Placing Drive Side Pulling Spokes in a Bicycle Wheel

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Staying conscious of the wheel label when installing the drive side pulling spokes will make the wheel look good. Learn how to install the drive side pulling spokes in a bicycle wheel in this free video on bicycle wheel building.

Part of the Video Series: Bicycle Wheel Building
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Video Transcript

In this clip I'm going to show you how to place the very first, initial spoke which is a right side, or drive side, pulling spoke. Traditional wheel builders are conscious of the labeling on a wheel. Keep in mind, this is just for aesthetics and not for structure. Do it right, it'll make it look real cool. What we want to do is, line it up so we're starting at the valve hole, with the rim label readable from the right side of the bike, the drive side of the bike, and the hub label readable, facing down the road, and facing the valve hole. We're going to start with those two positions. We'll lay in the first key spoke, three holes from that center line of the label, and this will be a drive side, pulling spoke. We're going to count three holes forward from the hub label and get all those labels lined up. So one, two, three forward, and we can lay in all of our spokes on the drive side, pulling spokes, skipping one. Ok, we've laid in all of our drive side pulling spokes. We've counted three holes forward of the rim label and we'll go to our rim. Spoke holes on rims are offset. Every other hole corresponds to a hub flange. So, left, right, left, right, left, right. We're going to find the first right side hole, or the hole facing up in this case, and use that for that first key spoke and we'll drop that into place. When I say first key spoke, we're counting forward from the valve hole. We always use the valve hole as a reference point. Now, we can make our way around, skipping each series of holes, every fourth hole is a drive side, pulling spoke. Now, you'll notice I'm just threading the nipple on to the spoke a couple of turns, just to hold it in place. We want the wheel nice and loose so we can get all the spokes in place and then we'll apply the tension.

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