Straight and True

I mentioned in my last post that I would be making some wheels that matter. I am using all-new parts, and high-quality ones at that, all chosen for good reasons.

I selected Shimano 105 HB-5700 front and FH-5700 rear hubs because they are:

  • supplied with internal-cam skewers
  • durable
  • competitively priced
  • the right colour
  • good quality

This is pretty-much the only game in town if you need a white ISO 622 rim with a brake track. There are plenty of choices if you want a disc-brake rim for a mountain bike, but not many for a road bike. It is, happily, a good rim; we would have gone with something in the wrong colour rather than a bad one in the right colour.

No-one makes white spokes, so I couldn’t match the rim colour; I therefore went with black DT Swiss Competition spokes to at least match the hubs. I think that silver spokes would have looked rubbish.

I had to go with silver-colour spoke nipples because that’s the colour of brass spoke nipples; they are all zinc-plated. They are a lot lighter than the OEM brass nipples which were stock on my Allez; in the hand they feel very close in weight to the aluminium ones which I used to rebuild the front wheel. I could have got black nipples if I had been prepared to tolerate aluminium nipples or nipples with glue in the threads, but I do not it is a good idea to use either of those.

Lacing was fairly smooth, as expected; there is much less annoyance with a dual-eyelet hub because you can’t drop nipple into the box-section of the rim.

After lacing I did the initial tensioning with a tool made for the purpose, which worked fairly well and is certainly quicker and more accurate than trying to tighten every spoke to where the thread has just disappeared using a normal screwdriver.

For truing and tightening I am now using this 4-side spoke wrench which I can strongly recommend. It is vastly superior to the three-sided spoke wrench I have been using hitherto.

So far I have completed the front wheel; I will post pictures of both when the rear wheel is also finished and fitted.

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