Wednesday, 26 February 2014 @ 10:31 AM ICT
Contributed by: news
About 45 years ago, manufacturers were making predictions about how much longer the spoked motorcycle wheel would be with us in the face of the advent of the alloy-cast wheel. I think it's fair to say that they all got it wrong... because spoked wheels are still here.
Part of the argument against spoked wheels was that they're high maintenance compared to their alloy-cast wheel equivalent, but sometimes the fact that you can maintain the wheel and not simply throw it away because it's bent is a big advantage – which is why off-road and most adventure motorcycles have spoked wheels.
I've never laced a wheel up myself because I've always known at least one person that would do it for me. But, like wiring a motorcycle, once you've got your head round it, acquired a few tools, and sourced the stuff you need, it's less aggravation than you'd think, which is fairly obvious given that spoked wheels are mass-produced.
From a adventure bike building point of view, the advantage of spoked wheels is that you can lace the rime size to another rim size. Changing the rim size is, however, a little ambitious for a first attempt; the rim needs to be drilled to suit the hub, spoke lengths need to be worked out, and so on. Bearing that in mind, speak to your wheel builder before cutting the hub out of a wheel you want to modify so that they can make a note of the spoke pattern, whether or not the rim is centered on the hub, and anything else they need to know. Then you can paint, polish, or powdercoat your hub to your heart's desire before having it laced to a new rim.