Hutch Pro Racer - BMX Rebuild and Restore 03

Posted by Matthew Poster on

After the bike tear down I decided to re-build the wheelset. Un-lacing the old spokes and hubs was pretty straight forward and I choose to do this instead of just cutting them loose, so I could save the spokes and hubs for a later project.

Here is a picture and list of the tools I used to take the wheels apart and re-build them:

Wheel Building Tools

Hoops and Hubs

Spokes Nipples and Freewheel

The parts I choose were:

  • Original ACS Z rims
  • Refurbished Philwood Hubset
  • 16mm Long Red Anodized Nipples
  • 187mm Long 14/15ga. Double Butted Spokes
  • White Industries 16T Freewheel

I begin by loading the spokes into the hub and placing the first spokes into the rim so as to "box out" the valve stem. This is important so I have room around the valve stem to pump up the tires.

Boxed Valve Stem

As I move through the spokes placing them one by one into the rim the wheel begins to take shape. I'm doing a simple 3X pattern for simplicity sake and it's a good pattern for lateral and radial stiffness.

After all the spokes are in I use my cordless driver and custom bit to quickly pull the wheel into tension being careful not to tear up the nipple heads.

Once the spokes are under some tension I start to check and be sure the wheel is round and true and dished correctly.

Truing Stand

I begin slowly pulling the spokes up in tension while keeping a constant eye on roundness and true. This can take awhile depending on your experience, but take your time! It will pay off at the end.

Wheel Truing

As the spoke tension increases the wheel takes shape and while going back and forth between round and true I feel confident the wheels are complete.

Finished Wheels

There are a lot of things to consider when building wheels! Choosing your parts and measuring everything carefully makes assembly a breeze. If you want to learn to build your own wheels I highly recommend getting this book to help: The Art Of Wheel Building

Now that the wheels are built, I'll begin to tackle the clean up of the frame, fork and other parts. The rust on this bike is minimal so I won't be giving it an OA bath but, will be doing some things to help keep this whip looking good and riding for a long time to come... Stay tuned!