upside downside #1

On the upside, I laced up my first wheel ever!

What I was trying to do was solve the problem I am having with skipping when I am in the largest cog on the rear of the mountain bike. It has been an issue ever since I got it back from Performance when they replaced the whole rear triangle under warranty.

Graham hooked me up with a hub that is pretty much identical to the one that seemed to be having the problem. Having never laced a wheel though, I was going to take the quick way out and just buy a wheel already laced. It was my opinion that the prawls inside the freehub were worn which was causing the skip under torque.

I figured I’d take a stab at lacing up the hub I had on hand though, since if I screwed up I was already counting on spending loot anyway. To me, if I pulled it off it was like saving triple digits.

Once I was into the tear down process I couldn’t back out…

There was no need to worry about spoke length because the hubs were virtually identical…

The Zoloft bottle in the background is where I kept the spoke nipples lol.

The reassembly process was slow and long, and at times no very pretty. Surely there is a more elegant way to do it other than how I did. I ended up having to bend some of the spokes up pretty good in order to get them where they needed to be, and I had to keep going over the the bike rack and looking at the front wheel to make sure I got the cross pattern right. I only ended up having to start over once.

Eventually I got the whole thing assembled correctly.

After a short breather, it was time for truing. My strategy was to concentrate on getting the hop out first, and worry about side to side truing later. Once I started doing it though, it ended up being sort of a combo of both at the same time. The rim was not exactly in stellar condition, so if I ended up hop free and relatively close on the side to side, that would be fine. There are about 6 replacement spokes on this wheel that I have put in over time, so I couldn’t get all mathematical and use the method of tightening each spoke the same number of times from the get go and then tensioning from there. I just had to dive in and wing it. Overall it turned out pretty good…good enough considering the condition of the hoop to start with…

Dish was an issue. The wheel is not dished right, but it is close enough that the disc rotor slid into the calipers without too much coaxing. It’ll pass, but the centerline is sitting a bit to the left. Next time I’ll do some research into how to get it dished right.

The downside is, the new hub didn’t effect the skipping problem at all…the problem is very much still there. My theory is that it has to do with a build up of slop in areas that pivot. This is a cheap bike with cheap components and a lot of play in the rear triangle due to some worn out bushings on the pivot points. The SRAM derailluer has a ton of slop where it screws into the derailleur hanger, which cannot be removed because there is no way to tighten it at that junction, the main bolt is connected to the derailleur body by a snap ring. Sucks. Even on the new hub, there is still a fair amount of slop in the freehub, but nowhere near as much as the old one. The chain is brand new SRAM…I’ve never rode it further than down the driveway and back since the chain install so a worn chain is not the issue either.

I’m very glad that I am finding out that the problem was not the freehub by way of relacing the hub spare hub instead of going out and buying a new wheel. I’d have been pissed if I’d laid out the lootstack and the problem was still there…

Oh and in case you were thinking “Oh he just doesn’t know how to adjust the gears”…please…don’t even think about lecturing me on proper gear adjustment. I’ve adjusted the gears on so many bikes you would cry if you knew. Seven years wrenching at a bikeshop = you end up knowing how to adjust gears. I’ve done them all, from Sturmey Archer internal 3 speeds to Dura Ace and everything in between. I could make an ancient bottom of the line Shimano Tourney with friction shifters run smoother than thye skin on your butt was the day you shot out of your mama. The problem is NOT the gear adjustment. I have taken the adjustment from one extreme to another, tried multiple variation of twisting the derailleur hanger on both axis, and making sure the high and low set screws are where they should be. There is some other kind of anomaly causing this issue.

I’m starting to think it may be that my bike is just trying to tell me to get a new bike.

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