Wanted: wheel builder or wheel building workshop

(RobertL) #1

My rear bicycle wheel is starting to split :sleepy:

Anyone know a good wheel builder or workshop on how to do it?

Happy to pay in worthless debt tokens (ie. money). Otherwise it’s £130 for a new wheel

Thanks for looking

(David Smith) #2

I’m far from an expert but I’ve built up somewhere around seven wheels.
Commuted for years on one set, mountain biked on some others.
Even hit a car that turned across in front of me and broke a frame. Wheels have stayed true through all of it.

It isn’t that hard to pickup yourself. Just slow going.

This guide is excellent.

Well worth £9.

Worth mentioning that all I’ve built are 3 cross wheels. The fancier patterns (by which I mean things like straight pull) are harder and the tension on the spokes more important.

(RobertL) #3

Thanks for the prompt and helpful response. I’ll definitely get that publication.

I’m not bothered about fancy patterns but it is for an electric wheel/hub which has shorter/thicker spokes, if that makes any difference?

I think the split was caused by hitting a large pothole, in the rain, which punctured the inner tube and permanently bent the tyre!

I first thought the wheel was buckled. But a kind bike shop technician in Orpington did a free on-bike quick-true. Using cable ties around the wheel forks(stays?), cut so they nearly touched the rim. It was still wobbling badly even after a deflate/inflate. Swapping the tyre solved the problem. Then I noticed the split damage to the hub

I have found a potential course for £90 at the London bike hub but they haven’t set any 2019 dates yet.

(Alexander Baxevanis) #4

I got this guy to build some wheels for me recently: http://www.yogarup.com/wheels/

He did a good job and was good at giving me some guidance by email before I went to visit.

(Ed Yeboah) #5

I rebuilt my wheel after watching a few youtube videos and taking a picture of the spoke layout before I got started. It’s pretty easy (though time consuming) once you get going , the lengthy part is truing the wheel after you’ve laced it!

(RobertL) #6

Thanks again for the super useful responses.
I’ve emailed yogarup as it’s very local.

I’d love to do it myself though. So you think I can lace it myself and maybe get an expert to true it?

(Ed Yeboah) #7

I did mine myself after a guy in the shop told me I’d end up killing myself. Have you trued a wheel before? That’s the easy part but just takes a while to get right. Just make sure you take pictures before you start.

(RobertL) #8

I’ve only tightened spokes before. It’s an electric rear wheel which often carries a lot of weight so I’m happy to pay for an expert to true it. If I can build it, it would save a few £s.

As I use it almost every day, it may be better to buy a new wheel and use this as a backup when I get it fixed.

(Ed Yeboah) #9

Ah, are you swapping an electric hub for a standard one?

(RobertL) #10

Nope, just replacing the damaged rim.

I just got a reply from yogarup. I have to get an exactly matching rim, which I may have because I’ve collected quite a few. Otherwise I may need new spokes.

(Ed Yeboah) #11

Cool, what bike is it?

(RobertL) #12

I cobbled it together from a full size dahon frame, suspension forks, electric wheel from a second hand bike and powered by 36v bosch power tool batteries which charge in 45mins

I’m going to change the forks. What’s the easiest way to free the old headset retaining ring?

(Ed Yeboah) #13

Nice bit of hackery there! How many of those batteries are you using and what’s the total Wh you’re getting from them? I’m assuming you’re connecting them in parallel.

I haven’t come across headset/fork retaining rings before, when I changed my forks I picked up a steel pole of similar diameter and tapped the forks out of the headset with a rubber mallet.

(Pete Hellyer) #14

IIRC in (older) dahon frames, its a circlip, and circlip plyers will do your job (we don’t have any in the space though). Newer dahon frames use cheaper springy rings, so brute force from below is the easiest way.

(RobertL) #15

Apologies, I should have said it’s a ‘mountain’ type bike with a threadless 1 & 1/8th inch A-head type headset. I think the problem part is called a conical centering/compression ring (4th down on the attached picture)

I’m currently using one battery at the time with a bodge job connector. They’re the 4ah version.

I’ve designed and drafted a new connector for 3D printing. So when I get that done I’ll run 2 or 3 in parallel.

They were going into an ebike rear rack which held the old battery but that steadily has disintegrated. It would be nice to attach them to the frame in some way. I’ve got a few ideas.

On recommendation, I’ve bought a reel of black PETG for the job which I’m aware will require special procedures to use in the SLMS machine.

(Martin John Finch) #16

Yeah we do - I donated a pair and put them in the metalwork shelves. Unless they have disappeared.

(Martin John Finch) #17


I can recommend Tim at Bellevue Bicycle Workshop - 07905 764 104


Tim comes to mind because he has extensive experience with electric bikes and conversions. He rebuilt a wheel for me at a very reasonable price and has helped with various other obscure bike fixing jobs. He is REALLY into wheels and will give you a, shall we say, “detailed” explanation of how wheels should be built. Failing that, he knows another mechanic somewhere in Battersea I think , who is the wheel guru in South London.

Good luck with it,


(Ed Yeboah) #18

4Ah? How many miles do you get out of each battery?

(RobertL) #19

That’s the most frequently asked question I get.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a definite answer. It depends on: the weight I’m carrying, the amount of pedalling I’m doing, temperature, terrain (hills).

Let’s say a few, usually enough to get me around London when combined with the train for longer distances. I’ll usually take 2 batteries and the charger when out for the day.

(Tom Newsom) #20

Sam The Wheels is a local institution