Wheel Building

Why is it that every time I build a wheel without the book by my side, I mess up and have to rebuild it?

My theory is that I read one book and stuck by it–Jobst Brandt’s The Bicycle Whee. That book was difficult for me to follow, and while I dug some of the theory stuff, it talked over me head at the time. I built about 6 or 8 wheels with that book by my side.

Then one day, someone told me about a “simpler, much simpler book.” I’ve come to know it as “the other wheelbuilding book,” as there are really only 2 books written on the subject. The Art of Wheelbuilding is another comprehensive look at building wheels, but in my opinion, offers and more clear and easy way to assemble a 3-cross spoked wheel.

It’s my theory that despite the Art of Wheelbuilding’s clear instructions, my background steeped in two schools of thought is so mixed and convoluted that it’s nearly impossible for me to get it right.

And after all this is said and done, I still couldn’t pass a wheelbuilder’s vocabulary test—what the hell is a pulling spoke?


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