Re: [CR]RE: Need help building wheelset!!!

(Example: Production Builders:Peugeot)

Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 06:50:43 -0800
From: "Bill Bryant" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]RE: Need help building wheelset!!!
References: <> wrote:
> I AM 5' 11" AND 175LBS... I'm about to have my wheels laced-up...
> (NOS) 32-hole/NR hubs with (NOS) 32-hole/Mavic OR10 gold annodized tubular
> rims...
> - What lacing pattern would you recommend (single-cross, two-cross,
> triple-cross, etc.)? And why...

3-cross was pretty standard on 32-spoke wheels then, sometimes you'd also see 2-cross. But for your size, I'd recommend 3-cross. (BTW, if memory serves, the OR-10 was an early '80s road rim and a little wide for real track tires; something a couple millimeters more narrow would be correct for track use. But if you're riding it for fun with lightweight road tires, no biggie. The gold color is nice; many gold Nisi rims were used by track riders during that time period. They'll look sharp.)
> - For a mid-70's restoration, would you recommend standard stainless-steel
> spokes
> or the double-butted stainless-steel spokes? And Why...

Double-butted, stainless steel is the way to go; was then and is now. Builds a better wheel than straight-guauge.
> - Should I ask for a specific brand of spokes? And Why...

As discussed recently on CR, the current Wheelsmith double-butted spokes look more like vintage stainless spoke due to their sharper transitions at the butts and tighter "j" bends. But the arrival of DT brand spokes occurred in about 1976, so that is mid-70s too.
> - And what gauge spokes would you recommend? And why...

Depends on the size of the spoke hole in the hub. The looser the fit between the spoke and hub flange, the worse the wheel will be. Many vintage hubs had a slightly smaller spoke holes than they do these days, where 2.0mm is now the norm. (Actually the spoke holes are growing even larger in some cases to make robot wheel building easier. Makes a crappier wheel, but the customer doesn't know this till too late. I've measured spoke hole differences in the Shimano model hubs that were both new, so buyer beware. I think Campy is still okay in this regard.)

Anyway, in 1975 or so, Campy hubs would probably have been drilled for 1.8mm spokes and would have been used by track riders for lightness and there's very little dish to worry about in the rear wheel. Lighter Robergel Trois Etoiles were frequently used then. But so too 1.8mm DTs as wheel builders discovered their superior strength. Your project bike is in a transitional period for spoke hole drilling. So, go with either 1.8mm or 2.0mm to get the best (i.e., tightest) fit. Either would still be period-correct--but I'd vote for the lighter ones since I built a lot of track wheels then with the 1.8mm spokes. Held up just fine; crashes were what did them in, not spoke failure.

Also, serious track racers had both front and rear track wheels tied-n-soldered for two reasons. First, the wheel was stiffer and held up better to acceleration and the cornering forces when abruptly swooping up and down the banking. And two, if someone should put their front axle nuts or pedal into your wheel, it help up a little better and you might come to a halt without the wheel collapsing. If you rode the tight indoor board tracks, tieing-n-soldering was considered obligatory due to the higher g-forces on the steep banking, so too lots of spokes in the wheels. Whatever type of track you ride, be sure your tires are glued on properly with track cement since the side forces on banking will reveal a poor glue job using road cement. You, alas, will not enjoy the experience, nor anyone in your draft.
> - Can anyone recommend a great wheel-builder in Los Angeles area?

Nope, sorry, can't help you there. (Is Steve Aldridge still building? If so, he's the real deal.) Go hang out at the track and chat with the riders; they'll tell you who is currently doing good work. In any case, good luck with your project. Have fun riding the track, it's a blast. :-)

Bill Bryant
Santa Cruz, CA