Monday, April 06, 2020

Plan 2020 - Clincher Rear Wheel, aka "The DT Wheel"

One of the many critical things I need for training is a clincher fixed gear rear wheel. For the uninitiated, it's not just a matter of "converting a wheel". A track rear wheel is narrower, has a different hub, and is a specialized piece of equipment. With all the wheels I have, one thing I don't have is a knock-about fixed gear training wheel.

I do have a nice hub, so using that as a starting point, I built myself a nice training wheel.

Wheel building kit

Back in the day I built a lot of wheels, but wheels back then were simpler things. Nowadays the rims are taller, have a lot of nooks and crannies where you can lose a spoke nipple or something, and usually have lower spoke counts. Weight doesn't count as much as aero, and there's a whole new category of rims for disc brakes. With disc brakes the rim isn't the brake so the rim can be lighter and, most importantly (ha!), it can have decals on the side.

I decided to get a rim with decals on the side. I went with DT R460 rims just because they looked cool, they were clinchers, and they were relatively inexpensive.

Before my bike shop days ended I had gathered some wheel building supplies through a DT sponsored, in-shop course. Can you believe someone came to the shop and taught us how to build wheels?

Part of the kit included the pen-like gizmo in my kit above, a device designed to hold a spoke nipple so you could thread it onto a spoke deep inside an aero wheel.

I never used it until I build this wheel.

I also used spoke nipple washers (never used until this build). They're the cone shaped washers in the bag in the top right of the bin.

The crooked screwdriver is made to screw on nipples quickly. It's like a speed handle screwdriver.

The old wheel, before I tore it apart. Note cog on hub.

Built wheel, still to be tensioned.

Building the wheel took forever, probably about 2.5 -3 hours. Building it ended up being a calming experience, meditative experience. For the first time in a while I was lost in the process, focussed, and only realized how much time it was taking when I realized that I had to keep an eye out so I wouldn't be late picking up Junior (this was before the shelter at home thing). I left the wheel untensioned so there's a bit left to go, but otherwise it's all set.

Cog. I didn't remove it, built the wheel with it on the hub.

It's a bit funny, we used to joke about using cogs so small you could change a spoke without removing the freewheel. Well, this was my race wheel from 2009, and I just left the cog on through the entire tear down and rebuild process.

The other side of the hub.

It may not be pristine but for now it'll do.

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