Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Wheels!!!!!!

Finally, I've finished my new wheels. Wayyyy too much time to get these things built, but finally they are done.

They are 50mm deep carbon rims laced to OffTheFront Racing hubs via Sapim spokes and nipples. They were/are my first deep dish rims, my first carbon rims, and my first tubular wheels.

As built, the set weighs 1290 grams. With them shod with Challenge Fango and Grifo, my CX ride now weighs in at just over 18.7 lbs. Thats a drop of almost 2lbs off my shoulder during the races, and gives me mucho better traction.

The project started with a 'group buy' on the Weight Weenies website. I ended up buying the 50mm tubulars from the vendor in Taiwan. Unfortunately, they took absolutely forever to get here. Apparent quality issues at the manufacturer prevented them from shipping. However, they did get here, and the quality is great.

Next issue was spokes. I had trouble finding them, but eventually settled on Sapim Laser for the front spokes and Sapim Race for the rear. Sapim alu nipples anodized red tie everything together.

My wheelbuilding friend Chris suggested that I build the wheels with nipple washers to spread the load inside the rimbed. That proved to be a bit of a problem. Because I used Sapim spokes and nipples, I decided to use Sapim Nipple Washers. Unfortunately, when they arrived, they were obviously not going to fit....... Wayyy too big. I looked at several opportunities to use locally available 'hardware store' washers, but none would fit..... They also were not really the right 'conical' shape that I needed.

Finally, I elected to order Pillar nipple washers from BDOP cycling in Taiwan. Do all bike parts now originate in Taiwan? They arrived, and they fit perfectly.

The wheels laced up very nicely and tensioned up well. I got them within approx .012" of true right off the bat and same for roundness.

With all that done, the tires are now stretching on the rims with the hope of gluing them up this weekend. I guess its time to get sticky.....

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