How To Build A Bicycle Wheel | Maintenance Monday

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 4 years ago

Thanks to DT Swiss for inviting us to their factory. Ex pro cyclist Simon Richardson is tutored by Marcel Waldmann to learn exactly how to build a wheel.

Simon is joined by Master Wheel Builder Marcel Waldmann - AKA Masters Downhill World Champion - at DT Swiss to learn how to build his first wheel.

Lace it, pretension it, dish it, destress it, true it and then tension it fully...

Step 1 - What you'll need

Spokes, nipples, hub and rim make a wheel, with Marcel explaining what you'll need for your build and the handy DT Swiss tool online to help you.

Step 2 - Lacing

Using the Schraner method, now Simon starts to lace the spokes from hub to rim. Drive side first!

Step 3 - Tensioning

Now laced, we move to the truing stand to tension the spokes. Firstly we pre-tension the wheel to make sure each spoke is threaded into the nipple by the same amount. Thankfully now with a drill, not by hand!

With spokes adjusted to true the wheel, next the spoke tension is checked.

Voila! A downhill wheel, shame Si doesn't have a DH bike...

Have you ever built a wheel? Let us know in the comments 👇

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💬 Comments

Do you build your own wheels or leave it to the master wheelbuilders like Marcel? Let us know here! 🚲

Author — Global Cycling Network


building my own wheel is time consuming, uneconomical, mentally challenging, unnecessary, and difficult which is exactly why I want to do it.

Author — P Kelly


After witnessing this level of precision I am beginning to question the quality of every wheel in my garage.

Author — Ramond Ferreal


All I got from this is to let someone who knows what they're doing build your wheels.

Author — Tom Brablec


Great video, I have been meaning to get 'round' to building a wheel and after many years I may give it a try! Awesome instructions by Marcel :)

Author — robert o'keefe


Now we all know why high end wheels cost so much. This guy is a true craftsman.

Author — Michael Kaszynski


old-school tradesmen type guys like Marcel are amazing to watch at what they do, I bet if they took away all that fancy tech he could still build up a brilliant set of wheels by feel and with the most simple tools. cool video.

Author — dick Root


I have ebike that I built myself and it came with an assembled wheel and hub motor.. Due to a horrible sidewalk now im forced to build a wheel.. I'm an accomplished auto mechanic with over 30yrs xp points, and during this little venture I've realized no matter how smart you are there's ALWAYS more to learn... 🤯

Author — Max Power


Thanks, I have been saying it for years, building and truing wheels is both an art and a science. Talk about tying and soldering spokes.

Author — Jeff Davis


It's all easy when you have all the tools and follow the instructions properly. I built a rear wheel for the 1st time and have done over 1000 miles and had no issues, but I think it's more to the fact that I invested in a park tool spoke tension tool at the cost of £50 which I personally think it's a must have tool for wheel building.

Author — spiderman01980


Over the years, I've built more than half of the wheels that I use, including almost all of my race wheels. Over the years, I've probably built at least 10 wheelsets (including some freewheel types when I first started out) Tension and balance determine how long a wheel will last before "J" bend spokes start to break. (Front wheels are the easiest to build because the tension and spoke length are the same on both sides)

Author — MRGRUMPY53


I think it s a real job to built a wheel.
Next week, I'm going to start my first wheels on a vintage bike.
Good job to repair and built bikes.

Author — lionel jeanne


That was a fascinating episode. Really enjoyed it, and learnt new stuff...always good 😁

Author — Jon Burnell


I think I might have some damage on the cup of my hub, so I was wondering if it would be worth it to invest in some tools and replace the hub myself.

I'll buy a new wheel :)

Author — Kibbelingg


I was listening to you Simon but also the other wheel builder on his cordless drill his motor timing was spot on every time . Thanks for showing .

Author — Willian. Direction


I literally built my front and rear wheels for the first time yesterday to replace worn out hubs. They are holding together well so far. Wish me luck on the trails tomorrow =S

Author — Adam Eronen Piper


Finished my first wheel build today.
A few pointers...
As step 0. Check to make sure that all your new spokes are exactly the same size and your LBS didn't give you a short one by mistake.

On the first pass, tighten the spokes at the minimum possible so that they'll hold on to the nipple.

Once everything is together, if you have a rim brake, mount the wheel on the bike, use a zip tie to tighten the brake one click at a time and tighten it little by little finding the place where it touches the brake, until it touches on both sides at the same time.

Author — Pablo Torre


Wow that was good, detailed, looks complicated but very impressive!

Author — Douglas Beattie


Absolutely fascinating as I was thinking about building my own wheel. After watching this video, looks through off the peg options 😂 and starts another jam donut

Author — Jack Samurai


I recently built my own rear wheel with DT Swiss hub and asymmetric rim, but I just laced it, then took it to a bike shop to be trued.

Author — Jonathan Z