Author Topic: Wheel rebuilding  (Read 322 times)

Offline florence

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Wheel rebuilding
« on: July 29, 2020, 02:10:57 PM »
After looking at Woody928's 550 rebuild story, I started to worry about my wheels.  They are just like his and every now and again I wirebrush them and the paint the insides, usually when I need a new tyre, but I'm wondering now whether it is time to think about having them rebuilt.  The front spokes are quite rusty and because front tyres last so long I can't remember what it is like on the inside.  The outside of the rim is pretty rusty.

Does anyone here know a good place to have it done and how much should I expect to pay?

Should I go for stainless, aluminium or the period correct chrome plated rims?  Problem with chrome plated steel rims is they might rust again fairly quickly.  I imagine the hole where the spoke goes through is the weak spot.

Sorry to ask, I'm in the dark a bit here, I've just ridden them in the past but in the last couple of years my bike has suddenly become quite old. ( a bit like me )

Offline florence

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 03:40:31 PM »
I have a quote of £245 a wheel for stainless.  £105 for the rim, £80 spokes, £50-60 labour.  any good? a job for the winter I suppose.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 03:56:03 PM by florence »

Offline AshimotoK0

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 04:17:04 PM »
I have a quote of £245 a wheel for stainless.  £105 for the rim, £80 spokes, £50-60 labour.  any good? a job for the winter I suppose.

You could always have bash at respoking yourself.. Bryan and kettle738 on here showed me how to do it and not as daunting as you might think if you take your time.
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Offline peterengland

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 05:00:36 PM »
Had my rear wheel re-spoked by a guy who lives about 5 minutes from DSS, can't remember his name but DSS recommended him to me. Think the charge was about £25 -£30
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Offline nairb

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 05:20:55 PM »
I have rebuilt several wheels over the years.  Its not as hard as it looks on the older bike wheels.  I found several good youtube vids. 
Take several pics of each side of the wheel.  Try and see how round/true the wheel is before you start.  You might be surprised that they are not as good as expected.  A good spoke spanner helps.  New rims are not always as round as you might think either.  You can always take it to be trued to a wheel builder if it does not work out.
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Offline Trigger

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 05:40:02 PM »
Stainless less steal rims are not stainless, they stain from chain lube and are a pig to keep clean and polished  ;)

Offline bruxby-clive

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 05:55:22 PM »
Give it a go yourself, I rebuilt my KH 250 wheels and paid someone to true them up, on my CB500 I built and trued them up myself. I bought a wheel jig from the National Motorcycle Museum about £120 and just took my time. There are some great videos on you tube which show you how to do it.The most important bit if I remember correctly is you must fit all the spokes that go from the outside to the inside before attaching any spokes to the rim, you can add the other ones at any time.
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Offline the-chauffeur

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 06:54:08 PM »
+1 with the give it a go crew if you're in any way mechanically inclined.

One of the great things about Honda twins and fours of the 60's and 70's (and maybe beyond) is that the wheels are a fairly basic design.  Two types of spokes in each wheel - one 'inner' and one 'outer' - and the rims centre on the hubs.  Whereas owners of other bike marques of the same era can have things like multiple spoke sizes and wheel offset (where the rim is pulled more to one side than the other) to contend with, all you'll have to worry about is getting the spoke pattern right and tightening up to run true.

As the others have said, you can learn a lot from online guides and there are plenty of folks who've put videos of the process on YouTube.   Basically, take photos and take your time.  Materials-wise, much will depend on how much effort you want to put into keeping things clean; personally I prefer stainless rims because I've had chromed rims go bad quite quickly, but bear Trigger's points in mind.  Given the popularity of your bike, you should have a fair choice of off-the-shelf stuff and not have to do any measuring spoke or nipple sizes (yeah, there are different nipple sizes . . . ).

Equally, you don't need much in the way of tools to lace a wheel - a spoke spanner is helpful, and you'll need something to hold the wheel when it comes to straightening/tensioning.  As useful as they are, wheel building stands aren't really necessary.  I started out with a couple of short lengths of wood screwed upright to an old workbench, with the axle held in place by nails and a piece of coathanger to act as a pointer when truing.  So long as the wheel can spin and axle is parallel with the floor, you'll do OK.

And there's no harm in having a go with one and seeing how far you get.  If you get it all done, great.  If not, you can just pass the bits/job on to someone who can finish it for you. 

Offline Johnny4428

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2020, 07:03:55 AM »
Very satisfying to do yourself. My introduction to wheel building was a bicycle maintenance book. So I trued up an old buckled bicycle wheel using an old front forks upturned and stuck in the vice. I now have a cheapo wheel balancing jig/stand modified to true wheels in. Each to their own but I still prefer the brightness of the chrome rims compared to Stainless, but defo stainless spokes.
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Offline florence

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 09:18:48 AM »
Thanks for this excellent advice, tempted to have a go now.

I think the chrome rims look better but my bike spends a lot of it's time outside and I'm worried they will go rusty again, although the guy I spoke to did say something about British chrome which has the holes chromed inside too but was more expensive, £140 per rim.

Also, he offered to sand blast the hubs but I'm not going to bother with that, a quick rub over with an oily rag will do.  It keeps the cost down and if the wheels are too shiny it will make the rest of the bike look weird, and besides which, I would have to take out the wheel bearings.

Offline Trigger

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 01:16:22 PM »
DID rims are fully chromed, if you want to stop water getting inside a old wheel builder used to put a O ring on every nipple to seal it  ;)

Offline Laverda Dave

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 03:24:35 PM »
I did read somewhere (Rick Parkington in Classic Bike if I remember correctly) that you must be careful if fitting stainless spokes with mild steel spoke nipples. Apparently the two metals will corrode together and you will have a difficult job taking them apart or making any adjustments at a later date. I'm sure there must be something you can coat the threads with though to reduce the risk of that happening?
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Offline the-chauffeur

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 05:17:44 PM »

If you buy stainless spokes from reputable sources, you'll generally be offered a choice of nipples including nickel coated brass (I think) because the don't react.  As Dave says, you can run into problems with bimetallic corrosion (where two different types of metal fuse together) if you use the wrong combinations.  Again, so long as the source is reputable, they'll be able to advise what's most appropriate.  Either way, I use small amounts of waterproof grease on the spoke threads when I'm assembling, just in case. 

And whilst water can (and almost certainly will) get into the rims, the rust it causes won't be visible while the tyres are on.  Equally it's unlikely to ever eat it's way through or become dangerous unless you're very unlucky.  Depending on your perspective, the problematic stuff tends to be caused by things attacking the outer surfaces because as you've noticed, they spoil the overall look of the wheels

Offline florence

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2020, 12:20:53 PM »
I'm only considering wheel rebuilds because the inside is corroded, I don't mind the outside being rusty but I have had tubes fail before when the rust has become rough.  Usually, I wire brush and paint the inside of the rims but it only lasts so long.  It might be good to have them maintenance free and should improve the value of the bike in the long term. 

Offline matthewmosse

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Re: Wheel rebuilding
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2020, 09:15:07 PM »
Worth doing your own rebuild, I used a swing arm mounted In a vice as a jig, and a bit of welding rod as a pointer. I was tight and managed to re use my original spokes - though I seem to recall I had to cadge a couple of spares off a second wheel, which was mostly sized up too badly to save the spokes but saved enough. Gave me 2 hubs to re line. Ones still probably on a shelf awaiting the need to re lace. The cost was offputting.
Got a 500/4 with rust and a sidecar and loadsa bits. nice and original and been round the clock

 

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