3 Cross Wheel Lacing - Page 2 of 9

Figure 5

Spokes are under a great deal of tension, so you need to remove them only a little bit at a time in order to avoid damaging the spokes and the rim. If you tried to remove only a few spokes right away, the neighboring spokes would have to deal with a lot of added tension, and may have their threads damaged or even snap tight off at the head. Another problem with removing the spokes unevenly is that the rim will become distorted. If this happens too much, it may be permanently bent. For these reasons, you must remove the spokes only a little at a time by turning each spoke nipple once in the counter clockwise rotation.

Figure 6

While working around the rim, always start at the valve hole on the first spoke and then work around the rim until you end at the valve hole on the last spoke. Loosen each spoke nipple one turn in the counter clockwise rotation, moving to the next spoke until you have ended up back at the valve hole where you begun. Loosening spokes this way will prevent your spokes or rim from being damaged. Work around the rim multiple times until all of the spoke nipples are loose enough to be turned by hand. At this point, there is no risk of warping the rim.

Figure 7

When the spoke nipples are loose enough to be turned by hand, place the rim over a bucket or large can so that you can easily work your way around the rim. At this point, you can take the spoke nipples completely out in any order as there is no risk of warping the rim or damaging spoke threads with very little tension on the spokes.

Figure 8

If you turn the spoke nipples using your fingers along the sides, then they can be removed in a few seconds. Spoke nipples are removed by turning them in the counter clockwise rotation until they are completely removed from the spoke threads. If some of the spoke threads have corroded slightly, then you will need to use your screwdriver to turn them the rest of the way out. Take note of badly rusted spokes or nipples as they should not be used again to build a wheel.

Figure 9

With all of the spoke nipples removed from the spoke threads, you can pull the hub away from the rim, leaving a huge mess of disorganized spokes sticking out of the hub in all directions. To quickly remove all of the spokes from the hub flanges, hold it upright and then let all of the spokes drop through the holes by setting them in the upright position. Once the first 18 spokes are removed, flip over the hub and drop out the next set of 18 spokes in the same way.

Figure 10

After the spokes have been removed from the hub, give it a cleaning and then inspect he hub flanges for any damage or small cracks. Do not use a hub that has a crack in the flange, even if it came from a working wheel. Also, take a close look at the holes in the hub flange. On some hubs, only every second hole is countersunk (chamfered) around the edge. If your hub is like this, then remember to place spoke heads into the counter sunk hole so that they seat into the hole. Most hubs have identical holes all the way around the flanges like this one.

Figure 11

You now have a completely disassembled wheel that you can use as a practice wheel to build your wheel lacing skills. If you intend to transplant this rim to a different hub, then make sure that the other hub has flanges of approximately the same diameter or your spokes may end up too short or too long.

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You can build it yourself from our easy to follow DIY plans!