Introduction: Making Wide Bike Wheel Hubs and Joining Them to Car Rims. PART 2!

This is a follow up to my original "Making wide bike wheel hubs and joining them to car rims!" Instructable.

The original can be found here:

This Instructable is more off an idea provoker, a way to encourage anyone doing this sort of thing to think outside the ideas given and try something new, as such it will not be as in depth and "step by step" as the first one, but just provide a few ideas to start you thinking...

How to build the actual hubs was covered in the first one, so if you want ideas on how to do that please check it out.

I also covered 4 and 8 spoke wheel attachments in that one too, this one will cover 5 spoke round and square tube attachments and also another idea which does not use a jig...

Step 1: 5 Spoke Jig Modification.

I modified my jig that I built earlier to do 5 spoke wheels, 5 is the traditional number of spokes for hot-rods and muscle cars, so it works really well and looks really nice. As you can see in the first photo I used pieces of 1"x1" angle to lay the spokes in, the reason for this is that it allows for both square tube spokes and round tube spokes, and in fact almost any tubing you could want to try. I have even used oval tubing with great success.

The original design was limited to only one size of tubing, so you can see why this is an advantage.

To get the exact angles required is actually easier than you might think. There is 360 degrees in a full circle, we need to divide that by 5 which gives us 72 degrees. A quick Google or Bing image search will give you a diagram with 72 degrees on it and then it is just a matter of printing it and cutting it out, then lay it on your jig or table or whatever you are using and mark the spoke points off, you will know if you make a mistake because the last gap between the spokes wont match the angle, if that happens just find where you made the error and fix it.

You can use the same method to work out you spoke length as described in the other Instructable even though the spokes are no longer in line, they still cover the same distance. (Inside diameter of rim, minus hub diameter, divided by two.)

Step 2: Adding Disc Brakes.

The big issue with building your own rims is that traditional rim brakes no longer fit, there is an Instructable out there for building a wide coater brake (back peddle brake) hub if you want to go that way:

The other method is to use disc brakes!

It is actually pretty easy to add disc brakes to your wheels, get yourself a steel washer that fits snuggly over the end of your hub, I have found that the size is easy to find.

Place a disc brake over the washer, check it is central around the hole and mark the bolt holes. Use a centre punch to ensure your drill will locate nicely. Now it is just a matter of drilling those holes and tapping them with a 5mm metric thread tap.

Once that is done, simply weld them to your hub, start with just a tack and check you have it perfectly straight. You can adjust the discs a little, but if you are too far off, you will have no choice but to remove it and start again.

If all of that is sounding too hard, you can buy steel disc brake hubs, they are hard to find, but I have found them on eBay for around $30 a pair from China. Then it is just a matter of extending the hub as originally described and you will automatically have disc brakes.

Step 3: Making a 3" Wide Bicycle Rim.

For this next project I decided I wanted a 16" kids bike front tyre but on a wider than normal bike rim.

I started by splitting a rim down the middle and hand bending some 16 gauge (1.6mm) steel to fit the curve, then it was just a matter of welding the three pieces back together. Go slowly as you do this and use plenty of tack welds, if something looks out of place, cut the tacks near it and fix the problem, don't just keep going and hope it will fix itself.

One advantage of this over the car rim method is that you can use a standard width hub, there is no need to extend it as your hub is still wider than the rim itself.

This project was also different from my usual ones in another way as it did not have spokes or even use the jig for setting up, as I will show in the next step...

Step 4: Spokeless "mag" Wheels.

As you can see in the pictures for this build I used some more 16 gauge steel and some 3" (75mm) exhaust tube to build some "Mag" styled wheel centres.

As long as the tubing was cut straight, it does not require a jig either as the two side plates will end up exactly parralel and so the centre will weld to the hubs exactly straight as well. Of course you should still check this in case any mistakes were made along the way. As you can see I sat them on the hub tubes and was able to spin them up to check they were straight and true before welding.

You could theoretically make any design you wanted with this method, making sure that your design is somewhat balanced would be important though, otherwise you could end up with a wheel that is heavier on one side than the other, that would make your bike hard to ride and possibly add some horrible vibration.

Step 5: Weld Your Centres In!

After checking your centres run straight on the hubs it is pretty simple to weld them to the rims as shown in the first 2 pictures.

The rear wheel on this bike was a bit different though, I got hold of a used Hoosier dirt minisprint tyre that I wanted to use, but it required a 13x11.5 rim, so I found a 13x4,5 rim and had some 1/8th" (3mm) steel plate rolled to suit. The method is basically the same as widening the front wheel as shown before.

From there it was just a matter of tacking it to the rear hub and centre and giving it a spin to check it was straight, once that was done I just welded it up!

Step 6: Finished Wheels!

And here we can see how they can end up!

The black bike is completely finished in these pics but the other one with the "mag" wheels is still in progress.

I have videos of my bikes too:

I post new videos as I build bikes, so feel free to subscribe to my channel if you like:

I hope this inspires people to make some crazy wheels and crazy bikes, please share up some pictures if you do!