Beiciau Greens' Bikeshop The Friendly Shop

Follow us on Twitter
Wheel Building  

There are many machine made wheels on the market, at all sorts of prices. They include the currently fashionable styles with fewer spokes than used to be usual.

However, this does not mean that the “traditional” wheel is out of date. It is still possible to build wheels with thirty-six spokes, interlaced with each spoke crossing three others (cross three), that will work at least as well as anything.


Low spoke-count wheels have an aerodynamic edge for time-trialling at a very high level, but are best saved for race days.

I generally build rear wheels with thirty-six spokes. The extra spokes make the wheel much more reliable If you want to save some weight, it is better to stick with thirty-six in the rear and reduce the number of spokes in the front.

At present, I can source rims weighing from 430g (light road racing wheels) to 745g (very heavy duty touring wheels). Sprint rims weigh from 360g.

I use brass nipples. Although aluminium alloy nipples save a little weight (where it counts, at the rim), they are prone to corrosion. This makes the wheel difficult to retrue. Brass nipples are important to a long-lasting wheel.

Front wheels always have double-butted spokes. They are thinner in the middle, which makes them more resilient to changes in tension. The thicker ends add strength where it is needed.

At the rear, I build with Sapim Strong single-butted spokes on the drive side. This compensates for the extra tension in the spokes. This tension is necessary to allow room for the sprockets. There is a small increase in weight (roughly twenty grammes) but it is a very worthwhile improvement in the wheel’s longevity.


We hope that you found what you were looking for, if not please feel free to contact us.

Thank you for visiting our website, and we look forward to meeting you in person.

Bookmark and Share

Website by Delwedd

Greens' Bikeshop, 4 Tai California, Clwt-Y-Bont, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL553DU TEL: 01286 871125 | MOB: 07587095381 Tell-a-friend Print Page Add to favourites e-mail us