We found 27 Reddit comments about The Bicycle Wheel 3rd Edition. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
Your missing that bicycle spokes are loaded purely in tension. Section modulous and moment of area aren't terms I know (am bike mechanic and motorcycle customizer, not engineer) but i suspect the apply in resisting twist, flex, and buckling. None of those can happen to a spoke in a properly built wheel, they are all under tension.
One good reason to use many thin spokes is it minimizes the span of rim between spokes. This helps spread shock, instead of putting it all on one section of the rim.
Another good reason is that when a rim deflects under load or impact, you do NOT want the spoke to go slack. So ideally you want all the spokes loaded with enough tension that they stretch more than the rim can safely deflect. With fewer but heavier spokes, this tension would be very high, requiring a thick spoke bed to avoidpulling the nipple though the rim, and unless deap in section the rim would get flat spots under the nipples. Many deep section rims are in fact built into wheels that use fewer spokes with thicker cross section than normal- not because it is stronger, but because it is more aerodynamic.
For a really good explanation of bicycle wheel design, check out Jobst Brandt's book on the subject. He even includes finite element analysis. Using his principles, I've built 26 inch wheels that survive flat landings from loading docks under my grace less 200 lb ass, and stay within .25 mm of build true. They aren't light, but they use MUCH thinner spokes than conventionally used on such wheels, since i aimed for optimal spoke elongation, not maximum spoke strength.
Edit - this is the book I mentioned - http://www.amazon.com/The-Bicycle-Wheel-3rd-Edition/dp/0960723668
When you graduate beyond Sheldon, you can spend months reading Jobst's bike.wreck postings, much of which would inform Sheldon's thinking. He was a brilliant engineer who understood bicycles, possibly better than nearly anyone else who ever lived, and literally wrote the book on bicycle wheels.
The Bicycle Wheel 3rd Edition
THE definitive source for wheel building IMO
Available used for <$10
Earlier editions perfectly OK for 99% of wheel builders
Sheldon Browns page on this is also very good, just not to the depth Jobst Brandts book goes to
There are a ton of forces that act on a wheel. To fully understand the implications of how these forces act on the wheels you've got a lot of reading. Basically, the difference in 4 spokes on the wheel is not the only significant factor among the other differences like rim profile, spoke type, type of brake (rim brake, disc brake) and hub diameter.
Edit: Found this while I was looking for some more info, it's a great article. I also own a copy of this book, which is full of information.
I seem to recall from a different context that it is the serial retrogrouch and über-curmudgeon known as Jobst Brandt.
You could read for years on bikeforums.net and not get bored.
My favorite hardcopy bike books:
The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt
I've been building my own wheels since the 90's. I use this book, it's my bible.
Post your results!
I've built many wheels over the years and find each new build is easier than the one before. The hardest part is choosing the components and getting the spoke length right. Components can be researched on the web (manufacturers' web sites, reviews & opinions) and the LBS can work out the right spoke length for you.
When I'm building a wheel, my attitude is that my time is valuable and I won't waste it by using sub-standard parts (or previously used spokes) and hoping that nothing breaks.
The process of building a wheel can be broken into three parts:
1: Getting all the bits (the fun part);
2: Spoking the wheel (the basket weaving part);
3: Truing the wheel (the tedious but rewarding part).
I have used and can recommend The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt as a book to get started with. I have also read Building Bicycle Wheels by Robert Wright. It got me enthused, but was a little simplistic for me.
You will also need some tools: a spoke key and a truing stand.
The Bicycle Wheel is generally billed as the book on bicycle wheels. If you really wanted to understand the nuts and bolts (nipples and eyelets?), that should get you started. I've found Sheldon's page on the matter plenty for my limited aspirations. Don't be afraid to hit up r/wheelbuild too.
I have the [Wheel Building Book] (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Bicycle-Wheel-Jobst-Brandt/dp/0960723668) and live near Leeds. If you borrow it, its a good excuse for me to get some miles on a Sunday. PM me if you want to borrow it.
There's an interesting book out about the structural mechanics of bicycle wheels: "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt http://www.amazon.com/The-Bicycle-Wheel-3rd-Edition/dp/0960723668
Under all but the most extreme conditions, the pretension in the spokes allows the spokes under the hub to carry most of the gravity load (by reducing the pretension). In plane torsion from acceleration is more evenly distributed.
>I'll definitely be doing butted spokes!
Please do. The best wheelbuilders in the world will tell you to use butted spokes in their books and on their websites. We're talking about guys like Jobst Brandt, Sheldon Brown, and Peter White. I'll leave it up to you to confirm what I'm saying, but, butted spokes make stronger wheels.
Put simply: the thin middle section of a butted spoke can expand and contract to take stress off the rim. It also takes stress off the J-Bend of the spoke. I'm a fat-as-fuck rider and 100% of the spokes I've broken (and I've broken a lot) happen at the J-Bend.
If you want to research further you can read https://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Wheel-3rd-Jobst-Brandt/dp/0960723668
If you do you'll understand why I had a rear wheel built 3-cross instead of 4-cross.
You should buy a used copy of this book and follow the procedure described in the book. Trial and error is going to get very frustrating.
There are some far better resources:
I strongly recommend this book as well: http://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Wheel-3rd-Jobst-Brandt/dp/0960723668
The Bicycle Wheel
Great info, thanks so much. I will be getting this book in the mail tomorrow, and I intend to read through it before I go to town. Much appreciated.
This is somewhat related to the article Experimental bike with reverse-spinning wheel shows that gyroscopic forces are not important for the stability of a bicycle: So what is?. Jobst Brandt is a legend in cycling: he wrote The Bicycle Wheel, which includes finite element analysis data on various standard wheels.
Give a man a match and he'll be warm for a second; set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Dude, building wheels is some of the most frustration I've ever felt. Totally possible but the learning curve is steep. I've used this book. Good luck.
That feeling when your fully laced spokes cross over the valve hole
Edit: the right link to the book
This is generally considered a good place to start: http://www.amazon.com/Bicycle-Wheel-Jobst-Brandt/dp/0960723668
Man, I miss Captain Bike (Sheldon Brown) and rec.bicycles.tech.
In a similar vein, Jobst Brandt on why bikes don't hydroplane. Brandt is the engineer behind the book, The Bicycle Wheel ---and one of the sources for Sheldon's comment.
Jobst Brandt is on my side. Last I checked, he's a wheelbuilder around the world somewhere.
Radially laced wheels are stiffer both laterally (side to side) and radially (weight straight down at the axle) than crossed lacing patterns. The shock absorption is nice for mtb wheels, but not on the road. Look at every high end weight-conscious (Road) front wheel out there, Enve, Zipp, HED. All use radial lacing. If 3x were stronger, then they would be 3x, with fewer spokes to reduce weight further.
Nope, I do this. Wish I was him though. If you're similarly physics and cycling inclined, you should check this book out. It's a really great treatment of the physics on bike wheels.
Read The Bicycle Wheel.
Well, you have some decisions to make. The constants will be the dimensions of the hub and the inner diameter of the rim. The variables will be the lacing pattern -- how many times the the spokes cross each other on the way from the hub to the rim -- and the gauge / type of spoke.
Since you're building a 36 spoke wheel, I assume that you're building this for heavy duty road riding or touring, where most riders will select a 3X pattern. (For example, radial laced spokes don't cross each other at all -- like a wagon wheel -- resulting in shorter, lighter spokes. A 3X wheel requires longer spokes but allows softer riding characteristics.)
I couldn't get the drop-down menu's to work on the Wheelbuilder link, but another calculator can be found here. But unless you can find a reliable database of measurements, you will need to learn how to make the proper measurements yourself.
One book you might want to read can be found here. It's a start but not gospel.
One option: Go to an intelligent LBS and have them make the measurements and order the spokes for you. You can save the labor and build them yourself.