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Spokes & Nipples
Subcontract Wire Products
With over 100 years experience in wheel building and a customer base that boasts Triumph Motorcycles and The National Motorcycle Museum, Central Wheel Components is the UK’s most accomplished wheel builders.
Our wheel building team are trained to the highest standard and have many years experience not only in assembling wheels but also in rim and spoke geometries. It is our vast experience coupled with an acute attention to detail that enables Central Wheel Components to produce wheels of the highest standard.
When it comes to rebuilding a wheel we are able to offer all the services you should require to transform that tired old hub into a shiny new wheel. From Polishing to Powder Coating, Central Wheel can perform a complete range of additional services to finish your wheel to the highest standard; we are even able to coach line your new rims to provide the most authentic possible look.
So why not let use take the hassle out of rebuilding your wheels, leaving you the time to look for those other elusive spares?
Once you have had your wheels built our external tyre division, Wheel House Tyres, will assist with your tyre choice.
Prior to wheel building we can undertake
the following extra services to the hub or rim:
' We didn't invent the wheel, but we've built and restored it many thousands of times since '
Most of our one-off orders are usually requests for wheel rebuilding, but before this can happen we need certain important measurements. These must be taken by the customer or our technicians while the old wheel is still in one piece.
The first measurement we need is the wheel's offset (or dish, as it is often called), you can see how to measure this on the "Rim Ordering Procedure" page. This measurement is essential if the rebuilt wheel is to sit correctly in the frame.
The spokes must be measured accurately, remembering that there may be more than one length of spoke in a wheel. It is also worthwhile retaining one of the old spokes for reference.
The final measurement is the size of the rim, which should be stamped on the side of the rim, e.g., 18x2.15. Central Wheel Components have a huge database of offsets, spoke lengths and rim sizes, but these will only cater for the original fittings. Over time, many bikes will be tinkered with and improved to accommodate the latest tyres or will be fitted with incorrect spacers etc., so the above measurements are essential to ensure your wheels are correct when returned to you.
All this information means you could rebuild your wheels yourself, if you feel up to the challenge; read on and learn how to do it.
Once all the measurements have been taken, the first job is to cut the hub out of the rim using bolt cutters on the spokes and to remove the spoke ends from the hub and rim.
The hub can now be refurbished. Steel hubs are sand blasted before powder coating or brushed clean and then hand painted. Alloy hubs are simply re-polished back to their former glory.
If remedial work on the rim is not possible, it will be discarded. Remember, before rusty metal can be re-chromed, the pitting has to be polished out, which can seriously weaken a rim, especially around the spoke nipple holes. If a new rim is to be fitted, the rim size is carefully checked before drilling the spoke holes. These holes are made by hand for one-off orders and by hydraulic rams on longer production runs.
Most wheels have 36 or 40 spokes, some may have as many as 72 and each spoke hole has to be punched at a precise angle to ensure correct alignment between rim and hub. The hub dimensions and offset measurement are vital for this task; advice on taking these measurements can be found on the "Rim Ordering" page.
New galvanised or stainless steel spokes are hooked onto the hub, a process known as lacing. Care must be taken when "lacing" the hub as inner and outer spokes may be different lengths.
Maintaining the correct spoke pattern the threaded end of each spoke is offered up to the rim and the nipples are fitted. It is important to make sure the rim is the right way round with the disc side of the rim to the disc side of the hub.
Once all the spokes are fitted in the correct position, the nipples can be tightened evenly to tension the wheel and the offset can be checked with a straight edge.
The bearings are re-inserted into the hub and the fully tensioned wheel is checked to see it is true. At this stage any radial (up and down) or axial (side to side) run out is corrected by slackening some spokes and tightening others, an operation requiring great skill and patience.
A final check of the offset is made and the wheel is examined carefully to ensure all the spoke heads are seated correctly in the hub. It is essential that no spoke ends are left protruding through the nipples as these may cause punctures if left uncorrected.
It is common to see spokes protruding through the nipple, not because the wrong spoke length has been selected, but due to different rim thicknesses, incorrect dimple spacing or even inaccuracies in the hub.
Once any protruding spokes have been ground flush with the nipple, the finished wheel is ready for the rim tape, tyre and tube. Tyre fitting is a specialist service and after the time, trouble and expense of finishing your new wheels, we would not recommend attempting this yourself and run the risk damaging them.
Please see the documents below for more details.