Lace – definitely not Chantilly

I got the remainder of the parts I needed to build the wheels on Friday.  These wheels are going on the LeMond frame, they have Campagnolo hubs (translated from Italian that means “smooth as glass”), H-Son TB-14 rims, and DT Swiss spokes.  Their only downfall is that I’m building the wheels.

It went well.  I checked the spoke lengths and they were spot on.  Got the Zinn book, and laced the front wheel.  It took about a half-hour to lace and then I checked it over carefully.  No lacing errors that I could find, so I tightened the spokes up and checked the dish.  Amazingly, the dish was basically perfect to start with,  so it was up to me to mess it up.

I increased the tension up to “almost where it should be” and checked everything again.  A few spokes were a little looser and a few were tighter, so I evened them out as best I could.  Checked the dish again, still perfect.  Set the tension to the final value and the dish is perfect, and the wheel is radially true.  A few spots where the lateral true needed some help, but not as many as I expected.  I would have no concerns putting rim tape on, a tube and tire, and riding this rim tomorrow.  But I’ll save the maiden voyage  for the LeMond once the build is finished.

On to the rear wheel, this one is a little more complicated.  I chose a 3-cross NDS pattern and a 2-cross DS pattern.  If my research is right, this will help to minimize the NDS/DS tension differences and help the rim to be stronger and to stay true longer.  Lacing the NDS 3-cross was fairly simple, I’d just finished the front wheel with that pattern.  Lacing the DS 2-cross took some thought and trial and error, but I got it.  The rim looks centered, but I haven’t checked the dish yet and the spokes have minimal tension right now.

Maybe after tomorrow’s ride I’ll try and finish it up.

I’m sure that to a lot of people, building wheels is not a big deal.  It is to me, because I’ve not finished a set before (and I guess technically this set isn’t finished yet), and there’s a sense of satisfaction in learning something that you didn’t know how to do, and then using what you learned to make something.

Building stuff is fun.

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