Category Archives: wrench

Wheel Whisperering

Wheel Building Tip No. 5 – Be a Wheel Whisperer

…a single loosened spoke will generate a broad “S” bend in the rim, a sort of sine wave. If you try and correct this by truing each section of the wave, rather than discovering the true culprit, you’ll have wasted time and possibly worsened the wheel’s condition. Eventually, of course, you’ll find the culprit. Your measure as a builder is how quickly you can find the source of a wheel’s trouble and make a bulls eye correction.

Never spot true.

The difference between those that can form quick and accurate mental maps of wheel tension and those who can’t is huge. It’s like night and day. I pity builders who are essentially blind in their work, stumbling around, superstitious, expecting weird outcomes and struggles. Don’t be among them.

Eventually, you’ll deduce and fix wheels in a fraction of the time it takes others.


Female mechanic scholarship

Female Mechanic Scholarship

I’m not a huge fan of UBI; I’ve had three of their graduates work under me, two of then women; but it’s better than nothing. (I much prefer Barnetts, also a much better manual.) But Ashland is very nice.

Shimano 6800

Good build quality as expected from better Shimano groups.
Nice use of some Dura-Ace technology.
Wide gear range available: 11-32.

Some cautions:

  • Non-standard chain rings
  • Fussy front derailer
    Cable alignment tool may not report the optimal position with the cable near the center line.
  • Rollers of the brake calipers will require more frequent and more thorough maintenance.
  • Cables will get fuzzy

Recommend reading at least the lever and front derailer manuals.


removable aluminum alloy rear derailer hanger

Plain aluminum alloy cleans easier, shows scratches less, and better reveals damage.

Paint on a derailer hanger causes harm. It blocks inspecting for cracks. It blocks dyeing. Any color on a hanger causes harm.

When building a bicycle wheel there is nothing more important than even spoke tension. A finished wheel with even tension substantially increases longevity and decreases maintenance in a wheel’s life, as opposed to a wheel that is true with substantial tension variance. — The Wheel Department

Cable guide

See this too often.misaligned cable guide

Front derailer cables move little, but enough to score steel frames, and enough to damage carbon frames.

Block the front derailer, slack the shifter, loosen the cable guide retaining bolt, align the cable and guide, tension the cable, then tighten the bolt.