Mr Ramen Part 5: New wheels

Check spoke length... OK

Continuing from my last post which showed the rebuild of the Shimano 600EX hubs, I went and built them into some new wheels.  The rims I used were a pair of Weinmann box section double eyeletted rims which I got off ebay used.  I decided to lace the front wheel as radial, mostly for bling factor - I love the way radial lacing looks especially on a high flange hub.  In fact it's probably best done on a high flange hub because there is much more meat between the spoke holes on the flanges.  I've used Damon Rinard's spoke calculator in the past and it's served me well.  This time the spoke lengths were spot on.

Partly laced, one more side to go.  The extra thickness of the later Shimano 600EX hubs is reassuring

I had to decide how to lace the rear hub, originally I had wanted to lace it 3-cross drive side and radial non-drive side.  However after a bit of reading, this is actually the opposite way to do it.  Radial lacing tends to lower spoke tension - typically the drive side on a wheel dished for a cassette has higher drive side spoke tension.  Radial spokes tend to run lower tension so putting them on the non-drive side only would further imbalance the tension.  This seemed really strange to me as my Campagnolo Zonda wheels are laced radial non-drive and tangentially drive side.  Also many other factory rear wheels are laced this way.  The correct way to do it is to lace the drive side radially which comes closer to evening out the tension on a wheel dished for a cassette.  However this requires a rear hub with a largeish body which can transfer drive torque from drive side to the non-drive side.

This was all just to complicated so I just gave up and laced the thing 3-cross both sides, it's a tried and true pattern.  Funnily enough the spokes from the previous wheelbuild I had done for Mr Ramen were exactly the same length so I just reused them.  Fit perfectly.

However, there was one slight problem.  The front wheel built up perfectly nice and straight from the get go, however the rear rim had a big hop in it laterally, like 3-4mm.  I did notice when I bought them that one of the rims had a slight dent in them from possibly hitting a pothole.  Oh well, I got them for $40 so it's not a huge loss.  I ended up pulling apart another spare wheel for the Araya 20A rim which I laced up.  This took a little bit of work to get true but I managed to get it nice and straight.  Cosmetically other than the Araya sticker it's difficult to tell it apart from the Weinmann on the front.  They are both box section and double eyeletted.

The Shimano 600EX rear hub has a convenient oiler hole

High flange radial lacing bling

All done
I've so far ridden it about 5kms so far, hasn't imploded yet which is a good sign.  It's actually a bit dangerous because I find myself gazing at the shininess of the front hub whilst I'm riding when I should be watching the traffic ahead of me.   Happy riding.


  1. i find myself doing that too when riding home from work in the late arvo - mesmerised by the flicking of the sunlight off the spokes... it's so pretty!