Sometimes I hate wheelbuilding.

Wheel building can be a real pain in the ass sometimes. There really aren’t a lot of really good resources for specific technical questions or aspects of building. I am too lazy to accurately model the stuff in a CAD program…although at some point I will need to, but that’s top secret. So you end up having to make assumptions and just going with it.

Multiple times I have said….”it’s just a mm. I should be able to compensate for it.”

What’s got my panties in a bunch right now is Mike Garcia’s (well really they are Formula’s) paired spoke drilling on his serenity rear hub (Formula RB217 or some such nonsense). Mike is just plain wrong when it comes to using an appropriate “X” variant to do spoke calculations.

He always says to use x.15. So to calculate the lengths needed for a 2X using that drilling you need to use a 2.15X in the calculations. He’s burned me twice with that now. You end up with spokes that are about 2mm too short.

I can compensate for 1mm….not 2mm.

In my rush to put together the order list for the current 2 wheelsets I am building I paid little attention to a small change one of the recipients made. He changed the rear confirguration that I had put together for both sets from a 28 spoke 3X to a 24 spoke….leaving it 3X. Right now I have spokes running into the axle as they take the spoke line across the flange.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb (me), dumb, dumb, dumb.

So in short….tonight I am an idiot. I was also an idiot when I approved the builds and ordered the parts. The Chinese engineer that designed the paried spoke hub flange on that hub is also an idiot. Paired spokes……idiot (sorry Keith).

Now I get to play “are you an idiot” with every LBS in the area tomorrow looking for the spokes I need. My guess is that I will find more than 1 idiot tomorrow. I will most likely end up having to order an additional batch from Cambria bike. At least with the Fredcast coupon you can usually get free shipping.

Sometimes wheels suck.

Most of the time they make you feel like you have tapped into the zen of the physical laws of the universe. Feeling the tension play between the components, massaging the assembly into a state of permanant static being. Knowing that when the rider takes them out turns the first pedal stroke they are going to think, “wow. Holy crap that’s a big difference!”

I live to provide that. I can only imagine the feeling for me is not unlike what some operators feel when they have put forth their best effort in the manufacture of a weapon going to war. You know when you’ve tapped into the essence of the wheel while building and you know that, because it is well built, it will become an instrument of pain to be wielded by insanely skinny men on the steep slopes and windy flats of your local hammer ride.

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