How to build a wheel part 2: tensioning and final true

How to build a wheel part 2: tensioning and final true

Today, we finish off the wheel we started last time. Not exactly that wheel, though, because I'm a dummy and hit the wrong button on the phone when I was tensioning the first one. Fortunately, we had another very similar HED Belgium+ wheel build in the queue so that made a good stand in.

The production quality of this video is, I think, a marked improvement over the first. Still a long way from perfect but, you know, we're working with what we've got. Costume and makeup departments are still sorely lacking. Corona Fro has no interest in being tamed.  

I know this will come as a complete shock to you all, but this sucker is pretty long. The upside of that is that it's complete. I watched it twice - once post editing, once in private mode after posting - and if there's something missing I can't figure out what it is. 

The participation in the survey has been great, thank you all for that. If you haven't taken it, please do, and please share it however you might. You know we'll do the full overshare on the results, there will be interesting blogs from it, and most important (to us at least) is that it will help us improve. .9% of people have bought wheels from us and aren't happy with them. I wish it was 0% and we'll keep trying to get it there. 

Ok, movie, here you go. 

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Hi from an amateur builder from the UK. I have built seven or eight sets of wheels for my own use. Really interested to see your broom handle technique for bedding in. More vigorous in execution than I have been in this area. Shows me scope for improving my own technique. Great video.

Kevin Whelan

HI Bill – I maybe didn’t emphasize it enough in the video but I look for 90kgf on the fronts. Not every wheel is exactly 90 – some are 87 some are 93 – but we do try to have minimal variance from spoke to spoke. So our builds have a bit of variance in average tension, but a very low standard deviation. For rears, get the drive side to ~125kgf, which will get the non-drives to about 65 depending on the hub. In the next video we’ll do dished wheels, but one tip is to dish your wheels slightly (~1mm) to the higher tension side. They center automatically when you put a tire on (magic! I know). – Dave


Thanks for sharing your experience. What would you consider the ideal spoke tension range for aluminum wheels such as R90sl or Belgium +. I am looking for the level in which the spoke is properly tensioned without adding undue additional tension to the wheel. When build wheels, I use the tension meter all the time and is my main focus – I’m a beginner which might explain my reliance on the tool.

bill k

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