Monday, November 9, 2015

The Great Bicycle Build Part 1

My younger son is teaching me how to build a bicycle.  We are starting with the front wheel.  The kitchen table makes a handy workbench.

The spoke slips through a hole in the hub and is held by a hook at its end.  It matters whether the face of the hook is on the interior or the exterior of the hub.  We used a front wheel from another bicycle as our guide.

My son told me that the emblem on the hub needs to face the label on the rim.  Otherwise, professional wheel builders will snicker at you.

It's tricky (for me, that is, not for my son) to tell which particular hole in the hub corresponds to where the spoke is attached to the rim.  I made a few false starts.

The spoke is fixed to the rim by a little aluminum nipple that is slipped through a hole in the rim and then screwed onto the spoke's threaded end.  In other words, the spoke, with its last few threads lightly lubricated with green bicycle grease, plays the part of a bolt and the nipple is the nut. 

Seeing the tiny threads on the end of the spoke (undetectable in the fuzzy photo below) tested the limits of my bifocals.

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