More wheel building advice


I have just read the August issue of CBG, and found the wheel building section of particular interest.

I have built and repaired wheels for many years, learning from my brother Arthur back in the Fifties. He was a wheelbuilder at Brown Brothers in north London but at weekends he would do his private jobs at home and taught me the craft.

Your man Hutch’s method is spot-on, the only difference is that I dab a spot of Vaseline on the threads and dimples to lubricate and deter water ingress.

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Also, a Workmate with home-made attachments is a very good workstation. I also use a King Dick spoke key, that will fit all spokes from kiddies’ bikes to sports cars.

After you have built the wheel, properly fit it to the bike without the tyre and see how it looks. If the bike is a custom, bitsa or basketcase, you will be very lucky if it looks correct and it is more likely that the offset will have to be tweaked, but only do this if the wheel spacers are correct.

Once you are happy with the look, file off any spoke ends or burrs that may later puncture your tube, fit the rim tape and then the tyre can go on, but make sure that the tyre wall indicator rings look concentric to the rim. A badly fitted tyre will make all your setting up a waste of time.

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Well that’s it, job done! You can now tidy up, wash your hands and sit down with a cup of tea and admire a job well done!

Matt, I know you love your B31, please find enclosed a photograph of mine, it’s a 1957 model and has lived with me for 31 years.

Pete Johnson

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