Hubs n’ Wheels

7 Dec

Today was day 2 at the United Bicycle Institute in Portland, OR where I am attending their bicycle repair and overhaul mechanic certification course. Yesterday we focused on the assembly and disassembly of hubs and discussed the finer details of their purpose and function; while today was dedicated to building a wheelset using our assembled hubs.
Hub day was pretty straight forward. Introductions and book keeping took up the first hour of class, but we quickly dove into a discussion on the importance of accurrate measurement and the development of current bicycle hubs.
In front of every individual was a front and rear hub which we were tasked to disassemble, clean, and inspect at our workbenches. After a quick overview of proper hub assembly, we put the pieces back together, more or less the way they were at the beginning of the day- maybe with a few extra pounds of grease.

Class was dismissed early, just before 5, and a few of us from the Friendly Bike Guest House joined Dave, a recently found Portlander, for food and drinks at Amnesia, a local low-key brewpub with an excellent IPA and tofurkey. We warmed ourselves up at a table and enjoyed the drinks, food, and company. Even though we were out of class, our conversation cycled ’round bicycles. After Eric and myself expressed some grief at not having wheels here in Portland, Dave offered to lend us bikes during our stay. Awe struck by his generosity, we meandered through NE Portland after dinner and picked up our new wheels. Eric got a sleek steel roadbike with pink camo handlebar tape while I received a blue cruiser with coaster breaks- it’s the sweetest ride since ever.

Wheel day was today. With introductions out of the way, we got straight into building our symetrical 32 spoke 3-cross wheelset. The first half of the day we prepared our hubs by loading spokes into hubs and lacing our wheels. After lunch we added tension to the spokes and then trued and dished our wheels to ensure optimum roundess and a quality build. For better or worse, much of my time was spent trying to true wheel with a cracked rim… why does every bicycle around me crack? Of course, once our wheels were inspected our task was to disassemble them. The wheel build is one of the more time consuming and sometimes frustrating aspects of this class, but most everyone pushed through and had a wheelset by the day’s end.


2 Responses to “Hubs n’ Wheels”

  1. crazyupload December 8, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Very interesting post. Just wanted to comment and let u know that realy its really cool.


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