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Bicycle Rim Replacement

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Make your wheel anew with a fresh new rim. It's easier than building a new wheel and chances are you won't need much else other than a new rim, a few replacement parts and a gob of free time.

My experience
While doing my (almost) seasonal wheel truing I found an unwelcome guest: a harsh new crack in my wheel's rim, emerging from the spoke nipple. I drew the weight off of the offending spoke and re-enforced the neighbors: she still needs to get me to and from work for a week. Beside a bent spoke or two, a few worn out spoke nipples, and this new crack my wheel was still in pretty good shape. I found the exact rim for sale online for less than $20 and I proceeded to swap it out. Swapping rims is simpler than building a wheel outright as there is less to determine. This how I did it; and, how you can do it too.

Don't do it if:
The bent spokes I had were pretty minor. If you took a serious fall and a number of your spokes are damaged or if your hub is damaged then it is not worthwhile just replacing the rim; you are probably better off building/buying an entire new wheel.

Let's get started
The wheel I repaired is a rear 700c road wheel, but the principles here apply to the front as well as other styles and sizes. If it is front wheel you are repairing, try to ignore the emphasis on the drive versus non-drive sides, just make sure to switch sides when called for.
 
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juanoporras4 years ago
nice, very detailed instructable, thanks for sharing.
couple of questions.
Today was my first time doing this, I tensioned the wheel and all that. the pattern is the same as yours (cross 2?), but the only detail I forgot was to overlap the spokes (the ones from the outer side running through the inside of the wheel and viceversa with the inner ones so when the two spokes meet they "touch and bend a little bit") And I noticed that after I finished everything, does it matter? will my spokes break or something? I spent almost 4 to 5 hours doing that so I dont want to go through it again unless I have to :S.

BTW this was a twisted muddy wheel I found on the street, cleaned it, and it ended up being a good quality one, now it looks awesome :).

thanks a lot
varsik (author)  juanoporras4 years ago
 One advantage of the crossing pattern is that the spokes share forces the hub exhibits when driving the wheel. So, if this is the rear wheel then your spokes may be working a bit more than they need to. I referred to my wheel building book and it also recommends interlacing to reduce nipples from unscrewing "during severe radial loading." Another thing to consider is the spoke lines -- a spoke that has a more bent spoke line more will fatigue faster. 
 
I hope this helps, if I were you I would try and see if this is a front wheel, but re-lace if this the rear wheel; yeah, I spent about four hours on it too. If this is a city bike, then it may be worth it to see how it goes, but if its mountain you might be looking at a nice, long hike out.
 
Thanks for reading my article. 
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