) I think I should get a badge or some kind of sticker to put on my car so everyone knows..... maybe even a jacket.

View attachment 806765

Dude, you need a big tattoo of your respoked wheel across your chest with the words I DID IT above. :p
 
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