Wheel Building Test

Why Test?

A rim may look perfect at a glance, but builds poorly if details are overlooked. When you build a wheel methodically by hand, you can recognize the quality of work that went into the rim’s construction. Naturally, you want to build the wheel with top quality tools, spokes, and nipples to eliminate as many variables as possible. The wheel should behave predictably as you increase tension and won’t readily develop hops or significant lateral deviations. If the nipple bed has an evenness and is drilled and deburred correctly, the nipples will protrude by the same amount and pull without a harsh angle in relation to the spokes. Rim imperfections are amplified during the wheel building process, so performing regular build tests help us maintain our high-quality standards.

Testing Goals

The wheel building test aims to check the smoothness of the wall and edges, hole drilling angle, reinforcement of the nipple bed, and trueness of the whole wheel.

Test Standard

Hole drilling angle: +/-6°

Nipple bed: no bulge/crack

Wheel trueness: < 0.3mm

Sample Profile

Size Model Width/Depth Rim Weight Hub Spokes Nipples Rim Condition
700C WR50 32mm/50mm 473g DT Swiss 350 Sapim CX Ray Straightpull Sapim Polyax aluminum Trueness test passed.

Test Facility

A commercial-grade truing stand equipped with lateral and radial runout gauges. 4-sided spoke key or t-handle, and a high-quality tension meter (P&K Lie is a good choice). The wheel builder has 10 years of experience and can recognize some issues tools cannot.

carbon-wheel-rim-lateral-stiffness-test.jpeg

Methodology

  • Step 1:Prepare the rim, spokes and nipples, hub, and building tools.
  • Step 2:Lace the rim, bring the spokes to even tension, and get the wheel stress relieved.
  • Step 3:Inspect the nipple bed area for any bulges or cracks.
  • Step 4:True the wheel and inspect its trueness (<0.3mm run-out).
carbon-wheel-rim-lateral-stiffness-test.jpeg

Conclusions

There are no cracks or bulges around the nipple holes, and the nipples fit well into the holes during spoke lacing. Both lateral and radial run-outs of the trued WR50 wheel is around 0.2mm.

© All photos and test data by Light Bicycle

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