Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wheel building with Mavic Tubeless Rims

I recently had wheel building request which was new experience for me. I normally do not build UST tubeless rims. All of the wheelbuilding I have done in past were for people that were going to use a Conversion kit, like Stans to ride tubeless. This MTB wheelset was to be a unique blend.
  • Phil Wood MTB hubs in fresh Red Anno
  • Sapim Race double butted spokes in black
  • Sapim 16mm black brass nipples
  • Mavic 819 UST rims black with machined sidewalls

Make sure you have the tools you need. The Park Tool-SW13 is a must have. This allows you to get the steel eyelets into the rim and hold the nipples in place. I test fit all the eyelets first then backed them out of the rim to apply 242 Loctite. After that I secured them to the rim with the Park tool. A Mavic tool is also available, but don't bother with the plastic version and best of luck finding it.

Now I laced both wheels. The key is having the 16mm nipples that Mavic recommends. This long nipple emerges enough from the eyelet that you can get it threaded on the spoke by hand when you use gravity to allow the nipple fall down into the eyelet, with spoke pointing to the sky. This is the point were it gets interesting. No nipple drivers can help you and you need to get to turning the 60+ spokes either with spoke wrench or by hand until significant tension exists. Fun stuff, that will work your fingers till they are raw.

Finishing the wheel is just as easy as standard wheel. Final product is nice if I do say so myself. Enjoy the new wheels, Steve!




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