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.