Having started using my bike to carry heavy loads, I’ve had problems with breaking spokes on my rear wheel. So, I talked to our friend Michael, who happens to be a wheel builder himself, and he agreed to walk me through the process. We used a double-walled aluminum rim, with double-butted spokes, which are slightly thinner gauge in the middle, giving them a bit more flex, and therefore hopefully less likelihood of snapping.
Overall, the process is pretty straightforward, and not terribly difficult, it just requires a lot of patience. Michael did all the fine tuning, but I put the whole wheel together, and watched him true and dish it, so I have a good idea of how that process works, should I need/want to do it in the future. The whole process was really interesting, and it’s nice to have a basic understanding of how it works, and how a bicycle wheel works in terms of tension and straightness and everything. Big thanks to Michael for helping me out and being willing to take a novice through something like building a wheel.
I’ve already noticed the difference in the feel of the wheel – it’s more solid, rides straighter, and hopefully, I won’t have to worry about breaking spokes from here on out.