How to Measure Your Hubs

By Scott

Bike builds can usually revolve round hubs (sure, pun supposed). For a lot of bike house owners, hubs are the middle piece of their bikes. Through the years, I’ve picked up a pair hubs, both on a deal (like an outdated Solar Tour XC entrance hub I snagged for $10 I believe) or as an element for a dream construct. I purchased an early 90’s XT rear cassette hub (again within the early 90’s) and I’ve put it apart for a particular body in the future.

So as an instance that magical day comes. You discovered some cool rims to go together with the hub on your favourite body. Now, simply to order up some spokes and nipples and get began with constructing a wheel. However, my hubs are outdated and all of the hub knowledge that appears straightforward to seek out for a brand new hub is not really easy to seek out. What to do?

First step is to find out what you have to know. Taking a look at a wheel constructing internet web page/spoke calculator is the primary place to start out. I discovered my rear hub there:

If you happen to’re not as fortunate and your hub is not listed on a website, you are not out of luck. With a number of measurements, you may get the uncooked knowledge you want for any spoke calculator and be able to go.

The principle issues you have to know for spoke size calculations are:

Gap Rely – Your hubs and rims ought to match one another’s gap depend.

Lacing Sample – 2 or 3-cross is the normal lacing sample. The variety of crosses signifies what number of occasions a spoke crosses different spokes. For different lacing patterns like Radial, 1-cross, and Crow’s Foot, seek the advice of the producers to substantiate whether or not or not it is okay for that hub/rim.

Conventional 3-cross wheel lacing
The above hub is laced 2-cross on the driveside and radially on the non-drive aspect. Igor wished to go together with one thing totally different and Tommy from Cutlass Velo did the wheel construct. It rides fairly properly.

Left and Proper Centre to Flange Measurement – That is the space from the middle of the hub to the left (non-driveside) and proper (driveside) flange. Here is measure these distances:

  1. Determine the space between the lock nuts (the place the hub sits within the dropouts) – 100 or 110 mm is typical for the entrance. Most rear wheels are 126, 130, 135, or 142mm (for thru-axles). That is generally known as the OLD (over locknut dimension).
  2. Take that quantity and divide by 2.
  3. Then measure from the flange to the lock nut.
  4. Subtract that quantity from step 2’s determine (OLD/2) and you’ve got the left/proper centre to flange quantity. 

The place Your Caliper Is – Digital is nice, however analog ones work advantageous as nicely. You are able to do it with a ruler too in a pinch.

It is a good suggestion to observe with a recognized, measured hub to ensure you’re measuring and calculating issues correctly.

Hub Flange Diameter – The gap throughout the hub’s flange from gap to gap. A caliper makes measuring this a lot simpler.

Rim Offset – You possible will not want this until you are constructing actually vast (mid-fat or fats bike) or asymmetrical rims.

After you have these particulars, you may put these into the spoke calculator and it offers you some spoke lengths. One factor about spoke calculators is that some will create a spoke size that’s barely longer, others barely shorter than one other calculator. Relying on the model of spoke you need to use, the spoke size really helpful by the calculator could also be in between out there spoke lengths. So the selection of spoke size is a compromise and one which the particular person constructing the wheel ought to make based mostly on their expertise.

If you wish to get extra in depth into the world of wheel constructing, you could find it in Jobst Brandt’s e-book, the Bicycle Wheel.  Sheldon Brown’s website has an awesome part about Jobst here. Wheel Fanatyk is one other nice wheel constructing website with a ton of information and nice photos. Ric at Wheel Fanatyk is likely one of the people behind Wheelsmith and an absolute grasp wheel builder. Plenty of stuff on his website to learn by way of and try to take in.

Wheel constructing is a implausible talent to have. Not solely are you able to construct any type of hub/spoke/rim mixture to fit your specific construct, it additionally opens up new bike build ideas that you could be not have thought of.

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